Taxing the Rich: Democracy or Tyranny?

The idea that the rich should be taxed more heavily than the poor is common both in practice and in theory.

For example, under the great conservatives Ronald Reagan, the income of the highest-earning Americans was taxed progressively (28%), while the poorest paid no incomes taxes. His policies were precisely in line with one of the doctrines of the Communist Party, i.e. "2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax" (Marx and Engels. "The Communist Manifesto." Penguin Classics. 1985 ed. p. 104). Furthermore, according to reliable polls (e.g., Gallup:, taxing the rich more heavily than the poor is supported by the majority of the American people and is thus consistent with democracy.

If wealth were distributed commensurate to people's work ethics or intelligence we would expect a society in which wealth was distributed as a bell curve. However, "even after incurring large losses in 2008, the wealthiest 0.01 percent of households held 5 percent of total income" ( and the richest "95% of children born to parents in the bottom 6% of wealthholders [sic] will end up as poor [lowest 18%] adults. Children who start out life born to parents in the bottom 6% of wealthholders [sic] have only one-half of 1% chance of ending up even in the upper half of wealthholders [sic]" (McNamee. "The Meritocracy Myth." Rowman and Littlefield. 2004. p. 56).

So, if one is honest about it, one might say:

"The system of progressive taxation of the rich to fund social programs was carried out by Ronald Reagan. His policies were in line both with the visions of the intellectual fathers of the Communist Party and with the vast majority of the American people. However, I reject the democratic socialist policies of the foremost conservative president in American history and instead prefer that my government was more authoritarian and less responsive to the will of its citizens, because in my view, soldiers, health care workers, the elderly, the poor, women with infants, schoolchildren, college students, people who drive and receive mail, and others who benefit from social programs paid for by progressive taxation are stealing money from the richest people in our society, whose financial system was given trillions of dollars in slush funds (Stiglitz. "Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy." 2010. WW Norton. p. 110), who are bankrupting the country, and who threw tens of millions of Americans as well as hundreds of millions of people worldwide into poverty. I do not even believe in the more radical idea of a flat tax, far too radical for Reagan, for the rich would still be taxed more than the poor, but rather believe that everybody should pay the same, for example, $100 a month, from the invalid to Bill Gates, who "has as much wealth as the bottom 40% of American households" (Thurow. Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies, and Nations in a Knowledge-Based Economy." Harper. 2000. p. 130), who was born into a rich family, and whose company would not exist if the computer was not invented through massive government intervention in the economy. In my mind, such a system would be called fairness."

In reality, such a system is called anarchy, and it is a boy's dream.

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