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Do the wealthy have an obligation (either legal or moral) to the poor?

  1. Billy Hicks profile image89
    Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago

    There has been a lot of discussion about class warfare, and the wealthy not paying "their fair share",so my question for you, my esteemed fellow Hubbers is this:

    Assuming that they are complying with all current laws and regulations, and paying what they are required to pay, by law: do the wealthy have any further obligation to the less fortunate?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Legally, of course not.  Morally, yes.

      I'm not saying the wealthy should give all their money away.  But if you've got enough money to keep you in comfort and style for the rest of your days, you should put the surplus to good use by helping others.  To do anything else is selfish and immoral.

    2. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Consider where they get their wealth from.
      Generally from the less fortunate isn't it?

      By the way, "class warfare" is a distraction. Any class warfare is generally waged by the well to do against the less well to do. Most of the less well to do see it as their obligation to make the wealthy even wealthier. You've only got to look at all the sheeple who decry a minimum wage, who protest against the wealthy having to pay taxes and all the rest to realise that unless there are a lot of bored billionaires on these forums that the majority like being oppressed and robbed.

    3. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Not at all.    To paraphrase it is of the most benefit to teach a poor person how to take care of himself/herself and to sustain a decent living.   Giving the poor handouts could only exarcebate the matter,.making them more dependent.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Nobody said anything about handouts.  The wealthy have plenty of options to use their money to give a hand up, not a hand out - by funding education programs, microlending, all kinds of programs to help the poor help themselves.  Saying "I won't give handouts" is no excuse to hoard money greedily.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Wealthy people ALREADY do what YOU have mentioned e.g. Oprah, Bill Gates, and others!  Vanessa Williams helps homeless families, donate clothing to help poor women dress for success regarding their jobs, help inner city children,etc.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            And your point is?  The original question was asking, should wealthy people help those less well-off.  My answer is yes.  Many high profile, wealthy people are doing so - but that's irrelevant to the question.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Read my first post on this issue and you will find my initial response!

        2. Billy Hicks profile image89
          Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          To play Devil's Advocate for a moment, if the wealth was obtained legally, isn't  it theirs to do with as they will; even if that includes "hoarding"?

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Bill, you are correct.    It is not hoarding but saving and investing for their and their children's future.  That is why the wealthy are wealthy, they $AVE and INVE$T.    That is not hoarding.  I do not know why so many people get it twisted!

            1. Marisa Wright profile image93
              Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              ....but there is a point at which the very wealthy have so much money, they can't possibly spend it and neither can their children.  That's the point where it's just plain greedy to keep hoarding it.

              It really comes down to your own system of beliefs.  I assume you're not a Christian or you would not question the obligation to care for the less fortunate.

      2. MarleneB profile image94
        MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with you gmwilliams. Sometimes, becoming wealthy is a matter of learning how to use money wisely. Thank you for bringing up some very logical points.

    4. Wayne Brown profile image86
      Wayne Brownposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I would say that as long as the top 5% of income earners in this country are paying 57% of the tax burden, the fair share is already skewed too much in that direction especially in light of the fact that 47% do not pay any taxes at all.  If someone will pick up my tab, I might even consider becoming poor overnight.  This country has always had some sector in poverty or relative poverty.  I say relative because on our worst day, there are far more people in much more dire consequence in other sectors of the world.  The difference in the poor of our past is that they had some level of pride and self-respect thus kept on trying to better themselves and many did.  Many of the so-called rich of today came from poor and lower middle-class backgrounds.  They were not "chosen" to be wealthy....they found a way to get there and likely savings and investment was part of that picture and maybe even a little luck.  America is still the land of opportunity but it is also a land that requires effort...we cannot all get rich wearing bling, stupid baseball cap, and spewing rap music. Unfortunately too many of our young today waste their energy on that pursuit...a total waste of time. American has more charity and more outreach in hard times than any country on earth.  For someone to want to put the nation on a guilt trip in the name wealth redistribution is absurd.  This is what America becomes with an Obama in the White House.  ~WB

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        AMEN, Wayne, totally concur a multillion percent!   PREACH, PREACH MY BROTHER!   You have eloquently SAID IT to the HIGHEST!   The American Spirit lives on!

      2. MarleneB profile image94
        MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Wayne, I was becoming depressed with all the other answers and really wondering what was wrong with people in this world always wanting a handout, thinking the wealthy have an obligation to the less wealthy. Then, I read gmwilliams' comment and your comment and felt relieved that there are a couple of people in the world with decent and logical sense. I don't need to add my own comment, because I agree with you 100%. Well said.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I am equally depressed by people who suck up to the rich and defend their "right" to screw the rest of us into the ground!
          Why are you so opposed to "handouts" to the poor and so in favour of them for the rich?

          1. MarleneB profile image94
            MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            John, that's the beauty of living in America - we can have differing opinions and still live in this world together. How am I "sucking up"? I live my life and I let other people live theirs. How is that sucking up?

            Mainly, all I said was that I agreed with Wayne.

            Listen, in 2008, my husband and I were gainfully employed. We both had great jobs. One day, we both went into work and on the same day, we were both told that the company was downsizing the department where we worked. Needless to say, we both arrived home devastated. We went from having enough money to pay our bills to zero income in a matter of 24 hours. We had a mortgage and two children in college. We had to figure out what to do. We are both senior citizens, so we had a difficult time finding employment. After two years of not finding employment, we decided to give it up and fully retire. We were mindful enough to save money for a rainy day and now that money is what is keeping us alive today.

            We weren't wealthy when we worked, and we certainly are not wealthy now. We live within our means, but we always put something aside for when times are difficult. Even now, if we have a dollar left over, we save it, PLUS, we still take whatever little we have and share it with people who are homeless and hungry. But, we do that because we WANT to do it - not because the government says we HAVE to do it.

            Everyone should be able to decide what they want to do with their hard earned money. If they want to give it away, they can do that. If they want to keep it, they should be able to do that.

    5. Niteriter profile image79
      Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I find your question to be a bit of a whirlpool, Billy. Where on the net worth scale do you establish "wealthy"? Where on the percentage of income scale do you establish "fair share"? How do you measure "complying with all current laws and regulations" when corporations and wealty individuals hire tax professionals for the express purpose of tax avoidance?

      I remember sitting in a convention where one of the speakers said, "I consider it my civic duty to pay as little tax as possible." With attitudes like this prevalent among the higher earners, how do you bridge the gap of "fair share" when middle class and low income earners have no access to assistance in achieving a relatively equal result?

      1. Billy Hicks profile image89
        Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Niteriter,

        Specific numbers are irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion; "wealthy" and "fair share" can be a whatever amount you would feel is appropriate.

        I thought I was fairly clear with "Complying with all current laws and regulations", but what I mean is simply that there is no illegal tax fraud or tax evasion going on.

        As far as the "hiring professionals for the express purpose of tax avoidance" point, I don't accept your premise.

        When H&R Block does someone's taxes, or offers their "Second Look" service and gets someone back a few extra thousand dollars, no one has a problem with it. Isn't it all just a matter of degrees after that?

        1. Niteriter profile image79
          Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I agree that it is a good idea to not allow this discussion to descend into a battle of statistics. However... Speaking off the top of my head, I believe average CEO income to be somewhere around $10 million per year and average worker income around $30,000. If the average tax rate (for the sake of this discussion) is in the vicinity of 25%, then the CEO's fair share of taxation would be $1.5 million and the average worker's $7,500. That seems fair to me. However...

          Again, without specific details at hand, I will postulate that the CEO employs a number of tax avoidance devices to whittle his percentage rate well below the 25% mark. A recent example would be Mitt Romney's estimation of his tax contribution being in the 13% area.

          What are your thoughts on this regarding fair share?

          1. 0
            JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The statistics are published by the IRS.

            The average person in the top 1% pays 24% of their income into federal income tax.
            The average person in the bottom 50% pays 1.85% of their income into federal income tax.

            The number for the bottom 50% doesn't include refundable credits. When they are included the average rate is actually negative.

            Worst case scenario, a single person with no deductions that earns $30,000 will pay about $2500 into federal income tax. Married with one kid and they'll get back over $2000.

            1. Niteriter profile image79
              Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks, Jaxson. You are practically infallible when it comes to applying precision to a foggy debate! I was dueling with Billy over whether the well off are doing enough to improve the lot of the poor. I tossed in those extremes as a hypothetical to see what would happen. It seems the debate has died.

              But now that you're here, maybe it's just begun. big_smile

          2. Billy Hicks profile image89
            Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Your numbers are off, so things look a little more drastic than they actually are.

            First, our tax system is progressive (the more you make, the more you pay), but you only pay taxes on the money that falls into each qualifying bracket. I just did a hub on this yesterday, but here is a quick summary:

            Someone making $30K a year would be in the 15% tax bracket, so they would pay (according to the 2011 tax rates):

            10% on the first $8,500 = $850
            15% on the remaining $21,500 = $3,224.85

            So total, they would pay $4,074.85 ($850 + $3,224.85) which would give them an "effective tax rate" of around 13.6%

            The "effective tax rate" is what Mitt Romney was talking about... however since he won't release his Tax Returns, there is no way to either prove or disprove that claim.

            As far as the tax avoidance issues, again I don't accept the premise. Any deduction is, by it's very definition, a "tax avoidance".

            Now if you have a problem with people getting to take a tax deduction for their kids, or with married couples who file jointly getting a tax benefit, then  I'll debate the argument with you, but I suspect that's not the case.

            The simple fact is, if the tax code allows for a deduction, and the company qualifies, then I have no problem with them availing themselves of those benefits. The same with a CEO making $10 million a year.

            1. Niteriter profile image79
              Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Thank you for the breakdown of tax rates in your country. I freely admit to not having had that information.

              However, my numbers were meant to make things look a little more drastic; juxtaposition, if you will. When I'm talking about tax avoidance I'm thinking more about schemes like tax havens and transfer pricing, common corporate activities that bleed the US government revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And, as Governor Romney would say, "Corporations are people, my friend."

              Anyway, don't you think we're moving away from the original discussion and entering into a head-butting contest? We can each find particulars to support any point we want. Bottom line, I do believe the free market societies we live in are stacked in favour of the wealthy and against those who have little. With that as my baseline, I do believe the wealthy could do more. The fact that they are using legal methods to meet bare minimums is testament to their unwillingness to do so.

              What say ye now, my friend?

              1. Billy Hicks profile image89
                Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                ::takes off helmet:: So... we're not going with the headbutting then...? lol.

                I would say that, the blanket generalization that the "wealthy could do more" is a little pejorative. Even more so when you look at people like: Bill Gates, George Lucas, Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, and numerous other "Uber-Wealthy" who have literally given billions to charities all around the world.

                While I myself am nowhere near there income level (in fact, the light from their income level would take 100 Billion years just to reach me), I am fortunate enough to have an income level that lets me live a comfortable lifestyle, and to provide for my children and their futures.

                That being said, I personally donate quite a bit to my church, and I do pro bono work for a local charity here in Orlando that I happen to believe strongly in. I do these things (like the wealthy individuals listed above) above and beyond paying my taxes. And I'm happy to do it.

                My main objective with this question, was to get an idea of what other Hubbers think about the assertion that the wealthy in this country are a, somehow evil, immoral, corrupt, and unpatriotic group of people.

                Fortunately, my fellow Hubbers (you included) have restored my faith in the wisdom of the people, and their ability to see past all of the partisan nonsense that's permeating the media these days.

                1. Niteriter profile image79
                  Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I appreciate your point of view and your gracious reply to my last post. Quite honestly, I do not believe  in the ideas I offer here to the extent that I present them. I am speaking through a character I invented some time ago, and frankly, trying to maintain him is becoming quite costly to my work. I plan to publicly retire him very soon.

                  Thank you for engaging with me in this tennis match. I know you are a good person and I salute you.

                  I really do have to return to my work. You may or may not recognize me when I return. big_smile

              2. Hollie Thomas profile image59
                Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                +1

    6. phion profile image61
      phionposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      The question is whether a government should be able to command its citizens to give. What is freedom anymore? Luckily the USA is still filled with many religious people, who give more than what the government commands to be taken.

      No, there is no obligation to give to anyone. Yet as the country that once stood as the beacon of hope in the world, we give far more to the need than any other place in the world. Even though our taxes go towards helping the “less fortunate” it still feels good when you can make it more personal by giving without the federal thumb pressing on you.

    7. WDC111 profile image60
      WDC111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Benjamin Franklin said something along the lines of, "You will never eliminate the poor by getting rid of the rich".

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Who's talking about getting rid of the rich?

        1. WDC111 profile image60
          WDC111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I am. Figure it out. Hint: over-taxation, like in Europe.

          Everyone has a moral obligation to help each other, regardless. The less government the better.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            There's plenty of rich in Europe. Like everywhere else, they're immune to paying taxes.
            Here in the UK we have a government that gives tax cuts to the rich paid for by increased taxes for the poor.

            1. WDC111 profile image60
              WDC111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Sorry about your luck. I guess it is the same all over.

              I was thinking of a TV news story about taxation in Europe that mentioned some countries tax up to 40% of income for the "well to do". I guess, even in those countries, the very rich can buy their way out of paying taxes.

              Who said it? Greed is never satisfied.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Even if they do tax and collect up to 40% that still leaves 60% which on a million is still a lot of money and enough to keep the recipient in comfort.

                1. WDC111 profile image60
                  WDC111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I hear that. I am a Florida "Cracker". We don't care much for government telling us what to do. I guess it is because we are mostly Irish.

                2. 0
                  JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  We should all follow France, they are going to have a tax system soon that can tax more than 100% of wealthy peoples' incomes.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I can't find any reference to 100% + the best I can find is 75% on income over one million euros ($1.26 million). How will the poor dears survive!

                  2. Hollie Thomas profile image59
                    Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I wouldn't concern yourself too much about the wealthy in France, Jaxson. If they are in the future heavily taxed, they will flee to your country and mine where they can give some to a charity that they own, claim tax relief and then walk away whilst laughing at the ordinary person who pays taxes.

              2. ptosis profile image79
                ptosisposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                At one point it was 90% for the ultra-rich in USA but that was decades ago, (1953)
                It was the income tax not the old money tax, or stock market tax. Don't most richie-rich people make money off of the stock market that isn't taxed at all?

  2. 0
    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago

    Legally, no. Not at all. From an objective standpoint, the wealthy pay much more than their fair share.

    Morally... that depends. Morals are subjective... I don't think it proper, from a moral standpoint, to dictate to others what they must do with their possessions. So I would argue that, morally, they don't have any more obligation than they give themselves.

  3. habee profile image90
    habeeposted 4 years ago

    I think ALL capable humans - not just the wealthy -  have a moral obligation to help others in some way.

    1. theliz profile image61
      thelizposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Well said.  If we would all help each other, fewer of us would need help.

  4. Jewels profile image80
    Jewelsposted 4 years ago

    I don't think it's about classes, the rich giving to the poor persee.  But it is about giving back and contributing to the betterment of humankind at large.  We all have a moral obligation to think of everyone walking this planet, and of course that also means taking care of the planet we are walking on.

  5. EmpressFelicity profile image83
    EmpressFelicityposted 4 years ago

    I think it's great when wealthy people help the poor. But I don't think they have an obligation to do so.  I'm not a fan of requiring people to justify their existence - it's one of a number of slippery slopes to totalitarianism.

    1. 0
      Panzer Kumarposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Amazing words, i agree with you my friend. If i wish i can give and its very good if i do. Infact you can suggest me to give but you cant force me to give away my wealth. Every man has everything he/she needs to look after them, but if they fail its themselves to blame. "Born poor is not your fault but dying poor is always your fault". If a wealthy man starts a company and gives jobs then its giving back for sure, taxes he pay are the same.

      Having said that betterment of a human should come by hard work and skills of him/her and not by begging from others.. I dont want the next generation of mankind to be born out of begging or stealing from others.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        + a multillion times!

  6. Freud-Wise profile image60
    Freud-Wiseposted 4 years ago

    They do. However, you have an obligation to make yourself rich, too!

  7. SpanStar profile image61
    SpanStarposted 4 years ago

    Here is about the simplest explanation I can use to illustrate my point.

    We are all aware of that dreaded ailment called AIDS. Now if one is wealthy they can afford to pay the high price of these drugs in order to stay alive. Those who are not wealthy should then deserve to die because they are not wealthy?

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Of course not!   People who have AIDS deserve to be helped and nurtured towards wellness no matter what class, race, creed, age etc. they belong to.

  8. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 4 years ago

    The problem with this idea is that it is always the people at the bottom looking up and saying "I want that", never the other way around.

    Americans look at the rich and say "I need medical care and a new, bigger home.  The rich don't need their yacht, mansion, private jet and servants.  I get along fine without all that - they should sell that junk and buy me an aids cure and a nicer home."

    The African tribesman looks at an American and says "I need running water and a sewer system.  Americans don't need a car, a big home, computers and cell phones.  I get along fine without all that - they should sell that junk and buy me a well and sewer."

    We don't look at the tribesman and promptly sell all our junk to buy him water and sewer, and don't find it to be morally wrong.  The rich don't look at the American poor and promptly sell all their junk to improve living conditions, either, but is somehow wrong for not doing so. 

    What's the difference?  "Enough" is 100% subjective - if we expect the rich to support us we should be willing to lower ourselves to what other "poor" have to support them.  No?

  9. TahoeDoc profile image98
    TahoeDocposted 4 years ago

    I have asked a few times, "what is their fair share?". People throw the phrase around and use it as a unifying rallying cry to protest the unfair wealth in the US. Rarely have I gotten a straight answer. When I do, I find it is often less than a lot of 'wealthy' people already pay. Federal and state taxes add up to between 40 and 50 percent of income, the fact that student loan interest is NOT tax deductible nor are a lot of other things that would be in a lower tax bracket… Seems more than fair to me. I've been on both sides.

    I grew up very poor (emphasize VERY, as in no indoor plumbing until I was a teenager) and was grateful for the basic help we received- health care, food stamps, etc. BUT, I never once felt entitled to anyone else's wealth. I did not say that we had a RIGHT to a cadillac (or indoor heat) because the neighbors had one. On the occasion I was driven anywhere rather than walking or riding my bike, it was in a car that was too loud, had patchwork paint, might not make it to our destination 3 miles away and embarrassed the hell out of me. While I wished I had a better life, I did not feel like anyone owed it to me. I did vow to get one.

    I was lucky that I live in a country where hard work and some level of intelligence allowed me to pursue what I wanted to do. And, I had a sliver of a chance of being successful at it. And I was/am. I feel very, very fortunate. And I earned it.

    But, the education was not "given" to me. I graduated from medical school in 1998 and still owe $150K in loans. I worked exceedingly hard to overcome the disadvantage that I started with. I did not  I am also 'giving back' by paying interest on those loans.

    I am absolutely not opposed to helping those less fortunate. I donate thousands every year to help those I choose to help, in addition to paying my taxes. The taxes and donations add up to well over half of my income (student loans and malpractice insurance take up a nice chunk of the other half, although that may be irrelevant here except to point out that many of us that a lot of people assume are swimming in money, just are not). I'm happy to help, but if they want more than half of my money, I'm going to bitch about it.

    1. MarleneB profile image94
      MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you for sharing. Your story shows how, just because we were born into poorness doesn't mean we have to stay there. I believe (some) people stay poor because instead of working hard to get out of that situation, they look to other people to throw down a portion of their hard earned money to them.

      I know I'm going to get slammed for that last comment.

      I worked my way out of poor and so I know what it is like to go from needing the basics of life to having the basics of life. It wasn't easy. I'm not wealthy by any standards, but if I had not worked hard and simply expected others to help me, I might still be poor, wishing the wealthy would look down at me and let me have a crumb or two.

      They earned their wealth. I earned my wealth (by my own standards, not the world's) and I give it away as I choose - not because the government says I have to.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Marlene, you were right regarding the last comment.   I said the same on related forums and was CRUCIFIED.   I thoroughly understand what you mean.   Speak on and elaborate!

        1. MarleneB profile image94
          MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Elaborating... I lived a life right here in America where when my shoes were worn to the point where they had holes in the soles, I had to cut cardboard and place it in the bottom of the shoes so my bare feet would not touch the ground where the hole was. On rainy days, I wrapped the cardboard with plastic. Every now and then, my parents would invest in a good pair of saddle shoes in extra large size so that the shoes would last years. At any given time, I only had one pair of shoes, and those shoes had to last for years at a time.

          In school, I was teased a lot for being poor. But, always, at the back of my mind, I knew I would not always be poor. I watched as my parents made sure they tithed and saved, even though it meant suffering. As a child, I was angry with them for tithing to the church when we had to eat mush for dinner. As a child, I didn't see the virtue in all of the things they did. My parents' theory was, even if you only have a penny to save, save it. Pennies add up. What they taught my brothers and me is this, "If you have to struggle today to save a penny for tomorrow, suffer through it, because a penny today is more valuable tomorrow." My parents taught us that money is just money; things are just things. We may be poor today, but if we manage our money well today, tomorrow we will be rich.

          They were right. Today, my parents own their home free and clear. They travel a lot. They take cruises; in fact, every other year, our family reunion is held on a cruise ship. The siblings and loved ones get together and have a great time. We save for two years and we meet up on a cruise ship. My dad did this to make sure his children understand the importance of saving up for the things we want in life.

          I don't say all this to brag. I say it to share my belief that if people want to get out of poverty, there is a way to do it without expecting the wealthy to hand it down to them. I know there are some people where this does not apply. Some people really do not have the means to elevate out of poverty. Those are the people my parents taught their children to help. But, we do that because we want to do it; not because they expect us to do it. The government doesn't have to tell us to do it. I believe wealthy people do help people, but they help in their own way. So what if they have more money than me. It's their money, they can do what they want to do with it.

          As for me, I lived the poor life. I never expected others to hand me anything. I knew it was up to me to get what I wanted in life.

          Since I lived the dream that people come to America to receive, I know that if you have a penny to your name, you can make something of yourself without help from the wealthy. I feel like I can speak from authority on this subject. There is no one in the world who can sway my opinion away from what I have lived and know, firsthand, to be true.

          Let the wealthy keep their money. I can make my own.

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            + a multillion percent!

    2. phion profile image61
      phionposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Tahoe Doc & MarleneB~
      Why can't everyone have your perspectives? You are both great Americans! May the wind always be at your backs. You both just gave me more drive and hope for tomorrow! If we all were a little more like the two of you the topic of this forum wouldn’t exist. Thank you again for your perspectives.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Amen to that, these two women are totally awesome in their American Spirit.   They truly exemplify AmeriCAN!

      2. TahoeDoc profile image98
        TahoeDocposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        "Tahoe Doc & MarleneB~
        Why can't everyone have your perspectives? You are both great Americans! May the wind always be at your backs. You both just gave me more drive and hope for tomorrow! If we all were a little more like the two of you the topic of this forum wouldn’t exist. Thank you again for your perspectives."


        Well, thank you. And, I will continue to willingly and fiercely help and advocate and care for those who are trying to help themselves, because I know it can be done. When given a choice, those - the ones who are really trying -are the ones I would start with to provide assistance.  Because I want to. I know for them, like me, a little hand can make a huge difference.



        And cheers to you Marlene for your hard work, good sense and realistic attitude.

  10. PrettyPanther profile image85
    PrettyPantherposted 4 years ago

    Many of the replies here seem to be assuming the OP is asking if the wealthy should be forced to pay more taxes.  I didn't see that anywhere.  In fact, he specifically said this:

    "Assuming that they are complying with all current laws and regulations, and paying what they are required to pay, by law: do the wealthy have any further obligation to the less fortunate?"

    I agree with Habee and Marisa Wright, and I will take it a step further and say that embracing the notion that we are all in this together is how we as a species will eventually solve our biggest economic and social problems.

    1. habee profile image90
      habeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Right - helping others doesn't even have to involve money. Sometimes the best way to help is by giving of your time. We're certainly not wealthy, but I do donate money and goods to charities and causes. I honestly believe, however, that the gift of time is even more important, and just about everyone can spare an hour or so here and there. Volunteer at an animal shelter, visit a nursing home, or take a meal to a sick person!

      I feel obligated to help others - it's the way I was raised, I guess. My family and I are truly blessed. I have a comfortable home, a loving family, great friends, and fairly good health. We always have decent clothes to wear and enough food to eat. You don't have to look far to find many who are less fortunate. As I said, we're not rich, but I often feel guilty about how much we have. Sorry, but I just have to share this story with you:

      Years ago, when my kids were small, I was shopping for Christmas toys in Kmart. My buggy was filled with hundreds of $$ of merchandise, but I was disappointed that I couldn't afford to buy them EVERYTHING they wanted. As I was waiting in line to check out, I saw an old woman who was putting some socks and underwear for her grandkids on Christmas lay-away. Man, that really had an impact on me! Since that day, my family and I make it a special point to do good deeds for Christmas, and we get the kids in on it, too. In fact, I recently wrote a hub about this.

      Sorry, but I just think it's SO important for everyone to pitch in. I'll get off my soapbox now.

      1. PrettyPanther profile image85
        PrettyPantherposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you for sharing such a nice story. 

        I think what some of us see missing from so much of the discussion about wealth, particularly obscene wealth, is a sense of humility and gratitude from those who have made it.  Sure, they made it due to their own hard work, intelligence, planning, vision, and whatever other positive qualities and initiative they personally have developed.  However, it is impossible to go through this world and become successful without help of some type, whether it be from parents, teachers, mentors, or employees.  Surely, a CEO of a multi-national corporation who makes $35 million in a year can muster up a little humility and gratitude toward the secretaries, janitors, and mail clerks who help run the business, at least enough to assure them decent health benefits, a reasonable retirement, and a few paid vacation and sick leave days.  Surely?

        1. MarleneB profile image94
          MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          So... you're saying, "They didn't build that!" I'm just teasing. I know what you mean. Sure, we all get help in one way or another.

          My fear comes into play when I think the government is going to come in and mandate that help in some way or form.

  11. Billy Hicks profile image89
    Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago

    Great discussion all around everyone, really great. It's encouraging to see so many intelligent, lucid, and well formatted arguments.

    As a follow up to my original question, I pose the following:

    "Which one is better at serving the needs of the poor and less fortunate":

    The Federal Government, through tax payer funded programs?
    or
    Private Charities, Churches, and other NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations)?

    1. Niteriter profile image79
      Niteriterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No one in the business world would dream of operating without executive management. Leaving the management and care of a nation's resources, its citizens especially, to charities and churches is equivalent to leaving a corporation's future in the hands of project managers.

  12. ptosis profile image79
    ptosisposted 4 years ago

    It's easier to hoard and not giving nothing back to somebody who is not in the same room as you are in. They did a social experiment with kids. At the end of the day of play-  food was served. But only a third had the full meal deal, the other third had empty plates, and the last third had some food. They wanted to see if kids had inborn nature of compassion to share the food who had nothing or less. Some did, others not.

    It's easy to  make someone happy with food, shelter but once past the minimum bare needs - having 40x more stuff doesn't make you 40x happier. The return on more stuff is less  & less.

  13. HowardBThiname profile image89
    HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago

    The wealthy have no obligation to care for anyone other than themselves.

    I believe caring comes from the heart - so true charity must be voluntary - not obligatory.

    I think a lot of wealthy folks who help others but I would never say they have an obligation.

    1. MarleneB profile image94
      MarleneBposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I agree. I can't see forcing someone to give up their own money for anyone. But, whether people see it or not, a lot of wealthy people help more than we know. I'm not wealthy, but I give when I can. I don't go out and tell the world. I suspect it is the same with wealthy people. After all, they are the ones helping to put up the money for scholarships and all.

      1. HowardBThiname profile image89
        HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        What you're doing is a good example for all of us to follow. Good for you.

  14. One Mother Hubber profile image59
    One Mother Hubberposted 4 years ago

    No

  15. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago

    In my humble opinion, we are all obliged to help each other.

  16. Ralph Deeds profile image68
    Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 9:24

  17. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago

    Just tossing this out there...

    "Jay Leno Takes Huge Pay Decrease For Employees"

    http://www.webpronews.com/jay-leno-take … es-2012-09

  18. unitify profile image79
    unitifyposted 4 years ago

    Millionaires don't get handouts? Oh, they get hand-me-downs. These are the jokes folkes.

    1. ptosis profile image79
      ptosisposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      There is also corporate welfare, bank bailouts, & fascist laws.

      Walmart is lobbying to have a highway built north/south directly from Mexico that would only benefit them with our taxpayers' money.

      Bailed out banks that gave bonuses, CEO's who have a golden parachute that rewards them for being crappy at their jobs.

      Laws designed to protect businesses at the expense of the people such as it is against the law to label GMO's as a GMO. We produce the most food in the world yet can't export it to Europe because of this.

      Hint: All fruits and vegetables must have a 3 or 4 digit PLU codes. Notice that your Strawberries do not have this code. Labeled as strawberries but have the fish gene to protect against frost - and make them tasteless.

      (REAL) Strawberries: (Not a GMO)     Pint (4028, 42461)     Quart (42471, 4248)

      http://s4.hubimg.com/u/7141943_f248.jpg http://s4.hubimg.com/u/7141947_f248.jpg

  19. ptosis profile image79
    ptosisposted 4 years ago

    Property redistribution is a term applied to various policies involving taxation (wiki)

    Is it possible to fund the functions of a government of a free society without taxation? Even in a minimal state, police, military members, judges, and others have to be paid. - http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/You … tion.shtml

    In Honolulu they are building an overpass and one idea was that those who can afford it pay for individual use of such road like bridge tolls while the urban underclass crawl slowly  in the underpasses below.


    http://s2.hubimg.com/u/7142541_f248.jpg

 
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