Calling Dr. Freud: Guilt as a Motivator?
I don’t think it’s guilt that motivates crony capitalist Warren Buffett’s call for more taxes on millionaires and billionaires. I think it’s part of Buffett’s disinformation campaign and is attached to his deal with the Administration to wring ever more cash out of the populace in the form of rent-seeking and legislative capture in exchange for serving as a useful idiot.
But I’m not so sure about author Steven King. King has also rallied to the Raise my taxes! cry and his sense of guilt, to me, is a plausible motivator for his behavior. Of course, both Buffett and King (and every other increase-my-taxes tool, including the President) fail to execute an obvious and easy solution: just write the Treasury Department a check.
While I’ve found most of King’s books tedious, formulaic claptrap, he surprised me with his work in On Writing.
The book, largely autobiographical but also intended as a how-I –got-here and here’s-how-it-works tale, tells of King’s very modest upbringing and his similar early adult life. I think it’s a very real possibility that King feels guilty about earning so much money, especially given that his much-loved mother could only barely manage to hang-on financially despite her hard work and long hours.
The conclusion King has likely drawn and internalized (maybe at some repressed level, maybe not) is that he is ill-deserving of the riches and fame that have come his way; that his paycheck is far out of line with his contributions to society. And it’s a fair assessment.
Hence his guilt, hence his Raise my taxes! cry.
Most of those who should feel the same way that King might—imposters, posers, and frauds(and I’m largely talking to you, Hollywood)—wash their feelings away with drugs, alcohol, hedonistic behavior, denial, and in a few cases, self-congratulatory behavior.