Guest post from Daniel Minteer
Those Evil Rich People!
How often do you hear some snide remark about rich people and how they mess things up for the rest of us? Comments like “rich people are the reason I can’t get ahead, because they own and control everything.” Or “rich people are greedy and just take money from the poor.” Or “rich people don’t pay their share in taxes.” Maybe you’ve made comments like these before. I have. But I’ve changed my tune about rich people.
Who Loves Junk Food!
Rich people are no guiltier of hurting us than the fast food giants or tobacco companies (I’m not comparing rich people to junk food!). Who is it that keeps making us eat super sized, super fried Big Meal week after week? And who forces us down to the local Quickie Mart to buy cigarettes? Come on, no one is twisting our arm to do anything. WE decide to do everything we do – including make a lot of reckless decisions.
Yes, there are scammers just waiting for the kind of people who will leap before looking. We have all probably done some careless things that made someone else richer. Luckily, there is plenty of help to protect us from fraud so we should help each other not fall victim to this kind of thing.
Aside from scammers, some people are just trying to sell you what you want to buy. It’s not their fault they are making money from us, it’s our fault for willingly handing it over to them.
If I Had More Money I Would Like You More
We really should be asking ourselves just why we seem to have a problem with rich people. Is it simply envy because they have and we don’t? Because I can guarantee you this: If we suddenly won a big lottery I’m sure we’d change our attitude about being rich. There’s nothing wrong with being rich.
We shouldn’t assume, however, just because someone has a lot of money that they obtained it by cheating others out of their money. It’s nearly impossible to get rich without a lot of planning and hard work. To be sure, we should all follow a rich person around for a week and see how they do it. We may be surprised at the long hours they put it and sacrifices they make to get there.
Let’s Tax Them So Much They Outsource Their Labor
Okay, so assuming now that we’re okay with people being rich, should they be taxed more and pay more than their fair share just because they have money? In case you think rich people should be taxed more, you might want to rethink that too.
For starters, if the government decided to put a higher tax on rich peoples’ toys (boats, limos, RVs, etc.) what do you think would happen? If I was a rich person, I’d shop around somewhere else for a better deal or just not buy the thing until later – because I got rich by being smart and I’m not going to pay any more taxes than I have to. So the equipment manufacturers will suffer decreased sales, and ultimately factory workers and sales people will lose jobs. So this tax on the rich backfires and Joe Worker actually suffers.
Or suppose I’m a millionaire business owner, and the government decides to raise my taxes because I’m rich. What do you think would happen? Yes, I’d technically pay the higher tax but ultimately my customers will pay it, since I’ll just raises prices to cover the higher tax. After all, I didn’t get rich by giving money away or losing my slim profit margin. So again, the tax on the rich backfires and Joe Consumer pays the tax instead. And if consumers won’t pay the higher prices, then I’ll just farm out my manufacturing to another country where wages are less. More local jobs lost.
Before you think how horrible it is that “rich” people will farm out labor out to another country, we consumers do the same sort of thing – we “farm out” our purchases. We want to find the best deal and often we won’t even buy products made in our own country because they cost too much. When was the last time you looked at where something was made before you bought it?
They Should At Least Pay Their Fair Share
Okay, maybe these taxes on the rich really won’t work but at least the rich should be paying their fair share of tax, right? Well, according to this surprising article, Why Taxing The Rich Doesn’t Work, the top income earners really are paying their fair share (the top 1% of earners pay 40% of all taxes collected). Not only that, but the top income earners in the United States pay a larger share of the tax burden than their counterparts in any other industrialized country!
Again, it needs to be said – If we were the rich ones, I think our attitude would be a little different towards rich people. Think we can never get there? Well, if I never get there I’m not going to blame rich people. They’ll never stop me from getting rich – I can screw that up quite well on my own, thank you!
Daniel and Deborah Minteer proved through their own experience how to eliminate consumer debt and how to avoid incurring more of it. They have achieved financial freedom through debt avoidance, focusing of what they really care about and dumping the rest.
Read their book Boiled Down Money Goo, tips for propelling your financial future, to learn how they did it and visit their blog at http://boileddownmoneygoo.com/ to learn even more.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.