Bob Ehrlich: The Left’s Views on ‘Wealth Equality’ Aren’t About Compassion, They’re About Envy


You will have examine Redskins proprietor Dan Snyder’s current buy of a superyacht. Sure, there are such beasts — presumably bigger and extra luxurious than your common yacht. This one actually qualifies: it features a licensed IMAX movie show, a helipad, 4 VIP suites and a health club. Sticker value: $100 million.

Predictably, rhetorical spitballs got here raining down from the bleachers (or finish zone, if you’ll). Stated critiques weren’t the same old “cultural appropriation/insensitive” indictment lodged by these for whom “Redskins” stays a racist time period. Moderately, this was all about Snyder’s alleged conspicuous consumption. How dare he buy a luxurious good of such excessive worth?!

The primary political spitball was thrown from (you guessed it) senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. The girl from Massachusetts used the information to advertise her proposed 2 p.c surcharge on private fortunes over $50 million. For these of you new to class warfare economics, this might be a further tariff tacked onto taxes beforehand paid.

Simply in case the voters misinterpret the precise retributive nature of her level, Warren noticed that the extra income could possibly be used to fund “yacht-less People fighting pupil loans.” The forlorn yacht-less would then presumably get onboard (excuse the pun) with the Warren for president effort.

A majority of People could be sympathetic to the proposed surcharge. Some would particularly take pleasure in shoving it to the yacht-owning crowd. In spite of everything, the extra income would simply be chump change to the super-duper wealthy. Guys like Snyder wouldn’t miss it, proper?

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That is the redistributionist mindset: tax those who have for as a lot as you’ll be able to — for so long as you’ll be able to — in as some ways as you’ll be able to — and rattling the implications. It’s solely truthful…

Others have a unique takeaway. Theirs shouldn’t be a Pavlovian antipathy towards wealth — even tremendous wealth, the place legally earned. These then are the capitalists, ever-ready to pursue success and the cash that comes with it. Such marketeers assist to create and perpetuate the previously in style American dream: that innovation and laborious work will result in ever-increasing requirements of residing; that upward mobility will assure you a greater life than your dad and mom and grandparents.

Few believed there was something inherently immoral concerning the final aim. Again within the day, this narrative was handed from era to era and even taught on our faculty campuses!

Again to the emotion-based methods and technique of the readily offended. They’re resentful of nice wealth and the life-style it affords. Per this worldview, no one “deserves” to make over a certain quantity of annual earnings. Within the estimation of progressivism’s super-charged however by no means contemplative chief, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that quantity is roughly $10 million. The magic threshold could also be roughly within the views of different progressives, however the level stays: it’s authorities’s ethical obligation to step in and confiscate at a specific however ever-changing and arbitrary value level. Market capitalism should recede to concerns of fairness and equity. Get used to it.

Removed from the madding D.C. crowd, there’s a distinctly totally different response to such views. I discuss with the well-demonstrated elevated ranges of “wealth flight” from excessive to low tax states. Certainly, the fact of transient wealth is exactly why blue state governors had been dead-set towards the not too long ago handed federal tax reform invoice’s capping of the state deduction at $10,000.

Out of the blue, the true burden of confiscatory state taxes was illuminated for all to see. It was not a reasonably sight. The underside line: exorbitant taxes encourage the rich to exit (their state and even their nation) stage left. Gaping price range shortfalls typically observe — as does a lot of finger pointing.

A ultimate notice on primary financial classes circa 1990. These of you of a sure age will recall the price range reconciliation act of that yr contained a so-called luxurious tax on yachts, non-public planes and costly automobiles. The proposal was accompanied by the everyday class warfare rhetoric we see at the moment and mirrored above. However the initiative failed miserably, inflicting widespread layoffs within the yacht trade specifically. Right here, working class/laborer sorts who had been meant to be the political beneficiaries of the tax ended up paying the steepest value. A Democratic Congress was pressured to repeal the wildly unpopular tax in 1993. The legal guidelines of provide and demand had but once more been honored.

In fact, the entire foregoing is Economics 101 for many who take note of such issues. If, nonetheless, you aren’t into the “crush ‘em/bury ‘em” financial angst of the left or the essential market economics of the fitting, do this one on for measurement: it’s no one’s enterprise what Dan Snyder does along with his cash. Can I hear an “Amen!”

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