Friday, May 25, 2012

Professor Milton Friedman: 'On Taxing The Rich To Help The Poor'

Source:The Republic- Economics Professor Milton Friedman from 1978.

"Milton has little faith the government can effectively tax the rich and help the poor. In fact in this short video you will see why he believes it does the opposite and hurts them. Milton Friedman was the foremost economist of his time and many say one of the best of all time, and most respected." 

From The Republic

With all due respect to the people who put this video together, Professor Friedman is not talking about taxing the rich to help the poor. He's talking about how states fund their state universities. And talking about what he believes we should do instead to fund college in this country. 

If you want me to talk about taxes and how they should be used (if at all) to help low-income people, I'll tell you anyway. I don't believe the problem with America and it's economic system is that we have too many rich people. The opposite is true. We have too many poor people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, and regional backgrounds. 

We have too many people in America who simply lack the skills that they need to do well in life. And as a result they have kids anyway that they're not personally and financially ready to take care of, where in a lot of cases there's no father in the family and they become dependents on the state (meaning taxpayers) just to financially survive in America. 

If you want people to make it in America, not only does everyone need the opportunity and skills to make it in America, but they also need to be incentivized to make it in America. You don't do that by soaking the rich simply to take care of the poor with all sorts of government welfare programs. Because you send two wrong messages there. 

By soaking the rich to take care of the poor, you are telling Americans that if they're successful in this country, big government is going to tax the hell out of you, to take care of people that aren't doing well and lack the skills to be successful in this country. But then you are also telling low-income, low-skilled people that they don't need a good education, good skills, a good work ethic, personal responsibility, to do well in America. Because as long as they're low-income and low-skilled, big government is going to take care of them. 

If you want people to make it in America, you have to incentivized work, education, and success. And for low-income, low-skilled adults, who for whatever reason or reasons don't have the skills to make it in America, yet, you need to empower them to be able to get the skills that they need to get themselves a good job that allows them to be economically independent. 

Government through it's taxpayers can help the poor by not only incentivizing work over Welfare, but allow them to keep their Welfare checks while they're still working, until they're able to make enough money on their own that they're no longer income, which is called subsidized work. But empower them to go back to school while they're working to get the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and become economically independent.

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