Originally posted by:crunkmoose
"So you do not support individual rights?"
I do... but there are already limits on our rights for the good of society. It is part of the social contract. How different, really, is finally enforcing the idea that those who have more must pay their fair share for the good of the society that they have benefitted from so much.
"I do...but..." That is all I needed to see. It is a yes or no question.
What social contract is that? I never signed a contract. It is the society that has benefited from those paying the high taxes.
In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention or business recieves but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter how much he makes. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, recieves an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. The same is true of all men in between. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to those below him, but gets nothing but his material payment. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude contributes nothing to those above him, but recieves the bonus of all of thier brains.
This is the service they provide us, and all they ask in return is freedom. Freedom to function, think, work, take risks, and free to earn profits and fortunes.
But you feel it is unfair that those who provided you with modern apartments, raidos, computers, and cars should own their own palaces and yachts.
You think YOU have a right to your wages, but they have no right to their profits.
You want a society that is established at the point of a gun. You want all sacrificed to the "public good". Who decides what is "good" and who the "public" is??
This is, at the core, a philosophical debate on individual rights. But I will also show you how your scenario will not work pratically as well.
Higher taxes imposed on the rich (and semi-rich) will not come out of thier consumption expenditures, but out of their investment capital (i.e. their savings); that such taxes will mean less investment, i.e. less production, fewer jobs, higher prices for scarcer goods; and by the time the rich have to lower their standard of living yours will be gone. If the erosion of profits were to force buinessmen out of production altogether, the only alternative would be a "nonprofit" govt. run industry. What this would mean to the people has been demonstrated amply and conclusively in Soviet Russia.
What is the riches' "fair share"? Do we tax them until they are no longer rich and everyone is equal?? Who then is there to provide your wonderful non productive society with all of their "free" goods?? You want to disconnect production with distribution. That is not possible. In order to distribute to the "public", something must first be produced. And that production belongs to someone; if you forceably take that away then it is real obvious you do not care about individual rights. In the end your "public" is made up of individuals.
The only social contract I live by is to not infringe on anyone elses rights, and I expect the same in return.