This is where private financial swashbuckling meets the public good. One side will win, and one side will lose. To defer to the bank accounts of a tiny group of insanely rich hedge funders over the needs of the public at large is insane. This week, economists at the IMF issued a new report that finds that redistribution of income has a "statistically insignificant" effect on economic growth—in other words, that policies designed to combat economic inequality, like high taxes on the very rich, do not hurt a nation's overall economy. "Rather than a trade-off [between economic growth and economic inequality]" they write, "the average result across the sample is a win-win situation, in which redistribution has an overall pro-growth effect, counting both potential negative direct effects and positive effects of the resulting lower inequality." If wealth can be redistributed within a society without harming that society's overall economy, a key pillar of right wing economic argument is destroyed. It is a given that our society is not fair. It does not offer equality of opportunity, nor equality of outcome. Knowing that, what we can do is pursue equality on the back end, by taking some from those who have way too much, and giving it to those in desperate need. An extremely mild way to do this is to tax hedge funders at normal tax rates. By keeping that money in their own pockets, they are making themselves into enemies of the public. Our current system, in which teachers can barely lead middle class lifestyles, but a man whose firm is knee-deep in insider trading practices can earn $2.3 billion per year while paying lower tax rates than those teachers, is unconscionable.
There is absolutely no justification left for this blatant ripoff.