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Advantages of the Lifestyle of the Rich - Essay Example

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The paper "Advantages of the Lifestyle of the Rich" focuses on the benefits which wealthy people have. The author of the paper presents three main advantages and provides a brief analysis of the difference between Alexis de Tocqueville and Gabriel Kolko…
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Advantages of the Lifestyle of the Rich
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People who get high income from their asset base have the potential to choose the work to do (Brueggemann, 2010). Contrastingly, people who depend on employment have no choice but to work as the job regulations demand and since they do not have other alternatives to earn a living. People having immense wealth can get easy access to the lawmakers through their efforts of campaigning and thus protecting their assets.
Difference between Alexis de Tocqueville and Gabriel Kolko
Alexis argues that America has been an egalitarian society. An egalitarian society is one that takes into consideration little power, status, wealth and prestige differences among individuals. According to Alexis (Brueggemann, 2010), there has not been the prevention of individuals amassing resources to extreme extents thus ensuring fair resource distribution. In contrast to this view, Gabriel Kolko argues that, despite year-to-year fluctuations since 1910, there has been unequal income distribution. Gabriel asserts that America has a characteristic concentration of wealth that is wealth is on the hands of only a few individuals in society.
Share of the wealth of the top 1% in assets compared to the bottom 90%
The top 1% of the American rich own 33 percent of the wealth in the United States. There are also another top 10% of the people possessing 69 percent of the assets. This means that the remaining 90% majority of the people only own about 31% of the assets. From Table 7.2, we note that 27 percent of the wealth falls to the percentiles 50 to 90% and the bottom about half of the total population possess only around 3 percent of the assets. Thus, it is evident from Table 7.2 that there is a large margin of inequality since the bottom 90 percent of the population is far poor compared to 1% of the population.
The relation between figure 7.1 and 7.2
Figure 7.1 gives the trend of wealth owned by the richest 1% of the population right from 1774 to the year 2005. It shows the share to have hit the highest percentage in the 1830s reaching 44 percent. The period between 1774 and 1860 saw wealth concentration rising with the 1820s and the late 1840s experiencing steep increases (Brueggemann, 2010). This trend conforms to the Kuznets hypothesis. Figure 7.2 shows the top bracket (groupings for taxation purposes) percentages from the year 1913 t0 2000. The figure shows the 1920s and from about 1980 as the two periods having low top tax brackets. The top bracket was extremely high between the years 1945 and 1980. Relating the two figures, we note that when wealth inequality is high the top bracket setting becomes low and vice Versa. Wealth inequality was extremely high in the 1920s and from the 1980s to date. Between 1945 and 1980, wealth inequality was at the lowest degrees. During this time, we note that the top brackets were 70% and above.
The rich benefit through the continuously increasing the number of individuals having gross incomes adjusted. These people end up paying no taxes, as a result, of the action. The Internal Revenue Service uses a threshold, $200,000 to define high-income taxpayers in which case the pure rich retain their income and avoid paying taxes because they have sufficient deductions. The falling down of effective tax rates is also another way that favors the rich in the tax system. The tax cuts enacted between 2000 and 2005 are another indicator that shows the rich benefiting. When implemented those individuals with gross incomes adjusted will benefit a lot. The rich have influence and can lobby for exceptional treatment from the Congress committee concerned with the writing of taxes. This relates to the supply-side economics in that it has an element of favoring the rich. Supply-side economics involves low taxes on the rich, which would reduce tax avoidance and evasion and produce significant tax revenue. An effective tax rate refers to the tax rate an individual pays on all his or her taxable income. Adjusted gross income refers to adjusted incomes subtracted from gross income. There is a difference in that the effective tax rate refers to taxes while adjusted gross income is income adjusted for purposes of taxation.
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