The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 3, 2013

Krohn: Pity the poor Wilfs

Vikings owners say court is "anti-wealth"

(Continued)

The state eventually settled on a tax rate of just under 10 percent for the richest Minnesotans. In the first half of the 1900s the tax rate on the rich mostly ranged from 15 percent to 94 percent. I'm not sure if 10 percent is cruel and unusual, but nothing says "we don't like you" like a 94 percent tax rate.

There's always been some animosity toward wealth and it gets more intense during tough economic times or when the nation's balance of wealth gets out of wack, as it is today with the top 10 percent holding 80 percent of the money — an income inequality not seen since the early 1900s, which is the time they started taxing the bejeezers out of the rich.

Sometimes, even rich people don't like rich people. Lady Nancy Astor, who had scads of wealth and was a renowned socialite, said "The only thing I like about rich people is their money."

In this job, you end up being around plenty of very wealthy people. My experience is that their likability or lack thereof come at about the same ratio as the rest of the population.

Most are nice enough, some are wonderful, caring people and some are slugs.

It's not that people hate the rich. It's the rich who get caught cheating and asking for handouts and then claim they're being picked on and ask for privacy that people dislike.

Tim Krohn can be contacted at tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com or 344-6383.

 

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