Imagine going to the supermarket and instead of seeing prices in dollars, you see percentages. When you go to the checkout aisle to pay for the food you picked, the cashier says, “That will be 8.3% of your weekly pay.”
What would your reaction be?
It doesn’t make sense, does it? Why should the products you buy be based on how much money you make? An apple costs the same whether you make $1000 in a month or $1000 in a day.
While many people do advocate for a more progressive tax system, many on the conservative side—and even libertarian—like to advocate for a flat tax. They say that putting most of the tax burden on those who make the most money is unfair, so the fairest way to tax would be to tax everyone at the same rate.
But a flat tax still puts the highest burden on those who earn the most money. If the flat tax rate was 10%, then a person making $100,000 would have to pay $10,000 while someone only making $10,000 would pay $1000. Furthermore, aren’t we all supposed to be equal under the law? Why wouldn’t it be fairest if we all paid the same amount in taxes? But if we are to all receive the same products, services, and protections from the government, and some use them more than others, is it even fair that we should pay the same amount?
I’m not advocating for any sort of taxes. I’m only pointing out how warped the average person’s view becomes when government is the topic. We’ve been conditioned to treat the ethics of government to be somehow different than everything else. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and simplify things.