Wayne Holland: Nothing in Particular

Taxing the Rich

what's fair is fair ...


So tell me again why we are not taxing millionaires and billionaires in proportion to their wealth?

I was under the impression that there were only two basic things we could do with money, redistribute it or accumulate it.

I fully understand that most people do a little of both. They redistribute it when they buy their groceries or pay their electric bill, and save it whenever they can (if there is something left to save after they buy their groceries and pay the electric bill).

But the rich are another matter. They most certainly do have something left to save after the basic necessities are seen to. They save (accumulate) a hell of a lot more than the average person.

The math/logic is pretty simple. The more we accumulate the less we redistribute. The less we redistribute, the less we contribute to the flow and growth (and thus the health) of the greater economic system.

Money that is accumulated is not money that is redistributed. It is true that it is potentially redistributable, with respect to time, but until that time arrives (when it is actually redistributed), it remains in the accumulative state, and while it is in that state of non-redistribution it is not contributing to the flow of the economic river. When the river stops flowing it stagnates.

Economics 101: the river has got to keep flowing.

Given the nature of the beast, it is unlikely in the extreme that the wealthy are going to take it upon themselves and simply hand over proprietary quantities of their abundance for the sole purpose of keeping the river flowing.

They must be forced to do it through a process of taxation. Only the government can effectively handle such a process. Who else?

I reject outright any arguments in opposition to this idea, especially those that suggest that such taxation is somehow disincentivizing. I do not believe this.

If anything, it might be more incentivizing.

Who, for example, would be reluctant to make a million dollars just because they are going to be taxed for—let us say—seventy-five percent of it?

The remaining $250,000.00 is not exactly a figure to thumb ones nose at, especially to a struggling soul clearing a measly $50,000.00. If you were in such a position, making the 50K, and had a chance to bump it up to the 250K, it is hard to imagine that you would not go for it.

I do not believe that there are any good arguments for not taxing the rich. There is a lot of rhetoric to that effect, to be sure, but not one truly substantive argument.

November 25, 2011


wayneholland.org 2004