In response to your Jan. 29 article "America has no nobles. How much noblesse oblige?": It is absolutely fair and right to tax the rich. It is logical to tax those who can afford to pay more, and lessen the burden on those who can't afford it. It does not make sense to put the majority of the taxes on the middle and lower classes who have car, house, and credit-card debts to pay off. Taxing them more extends the life of these debts and discourages further spending. These classes tend to spend what little wealth they have on necessities.
The rich on the other hand, have excessive amounts of wealth, and a tax would have relatively little effect on their lifestyles. It is the middle class that does most of the spending necessary to jump-start the economy. Allowing the rich to keep more money doesn't mean that they will buy more. They are rich because they have enough money to save and invest, and that's what they'll continue to do.
Promoting more investment and savings is not going to benefit the whole of society. Lessening the tax burden on the rich will not provide enough jobs and money to justify placing the burden on those already struggling to get by.
Reducing poverty and unemployment should be the aim of America's taxation policies. In the article "America has no nobles. How much noblesse oblige?" conservative historian Dinesh D'Souza addresses the real issue. He says, "It's a question of who will do more good with the money - the government or people like Bill Gates."
While he puts more faith in Mr. Gates, it is ridiculous to assume that all of the rich will put their wealth toward helping the masses.
There is an increasing gap between rich and poor in US society. So why has President Bush planned a tax cut for the rich? This only encourages the current trend. The government is in a better position to know where financial help is urgently needed. Money spent by the rich could boost the economy far more if it were spent by the government toward the neediest areas of society.
The rich provide almost every job in America. No poor person has ever provided or created a job. If the rich can keep more of what they earn, they will have more reason to expand their businesses. When they expand they create more jobs and services, which help the lower classes to earn more money. The rich deserve the money they earn because they take the risks to make more money.
States' economies are in trouble because state government officials have been spending too much taxpayer money on frivolities such as personal airplanes. That's why state budgets have a problem. The rich should not be taxed more than anyone else.
In response to your Jan. 30 article "In one US city, life under a UN treaty on women": When isn't San Francisco on the cutting edge of dividing people? The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women hasn't been adopted by the US Senate because it's unnecessary and divisive.
Neither gender is monolithic in its interests or concerns. Whether it's equal treatment under the law or more street lights in certain sections of town, do not men and women both want to be treated fairly? Do not both men and women want to walk in safety? Let's get rid of the labels and the special privileges that "leaders" of the women's movement claim we want, and work toward what's best for all citizens, regardless of gender.
Coto de Caza, Calif.
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