September 21 2010
Those Big, Bad, Angry, Rich People
I had to try hard not to laugh while I read a piece in the New York Times by Paul Krugman. It's called, "The Angry Rich and Taxes."
And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it's their money, and they have the right to keep it. "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society," said Oliver Wendell Holmes - but that was a long time ago.
A "belligerent sense of entitlement?" To their own money? I would hope so!
I bet these crazy, angry, rich people also feel entitled to make decisions about their own health care! The nerve of these people!
To update the quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes to modern-day America, I would say, "Taxes are what some Americans pay for all Americans to enjoy a civilized society." But Krugman is of the same class-warfare mindset as President Obama. In this ideology, the real injustice in the world is that there are rich people to begin with. It's not fair that they have more money than us! They must have either inherited it (lucky), stole it (wrong!), or worked hard for it (...?)
So to Krugman, it's only fair that the most affluent pay the lion's share of taxes.
Well guess what. They already do. According to the Tax Policy Center, about 45 percent of Americans did not pay federal income taxes in 2010, and at the same time, nearly one half of Americans live in a household where someone receives "entitlements" from the government. But that's not enough for Krugman, and it's not enough for President Obama. It doesn't matter to them what disastrous effects tax hikes might have on the economy; it's only fair that the rich pay more and more and more.
Krugman also writes, "You see, the rich are different from you and me: they have more influence." I agree. People who control more resources have more influence. But it's not just influence in the political theater - it's influence in the economy. These "angry rich" folks are likely to do the hiring and firing in America's businesses, and let me put it this way: Allowing the rich to keep more of their own money is not going to lead to more firing.
Why do President Obama and other liberals want us to hate the rich? I say that instead, we should aspire to be them. It's debatable whether personal wealth accumulation should be one of life's greatest goals, but let each person choose. I'm just saying it isn't necessarily an evil goal. And the people who have already achieved a great level of personal wealth accumulation aren't evil people! Working hard and saving should entitle people to keep the money they've earned. Otherwise, we take away important, natural incentives that bring about wealth, growth, and innovation that benefit everyone.