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Time Warp

What can we learn from a bag of cookies?

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Bob Pritts is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

October 3, 2011 | 3,176 views | 1 comment

A young lady entered a rather large airport, checked in, and went to her departure gate only to find out that her flight was being delayed by over two hours. She became quite upset. But, to make the most of an uncontrollable situation she decided to buy a book and a bag of cookies and go the gate area to read and snack away the time.

She sat down in a seat and opened her book. She noticed an older man sitting one seat away who was reading The Wall Street Journal. In her mind she thought ‘this man is obviously quite well off. I can just tell by the tailored suit he’s wearing. And, here I am struggling to make a living’. Then, she reached over to the seat between them, opened the bag of cookies, and took one. The man, a few seconds later, reached over and took a cookie out of the bag without saying a word. She noticed and thought ‘how arrogant can this idiot be’? He didn’t even ask!

This same process continued ... every time she took a cookie the man would follow taking one for himself. All the while she became more and more irritated and angered but did not want to create a scene. Finally, there was only one cookie left in the bag. She thought ‘OK. What will this arrogant jerk do now’? Before her thought was even finished, he reached into the bag, took the last cookie, broke it in half, and with a smile on his face, handed her half. That did it! She threw the half cookie back at the man, knocked the empty bag off the seat onto the floor, picked up her purse and luggage, and stomped off to her departure gate.

A short time later she boarded the plane and took her seat. She thought about the frustrating day she was having thus far. To get back in the right spirit she decided to freshen up a little by perhaps applying some new lipstick. That would make her feel better. She opened her purse and, lo-and-behold, there was her bag of cookies. She had forgotten she had put them in her purse on her way to the reading area. She immediately felt like trash. For his unselfishness and generosity I gave him my arrogance, selfishness, and anger!

In the worst way she wanted to apologize and make amends to this man but she knew that was impossible. But somehow, she believed he already knew the lesson he had just taught. From that point on she would honor what she had just learned as one of her most important life lessons. Be thankful for what others provide. Little did she know that the man was the major investor in the client company she was about to visit. The people she would talk to only had their jobs because of this man’s investment ‘risk’ money, hard work, and leadership that, over the years, proved to be a successful endeavor.

Have we as a people learned that lesson? Apparently not! While she was feeling guilty about ending up with ¾ of the available cookies, all of hers and ½ of his, we now want the man to share even more! The top 25% of all taxpayers pay 86% of all federal income taxes. And, that includes those making $200,000 and upward. The remaining 75% of taxpayers pay the remaining 14%. But, over half of those folks pay no federal income taxes at all. Over 47% of all taxpayers receive refund checks at the end of each year for 100% of all the federal income tax withheld from their paychecks during the year. It gets even worse, a large percentage of that 47% are on one or many welfare programs or do not work at all. Yet the 75% receive 98.59% of benefits back from the government through the various programs available and the top 25% receive only 1.41%. Those statistics are from the government’s own records. Ironically, the 75% of all supposed taxpayers are screaming for the wealthier Americans to pay even more and those who pay no taxes at all or receive full refunds in that group are screaming the loudest.

The latest national polls conducted on the subject are astounding for a presumably capitalistic, free market society. One poll declares that three quarters of the American people support the Obama ‘Buffet Rule’ bill that would raise taxes on those households earning over $1 million dollars per year. Two thirds of all Republicans polled also support the Buffet Rule. In another poll, done by Gallup, it was found that two thirds of all Americas also support raising taxes on households earning over $200,000 per year One demographic is even more supportive of the Buffet Rule than the national average. The under 30 set is overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, according to millennial advocacy group, Our Time. A Facebook survey of its members found that 80% of those in that demographic group support the proposal. If the polls are correct, a large percentage of you reading this blog also agree with the implementation of the Buffet Rule. You have been mislead so much by the media, the politicians, and perhaps your own feelings or envy of the wealthy, that you’ve allowed yourself to get so far into the forest you truly can no longer see the trees.

Here’s the tree. Many of you work for businesses that were started many years ago either by one person or a group of investors who had an idea. They were willing to risk much or all of their assets to ‘give it a shot’. Some even borrowed against their own home mortgages. If they lost, they would lose everything. If they were successful, they had a chance to continue growing the business and, of course, regain their investment funds and accumulate real personal wealth. Somewhere along the line they hired you and others in an effort to continue their business growth.

So now they’ve reached that pinnacle of over $200,000 per year in personal salary and a thriving business ownership. They are now in that glorious top 25% who pay 86% of all federal income taxes collected by the IRS. Don’t forget, they not only pay personal federal income taxes but their companies pay corporate income taxes as well, which in most companies ranges between 30-37%. The corporate portion comes right off the bottom line profit which in turn lowers the value of the corporation if the owner or investor(s) were to decide to sell. In essence, that tax has also been paid indirectly, for the time being, by the owners. Nothing has been deducted from your earnings. You should be thankful for your job and the opportunity to make a good living and raise a family over all these years provided by these ‘filthy rich folks’, but apparently many of you aren’t.

One final note. The media has provided us with 100-200 examples of egregious behavior by top executives over the past several years. But, they haven’t said a word about the other 65,000 business owners and executives who operate successful companies with integrity and honor. Why not? Because they are mostly decent folks and simply not news worthy. The destruction of our thought processes and common sense has been absolutely phenomenal as a result of the media’s soap opera reporting. Take the college students (80%) noted in the last poll above. They are demonstrating for the wealthy to pay more taxes and at the same time demanding that those same wealthy provide them with jobs! I don’t know what degree they earned in college but it sure didn’t include any courses in economics, logic or common sense! Their thought process is the same as someone who slaughters his neighbor’s only dairy cow for the meat and then calls the neighbor demanding that he send over some milk for them to drink with their meal.

Hopefully some of you, who wish to destroy or at least hinder the job providers of this nation, have discovered some way of perhaps re-thinking the your view. If you haven’t, maybe you should just ask one of your current or previous co-workers for a job should you become unemployed.
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