The conservatives of the libertarian persuasion like to claim taxation is theft. And the minuscule % of it spent on helping the destitute, the poor and working poor to remain alive is redistribution of wealth downward, “forced charity at the point of a gun.”
Profit is theft. Taxation is the deterrent to greed.
Progressive taxation is an incentive to share the wealth generated by the production of workers among the workers as better wages & benefits. If the owners don’t take the profits, and distribute it among those who have created the wealth, they don’t pay the higher taxes at the top end. Simple. If they pay the workers more, they in turn can pay into the system more in taxes and they will also spend it creating and maintaining the cycle of supply and demand, driving consumerism, and thus insuring the health of the capitalistic system.
In the early 1970s the ‘conservative movement’ organized and set as their goal to ‘change the culture’ as detailed in the Powell memo and elsewhere. They initiated a broad effort of propaganda and re-education including infiltrating the business schools and tossing out community-oriented ethics in favor of Randian objectivism, aka selfishness. They taught her perspective that greed was the only true moral motive and created and taught a perverse version of ‘free market’ economics, cherry picking ideas from such as Adam Smith, and the Austrian School of economists for intellectual cachet. The most notable and infamous proponent being Milton Friedman and the Chicago School.
So now we’ve had decades of businessmen and corporate leaders, especially bankers and financial sector gamblers aka Wall St., gleefully stealing the fruits of production as profit for the investors/owners, aka shareholders, creating a redistribution upwards to a few. The result, as predicted, is a vast discrepancy in wealth distribution as the top has obscene amounts while everyone else struggles to even pay rent. This situation, as history shows, will continue until the system collapses and results in vast relentless depression and poverty, a police state, aka Fascism or other totalitarian authoritarian regime, or violent revolution.
The owner class must know this. Apparently they don’t care. Or they think they can keep the masses under control through the simultaneously massively increased military and militarized police forces. Perhaps they expect they can hold out until the masses die of disease and poverty and kill each other through partisan squabbles that they have also created and exacerbated.
I never studied economics or capitalism or socialism…this is simply what is obvious to me from common sense observation and paying attention to events as they unfolded.
It is a mystery to me how ‘they’ have ever gotten anyone to fall for the ‘free market’ nonsense they peddle so relentlessly.
How to spend the taxes collected is a whole separate discussion about which the libertarians again have some odd and IMHO counterproductive ideas.
They claim the only legitimate use is for defense. It would seem common sense as well as moral to use it to assist those in need to survive, and further to provide the means and methods for them to improve their situation. But that, as now, will be a minuscule % amount. Since if more people are making more, thus paying more taxes, the revenue comes more broadly from the ‘commons’, i.e. all of us, therefore it should go to the commons, and be spent on infrastructure, education, parks and conservation, research, etc as determined by our democratic representatives responding to constituent desires. Well, that’s how it was supposed to work…and did before the ‘conservative movement’ spent billions to ‘change the culture’ and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams…for now.
Some days I am hopeful the blowback arising as people get woke will restore the country, other days I fear we’ll fall into full fledged fascism. It is so close and they have such power, and their dupes are so angry and armed and vocally itching to kill. I wouldn’t bet on either outcome at this point, but the odds don’t seem in our favor.