If one acquires something from another person in the name of equality, is he or she actually supporting his or her cause? Monetary equality has been a subject to question for centuries—a question that has themed English Folklore and sparked radical revolutions in the United States and France. Even in modern America, the idea of "all men are created equal” has been a point of contention in various topics ranging from race to riches. Though the United States might not be close to a rebellion scaled to the French Revolution, modern “Robin Hoods” have agitated the idea of pseudo-equality, by proposing higher taxes on the rich—even if those with a higher income stimulate the economy. Nevertheless, it is important to note the undeniable, vast …show more content…
However, the problem with the progressive thinking of levying extraneous taxes on the rich is that it will not—as some economist suggest—level the playing field, but will ultimately maintain and or expand poverty within America by depleting entrepreneurship and jobs, willingness to invest, and decrease philanthropy. Before delving into the topic at hand, a look at the current and projected tax system will help one understand the predicament of taxing the upper class. According to Bardes, Schmidt, and Shelley, in the textbook American Government and Politics Today: Brief Edition, Americans pay a variety of federal, state, and local taxes, which are all assessed on most sources of income, sales and land. Bardes et al, made their agenda clear by pointing out that “the wealthy receive a much greater share of their income from these sources (capital gains, rents, royalties, interests, dividends, or profits from business), than others do (315).” But what is considered wealthy? In the article, Who gets to be “Rich”, Jordan Weissmann reported that a household income of around $113,000 lands one at the top 10% of income earners, while
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There is no doubt that wealth inequality in America has been escalating quickly; the portion of total income earned by the top one percent has doubled since the beginning of the 1970’s. The wealthy are the main beneficiaries
Why shouldn’t the wealthiest of Americans pay a higher percentage of their income for taxes? Certainly, things would get better if the wealthy paid more taxes. This philosophy is why welfare continues to exist today. People worry more about what is right for the other person without looking at themselves and taking responsibility. It is overrun with individuals who prefer to be on welfare than to work hard and contribute to society. This doesn’t mean welfare is not needed, but that it should not be a career. It offers no permanent solution, but only prevents a real solution from being realized. So why should the wealthy pay a higher percentage of taxes just because they can afford it? They work hard, so shouldn’t they be allowed to keep what they earn? This is not an example of scrooge-like behavior, but that hard work should have its rewards. The way to a better life should start with hard work and the desire for independence from government support. This would help people regain personal pride and become productive members of society, rather than a drain on its resources. It is not a crime for the wealthiest to earn high incomes. Shouldn’t hard work pay off? Why be penalized by paying a higher percentage of your income when you worked hard to make that income? Simpler solutions are required.
Imagine all the wealth in the United States. Roughly 84.9 trillion dollars, a pretty big number to wrap your mind around, right? Now imagine a third of that number concentrated into the hands of only 1% of the population of the United States. Not only would this seem unfair, but also immoral. Sadly, this unfortunate situation is a reality in the United States. Of all the political issues that face this nation, wealth inequality is often overlooked. This type of inequality is defined as the unequal distribution of assets among a population. The United States has one of the highest gaps between the upper and lower class out of other developed countries. Resolving this issue is a complicated
politicians to put more emphasis on the power of education and support funding for it. By taxing the wealthy at a higher, but still fair rate, and putting said money into funding for education and public schooling, the U.S. will be able to enlighten more people in new fields of work, and this education will create jobs for those who are typically used to labor demanding work. Public funding in these programs will ensure education and healthcare to all, no matter how much money they make. Also, in the case of the current day United States, it is a matter of ensuring that politicians make these changes at federal levels, because essentially, that is the only way that a difference will be made. The current U.S. political system is dominated by money and this just goes to show that income inequality today has increased in ways that threaten economic growth, and even the health of U.S. democracy (Tyson). If United States politicians fail to acknowledge the rising gap between the rich and the poor, the inequality will ultimately keep rising, potentially leading the United States into a recession. By simply ignoring its existence, U.S. leaders and policymakers are essentially allowing the future of the nation to be jeopardized, with regards to social and economic
Amity Shlaes talks about how presidents such as Nixon, and Bush removed millions of Americans from the tax bracket completely and that those same exact people don’t want a proportional tax rate and want to tax the rich because “they can afford it”. That just seems unfair and unjust. The first video was very opinionated saying that the rich now make more money than before, of course they have the money now due to war times & depressions being over however, the less money they have the less likely they’re to make more investments into other things such as creating more offices, and hiring more people to work for their company
Alyssa Battistoni makes some very good points in her article, “The Public Overwhelming Wants It: Why Is Taxing the Rich So Hard?” regarding how the wealthy have a big part in influencing the government and taxes. Her article makes valid points on how we, as citizens, under estimate the political influence of the rich and that we have a hard time understanding the magnitude of the economic inequality and the relationship it has with political power (Battistoni, 720). She states that many of the politicians themselves are in the wealthy category. This article shows the frustration Battistoni feels by the tone and wording she uses to make her examples such as when she states that we are getting caught in a negative feedback cycle as the rich
The vast wealth inequality in America (and the rest of the world) has been cited as a problem by Obama in many of his State Of The Union address, the Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, and many other liberal politicians and economists. Their talk about the problem of how the “1%” help perpetuate the wealth inequality has brought this issue to the forefront of society. In America, many citizens believe firmly in the idea of equality. The fact that some people have more money than they could ever spend, while others live in poverty on the streets conflicts with that value of equality. The most famous reaction to this rampant inequality was the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in 2011. Tens of thousands of people camped out next to Wall Street offices in New York and several other financial centers across the nation to protest the inequality between the 1% and the other 99%. This infamous movement gained media attention as the vocal protesters wanted to make it known that the wealth divide is unacceptable and politicians must rectify the situation. One important policy tool the United States has implemented to combat wealth inequality is a progressive tax. This means that people with more income are taxed at a higher rate than those with lower income. However this tax system has many loopholes in the United States, and the wealthiest individuals are routinely able to avoid being taxed at a higher rate by distributing their wealth in bank accounts
The distribution of income in the United States, is a growing controversy. Far left and far right groups have distinctly differing opinions on income inequality and whether it is beneficial or detrimental to the economic growth of the nation. Mainstream politics, however, tend to be relatively devoid of discussion about the extreme wealth gap. The rising levels, factors, and opinions of income inequality as well as methods of income redistribution will be discussed.
Economic inequality in the United States has risen and absolute growth has slowed over the past half-century. This growing level of inequality sparks in a wave of support for redistribution. The U.S.’s inability to redistribute to the bottom quartile of the income distribution results a multitude of factors that explain why people would support or oppose redistribution. An explanation of economic inequality involves the argument that the wealthy have the needed resources in order to flourish in achieving political decisions that they favor, “through campaign contributions and other forms of economic influence” (Gelman 1213). The proposal for this paper is that there is a factor that is unaccounted for, in which it is possibly impacting the
This paper provides insight, reasoning on the wealth disparity in the United States. After all, the social movements that have advocated over the years for equality. The wealth gap remains the same. It continues to be intertwined with politics and racism. Corporation increases the wealth disparity with their political agenda in mind. In the article, "Race, Homeownership, and wealth" by Shapiro Thomas defines wealth and income. Wealth defined as " the total value of a family’s financial resources minus all debts” (Shapiro, 2014); Income “represent the following resources earned in a particular time” (Shapiro, 2014). The two definitions have two very different meanings, but there often misused. Wealth is vague and can refer to many aspects of a person and families "total value" white income is only a particular value. Shapiro argues how “Income and wealth are often confused both in the public mind and in the social science literature” (Shapiro, 2014) Wealth and income carry an important purpose because it represents how society views a person who has wealth. An individual who obtains a significant amount of "money" it is believed because they earned a substantial amount of income. The reality is people who have wealth inherited because of their family. The majority of the one percenters are born into their wealth instead of working for it. The confusion of wealth and income creates a system that does not question individuals on the top of the social pyramid. The society
Wealth in the United States is generally thought to be distributed fairly as the highest earners have a higher percentage of wealth. Although this common notion is technically correct, the wealth is not spread as fairly as people might believe. The United States uses a free market, capitalistic economy, which entails wealth inequality. However, the amount of wealth inequality depends on how the government limits the wealthy. Interestingly enough, the government does not have regulations to distribute the wealth more fairly as the top 1% of earners in the United States own about 40% of the financial wealth in the country and the bottom 80% of earners own a measly 4.7%. Astonishingly, the financial wealth for the top 20% increased from 1983 to 2010 meaning the wealth became more concentrated at the higher socioeconomic tiers as time passed. These economic inequalities benefited the wealthy as they gained political powers, controlled a large portion of the economic market, and used capitalism to manipulate the public’s perspective of the wealth distribution in the United States. While wealth inequality is a result of capitalism, extremely wealthy people use their wealth to exercise political power,but the average person does not understand that this is a corrupt method of crippling the economy in favor of the ultra wealthy.
Before delving into the topic at hand, a look at the current and projected tax system will help understand the predicament of taxing the upper class. According to Bardes, Schmidt, and Shelley, in the textbook American Government and Politics Today: Brief Edition, Americans pay a variety of federal, state, and local taxes, which are all assessed on most sources of income, sales and land. Bardes et al, made their agenda clear by pointing out that “the wealthy receive a much greater share of their income from these sources (capital gains, rents, royalties, interests, dividends, or profits from business), than others do (315).” But what is considered wealthy? In the article, Who gets to be “Rich”, Jordan Weissmann reported that a household income of around $113,000 lands one at the top 10% of income earners, while $394,000 makes one a
The wealth gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow in America as it has in recent decades. Wealth distribution in America has not been this unequal since 1928, the year before the Great Depression started. The richest four hundred people in America have more money than the one hundred fifty million poorest Americans combined. The wealth gap needs to shrink due to the negative repercussions of wealth inequality. Wealth inequality leads to inequality in other aspects of life. Uneven distribution of wealth stunts economic growth as well as limits socio economic mobility. It also leads to a shorter lifespan for the less wealthy.
However, what people do not realize is that when Sanders is taxing these divisions, he is really increasing the tax for everyone, including the middle class. The Tax Policy Center analyzed that “Sanders would raise taxes by about $15.3 trillion over the course a decade” and that “tax hikes would be concentrated amongst high earners, just about everyone would pay more” (Suderman). In another article, it is stated that most of the tax burden would fall on the rich, with majority of the wealthy paying an extra $739,000 more than their pre-income tax and the top 0.1% paying about $4 million (Covert). This would seem favorable, unfortunately, the middle class will have a “tax increase of about $4,700,” thereby reducing their after tax income (Suderman). Sanders believed in a fair share of income, however, taxing the rich unintendedly lead to raising taxes for even the middle
Two important factors that determine a workers' income, regardless of their class, are their race and gender. Minority groups as well as women are less likely to receive an income they deserve, regardless of the job. They are seen as less educated and less capable of doing certain jobs, and they are restricted in advancing and achieving a more suitable income. Only the top capitalists, white males, are receiving the bulk of the nation's income revenue and all the benefits that come along with it. They are the richest people of the United States and instead of being taxed like everyone else, they are allowed even more lee-way. "There is a solution to this problem that will save small farms and businesses, eliminate the death tax' for all Americans and still preserve the integrity of the federal budget: Tax the net worth of the very richest Americans on a regular basis during their lifetime" (Eitzen & Leedham pg. 40). The already rich continue to earn more and more money with their jobs, and they are not being taxed in proportion to their income. They have gotten away with accumulating more of the nation's wealth, while others struggle to make it in life.