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The wealthy shouldn’t pay taxes because people ought to be beholden to them. Really?

By Dian Vujovich

Harry Binswanger, an Ayn Rand aficionado,  has written a piece for Forbes and in it states that anyone making $1 million or more a year ought not pay any taxes. And that all the rest of us slugs ought to be indebted to those high-wage earning individuals because without them America’s business landscape would be barren. So, we’re supposed to reward the enormously successful CEOs and entrepenuers for all that they have done and to show our gratitude by give  them a pass on paying taxes.


Well excuse me for not falling to my knees and crawling down Royal Palm Way bowing to the captains of industry who have their billions managed by those making millions handling it. Or, stopping in front of Target and Wal-Mart to genuflect.


Nope. If there’s any gratitude to be handed out, it’s to the worker-bee without whom there would be no CEOs or executives making seven-figure plus plus plus annual incomes.


Once upon a time I was the host of a live, call-in public affairs program on a public broadcast network.  I thought I had a calling for that job. Management didn’t. But one of the things I remember from the experience was the day  management made mention to me of the fact that I was very friendly with the floor crew. As in, the people who were behind the cameras and running the teleprompters, etc.


The sense I got from the comment was that because I was the show’s host and its producer it really wasn’t my place to be so welcoming with the crew. I found that kind of managerial thinking  both odd and ignorant. Why? Because it  takes teamwork to produce a good program. Or, for that matter, to produce a good anything.


In this case, teamwork meant  the camera person’s hand had to be steady, the telepromter had to run smoothly, the lights had to be precisely placed, etc. When any of those things went afoul, like the cameraman was  jerking the camera around, or the telepromter stopped, the show may have gone on but didn’t show well.


Anyone who has yet to realize that without a team, i.e.,  (I think of that word as an acryme for “The Execs And Me”) , there would be no corporate anything to run. And that the team includes those who hold  the loweliest of jobs—like the janitor who keeps the work place presentatble, the bathrooms clean, etc.—-all the way up to those occupying the corner office. Anyone overlooking that fact has got to be  so full of hubris that they can’t see or think straight.


If there’s any gratitude that needs to be given, it ought to  be directed at  all of the employees who have made America’s companies successful and thus provided  CEOs and mega-wagers with the  huge financial rewards they reap.


As for taxes, let’s all pay them.


The Binswanger column in Forbes is at: http://tinyurl.com/nnybhfu


To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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