The key anticolonial idea is that how did the rich countries become rich. Why do people live better in Britain and Germany and America than they do in let’s say Rio de Janeiro or Jakarta or Mumbai? Answer — because the West invaded and occupied and looted all those countries, taking all their stuff. Wealth in this view is not earned. It’s not the result of creativity or initiative. It’s basically the result of piracy.
In 1965, Barack Obama Sr. wrote an article in the East Africa Journal — he was talking about what does a country do when you got all these rich guys at the top. He mentions a bunch of solutions but one of them is very high tax rates. He says, “Theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income — 100% tax rates.
You might say, anyone who is familiar with economics would know that this is kind of nuts. Why would anyone propose it? Once you plug in the underlying anticolonial idea it actually makes sense. Imagine if you came to my house and stole all my furniture, what’s the proper tax rate for you? One hundred percent because it’s not your furniture. If wealth is seen as appropriated then there is nothing wrong with the government using all its power to take it back.