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There are four main ingredients in any business success story. A good idea and management talent are only half the picture. The others are customers with money to spend and employable labor with the necessary skills to do the job. The latter two are not free. They have to be sustained, or you're just strip-mining society.
 
Why it is "fair" to tax the rich more... We're just taking back some of what we gave them!
The Epicurean Dealmaker (a rich guy) writes: "I remain completely unpersuaded that traders, bankers, and private equity investors who have made fortunes over the last ten years deserve to be unconstrained, unregulated, and untaxed because they did it all themselves. ... *The rich and the successful in any society enjoy their spoils and their comforts at the sufferance of those whose lives, sweat, and blood have helped them earn it.*"

He also quotes Mark Shields saying: "Each of us in this room has warmed ourself at fires we did not build, and each of us has drunk from wells we did not dig."
But, read the whole thing. It may be long by Internet standards, but that's what weekends are for.
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Jay Weixelbaum's profile photoSteve Yelvington's profile photoWilliam Rawson Smith's profile photo
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Excellent piece.
My favorite quote: "And don’t try to pull the “self-made man” shit on me, either, bubeleh. I’m one, too. It’s not any kind of excuse."
 
Excuse for what? Wealth? What gives any man a right to claim another's property?
 
Well, that's the heart of the problem, isn't it? The illusion of sole credit for one's status. Business success is a result of BOTH the actor's initiative AND the society at large. Without initiative there is nothing, so it should be properly rewarded. Without society there is nothing, so it should be properly supported. This does not, to me, seem to be an extremist position, but rather a realistic one.

Realistically, though, I think "pay your damned taxes and quit whining" doesn't have much zing to it.
 
Interesting post. But is dealmaker demolishing a strawman? No one is arguing for no tax anarchy. US tax is progressive with half of revenue paid by upper 10% not counting state and local taxes. Should it be more progessive? Maybe. But government should be accountable for performance, and one man cannot claim another's earnings. Such entitlement is a slippery slope to oblivion.
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