Monday, March 26, 2012

Rank as an Asset

In Chapters 8 & 9 Frank is explaining his rationale for why progressive taxation is justified. Chapter eight outlines: the role historical taxation has played in contemporary individual success, and the justifications for and implications of viewing rank as an asset. Chapter nine gives a brief summary of Gladwell's 'Outliers' and why personal income is a result of more than an individual's 'hard-work'.

Intrinsically, the possessor of superior rank is afforded exclusive advantages that impose limitations and restrictions on those of lesser status. These advantages are not necessarily oppressive, rather displacive in nature. In a word, superior rank is akin to superior power. But because rank is a relative social construct, power, in the context of society, is a relative social construct. Therefore a rise in rank by one individual is associated with an equal decent by another individual (or a relatively small incremental decent of the remainder of the society as a whole). This means that an individual of rising rank is acquiring an associated increase in power, relatively.

I'm simply saying that rank is an asset, the asset is power. The power to impose the possessors' motivations, desires, beliefs, and decisions on those of lessor rank. This is why I agree with Frank. Those of higher relative status impose restrictions and limitations on those of lessor status. The advantages afforded to the possessor of high relative rank is the same mechanism by which those of lessor relative rank are encumbered, through, not only displacement, but through the imposition of the higher rank's will on the decision-set of the lesser.

Superior rank is acquired not only through the exercise of our own disposition during the ordinary course of our experiences, but through the intimate relationship between those experiences and the societal fabric constructed before us. This societal fabric should be supported by a federal government through taxation on the backs of those who have gained most from it.

I simply wish the government was not a bureaucracy, and I don't find the necessity of such a form outside tradition and caution.

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