If ever I should manage to become a well-off, well-respected author who’s rolling in money, I hope I have the good sense to handle it like Stephen King, who has never forgotten what it’s like living in America when you’re not Stephen King.
He’s just put out an article on The Daily Beast where he criticizes the wealthy for refusing to pay more taxes. Here’s his basic argument in summary (though the full thing is well worth reading): philanthropic giving may be nice and get your name on buildings, but the Stephen King School of Literary Criticism is not going to stop global warming, clean up the environment, or feed poor children. Upward mobility is possible in America because the country offers safety nets for its citizens, paid for by everybody’s collective tax dollars. Current American politics is damaging the potential for upward mobility that got today’s wealthy fat-cats where they are today, putting a disproportionate amount of the tax burden on people who are still struggling to make it.
And, King insists, those fat-cats need to stop complaining that they’re being asked to contribute a fair share.