And why I don’t like politicians who exploit it to gain and maintain their power.
As I mentioned in a previous post, life is not a zero-sum game. No one gains what they earn honestly and through our system of commerce at the expense of anyone else.
I posit that no one can get rich without enriching others as long as their pursuits are focused towards a worthy goal. Success is properly defined as the progressive realization of a worthy goal or idea (thank you, Earl Nightingale). Outside of getting rich through illegal means (scams, schemes, drug dealing, etc.) which usually does not endure nor end well, the premise that one cannot get rich without enriching others tends to hold true more often than not.
Politicians like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would have us think that the rich are not paying their fair share in taxes. I find their policy positions laughably ironic given that they are rich and powerful people themselves. These people would have us believe that they can make everything right and just economically if we give them the power of the presidency.
Somehow, I doubt their veracity…
Politicians like President Donald Trump are no better. They proffer the notion that those who are rich are worthy of the validation, adulation, and protection of the lower classes because they are better people than the working class and worked harder to obtain their status in society. The sad thing is that their followers actually believe the notions being sold to them are the gospel truth.
Two false notions from two opposing factions that efficiently and effectively accomplish the same goal…
To get and maintain political power by convincing the masses that life is a zero-sum game.
The left thinks greed is bad. The right thinks greed is good. Greed is but an emotion. It is neither bad nor good and totally irrelevant to how our economy works.
I read a CBS News story on Facebook about how the 400 wealthiest families pay less in taxes as a percentage of their income than middle class families. Far too many of us in this country emote rather than think and become outraged by stories like that. Most people live under the delusion that wealth is a finite “pie” that should be “fairly distributed”. Little do people who think like this realize how their lack of thinking is a self-defeating, self-fulfilling prophecy.
Wealth is as infinite as our minds can imagine and being “rich” is quite relative. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates didn’t start out as wealthy men and it is ridiculous to think that they earned their billions at my expense or anyone else’s expense. Their endeavors actually enriches millions of other people around the world. There is nothing stopping someone else, anyone else, from becoming the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.
People are where they are because that is exactly where they want to be whether they are honest enough or intelligent enough to realize it. The Green-Eyed Monster has done more to hold people back than most will ever be honest enough to admit.
I challenge any readers who disagree with my premise to intelligently explain to me how the 400 richest families paying a lower tax rate affects them personally.
The reason they pay a lower rate (proportionally) is because most of the wealthiest people do not pay income taxes to the degree that most people do as most of their income is derived through capital gains on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles.
The capital gains tax is lower for a very good reason. It actually does encourage investment. Investments from the public are how companies raise capital in order to operate and provide the goods and services that their customers consume. It is how these companies provide jobs.
Anyone can become an investor.
On that note, why do most people who need a job want (and wait for) someone to “give them a job”? That sort of thinking is as logical expecting your car to start up in the morning without any gasoline in the tank. It’s up to you to put fuel in the car to make it run. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without your active participation.
It’s cause and effect, not luck or chance. Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity and opportunity is always around.
Instead of listening to politicians and the Green-Eyed Monster and thinking that the wealthiest people are enriching themselves at your expense, look to yourself and try to be the best version of yourself. Try to be a person of value and add value at your work or place of business. If you make being among the 400 wealthiest people a goal of yours and work towards it, you will be surprised at the results you will achieve on your journey.
Remember, only 6% of the American population has a six-figure income. There is a reason for that.
The Green-Eyed Monster is undefeated only if you focus on him instead of pursuing your own version of happiness.
-The Rational Ram