A good friend and I were having a discussion of how people are feeling polarized He was speaking of a simple image of someone NOT placing their hand over their heart during the National Anthem, and how it brought out so many hate filled comments (from both sides), and people made so many assumptions (again from both sides) as to the purpose of posting the photo.
This got us going onto several other subjects, one of which was the "OccupY' movement. And he said something that kind of stuck in my mind. Dan said that high taxes were simply the "cost of doing business in America." He did not agree with the popular concept of take from the rich and giving it to the poor, a redistribution of wealth. But he said that business should realize that paying taxes was just something businesses should expect in order to be IN business in the greatest country on earth.
What struck me was this; on one hand, I agree with my friend that businesses should realize that there is a cost to operated their businesses in the United States of America. On the other hand, I think that businesses should decide how to deal with that cost.
What I mean is this, Bill and Melinda Gates have a foundation. I don't always agree with how they pony out the money from this organization. But Bill understands the TRUE cost of doing business in the United States of America. In order to have the privilege to operate their businesses in the US of A, they need to give back. But taxes are not the way. Bill and Melinda realize that in order for people to fully take advantage of America, they should help people who have not had it as good as they.
But the reason government has to tax the crap out of businesses, is that companies do not do the right things by the communities they serve. They should be like Bill Gates. They should be more altruistic. They made it, they should help others make it, too. But big business does not do this. And why should they, when they are vilified by their President and Congress? Why should they when they have to put up with unions and the entitlement crowd - which seems to be growing everyday?
I would never begrudge a company who does well and has large profits. It is their money, after all. They earned it . . . not me and not you. But they need to realize that the cost of doing business in a free society, where they don't have to worry about the government seizing the business, is not taxes. It is altruism. It is the notion of "pay it forward."
I don't think they are necessarily greedy. But they have not been schooled in the proper ways of business in America. In the centuries past, long before the Milkens of the 80's and the Me generation of capitalists of the 90's, businessmen (and women) knew the need to be OF the community as well as IN the community. Walmart has some sense of this, as do several others. But not enough. Give back to the community. Work with the people of your community, in good times AND bad.
And pay your taxes without trying to find ALL the little loopholes. AND I am talking about those like Warren Buffet who snarkily comment that their secretaries are paying more taxes then they do. I mean, really Warren, if you KNOW this then FIX this. But don't agree with the Obamas of the world who want to redistribute wealth that others did not earn. If YOU want to pay MORE taxes, there is nothing stopping you.
Being a good neighbor is the cost of doing business in the United States. It should never be taxing businesses more. (How can they hire if they have to pay even more?) And it should never be about redistributing money they earned to those who do nothing.
Obama is wrong. Buffet is wrong. The Occupy movement is wrong.
And the sooner they all get this, the sooner America can get back on track. To hell with Italy and Greece and Europe and all the countries out there who embrace socialism and fascism and all the other -isms that are NOT America.
Agree, disagree, but check it out, think about it and learn. Don't let the small minded, do nothing but expect everything crowd tell you how it is. Either way, it doesn't matter to me. So long as I get you thinking on your own. Because, heck, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.
(And don't forget to check out the new eBook on Smashwords.)