10/25/08 — Redistribution: Siphoning rewards of success kills incentive to achieve

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Redistribution: Siphoning rewards of success kills incentive to achieve

It is not just about the money, but, for now, let's let it be about the money and only the money.

Imagine that you have an idea -- a plan for a business.

You mortgage your house, scrimp, save and pray that your bank account will cover your expenses each week. You work seven days a week, 12 hours a day to get it off the ground.

The first few years aren't easy, you sacrifice your health, your time with your family. You worry about the future and if you are going to be able to survive.

Then, your hard work starts paying off. You can hire some help and your hours go down a little. You are still struggling to build your business, and some weeks, making payroll and paying all the taxes and costs of doing business means you don't have enough left for too much for yourself.

You want to add health care for your employees, but it is expensive. You work harder to see if you can meet payroll, to build the business to keep it healthy and to do more for your staff.

And, finally, you make it to a level that allows you to relax a bit -- and to do more for your employees and your family.

Then, someone comes along and tells you that since you are successful, you should give up a percentage of that profit -- a large percentage of that profit -- to someone who has not done the work, made the sacrifices or held his or her breath as the checks were cut for payroll.

That is what redistribution of wealth really means. Take from someone who has worked hard all his or her life and give it to someone who has not made the choices and sacrifices or paid his or her dues.

The analogy is for small businesses, of course, but it also applies to anyone who is working hard to build a life or a career.

It would be the same as telling a long-term or high-achieving employee that he or she must give up 10-15 percent of his or her salary to be distributed to those who have not yet had the opportunities or chances to succeed.

How hard would you work? Would you be so willing to take a chance on a new idea, a new project, a new business venture?

The idea that not wanting to pay more taxes is unpatriotic, greedy or otherwise indicative of a self-centered and uncaring business community is ridiculous -- and anti-everything America stands for.

Small businesses and many of the people who have "made it" are among some of the most generous in your community. They are the ones who sponsor the Little League teams and are first in line when the United Way or other local organization asks for a donation. They populate the boards and organizations that help others.

They employ your neighbors and help your community survive and grow.

And contrary to what others might say, they are generous with their time and money, usually leading the list of donors and those who support many and varied causes.

More rules, more regulation and more government pickpocketing does not provide more jobs. Just the opposite. A business faced with increasing expenses will have to lay someone off or raise prices. That is the only way to survive.

Consider your vote carefully.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't work -- it never has.

It only ends in both Peter and Paul having less of a chance at a future.

Published in Editorials on October 25, 2008 11:34 PM