Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ante Up

Do you make more than $30,000 a year? Okay, you don’t need to tell me, because I have ways of finding out anyway. But if you do, you really need to give me and my children some of that money.  Why? Because I make less than that. Think of my poor children. You have no right to make and use that much money just for things you want, when I, your friend and countryman, need so much and make so much less than you. Think of how much better my life would be if you would each just give me just a little bit of your money. It seems to me that $30,000 is plenty to live on, so anything beyond that should go back into the kitty to share with the rest of us less fortunate than you.  And what do you get out of the deal?  Well, you get to know that you helped this country become a better place for all of us to live.  Okay – the results are a gamble at best, but I think it’s a bet you should make. You owe it to me, and besides, you and I both know you'll have plenty of money left over.  

The ridiculousness of this claim is obvious. 
Why then, when the monetary threshold is raised, does this claim begin to appeal to people?  It does not become any less arbitrary or any more principled.  It is the exact same unjustifiable claim, only there are more of us who make less than the arbitrary threshold.
Is that all it takes for us to disregard principles?  Moving from the position of being unjustly taxed to the position of receiving unearned wealth?

Why does anyone but you get to decide what you do with your money?

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