Redistributing wealth is unfair

During the one and only vice-presidential debate, Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, defended his ticket’s taxing policies as a matter of “fairness.” Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, criticized the Democrats’ plan for taxation as being a “redistribution of wealth” which refers to the transfer of wealth from some individuals to the larger group.

We’re all college students on a budget, working hard and studying so that when we graduate we can get a reputable job with a decent salary. Upon graduation, some will receive a better salary than others based on skill, knowledge, your degree and the fact that perhaps you went to graduate school. It’s only logical that someone who goes to medical school and graduates with honors gets a higher starting salary than someone who studied to be a teacher or a journalist. The doctor may have a salary of $255,000. Under Sen. Obama’s plan, the student who studied over eight years, made greater sacrifices, and went through numerous internships and residencies will be taxed at a much higher rate than his or her classmates in order to be “fair.” Basically, under Sen. Obama’s platform, hard work will not be rewarded. It will be punished.

Many argue that the majority of the population will benefit from these policies, but many hardworking Americans will suffer as a result of the many loafers and free-riders the government will support at the expense of others’ hard work and dedication. This is the definition of unfairness and mirrors beliefs held by many socialists. Socialists believe that capitalism concentrates wealth and power into the hands of few and leaves the majority at a disadvantage. However, our country was based on a “free market” system. Our country’s been able to maximize production, profit and efficiently run our economy under these policies.

Now, we’re on the verge of change – changing the fundamentals of our values and beliefs. The American dream is that you can come to this country, persevere and reap the benefits of your work. Marva Collins once said, “Success doesn’t come to you… you go to it.” Americans treasure the values of hard work, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By drastically changing the taxation policies, you threaten to change those beliefs. Instead of teaching school children to work hard to realize their dreams, we will tell them to participate minimally because, in our economy, those who work harder and make more will have to pay the price to support those who work less. Before you vote for change, think about the results this change may bring.

October 26, 2008


Victoria San Pedro

Contributing Columnist

15 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Redistributing wealth is unfair”

  1. craig says:

    This is the most insane argument I’ve ever heard for why rich should not be taxed more. Truth is many of the top 5% richest in america inherited that wealth they have no ideal what hard work is. They own monopolies with huge profits and no real competition. Poor people remain poor cause the rich don’t pay their fair share. I kinda laugh at the notion that people that are poor some how don’t work they just goof off all day hanging out and getting big welfare checks. Many poor people work 2 jobs and pay thier fair share of taxes. Obama is kind if I was president I would have no taxes on those that earn under 50,000 a year per person. And set a limit of 5 million dollars under normal tax rates that become 90 percome tax after the 5 million earned per year. Too many greedy people in the world. At least we won’t have to put up with them in heaven as well.

  2. craig says:


  3. Miami says:


    Check out Jack Balkin’s analysis of Obama’s comments related to redistribution of wealth. Professor Balkin is a constitutional law professor at Yale. Maybe he can provide some insight into this discussion

  4. Richard Lyons says:

    Ok democrats; let’s see you defend socialism then. Because that is exactly what Obama is proposing. If I work hard for my money, why should a portion of it be taken away from me and given to someone who didn’t work for that money? It’s like taking money from one business that you own, and using it to fund another business that you own that isn’t doing as well, and that is called embezzling. So basically here, democrats, you want a President that will embezzle money? Think about it and then come and talk to me.

  5. Miami says:

    I’m sure those who are suing for money damages for a tort committed against them would beg to differ. They are seeking a redistribution of wealth for harms that were committed against them like those Obama was talking about in his statement who suffered from segregation. But under McCain’s/Republican/Bizarro world, there would be no more money damagesin US courts. Not even for victims of PLO terrorist attacks who sue in NY.

  6. Shiloh says:

    Republicans and McFascoBush Supporters wouldn’t have supported helping the Jews after the Nazis ravaged them with some form of redistribution of wealth? I find that hard to swallow. All these flag waving war supporting fascists who want to redistribute wealth in Iraq to the victims of Hussein are following Obama’s thinking for those who were slaves or couldn’t eat w/ whites at lunch counters in Miami Dade when there was segregation in FL. Why are the Iraqi’s so much more deserving of this redistribution of American wealth than others? Because they are part of the Republican Grand Plan?

  7. Shiloh says:

    Does UM teach critical thinking? You seem to be parroting Fox news propaganda. Listen to the whole interview with Obama on Chicago public radio. He was speaking in teh context of teh civil rights era. What do you think the US is doing for the war torn country of Iraq or what they the internaitonal community did for the people of Rwanda following the holocaust there? They redistributed wealth to dispossed people. You seem like you have no handle on history and can’t research a topic enough to even understand what is being talked about.

  8. berry says:

    McCain Palin 2008

  9. berry says:

    Great piece. Thank you for this article.

  10. Anna says:

    Following your logic of working harder = super large salary, my parents should be insanely wealthy by now. My mother and father both work for a tree business. They work Monday-Saturday from 6:30 am – 6:00 pm around trees (cutting down, topping, trimming, etc). This is incredibly labor intensive work, and they do it all year round. And considering we’re from the Midwest it’s even more spectacular. My parents work in temperatures that are in the negatives as well as temps over 100. There is always the risk of severe bodily harm in their line of work, not to mention death by chipper or some other equally horrific scenario. However, despite all of their incredible hard work under extreme conditions we are, economically, lower class.

    It’s difficult for us to make ends meet and we’ve been on welfare before. So apparently their hardwork really isn’t that hard at all. Afterall, you claim that hardwork will be rewarded! Obviously the med student studying in his/her air-conditioned dormitory is the harder worker by far. I mean, after all, it must be so grueling studying the nervous system as you sip your mocha latte. How do they do it?

    In all seriousness though, being a part of a society means helping out those less fortunate than you. I am absolutely amazed at how people have turned the idea of giving aide to people on hard times into some unholy act comparable to feasting on the flesh of the newborn.

    Maybe you should try living off of food stamps for awhile or see how it feels to be so poor that you literally have to take the money out of your child’s piggy bank in order to buy the most minimal of groceries. Really, you’re kind of pathetic. You are truly blind to the plights of your fellow citizens.

  11. N says:

    Taxes are redistributing wealth. Do you enjoy your military, roads, and police? They all come from taxes. McCain himself agrees if you make enough you should pay more taxes. I am not seeing where you are getting these fanciful ideas about Obama punishing the hard working college students (did you mean elite rich) by changing the tax rates to what they were under Clinton, which by the way was way less than earlier in our history. If you are make a 1/4 of a million you can pay just a bit more and help the lower end of society, which actually does help you in itself.

  12. R says:

    Let’s not forget that sometimes the people who get higher paying jobs? They don’t have a graduate degree or even a bachelor’s degree. It’s all thanks to Mom or Dad having that connection at work that allows them to get that job.

    It’s not like Senator Obama is saying “Hey, you make more money, you pay more taxes.” That’s how it’s ALWAYS been and he’s just saying that those who make more than a certain amount will have their taxes increased to match their earnings. It’s not fair that someone who doesn’t have that $255,000 job pays more in taxes than necessary in taxes per year. Besides, I doubt the increase will hurt that person’s income too much.

    Also, like E said, teachers help others get to where they are. Without education, those with high-paying jobs wouldn’t be where they are unless their parents, once again, had those special connections. So really, teachers should be on the same level as that med student.

    But hey, if you want to keep America where it’s at with this article of yours and watch the rich sit pretty on gold toilets while the rest of us struggle for a meal and a decent living, then go for McPalin.

  13. E says:

    So basically, you spend your entire op-ed piece saying that we need more education to make more money, yet you basically say that teaching is a worthless occupation.

    Last time I checked, TEACHERS are the ones who provide you with this EDUCATION of which you seem so fond. That doesn’t sound worthless to me, and if you truly think education is the key to a high income level (which it isn’t), then you should rethink your stance on teachers.

  14. Toni says:

    Your article actually ignores the group of people most likely to actually be taxed under Obama: The rich.

    THESE are the people who have 90% of the wealth, while making up less than 10% of the country’s population.

    Many of these people do not lift a finger to do anything remotely resembling “hard work”. Some have never worked a day in their lives, profiting off of their parents and or their grandparents. Yet, I’m suppose to feel sorry for the class that holds most of the wealth and prosperity because they’re going to get a 3% tax increase that would benefit the REST OF US?

    Yeah right.

  15. I says:

    So basically because someone’s passion doesn’t lie in biology they don’t deserve things such as universal health care or decent public education for their children, which is what those taxes would be going to. I have to be punished because I don’t want to spend 20 years of my life reading about the endocrine or digestive system? I don’t know, but I think your “holier than thou” attitude is what’s unfair.

    If your sibling did something wrong and your parents punished you AND your sibling for it, is that fair? People abuse rights all the time but is it okay to punish the people who AREN’T abusing them. Who actually NEED food stamps every month so their children don’t starve? Or the people who need help from the government so they can barely afford a shoddy apartment in the slums? You may say “It’s their fault for being so poor, they should’ve finished school,” but not everyone is that privileged to be able to go to school. Believe it or not, a lot of kids have to start working right out of high school to help their families afford to live.

    I don’t understand the obsession with hoarding money. I’d think supporters of McCain/Palin are down with the whole “religion before everything” mentality. And greed is no pillar in Christianity. Especially doctors who, above all, should actually want to help people.

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.