Another Person Advocating We Punish the Successful

There are always people out there who demand that we steal money from “the rich” and redistribute it to “the poor.” To many of these people “rich” simply means anybody making more than themselves and “poor” means themselves. What these people generally are is angry and jealous that somebody has been more successful in life than themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize the difference between legitimate wealth and illegitimate wealth. If you’ve obtained your wealth through coercion or using the government’s monopoly on initiating force either rub out any competition or force people to buy your product then you should be forced to refund every dollar and face civil suits for their use of violence to rob innocent people.

Alas, most people don’t stop to make that distinction which leads to be read letters like this and shake my head:

At a time when the middle and working classes find it harder and harder to even tread water, while their bosses are becoming wealthier and wealthier by comparison, I found the July 8 article “Top earners cool to paying more” deeply depressing.

When through the benefits of their wealth those who hold the power and make the rules become more and more divorced from the struggles of those who depend on them, that’s a dangerous road for our country.

From both pragmatic and moral standpoints, the wealth needs to be shared. If businesses won’t do that through truly livable wages, then it should at least happen through taxing supersized salaries.

Greed has always been around, but it’s taken awhile for it to be cultivated into the open as a positive value. So now you have people who won’t be content with a half-million-dollar job at home when they can move elsewhere to take the same job but pay lower taxes.

Ouch! Part of political and business leadership is to continually cultivate a vision for community, shared responsibility and the sort of compassionate society in which we all thrive best.


Notice how this guy brings up “truly livable wage” without defining it? What exactly is a “truly livable wage?” The government already mandates that employers must pay employees a “living wage” (what we usually call minimum wage). Is that not enough? Why not? What is enough? People who throw around these terms without realizing how meaningless they are truly annoy me. What do I mean by truly annoy? Well when I read or talk to these people it increases my rage levels and decreases my intelligence.

Here’s the other thing I don’t get, the author is claiming that taxation should be used if employers aren’t willing to pay a “truly livable wage.” Increasing the amount of money the government forcefully steals from an arbitrary number of people (depending on who is defined as rich) doesn’t help those working for a living, it harms them.

Most people that are defined as “rich” by those advocating higher taxes on said “rich” are employers. By definition an employer is somebody who exchanges their money for the labor of others. When you take more money from employers it gives them less to pay to current employees and hire new employees. Not only that but it also increases the chances that these employers will simply throw up their hands in frustration and move to a friendlier state.

Punishing those who have been successful in life also sets a poor precedence. What motivation is there to succeed if that success will only be met by the government stealing more and more of your money?

Finally tax dollars have no guarantee that they’ll reach “the poor.” Government is great at mindlessly tossing money at stupid things. Look at the state budget and then look at the percentage of money that goes to “help the poor.” Hell 7% of Minnesota’s expenditures go to paying former state employees pensions. Then there is that nice 20% chunk that simply goes to a category labeled “remainder.” Increasing the amount of money the state confiscates from an arbitrary number of people isn’t guaranteed to reach people advocates intent it to reach.

If you want to help the working class then demand that government remove itself from economic issues entirely. Let’s rid ourselves of government regulations that exist to push competitors to their favored companies (those who can make the most campaign contributions) out of the market. We should strive to make every industry like the personal electronics industry which is free of many government regulations, producing products people want, and most of all successful. Allow people to be successful and stop punishing them for it.