Whose ‘Just Society’?
Tue, 12/11/2012

In “Community Breaks Silence On Bush-Era Tax Cuts” (Dec. 7), Alan van Capelle, CEO of Bend the Arc, is quoted as stating that “building a just America means that we who have enjoyed this great nation’s opportunities must also share its burdens.”

While I do empathize with goal of “building a just America,” I am perplexed by how van Capelle defines these lofty ideals.

Much academic research across the political spectrum consistently exhibits a positive correlation between wealth and progressive career advancement with the attainment of advanced levels of higher education. Most modern-day affluence is statistically attributed to the genius, ingenuity and uncompromising work ethic of modern-day entrepreneurs, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.

Why then is a “just America” not defined as one in which those who vigorously slog to attain greater economic standing, benefit corresponding to their efforts, as it would in any other modern-day democratic setting? Aren’t these vilified corporate titans already being taxed at higher rates, despite the fact that they provide an enormous economic benefit with the jobs they provide and the disproportionate tax burden they shoulder? Don’t such attributes qualify as “sharing the burden”?

While I don’t realistically expect proponents of the expiration of Bush tax cuts to change their stripes, I would however appreciate an acknowledgement that stripes do in fact come in varying shades.

Brooklyn

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