published Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Finding your 'fair share'

You're a parent of a middle school-age child who has been disciplined and diligent in her efforts to complete an assignment. You've watched your child make sacrifices and invest energy into the tri-fold poster board of stencils, border and a tabletop display that accompanies her 5-page, double-spaced report.

You make arrangements to be a few minutes late to work to help set up the project at school. Maybe the volcano needs just a little more red Play-Doh at the top, the Grecian columns had to be repositioned, or your sweet student needs last-minute assistance with an outfit that puts her in character.

Whew! A smiling child and a proud parent deliver a project that just has to be a success.

Now, imagine that you're at the dinner table that night. You can't wait to hear the details of the presentation, the teacher's response and the comments from classmates. Along with your meal, you'll savor your precious one's success.

Instead, your child tells you that the project was noted as one of the best in the class, but that full credit will not be awarded her. With wide eyes and shrugging shoulders, your efficient student explains that, "because some of the other kids didn't have a poster or drawing, I had to give five points from my score to give to others."

Your middle-schooler adds that another five points was taken from her grade because a few presenters didn't type their reports, and another handful didn't quite make the 5-page requirement.

As a parent, you want to explain, but really can't. You watched your child's effort and focus. You saw the preparation and consistent pace at which she plugged away. Yet the scoring seems to penalize those characteristics.

Push the timeline forward with your child, now an adult. Instead of school, she's working in the business community. She pays her bills on time, saves some money each year, and faithfully volunteers in her church and her favorite charity.

While her salary is not one of excess, it exceeds most people's due to her commitment to studying and nailing down details all the way through college. She chose to work during summers rather than hanging out with friends, and she pursued work-study opportunities to expand her resume.

Your daughter now is told by politicians that she's not "paying her fair share," despite the fact that she isn't doing any creative accounting or tax avoidance.

Are you ready to explain how much of what one earns is a "fair share?"

There is no disagreement that we need good government and that the revenue is necessary to fund that government. However, a malignantly overreaching government that spends excessively outside its constitutional bounds should trim its budget severely before asking for more.

Our government now penalizes producers and those who play by the rules. This same government is infested with the political class that fans the flame of envy about one's earnings to hide the stealth mismanagement and redistribution of wealth.

Now, explain why the consent of the governed permits such.

This is not what made America great, but it surely will lead to her continued economic downfall.

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nucanuck said...

This editorial conveniently fails to mention that during this country's greatest period of prosperity, graduated tax rates were higher and more graduated than now. People still were incentivised to get rich and many did, but it took a little longer. The middle class was broad and successful. There was some poverty and misery, but not so much as now.

That all began to change thirty years ago when we began the grand experiment of lowering taxes, especially at the upper end of the spectrum. Rules and regulations were eased in ways that accelerated wealth expansion that was supposed to then filter down to others thereby making us all richer than before. Those at the top became rich beyond all expectations, but somehow the filtering down part never happened. Middle-class wages and buying power have been stagnant for thirty years and now our middle class is disappearing before our very eyes.

I read where Ray Dalio, a star hedge fund operator, made $3.9 billion dollars last year alone. He will probably do that well again this year. I say good for Ray, but I also say that the tax system that permits him to keep 85% of that money is doing a disservice to the country.

Revolutions happen when income disparity becomes excessive. We are well into excessive disparity right now. The chances of the national economic pie becoming larger, enough larger to allow the middle to regain the balance of the past seems slight. There may be a better way than tax policy to bolster the middle of our country, but that case has not been made.

It certainly appears that the tax policies prior to 1980 were far more successful in building a healthy economy than the tax policies since that have ignored funding what Congress appropriated and still lowered taxes, especially for the already fortunate few at the top.

The parable about the poor little rich kid at school didn't quite explain how the disparity at school became so uneven. Nothing like seeing only what you want to see.

April 25, 2012 at 12:57 a.m.
conservative said...

The writer......"Our government now penalizes producers and those who play by the rules. This same government is infested with the political class that fans the flame of envy about one's earnings to hide the stealth mismanagement and redistribution of wealth.

Now, explain why the consent of the governed permits such"

Why is such envy, greed and Socialism permitted? It is obvious to me that these are in the majority and that they vote. This same majority has contempt for our Constitution and has voted into power those who share the same mindset of contempt.

I saw examples of this just yesterday when some of the usual Socialists who comment here tried to hide their contempt for the Constitution by reducing the argument to just matters of interpretation.

April 25, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
dao1980 said...

The "usual Socialists" huh? Sounds like someone never learned to think for themselves.

Hiding contempt? Strong words for one so intent on dodging reality.

How about this: I interpret your expressing specific sentiment about one thread on another as proof of the inability to conceive of ideas other than your own. (Of course, I may be wrong, since this is just a deduction based upon my interpretation of your actions)

By the way, did the sky-wizard tell you what to think today? Well, you're not going to believe what he... er... it??.. told me ;)

April 25, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
conservative said...

WOW! I seemed to have hit a nerve, a truth nerve that is.

Why do Lieberals always respond with personal attacks and childish gibberish?

April 25, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
dao1980 said...

What the heck is a Lieberal? Are my truth nerves segregated from my fib nerves? That sounds so interesting! Ha, ok, seriously though.

You ran, you made the snide remark about our conversation elsewhere. Who's childish?

The "I must have hit a nerve" bit is pretty weak, and I doubt you could... or, would choose to understand my political and socioeconomic thoughts and feelings.

To label someone as subscribing to political ideals in opposition of your own, without their admission of said ideals, is indicative of someone who watches too much political opinion on tv.

Some of the most childish gibberish I have read on this site comes from you, spouting non topical bible verses and passing silly judgement and damnation upon those who explore the universe with a genuine desire for discovery.

Though, I must admit that is why I've been a little antagonistic. I'll cease and desist as much as I can, I know it's also pretty childish of me to poke at the dumb kid, even when the "dumb" of the kid is not natural but by personal choice.

April 25, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
conservative said...

Same old stuff. Iv'e heard it all many times before. Lieberals can't refute truth ( no one can ), so they use personal attacks or change the subject or just lie in their anger.

You didn't refute one thing the writer or myself wrote.

April 25, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
dao1980 said...

Is that a complete copy and paste/duplicate response, from our other.. uuh.. location for this conversation?

How disappointing...

April 25, 2012 at 11:34 a.m.
conservative said...

The writer....." you ready to explain how much of what one earns is a "fair share?""

I have yet to see any of the usual Lieberals who comment on this site "explain" to us what a "fair share" should be. They just parrot what some MSM Lieberal or Demoncrat says on the subject of taxes totally unaware of how they are they are being used or silly they sound.

We all pay the same sales tax rate and they don't rail about that.

April 25, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Nuck said, "...especially for the already fortunate few at the top"

That sums up the liberal view. The ones at the top were fortunate. If that's true, those without success or even those with less success, were simply less fortunate. Succeeding in school, making sound choices had nothing to do with it.

April 25, 2012 at 2:33 p.m.
nucanuck said...


I think of myself as a fiscal conservative. Conservative should mean a realistic way to pay for what we spend. We may not like what is being spent, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't have to pay for our expendatures. Thirty years of spending without paying in enough is not conservative and yet that has been the policy of both parties. The GOP pushed the tax cuts without reducing spending and the Dems went along gladly.

As to the fortunate few at the top, any statistic you care to examine will show that their percentage of the pie has soared while the rest of the country has lost ground. Those few did not get smarter or work harder, they were the beneficiaries of favorable tax policies that allowed them to accumulate even greater wealth than before. I don't care who or how many are rich if the system is working well for all. Anyone who thinks the US system is in balance now has to be wearing blinders.

You may be one of those irresponsible fiscal liberals and not know it.

April 25, 2012 at 3:19 p.m.
conservative said...

I had not read nucanuck's comment but LaughingBoy's comment piqued my interest. Much to argue with, so I will start with his "The parable about the poor little rich kid at school didn't quite explain how the disparity at school became so uneven. Nothing like seeing only what you want to see."

My suspicious nature concerning Lieberals tells me that nucanuck felt many would not read the article, just the comments on the article.

He first stated that it was a parable about a "poor little rich kid." Notice the contempt by the use of the word "poor." Then notice that he calls the kid "rich." However, the writer gives no indication as to the wealth of "the poor little rich kid at school" as he chose to word it.

Nucanuck then worsens his tale by complaining that the writer "didn't quite explain how the disparity at school became so uneven." Oh really? The writer did explain quite well "how the disparity at school became so uneven."

The writer began by stating that the girl had been "disciplined and diligent" in her efforts to complete the "assignment." He also stated that she was energetic in completing the assignment which required a poster board, tabletop display and a 5-page double spaced report.

The writer then told how the girl's project was the best in the class but that 5 points was taken from her grade and given to another who had not make the required poster. Then another 5 points was taken from her and given to another who didn't type the required report. There was a distribution of points from the "disciplined and diligent" child to children who were lazy and disobedient in their assignment.

So nucanuck complains that the writer "didn't quite explain how the disparity at school became so uneven", and then incredibly states "nothing like seeing only what you want to see."

April 25, 2012 at 4:07 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Conservative, I'm not sure what everybody's fair share number is either, but nucanuk's is obviously in excess of 585,000,000,000.00 (that's 585 million dollars)

That is what the one person in his first post paid in income tax at 15%.

April 25, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

What a spurious, fatuous analogy. (Can we please get Lee Anderson back?) A student in school is measured against a fixed scale of achievement: letter grades or a 4.0 or 100 point scale. Teachers are there to evaluate, but also to help students achieve, to prepare them for success, and to prevent them from failing, by encouraging them to do their best and improve. One student getting a 100 does not deprive another student in any way, shape, or form, and the editorial's premise is ludicrous and sentimental. No resemblance to a capitalist economic model.

Workers in a capitalist system are pitted against each other today in a zero-sum struggle, growing ever more bitter and lopsided in our present circumstances. If I have a dollar, it's a dollar you don't and can't have. The harshness we experience today wasn't present in our parents' and grandparents' time, when factory owners held 100 or 1,000 times the wealth of their employees; now that factor is many times higher and geometrically increasing. The extreme, Roman-emperor-style wealth accumulated by Wall Street brokers, investment bankers, rappers, pro athletes, and even the poster-child entrepreneurs--often for occupations that enrich the society at large in no meaningful way--directly detracts from the ability of the average middle-class worker to survive and thrive in America.

Billionaires who think they're so rich because they worked harder than everyone else or are smarter than everyone else are significantly deluded. No one who's made a billion dollars in the American economy can claim to have done it without huge benefits from the American economic and governmental systems. And yes, there are plenty of people out there who work just as hard and are just as smart as these billionaires, and often have an eye toward the benefit of others less fortunate. There's a huge element of luck in becoming insanely wealth, either through accident of birth or being in the right place at a certain time.

Progressive taxation is just common sense for all Americans and for the very ideal of American opportunity and fairness for each individual in each generation. The existence and prospering of our middle-class enables American democracy to survive; the promise and potential and reality of ultra-wealthy billionaires provide no motivation or stimulus. Please, no tired arguments about providing capital or "creating" jobs--most of these ultra-wealthy are sitting on their money like it's a velvet cushion, except for the sums they're secretly donating to their lapdog politicians. When the middle class disappears because of preferential treatment for the uber-privileged ultra-wealthy, America's hard-headed obsession with capitalist Darwinism will be seen for the suicidal dogma that it is.

April 25, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Wow, all I had to see from the previous post was the name eat-the-rich spelled backwards (why, can't you admit it?) and the statement, paraphrased... for every dollar you have, that's one I can't have. Again, wow! How telling.

April 25, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.
conservative said...

chatt man...

Very perspicacious of you chatt man! When I saw that name, my first thought was "what in the world?" When I scaned the article my second thought was xraMlraK.

April 25, 2012 at 6:55 p.m.

Dont worry eattherich backwards, the fed is printing enough money that there will be more than enough for everyone. The problem is it won't be worth the paper it is printed on.

It's sad when envy and or jealousy dictate policy. A graduated tax policy is just a loser's way of trying to put those uppity, hard-working, type-A personality freaks in their place. Why actually DO anything, when you can sit around and THINK about what YOU think needs to be done. Showing how benevolent you are by taking from someone who worked hard, got lucky, or used their talents to earn a good living instead of actually earning your own money and giving it to those you think deserve it. You are no better than a thief who thinks he deserves what belongs to someone else and just takes it for himself. It isn't a right for the thief to take from someone else just because he wants it and it isn't right to take from someone else because you think someone else needs it.

Socialism has never worked. Your graduated tax schemes are not at all fair. It is the right of every adult American to make decisions for how his own treasure is used. If he wants to take some of it and donate it for the good of the poor, he should be allowed to make that decision on his own. He should also have every right to keep every single fraction of a penny he can eke out when he is alive and leave it to his dog after he dies. That dog might need security to keep certain white-black presidents from eating it.

We don't want your socialist tax schemes in America. We don't need your stupid socialist ideas that have never worked in any country in the world here in the USA. Take a look at Greece. They rose under democracy and then fell when democracy allowed them to destroy their economy. (this is why, despite what the white-black president says, we are not a democracy) Now socialism has destroyed their economy and they are reverting to a direct barter system. Their entitlements have finally drained every euro from their economy and then some. Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and every other country in the EU are going to follow suit in short order. The stupidity of socialism is unsustainable just as our entitlements are unsustainable. That should tell everyone something. We ARE the most prosperous country ever in the history of the world. That wasn't an accident. The bedrock of the constitution, the bill of rights, and representative democracy on top of the values we have been slowly losing for the last 7-8 decades are what made this country great. The politics of envy have never worked.

April 26, 2012 at 10:09 a.m.
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