Friday, September 30, 2011

Rich Guilt

I read a fair amount, as input, some of which gets filtered through my brain and into this blog eventually. I don’t always know when I’m reading something that it’s going to stick with me.  But there was one among many commentaries I read this week that I keep returning my thoughts to. 

Katie Kieffer talks about the series of rich people (and singles out Brad Pitt) that have been coming out and saying, “Please, tax me more! I don’t pay enough.” Since it’s not against the law to overpay your taxes, or donate to government, I don’t know why these guilty rich people don’t just unburden themselves that way, instead of insisting that taxes on everyone should go up so that they can have less guilt.  

Personally, I haven’t had the opportunity of experiencing rich guilt. Oh, well. But, as most in the middle class, I have experienced the frustration of paying a lot of taxes that look to me like they’re being squandered—badly and inefficiently spent on education and social programs the government never received the Constitutional power to spend my money on in the first place. I don’t think wanting my government to use wisely any money entrusted to it makes me greedy. 

Here’s one of Kieffer’s paragraphs: 

Money is a necessary tool whereby humans achieve productivity. So, when the government unjustly appropriates money from wealthy entrepreneurs who need their wealth in order to invest, take risks, grow their companies and create jobs, the government is greedy—not the wealthy individuals. A greedy person—or institution—wastes and abuses money by pursuing excessive wealth for no productive reason. 

I suggest reading the whole piece.

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