“I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY IT IS ‘GREED’ TO WANT TO KEEP THE MONEY YOU’VE EARNED, BUT NOT GREED TO WANT TO WANT TO TAKE SOMEBODY ELSE’S MONEY.”
— THOMAS SOWELL, BARBARIANS INSIDE THE GATES AND OTHER CONTROVERSIAL ESSAYS
An article I read carried this headline: “Big NY voter majority favors ‘millionaire tax.’” More recently, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “proposed a tax on the wealthy to pay for repairs to the city’s deteriorating subway system.” It seems to me that the people who use the subway should pay more.
If given the chance to vote on the issue, most people in New York, who are not multi-millionaires, would vote to confiscate money from people who make more than they do. Here’s the opening paragraph from the first article:
Almost three-quarters of New York voters favor a tax on millionaires, a poll found, days after several hundred people marched to the homes of some of New York City’s richest financiers to protest economic inequality.
Support for taxing wealthier people breached party lines, with 83% of Democrats and 55% of Republicans in favor, according to the Siena College Research Institute poll released Monday.
A separate poll released by Quinnipiac University showed New York City voters support an extension of the tax by 61% to 28% percent, with Republicans favoring it by 55% to 38%.
Let’s go back 175 years and conduct a similar poll among non-slaves. “Do you believe that we should keep existing laws regarding slavery?” I’m sure the Occupy Movement, Democrats, some Republicans, and union members would object to the claim that there’s moral equivalence regarding slavery and taxation. A slave owner benefits from the labor of the slave. People who believe it is right to tax rich people at a higher rate benefit from the labor and property of others that is not their own.
Robert Ingersoll said it best: “Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he occupies a throne.” You don’t have to be a king to tax people. You just need a majority in a democracy.
Let me bring Ingersoll’s truism up to date: “Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he gains the fruit of a person’s labor and property by majority vote.”
How can Americans live with the belief that it’s OK to use the power of government to tax people in a disproportionate way? It’s no wonder that our founding fathers had harsh things to say about governing by majority rule…