Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success

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Gilt or guilt?

Q: Do financially successful people have an obligation to help those in need? Are Bill and Melinda Gates, who have given away hundreds of millions of dollars through their foundation, encouraging others to step up to the plate? How much should people who have made millions be expected to give?

If you have all the money you could ever want and you are aware of how lucky you are, you might feel the need to give back or give to those less fortunate.

There's a name for that feeling: It's called guilt!

It's not bad, nor is it a sign of weakness; it's just how people feel when they are immersed up to their ... um ... wallets in cash. I'm not saying that people are not compassionate; I'm saying that it's a lot easier to be compassionate when you can afford it and prefer to have someone other than the IRS wind up with your money.

While I don't think the Gates family's philanthropy will move the average person to become more giving, it might make the wealthy feel they need to give away money to improve or maintain their social standing.

It may become very uncool to hang on to your excess excesses. It's a lot harder to say "Spread my work ethic, not my wealth" when you could buy Australia over the weekend if you had to!

By Garrison Wynn  |  November 23, 2009; 2:07 PM ET  | Category:  giving Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It is not a question of whether the rich give enough since the days of Reagan the tax structure is completely out of kilter. We have couples getting $50,000 per year on Social Security and elderly women only getting $400 per month. Everyone no matter how wealthy they are get subsidized health insurance premiums in the form of medicare at the age of 65. Think of it! When a millionaire reaches the age of 65 the government starts paying 100% of hill hospital insurance in the form of part A of medicare. When Roosevelt conceived of Social Security and Medicare he did it to help the poor now the two programs are guaranteeing the lower middle class and the poor never really have anything. The tax structure with it's three or four rates is definately for the rich! The social security tax is only paid on those who make less than $100,000 it should be paid on all income. After all it is a safety net for all Americans. The rich are using this country as one big piggie bank! The media pretend to be for the poor but they never really talk about the issues that matter. For example how our schools are funded. The reason we have schools that are falling down is we allow states to use property taxes to pay for schools. Rich neighborhoods have fabulous schools and poor neighborhoods have toilets that won't flush. Until we wake up and equalize things. For example: Every student has the same spent on him regardless of where he live or what school he goes to. Second, every person gets the same amount paid to them on Social Security regardless what they paid in. Third, Everybody pays Social Security on all income regardless of how much your income is. We go back to a progressive tax system that recognizes that people that make money in this country do not do it in a vacumn. They remove it from a country from which we are all a part. So the rich pay more in tax. As one's income rises their taxes rises. It is absurd to depend upon the goodwill of the rich. If you live in this country you have to pay. It is that simple. It is equally true that everyone must pay taxes. This idea that the poor should pay nothing is wrong. We all live here and we must all contribute.

Posted by: Howellstephen75 | November 23, 2009 5:26 PM
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If the tax structure was fair and not tilted towards the rich, than the rich taxpayers taxes would suffice, otherwise the UBS offshore accounts make more interest than this story does, or the amo0unbt of poor people cared for by the change they leave behind.

BTW, rich people start charities for themselves in order to beat the death tax. Now that is RICH!

Patrick

Posted by: patmatthews | November 23, 2009 2:55 PM
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