Bread and Circuses
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jewed Faggot States of ApemuriKa
How the Government is Keeping Poor People Poor
You know, at first, you might think that the poor people in this country have it a lot better than the poor people in most countries in Europe a few centuries ago. Back then, all land that didnít belong to the Church belonged to the king. He could give it away to reward his dukes, earls and other members of the nobility. That was the catch. If you werenít part of the nobility, you had little chance of owning your own little plot of land.
In fact, most poor people were serfs. They might have a small piece of land they could grow food on for their own, but they usually had to give part of it to the landholder. They also had to help the landlord work his own fields, and some had to perform other chores.
There wasnít much hope that their children would have a better life, either. If the parent was a serf, the children were born serfs. If the landowner sold the land that the serfs worked, they went with the land and had to work for the new owner. Occasionally, a serf could manage to buy his own freedom or escape to a town and hide out there. Some serfs received permission to leave the land, such as a woman who wanted to marry a serf on another estate. Most of the time, though, serfs lived their entire lives working the land on which they were born.
As if they didnít have it bad enough, serfs still had to pay taxes on everything they earned, grew, raised or sold. There was no such thing as a tax deduction in those days. Most poor people couldnít pay their taxes in cash, so they had to pay with goods. If that meant taking the food they had stored to live on over the winter or the seeds that they needed to plant a new crop in the spring, it didnít matter to the tax collector. Heíd take it all.
Do We Really Have it Better Than the Serfs?
You say that weíve got it so much better now. We can climb the social ladder and move from poor to middle class or even become wealthy. We are free to move wherever we like without anyoneís permission. We donít have to work for anyone we donít want to work for.
All thatís true. However, what youíre missing is that the government has taken the place of the landholder. Just as the landholders worked to keep serfs chained to the land, the government works to keep poor people poor and helps the rich get richer.
The Rich Millionaire and the Poor Worker
Donít believe me? Think about two people, one a rich millionaire and the other a poor worker. When it comes time to pay the bills, the millionaire, who has just finished a steak dinner accompanied by a glass of fine wine, rises from the table and goes into his private study. He takes out a checkbook and writes checks to cover all his bills. Thatís if he doesnít hire an accountant to handle the task for him. He doesnít have to worry about whether he has enough to cover his electric bill. He knows that many of his expenses, like his health insurance premiums or mortgage payments, are tax deductible.
The poor person has to handle things a little differently. He canít afford to hire anyone to write his checks for him. He probably rents his home, and if he doesnít pay his rent, heíll be homeless.
He sometimes has to decide whether to pay his electric bill or buy groceries. There are very few tax deductions available to him, because he doesnít earn enough to qualify for a mortgage, he canít afford health insurance and he certainly doesnít have the extra cash to make any significant donations to charity.
The Tax Code is Growing by Leaps and Bounds
Even if there are some deductions the poor person might be able to claim, heís likely to miss some or all of them. He canít afford to hire an accountant to prepare his tax returns like the millionaire can. You can bet that the millionaireís accountant isnít about to miss a single deduction. The poor guy, meantime, has to try to do his own tax return. Have you ever seen the federal tax code? Back in 1913, it was 400 pages long. As of 2013, it had grown to 73,954 pages. How is any regular person supposed to muddle through that? The tax laws are one way that the government is keeping poor people poor.
If you listen to speeches from either political party, both sides claim to have a solution. The Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich and redistribute that money to the poor through programs like food stamps. The Republicans claim that tax reductions, will create more jobs, enabling poor people to help themselves. Both sides are missing some important points, and without addressing them, neither solution will work.
How About Simplifying Things so People Can Get Ahead?
First of all, why should taxpayers need to pay hefty fees to tax services (or tax professionals) just to maximize their tax refunds or minimize their tax payments? Why canít the government just simplify the tax code so that the average person can understand everything thatís in it? Why keep a tax code in place that, intentionally or accidentally, penalizes the poor?
As for the argument that more jobs raise poor peopleís earnings, itís true that unemployed people are in dire situations. However, the jobs that are created are not the type that lead to wealth. Many of these jobs pay little or nothing above the minimum wage. They create a class of working poor, people who work full-time jobs but donít earn enough to support themselves and their families.
Should the Poor People Really Stay Employed?
Our American history shows that almost all of the rich people worked for themselves. They founded companies, factories, mills and railroads. Even today, most of the nationís richest people are either self-employed or manage companies that they founded.
However, itís becoming more and more difficult to go into business for yourself. Weíre being regulated into serfdom. The official regulation directory had 2,620 pages in 1936. As of 2012, it had 78,961 pages. Poor people who want to go into business canít afford to hire a consultant to wade through all the regulations and tell them the steps they have to follow. Violate a regulation, such as local or any number of federal rules, and the enterprise could be out of business before it really gets going. Like the tax code, the government needs to simplify the business regulations.
The Poor Are Being Lied to About Education
One other point that neither side seems to want to discuss is education reform. Most kids arenít prepared to go to work after they finish high school. A college degree is being pushed as the ticket to a better life. For some poor kids, that just means four more years of educational expenses without income. For some rich kids, it can mean four years of fun on their parentsí money.
The simple truth is that not every person, rich or poor, is suited for, or needs, a college education to do what they want to do in life. Some just donít like the idea of more education. Others have dreams of a job for which there is no college degree. The government needs to accept these facts and focus on programs that provide students with the ability to earn a living with or without requiring a four-year degree. Community colleges and trade schools can help in a number of ways, such as teaming with local businesses to offer internships.
Sure, I know what youíre thinking. Americaís still the land of opportunity, isnít it? Yes, opportunities are still out there. However, until the government realizes that quite a bit of its red tape, rules, regulations, and laws are not in the best interests of the people, it will continue to keep poor people poor.
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