Economist and business professor Peter Morici appeared as a guest for Fox News this week to speak about Democratic senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax. This tax, which suggests a 2 percent tax on households worth $50 million or more and a 3 percent tax for every dollar beyond a billion, intends to balance out income equality and fund social programs.
Morici, who has a net worth of $1 million, verbally opposed the tax by saying that "$50 million is big, but not as big as you think."
For the 4 out of every 5 American workers that live paycheck to paycheck, and for the three out of five who have less than $1,000 in savings, suffice to say $50 million is indeed a lot of money. A household that just barely passes the $50 million thresholds would pay $1 million in taxes per year, which would leave it with millions in savings and disposable income while also providing invaluable funds for the other 99.999999 percent (yes, that many nines) of Americans who are not so fortunate.
The right defends their right to hoard wealth by embracing the age-old concept of trickle-down economics. If the wealthy are subject to fewer taxes, they say, they contribute more to the economy by investing and starting businesses, which go on to benefit everyone in the country. Time after time, this theory has been proven wrong. The wealthy continue to "invest" in their own consumer goods while the working class actually supports the economy by spending everything they make on necessities like clothes, food, and rent.
Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the only way to ensure the social welfare of the other 99 percent of Americans. Contrary to what Morici believes, $50 million dollars is big, and contributions from all of the households who are subject to Warren's proposed tax are enough to make a big difference in the lives of many Americans. Over 10 years, her plan is estimated to raise $2.75 trillion.
While this tax may just be a drop in the bucket to billionaires who insist that their wealth is of the utmost importance, it will make a meaningful change in the way we fund education, infrastructure, and other similar programs.
The American wealth gap is wider than it's been in decades, and that's becoming bad news for more and more people who find themselves slipping further and further from financial security. The wealthy will always want to hold onto their wealth — that's how things have been since the dawn of time. But when someone like Morici can go so far as to say that $50 million is an essentially inconsequential sum, the utter ignorance of the upper class in regards to working-class struggles is highlighted. The best thing that American leaders can do right now is to enforce legislation that levels the playing field by requiring that the upper 1 percent give up a small fraction of their massive wealth for the benefit of their fellow Americans — and that's exactly what Warren's policy seeks to do.