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Can You Increase Prosperity By Taxing Success?

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“You can’t increase prosperity by taxing success.”

~ Calvin Coolidge

 

One of the mantras of Democrats is to make the wealthy pay their fair share. You heard it often on the campaign trail from the plethora of Democrat candidates who ran for president. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most vocal proponents of soaking the rich, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has offered up legislation for a wealth tax.

The bill, called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, would apply an annual 2% tax on individuals with net worths between $50 million and $1 billion. Individuals worth over $1 billion would pay an annual 3% tax. Senator Warren claims it will generate $3 trillion in revenue over 10 years and that money would be invested in programs such as child care, education, and infrastructure.

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On the surface, this may sound like a good idea to the common citizen working a 9 to 5 job. Why not soak the rich and make them pay their fair share? One must ask a counterquestion. What do you consider a fair share?

The top 25% of taxpayers pay 86 percent of total income taxes. The top 10% of taxpayers pay 70 percent. The top 5% pay 59 percent. The top 1% of taxpayers pay 38.5 percent of total income taxes. In contrast, the bottom 50% of taxpayers pay only 3.1 percent of total income taxes. It is a myth that wealthier individuals aren’t paying a fair share.

The next question is how do you enforce this wealth tax? It’s an administrative nightmare. In Warren’s proposed legislation, she allocates an additional $100 billion into the IRS for enforcement and mandates a 30 percent annual audit rate for the agency. That would mean hiring more IRS agents and a third of American households would be audited every year.

On top of that, do you really think wealthy people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett will actually pay that wealth tax? They may be big liberals but also realize they have some high-quality accountants to help avoid paying any more in taxes than necessary. They will find loopholes and off-shore accounts to shelter their wealth.

You may wonder why does this even concern me? Do you think politicians like Elizabeth Warren will stop at those with wealth of $50 million or more? You can already picture a scenario where the revenue this wealth tax brings in will be far less than they anticipate. Thus, they will have to expand the tax to anyone who has wealth of $20 million or more. Then to $10 million or more. Then to $1 million or more. It’s yet another slippery slope to an ever expanding tax.

“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

~ Milton Friedman

 

If Elizabeth Warren and her comrades were truly interested in leveling the playing field and making a difference in the lives of people across America they would advocate for limited government and focus on a more robust free-enterprise system. The reality is that’s not what they are seeking.

This legislation is more about pandering to the Democrat base and low-information voters in a continuing concertive effort at fostering class warfare and animosity. By creating division through class and racial strife the Democrats see their path to decades of power. This is all about redistribution of wealth.

You can’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. The entrepreneurs and visionaries create jobs. As businesses grow and expand they create further job opportunities and opportunities for ancillary businesses.

Warren’s legislation is an impractical and arbitrary scheme of leveling. It’s despotic and completely antithetical to our Constitution. In a sane Congress this legislation would find its way into the trash can. Given the current political situation in Washington that seems unlikely. Democrats are pushing forward on every one of their Marxist policies and insanity runs amok.

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Michael was born and raised in Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA-History. He started writing a blog in January 2016 called, Conservative Thinker, and has written about politics, foreign policy, economics, and social issues with a historical perspective. He resides in Cullman, AL and enjoys hiking, photography, and traveling in his spare time. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @buckyboymike and follow his blog at www.conservativethinker.net.



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The People Who Size You up Instantly

Beware of people who conveniently assess what you need, while missing the boat about their own needs

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I went to a social gathering and, arriving early, few others had arrived. So I took out my notepad and pen, and leisurely started making notes. A lady who saw me, asked what I was writing, which, of course, could be either a friendly way to start a conversation, or intrusive, depending on your point of view. I took it as the former, and shared with her my predisposition to take notes outside of my office where I generate ideas that don’t readily emerge at my desk.

Apparently my explanation was not satisfactory for her. In rapid succession she told me, ‘You need to get a drink. (Actually, I don’t drink.) You should to stop making notes. You ought to relax. (Making notes is relaxing to me.) You need to get a life.’

Paradoxically, I am the author of the books, Breathing Space and Simpler Living, and the audiobook, Get a Life. I also own the registered trademarks for the programs, Relaxing at High Speed and Managing the Pace With Grace. I have delivered 1,060 lectures on these topics for three decades.

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Quick and Wrong

It’s beyond strange when someone at a social gathering, in such short order, will assess what I need to do, with one pronouncement after another. When told that I needed to relax, I said, “If I was any more relaxed, I’d fall asleep.”

I came away from that experience recognizing that people who will readily tell you what you need are the ones who need what they’re telling you. You might have noticed a somewhat similar phenomenon in the workplace.

Suppose you work in a company that is crowded, noisy, and busy almost all the time. However, in your own office or cubicle, whichever the case might be, you’re able to maintain order.

Perhaps you have installed some sound barriers, if that is appropriate, and have crafted a workspace where you can get things done. People who walk by notice that your office equipment, resources, and possessions are organized. Guess what? Some office mates won’t tell you this, but they are uncomfortable with your organizing skills.

If they could find a simple way to articulate it, they would tell you, “Loosen up.” You don’t need to be so neat and orderly.” Why are they itching to tell you this? Because your level of organization makes them feel inadequate.

Be Like Me, I’ll Feel Better

Much like the lady at the social gathering, who told me ‘what I needed,’ some people in your immediate environment, in observing your capacity for taking charge of your space, and perhaps noting your higher-than-average level of productivity, would rather that you acted and proceeded in a different way. You might not hear that from them, but that is some might be thinking.

Beware of those people who so conveniently assess what you need, while completely missing the boat about their own needs. They fail to realize that what they’re telling you, is probably what they need to address for themselves.

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Micro-tasking for Effective Performance

Professionals who can micro-task are in demand while those who multitask often do a disservice

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Much as been discussed about multitasking and fortunately, much of what has been written exposes the myth that multitasking represents. Instead of making us more productive and having a greater output, we tend to slow down on the very things that were trying to speed up on, and we end up making more errors.

Micro-tasking, by contrast, is the ability to compartmentalize and to focus in quick, short intervals on a variety of items that compete for attention. This is a vital skill for career professionals. While micro-tasking is effective for quick decisions, and for handling routine and short term tasks term nature, multitasking is the attempt to handle two or more important tasks at the same time. It is not to be confused with micro-tasking.

A Skill to Cultivate

Some workers have little choice in the short run but to work in a distracting, noisy environment. Some employees, in particular, were retained to be able to quickly shift their attention from one issue to another, focusing on each issue as needed.

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In an interruption-based environment, such as a hospital, police station, retail store, or airline ticket counter, the ability to micro-task is a valuable skill.

Throughout the course of a day, a manager in such settings might encounter a variety of people asking questions and voicing concerns. For sale managers micro-tasking can make all the difference in making quota or not.

Slow Down!

Tasks that require our sharp attention necessitate that we slow down, focus, keep interruptions at bay, and work as effectively as we can, toward completion. Handling two tasks simultaneously, each of which require sharp attention, is a prescription for poor results.

Professionals who can micro-task are in demand. Others, who engage in multitasking, often are doing themselves as well as their organizations, a disservice.

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