Obama Sr says that since wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of economic elites, "We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation". He proposes state confiscation of land and high taxation with no upper limit. Just in case the point is unclear, He writes: "Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people get benefits commensurate with the income which is taxed."
At first glance, the idea of 100 per cent tax rates seems insane — how could an intelligent man, let alone an economist, propose such a thing? Plug in the anti-colonial assumption, however, and we can see the logic of the proposal. The assumption is that the rich man became rich through exploitation. So if you come to my house and steal my furniture, what's the appropriate tax rate for you? Well, 100 per cent, because it's not your furniture.
It may seem incredible to suggest that the anti-Western, anti-American ideology of Obama Sr that justifies massive state appropriations of private wealth is the belief system of the American president. But that is what I am saying. For instance, I believe that the premises of Obama Sr's paper can help us understand what President Obama means when he says the rich aren't paying their "fair share". The top 10 per cent of income earners in America pay around 70 per cent of the taxes. By ordinary standards, it would seem that the affluent are more than paying their share. However, if you assume that wealth is not earned through effort or creativity but is rather the product of greed and theft, then there is no limit to what percentage you can legitimately seize. Obama's rhetoric and actions suggest that he feels morally justified in state confiscation of wealth to whatever extent he can get away with it.
The anti-colonial hypothesis is not only psychologically plausible — it is rooted in Obama's own testimony about his father — but it also has tremendous explanatory power. It can account for Obama's domestic policy as well as his foreign policy, and it can also explain little details about Obama that no other theory can account for.
Consider Obama's attitude towards the private sector. He seems to regard the private sector as dominated by greedy, selfish, neocolonial exploiters. He rarely misses a chance to flay Wall Street for its excess, insurance companies for their greed, oil companies for their profiteering and pharmaceutical companies for their exploitative prices.
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