Election 2020 Open Thread: “Eat the Rich — Elect President Warren”

The New Yorker‘s economics correspondent John Cassidy, no wild-eyed radical:

As Senator Elizabeth Warren prepares for Thursday’s Democratic debate, in Houston, she is the first viable contender for the Presidency in decades to have proposed a direct tax on wealth. In January, she unveiled a plan to assess a two-per-cent levy on fortunes greater than fifty million dollars and to tax three cents on every dollar of wealth exceeding a billion dollars. Since then, economists have been debating the proposal’s practicality and desirability. During a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington last week, some of the main protagonists faced off. Many of the technical issues that they raised were important, but to me the main thing that came across was the groundbreaking nature of Warren’s proposal.

In theory, the United States already taxes wealth—the stock of cash, financial instruments, real estate, equity in private businesses, and consumer durables—through the estate tax. But this levy applies to wealth accumulated over a lifetime, and the high marginal rate on large bequests (currently forty per cent) has prompted a great deal of avoidance (some legal, some illegal) and political opposition. In 2001, a Republican-controlled Congress passed legislation to get rid of the estate tax completely. That law expired in 2010, and the tax was resurrected in an even weaker form. Trump and the G.O.P.’s tax reforms of 2017 further reduced the estate tax’s impact by doubling the exemption threshold.

Rather than trying to eliminate some of the estate tax’s loopholes, which the Obama Administration proposed, Warren put forward a new tax that has the dual political advantages of sounding modest (two cents on the dollar) and, if it works as advertised, bringing in a lot of revenue—$2.75 trillion over ten years, the campaign says. Unlike the estate tax, it would be paid annually and applied to a base—those with the largest fortunes in the country—that has grown enormously over the past four decades, driven by soaring asset prices and a sharp rise in wealth concentration, especially at the very top.

At the Brookings conference, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two economists from Berkeley who advised Warren on her tax plan, presented a paper in which they estimated that the richest 0.1 per cent of U.S. households (there are about a hundred and seventy-five thousand of them) own about twenty per cent of over-all wealth, compared to less than ten per cent in 1980. In the past forty years, the wealth of the richest four hundred households has quadrupled to 3.5 per cent, Zucman calculated, in a study based on the current and post versions of the Forbes 400 list. This huge accumulation of riches has changed the fiscal calculus. A two-per-cent wealth tax applied to a family’s lifetime savings of a quarter of a million dollars raises five thousand dollars. The same tax applied to a billion-dollar fortune raises twenty million dollars. If it is applied every year for twenty years, it raises four hundred million dollars…

Over time, the cumulative effect of the wealth tax would make a big difference in how wealth is distributed… “The wealth share of the top 400 has increased from less than 1% in 1982 to almost 3.5% in 2018,” Saez and Zucman noted in the lengthy paper they presented at the conference. “With a moderate wealth tax in place since 1982, their wealth share would have been around 2% in 2018.” According to the authors’ calculations, the impact on some of the very richest people in the country would be even more dramatic. If a version of the Warren tax had been in effect since 1982, Jeff Bezos would be worth $86.8 billion rather than a hundred and sixty billion. Bill Gates would be worth $36.4 billion rather than ninety-seven billion. And Buffett would be worth $29.6 billion rather than $88.3 billion…

… [T]o be effective, Warren’s wealth tax would need to be vigorously enforced, confined to the ultra-rich, and safeguarded from congressional attacks.

But for all these complications, the arguments for taxing wealth directly remain strong. If you believe, as Barack Obama said in 2013, that rising inequality is the defining issue of our time, you are obliged to try to do something about it. Warren has taken up the challenge, and the enactment of her wealth tax would be a historic step, akin to the introduction of the personal income tax, in 1913. Properly enforced and supported by other measures, such as meaningful campaign-finance reform and an effective antitrust policy, the new tax could help reverse America’s descent into plutocracy. At least, that is the argument that Warren will be making in Houston and beyond.

Numbers & charts detailed at the link.






81 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    watching dem leadership shambles

    This shit turns me off to anything positive that might be said.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Baud says:

    A CNN tweet earlier today said the most exciting candidate isn’t Warren but Yang.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Ohio Mom says:

    She’s my first pick by a lot. I am not convinced she can overcome the misogynist vote but I didn’t think a Black candidate could ever win either.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4

    @Baud: I was just about to complain about that myself!

    Not that we’re the most well-oiled machine in the world, but…

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It happens a lot. Too many people can’t say something positive about someone without taking a potshot at someone else.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6

    @Baud: it’s Cillizza, or however that’s spelled, fwiw

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    That’s helpful context.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Patricia Kayden says:

    The rich can afford to pay more taxes for the betterment of the country as a whole. They’ll survive President Warren’s taxes.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Cacti says:

    @Baud:

    A CNN tweet earlier today said the most exciting candidate isn’t Warren but Yang.

    I think Yang’s candidacy will be looked at as ahead of its time, when the age of the fully automated workforce starts to peak.

    Probably in another decade or two.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10

    This looks like good news.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11

    @Cacti: just because yang has mentioned robots doesn’t mean he’s doing any better a job addressing it than de blasio.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Cacti:

    Yeah, I don’t dislike him. But he shouldn’t be the nominee.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Why not Marianne/

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I still don’t know how we deal policy-wise when automation (et al) renders, say, 15% of people un-employable.

    If you can figure out a consistent policy that both keeps people whole financially and not wanting to burn everything to the ground, then you can scale and tweak it as we get further down the line.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    I don’t really like her position on trade.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Another Scott says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Not only that, but they’d be better off if the country did better. A lot more wealth is generated with 3% GDP growth than 1.5%…

    But too many of the rich have bought into the mantra that all taxes are bad, and that them actually paying to support the country that gave them the benefits they enjoy is in their self-interest is unpossible.

    Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force.

    The rich have a lot more to lose than the rest of us…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    Grr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    @Baud:

    Me neither. Most people don’t think much beyond next week, next paycheck, etc. Running on solutions to the problems of 10 years from now isn’t going to win the White House.

    But he’d be a great choice to put in charge of Commerce.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Ohio Mom says:

    The only thing I need to know about Yang is that he’s never held an elective office, not even as the proverbial dog catcher.

    There’s lots of ways to spread good ideas (if you think his ideas are noteworthy). He can write a best seller, give a Ted Talk, start a foundation. Just get out of the way of the serious candidates please.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    zzyzx says:

    @BlueDWarrior:

    I do wonder if not having humans involved could actually fix the reasons why socialism doesn’t work… but the humans will be in charge of the plants so probably not.

    Even more than keeping them fed and housed, how do you deal with a new class of people who have nothing to do? It could be a new golden age of education or it could get ugly.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    I hate the framing of that headline: “The rich could LOSE billions if Warren is…”

    In a much better world, the headline reads, “The rich would have to resume paying their fair share of taxes, thanks to President Warren”

    Actually in the best of all possible worlds, it would be “The rich will be back on track – but still nowhere close to what they really should be paying – towards their fair share of Capitalism Fees under President Warren”

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Spanky says:

    Kind of ironic that “Eat the Rich” is the title of righty P.J. O’Rourke’s 1999 book.

    “Righty” because I can’t quite accuse him of being a full-blown wingnut.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    zzyzx says:

    @Another Scott:

    The problem is that we were too effective in fixing a lot of the problems of the 20s. No one is scared about class riots anymore, so they’ve completely forgotten why we built the safety net in the first place.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23

    @BlueDWarrior: sure, and it’s great to talk about it. But I haven’t actually seen Yang do anything that makes me think he should be president, or that his discussion of the issue is significantly better-informed than like, random people I meet at parties.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Baud: hahahaha also, too trading crystals can be lucrative.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25

    I suspect the rich she’s aiming at would still be able to buy groceries.

    Her cut-off point is high. I don’t what percentage it would affect, but it has to be small. I’m not objecting, just stating a fact that gets lost in the hyperventilating. She’s right. They’re hoarders.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Sab says:

    @zzyzx: Perhaps consult the Saudis, or UAE or Qatar. Problematic in my opinion.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Eolirin says:

    @zzyzx: Video games is about the best I can come up with to the lack of purpose problem. Some people will pursue creative or educational opportunities when freed from the constraints of having to work to survive, but not everyone is suited to that. But we have games, and especially social mmo style things where you can perform virtual labor in a virtual environment toward achieving virtual rewards that you can then show off to other people doing the same thing.

    But I don’t really like that solution that much, much as I can’t think of anything better.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28

    @Eolirin: Video games are better than incel terrorism, that’s for sure. Maybe we could start a new religion for them.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @Baud: You really are good at this.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    RAVEN says:

    @Eolirin: How about a universal draft or public service to give people some sense of community?

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    zzyzx says:

    @Eolirin:

    it’s not the worst plan. Of course all of this assume that the robots don’t just make things for the rich and ignore everyone else, leaving us on our own.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    RedDirtGirl says:

    EAT the RICH
    Elect Warren

    That’ll be my newest button!

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Baud: It reminds me of the ascension of Boris Johnson (Ar-Flobatron? I can’t remember Tony Jay’s exact moniker for him), and the way that on the multiple ballots for Conservative Party leadership, the also-rans who would damage or hinder Jeremy Hunt just enough were getting promoted each time out.

    Except in this case, it’s successive promotion of the “strongest” “weak” Dem. Williamson, Gabbard (*spit*), now Yang. We don’t have quite the media capture here as Rupert’s UK, but there’s still this effort to push worthless candidacies to the fore to draw attention away from the front lines.

    EAT THE RICH is already on a tee shirt of mine, maybe it needs a Warren button accessory.

    D

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    watching dem leadership shambles

    This shit turns me off to anything positive that might be said.

    Totally 💯 with you. Pisses me off royally.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    She’s my first pick by a lot. I am not convinced she can overcome the misogynist vote but I didn’t think a Black candidate could ever win either.

    Of course, we should remember that Hillary Clinton won more of the popular vote than did Trump. A good chunk of voters will choose the better candidate.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    This. Just like Trump, he thinks being rich entitles him to start at the top. Fuck that shit. Go away, Andrew. Go do something for the greater good of your community and spend some time on the ground trying to get things done. Then come talk to me and we’ll see.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Anonymous At Work says:

    What’s with this “and” shit?? Colon!
    EAT THE RICH: ELECT ELIZABETH WARREN

    Learn proper syntax…

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Brachiator says:

    @zzyzx:

    I do wonder if not having humans involved could actually fix the reasons why socialism doesn’t work…

    Well, we had a recent thread about it, and most people are afraid of automation. But maybe one day we will find out whether AI beings prefer socialism.

    Robots of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your restraining bolts!

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    The full Lisa Bloom email to Weinstein has been published, and it’s far worse than the excerpts released last week. She’s a piece of…work.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Sab says:

    @Brachiator: Adam S. would say only the electoral college matters. I agree. I would respond that the electoral college follows the poplular vote in the state, so vote for who you love.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Baud says:

    I worry that Eat the Rich will discourage vegan voters.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Jay says:

    Robert Tracci, the Albemarle County CA whose office is responsible for handling the famous torch rally in Charlottesville, basically says here that prosecuting white supremacists is worse than white supremacy. https://t.co/KUZXVLs0nM— Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) September 11, 2019

    He’s up for reelection.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud: Fuckem. Nobody likes the vegans anyway.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    JPL says:

    @trollhattan: Money, money makes the world go round.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Spanky says:

    @Baud: Fuck the vegans. Splitters.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Sab says:

    @trollhattan: Her Mom must be proud.

    I am in my mid-sixties and a professional, and I always tell young women, the older women who pretend to be your friend aren’t always. They just read you better as prey than the guys do. Many of them are your friend, but a significant number of them either want to feed on you, or see you as gullible competition.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    Rather than trying to eliminate some of the estate tax’s loopholes, which the Obama Administration proposed, Warren put forward a new tax that has the dual political advantages of sounding modest (two cents on the dollar) and, if it works as advertised, bringing in a lot of revenue—$2.75 trillion over ten years, the campaign says.

    Wealth taxes have not worked elsewhere when tried. I know that Warren’s advisors claim they have worked it all out, but most analyses suggest that these plans suffer from the same weaknesses as prior proposals. Valuing assets can be cumbersome and subject to error and fraud. Evasion was high in countries that tried this before. And it would be unfair and self-defeating if people are forced to liquidate assets in order to pay wealth taxes.

    However, I’m glad to see that she is making the rich nervous.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Mary G says:

    Yang’s big surprise at the debate tonight is that he’s going to spend $120,000 giving 10 randomly-selected Democrats $1,000/month for a year. We live in a reality show world.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @Mary G:

    Now I wish Oprah had run.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    hitchhiker says:

    @trollhattan:

    I already downloaded and listened to that entire book. It’s absolutely terrific.

    The stuff Lisa Bloom and David Boies were up to is enraging. I went and checked her twitter; she’s currently trying to ride it out by suggesting that she made a “colossal” mistake and that she’s now working for victims 100% of the time instead of just 95%, like she used to.

    What she doesn’t say is that she was caught gleefully plotting to destroy the reputation of a rape victim, and that she sold herself to the rapist by mentioning that in the past she’d worked with other victims enough to know what the game was. The rapist in question was Harvey Weinstein, who did hire her for almost $900/hr to help him pretend to be a good guy. Her duties also included working with former Israeli spies to undermine reporters who were getting closer and closer to finding women who weren’t too scared to talk about Weinstein.

    It’s a small miracle that this book exists, and that Weinstein is going to trial.

    No mercy, Lisa. None at all.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    Me too.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    HRA says:

    @Baud:
    Baud @1
    This is exactly how I feel, too. I am overly disgusted by it.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    James E Powell says:

    @Baud:

    Me too. It’s the Villagers’ obligatory “Shit on Democrats” policy.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Leto says:

    If you believe, as Barack Obama said in 2013, that rising inequality is the defining issue of our time, you are obliged to try to do something about it. Warren has taken up the challenge, and the enactment of her wealth tax would be a historic step, akin to the introduction of the personal income tax, in 1913.

    But please, let’s talk about how Obama and Warren really don’t like each other and they’re giving each other the stink eye…

    @Anonymous At Work: I’m just happy they didn’t put “Elect the rich and eat Elizabeth Warren!”. I expect an opinion column from FTFNYT to be labeled as such.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Yep. I went immediately to annoyed on reading those words. It’s going to take time; people fucking need to deal.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    This looks like a fun read:

    Thomas Piketty is back with a new economics book – and it’s even weightier than his 2013 700-page best-seller “Capital in the 21st Century.” The new book, called “Capitalism and Ideology,” tops 1,200 pages and delves into the political ideologies behind income inequality, while providing radical solutions for reversing the world’s wealth disparities….

    The solutions suggested by Piketty in his newest doorstopper would upend the current capitalist system, where corporate boards are largely composed of wealthy, well-connected shareholders, and taxes on capital are lower than on income. His proposals, according to The Guardian, include:

    Half of the seats on company boards should filled by employees.

    No shareholder should have more than 10% of a company’s voting power. 

    Taxes as high as 90% on the wealthiest estates. 

    A lump-sum investment of $132,000 provided to everyone when they turn 25 years old.

    A personalized carbon tax that would be based on an individual’s contribution to climate change.

    Even so, Americans will have to wait to get their hands on an English-language copy of Piketty’s newest book. While it’s published today in France, the English release won’t be available until March 2020.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Jeffro says:

    @Spanky: Does that include vegan cross-fitters? Vegan Cross-fitters who don’t watch tv?

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator: Give me a fucking break, Piketty. How about we just get back to seriously progressive income tax rates, for starters? And making sure that teachers are paid well/schools are decent or better, billing the taxpayers after the fact and NOT by whether or not they passed a referendum on themselves?

    A variable tax based on how ‘green’ you are? Decided by? Good luck selling THAT.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Spanky says:

    @Brachiator: I might as well read it in the original French, for all I’d get out of it. And what could possibly fill 1200 pages that would be actually actionable?

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Jeffro says:

    @RedDirtGirl: Great button. Now don’t we have to decide between an Aerosmith or a Motorhead theme song for this campaign? (I think both did ‘Eat the Rich’)

    ReplyReply
  61. 61

    @Brachiator:

    Piketty in his newest doorstopper

    At 1200 pages, yeah.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62

    OT diversion: Fun times on Indian Twitter. Brahmin men defending their casteist and misogynist thread wearing by claiming that they have Dalit friends and other self-owning tweets.
    Thread here:
    My contribution:
    Some background, its a coming of age ceremony like the Catholic Holy communion, upper caste boys wear a thread signifying that they are twice born but unlike the Catholics, this rite of passage is exclusive to boys. Its particularly important for Brahmins.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    This just in:

    The U.S. government’s red ink for fiscal 2019 swelled past the $1 trillion mark in August, the first time that level has been eclipsed in seven years, the Treasury Department reported Thursday.

    The total shortfall rose to nearly $1.07 trillion, thanks to a difference between revenue and expenses of more than $214.1 billion in August. The government last saw that large of a fiscal deficit in 2012, when the gap was nearly $1.1 trillion.

    During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump promised economic growth that would easily take care of the tax cuts and new spending he planned. His 2017 tax break for corporations and individuals has helped contribute to a deficit that has grown from $584.6 billion in 2016.

    And of course Republicans will still talk shit about “tax and spend” Democrats.

    The Democrats need to kick the GOP’s ass over their lack of fiscal responsibility.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    I suspect the rich she’s aiming at would still be able to buy groceries

    I suspect the rich she’s aiming at haven’t done their own grocery shopping in decades.

    “Jeeves! Would you take the old Rolls Royce to the market?”

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    Jay says:

    They flee countries whose wars we started, fleeing gangs that we created, dodging bullets from guns we produce, leaving climate disasters our companies make, destitute because of policies we enact, and arrive at a border we drew because Texas wanted to keep slavery.A disgrace. https://t.co/Gm6VBHcf2j— Angelo Guisado (@VoltaireLaFlare) September 11, 2019

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Mezz says:

    I have been trying to address to my community college students the scale of numbers. I don’t remember where I saw it, but to contextualize a billion dollars, I explain if they burned $1000 every single day in commemoration (and since) the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, they would still have like $300 million literally to burn.
    And Bezos would still have $86 billion leftover after Warren’s tax?
    I’ve used that slogan in my some of my classes before (“Eat the rich”) when we get to the Gilded Age or if ever to Reagan. I like the addition. Though we’d miss her in the Commonwealth

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Leto says:

    So Yang opens by saying, “If you believe you can fix your problems better than politicians…” Does he know that the Republican primaries are closed? That the Libertarian primary is sometime next year? GTFOff the stage, you worthless twat!

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Jay says:

    Members of our local press, defending nazis at a public meeting.Here's columnist Christine Flowers (@flowerlady61) condemning antifascist researchers for "ratting out" that Proud Boy first responder for belonging to a hate group.She starts at 37:00.https://t.co/DN9KZyuWrA— Gwen Snyder is uncivil (@gwensnyderPHL) September 11, 2019

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Chip Daniels says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    “Its a banana, Michael, how much could it cost? Ten dollars?”

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Now that’s a WiFi password!

    Also, PHub has an data crunching article site: https://mobile.twitter.com/JamieHolly/status/1172238361190371328

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Jay says:

    not to tell journalists how to do their jobs but, umm, maybe they shouldn't be citing nativist groups like CIS and FAIR as authorities on immigration https://t.co/XSzWFj6y1G by me— Maryam Saleh مريم صالح (@MaryamSaleh) September 12, 2019

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Jay says:

    For some context on what's really going on here, beyond Menashi, here's a guide to the most unqualified and/or ideologically extreme people that Trump/Senate Republicans have confirmed to be lifetime federal judges so far.It's a lot. https://t.co/CyUVw6CHE8— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 12, 2019

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Jay says:

    Watch: Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney tells a crowd of oil executives that Russia's practice of throwing activists in jail is "instructive" for how to deal with environmentalists in Canada https://t.co/HGKbg80Dwb pic.twitter.com/8AN0Iiow4p— Michael Bueckert (@mbueckert) September 11, 2019

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:

    The top comment (or at least most recent) on that video is “Antifa has lost the PR war”. Another is a door-stopper that whines about they’re a Proud Boy and they’re a good person. A person claiming to be Christine Flowers also tried to clap back at a critical commenter. I can’t fucking even. These fucking people live in a dream world (Flowers AND the Proud Boys)

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    sdhays says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think it’s spelled Shitzilla.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Leto:

    So Yang opens by saying, “If you believe you can fix your problems better than politicians…”

    What the hell came after that? Dropping out? Sounds like the start of a tough guy taunt.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It’s not twice born, like a born again Christian.

    Better comparison is a Bar Mitzvah. A coming of age ceremony Jews had for their boys, when they turned 13.

    You learn certain prayers, and move to the next stage of life before marriage.

    Brahmin men defending their casteist and misogynist thread wearing by claiming that they have Dalit friends and other self-owning tweets.

    Not sure why it’s a self-own.

    In modern India, I don’t see how a Brahmin can avoid interacting with non-Brahmins for work, education, etc., and therefore possibly becoming friends with those non-Brahmins.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Ken says:

    @zzyzx: Sort of like vaccination, then – it’s been so successful that people have forgotten why it’s important. One result of which is, we may all get a reminder someday soon.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79

    @gene108: Upanayan sanskar is for dvija (twice born) males.
    Just like you can be a racist even if you have a token black friend, you can be a casteist even if you have Dalit friends.
    The guy who was saying he has Dalit friends was also boasting about his Brahmin identity.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80

    @gene108: Dvija.

    ETA: I have included a link to my Twitter thread where I have explained why it is a discriminatory symbol.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Raoul says:

    I keep saying “Don’t eat the rich, they’re no doubt full of bile and bitterness.”

    (This, by the way, is I think the second time this week I’ve thought of the movie Eating Raoul, which I know I saw way back when, but can’t remember much at all about. Not where my nym comes from, to be sure.)

    ReplyReply

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