For me upper middle class would be a couple earning $120,000 a year. I know one couple getting by barely on $21k a year with a child in my area and that is not unique. They would look at this as the $200k couple and go they have all this stuff, they drive into my Burger King and in a big car and I have nothing. People are even whining about giving the working poor health care expansion in 2014.
I don't understand your point of view. It sounds to me like you're complaining that people are making more money than you or your friend. There's nothing wrong with being wealthy or having 'stuff'. I don't know what point you're trying to make with this -- I tend to sympathize with the poor, but working at Burger King...well, of course you're not going to earn much, how is that related to somebody else making more than them and why is that their fault?
As I said, wealth is not
measured by what's relative to what you're making. What you consider wealthy doesn't actually mean they're rolling in cash and couldn't end up in your spot after one crisis. Vekseid did a good enough job of explaining this before, I suggest you go back and read it again.
I don't know about you but most families earning together $60,000 in my area would be better off not buying a new car at $20k and put that away in investments or for a childs education at 4% a year. But that would mean investing money from roads to mass transportation and better urban planning long term an investment the lower income would use so is not worth the time to many that are weall-off..
Why would a family earning 60k buy a car that expensive to begin with if they couldn't afford it? Being poor means you get by on what you have -- used cars do
exist. I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with anything though. I'm having a hard time following your examples because...well, they seem kind of unrelated.
I agree with you that a better-developed mass transport system would be nice, but unfortunately, it's just not realistic anywhere but cities. For those living in more rural states, the need for a car still arises. The US is a big place, and in terms of transport, you can't compare us to Europe in that regard. You can get from the north to the south of France in about 6-7 hours by train. For some people, that's how long it takes to get across their state.
We have a lot of open space in the US, which makes mass transport, especially on a large-scale level, hard to do.
Back to the topic if the wealthy were taxed years ago at 69% at the maximum why not do so again, encouraging them with tax breaks to make and keep jobs HERE. If you knock off 2% per 1% invested setting the maximum at 10% it would encourage domestic industries and jobs and they could have a markedly lower tax burden while making money. Seems that would make everyone happy. Have seven levels of taxation 10% to 69% and then reinvest this wealth to providing for everyone a basic sensible minimum of benefits in the US.
...Because it wouldn't
make everyone happy. Did you read what anyone wrote at all? Excessively high taxation on the rich discourages their own work -- if you're supposed to be making 400k and you're getting taxed to the point you're only making 200k, where's your incentive to keep doing what you're doing? You have to work with both sides
. You can't just piss on one side because they're in a better situation, you have to try and strike a balance that benefits both sides. Compromise, if you will.
To repeat myself again, domestic industries will hurt the middle class.
American workers demand more pay than someone in China. We have labor laws that limit the duration and conditions of labor here, which means it takes more time to make whatever it is they're making, and the cost of upkeep in the factory is also higher. That extra cost trickles down into the price of manufacturing, and guess who makes up the difference? The cost of everything manufactured here then goes up, meaning the rest of us who are still earning the same wages we did before we moved industries back are paying more
, thus creating an even wider gap of wealth distribution.