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Spreading The Wealth: Why Stop At The Border?

Arbitrary Lines of Demarcation Should Not Change The Politics of Redistribution

Joe the Plumber has made a name for himself by asking a sensible tax question and getting a presidential candidate’s nonsense in response. This diary entry is premised upon the unquestioned consensus that Barack Obama, and the host of Democrats, feel that the time has come to “spread the wealth” around with tax increases.

Indeed, “tax the rich,” is the Democratic catch phrase of our day. After all, they reason, why is it fair for “Joe Sixpack” (not sure if he’s related to the Joe the Plumber) to earn only $40K hardworking dollars each year while Mr. Fatcat rakes in two, sometimes three million a year? Sure, the rich already pay the lion’s share of state and federal income taxes, but shouldn’t these lucky individuals be required to do even more?

Consider this: in 2005 the average American earned $32,000.00. Pretty low compared to the million-plus annual salaries of some of the rich. In fact $32,000, is just 1/32nd of million dollar per year salary! With such a disparity, taxing the rich–not just more, but much, much more–seems in line with our modern concept of fairness. But consider something else: during the same time period, the average Ethiopian worker’s annual earnings was $160.00. Yes, that’s 200 times LESS than the salary of the average American worker! Under the same logic, why is it fair that middle class Americans should have so much more than impoverished Ethiopians? Not just much more, but 200 times more! No standard of logic can say that taxing one group for the benefit of another, poorer group is fair, but under another similar scenario it suddenly becomes unfair.International borders you say? Oh yes, Ethiopians are not Americans! They don’t even live here! But why does that fact put a hole in my argument’s logic? Are not borders invisible boundaries? Oftentimes borders are both arbitrary and illogical. Moreover, international borders are usually drawn by a small group of wealthy elitists, or at the point of a spear. Thus, it makes no sense that tax policy should change simply due to a fiction known as “borders.”

Ask yourselves, why should Ethiopians have less a right to the money of rich Americans than anyone else? And why shouldn’t an average American worker be defined as “rich” if he makes more than 200 times the salary of the Ethiopian? To say that middle class Americans are entitled to something that Ethiopians are not is discriminatory in the extreme.

Consequently, if Senator Obama and the Democrats are to be consistent, they should call for a tax on every middle class American to, you know, “spread the wealth around” a bit. Americans’ excess income can be distributed through channels to poorer countries in Africa, Asia, and elswhere in order to achieve the moral consistency that all progressives favor.

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