SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY
Don't hate the rich, be one of them. Who said that? 1,000 guesses and you won't get it right. Where was it said. 10 guesses and you probably will get it right. We'll get back to this shortly.
Meanwhile, if we look back a couple of months, here is what was written in The New York Times:
And CNN just reported the following:
WASHINGTON — President Obama will propose further tax increases on the affluent to help pay for his promise to make health care more accessible and affordable, calling for stricter limits on the benefits of itemized deductions taken by the wealthiest households, administration officials said Wednesday.
All right, we all know that President Obama believes people and corporations that earn more should pay more than the rest of the population... which they are already doing.... He means increase the differential in the tax rates. Our history has shown that this is a self-defeating effort. While it levels the playing field, it lowers the playing field. It does not create new jobs... except perhaps in government agencies... and it does not make the government bring in more taxes in the long run.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Obama on Monday spelled out his proposals to close corporate tax loopholes on U.S. multinational corporations and crack down on overseas tax havens.
The goal is to help create new jobs in the United States and make the tax code fairer. All told, the administration said the changes would raise $210 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.
"I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens," Obama said in a White House announcement.
But tax policy experts and corporate lobbyists say such measures, unless accompanied by a reduction in the corporate tax rate, will push more companies to move their operations -- and jobs -- overseas to more tax friendly countries.
But this is consistent with the political posturing from the Obama Democrats. I say posturing because behind the scenes many Democrats, including President Obama, are somehow becoming quite wealthy despite the restrictions on their government earnings... or getting the wealth close to home.
Regardless, lets go back to the beginning of this post. Here is the answer:
I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that China has now joined the Cato Institute.
By Li Hongmei People's Daily Online
Despite the turmoil in financial markets and global economic downtrend, the Chinese rich will go on accumulating wealth faster than ever anticipated. According to the private wealth report released some time ago that the number of China's high net worth individuals is growing by leaps and bounds on a year-on-year basis. The concept of so-called high net worth individuals refers to those with net assets of at least US$1m excluding their main home.
The survey conducted by China Merchants Bank and Consultancy Bain & Company indicates that as many as 320,000 Chinese individuals will possess at a minimum 10 million yuan (US$1.46m) each in disposal assets as of the end of 2009. A total of 8.8 trillion yuan in disposable assets held in the happy few rich hands is already tantamount to the 29 percent share of the country's GDP total of 30 trillion yuan.
The upward revision in the wealth forecast not only reflects China's generally effective fiscal and monetary policy in recent years, but also showcases that the Chinese wealthy, the enterprising minority of the population allowed by the policy of reform and opening up to get rich first, have now become more adept at shifting their funds out of troubled markets into more profitable areas. Additionally, wealth creation in China, meanwhile, has benefited from the country's closer integration into the global economy.
Admittedly, in a still developing nation like China, the general public seems to grudge accepting the fact that a rising number of high net worth individuals have emerged and the wealth they controlled has been dramatically expanded. Influenced by the decades-long planned economy, the Chinese have been accustomed to the Chinese-style egalitarianism, shaping the stereotyped mindset of 'eating from the same big pot.' Hence, a great many people cannot rub off the deeply ingrained prejudice against wealth, as they were taught that there was something wrong inherently with being rich.
If viewed through the prism of social development, one can easily understand why wealth used to be so despised in traditional Chinese society. China is typically an agricultural country, and in its time-honored history, the theory of 'attaching great importance to agriculture but restraining commerce' has been hammered into the people's mind, well and truly. With time, 'poverty mentality' would come into being, which encourages the thinking that if you have more, then I must have less. Even worse, now that many of the Chinese have grown up exposed to similar thinking and similar teachings, they tend to form an abnormal psyche of 'hating the rich.'
Misconducts of some affluent people as well as the illicit channels they used to accumulate their wealth will undoubtedly add a further irritant to the discontent of the less fortunate. Such terms as 'corrupt rich,' 'stinking rich' and other much harsher things are often used by ordinary Chinese to describe those 'wealthy but bad guys' in their eyes.
More often than not, many of the newly emerged rich people are still magpies, good at hoarding but poor in management. And they have little sense of charity, donation and social commitments, this being yet another reason to make them scorned by the public. Some even believe that the rich got that way by stepping on the poor. The rich, however, can hardly convince the less fortunate majority that it isn't wrong to be wealthy. So in a society with the rapid economic growth and increasingly enlarged circle of affluent individuals, it is quite desirable to cultivate a wealth culture, which can, for one thing, gradually change people's thought process and make them believe everybody can escape poverty and get rich through efforts.
Secondly, a sound atmosphere in which wealth creation is encouraged will also help people retrain their mind, pushing out the old 'poverty mentality,' and replacing it with a 'wealth mentality.' If more people are devising ways to create wealth, in a long run, it will contribute to building a harmonious and mass affluent society, as more people will have the ability to help the less fortunate.
A society without producing wealthy people is never progressing on the healthy track. Indeed, even the Bible says 'money is the root of all evils.' In this light, a highly commercialized society is not a noble one, either. But it is noteworthy that wealth in itself has nothing to do with guilt or innocence, and what matters most is how to manage it. Nevertheless, it will be beneficial to the general good of a society that, instead of bitterly envying the rich, more people are learning to become one of them.