Taxes that kill the masses are often originally calls for pulling money from the rich.
Because what people call for and what a corrupt government deliver are two different things.
And trying to get money from corporations by taxing them just causes an increase in cost of living. The biggest issue here is that you worry too much about dollars and not enough about purchasing power.
It takes money to purchase things. You can call income redistribution purchasing power redistribution if you want. If we look at the data for the richest person in America, we can look at the first Forbes 400 list in 1982, which had Daniel Ludwig as the wealthiest person with $2 billion. Now Bezos sits atop that list, with a fortune of $133 billion, an increase by a factor of 66.5. In that same time period, the minimum wage rose from $3.35/hour to $7.25/hour, representing an increase by a factor of 2.16. In that same time period, the consumer price index rose from 96.5 to 250.5, an increase by a factor of 2.60.
So, a simple accounting shows that minimum wage earners lost ground relative to the CPI since 1982, when Forbes’s inaugural list was published, while the net worth of the richest person in America outstripped the CPI at a rate of 66.5 to 2.6. The richest American right now has 25.6 times the purchasing power that the richest American had in 1982.
A nice goal would be stabilizing the gain against the CPI experienced by every American. If minimum wage workers saw the same gain against the CPI that billionaires did, then we wouldn’t be having these conversations about inequality.
In that same time period, the GDP per capita of the United States grew from $12,598 to $62,517, an increase by a factor of 4.97. This is 1.91 times the rise of the CPI, and this is a good clue for how a fair minimum wage (or, better yet, a fair UBI) would scale if we wanted it to track average purchasing power growth in the United States.
There are two ways to achieve this. Distribute more money to those people whose wealth relative to the CPI has been increasing at a rate lower than the GPD and take more money from those people whose wealth has been increasing at a rate higher than the GDP. In the case of the United States right now, that means moving more money from the wealthy to the poor, and that implies using a high marginal tax rate on excessive wealth to fund UBI. It’s not rocket science; it’s just arithmetic.