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Old November 17, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: We have that tax too - by a different name

OK, taxes aside, I agree with Michael:
No one owes anyone else.

I think the whole idea behind the article is that Americans have a notion of "the wealthy owe me".

I remember an Obama speech during his campaign where he wanted to give another round of "stimulus checks" out, and to pay for it he would simply tax the "excessive income" of oil companies. The whole premise was 'they make way more money than they need, so we'll take it and give it to the masses'. This speech garnered a thunderous applause from his supporters.

Michael also brought up a good point - who defines "rich" and "poor"?
Today the oil companies are too rich while anyone who Obama defines as 'middle class' is poor enough to get a handout from the government - paid for by oil company income! Who is rich tomorrow - anyone making $250k/year, $100k/year, 50k/year? How much extra should the government take from them to give to those who make below said amount?

I think the whole concept of "redistribution of wealth" is flat out stealing and based on flawed thinking. Sure, the more you make the more you can afford to pay in taxes, but the fact that you have wealth or that you make a certain income per year doesn't entitle the government to come in and take more so that it can be given away to others who didn't work as hard, or take as many risks, or spend a lifetime building a business, or whatever the case may be. The attitude of the masses seems to be "Whoa, that company made how much? That's just wrong, we should take some of it back!"

If oil companies make a 3% profit margin, but that 3% ends up being billions of dollars a quarter, it just seems like more than any company should make, so let's steal some back. What about Nike, they pay some Indonesian kid $10 a day to make shoes and sell them for $150 each. That's way too much markup, we should take money from them too. And diamond companies, they sell rocks for what 1,000% more than they cost to mine. Let's raid their bank accounts too. If we keep digging, we could probably scrape up a pretty sweet stimulus check for all the middle class families from all the companies that make 'too much' profit!

I'm surprised at how many disagreed with that article. I'm far from rich right now (actually struggling more than I'm willing to say), but I don't feel that anyone who has made themselves rich owes me anything. If I'm in debt, I owe - if I accumulate wealth, I don't owe. Hopefully someday I can be rich - and not have to be punished for it.
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