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14 December, 2010

More on hard work

If you are an avid reader of this blog you may remember an earlier rant all about the phrase "hard work" and how I really can't stand it. It lacks any meaning whatsoever yet people use it all the time to justify things and elevate them above the imaginary class of "non-hard working people" who I gather, in America, are people who are a little less disliked that Communists, and a little more disliked than socialists.

The term arose it's ugly head during this whole "tax the wealthy" debate currently going on. One side of the argument being that a) everybody should be taxed the same, b) rich people create jobs and c) rich people are rich because they worked hard and hard working Americans deserve to keep more money in their pocket.

By that logic, we should be swimming in jobs considering how the rich have gotten much more wealthy over the years.

But let's take a look at my real beef, the "hard working" aspect. So, are rich people rich simply because they worked harder than the rest of us? Let's look at some rich people like say.. LeBron James. He earns $14.5 million a year right now over at Miami (who said I didn't know anything about sports? I surprise myself sometimes). I wonder how hard he worked to get to the NBA and be a successful athlete? My guess is probably pretty hard! A lot of hours on the court and off the court improving physical and mental skills in order to play at a professional level. But let's say there was another player who trained with LeBron, taught him everything he knew but just didn't want to play in the NBA and plays for a local amateur team, or was off sick the day the talent scouts came knocking and got a job at Big lots instead. His level of "hard work" is equal (if not more) yet his salary is probably around 1%. How can that be?

It's because hard work doesn't = success or wealth. Just look at former Governors of Alaska. I should also add that I doubt LeBron James is creating too many jobs. Not when he's blowing his money on big fancy houses.

It seems to me that the rich and super rich made or make SO much money because of the "hard work" of others and so they do deserve to pay their fair share. LeBron is only making that amount of money because many hard working Americans pay lots of money to buy the overpriced Heat Merchandise, buy an overpriced ticket to the game and buy overpriced snacks while at said game. Then they get home to watch the highlights on overpriced cable on their overpriced TV in their undervalued house. Therefore, he should have to pay a fair amount of taxes to give back to the society that allowed him to have the success in the first place. It is not taking the hard earned money out of his pockets, it is claiming back the loan that America, the society, has given to him.

Those who still believe that the wealthy shouldn't be taxed highly cling onto the irrational belief that wealth is heading their way soon so we better keep taxes low for me. Which is probably why the lottery is still so popular.


Evil Twin's Wife said...

My cousin is a multi-millionaire. He attended Harvard for his MBA (which my aunt and uncle paid for by the skin of their teeth) and became a leader in the satellite technology field. He's just smart. The rest of the family are just dumbasses. LOL.

Karen said...

My dad has always said the more money you make, the less hard you work. It is true to an extent. You don't work physically as hard, in general, but mental work is still work.

And FYI, my verification word is "strapon"

For Richer or For Poorer said...

LeBron James works hard using the talent he was blessed with (instead of wasting it or taking it for granted like many athletes do). Yes ... it's not the same "hard work" of coal miners working 12 hour shifts or nurses working long overnight shifts, but his work does create jobs. By being a very good athlete, more people want to see him play and those tickets, merchandise and concessions you mention ALL create hundreds of jobs for the people making them and selling them. Without LeBron's success, there would be no demand for the product - thus, no jobs or less jobs. Also, think about the jobs he creates by the need for more security at the games because of larger crowds, increased patronage at local restaurants and hotels by game attendees. This goes for the local Miami market, as well as every city that LeBron visits when the Heat play. When LeBron bought his mansion, he put money into the pockets of the real estate agents, the tax system, created jobs (I'm guessing) for landscapers, cleaning services, general contractors, etc., so the wealthy help the economy when they spend. Generally, I think professional athletes are incredibly overpaid - especially baseball players. At least football players earn their money by playing one of the most physical and physically dangerous sports (and their bodies suffer). My main tax complaint at the moment is that West Virginia doesn't have enough tax brackets. We pay more income tax here because we only have 3-4 brackets (we only had two until recently). I think there's a big difference in making $60,000 and $250,000 but WV doesn't recognize that like other states do. That's my mini rant!