Progressive income taxes are unfair, unreasonable

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According to the National Taxpayers Union, the top 25 percent of American earners pay 86 percent of income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent of American earners pay no relative income tax.

This system, called progressive taxation, taxes the wealthy more than the lower and middle classes because of the belief that the wealthy don’t deserve sovereign power over their income and that the government knows best how to spend money in a way that achieves social good. I believe that this system is wrong and that anyone who fairly earns any amount of money deserves every penny of it.

To make money, an individual has to offer a good or service to society. The value of that good or service is determined by the market, which can be described as everyone who has ever made a purchasing decision. In other words, people make money by offering the fruits of their labor to the public, which then determines the value of each person’s good or service. In order for someone to become a billionaire, they must offer something that society deems worthy of a billion dollars. Bill Gates, for example, became the richest man in the world because he created Microsoft, which offered goods that society determined to be of high value.

So, in buying what Microsoft makes, each and every one of us has helped Bill Gates become one of the richest men in the world. Gates didn’t earn his money unfairly; he merely increased global utility by an astronomical amount, and society ‘rewarded’ him with an astronomical amount of money. Because society makes the wealthy, I believe that the wealthy have no additional enforceable monetary obligation to society. In a sense, this obligation has already been paid because the wealthy person in question gave society a valuable good or service.

Many say that those who became rich were only able to do so because the United States has a stable society with effective markets, which is the result of each member of society following laws and contributing to constructive societal practices. People who disagree with me argue that the wealthy would have made nothing without this social structure, and therefore should be forced to give back. I, however, believe that the wealthy pay this debt just like anyone else by contributing to our safe, constructive society. It is equally advantageous for every member of society regardless of income to interact positively with others. It works as much in your favor as in Gates’ to follow laws and contribute to a non-anarchistic society.

This is akin to guaranteeing the pursuit of happiness. Regardless of whether or not happiness is attained, everyone is guaranteed an equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome. All men are created equal, but they don’t all end up that way. Belief in this argument necessitates the logical conclusion that everyone who earns money does it fairly and deserves sovereign power over all of it. This leads to belief in a flat income tax rate. I believe that a flat income tax rate is the only way to respect and acknowledge the contributions that people make to society through commerce. Yet many would argue that a flat tax rate allows the wealthy to be selfish, to take their money and use it only for their benefit. I believe that man is inherently good, and that this is not the eventuality of a flat income tax rate. I urge everyone to consider guaranteeing equality of opportunity instead of equality of results by voting to equalize the income tax rate.

After all, the existence of great wealth leaves us all something aspire to, which makes the world a little more interesting.