More Fat Cats, Please!

By Friess, Foster | Newsweek, September 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

More Fat Cats, Please!


Friess, Foster, Newsweek


Byline: Foster Friess

What the mega-rich do for America.

What do wealthy people do with their money? They can only buy so many cars, houses, and steak dinners. So we either give it away or invest it. What the "supposed 99 percent" don't realize is that they are better off if there are more fat cats, not less.

David Koch gave $100 million for cancer research at MIT. Bill Gates gave more than $28 billion to promote global health, saving 5.8 million lives in Africa alone. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to revitalize public education in New Jersey. Go to Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, or any college and you'll see libraries, dormitories, and a lot of buildings that were a result of the generosity of fat cats.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs did not start out wealthy and actually added to income inequality, but we all benefit from their creative effort. They demonstrate that social mobility is a more important goal. Wealth is the ultimate panacea to poverty.

Our society would be a lot better off if everybody's tax rates were lowered. Yet the rich people I know would be willing to pay more in taxes if they felt that it was good for our country.

The trouble is not just that it enlarges government; it also creates divisiveness. For example, if you want to buy a Cadillac and I want to buy a Ford, we go to our respective dealers and we're both happy. But if the government starts issuing automobiles, suddenly you and I become political enemies over how we position our favorite car. We have so many government activities that divide us. If it were left to the private sector, people would not have those animosities.

Here are some other reasons why American taxpayers aren't eager to feed the beast: $700,000 was sent to Thailand to discern if pig flatulence could be used as a renewable energy source; $500,000 was allocated to study shrimp on a treadmill; $1.9 million sent to China to study the drinking habits of prostitutes on the job! One million dollars to spread poetry in America's zoos and $55 million to improve infant mortality--in Jakarta, Indonesia!

More recently, President Obama forgave a $1 billion loan to Egypt. …

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