The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

The rich should be taxed more than the poor.

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Debate Round Forfeited
Anon1984 has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 762 times Debate No: 98139
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




People shouldn't be taxed because they have more money. If someone has earned their money, they shouldn't have to pay more than everyone else just because they are more successful, that is just wrong.


This may seem unorthodox but I agree with your position in a sense. I think taxation is nothing but legalized theft, so to me nobody should be taxed coercively or with the use of violence. If someone supports a particular government program or wants some service the government provides they should be free to whip out their checkbook and send the government a check. In the same way that if you support a charity or an organization or a business you should be free to voluntarily hand over your money to them. All that being said I will play devils advocate and take the position that the rich ought to be taxed more than the poor. Just because it's a good intellectual exercise to try to debate a position antithetical to the position one actually holds from time to time. Anyways here goes....

First of all clarifications needs to be made. What are we considering to be a rich person? How much money does one have to obtain for it to be considered rich? Does this mean their net worth of all their assets, their yearly income, or some other such measure of what makes one rich? Also the clarification needs to be made whether we are talking about taxing the "rich" person more means more of a percentage of their income or more in dollar amount? I assume my opponent means percentage of yearly income. Also a further clarification that may help would be to determine whether we are strictly talking income tax or if perhaps a consumption tax on luxury goods of some sort that would only affect the rich like a 3rd home tax or a yacht tax etc?

I ask that my opponent clarifies these issues so that we may be able to proceed more productively. Since my opponent didn't really make any arguments in his original round of arguments I suppose this round for me isn't wasted clarifying what we mean when we say rich and tax. So please clarify your position on what it means to be rich and what form of taxation we are talking about here and make some arguments using logic and reason and we can then more productively continue. I will proceed to debate based on whatever you want to define as rich and what form of taxation we are talking about here. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1


I believe someone is "rich" if their annual income is equal to or greater than $250,000 and the total value of all their assets exceeds $5 million. Also, I am talking about a percent of income tax as is done in America, the rich already pay more taxes since it is a percentage, not a solid number. So, I don't believe the rich should be taxed any higher of a percentage just because they have a lot of money.


I argue that the rich, as we have defined it here, ought to be taxed more heavily than the poor.

My opponent makes the argument regarding rich people that "they shouldn't have to pay more than everyone else just because they are more successful, that is just wrong." You are implying that to be rich is to be "successful", some people are rich as a happenstance of birth. Look at someone like Paris Hilton, she was born into her money. Sure she's capitalized on the name her father has built, but that doesn't mean she's successful. She's just played on people's vain and petty propensities to cash in a few bucks. Like having people pay her to show up at their parties for example. So just because someone is rich doesn't mean they earned it.

Rich people often come by their wealth either by chance or by nefarious means. At least some rich people obtain their wealth by inheritance. Through no intelligence or skill of their own, they receive a large sum of money just for being born. They didn't work hard or provide anything for society they just simply fell out of the mothers. Others have obtained it by lying and cheating and stepping on anyone they can to get to the top so to speak.

A heavier tax burden on a rich individual will not effect his quality of life as significantly as it would a poorer person. If someone makes a million dollars a year and is taxed at 10 percent they only lost 100,000 dollars and still have 900,000 to live off of for one year. If a poor person that only makes 20,000 a year is taxed even at the same rate of 10 percent he has lost 2,000 dollars and only has 18,000 to live off of for the year. It is clearly more difficult for a person that nets 18,000 a year to live comfortably and safely than someone who nets 900,000. So even if the tax rate was equal percentage wise, the poorer person will still find it harder to live comfortably and safely than the richer person.

Poor people have to pay the same of other kinds of taxes, excise taxes on particular goods and services, sales tax on all products, etc. The richer person is barely affected by these taxes whereas they are highly burdensome to the poorer person again making it more difficult for them to have a warm place to sleep and to eat and to support a family, etc. Thus it makes it not so wrong to tax the income of a richer person more, because they can afford all the other taxes poorer people have to pay.

My opponent says "it's just wrong" to tax rich people more than poor people. Is it not also immoral for some to have 3 houses while some to live on the streets and have to scrounge for food? Is it not immoral for someone to be so well fed they purposely puke up their food for vain body image maintenance purposes while just down the street someone has to dig through a dumpster just to survive?

Many rich people make money while providing nothing of use or value to society. They manage hedge funds for other rich people or gamble on futures or derivatives and other financial instruments. They buy, sell, and trade money or stocks in companies etc. These things are very lucrative yet provide virtually nothing of tangible value for society at all. They aren't manufacturing products or providing services, they are simply playing ponzi style money schemes.

Many rich people are in the banking system. They use the average Joe's money he deposits for safe keeping, to loan it out to other average Joe's, at interest. Thus making money off other less fortunate people's savings. This is called fractional reserve banking.

Many rich people use their wealth and power to lobby the government to get rules in place that benefit their industries or businesses. This takes the form of subsidization, government contracts, tax breaks, rules that reduce supply, rules that reduce competition for large businesses that are established rendering it virtually impossible for others to start a business in that industry and compete with them, and on and on. If a "rich" person obtains their wealth through this flavor of manipulation is it so terribly wrong to tax their "success"?

In summation, not all rich people come by their money via hard work or skill or innovation. Many of them come by it by inheritance or shady nefarious dealings. To rise to the rank of "rich" one must step on a lot of other people's heads to get there. For these reasons and more rich people ought to be taxed more than poor people.
Debate Round No. 2


I read your argument, and I am appalled. One of the less important maybe, but it is just terrible. You said, " Is it not immoral for someone to be so well fed they purposely puke up their food for vain body image maintenance purposes," and that is just disgusting. What you are talking about is a mental disorder called Bulimia in which people throw up because they see issues that aren't there. This not only affects the rich, but common people. It isn't immoral, it's a disorder. BTW, in the quote, "A heavier tax burden on a rich individual will not effect his quality of life..." from you, you should have used the word affect, not effect as you are using it as a verb. Now, to your actual points.

Even if someone is born into their wealth, their parents then had to work for it, you shouldn't tax someone more just because their parents gave them more money than most parents do. Also, the ways in which they do spend money still does help society, personal chefs and maids exist and without rich people spending money on them, they would be out of a job. Also, they spend a lot of money on houses, helping the relator or construction company if it was custom built.

Also, just because they can afford more taxes doesn't mean we should tax them more. That's like saying the middle class can buy an iPhone for $650, but a rich person pays $1,000 just because they could afford it. That is just not fair treatment. Also, rich people already pay the greater tax because it is a percentage of wealth, and you seem to be ignoring that. They already pay more, we shouldn't charge even more than that. Also, what you are talking about sounds a lot like forced charity, where the rich are taxed more to take care of the poor. It is sad that people are poor, yes, but it shouldn't be the rich's legal responsibility to pay for them.

It isn't "immoral" to own 3 houses while others live on the streets. Homelessness is a problem, but not the rich's. Then can choose to help, and some do. But, it isn't their obligation; a decent amount of people have extra room in their house, but they don't just invite homeless people in. You know why? It's because they paid for their house, making the rich pay for their homes or giving them free homes is getting into communist territory.

Also, you say that the rich contribute "nothing of use or value to society," which is wrong. But, if you believe that they are bad people if they don't contribute. Then you are also saying that the poor are bad people, they don't contribute to society, they just take away from it.

With the banking thing, yes they make money off of other people, But, they don't harm the people in the process. If someone doesn't like the interest rate, they don't need to use a bank. You forget, banks are owned by people who can do what they want with their business. They have to turn a profit somehow.

So what if a person makes money through manipulation? That is still pretty hard to do, and their business would have been successful in the first place to afford that. Also, if a person is manipulating the government with money, that shows signs of a corrupt government. If there is true manipulation, the manipulator and the person who accepted it should be charged and imprisoned. But not just taxed more money.

In conclusion, the rich people have more money. That doesn't mean that they should be taxed more than they already are. Not all rich people are bad people. Also, since the rich are already taxed more than the poor because it is after all a percentage, not a fixed rate. So, the rich should not have their taxes raised even higher.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
I've finished my past 3 debates. Want to send the challenge?
Posted by Anon1984 1 year ago
Again"you said donate, not me, I said give your money to. When you buy something from the store you give your money to them. You added meaning to my words that didn't inherently exist. Just because you interpret my statement to mean donate doesn't mean that's what I was saying. I kept it succinct since it wasn't exactly relevant to the debate other than to exemplify taking a position of disagrees with as a good intellectual exercise to undertake. It's not my concern to say how a company would do their road business, but instead to point out the government "provides" things by stealing money from people and forcing services on them that they may or may not want to have to pay for. All interactions should be voluntarily entered into. It's called free association. You don't need coerced or threatened to be caged or killed in order to get a smartphone or tv or any other product or service you use. But somehow you think a group of people should go around stealing and threatening people or else it's impossible to have roads? That my fiend is fantasy land. You know when slavery was being abolished in the US many people made the argument that slavery can't be done away with because how will the cotton get picked. Doesn't matter how the roads get managed or the cotton gets picked, as long as it's done via volubtary cooperation not violent coercion. And to continue the slavery example, telling someone they can just move to another country is ridiculous. Would you tell a slave to move to another plantation if he doesn't like his slave master? Why should one have to uproot thier life and move away from family etc because a gang of thugs follows them around robbing them at every turn while pretending to be doing it for people's own good? I say nobody should be allowed to force YOU into any interaction against your will. And like someone with Stockholms Syndrome you start defending your oppressors. Your profile says your a libertarian, that's laughable.
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
"If someone supports a particular government program or wants some service the government provides they should be free to whip out their checkbook and send the government a check." (Round 1, Pro)

That seems like donating to the government.

Not only that, but your argument of "You want a phone, you pay the company who made it" applies because it is illegal to steal. The one who enforces your statement is the Government. Not only do you attempt to get out of something you clearly stated in your argument, but your second one also falls apart. Also, you have given no plan for how the government will be able to tell how many roads you use, so this argument also fails.

You then attempt to make an argument that "Walmart is crappy, so I go to another store." You're presented with this opportunity right now, Pro. If you don't like your government, immigrate to another country.

In short, taxation is necessary, as no one, I repeat, no one will willingly donate to the government, and even if they do, the government will have a massive and detrimental budget overhaul (less police, attorneys, etc.).

I'm not here to start a debate in the comments, but if you send me a debate challenge after I complete the three debates I am currently working on I will gladly accept.
Posted by Anon1984 1 year ago
I never said anything about donating. You want a new phone you give the company who makes it money. You want a back rub you pay a message therapist to receive one. You want a fire truck to come save your bacon when your house starts on fire you pay your fire bill. If your neighbor contracted for the fire services they'll show up to make sure your house fire doesn't spread to his etc. You want something you pay for it, you don't want it you don't pay for it. Insurance, utilities bills, and every other service you pay for is that way. Roads, police, fire services, and every thing else should be voluntarily same as all the private transactions you make for every other good or service. That's what I mean by voluntary. With roads you pay a few for the sections of roads you wanna use, instead of how it is now where you have to help pay for ALL roads regardless of whether you use them. Should you have to cost share the price of my phone and never get to use it? That wouldn't make sense. A road is just another product on the market like everything else. Just because you have been told you need government to forcibly provide a good or service for you doesn't mean that's true. Private organizations always run more efficiently than government bureaucracy, plenty of research available on that topic. If government gives crappy services you're stuck with them and forced to pay for them at the barrel of a gun. Try not paying your taxes and resisting government efforts to garnish your wages or when they send a guy in a costume to throw you in a cage, etc. Refuse to comply you will most likely die, or at least get thrown in a cage. If Walmart provides crappy products or services I can choose to go to another store. Walmart can't send some guy with a costume and a gun to force me into accepting whatever goods or service they want to provide me. You wanna have a debate in regards to this line of thinking let's do it, I'm not going to go in depth here but would be more than happy to...
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
No one will donate money to the government voluntarily. "Hey, I see that you are providing us police, fire departments, etc., and I find in the goodness of my heart to donate money to support such a cause." Pro either lives in a fairy tale, or is refusing to accept reality.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
"People shouldn't be taxed because they have more money. If someone has earned their money, they shouldn't have to pay more than everyone else just because they are more successful, that is just wrong."

Posted by Dujec 1 year ago
I would start with the rich paying the same tax. I think we've seen a lot of loopholes in tax code and the percentage increase would likely lead to more loopholes.
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