As often as liberals and statists accuse people of being rich, sometimes they’re right on the money. Sometimes people really are rich. The problem then becomes that liberals and statists automatically assume that the wealth is the result of a lucky moment or streak, and, because of that, the people have not really earned their fortune. They think that because they do not perceive the rich as having earned their fortune, then they are morally justified in taxing it away.
But let’s break this down.
I would love to make it as an author. Let’s say I do. Let’s say I write a wonderful series of four books. Each sells four million copies and retails for fifteen dollars.
-My books generate 60 million dollars in sales.
-My publisher grants me 12%, so I’m down to $7,200,000.
-My agent takes 15%, leaving me $6,120,000
-Taxes come out at roughly 35%, leaving me with $3,978,000.
I would be told that I’m rich and can afford to give more. I’m also told that I was lucky, and as such, do not deserve to keep very much. In fact, I should be happy to pay my “fair share” and take out even more. The problem is that before taxes even come out, I’ve given up the vast majority of the money my book has made. Out of $60 million, I have less than $4 million. That means I’ve made less than 6% of the total revenue from my work. The book was my idea, I spent the hundreds of hours writing them, and out of every dollar people spent on my intellectual property, I only get six cents?
At what point have I been fairly compensated for my efforts? I haven’t, but that’s the way the game goes. 6% of $60 million is still pretty good, but then these people tell me they deserve a higher share in the form of taxes. They want me to pay them on no other basis than my own success. I’m then told that if I don’t like it, I don’t have to be rich and successful.
To that extent, they’re right. I don’t have to put in the work to become rich and successful. When I don’t, how many people are out of a job? The agent, the editor, the publisher, the marketing team, the legal team, the distributor, the shipper, and the sales person all lose their job because I am not willing to release my big idea upon the world. Business is no different. They’re subject to the exact same formula. Their hard work and ideas generate millions, and they’re expected to be happy with a pittance that is constantly shrinking.
Right now, it would be worth it to me to create that masterpiece of a series. If the statists had their way, it wouldn’t be. My slice of the pie would be thin before any taxes are taken out, but they insist on granting me only a sliver of my own slice of pie, then are upset that I’m not chomping at the bit to accept that deal? I don’t get that.