Seriously, there is a point at which money is meaningless.
The obscenity lies in the difference between the rich and the poor, not in the absolute amount.
Don't even kid about things like that. If a person is skilled enough to be able to use the system and make a large amount of money
How to run an economy:
Assume an island that has 10 people on it. They all start off with $10,000 each. One person has control of the water supply. Eventually he has all of everyone else’s money, which he places in a bank account in The Cayman Islands. He then flies off to some paradise and lives there. The island has no economy. The remaining 9 have no money, not even money to start a business.
What is your solution?
why should they be punished for it?
I don’t much like your use of the word “punished” I think it is emotive and inaccurate.
Why are taxes levied? Defence, police, DHS, roads, fire service, education, research, etc. Which one of these does not benefit even the rich?
Why is it also their responsibility to take care of everybody else?
Well, they don’t take care of “everyone else” do they? Their contributions go to public services from which they benefit too. Their taxes do help those who could not afford an education (or in UK, who cannot afford health care.) Or those who have no job.
Those who do not read history, repeat its mistakes. Think of a few Revolutions. Many started when the poor thought they had nothing to lose because they had nothing anyway. Who was the target of the rebellion? Answer: the rich.
What happens in a revolution? The country, the rich and its economy are screwed.
Q: Why was there a welfare state?
A: Because the rich saw horrible cases of poverty and wanted something done about it, something beyond private charity.
Just because they're good at the game doesn't mean that they should be helping others at the game.
Ah! So if your teacher is good at teaching, why should they help you? There doesn’t seem to be a benefit for them. What is the reasoning here?
Why do people put more responsibility on people who are smarter, or more savvy? That is not exactly fair, is it?
Actually, they don’t. The rich pay less than the poor.
Think of this: Let’s say that at an absolute minimum it costs $19,000 a year just to have housing, heating, food, utilities, etc.
After tax, I earn $20,000 a year. I live at the very basic level. I have $1000 a year to spend on luxuries or sudden emergencies.
After tax, I earn $200,000 a year. I live at the very basic level. I have $181,000 a year to spend on luxuries or sudden emergencies.
If taxes are reduced by $1000 p.a. my marginal income rises 100%, the rich man’s rises by ~0.5%
If taxes go up by $1000, I’m finished if I have to pay for an emergency
If taxes go up by $1000, the rich man has $180,000 to play with.
Are the rich really “punished”? Or are the poor punished?
There is an interesting article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44084236/ns/health-behavior/t/rich-are-different-not-good-way-studies-suggest/#.UBaIArTbDUU
It is well worth a read to see the problems of wealth.
One problem the article explains is why the boss earns $100 Million yet the workers earn $20,000. If he has 200 workers, doubling their wages would cost him $4 Million leaving him with $96 Million – is that bad? Paying $40 million tax would leave him with $60 Million every year. Is that bad? Is that punishment?
Yet these people want to pay less tax and employ accountants to make sure they pay very, very little. Can John Doe the factory worker avoid tax like that? No.
But we have seen that a tax break for John Doe means real money, it makes a real difference. So why is the tax system structured the way it is?
Well, who do you think structures it? John Doe and factory workers, or the rich? Who has set the rules and who benefits?
If the country’s balance of wealth is very uneven, those with money are those with power. Let’s say 5% of the population own 95% of the wealth. They run the country for themselves, not for everyone. The poor are basically disenfranchised.
Where wealth is reasonably evenly distributed we see ourselves as being in the same boat, and everything is fairer and everyone is happier.
You should look up Geni Index: http://inequality.org/unequal-americas-income-distribution/
Alternatively, they could just be lucky. In which case, why should people try to drag them down for being lucky and getting born into a rich family. We don't despise lottery winners, why despise these other "lottery winners."
I am disappointed that you do not see the difference between vast inherited wealth and a win on the Lottery – the two are really different in all respects.
As a final point, let me tell you about unemployment and why the rich benefit from it. In the US it is 8%. This means that there are zero jobs for 8% of the work-force. So how do they live? Where does their money come from that they can eat and have a roof over their head? Do they just starve like Africans? Remember – there simply are no jobs for them.
In the 1960’s I lived in an industrial town. Unemployment was absolutely minimal, <1%, basically it was the sick and disabled. This created a problem. If you wanted an extra worker, you had to offer better wages. The factory owners competed with each other. This was wage inflation.
However, by the mid-1970s, unemployment was 6% and wages came down, the bosses could get cheap labour because the supply was plentiful.
The US with its 8% pool of unemployed means that the bosses can pay the minimum wage. This maximises their profits, and the work force has no choice.
A Victorian philosopher and economist was constantly amazed by the audiences at London plays: the poor would cheer the rich hero and boo the poor villain. The poor had learned to love the people who owned them.
I hope this helps you understand why vast inequality is a bad thing, and thus why those with huge marginal incomes can afford, without pain, tax.