This one is for all the political activists. I am so sick of seeing people praying and wishing for the government to start enforcing a high income tax on the rich to redistribute the wealth of the people. There will always be rich & poor people in a society, some more unevenly distributed than others. But quite frankly the way I see it is that the government has no business going into an individual’s bank account and STEALING 50%-60% of their income. If that person has lawfully and honestly earned that money, then no one ought to be able to take it away.
Think of it this way: as a student working hard in a challenging class you finally receive the well deserved 100% in the class. Shortly after you see your report card you are informed that 50% of your grade will be taken and redistributed to the students in class with the lowest grades. You have no control and no say in the fact that your 100% will now be seen as a 50% despite the numerous hours you put in to earn that A+.
Money is an incentive to work harder, to be better. Taxing the rich is discrimination, believe it or not. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be rich and help my family. Nowadays, how could I strive for that when I know my hard-earned money will be taken from me?
If you want to do something about the uneven wealth distribution and its effects, go to the SOURCE such as regulating business and cleaning up budgets, NOT stealing from the well-off citizens to balance the mess.
I’m sorry, but I’ve lived in Sweden, and that’s not how it works. Also note that that number, for Sweden at least, is the MAX income tax percentage possible. But that’s not my issue here. Let’s talk about how this money is redistributed.
Do you live in the United States? If so, please tell me about the state of the roads in your area? If it’s at all like where I live in the good old US of A, they’re shit. Why? Because the governments, local and state and federal, don’t have enough money to keep them in good repair. In Sweden, a nice chunk of that tax money goes toward making sure the roads are well kept, because if the roads are well kept, then odds are better your car is not going to be damaged by them and oh hey then that’s less money you have to spend on the upkeep of your vehicle.
Tell me, how’s your health insurance? Can you go to any doctor or clinic in town and be seen for a nominal fee? Of course not! This is America, where everything’s privatized and we’re all looking to make the best profit. What about hospital visits? We all know those kinds of things can bankrupt a family here; it does on a regular basis. And yet you’re putting down a country with a higher income tax when I know for a FACT that a good portion of that money goes into the healthcare system that ensures that ALL residents have access to healthcare for minimal out-of-pocket fees. And you know what else? If you spend more than a fixed amount in doctor’s visits within a year, you get a nice little card that gives you FREE doctor’s visits for a year from that first payment. You know, so people are not having to forgo having sufficient food or new clothes because they have to go to the hospital. Oh, and the hospital visits? You don’t pay out of pocket for the treatments; you pay for your bed and food in the hospital, an amount that ends up being something around $10/day. And they can do this because their doctors are paid reasonably for the work they do, and also they don’t have ridiculous amounts of student loan debt to pay off.
Which brings me to my next point: higher education. Tell me what’s your student loan debt like? I just saw a statistic that we, in the United Stated, have a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Why is that? Well, we’ve privatized education. You want to know how much my husband paid to attend university in Sweden and get both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees? $0 in tuition. That’s also what I paid to attend an intensive Swedish language course while I lived there. Now, you still have to buy your books and pay your student union fees, but that’s nothing compared to the $44,000/year I was paying in tuition here in the US. You know when I’m looking at paying all of that back? Maybe by the time I retire. Maybe. In fact, students in Sweden can actually receive a stipend from the government to help cover things like living expenses, so they are not forced to have a side job in addition to going to school full-time. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that the government actually wants you to graduate from university without having to worry about things like what you can afford to eat. I’m not saying it’s the most generous stipend, but it’s enough to rent an apartment (maybe with a flatmate) and have a moderately healthy diet.
Not being burdened with that amount of debt is a huge relief when you’re fresh out of university and getting a job. Then again, the wage gap isn’t NEARLY so severe over there. Those who make the most in the company don’t make terribly much more than those who make the least. So the company VP isn’t making hundreds of thousands more than the guy on the factory floor.
Of course, remember that your numbers here don’t take into account the cost of living in these countries. What’s the cost of housing, food, transportation? Many people in these countries make use of excellent public transportation, made possible because of the higher taxes and the money invested into this stuff.
So when you say that 50% of your money is “given” to people who don’t make as much, that’s not actually accurate. It’s invested in the infrastructure that supports ALL the people of the country, no matter their income. If taxing the rich is discrimination, then isn’t taxing anyone discrimination? You should pay taxes proportional to your income, so that you can support your society. Otherwise you might as well go take your money and hide in a cave for all the good it would being you and the rest of the country.