Friday, August 17, 2012

Skin in the Game

Others have made this point, but it bears repeating. One of the catchphrases going around in conservative circles these days is that almost 50% of Americans don't pay Federal income taxes, and that therefore they don't have "skin in the game." Laying aside that the working poor are subject to all sorts of other taxes, fees, and financial obstacles, these folks who live on the edge are all in - they have nothing but skin in the game.

For the working poor, the stakes of this "game" could not be higher. One false move, one bad bounce, and for them, the game is over. They have no more chips to take to a hotter table, they have no more time-outs, no more players in the bullpen, no more substitutions to make. Whatever game you care to use as a metaphor, everything is riding on the system running fairly and smoothly. Without a referee to blow the whistle, call the penalty, allow for an injury time out, etc., these people would quite literally become human waste.

No skin in the game? On the contrary: they've got blood, sweat, bone and sinew in the game.

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