Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands. Cults everywhere: Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from. It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death
In actual terms there is very little poverty in the Western world. Perhaps 5-10% of the population might be 'poor' and there are many reasons, mainly cultural, attitudinal, environmental, and personal; for that poverty. In the main culture is King. You want to be poor, or 'milk' the system, then so be it. You will find yourself at the bottom of the societal ladder. There is no 'system of oppression' or 'anti-human machine' at work, to keep you impoverished. Outside of disability, bad accidents or mental health issues; most of what is termed poverty, is due to individual choice, bad decisions, a corrupted life-style, drugs, alcohol, and in many cases, a malevolent calculation that feeding off of tax-payers is more profitable, than finding a lower income job.
“Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor” (9/13/2011). Eighty percent of American poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Almost two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France and the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry because they could not afford food. The bottom line is that there is little or no material poverty in the U.S.” [Source]
Since the 1950s and the advent of robust international trade, vibrant job creation, new industrial and technological applications, and rising incomes at all levels, poverty has collapsed. The surest way out of poverty is to receive at least a solid education from high-school, marry and remain married, and eschew the culture of bad choices, habits and addictions. Hard work, and starting at the bottom are also necessary. Of course we should help those in need – but not entrench them in a cycle of dependency, nor incentivize people to defraud the system.
In the modern political-economy poverty is always redefined to suit the needs of government and the poor industry which feeds off of the lies around poverty. Like inflation, unemployment, gdp, or any other government measure, poverty is simply a tool to be used to justify whatever the state wants you to follow and believe in. In the case of poverty, the endless expansion of government, in the name of compassion, is the unholy objective.
The slobbering Marxists and cheerful mendacious Statists spend a lot of time and effort in demonizing those who work, earn wealth and drive the economy. Apparently the successful in life don't work hard, think clearer, implement better, or follow patterns of behaviour which rewards perseverance and risk. They are thieves, criminals, and the ineffably corrupt. In the real world the hated 'top 1 %' includes doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, small business owners, savvy investors, and people over 65 who worked, saved and lived an accountable life. Not many are bloody tyrants and suckers of baby bone marrow.
The vile top 1 % is also composed of people who start new firms, generate jobs, coach sports, give lavishly to charity, and fund through a truly regressive tax system, full 25% or more of all income tax paid which is sent for example, to alcoholics who are paid $1000 to keep drinking; or to the bankrupted socialized health or pension systems which are so pathetically unfunded that the trillions in future debt will never be discussed by the great and good. Why scare the mass ? The real answer to the Marxist question: “what 'fair share' should the '1 %' pay ?”, is obvious - 100 % of all their income must be taken. Plunder and then kill them. How can anyone be 'unequal' in the modern political-economy of mobocracy and the union-state nexus ?
A better question that should titillate the media and their elite friends is this: Why do public union workers earn 4 x more in their 'working' lives than those in the private sector? Are these public union workers paying their 'fair share' ? Are they so important ? So intelligent ? So productive ? So omniscient ? Or is it all just a gigantic scam to pillage one group of politically powerless people [the top 30% of income earners] and transfer lots of money to buy votes and compliance ?
Yet another state funded officially bureaucratic diatribe against people who support most of the population. OccupyStatsCanada: “Here’s what StatsCan said: “The top 1% of Canada’s 25.5 million tax filers accounted for 10.6% of the nation’s total income in 2010, down from a peak of 12.1% in 2006. In the early 1980s, the top 1% of tax filers held 7.0% of the total income reported by all tax filers. This proportion edged up to 8.0% in the early 1990s and reached 11.0% by the early 2000s.” As for the rest of Canadians, referred to as the “Bottom 99%” by StatsCan, the agency apparently has no meaningful data except to say that “the rest” of Canadians had median incomes of $28,000. What is the point in carving Canadians into two such groups, including a group called “the rest” or the “Bottom 99%”, unless you’re seriously preoccupied with class and income and a little social unrest.”
To enter the top 1 % you need to earn $200.000 before tax. This is indeed a good sum, but the cost of living in the modern urban economy after tax is quite high. The average 1 % earner will pay 45% of his income in various taxes leaving about $120.000 or some $10.000 per month. If you have 2 children, private college tuition, sports, 2 cars, and no pension plan, the $10.000 is easily spent and accounted for. The risks, the effort, the bad years of little income [a fact for many in the top 1 %]; and the income fluidity in most societies where you rise and fall from year to year; means that the demonization of high income earners is not only a statistical nonsense, it is a culturally destructive and immoral objection to success – which benefits all of society. You want more top earners, not fewer.
Voters are usually pretty good at voting themselves other people's money under the rubric of love, compassion and fairness. Hence the never-ending spread of socialism and statism where Orwellian rhetoric meets with other people's bank accounts. The only 'fair' thing about half the population taking from the other half; is that those who vote for higher taxes and more programs receive a fairly larger fraction of the largesse at the expense of someone else. All in the name of love [and commitment].
Such is the new definition of 'fairness'. Create an unfair tax system, in which the top 5% of income earners pay 40% or more of all taxes, and then militantly demand that they hand over more. This seems rather unfair, especially if you add in the charity, jobs created, payroll, dividend and other sundry taxes paid by the so-called 'rich', who might indeed not be that rich, but are classified as such [try living as a family of 4 on $250K a year in New York City].
Raising taxes is usually counterproductive. Better is to close all tax loopholes and write-offs, and reduce spending and government [one-third reduction would be a good start]. A flatter income tax, paid by all is more sensible than a graduated system. A flatter tax in which even the poor must pay into, is more equal and fair than the opposite system in which now 50% pay no income tax, yet consume much of the welfare and state services made available by the tax system.
The current system is not only financially unsustainable, it is immoral. A flatter income tax of 10-15 %, maybe composed of at most 2 levels, one for those earning under $500 K and a higher rate for those earning more, would actually increase government tax revenues, and be a lot simpler and less costly than the current system. The same structure would be true for corporate taxes. The only other taxes would be dividends, capital gains [10% rates]; and a sales tax [no more than 10%].
Raising taxes historically has lowered tax revenues and restricted economic growth. It is not hard to see why. If more of the Leftist-Marxist jet set would open up their 'tolerant' minds to listen to logic they would recognize the facts that punishing income earners is counterproductive. A simple example proves the point.
In the US there is John who is a millionaire. His taxes under the love and compassion act in early 2013, are going up.
-Top Federal Income Tax rate is 35 %
-John also pays: Medicare taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, state and local taxes, school board taxes etc.
-If John owns his own S Corp business he might have to pay the other side of the Medicare [socialized health care] tax
-John's total taxes paid, are most likely 45 % of his income, or even 50 %
-Assume the taxes paid are 45 % or $450.000
John's remaining income is $550.000 after government takes its 'fair share]. Yes it is a lot of money. Now comes the love and compassion ministry who decide that John's taxes are going up 5 % or a 'mere' $50.000. The statist rhetoric is that John never built his business or his income by himself, and 'owes' society, and that $50.000 is a paltry amount in order to 'give back' for the children's future and to the earth mother via governmental subsidy-programs in solar and wind power. John says okay, take the money. So now he is left with $500.000 from which to save, invest, give to charity, fund his progeny's education, and to live his lifestyle of his choice. John is still doing okay, he won't die or starve to death.
But the consequences of taking the $50.000 and giving it to government, which will extend benefits, procure more votes through more dependency programs, waste it on building monuments to itself, or fund globlaoney-warming scams in solar and wind 'power', goes beyond both John and the $50.000. John is probably a lot smarter than the bureaucrats – hence his life-style. John could have invested the $50.000 into a firm through an angel investment, creating a capital base for new jobs. John, could have expanded his own business by hiring people. Or maybe, he would have bought assets for his business from local suppliers, or donated the $50.000 to a local hospital desperately in need of money for new MRI machines. In any even it is moot. Government has the loot and will now dispense it, as government usually does, to those actors, groups, supporters and financiers it selects and whose support it covets. It might spend the money on helping the poor [less the 60% cost of the bureaucracy]; or it might just grant a contract to a local developer who generously supported the local winner in a local election.
$50.000 more in taxes for the 'rich' might not sound like much. But when you add it up across the economy and multiple it across the 1 % of the John population, it will restrict private capital investment which is the only way to create jobs, which is the only true way to help the poor [5-8% of the population]. Further, by restraining the endless appetite of government for money, you will limit the damage in deficits, debts, and corruption, enacted by government as a mere consequence of its own existence. Never in the history of government has corruption, fraud, and graft, along with massive wastage of money, never been an issue.
The other sad facts of raising taxes on the 'rich' is this: first the definition of 'rich' keeps changing to include those who are not rich, and second, pilfering the rich is counter-productive, meaning that they will take their money elsewhere and invest it in friendlier climes. There is the other obvious point as well regarding the inutility of class warfare aka intolerance of those who are productive. You can tax the top 5 % of earners in the US and only raise $80 billion for a few years. That would keep the US government afloat for 2 weeks......Maybe spending and government are the issues, not the 'rich'.