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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.

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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Business

Delegation: An Ongoing Phenomena

Failure to delegate effectively often happens because team leader don’t trust the people with whom they’re working

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For most of your career, you’ve read or heard that one of the key approaches to getting things done is to delegate effectively. This presumes that you have others to whom you can delegate. In my contact with more than 950 organizations over the last two and a half decades, I’ve found increasingly that people have fewer resources, a lower budget, and less staff people. If they want to get something done, often they have to do it themselves!

Assuming you have others to whom you can delegate, the first or second time you personally tackle a particular task yields useful information. You learn more about the nature of the task, how long it takes, and whether or not you enjoy doing it.

By the third time, a task of the same ilk as those you’ve handled before often becomes best handled by someone reporting to you. Such tasks could involve updating a database, completing an interim report, or assembling meeting notes.

All that You Can

On the path to getting things done, your quest is to identify all those things that you can possibly delegate to others and then prepare those others so that they have a high probability of succeeding. In the course of your workday there may be only a handful of things that you alone need to do because of your experience, insight or specialized knowledge. Everything else that can be delegated should be.

Some people feel they have to take care of everything themselves and to this day haven’t been able to break the habit of “doing it all.” If this someone is in your seat right now, recognize that as a category of one, you can only get so much done.

Many managers and supervisors fail to delegate effectively because either they don’t fully trust the people with whom they’re working, or they’ve always been get-it-all-done-by-myself types.

Take Time before You Assign

Prior to delegating anything to anyone, take the time to actually prepare your staff for delegation. This would involve assessing an employee’s skills, interests, and needs. You could even ask people what new tasks and responsibilities they would like to assume. You might be surprised at the wide variety of responses you receive. There may be people on your staff right now who can help you with tasks you’ve been dying to hand off to someone but didn’t see how or when you could put them into play.

While you want to delegate to staff people who show enthusiasm, initiative and interest, or have otherwise previously demonstrated the ability to handle and balance several tasks at once, sometimes you have to delegate to someone who has not exhibited any of the above. In that case, delegate on a piece-meal basis.

Ensure that the staff person is able to effectively handle the small task or tasks he’s been assigned and does not feel swamped or overloaded. When the staff person demonstrates competence, you can increase the complexity of assignments and even the frequency with which you delegate.

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Multi-tasking: More Harm than Good

In this day and age, where so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray!

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I belong to a local health club, and while I was there one day, I saw a woman get on the Stairmaster. I watched as she whipped out an mp3 player and started listening to music. Then, to my surprise, she reached into her gym bag, pulled out a book, and placed it on that ledge to read. I almost asked her if she would like a piece of gum!

Today, when so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray! More often than we care to pretend, in the office and at home, we invite more than we can handle, and then act as though we didn’t. As individuals, throughout society, we are trained to believe that the ability to multi-task is a great attribute. Unfortunately, that’s a big mistake. Here’s why, and how to avoid multi-tasking in the future.

First Things First

What’s the fastest and easiest way to handle six tasks competing for our attention? Identify the most important task, second most important, third most important, and so on, then tackle the first and finish it all the way, move on to the second and complete it, then move all the way down the list.

Any other way of tackling those items, whether they are tasks for home or work, is simply not as efficient. The catch is, any other way is more psychologically satisfying.  Why?  It’s almost as if juggling projects, switching gears unnecessarily or abruptly, or leaving a job unfinished to start a new project gives you the opportunity to say to other people, “Hey, look at me! Look how involved I am! Look at how busy I am! I’m great at multi-tasking.” A multi-tasker, however, can’t compete with others who tackle their to-do list, one item at a time.

What about doubling up as a procedure for tackling a number of routine items or very simple tasks? You can eat dinner and read a book at the same time. Eating and reading at the same time is relatively harmless.

How about driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time? Driving requires your sharp attention, as does carrying on an intelligent conversation with someone else who is not present; doing both at the same time spreads your attention too thin, with often disastrous results. The same is true for projects you’re working on that require your best thinking.

Tips:
* give yourself 5 to 10 minute intervals to focus on the task at hand
* safe-guard your immediate environment to avoid interruptions
* acknowledge yourself whenever you stick to one task and finish it
* repeat all the above, often, knowing that ‘more often’ is better!

Your Undivided Attention

When you’re working on a new task, brainstorming, engaging in first-time thinking, or doing creative work, it’s vital to offer your complete and undivided attention to that one task before you. To dissipate your attention or otherwise stray means you are not going to do your best work.

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