The often used quote from a liberal Democratic Senatorial candidate which suggests, in effect, that increasing the taxes on the rich is justified since they benefit from the infrastructure and public services paid for by the rest of us is disingenuous, at best, since it distorts the facts.   It is the disproportionately large amount of taxes already paid by the rich that funded, for the most part, all of those public benefits that we use.

However, in a larger sense, all of us benefit and prosper from the work, ideas, innovations, and creativity of those that came before us.    When it comes to great ideas, there is truly nothing new under the sun.    Whether it is science, technology, or business the breakthroughs, innovations, and success we enjoy today all were inspired by the efforts, ideas and, even, mistakes of those who came before us.   In my small part of the world, I achieved some success with USFSB but not without the efforts and ideas of my brother who founded USFSB and who, in turn, took a page from the experiences of unions and trade associations which, in turn, can trace their lineage to the trade guilds that formed as far back as the Middle Ages with the birth of small businesses and recognized trades.

Let’s take something as basic as the fact that the sun is the center of our solar system around which all of the planets revolve.   As simplistic as this idea seems to us, it was not always so universally accepted and understood.   The Greek philosophers first postulated that the sun may be at the center of the solar system but it was not until centuries later that Copernicus offered objective mathematical proof which was later verified by Galileo and others with the help of the recently perfected telescope.   As with all advances in human knowledge and thinking, each new visionary only sees the way ahead by standing on the shoulders of the giants that went before him.

This process of each wave of ideas feeding off of the efforts and ingenuity of countless other people over the years and centuries is what connects us to both the past and the future.   We benefit from those who came before us and, hopefully, we will provide inspiration and motivation to those who follow us even if only those closest to us such as our children.    The world we live in was not created by a series of isolated events but by a continuum of ideas and efforts that have shaped the human intellect and spirit since the beginning.

My point is that once we get past petty politics and cynical squabbles over who benefits the most from whom, let’s recognize that in the larger scheme of things all of us benefit from those that came before us and paved the way for our success and quality of life.

On Wednesday, Joe comments on President Obama’s proposed tax increases and Mitt Romney’s income in “Do The Math”.