Equality of Opportunity, or Merely Equality?
An interesting article by Bill Frezza, “Obama: Hope and Change or Duck and Cover?” appeared in RealClearMarkets.com. My comments on this article are not meant to be partisan, but it just so happens that these philosophical questions regarding the proper use of taxation, and of the IRS, are quite timely at this moment in history.
The truth is that in America every door is open to anyone who makes good choices in pursuit of a dream, and we don’t need the government to create arbitrary taxes in an attempt to stimulate growth.
America is great, and it is a financial success. Some say that a large percentage of our fellow citizens living among us are poor and unable to help themselves without a handout, and we should use the power of the IRS to take money out of one person’s pocket to put it into another person’s pocket.
My own “poor” grandparents would be shocked to see how we are defining who is “poor” today. Almost all of what is called “the poor” in today’s America are much better off than my own grandparents who lived in rural Appalachia of the 20th century. It sounds hokey, but as recently as the mid-1970’s they had no indoor plumbing, and certainly no air conditioning, and they only had one automobile. When I lived with my grandmother for a time, my job each morning was to pour the chamber pots out into a special covered hole. I’ll never forget it. For those of you economically poor folks who don’t know what “chamber pots” are, they are the covered buckets you used the bathroom into if you had to use the bathroom during the night – either that or you walked down the trail to the outhouse in the dark. Their bed rooms, and mine, weren’t heated during the winter either. Such necessities are had by virtually all Americans now – as well as other necessities like cell phones and cable TV.
Being poor in America today is largely a state of mind – a state of mind constantly fostered by politicians who benefit from class warfare.
We owe the financial greatness of America to there being an atmosphere which helps fuel innovation, but I expect life on the front lines for small business persons and entrepreneurs may get much harder as the income tax burdens increase to fund the lifestyle of the general public.
The entrepreneurs of American take outsized risks pursuing disproportionate rewards. How is this going to work in a culture that demonizes disproportionate rewards as the government shifts into overdrive to use IRS enforcement to tax them away?
Entrepreneurs are every day folks who are dreamers. You cannot see the people they hope to employ nor hear their plans for change over the shouts of the entrenched entitled masses. If we make it a national goal to stamp out income inequality irrespective of its source, what happens when we succeed? No force of nature can make these rare and intrepid individuals quit their day jobs in hopes of striking it rich if you promise them that they can’t keep what they win. Just as they abandoned Europe to come here, where will they go next?
It is foolish to believe that if you tax businesses and entrepreneurs harder that they’ll just work harder. This kind of punishing Socialism never works in the long run and the forced redistribution of wealth is not the way to grow an economy.
Pass all the laws you want to punish greedy entrepreneurs, small business persons, and corporations as you seek to squeeze the wicked “rich”, but don’t be surprised if the profits you hoped to tax and spread around evaporate or take flight. These people didn’t get “rich” by being stupid and gleefully handing the IRS their hard earned money.