Why do we fight so hard to protect the possibility of being filthy rich when most of us just want to live comfortably? Honestly, it’s one of the greatest ironies to me. Last year, my boyfriend (now fiance) and I made about $40,000, collectively. We were ok. We always had food, ordered delivery way too frequently, went on a vacation in Florida, bought some totally unnecessary items (well, new games and gaming equipment are necessary when you play games, right? 😉), and I wasted upwards of $200 on clothes/items I will probably never use… but we still managed to save a little money. We live in Knoxville, TN, so our rent is pretty low, but our sales tax is crazy high, so I don’t think we live in an incredibly rare economic situation.
The fact is, most of us are doing ok compared to what we need. We’re not doing ok compared to what people had 50 years ago, but since our needs are still being met, we’re not that angry about it. Not angry enough to start really questioning the distribution of wealth, anyway. Apparently some people are angry enough to hate immigrants, but that’s not really new. Immigrants are the classic scapegoat, and historically, they are almost always the first ones to be targeted when people start to feel economically stressed.
My point, though, is that even though we have it worse than our parents did, we still do ok with $40,000 a year. So why is it that some people have over one thousand times that amount of wealth, and why do people keep insisting that allowing people to have that kind of wealth is a good idea? I really don’t understand. The only thing that makes sense to me is that everyone thinks of themselves as “potentially” having lots of money, and they don’t like the idea that someone (the government, oh no!) would take that potential money away from them. People like the idea that they could possibly be filthy rich… but do they really want that? I just don’t think so.
I would like to ask everyone to think for a second – would life really be bad if everyone was guaranteed $80,000 a year, no more and no less?
That sounds like a good life to me. I would be willing to do whatever needed to be done in order to have everyone live that comfortable life. If you aren’t willing to do that, why not? What is it about hoarding wealth that is so important to you? I truly, honestly, do not understand. The fact is that there is enough wealth being made in the United States to give everyone that salary, yet we cringe at the idea of making the redistribution. Why? Are humans really that selfish? I just can’t buy into the ideas of “it’s not fair” and “rich people worked hard for their money, they deserve it.” Are you really arguing that the CEO who spends most of his days on golf courses or in planes is working harder than a nurse, or janitor, or miner? Are you arguing that the investors who passively generate money just from investments are working harder than waiters, construction workers, and farmers? It’s just not true. Work is work; it’s all hard, and it all deserves to be rewarded the same.
So if you’re ok with making $80,000 a year, then please consider taxing the wealth that extends way beyond that amount. If you’re worried that all the businesses that employ people will leave because the investors aren’t making money anymore, please consider how we handle hostage situations, because that is what we are in. Shareholders are holding your wealth hostage, and you are letting them do it because you like to know the wealth exists, even if you can never have it. Don’t give in to the demands of hostage-takers. Imagine what our economy would look like if everyone had $80,000 a year. We wouldn’t need to rely on huge corporations with shareholders; we could support each other. Get the hostage back, and figure the rest out after.