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Massacre: Tax exempt hyper rich cause global misery and death


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For a writing assignment in critical thinking class. It is a continuation of a writing assignment from English Composition II with a similar topic and most of the same sources, but a completely …

For a writing assignment in critical thinking class. It is a continuation of a writing assignment from English Composition II with a similar topic and most of the same sources, but a completely different paper. This paper discusses how the death and misery of millions, if not billions of humans can be attributed to the hoarding of money to maintain the lifestyle of Earth's financially elite.

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  • 1. Running head: MASSACRE 1 Massacre: Tax-exempt Plutocrats cause global misery and death Chris Harden December 18, 2013
  • 2. MASSACRE 2 Chris Harden Professor Blue Critical Thinking G.S. 235 December 18, 2013 Massacre: Tax-exempt Plutocrats cause global misery and death Fifteen thousand Africans die every day from preventable, transmitted diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and TB, and this statistic and those like it from other impoverished countries exposes the true moral character of the world’s wealthiest people and mocks their feigned philanthropic ethics because these Plutocrats who have millions to tens of billions of dollars would never allow such mass deaths to occur in their native country or any other developed nation (Sachs, 2005). Or would they? The Plutocrats exist in a world far removed from the “have-nots,” and in the Plutonomy, there is no American Plutocrat, European Plutocrat, or even Russian Plutocrat because these people have more in common with each other than their poorer, native countryman (Freeland, 2012). If this is the case, then how much concern can the Plutocrats really have for the people in the poorest countries on Earth when the Plutocrats do not care that their tax loop-holes negatively impact their native countries for the sake of maintaining their own world of privilege and luxury? Moral or not, the Plutocrats have a responsibility to share their wealth with the rest of the world because the Plutocrats have more than enough to live comfortably for many generations. Therefore, the Plutocrats must pay their fair share of taxes in order to end the suffering and death that occurs on Earth every day. Annually, more than eight million people die worldwide because they are too poor to stay alive, meaning that 20,000 people perished yesterday because of extreme poverty, nearly 8,000 children died from malaria, 5,000 patients died from tuberculosis, and countless more died from
  • 3. MASSACRE 3 diarrhea, respiratory infections, and other killer diseases that prey on bodies weakened by chronic hunger (Sachs, 2005). The United States spends just $15 billion dollars to address the plight of the world’s poorest of the poor, and that is just 15 cents on every $100 dollars of the U.S. GNP (Sachs, 2005). Now consider that in 2005, of each dollar earned by U.S. workers, the 300,000 men, women and children who comprised the top tenth of one percent got nearly fifty cents of each dollar from tax loop-holes and other privileges, allowing those Plutocrats to possess more income than the rest of the U.S. population (Johnston, 2007). Imagine the amount of aid that could have gone to the hungry here in the U.S. and abroad had the Plutocrats paid an equitable amount of taxes? On the contrary, American Plutocrats argue that a tax rate greater than fifty-two percent would hurt the United States because other countries have lowered their tax rates over the last decade, and as the rest of the world is on a mission to get the tax rate to the 15 to 30 percent range, other countries have abandoned the U.S. dollar to do business with countries involved with the Euro (Laffer, 2008). Also, higher taxes are commonly imposed on unhealthy activities that need to be discouraged, such as cigarettes, gambling, and gambling, and increased taxes would reduce or possibly eliminate activities that the country desires to encourage to improve the economy, including going to college, purchasing a home, and giving money to charity (Laffer, 2008). Unfortunately, a change in tax laws is unlikely because many Americans assume that soaring incomes, tax loop-holes and other privileges are the just desserts of Plutocrats who work hard, save and invest money, and creating prospering businesses (Johnston, 2007). However, to make matters worse, the government gives handouts to companies like Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, and scores of businesses in other industries when a store is opened, and instead of using the
  • 4. MASSACRE 4 money to open a new store, the money becomes the Plutocrats’ increased dividend payment (Johnston, 2007). Even so, modern societies of developed countries celebrate wealth for its own sake, often without considering whether that wealth was obtained honestly or illegally or whether the Plutocrat used his or her wealth for noble or foul purposes, and while the privileges they receive create a burden on the middle-class, poverty creates another burden on the middle-class whose taxes pay for the pursuit, prosecution, incarceration, and rehabilitation of impoverished offenders (Johnston, 2007). What many people are unaware of is that there is a battle about prestige going on amongst the Plutocrats who are ranked on their own ladder according to their net worth, thereby creating lower, middle and upper Plutocrats, with upper Plutocrats earning 10 to 100 times more than the lower Plutocrats (Richistan, 2007). Though the lower Plutocrats earn more money than 95% of their countryman, the lower Plutocrats have become poorer compared to other Plutocrats and to try to narrow the gap, the lower Plutocrats spend more money and borrow heavily as they vie for the same private schools, nannies, BMWs, and beach homes that the other Plutocrats own (Richistan, 2007). This has resulted in a global hoarding frenzy among the Plutocrats who invest and stow away more and more money to keep the lower tier Plutocrats as far down the ladder as possible to maintain their image of indulgence. Collateral damage is inflicted upon the working class of their native countries, and the poorest countries on Earth are the biggest casualties. This global acquisition of indulgence is made possible through the corruption of politicians and manipulated government rules and regulations, especially through the change in tax policies that shifted heavily in favor of the Plutocrats, enabling them to preserve more of their incomes (Richistan, 2007). American Plutocrats have learned from their Russian, Brazilian,
  • 5. MASSACRE 5 and Chinese peers about the power of fraudulent wealth creation, and systematic abuses at Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia Communications, and Madoff Investment Securities demonstrate that greed is like a cancer cell that mindlessly grows for its own sake until it overwhelms the host, because there is no point in possessing power if it cannot be abused, and money becomes evil when it is used to buy power (Richistan, 2007). On the end of the spectrum, there are the Plutocrats who make philanthropy more of a trendy fashion statement and a way to appear morally superior to one’s peers (Richistan, 2007). But are these people who have millions to tens of billions of dollars, truly good, philanthropic people that the rest of the world should emulate, or are they deep in a pit of denial, refusing to accept that they view good as being evil and evil as being good? For example, total charitable giving in the United States has exceeded $260 billion dollars, double the amount in 1995, but many Plutocrats admit that philanthropy is a cheap and easy way to burnish their image to a world they are all too estranged from (Richistan, 2007). We could be the first generation of human beings to outlaw poverty that sees children die of hunger in a world of plenty, or of a disease because of lack of a twenty-cent inoculation because the Plutocrats can afford to assist the rest of world’s low income philanthropist who can only fight a forest fire with a fire extinguisher (Sachs, 2005). The Plutocrats prosper from an international system of bad trade, bad debt, and bad luck that maintains a corrupt relationship between themselves and the weaker parts of the world (Sachs, 2005). Progress is hard enough to achieve without Plutocrats perceiving a country as a threat to their lavish lifestyle and these fears are wrong, and even worse, dangerous because the world should not be a zero-sum struggle where one country’s gain is another’s loss (Sachs, 2005).
  • 6. MASSACRE 6 But the poorest of the poor countries lose, and they lose big time. For example, in Malawi, a 150 bed medical ward is stuffed with 450 people dying of AIDS with three or four people in or around each bed, many lying head to toe, toe to head, and family members sit by the bed and swab dried lips and watch their loved ones die (Sachs, 2005). In Bangladesh, women leave home at five-thirty each morning and walk two hours to sit for eleven or twelve hours in the cavernous halls of garment factories to produce garments for GAP, Polo, Wal-Mart and other stores only to have to make the two hour trek back home to sometimes endure physical assault (Sachs, 2005). If economic development is a ladder with the very top representing where the Plutocrats reign, one billion people or one sixth of humanity are too ill, too hungry, and too destitute to even get their foot on the first rung on the development ladder, and a few rungs up the development ladder are the upper end of the low-income world, where roughly 1.5 billion people live just above mere subsistence (Sachs, 2005). And up the development ladder we arrive at the Plutocrats where money intended for national and international aid continues to dwindle because so much money has already been diverted to the Plutocrats through giveaways, tax breaks and many subsidiaries (Johnston, 2007). This money is diverted to the Plutocrats because it is their opinion that the amount of money required to make them feel secure is twice their current level of net worth or income (Richistan, 2007). The need for more and more money from these people will never be satisfied and in the meantime, there are people all over the world dreaming about and striving to become the same types of money vampires as the Plutocrats who are cursed to have it all but never be satisfied with having it all. The Plutocrats would argue that five sixths of the world’s population is at least one step above extreme poverty, and nearly five billion people live in countries where the average income increased between 1980 and 2000 (Sachs, 2005). But many of these people live in conditions
  • 7. MASSACRE 7 barely acceptable to domesticated pets and their working conditions add to the misery that many assumed they would escape when they became employed. The Canadian Rock group Rush said that big money pushes people around and pulls the rug from under people, it pushes all the buttons and pulls all the plugs, it is a war in paradise that can make a million dreams, build ivory towers or a stairway that locks you underground (Peart, 1985, track 1). How many people the world over would agree that, try as they might, they have had the rug pulled out from under them or believed that they were on the stairs headed up when in fact they were going down and are still in a country so terrible, most people in developed countries could never imagine?
  • 8. MASSACRE 8 References Frank, R. (2007). Richistan: A Journey through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich. New York, NY: Crown Publishing. Freeland, C. (2012). Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else. New York, NY: The Penguin Group. Johnston D. (2007). Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). New York, NY: The Penguin Group. Laffer, A., Moore, S., Tanous, P. (2008). The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy – If We Let It Happen. New York, NY: Threshold Editions. Peart, N. (1985). The Big Money. On Power Windows [CD]. New York, NY: Mercury Records. Sachs, J. (2005). The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.