Friday, October 7, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

There’s been a great deal of talk about class warfare lately. Apparently the President wants to raise taxes on millionaires a couple of points. Also, the top .4% of the country’s top earners will have their earnings taxed as income, rather than on the much lower rate of capital gains. This is now known as the Buffet Rule, after Warren Buffet wrote an Op-Ed piece complaining that his secretary paid about a 33% income tax rate while he only paid about 15%.

Now to the picture above. The French Revolution was carried out against an aristocracy unmoved by the plight of the poor people living under their rule. How large was this aristocracy? .5%. So the French Aristocracy was about the same size as our capitalist aristocracy over two hundred years later. If this were class warfare, we’d be rolling out the guillotines—not asking for a fair tax rate for the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Some say that this top .4% are job creators and that a higher tax rate will hamper the creation of jobs in this country. And they are 100% right. The wealthy are creating jobs. But where?

Two weeks ago The Swiss watch company, Vacheron Constantin opened their first store in the United States. Their shelves are stocked with 55 watches, a 50 million dollar inventory. Yes that’s right, the watches sell for $905,000. Just imagine how many jobs will be lost if billionaires have to cut back and are unable to purchase million dollar watches? How many employees will have to high tail it back to Switzerland?

Meanwhile, the wealthy still have to drive over the same crumbling roads and bridges that we do. They still have to wade through the homeless after going to fine restaurants.

Time is money and we're running out of time. The wealthy are not running out of money. Perhaps it is time for these most affluent of us to pitch in for more important things than a perfect timepiece.

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