Pay for the poor

The single-most significant problem millions of American workers face on a daily basis is the simple fact that they’re not paid enough. The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, which leaves millions of full-time workers in poverty while dragging down the wages of the rest of the workforce in turn.

$7.25/hour, or just $15,000 a year for 40 hours of work a week, 52 weeks a year, leaves the overwhelming majority of these workers living below the poverty line, unable to adequately provide for themselves or their families. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, for instance, is almost twice what a person working minimum wage could afford. Even with several roommates, affording a place to live is a serious struggle for low-wage Americans.

On the tax front, income earned from labor is taxed at a significantly higher rate than income derived by wealth (called “capital gains”). This puts working people at a perpetual disadvantage against the already-wealthy.

The tax most people pay on their earnings – ordinary income tax – is taken from money earned through labor. Americans go to work, receive a paycheck, and pay income tax. Capital gains taxes, on the other hand, are the taxes paid on profits that come from the sale of assets – wealth someone already owns. Investors buy a stock or a piece of real estate and then sell it for a profit. The profit is considered a capital gain, and as long as the investor holds on to that asset for at least a year, they pay much less in taxes than they would on ordinary income of the same amount.

Make no mistake, this is a massive tax break. A billionaire earning $800 million a year in capital gains pays a lower top tax rate than someone earning $90,000 a year in ordinary income. (Patriotic Millionaires, 8 Sep 2021)

My comment: I think this should be filed under the heading of “obscene”. What has it to do with Epicurus? The very rich contribute to election expenses and in return get gentle tax treatment. Some would call this massive corruption of the system. Epicurus was not an admirer of massive corruptions of the system, and nor should we be.

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