On Wednesday, January 18th large internet companies such as Wikipedia blacked out their sites in protest of the Stop Piracy Act Bill (SOPA). The nice-sounding bill threatens to destroy creativity and freedom of speech on the Internet by allowing the US Department of Justice and copyright holders authority to attack sites who enable or facilitate copyright infringement.
Imagine Financial Samurai sharing a piece of useful information on how to prevent credit card theft online, and the original creator is from some giant corporation who has a propensity to sue despite linking back and giving credit. I will probably never bother to share this useful content in fear of having some overly paranoid lawyer sue me for SOPA infringement if this bill passes. Our society is already litigious enough!
I’m proud of the Internet community for speaking out against SOPA. The government, despite all its “good intentions” should not be in the business of regulating what we can share and say online. Sure, there is a limit to what we can and should do, especially if someone is being untruthful, but for the government to get involved with what I can and cannot say on my own site is wrong and I am fiercely against SOPA and more government regulation!
You would think that those who are against big government would also be against big government who discriminates based on income, gender, and sexual preference, but you’d be mistaken. To many, discrimination is OK, so long as they aren’t being discriminated against.
THE HYPOCRISY OF INCONSISTENCY
Let’s discuss income taxes. A progressive income tax system is clearly discriminatory. Why does someone making over $380,000 have to pay not only a higher percentage of their taxes to the government (35% marginal tax rate), but also a much higher absolute amount of taxes vs. someone who makes $80,000 (25% marginal tax rate)? Are the roads and libraries that much better for the wealthy? After a certain minimum income standard above poverty, we should be treated equally with a flat tax.
There are people who believe it’s OK to vote on further raising another group’s income taxes, while not having to pay more taxes themselves. How can we give people and the government this authority? Imagine if one of the 40-50% of Americans who pays zero federal taxes votes for a President who wants to raise taxes on a group that already pays the most taxes. The goal is to steal from one group to subsidize his/her own group. This is shear hypocrisy. We need to ALL pitch in if we’ve decided tax increases is the only way! Just like we all need to accept lower services if cuts are to be made.
What about sexism? We can all agree that sexism is wrong. Men and women should have equal rights and equal pay for equal work. So if everybody agrees that sexism is wrong, why aren’t more people up in arms about the government’s desire to tax couples making over $250,000 when they are targeting singles making over $200,000? Why doesn’t $200,000 + $200,000 = $400,000? The government expects inequality of one spouse upon marriage, that’s why! Is one spouse suddenly supposed to go from making $200,000+ to $50,000 just because s/he got married? This is nuts!
Very few people give a shit about the way government treats gender rights because very few couples make over $250,000. But I’ll ask you again. Is discrimination OK if you are not being discriminated against? The answer is HELL NO. Discrimination is never OK.
What about gender preference? Why is the government in the business of regulating who we can and cannot love and what we can and cannot have if we marry? Gay couples and straight couples should have the same rights. Does being born gay make you a lesser being? Does standing under 5 feet 8 inches tall make you a lesser man? Should you have to pay more taxes just because you were born with red hair? Of course not! So why the hell is the government discriminating against gays and lesbians? Why should a straight man or woman dictate how a homosexual man or woman should live? They shouldn’t.
If you studied American history, you will know that discrimination based on sexual preference is akin to racial discrimination in the 50’s and 60s. The government shouldn’t be in the business of relationships.
IF YOU ARE OPPOSED TO SOPA, PLEASE ACT CONSISTENTLY
If you are opposed to SOPA, you are against big government getting into your business of telling you what you can say, share, and write about online. Since you are against big government, you should be against a government who practices discriminatory tax policy against people who already pay more than their percentage of income earned. If you are are not subject to paying more taxes yourself, you have no right to tell another group of people what they should pay. Yes, this includes those who say, “They can afford it” and other oblivious statements. Instead, you should be fighting for equality in our taxation system.
If you are opposed to SOPA, you are against big government telling others who they can and cannot marry. You are opposed to the government dictating the love of others and imposing sanctions against their rights because of their sexual preference. Maybe you or your children will one day be targeted by the government, you never know. Are you going to love your children less for being gay? No, you will love your children unconditionally.
If you are opposed to SOPA, you are against big government penalizing you because of your sex. You believe as an independent woman or man, you have the right to continue earning your income even when you get married. You do no believe it is fair that $200,000 + $200,000 = $250,000 in the government’s eyes because of their sexist ways.
It’s OK to disagree, be it for moral, religious or personal reasons. Just don’t impose your will on others, since they have a right to their liberties as well.
Alas, I know people will always vote for what’s in their best interests, even if it means screwing other people in the process. Hence, despite all the noise about being against big government on the internet, we will have bigger government in the near future. Forget studying hard in school. Forget working 80 hours a week. Forget starting a business on the side. Forget one love and harmony. Let’s just vote on politicians who will spoon feed us success and hurt others to better our own positions. It’s much easier that way.
Photo: Iguana In Darkness, Yucatan Peninsula, 2010. Sam.
Tax Savings Recommendation
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Updated for 2017 and beyond. Income taxes are set to come down under President Trump. As a result, those who contributed to their Roth IRA or Roth 401k and planned on retiring in 2017 – 2021 had wrong tax expectations.
Photo: Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia, FS, 2014.