I find it interesting that most of the folks on this site seem so short sighted. I think all would agree that this is to be the "thinking person's" site. That there would be a strong desire to look at issues from as many sides as possible, yet the comments seem so one sided to a liberal/progressive slant. It seems that you envision all "rich guys" as Thurston Howell III. He was, at most, a two dimensional, fictional character.
I know some "rich guys" and they aren't all like Mitt Romney. Some are True ChristiansTM
and a few are atheists or just don't give a damn about religion. However, they all give a great damn about their money, regardless of whether they earned it, inherited it or stole it.
Currently, anyone who doesn't think like Newt Gingrich/Rick Santorum/Grover Norquist is an idiotic liberal-socialist pinko commie, while in reality their line of thinking is so far to the right that their positions are unrecognizable by many who have been life-long conservatives. About the only liberal thing Obama has done is achieve the end of DADT, pushed through Romneycare and spoke out in favor of gays and gay marriage. Beyond that, he has remained in Afghanistan (even adding troops), continued the gulags of Gitmo, commissioned more drones, shot Somali pirates, killed Osama bin Laden, not raised any income taxes, issued more oil drilling permits and enforced zero growth in government spending ... sheeesh ... is this not conservative enough for everyone? I really don't know how to make him more conservative except to bleach him white, make him eat hot dogs and apple pie and change his name to Jim Smith.
When the government says that you were going to have to give over half of all you are acquiring to to the government so that they can keep a lot, mis-spend it, then give some to other bureaucrats, who keep a bunch, and then give what's left to the poverty pimps, who keep their cut, and finally give a pittance to some poor schlep who did not have the drive or ambition to go out and get it for themselves in a country where people from other countries, who can not even speak the language, become well off in 5 to 10 years, would that not be a crime? Yes, it is called theft.
So, you are essentially saying that unless you are poor, the only way to be "rich" is to blow it all on cars, homes, hookers and cocaine? You are equating a tax to your government as giving money to a ruthless, immoral pimp.
Our taxes go to pay for a plethora of benefits: roads, bridges, schools, parks, police, fireman, EMTs, public hospitals (as well as some privately chartered ones), aid to the indigent (parents, children, grandparents) for food, clothing, education and healthcare, aid for chronic, catastrophic illnesses such as kidney failure, organ transplants and mental illnesses, establishment and monitoring of water supplies, air quality, transportation safety, food safety, regulation of airwaves for the public benefit ... etc, etc, etc. <-- None of these items would be provided by "rich guys" unless it benefitted them personally. The taxation system attempts to ensure that all will benefit in some way instead of just a few benefitting by the millions or billions of wealth that they could otherwise accrue.
I have seen government programs and assistance do good work, especially to ensure that we don't return to a feudalistic society in which the little people are enslaved by the rich to do their beck and call. Of course, perhaps you like 17-18th century England and France. Neither the British nor the French wish to return to that type of society.
Just because the Guvmint does it, that just makes it worse. They do it at the point of a gun.
And you believe the Koch Brothers just drive around America handing out $1000 to each person they see because they just naturally charitable like that? At the end of which gun barrel shall work be done? The government in which we all participate, or The Waltons? The Kochs? Carlos Slim?
When wealth and power amass together, the most definitely do so at the point of a gun.
If they want, on a caprice, they can take it all. The USA is unique in all of man's history, which is less than 4500 years that you can prove.
Um, you don't wish to recognize other democracies in the world because you think they are what? Communists? Socialists? Not societies in which people vote and agree on how to conduct internal affairs? Most of Europe would be quite angry that you haven't recognized their ability to engage in civil, democratic, forward-thinking societies that share in the wealth and protect their citizens from personal or natural catastrophes.
Also, don't relish the uniqueness of the history of the United States. We started off as a country that nearly dedicated itself to the eradication of native Americans, recognized the enslavement and/or ownership and servitude of others, and didn't give every adult the right to vote, among other things.
Real freedom to pursue happiness (complete personal fulfillment) is possible to pursue here, and it starts with securing your own personal property.
Define "real freedom". What is that, exactly? Until you define it, we can't have a meaningful discussion on that issue.
This may seem idealistic, but tell that to those who died or were maimed in foreign wars to secure your freedoms and constitutional rights.
Does anyone know who the Kulaks were?
I can lookup and read anything on Wikipedia. What's your point?