“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” — as long as he doesn’t need more than 5 million dollars a year. So says economic illiterate Hamilton Nolan at Gawker.
Let’s have a maximum annual income of, oh, $5 million, pegged to inflation. All income above that would be taxed at 99 percent.
…But $5 million? I defy the slickest PR firm in America to explain to a nation of struggling, underemployed working class people with a median household income of just over $50,000 why an already-wealthy person felt the need to leave the country—taking money out of the taxpayers’ pockets in a very literal sense—rather than donate, to the common good, earnings over one hundred times the nation’s median household income. This requires an already-wealthy person who is, by definition, being paid a wage that far outstrips any measure of fairness or good sense, to stand up in front of a nation (to which he has no doubt paid ample lip service during his rise to the top) of people far, far less fortunate than he and declare: “I have far more than I need. But I would rather abandon you all than help you.”
If someone is willing to do that, let them take their shame and go. Good riddance.
America has provided all of the opportunity necessary for these people to earn their fortunes. That opportunity is paid for with tax dollars. The wealthy could still earn as much as they want. It’s not that they don’t get anything for their earnings above $5 million; they get the distinct privilege of making a huge and helpful contribution to their fellow countrymen.
This is an extension of the moronic Elizabeth Warren/Obama argument that because the government builds roads and puts up street signs, then you didn’t build that — someone else did. Setting aside the fact that hobos had just as much access to government services as Bill Gates and the fact that anyone who’s genuinely rich pays his equal share of a lifetime’s worth of shared services with a single year of taxes, it turns the entire American way on its ear.
In fact, you almost have to wonder if Hamilton Nolan wandered out of some sort of alternate universe where the Soviet Union won the Cold War instead of imploding because of braindead economic policies that assumed confiscatory tax rates were actually giving productive people the “distinct privilege of making a huge and helpful contribution to their fellow countrymen.”
Do you know what would happen if a policy like this were implemented? Hamilton Nolan obviously doesn’t. What would happen is that the wealthiest people in this country would flee to greener pastures en masse, capital would dry up, the tax base would drop like a shot buzzard, the economy would go into a depression, and the country would never recover unless this nonsensical tax policy were revoked.
This blithering idiot thinks “shame” would stop people from being pillaged like harmless villagers when a shipful of Vikings rolled in? Please. Most wealthy Americans earned their money and they didn’t get it by being stupid or by rolling over and playing dead when a gang of greedy looters decides to pick their pockets and call it a “distinct privilege.”
Besides, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we don’t have an almost 16 trillion dollar debt because we don’t tax enough, we have an almost 16 trillion dollar debt because we spend too much.
Hat tip to Amanda Carpenter for the story.