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I don't think we are that far apart. A framework of laws that favor productivity and hard work is essential to a productive society. Moral principles are the foundation which we have drifted and in particular big government and big business. No matter how much we try to make society "fair' through government intervention, it will never be "fair". Freedom and free markets provide the best opportunity for society but human nature will always produce "winners" and "losers". Government can never be trusted to pick the "winners"...
Thanks for all of your thought on this. We need more true debate in this country!
By ignoring the constitutional limits of government we have created the "opportunity" for anyone, including corporations, unions, and organized individuals to lobby for self interest and steal wealth from our federal treasury. Your point of corporate interest is well taken and I agree that any wealth gained by political influence is cancerous for our country.
The answer is not government distribution to "fix" the "inequities" of society, it is freedom. Punishing wealth creation which is what taxation has become has divided this nation to the point where envy and jelousy are utilized by politicians to perpetuate this cycle.
Thomas Jefferson would have never condoned using the federal treasury as a mechanism to create "fairness" in our society. Nice try. He would have been against ANY federal program that infringed on individual liberty and free market economy. He would have supported individual charity and expected men of means to give back because it was the right thing to do as a human being. (part1)
On one additional, highly relevant note about the system our government condones:
This severe recession has wiped out about 10 million jobs. Just to maintain with population growth, we need about 150,000 NEW jobs per month. In March, we had the highest job growth since 2007 - at 162,000.
So, as you can see, the highest growth we've had in 3 years results in basically keeping up with population. Now, the big picture suggests that to replace the 10 million jobs LOST, PLUS keep up with population growth, it will be many years before this happens. Maybe as many as 10 years.
Yet, in gambling away on Credit Default Swaps and other gimmicks, Wall Street trashed it for everyone. Their reward is that many of them at the top made huge sums of money from this and continue to receive giant bonuses and places at the lobbying table with Congress and in the Administration.
So, in essence, America has proven to be a perfect vehicle for a small group of people to wreck the lives of 10 million people (just in terms of job losses) in order to grow their multi-generational wealth. It's really telling and sad that our system allows this. We should be fighting against it, not parading it as a path to freedom.
A few questions for the author:
(1) Is it okay that the wealthiest (successful) people tend to get there and grow by successful lobbying efforts and lucrative government contracts? If not, then is their "success" legitimate?
(2) Is it okay that for the last 5 decades, wealth has become increasingly concentrated in this country, and at the pace at which it is becoming concentrated, our wealth distribution will match Mexico's by 2043? Do you look forward to becoming like Mexico?
(3) Do you agree with Thomas Jefferson, who thought progressive taxation was a good remedy to level the playing field?
(4) Do you even know how much wealth the top 1% owns in this country and what it can buy?
(5) Can there be equality of opportunity when a small segment of society owns massive, multi-generational wealth, and the rest are mostly "have-nots?"
(6) Have you ever read the Constitution? Your rant is about taxation. I am sure you will find plenty of authority for a federal income tax in the Constitution (unless you agree with a small fringe out there who thinks the income tax never passed).
(7) Can you show me where the government is taking anyone's labor? Last I checked, it was taking their earnings. There is a difference between taxation and slavery.
(8) Do you really think the government is trying to improve the peoples' lives in Detroit, etc.? If so, you have a lot of studying to do. The government is run by corporatists. The examples of re-distribution you see are but mere scraps. AIG, Goldman and friends have the nation by the yang.
(9) Why is it fair that billionaires who live on capital gains and dividends pay 15%, while the working class pays 30%?
(10) Finally, why so much concern for protecting the billionaires? I suspect you're not one of them. Don't you think billionaires have enough money to hire multitudes of CPA's, lawyers, tax advisors, estate planners and lobbyists to insure they will remain billionaires..... and so will their kids, and their grandkids, and great grandkids, etc.? What makes you think the Rockefellers need your help with these little, blog musings? How about blogging for people in the same boat as you - presumably working class?
Anyway, nice try with those rhetorical questions, but you should really think about the society you'd design and just how much corruption, self-dealing and selfishness you'd design in it. Some wealth disparity is good. Too much is bad. Did you know Thomas Jefferson felt this way, too?
Excuse me sir? I'm not kidding. If you are serious (if you can convince me you are serious) I will answer your questions for you. But they are difficult questions, and I will not waste time on political rhetoric.