Mark Cuban, the annoyingly lovable and obnoxiously entertaining owner of the Dallas Mavericks joined in the chorus singing “I’m rich, but I should be taxed more,” being led by Warren Buffet and Sir Stuart Rose.
The basic narrative driving these calls is a personal insecurity stemming from being “rich.” In a culture which demonizes success with a fiery cynical eye, it has become standard to believe that wealth must be accumulated on the backs of the poor (sometimes it is in the case of the Goldman’s and Morgan’s of the world) leaving the rich miser to run away twirling a thin mustache while holding green bags with a dollar sign on them. This notion is instilled in us at a very early age and is very easy to grasp onto…after-all what person with a heart does not want to assist the plight of the impoverished. So, therefore, tax the rich…they can afford it and the poor are in dire need of the help….right? Wrong. When wealth is naturally created and accumulated, as in not via channels of credit and money from the Gov’t (hello large banks again), the poor benefit as much as anyone. The savings and investment of those who have accumulated value are the blood pumping organs that raise the standard of living in society. Ask questions once in a while such as:
- Why is it that 25 years ago only the richest dudes in limousines had cell phones and now it is prevalent among even the lowest classes of society to own one (just maybe an older generation phone). A device that is carried around allowing you to communicate with anyone, anywhere…pretty cool.
- Why is that 100 years ago, the poorest among us had makeshift clothing, shelters, at times even bathrooms? Or better yet, hundreds of years ago, kings had to have a slew of people performing tasks that now are performed by devices and products.
- There are a hundred more such questions that speak to the heart of economics, which never has been, nor ever will be a zero sum game (which Cuban rightly states in his post, though in a confounding context). Economic examination founded in the analysis of capital and investment is capable of explaining advancement in health, comfort, leisure, and also its decay.
Allowing these rich misers, the majority of which are comprised of innovative, bright, hard-working individuals, the freedom to apply their talents and sweat to transact and save their earnings is the fuel behind not only economic recovery, but economic progress. If you disagree, then I suggest you check your emotions at the door and review some world history.
In his blog post, Cuban writes, “We live in a time where the government plays a big role in an effort to help lead us out of this Great Recession. That’s reality.” So, apparently we have no choice but to succumb to and accept that reality and continue to feed the most inefficient beast on the planet (the US Gov’t) to continue to burn through any value that has been created. Cuban then goes further to say it’s the most “patriotic” thing that we can do; to make lots of money and pay lots of taxes after admitting that “I’m not saying that the government’s use of tax money is the most efficient use of our hard-earned capital. It obviously is not.” So, by playing both sides here, Cuban’s argument essentially amounts to “well, the Gov’t is inefficient, but it’s the way it is, so fall in line and be patriotic.” This is coming from the man who fights tooth and nail for the NBA (his employer) to be run more efficiently and to allow for less oversight of owners and as such is considered a rebel team owner. Apparently, that fighting spirit should not apply to individuals being governed…just do your duty, pay lots of taxes, and don’t ask questions.
Epilogue: Cuban, is yet another billionaire who has already accumulated his wealth calling for higher taxes. We, here at Econolol, do not know what if feels like to have accumulated billions, but apparently it’s easy to demand higher taxes on those trying to achieve the same.