Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are you teaching your kids hate or fairness? Are you sure?

How on earth the joining of hate and fairness came to me for a blog post is still a bit of mystery.  Well here goes..  For years the banter on our nation's tax code has raged and the voices chanting don't tax me, but tax my neighbor voices have grown louder than anytime I can recall in my short life.  This debate finally struck a strong cord last night when a friend of mine made the comment that everyone making under 250k per year should pay no taxes and anything above that amount should go the government.  At 100% tax rate.  Wow that's very spiteful and more so it's just plain hateful to want to take from your neighbor.  I was a bit stunned that this charming and for all intents and purposes a very sweet and what I thought was a kind hearted individual would want to confiscate from another.  Given that she is a recent graduate from Yale, I decided to do a quick google search using the terms tax the rich, but shoot I forgot to add the word "Yale".  My assumptions were proven correct with one of the top results on my first search being the below article on taxing the rich, from the Yale Law Journal.

How is taking/confiscating/stealing from your neighbor in anyway in the realm of fairness, equality, or efficient?  The old Chinese proverb comes to mind; Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.  Be patient with me...  The more money we send to our government the more wasteful, excuse me, the more they can do with it to help the needy.  Or so I've heard it argued, but government only gives out fish for a day.  We all have had ups and downs in our lives and it is very reassuring to have help when we are down, but at the same time it takes from our soul when we are living on handout's from another.  Our same spirit soars when we are taking care of ourselves and more so pursuing our dreams.  Individually giving to our neighbor, as God calls us to do, takes our soul to the utmost heights. Most of us have dreamed at some point about nice houses, cars, boats, and a lavish lifestyle.  Why would someone want to take dreams from their neighbor?  Is that fair or is it hateful?

I personally thank it is very hateful to want to hurt or harm another for our own benefit.  This argument on taxing the rich meets my definition of hateful.  More so, I'm stunned by the number of voices chanting this garbage in today's world.  I would think, as I have done for years, when it comes to the super rich, are the questions along the lines of how did you make your fortune?  Can you mentor me?  Not greed, jealousy, envy, and hate speech and actions that seems to be all to common place on this topic.  To salt the wound so to speak, is that argument to take from the rich is on the grounds of fairness?  How on earth is it fair to harm our neighbor?

Given we teach our kids by example, what are you teaching your children?  I urge you to take a hard look at this topic and reach your own conclusion.  Bed time stories such as Robin Hood, may not be in line with your actions that your children witness daily in your home.  In case you missed it, Robin Hood is the story of a Government out of control and taking too much from it's people until one brave and dare I say, "Fair", individual stood up to fight the powers that be.

Merriam-Webster definition of the word Fair:
      a : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism <a very fair person to do business with>

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  1. I work for wealthy people. Sure the money has been handed down for generations through trust funds, property and so on. But I have to take my hat off to my boss. He may be the youngest of 4 but he is to me...the wisest. He has 3 boys of his own. He is very involved in his investments and in my opinion makes great choices. Sure he has people watching Wall Street for him and make most of the choices to sell or buy, but he is by no means ignorant. He runs this business as if it were his only means of income but mostly I think he does a good job in honor of his grandfather who started it all. I still have alot to learn from him and in general, but I do think he has worked hard and should not be the solution to all the country's problems. We are part of this country, we should participate as well. Our government sucks at using our money wisely, but they will have to give account before God one day and I feel bad for them.'re a wise man too. This is an excellent blog. Have I said that before? Thanks for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.

  2. "The more money we send to our government the more wasteful, excuse me, the more they can do with it to help the needy." You say that it is hateful (not to mention wasteful, as you so tactfully put it) to take from the rich. I say it is greedy to keep it all for yourself. I say that in keeping all your money for yourself and turning your eyes away from the very neighbors you accuse of "stealing your dreams," when all they need is help, you only advocate the hate and unfairness you are so strongly against.

    "Individually giving to our neighbor, as God calls us to do, takes our soul to the utmost heights." Admirable; but as we all know, as much as God wants us to "individually give to our neighbors," that's not really what happens. I don't recall ever receiving any goodwill checks from any actors, professional football players, crooked lawyers. They get their dreams, and I am not allowed because I am not rich enough, or even lucky enough? Since we're talking fairness here, how in the world is that fair?

    I know what your response will be: that it is not fair for those who abuse the system to continue to steal your "dream money" because you assume that they are just lazy. But since we are both God-fearing individuals, allow me to refer to another phrase transcripted from the Bible: is it not in the Bible to turn the other cheek? What about the story of the prodigal son which, incidentally, was last week's gospel reading? Are you to turn from your less fortunate neighbors because you want your yacht?

    By your very definition of the word "fair," you contradict your entire blog. Free from self-interest? Hardly. According to your blog, it's only "fair" for rich people to keep their money, solely for the purpose of their own self-interests. Clearly, your definition of "fairness" differs greatly from my own, if you're willing to talk of how it is only fair for the rich to remain rich and the poor to remain poor.

  3. @Roxie; thank you.

    For the other responses I'm getting directly, first off don't be shy in speaking your mind and the feedback is appreciated.

    To clarify a couple of points:

    1. I don't think the rich should "hoard" all of their money, I do think that taxes should be uniform and equal as our constitution states. I think it is all of our responsibilities to help our neighbors. Yes in my life I have paid my neighbors bills, cooked meals, donated clothing, offered shelter. As my income has climbed, I have done more. Shame on those who turn a blind eye and expect others to help where they themselves don't or won't. Charity is an individual act and is not something that can or should be forced.

    2. I know rich miserable people and poor happy people. Being rich or poor is not for me to decide and I pray that I never become bitter for it and I have yet to be. I have been both for the record. Being rich or poor has nothing to do with fairness or luck and last time I checked in the bible, being rich is not a sin. I do not expect some mega rich athlete, actor, or business person to simply to write me a check. If they do, well great, but I will most likely give the money away. That's me and what I feel called to do. I hope that each of you donates your time within your community and with a charity that touches your heart. I love special olympics, among others.

    3. I never mentioned those on welfare and as I teach my children about assumptions, never do it for it is a very dangerous road and I don't assume that those on welfare are lazy. Each case is individual. I don't believe the answer is government, especially when I look at heavily government controlled countries and their alarming poverty rates. I do believe that we need to "teach" those in poverty how to succeed and not to expect a handout. We all need help at some point and I'm proud to live in a country that has a system in place to help those, but only on a temporary basis. Help should come from us individually is what I advocate. No help is hateful and is not what I have stated at any time.

    4. What I have is mine, given to me by God and it is my choice as to what I do with my money. I am not in the mega rich category, but I don't wish to take from my neighbor who is (literally my neighbor). I hope they choose to use their money as a force for good, but it's not my choice. I can only worry about what I do and the example I set for my own children. I hope the rich get much much richer, but I hope they will donate their time to show us all how to join them so we can have our dream with them.

    Is that not the American dream, the "opportunity" to succeed?

    Kaz (Christopher Kasmiroski)


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