Friday, October 14, 2011

Using Tax to Redistribute Wealth?

In recent years-even more so in recent days as inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement-there has been increased talk about using taxes to redistribute wealth.  Those opposed to the idea say that they've earned it.  One presidential hopeful on the campaign trail actually said recently that if you're not rich you should blame yourself.  While I certainly understand this point of view-particularly if you're the one with the money-but I can understand a different point of view as well.

The people of the Occupy Wall St movement protesting.
Let me preface this by saying; I"m a business guy.  I'm a business mind who fully intends to make millions in his lifetime.  I plan on being part of that 1%, I do.  That is where my skill-set lies, that's where my talents allow me to excel.  Every day I come home and see my fiance who works as a daycare teacher and a nanny.  She's a full time mother to our 5 year old disabled son as well.  I can't help but marvel at times at how she does something I could never do.  I could never sit in a classroom of ten 3 year old toddlers and keep my sanity, much less teach them anything.  I can't even imagine having the patience.

I guess what I'm saying is this; who are we to say that because your skill set lends you more to a job on wall st., and my fiance's skill set lends herself to guiding a child that the Wall St. person is more valuable to society.  Teacher salaries nationwide average somewhere around $55,000 per year.  The average Wall St. salary-or at least the most recent I could find-was $340,000.  Why?  What makes these Wall St. executives worth 7 times as much as a teacher, or a police officer, or a firefighter?  There are people in this country that VOLUNTEER to run into burning buildings and save other people, yet the guys that lead the charge for our country into the greatest depression of my lifetime are the ones that deserve several hundred thousand dollars a year?

Maybe that's how America is, maybe that's what capitalism has turned us into, I don't know.  I do know this; that's not the America I want to live in. That's not the America I want to raise my son in either.  It simply amazes me that the people that have literally ruined so many things in our country are the highest compensated.  And it doesn't stop with Wall St. either.  I mean think about it, lawyers have lead the charge to crazy lawsuits everywhere and they make some pretty good bank.  The least important workers in our country in my opinion, the athletes make more than anyone.  The average NBA player works like 9 months a year and makes $5 million per season.  Seriously?  These are the people we don't think should pay extra taxes?

Honestly, the people that educate and protect us make chicken scratch compared to the people that ruined our housing market, demolished our economy, basically stole billions from our tax funds while we were already in an economic crisis, have lead the charge to frivolous lawsuits, and hit baseballs or throw basketballs particularly well.  If you don't have a problem with a system like that, I just don't know what to say.

Look, nobody is saying take 50% of their money and give it to welfare cases that just don't feel like working, that's not what is being suggested.  (Although would you honestly have a problem if Ron Artest earned $3 million this year instead of $6 million?)  Or how about CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein, who was GIVEN A RAISE last year to a total salary of about $15 million-this despite his banks' profit line falling 38%.  Oh yeah-but those Wall St. guys deserve it.  After all, I don't know a single teacher who lost $5 billion for their employer last year.  God knows they don't deserve it.

Get your priorities straight America.  America was created as a country where all men were created equal, where everyone stood an even chance to succeed.  Can we really say that's true?  If your natural skill set lends you to being a teacher, as opposed to a Wall St. trader don't you inherit one heck of a low income ceiling along with that skill set?  Is that right?

Beyond that, let's face it-there may be some exceptions but most of these guys who get high profile jobs get them because they know somebody (or more specifically Daddy knows somebody).  They get a job they're unqualified for, eventually get comfortable with it and appear to be successful but what they're really doing is destroying everything our forefathers built.  We've enabled them-and in some cases forced their hands-but I'll get to that on another post.  The fact of the matter is, these guys aren't good at what they do, and what they do isn't all that special anyway.  Give me someone capable of teaching my son to read, a physical therapist capable of teaching him to walk, they deserve 6 figure salaries long before some guy who knows how to lose my life savings.

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