So, Adele, a popular (or at least was popular), UK singer has spoken up about paying taxes. I am not certain why she was shocked about the tax taken from her album paycheck. Maybe she felt that her celebrity status leaves her exempt from government tax rules. In fact, she believes her high tax payments give her the right to go on a shooting spree (I will give her the benefit of a doubt and assume she was joking here). Oh dear! I can’t help but wonder what her modest salaried fans think when she complains about being left with only four million British pounds in her album paycheck. At the end of the day, these fans provide her income by buying her albums and going to her gigs, yet she has the nerve to stand up and say she resents helping to support the British social system – the education, health and public transport that all her fans use! At 23 years old, perhaps we can put her twisted view point down to immaturity. Although, I’m inclined to believe that the Diva mentality has taken hold and she has lost her grip on reality. I’m sure many of her fans living on less than ₤20,000 per year (many supporting a family), will be more than happy to swap and give her a taste of the “real life”.
Rob Fitzpatrick’s Guardian article got me thinking of another case I read about recently. This one is a US based story:
Perhaps admirably, Mark Zuckerberg (facebook founder), has spoken up about raising income-tax rates for the super-rich in the US. I say “perhaps”, because actually it won’t affect him! Bruce Bartlett has highlighted the fact that Zuckerberg, and others in his earning bracket, have invested the majority of their wealth in stock. Their income is a result of capital gains which are taxed at only 15%. These guys end up paying a lower rate of tax than the majority of the US population!
I’m not sure which case is worse! At least Adele could be credited for her honesty (however brutal). These other guys though, including individuals such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, verge on the deceptive. In fact, it is deceit. They would have the people of the US believe that they would like to pay extra taxes out of the goodness of their hearts but they won’t actually pay an extra penny!
Both cases support the view that in order to join the super-rich it helps to possess a large degree of selfishness!