Of course the Oxfam report is written from the perspective of inequity without reference to the direct benefits bestowed upon society as a result of products and services deployed into the market by such individuals of immense financial success. Certainly, Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Gates weren’t always as philanthropic as they are today. However; with time and with some contemplation of their position within society individuals in the class of these gentlemen come to learn about their larger role serving mankind. How does one measure efficiency gains realized by the technology created by Mr. Bloomberg or productivity power generated by accounting clerks deploying Microsoft Excel? Capital markets have always put a price on new products and services and the price has always included the risk undertaken by entrepreneurs to create something from nothing. Without the financial reward offered in order to undertake a risk, life as we know it would lack industrial progress and an improved quality of life for the masses.
Governments’ role is not to redistribute wealth. Governments’ role is to administer the rule of law, protect citizens from military incursion, and collect taxes for the purpose of paying for resources that serve citizens collectively such as roads and hospitals, and jails. Some governments are more liberal and determine that there are many more resources that its people need to rely on collectively and hence more tax receipts are needed to serve this agenda. Some governments bring particular progressive ideals which don’t necessarily align with the populous’ appetite for increased taxes.
At the heart of the capitalist model is payment for the delivery of products and services. Those who deliver get paid. Those who don’t, don’t. The market establishes pricing and particular providers may demand higher pay in the context of the nature of their product or service. Hence; inherent within the capitalist model is competition. Those less successful providers may be motivated by the system to change industries or change tactics in order to improve results. There should be no reward for failure but the incentive to find victory.
Those members of our society whose contributions are not directly associated with the capitalist models and hence have a lower income may qualify from government programs, family support, and receipts from charitable foundations.
The backdrop of the release of this new research from Oxfam is a reminder that the capitalist model is under siege and there is an increased propensity of interest groups to want everything from their governments while contributing little of themselves.