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Well, why are you getting upset now? You are not one of them. Besides, that's what the vast majority of the people are thinking. We are just placing it in a visible place. Those bastards, the rich people, deserve to pay.

What? Not polite? Not politically correct?

Isn’t it what society thinks? No? Then how is it possible that our taxation system is progressive?

We don’t mean progressive as in progress, as in it being a good thing. We mean progressive as in a boa constrictor that slowly squeezes the life out of you. The more you earn, the more you pay. To excess.

Make them pay, pay and then pay some more. They have more than us. They can afford it. It’s nothing to them. Is for the good of our society (don’t worry, there will be lesson just to deal with the term “society” – in here we use this term as politicians do).

Why do they want all that wealth anyways? They can’t spend it in 10 life times and yet, they keep accumulating more and more.

It’s not fair. Look at third world countries. They have nothing and those bastards, the rich people have everything. It is not socially responsible.

The rich people are powerful and they use this power to become even more rich. They do so by exploiting the poor.

Or so the litany of arguments goes on, and on, and on.

Matters not that it is nonsensical and if thought thru it quickly falls apart.

Let’s disassemble those arguments one by one.

Do most people think that rich people must pay more? Certainly! However,  nobody classifies oneself as “rich”. Strange. It would seem that the rule should read: all rich people (excluding me) must pay. This is so because I am not rich and I am not rich because I say so. However, anybody that earns more than I do, then they are rich.

Problem is, everybody thinks the same. The concept or rich is so subjective that it’s not even a joke. In the end, if we ask everybody if they are rich, they will all answer: NO!

So, to begin with, it is impossible to determine objectively who is rich and who is not. And if we cannot have an objective rule, how do you know that what we are taxing these other people is fair? How do you know we are not over or under taxing them? The simple answer is that we don’t know and we cannot know.

That’s, OK. We will ask society to define who is rich and who is not. Fair enough. But then, why is that we have vastly different taxation systems in different countries? Shouldn’t society come to roughly the same conclusion? It would seem not. The truth is that societies are as subjective as individual people.

The argument of taxing heavily only the rich people is nonsensical.

OK. So we can’t know who is rich and who is not.

So we will just tax them arbitrarily. Sure, some errors will be made, but, all in all, we will get the majority of them (but not us) to pay. Besides, they have so much that is nothing to them. Look at their mansions, cars, planes, parties. They are just flaunting what they have, while we have nothing. Make them pay.

Sure, it is certainly possible to do so. We can come up with an arbitrary definition of who is rich and who is not and set a taxation system accordingly. Most countries do just that. But then, we need to determine how much do we tax them? In some countries is 10 or 15% in others up to 90%. The  problem is who decides taxation levels. You? Me? The guy I just saw crossing the street? The answer is neither. Politicians do. And who do politicians answer to? Nobody. Sure, they may not get re-elected, but they still don’t answer to anybody. And what do politicians base the taxation level on? Illusions and promises. Mirrors and smoke. Gut feeling and the next election. Don’t believe us? We challenge any person on earth to provide an objective method for determining taxation levels used in any country. By objective we don’t mean something along the lines “this is how much I would like to spend therefore it is what I need to tax”. By objective we mean “this is what our country needs to accomplish objective goals and therefore it is how much we will tax”.

Oh, we see. High finances do not work that way. We do not understand. It is more complex than what we portray.

Why? Why is that politicians are unable to tell us what is that our society needs in objective, measurable terms? Why do they always speak in terms of promises and commitments? Simple. It is because an objective, measurable goal is just not achievable. Such a goal is not possible simply because when it comes to finance, we are all subjective. It is not possible because an agreement of all society members is not possible. We all disagree. Remember the “I am not rich but you are” philosophy we described above? Well, it’s alive and kicking here to.

So, we know now that it’s not possible to objectively know who is rich; and even if we set up a subjective rule, we still can’t come up with an objective way to tax them.

But that’s OK. We fall back to the subjectivity and we will define who is rich and tax them according to gut feeling. Not fair? Well, that’s precisely how politicians do it. Don’t believe us? We again challenge you get an objective and honest answer from a politician, anywhere in the world, describing how did they arrive to taxation levels. Don’t worry. We will be seated while waiting; it’s going to be a long wait.

OK. So now we are selecting and taxing rich people subjectively. But then the moral and ethical questions start to pile up. We need to answer those too because we are moral and ethical people.

The main argument goes like this: they have too much and we have nothing. It is only just to force them to share.

OK. But let’s be clear about the term “force them to share”. What this implies is that if they don’t give us their money when we tell them to do so, people with guns and badges will drag them to prison for a very long time. We are talking about condoning violence based on purely subjective measures. You OK with this?

No we are not smart asses. We just want to know. Are you OK with this?

Apparently you must be because you keep voting politicians who tax people. So you must be in favor of this.

So, you are OK with selecting and taxing rich people arbitrarily and if they don’t, you are also OK with imprisoning them. But, you say, we don’t get it. It’s all for the better good of society. They need to share so that we all benefit.

We see. So the argument is now that all the previous subjectivity and violence is OK because it will benefit more people. Is that it? That’s the moral balancing act?

Well, the question is then do you actually understand what rich people do with their money? Apparently not.

You must be one of the majority of people that believe rich people somehow hoard their money, they convert it into gold, silver and precious stones and keep them in their secret basement vault.

No? Is that idea laughable? Then what do you think that rich people do with their money? Invest it perhaps? Silly right? Why would they want to invest it if they are rich? Because they are greedy. And greed never ceases. So they want more, but in order to get more, they need to invest more.

Sure, they may flaunt their richness and they may make us turn green of envy. But so what? The very bulk of their riches is invested. And guess what those investments are doing? Manufacturing stuff or providing services. This is, creating wealth and comfort. And who benefits  from all this extra wealth? Would you say their employees and their families?

And who benefits from all this extra comfort? Would you say everybody that purchases new products or receives improved services?

If that’s what you say, then you are correct.

Rich people have most of their money invested. This investment creates wealth (which is shared) and comfort (which is purchased). In other words, these investments improve our quality of life.

Yes, you say. They do so but what we tax them is more than what they improve our life. So, taxation works.

Oh, really? Sorry to disappoint you. There are many examples, but let’s take the most recent one: China.

In China taxes are low and working conditions are not exactly wonderful. However, why is that almost every Chinese person that can afford to do so moves to a city job? Wouldn’t it be because there they can obtain better living conditions than farming? A higher quality of life thanks to new companies which, you guessed it, comes from investments?

Since the Chinese started with this weird concept of capitalism and allowed investment (including foregein) their standards and quality of living skyrocketed, and continue to do so.

If you were a Chinese person, would you prefer the old, no-investment standards of living or the new investment-allowed quality of life? Yes, this is a rhetoric question.

Ahh… you say. We are willing to live in lower quality of life conditions to prevent those evil, evil rich people from acquiring power, which subjugates other people.

OK. So you are happy with seeking out and taxing rich people arbitrarily. With using violence to achieve this goal. And you do accept that doing so will bring lower standards of living (more misery) to all people. But according to you it is a small price to pay to control rich people from becoming powerful and somehow enslaving us.

We see. So the real problem is not one of accounting, but one of freedom. Rich people enslave us and we don’t want that.

Fair enough, let’s analyze this.

Most corporations (owned by rich people) either make stuff or offer a service.

For example, how exactly could Wall-Mart enslave us by providing cheaper clothing or furniture, food or trinkets? I am still waiting to see any Wall-Mart employee trying to make me spend my money in their stores at gun point. Or maybe they are using hypnosis?

How exactly is General Electric trying to enslave me by making better phones and more efficient electrical nuclear generation stations?

Oh. We don’t understand. OK. Enlighten us, please. 

Most evil corporations (not the ones mentioned above) try to destroy competition by unfair practices. They bribe government officials to achieve unfair monopolies. They kill people or get others to kill them in order to get access to mining rights or government contracts. They are only interested in maximizing profit and in order to do so they need to enslave us and keep us as captured consumers. Ecology and the rule of law comes as a far second, or third or in thirty second place.

OK. Thank you for enlighten us.

If we analyze those arguments, the first element that springs to mind is how heavy government intervention is. Governments create artificial monopolies (which raises prices) or governments grant massive contracts (which raises taxes and inflation). So… your solution is to tax these companies so that they can’t do this anymore and in the process destroying their investment capacity? That very same capacity that is making us all wealthier and improves our lives? That it? Well, how about seeing it from the correct perspective.

Forbid the government to do so. Ah… we can’t do this because we are not in control of the government. We see… but if we, the voters, can’t control the government (our representatives) in these affairs, why do we even have a government? All it produces is economic misery.  So  the correct solution is to get rid of the government altogether, then these evil, evil corporations will have to fence for themselves in a free market, just like any other corporation.

And now for the second part of the argument. Those evil, evil corporations do evil deeds. They do so because they have too much money in their hands. Really? So if we reduce this to its minimum expression, we then conclude that a guy robbing you at gunpoint in the middle of the night is doing so because he has too much money. Not because he has too little. We see… Silly us…

Of course the amount of money these corporations have has absolutely nothing to do with how they behave. They behave badly because they can get away with it. And they can do so precisely because there is a government either protecting them or turning a blind eye. Increasing taxation solves nothing. Paradoxically, it will increase the desire to do evil (and more profitable) deeds.

So, as you can see, rich people are not bastards and makes no sense whatsoever to make them pay just because they have more.

Rich people are the very engine that drives a rising economy, where we all float. The problem is not with rich people being rich, but with governments interfering with the free market. The problem is this relentless brain washing that we are all enduring since the original concept of communism was created: it is OK to rob if it is through majority vote.

It is true that as human beings we want a better life and we want it now. But it is also true that there is no free lunch. We either pay with money or time. If we leave rich people operate freely, we pay in time for a better life. Just get the government out. And we mean out altogether, not out of the way.

If we want to help society, we must strive to become as rich as possible, as soon as possible through a truly free market.

It is not a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them”; it is a case of “beating them is counterproductive, join them”!

The point is not to have a system that will make all of us slightly less poor, but far richer. Actually we already had one of the latter, it was called Communism and not many people liked it.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

 

 

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