Wealth doesn't multiply by dividing it

Kevin Palmer's July 24 letter about rich people and taxes ("Richest people should pay most taxes") just boggles my mind. Rich people do pay more in taxes, considerably more.

Here are the facts: The wealthiest 1 percent pay 37 percent of taxes. The wealthiest 10 percent pay 68 percent of taxes. The wealthiest 25 percent pay 85 percent of taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay only 3 percent of income taxes! That doesn't sound unfair to me.

Additionally, as to the rich being "unfair," how about the fact Bill Gates of Microsoft donates $3 billion a year to various charities and he, as well as 69 other billionaires, have pledged to give half of their fortunes to various charities? Pretty generous.

Costco didn't come to Augusta to "exploit" the work force. They came, as do all profit-seeking corporations, to generate a profit for their stockholders by fulfilling a perceived community need.

Basic Economics 101: Capitalism. That is what American business does. It provides jobs and opportunity for people to become citizens and partake of what this country offers to those who want it -- opportunity!

Everybody starts somewhere, usually at the bottom of the pile. You work yourself up by applying yourself. It's amazing how lucky you can get by hard work and determination.

Someone recently sent me the following, which says much about the mind-set of our country:

- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

- What one person receives without working for, another must work for without receiving.

- The government cannot give to anybody anything it does not take from someone else.

- You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

- When half of the people get the idea they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea it does no good to work because somebody else is going to take what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Jack Burke

Aiken, S.C.

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