A Thousand Million

This notion that a high marginal tax rate is a dangerous idea is ridiculous, especially as you head further and further up the pay scale. At a certain point, enough is enough for any lifestyle you could imagine.

There is a widespread moral and conceptual error, in a society saturated in the ideology of competition and monetary success, that the property a person has gotten does not simply belong to that person but is, somehow, itself an embodiment of their personhood—that to separate a person from property is to attack their human existence.

This is true to an extent—to the extent that property secures a person food, and shelter, and physical security, and health and futurity. Even, despite the inequities and injustices that have emerged by this level, a person’s opportunities to have leisure, to make art, etc.

None of this comes anywhere near adding up to a billion dollars. -- from No Billionaires by Tom Scocca

  • Is $1,000,000 a year, $2,750 every single day, enough?
  • $10,000,000 or $27,500 every single day?
  • $100,000,000 or $275,000 every single day?
  • $1,000,000,000 or $2,750,000 every single day?

And yes, depending on the state one lived in and how ones income is classified (ie. wages are more aggressively taxed than, say, capital gains), after state and federal and social security and medicare and what have you, half or even more of that may go to some sort of tax. For instance, in a high tax state such as California:

  • $1,000,000 in wages? Only $521,000 left or about $1,425 every single day.
  • $10,000,000 in wages? Only $4.66 million left or $12,750 every single day.
  • $100,000,000 in wages? Only $46.1 million left or $126,000 every single day.
  • $1,000,000,000 in wages? Only $460.25 million left or $1,260,000 every single day.

Call my simple-minded if you must, but the notion that any individual's activities, regardless of their specialized skills or knowledge, could be worth $1,260,000 a day is preposterous.

There are no good billionaires. There may be some relatively good people who are attached to a pile of money that stacks one billion dollars high, but the money does not improve them. It makes them worse. Their good points would be no less good if they held only, say, 500 million dollars. And their bad points would be that much less of a problem for anyone else. -- again, from No Billionaires by Tom Scocca