A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VIII: Day/Page 84 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . Details of how that specifically worked were hard to come by. And some of the leftist detractors even pointed out that during the lives of their grandparents the tax rates on the rich were more than double what they were today, and that instead of retarding development, as those on the right claimed, it had actually been a period of unparalleled economic growth and prosperity, with the wealth of the nations more equitably distributed, thus fueling a broader, more robust, more resilient economic engine. The gulf in wealth inequality that now existed, and the faltering economic engine that that gulf engendered, all started with Dribble-Down Theory. Furthermore, they said, all budget deficits for the past 80 years, which the right-handers claimed they’re against, actually always occurred when the right was in power, yet they constantly blamed the deficits on the left. One only had to look it up.
But no one did; because no one cared. The sanctified DDT system was beyond reproach by now; and its tenets of concentrating wealth into the hands of a few, was firmly entrenched in the minds of all. Besides, taxes were merely what government bureaucrats spent and wasted foolishly; and those on the right had, by example, already clearly shown what incompetent, clownish buffoons they were. Neither rich nor poor wished to see them get more.
Those idiots! That’s who want me to entrust my hard-earned money to? I don’t think so, said all. Utter contempt of government ruled.
Apparently the notion of demanding that their elected officials spend the tax money wisely, that they invest public money in support of public good for the betterment of society as a whole—rather than for the narrow interests of a powerful wealthy few—never crossed anyone’s mind. By now, confidence in bureaucratic competence had completely evaporated; while rigid allegiance to DDT policies remained staunchly unquestioned.
Thus, after decades of Dribble-Down Theory diligently chugging away, pumping more and more wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer still, coupled with the sedulous dismantling of government and the repeal of left-leaning laws, enormous squalid cities of brutish destitution arose, like New Favela City, now splayed out over the valley floor below Sofia.
A siren cries out in the distance. Not the quick, rattling type of alarm one hears when a bank vault is breached, but rather a slow, plaintive wail that rises and ebbs like the tide; a howling siren of anguish and lament as when a condemned prisoner escapes doom, and if only for a brief bright moment indulges the tantalizing possibility of a life free of gloom.
A guard in the tower closest to Sofia points in her direction. (Oh, hell, I’ve got to get out of here.) She drops to her knees and clambers back down the boulders as quickly as she can. But it’s difficult and slow, the decent harder than the climb. When she reaches the base of the rocks she breaks into a hard run, back towards Bellapraia. Glancing over her shoulder now and then as she flees, she sees nothing. Then, when about half-way to town, she spots behind her a rising cloud of dust. (Son of a bitch, they’re coming!) She runs faster.
Moments later a second cloud of dust rises up on . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James All rights reserved