With America’s economy being one of the biggest subjects for discussion lately, tax breaks, revenue changes, and politics have been talked about everywhere by almost everyone from all walks of life. This has led to the question of whether taxes should be increased or decreased, and if so, for whom.
Now, before even going into this subject, we should probably mention that this entire issue is really more of a distraction from the real issue, federal spending. The fact of the matter is, our government in America is blowing money left and right on all manner of things it can’t and shouldn’t spend money on. Now, rather than actually fixing the problem, they decide to stir up the issue of which citizens should be forced to pay for our foolish government’s wasteful spending habits. It’s the wrong question to ask. The real question should be who to vote out of office so we can get back on track and stop spending and increasing our national debt in the first place.
Another note to be aware of is the fact that the rich currently already shoulder the vast majority of America’s tax burden. That said, they pay much less than the poor on average as an actual percentage of their real, annual income.
That said, a ton of Americans have an opinion on who should get what tax breaks. Rather than talking about people’s opinions here, let’s just get to the science.
The Economist did a study recently to find out how lower-middle and lower class Americans think about money and the economy, in order to better understand how and why the vote the way they do. What they found out is interesting and a little sad.
As the Economist study discovered, the bottom line is that people (A.) want someone else to always be poorer than themselves and (B.) have never-ending aspirations of being rich someday.
However, the driving factor in their actual voting decisions tended to be the former issue—that of wanting someone else to remain poorer than them. This is incredibly selfish and downright wrong, but shows just how people think. It is, unfortunately, human nature.
The authors of the study ran a series of tests in which they gave students sums of money, with each sum being separated by only one dollar. Then, they gave the students another $2 and told them they could give it to either the person immediately above them in wealth, or the person immediately below them. The catch was, if they gave that $2 to the person below them in wealth, that person would leapfrog them and the giver would then become poorer than the person they just gave money to. Ah ha! Now we see how people really think.
The study proved that people had such a fierce aversion to being in last place, that they almost always gave the money to the person richer than them, just to keep the other person poorer!
The fact that this is human nature doesn’t make it any more acceptable. We need to learn as humans, as a society, and as a nation to be more generous and more considerate of those around us. Not to give handouts to the lazy, but to help out those in need, and most importantly, to give everyone the opportunity, the chance, to succeed in America.
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