Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Carrot & Stick

I have a friend where I work that is the polar-opposite of me politically, and I have to brag: I love this guy. He is articulate, very funny, and makes me think. I'd like to say he possesses qualities lacking in most liberals I've met. I overheard him having a conversation (yes, also known as "eavesdropping") with another coworker, where he maintained that the wealthy among us should pay a higher percentage of taxes than those making less income. Since I wasn't part of that conversation (did I mention the eavesdropping"?), I decided to hold my opinion for the blog. Of course!

Here is why that concept, though sounding morally superior, fails in the "real world". Let's call it "Carrot and Stick Taxation". My friend believes that because a person has become wealthy under the benefits provided FOR him (again, I'm using "him" for grammatical purposes only - don't get all weird on me), he should have to "give back" for those benefits. Get it? Okay, let me explain.

The "carrot" is the benefits provided. The "stick" is the "give back" - or higher taxes. The government provides an environment where one CAN (that is up to the individual to make it happen) succeed, in order for that same government to take of that success back into its own coffers. Some of the benefits include tax "loopholes" that wealthy people have.

For one thing, those same tax "loopholes" exist for everyone equally. Those who have become successful are in a position to benefit from them. I for one, since I am not self-employed, am unable to partake in many of the write-offs provided in the tax code. I know: how unfair! Someone has gotta be punished for that!

Where is the incentive, under that philosophy of taxation, to succeed? Why work harder, put in more hours, and sacrifice more, to turn around and hand over the fruits of your labor (involuntarily - you know, like a robber at gun point)? Isn't that one of the reasons communism NEVER works? The State tells you how much you can make. "Wait, J.P., the government isn't telling anybody how much they can make." Really? You want to think about that statement a bit? Isn't that what happens when the government "lets" you keep "so much" of your income (after they take what they believe they are entitled to)? This line of thinking is already taking place: look at ObamaCare, where the government will tell which procedures can take place at what price - thereby limiting the amount of possible income for physicians (and everyone else in the medical profession).

Carrot and Stick Taxation has never worked in practice, though it sounds so "nice" in theory. But again, class warfare always sounds good - unless you are the one under fire!

© Emittravel 2012

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