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Romney's Idle Income

  1. 0
    Sooner28posted 4 years ago

    "Income can, under the present system, be quite apart from
    personal effort or service. The owner of capital can earn without
    working. The essential human function of exchange of effort for
    income can become the abstracted manipulation of money for
    more money. This is most obvious in the case of the absentee
    owner of an industrial enterprise. It does not make any difference whether he owns the whole enterprise, or only a share of it.
    In each case he makes a profit from his capital and from the work
    of others without having to make any effort himself. There have
    been many pious justifications for this state of affairs. It has been
    said that the profits were a payment for the risk he takes in his
    investment, or for his self-depriving effort to save, which
    enabled him to accumulate the capital he can invest. But it is
    hardly necessary to prove that these marginal factors do not alter
    the elementary fact that Capitalism permits the making of profits
    without personal effort and productive function."  -Erich Fromm. 

    Mitt Romney retired from Bain in 99 at the age of 52.  He received handsome compensation from that point forward, and will as long as Bain is in existence.

    I don't hear conservatives complaining Romney has been making millions for the last thirteen years without doing ANY work in Bain at all (assuming Romney is truthful about when he left), and paying a lower rate than the middle class to boot.  Since he is 65 this year, the criticism only applies to the last 13 years, before he reached the traditional retirement age.

    However, a welfare recipient receiving food stamps is demonized as lazy and unmotivated.

    What is wrong with our society?  A corporate fat cat being paid millions of dollars for NO WORK should be an issue in this election, especially when many people are having to rely on government assistance just to survive, due to the weak economy.

    1. 2besure profile image81
      2besureposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      You have a point.  It is the people who have the money that make the rules, not only for their ilk, but for all of us.  They promote the lies that make society blame the poor for the conditions their greed has created!  While we are blaming each other, black, white, Hispanic, the unions, teachers, the 99 etc...they are laughing all the way too the bank!

      1. 0
        Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        True story.  Fight amongst yourselves exploited, we are still making bank!

    2. Credence2 profile image86
      Credence2posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      What is it that Romney says, "no free stuff". It makes the case why he consistently hides his income tax data and his desire to protect lower tax rates for capital gains income.
      He is a plutocrat trying to protect his tax advantages using the law, a reason why the Romney Ryan juggernaut needs to be stopped and stopped hard!

      1. 0
        Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Polls look bad for them right now, but I'm not relaxing yet.

  2. 0
    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago

    Come on, this is basic economic stuff.

    Everything in a market has to do with scarcity, and factors of production. Land, labor, and capital are the factors of production. To say that contributing capital doesn't contribute to production means you disagree with all economic theory.

    Setting aside economic theory, common sense dictates that if somebody creates a business, they have every right to pay themselves whatever they can afford to and feel is proper, for as long as they deem. After all, without them, that business wouldn't exist.

    As for taxes... how many lifetimes would you have to live to pay as much into taxes as Romney paid last year? Sure, he pays a lower income tax rate than ~2% of Americans, but he supports the federal budget more in one year than you likely will in your entire lifetime.

    Do you really think it is unfair for someone to make money off of creating and saving jobs?

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      There are some interesting assumptions here.

      "common sense dictates that if somebody creates a business, they have every right to pay themselves whatever they can afford to and feel is proper, for as long as they deem. After all, without them, that business wouldn't exist."

      Does it really?

      Just because I create something does it give me total right and control over it? There are plenty of times when that is not the case, if the owner is simply a drain on the business and the wages of those who actually work there at what point does it cease to be moral to simply leech off their labors based simply upon initial investment?

      Your constant assumptions about tax paid and the way you look at tax paid are wrong, #1 I presume you know very little about Sooners and his economic position and you made the same comment to me quite recently in which case it's simply not true but aside from that value paid is not how we measure tax burden nor should it be. The key is right there in the term tax burden, taxation is a sacrifice everyone who can afford to makes from their personal finance to aid the country as a whole.

      The aim is not equality of percentage or quantity but equality of sacrifice, Romney is making a smaller personal sacrifice for his country in his taxes than say I do and than do many many people, that is wrong and Sooner is quite right to criticize it.

      1. 0
        JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, it does. Really.

        If I decide to pay myself too much from MY business... MY business will fail. The decisions I make with MY business belong to me, because I own it.

        See, my argument is based on an objective fact. Ownership. Your argument is based on a subjective opinion, 'morality'. There is no way to objectively define a point where 'it ceases to be moral'. But, you cling to that slippery, sliding, gray line, instead of simply accepting fact. If I decide that my business will pay into a family trust forever, I have that right. If I decide to sell my business, on the contigency that my posterity is paid X%, I have that right.

        I don't pretend to know anybody's tax situation. It's just a fair guess that someone on HP probably doesn't pay $50,000/year in taxes.

        If it's all about sacrifice, then how is it fair that some people don't pay taxes at all, but get free money from their federal taxes? Shouldn't they have to sacrifice too? Getting free money isn't a sacrifice.

        And in the end, taxes aren't about 'fairness of sacrifice'. Taxes are about revenue. Taxes are about paying the federal bills. Taxes are about dollars.

        You're sounding like Obama... admitting he would raise capital gains taxes 'in the interest of fairness' even if it reduced revenues and hurt the economy.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I am not debating the fact of the legality, of course it's legal I am debating the morality and yes I know morality isn't clearly defined but that does not make it irrelevant, indeed morality is crucial. It's a fact that he can do so legally it is not a fact that it is ethical. No one was questioning the legality.

          Yes it's about sacrifice for the country, some people cannot afford to give at all, (well they do pay all sorts of taxes but income tax anyhow) but when and if they can afford to pay they will be expected to make the same sacrifice, the reason we have drawn the line with them is the amount that could be taxed to be called fair sacrifice is so insignificant as to be not worth taxing.

          Again its an ethical and moral line (this conversation revolves around ethics and thus might not suit you) I pay a much larger percentage than Romney and I don't pay that much less, that's wrong, it means he is making a lesser sacrifice in his taxation that many Americans and that is ethically wrong in the view of many which is why most want to change it. Simple as that.

          1. 0
            JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You were saying he doesn't have that right, not that it is immoral to do so...

            But if you just want to say it is unethical, fine. We disagree, there's nothing else to say there.

            It shouldn't matter if it is insignifcant... because it's not about the dollars. It's about the sacrifice.

            You didn't actually explain why they don't have to make a sacrifice? Why can someone who makes $30,000/year actually get back over $5,000 from federal taxes? What kind of sacrifice is that?

            I call it unethical to try and tell somebody that they don't have the right to direct the finances of a business that they own.

            1. Josak profile image61
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              First point is fine

              For the second point, the money is not collected because it effectively isn't worth it or possibly because it doesn't exist, the tax burden that say I suffer affects my quality of life not at all, you take say $50 from someone struggling to get by night by night and you will have a much bigger impact on their quality of life so it's a combination of #1 it would cost more to collect it than it's sum value and #2 the figure may barely exist.

              As for your second point I don't know sufficient about the tax requirements of someone making 30 000 and getting a 5000 return to comment on it being ethical but I am not saying it necessarily is, what I am saying is what Romney is paying is unethical which does not by extension make what everyone else is paying ethical. That seems rather obvious to me.

              As for your last point I think the issue here is simply rule ethics vs utilitarian ethics, I am utilitarian which means I believe "the greatest good for the greatest number" is the right course, now as proved by recent factory seizures by workers in Argentina (as an example) when a business is joint owned and run by the people working there, when they do not have to pay for the dead weight of the owner and all the staff he employs purely to make sure the rest of the staff work their wages go way way up and so does productivity as people begin working for themselves and their workmates not a non functional owner and then workplace safety and happiness rise enormously due to better wages, workers having a say in what it's safe to do and the absence of bosses insulting them or mistreating them.

              So from my perspective an action that would improve the quality of life of most without really affecting Romney's, that would be a boon to the country as a whole due to the increased productivity and that would make people happier is the moral option and the action taken by Romney is the immoral action. So in my view the company no longer being his is the ethical option, if you are a rule morality sort of guy you will say he made it therefore he should keep it regardless of the effects but to me that is foolish and short sighted.

            2. 0
              Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Can't reply to the actual post.  The limit ran out.

              However, if he is going to do good things with his money, why not give it away what he isn't using for sustenance NOW?  It will be replenished, and then he can donate it again.

              Donate the rest to charity, his kids, businesses, whatever the case may be.  Also, why must it be after Romney dies, and why does he have to be the middle man?

              1. 0
                JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You can do more with money by investing it and only donating the interest, or a portion of the interest, than you can by simply donating it all.

                Doesn't it make sense to do what will do the most good?

                1. Josak profile image61
                  Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Ridiculous.

                  Romney could give his business to the staff with the condition of a certain percentage of profits going to charity or pass whole ownership of the business to a charity trust or spend the funds directly to create new jobs not for his profit.

                  Don't try to play off Romney's actions as being motivated by charity or the desire to do the most good they are actions of self interest for self profit, now we can argue whether that is ethical or not but it's certainly not charitable.

                  1. 0
                    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    No, it's not ridiculous. It's math. Compound interest, have you heard of it?

                    You can invest a sum in bonds, and donate a portion of the interest you get back. Your principle will grow, your donations will grow, and you will eventually donate far more than you ever could by just donating the principle. Not to mention, if you do that by investing in treasury bonds, you are essentially forcing the government to donate to the charity of your choice. Isn't it nice to be able to control part of the federal budget?

                    Again, donating the principle isn't as effective as simply donating interest

      2. JSChams profile image60
        JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        "Just because I create something does it give me total right and control over it? There are plenty of times when that is not the case, if the owner is simply a drain on the business and the wages of those who actually work there at what point does it cease to be moral to simply leech off their labors based simply upon initial investment?"


        You don't believe in private ownership do you?

        Because that statement sounds an awful lot like"You didn't build it".

        If I start a company it's mine. If I can make a widget for a dollar and charge what the market will bear that's what I intend to do.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          No its absolutely nothing like "you didn't build this" in fct I am saying even if they did absolutely on their own build it.

          My wife and I made a child, we don't own him, the founders made a country, they don't own it.

          The balance is this, we weigh the "good" of Romney to continue making huge sums of money from a business, he does nothing for against the good of higher wages for the employees, lower rate of workplace injury and death for the employees, better workplace safety for the employees and higher productivity for the whole country.

          We balance those two things and to me the ethical choice is obvious. But as I said, rule or utilitarian ethics define the difference in opinion.

          1. JSChams profile image60
            JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            So the President should stop earning because he, too, is a wealthy man you know.

            1. Josak profile image61
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yes I agree, Romney was the person the debate was based around but it goes for everyone in my view.

              1. JSChams profile image60
                JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                See the problem with this always is that your argument is that he has earned enough.

                Now...
                Who gets to decide that?
                Who is the little nimrod bureaucrat that will walk up....or get the IRS to inform me...that I have earned my quota for the year or the decade or my life?
                Who is it that will instruct him on the formula that will determine if I am over the line or what I an continue to earn?

                In other words my future gets to be determined by someone else as far as my worth and that is unacceptable.

                1. Josak profile image61
                  Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  And now you are just blatantly attacking a straw man because I said nothing of the sort.

                  Which is basically because you haven't got an actual argument.

                  My point was the ethical balance between the greatest good for a large number and the greatest good for one person as clearly stated repeatedly.

                  1. JSChams profile image60
                    JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Which simply stated is you believe he has earned enough.

                  2. JSChams profile image60
                    JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes...my argument is that if we have to decide how much someone earns there is no free market. Nowhere in the world...

    2. 0
      Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      All I questioned was why he was earning money for doing nothing.  There are  other issues that could be addressed, but that was my only point here.

      He also didn't create the business on his own, and it made a profit whether the companies were turned around or not!

      It's a double charge.  Romney gets paid to do nothing, and when he was  in charge, Bain would get profit even if the companies they took over ended up failing.

  3. ptosis profile image80
    ptosisposted 4 years ago

    Sense of fairness and being angry about being treated unfairly is displayed in primates/dogs and is an innate instinct that has nothing to do with a sense of morality, ...evolutionary progress has in part been fueled by cooperation and an ability to recognize the efforts of others in a given community and analyze the resultant payoffs and costs of said actions."

    Vikings taxed based on the girth of your belt, if you were a fat cat - paid more.
    During Eisenhower, top tax rate was 92 percent.
    In Germany today the punishment fine is based on income.

    A flat tax such as sales tax on food is inherently unfair because everybody has to eat. And yeah - I feel entitled to food and Romney thinks I should eat road kill & insects if can't afford meat.

    “A chicken in every pot” was a Republican promise of better days ahead in 1928.

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c0.0.320.320/p403x403/529060_10151313969853327_211299736_n.jpg

  4. ptosis profile image80
    ptosisposted 4 years ago

    Ahhhh, serenity.....

    http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/trollB.jpg

  5. JSChams profile image60
    JSChamsposted 4 years ago

    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/7222200_f248.jpg

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Greed is related to personal behavior, wanting to help others through increased taxation is in no way greed and from a wider political perspective liberals are statistically wealthier and thus are not taking money from someone else for their own benefit (which would be greed) but using taxation to help the poor which is the opposite of greed statistically at a greater cost to themselves than to anyone else.

      1. JSChams profile image60
        JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        See the problem here is you assume the liberal......because he is such......will give to the poor.
        My viewpoint is someone will either give or not regardless of the ideology.
        Looking at these things as you are assigns a stereotypical behavior to an individual. Therefore one WILL or WILL NOT act in a moral manner depending on his political ideology.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          .... That is completely irrelevant.

          The point refers to taxation, the liberal does not get to choose whether to give the money or not that happens automatically though the engine of the state.

          Try again.

          1. JSChams profile image60
            JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            NO
            You were talking about a charitable donation and your argument was a liberal gives more. My argument was it will not matter what his ideology his he will either donate or not.

            1. Josak profile image61
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              No I was replying to your image by Thomas Sowell that relates to progressive taxation.

              1. JSChams profile image60
                JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                It relates to that or anything having to do with the liberal/conservative money argument.

                1. Josak profile image61
                  Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  No it doesn't because no one is advocating taking money from people then maybe donating that money, some people are advocating taxing people (taking their money) more to help others so it only pertains to taxation not charitable donations.

  6. ptosis profile image80
    ptosisposted 4 years ago

    I wonder what charity he donated to. The "Romney for President" fundraiser? Probably not that obvious. Most likely a reciprocal donation into each other.

  7. 0
    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago

    Also Josak, by your standard 'the most good for the most people', then YES every wealthy person with more money than they need for themselves to survive is immoral, because that money would do more good for more people if they gave it away.

    1. JSChams profile image60
      JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      You know we really should just take it from them don't you think? That would be the moral thing to do.

    2. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Certainly in a capitalist system that is not the case, taking all money from the wealthy would mean no individuals with concentrated wealth to create business/jobs thus not being the greatest good for the greatest number. In another economic system perhaps.

      1. 0
        JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I thought you argued that the wealthy didn't create jobs with their money?

        1. JSChams profile image60
          JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I was thinking that but hadn't wrote it.

        2. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Where did I say that.... This is one of the reasons I refrained from saying it's immoral to have money. Take someone using their money to create fair paying jobs with decent conditions, that isn't immoral at all.

          I would prefer a system where that isn't necessary but within the scope of the system we live in and given the man can't actually change that system anyway, it's certainly not immoral.

          1. 0
            JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I just thought it was an issue you have argued before.

            1. Josak profile image61
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              It's not a stance I would take. Wealthy people do obviously create jobs, perhaps not as many as they should (or as I would like) in general and perhaps not as efficiently as other systems would but they undeniably do so.

  8. JSChams profile image60
    JSChamsposted 4 years ago

    We need a dose of reality folks. There is not a politician in or around our government who is not wealthy.
    I keep hearing about the morality of their wealth but only as pertains to one party.

    Now are we all or are we all SUPPOSED to be that naive?
    Do we know 7 out of the ten wealthiest in Congress are Democrat? Not Republican? Used to be 8 then Teddy passed?
    I wouldn't worry about that but it seems the wealthier the liberal the more they crow about Conservatives who have wealth.

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      When did this conversation become if it's ethical to have money because I certainly don't believe that it's unethical to have money. The question was whether it's ethical to make moeny off a bussiness you do nothing for.

      1. JSChams profile image60
        JSChamsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Because the public argument has gone from a man they claimed donated nothing to the fact he has donated millions yet that is now meaningless. It's all focused on one man of course and to be fair we should wonder what others have donated as well shouldn't we?

 
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