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Targeting the "rich"

by Klaus Rohrich
Friday, July 15, 2005

Socialist politicians have come up with a clever scheme that takes the focus off their incompetence and instead targets a nebulous "enemy" that everyone loves to hate: the rich. Tune in to any talk radio program in Ontario, the Maritimes or BC and without fail, callers will talk about making people "pay their fair share". While there is nothing wrong with the concept of paying one’s fair share, the definition of what constitutes a "fair share" seems to be fluid, as does the definition of who is rich.

As best as I can determine, the rich are those who earn or have more money than I. This means that the number of rich in this country varies, depending on the income of whoever is defining them. Also, in pursuing our hatred of the rich it’s easy to find allies, as most people are envious of others.

But let’s suppose we finally do give "the rich" their just desserts. What would life be like without the rich? Well, for openers there would be no jobs, other than government jobs, as the rich own all the businesses and employ everyone who doesn’t work for the government. Subsequently, there would be very few goods for the rest of us to purchase, as we would have to import everything from elsewhere. For those who cannot imagine what that would be like, the ideal model would be the former Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc satellites. Under their system of economics the only "rich" people were party functionaries and government bigwigs. People had to stand in line for hours to buy a loaf of bread from the government bakery and then stand in line again for a piece of meat from the government butcher.

A more contemporary example of this is North Korea; though there are no breadlines since there is no bread. In fact, starvation is rampant in North Korea, with reports of over one million people having died from malnutrition over the past four years. Of course, North Korea’s "Beloved Leader" Kim Jong Il appears to be the only "rich" person in that country.

Contrast the conditions in North Korea with those of South Korea, where there appear to be plenty of rich people and you have a totally different picture. The country is producing and exporting goods, and as a result, the standard of living there is substantially higher than that in the North.

Eliminating the rich would also do away with all charities, except those owned and operated by the government. When you consider the endowments that the rich have given to hospitals, universities, museums and other projects, their absence would certainly make a huge difference, as suddenly a very large amount of money would disappear. Of course, if that happened, then those working would have to pay a lot more of their wages out in taxes to feed and care for those not working.

When it comes to paying taxes, the rich really do contribute their fair share. That is unless you consider over 80% of all income taxes paid by about 15% of the population to be less than a "fair share". I suppose we could do what they did in Sweden in the 1970s, and charge those making over a certain amount of money more than 100% of their annual earnings in income taxes. But that wouldn’t last too very long, as those having to pay more than they earn in taxes would soon move away or stop working.

It’s great fun to hate the rich; we all do it. But we really should cherish them and their wealth, as without it we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the standard of living we do. Personally, I like the rich. They’re that nice couple living next door.

Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism. His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Lucianne, among others. He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto and is an avid student of history. Klaus can be reached at:

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