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Top 10 Reasons for Higher Taxes on the Top 1%

  1. kerryg profile image86
    kerrygposted 6 years ago

    Funding for our country's children is being cut, but we allow a hedge fund manager to make enough money to pay the salaries of every public school teacher in New York City. Most of his earnings are taxed at a rate less than that of his secretary.

    We haven't been able to do anything about it because the cry of 'socialism' from the top generates fear in the minds of average Americans. It's a meaningless cry. Here are ten reasons why the wealthiest 10% of us, and especially the richest 1%, should be paying higher taxes.

    1. Benefits to the rich (and everyone else)

    Americans with land and expensive houses have the most to lose by failing to support national security and a clean environment and infrastructure repair. And they have a lot to lose from the growing levels of crime and violence. Researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have documented numerous studies that correlate economic inequality with shorter life expectancies, increased disease and health problems, and higher rates of murder and other forms of violence.

    About their book "The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone," Wilkinson says: "We quote a prison psychiatrist who spent 25 years talking to really violent men, and he says he has yet to see an act of violence which was not caused by people feeling disrespected, humiliated, or like they've lost face. Those are the triggers to violence, and they're more intense in more unequal societies, where status competition is intensified and we're more sensitive about social judgments."

    2. Correcting the redistribution of income to the rich

    The richest 1% took $7 of every $100 of America's income in 1980. They have increased that to $20 of every $100 today. In just one generation they've TRIPLED their cut of the pie. Most of the gains by the rich were not 'earned' in the sense of production, innovation, inventiveness. They didn't work 3 times harder than everyone else as they tripled their share. They benefited from tax cuts and deregulation.

    3. Correcting the redistribution of income from the poor

    Since 1980 our country's productivity has steadily risen, with total income doubling approximately every 10 years. If the bottom 90% of America, most of whom have not been lazy, had shared in this prosperity at a level consistent with 1980 incomes, they would be making $45,000 a year instead of $35,000.

    Change to Win, a coalition of union organizations, notes that the high point for wages was in 1972 when union membership reached 28%. Workers are now "earning only 83 cents of every dollar they earned more than 35 years ago, while their productivity has increased a dramatic 80%."

    4. Outmoded tax brackets

    Our tax system is stuck at 1980s levels. As noted by The New Yorker economist James Surowiecki, "Our system sets the top bracket at three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, with a tax rate of thirty-five per cent...This means that someone making two hundred thousand dollars a year and someone making two hundred million dollars a year pay at similar tax rates. LeBron James and LeBron James's dentist: same difference."

    5. Inequality to instability

    As explained by Time's economics writer Stephen Gandel, "Consider what [money held by the very rich] is doing now. It is adding to our economic problems not helping. For the most part it is not money being spent and trickling down. Instead it just adds to that global pool of money that sloshes around our financial markets and creates all types of bubbles...it actually makes our economy prone to booms and busts, and less stable."

    6. Instability to catastrophe

    The current level of inequality is equivalent to that of the years just before the Great Depression. There is reason to suspect that this level of income inequality is dangerous to our economy. The only other year since 1913 that the wealthy claimed such a large share of national income was 1928, when the top 1% share was 23.9%. The following year, the stock market crashed, which led to the Great Depression. After peaking again in 2007, the U.S. stock market crashed in 2008, leading to what some are now calling the "Great Recession."

    7. The Tax Myth

    The belief that the "rich pay most of the taxes" is incorrect. The truth comes from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office and the Internal Revenue Service. It's true that the top-earning 1% of Americans pay 23% of their incomes in federal income taxes, while the lowest-earning half of Americans pay only 3%. But top earners pay 5% of their incomes in state and local taxes (sales, property, and income taxes), while low earners pay 10%. Top earners pay 2% of their incomes toward social security, compared to 9% for low earners. Top earners pay 0% (i.e., a negligible portion) of their incomes in federal excise taxes (e.g., tobacco, alcohol and gasoline), while low earners pay 2%. Top earners save another 1% through the Bush tax cuts, while low earners see little benefit. So total taxes for top earners are 29% of their incomes. Total taxes for low earners are 24% of their incomes.

    Beyond this, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the American Gas Association concur that low-income households pay over 20% of their incomes for utilities, while high-income households pay less than 4%. As a result, total taxes and utilities for top earners consume 33% of their incomes. Total taxes and utilities for low earners consume 44% of their incomes.

    8. The Consumption Myth

    The belief that rich stimulate the economy is another myth. If anything, the poor stimulate the economy. Low-income earners have a higher "Marginal Propensity to Consume," which means that they spend a greater percentage of their overall income on consumption. High-income earners, on the other hand, will hold more in investments. A University of California study showed that from 1980 to 2003 the share of capital income (stocks, interest, dividends) owned by the richest 1% grew from 37% to 57%.

    It's not just rich individuals holding the money. The 500 largest non-financial corporations are currently sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash.

    9. Wealth with Honor

    Although our country is built on capitalism, wise American business leaders have recognized the danger of the "free hand" of unregulated open markets. Adam Smith, the father of capitalism, believed that unrestricted businesses tend to engage in "conspiracy against the public." John Kenneth Galbraith said "Capitalism left to its own devices, doesn't work properly; it excludes the poor, ruins the environment, and fails to deliver enough collectively produced goods, such as roads, reservoirs, schools and hospitals."

    Teddy Roosevelt (in 1910, exactly 100 years ago) criticized the "small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power...We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used...We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community...I think we have got to face the fact that an increase in governmental control is now necessary."

    Taxes were raised on the rich shortly after Roosevelt's speech, and the United States gradually became a middle class nation.

    More recently, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have been trying to convince the rich of their responsibility to society. "Responsible Wealth," a project of United for a Fair Economy, is a network of over 700 business leaders and wealthy individuals in the top 5% of income and/or wealth in the US who advocate for fair taxes and corporate accountability.

    (10) As the Tea Party argues, there should be no new taxes. On 90% of us.

    Source

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Very good. You may want to add to restore or maintain the faith in our democratic, capitalist market system which has been badly eroded in recent years by increasing income disparity between the rich and everybody else. Our income distribution is looking more and more like South Africa's or Namibia's.

    2. weholdthesetruths profile image60
      weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Sadly, not a single one of your "reasons" is valid in any fashion.   They are just ideological responses, but completely without reason or logical merit.

      1. lovemychris profile image79
        lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You are funny.Did you go to Beck University?

        pom pom girls:
        "Beck U!"
        "Beck U!"
        "If he can't show you, what'll you do?"

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          i don't see how standing up against stealing money has anything to do with Glenn Beck.

          1. 0
            Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            The top 1% on average, with taking into their exemptions, pay an average of 17% regardless of the the tax code. Now, how much do you pay? Stealing money my ass.

        2. weholdthesetruths profile image60
          weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          It's actually funny to point out that the arguments are just ideological tripe, with no reasoned or logical foundation, whatsoever?   

          There is ONLY one justification for taxing any group or grouping or segment of the population or business or class or classes of businesses, etc, any more than any other - and that one justification is emotion.   Negative emotion.    Hate, anger, envy.   

          Every statement to try to say otherwise... Is just a big fat lie to hide the obvious emotional drive.

          1. lovemychris profile image79
            lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            well then, professor truths...
            Can you please explain to this dimwit why a hedgefund manager who earns 3 million dollars pays less tax than a school teacher who earns $65,000?

            1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
              weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              The he must make very little as a manager and a LOT from his own investment.... In government debt.

              1. lovemychris profile image79
                lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                ehhhhhhh, d+ for that answer. It's because investment income (capital gains) is taxed at 15% and earned income is taxed at 35%.

                must be because:
                "There is ONLY one justification for taxing any group or grouping or segment of the population or business or class or classes of businesses, etc, any more than any other - and that one justification is emotion.   Negative emotion.    Hate, anger, envy."

                Yup--you said it!

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Your question was incorrect.   You asked how a person with a 3 million income would pay less than a person who is paid 65K.   

                  Your question was about the sum of dollars paid in taxes.   

                  Your response was about the percentage paid in taxes.   

                  You aer either seriously confused, dishonest, or made a big boo-boo in writing the question, and never admitted it.

                  1. lovemychris profile image79
                    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    made a boo-boo in writing it:

                    How could I admit it if I made the boo-boo?????? SILLY.

                    But you can see how the tax codes favor wealth over labor, right?
                    I thought one of the Founding Dads said that labor should outweigh all??

                    Honest living, sweat of the brow pip pip cheerios and all that, what?

      2. kerryg profile image86
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "Noooooooooo" is not a valid argument. I disagree with Evan, but at least he defends his case.

        1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
          weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I don't need to defend anything.   The poster needs to try to justify the anger, resenment, or hate which drives every one of the so-called "justifications".    They're not reasons, as in, calculated benefits.   They're just red herrings, pure fiction, smoke to obscure the truth.

          1. kerryg profile image86
            kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            You're still sticking your fingers in your ears and going "Nonononononono." Not productive.

            A few calculated benefits from taxes in general:

            1. High quality public services. Businesses depend on these too. For example, do you think goods would be as cheap or universal (and therefore business as successful) if we didn't have a well maintained highway system to transport them?

            2. Public safety. Rich people and businesses also depend on this. Check out crime, disease, and civil unrest rates in countries and time periods with extreme income disparity and no social services. Walling yourself off in gated communities with private guards only works for so long.

            A few calculated benefits from taxes on the wealthy in particular:

            1. Higher general prosperity. A healthy middle class is necessary for a healthy economy for the reasons described in the OP - the poor and middle classes spend a higher percentage of their income on goods and services. No matter how rich, 1% of the population will never be able to prop up the other 99% by consumer spending alone. Progressive tax systems prop up everybody through the benefits mentioned above - it is only fair that the people who receive the greatest benefits should contribute the most.

            2. Great economic stability. I don't expect you to agree with me on this one, but irresponsible speculating by large banks and wealthy investors are ultimately responsible for decades of boom and bust cycles that have mostly served to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Taking a higher percentage of this money in taxes would create far more public good through public services and security than speculators using it to continue the destruction of America's middle classes.

            1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
              weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              1.  Always cost more than if not centralized and socialised.   Always a bad deal.
              2.  Actually, the Constitution says that for the public to be safe, it needs to be well armed.   We do tax to pay for police and courts and so on, and I have no quarrel with that.   It does not in any way justify taxing any person or group of people or entities at different rates. 

              Blah blah
              1.  Absolutely and utterly false.
              2.  Absolutely and utterly false.    High tax economies inevitably lead to using deficit spending to produce higher employment, as political types feel pressured to create employment.   This eventually reuslts complete economic failure, since the high tax rates and excessive wealth redistribution robs the economy of investment. 

              not only do I not agree with you,  your posting is ridiculous nonsense.

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You are quite an absolutist. A true believer, in yourself.

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Naw.   There are some things that are quite simple and very obvious.   There's no need to get all caught up in fancy argument about them.

                  1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                    Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Simplistic.

              2. kerryg profile image86
                kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                "1.  Always cost more than if not centralized and socialised.   Always a bad deal."

                Maybe and maybe not. If you look at countries that lack universal public education, for example, what you tend to see is poor families choosing one child (usually male) to attend school while the rest have to stay home and work. If the family is very poor, even that child may have to leave school for weeks at a time during periods of especially heavy work. Talk about generational poverty...

                You also tend to get some areas that have good services - good roads, clean water, regular electricity - and others, maybe within just a few miles of each other, where people are using holes in the ground for latrines. In my husband's native country, running water and electricity only come on for a few hours a day, but at least they *have* plumbing and electrical wiring.

                Another interesting feature of his country is that the pension system doesn't provide enough to live on, so the elderly and disabled have to rely on the charity of relatives. It's a poor country, so most disabled people end up in orphanages as children and begging on the streets as adults. The elderly may also end up beggars, though they're at least less likely to be disowned and homeless.

                "1.  Absolutely and utterly false."

                Nope. Demonstrably true. (See, I can do it too!)

                "2.  Absolutely and utterly false. High tax economies inevitably lead to using deficit spending to produce higher employment, as political types feel pressured to create employment. This eventually reuslts complete economic failure, since the high tax rates and excessive wealth redistribution robs the economy of investment."

                Just to clarify one point quickly, I'm not necessarily talking about high taxes (although as I've pointed out in earlier posts, an upper tax bracket rate of 90% did produce the incredibly poverty-stricken and un-innovative 1950's, so there is that...), just higher. 2/3 of US corporations don't pay any taxes at all, and any rich person worth his/her salt is also perfectly capable of hiring an accountant who can perform the same disappearing trick. Since the poorest don't pay income taxes either, just by virtue of not making enough money, that leaves the middle classes getting wrung out, and thanks to corporate control of government, the majority of our money is going directly back into the pockets of the same rich people using accounting tricks to avoid paying their own share. We're being forced to pay for our own destruction.

          2. 0
            Texasbetaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Again, wehold offers his best and most common response, "nuh uh." Classic. Go play in your sandbox.

      3. Sylvie Strong profile image60
        Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        This is typical of your style (actually less insulting than many of your posts).  I think you are unclear on the concept of a forum.  If you disagree with this post, explain why with specificity.  Many of your responses are of the "fraid not' "fraid so" type.

        1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
          weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Simplistic response on my part are simply the recognition that no validity exists to the arguments.   They may be very carefully and excruciatingly deliberate in construction, but they're still empty.

          1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
            Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Why bother to participate in this discussion at all?  You already know all of the answers.  When someone disagrees with you, you say they are wrong without explaining why.  When we ask for your reasons, you say they are obvious to any rational person.  I could say "fraid not" without explaining why.  Then you could respond with "fraid so."  Is that what kind of discussion you want to have?

            1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
              weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              No, but so far, the arguements put forth have been in the "Boo-Hoo, someone has more than me, I hate them!" category.    They don't merit any response besides a bit of a spanking. 

              Seriously, someone tried to say that high taxes bring about a wealthy society.    The logical absurdity of that statement is so "out there", there's just not any logical response to it.    I did ask in another thread, if anyone on the other end of the ideological spectrum from me had any answers, and that thread is universally ignored.   That's because they don't have any.   Taxes don't build a society, they just get spent, often on monuments to self indulgent politicians.   Hardly a society boosting enterprise.   

              Societies are built by individuals doing what's necessary for their own survival, and maintaning a personal level of integrity and morality that causes them to benefit, not just economically from their productivity, but also personally to benefit those they interact with.    That isn't government, it's common standards of morality, conduct, and self interest all rolled together.   All higher taxes do is inhibit investment, productivity, and risk.   And since higher taxes are generally employed by those who believe in centralized control of the economy, they are accompanied by attempts at confiscating money to be re-deployed by means of political rules, rather than logical rules.   This is even MORE counterproductive, as poltical rules are utterly useless in obtaining a valued return from what's invested.

              1. Pcunix profile image91
                Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                High taxes built this country.  They built the roads, financed the military, combatted organized crime, ensured food safety, and on and on.

                But you would tear all that down because you cannot comprehend how it benefitted you.  We aren't rugged individualists growing our own food, we are a highly complex society and we are highly dependent on each other and the infrastructure our taxes provide.

                Every country where taxes are low is plagued by poverty.  Foolish people who follow TP policy will be destroying themselves - they will have no "confiscatory" taxes, but they will have nothing else either.

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL, BZZT.   Please unlearn all that, and get some facts.

                  1. Pcunix profile image91
                    Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Those are facts.

                    You are the one who is living in a fantasy workd.

    3. Sylvie Strong profile image60
      Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      We have seen a number of posts about "stealing" or how people "earn" their money.  This may be based on some false assumptions.  I have paid rather heavenly taxes in my life.  I will take every lawful deduction and don't pay extra taxes just to help society.  The idea of paying an even greater tax burden does not thrill me per se. 

      But it is hard to say how much I've "earned" and how much is being taken away because there is no control.  There is something human about wanting to take credit for accomplishments but how much money you earn is a product of the society you live in.  I don't mean taking advantage of roads and national security and all of that.  Those are valid points I suppose, but I am making the more basic point that you do not know how much you would earn without the society our taxes creates.  We wouldn't be paid quite the same way given that our entire financial system is based on trust (we could return to hoarding and exchanging gold coins I guess). 

      I have worked very very hard in my life.  There are plenty of people that make more money than me and plenty that make less.  Some haven't worked as hard, do not have the same talents, have not had the same opportunities, have different values, prioritized different things, etc., there are a million different causal factors at play and I do not take away from peoples' achievements or my own.  But it is hard to say how much you have "earned" because your earnings are a product of the very society you are in. 

      I could slash Evan's total earnings in half and reduce his taxes to zero.  This isn't a bizarre tax scheme...the government doesn't get it...whoever was going to give him money or buy his product just gives him less.  We can say that this is how much he "earned."   He can be overjoyed at keeping his earnings and that no one is stealing from him.  But at the end of the day, we can't say what we "earned" in a vacuum.

      I'm not advocating higher taxes.  But don't expect me to feel bitter about paying them either.

      1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
        weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You said: 
        .  Those are valid points I suppose, but I am making the more basic point that you do not know how much you would earn without the society our taxes creates. 

        This is patently false.   Society is not created by government.   Economies are not created by government.   

        What you can earn is a direct reflection up on the value of whatever it is you do, or upon the percieved value of what you do is.   Unless you're in the public sector, and then it's simply whatever either the union has blackmailed the public into paying, or what the legislative bodies have deemed "proper".   

        In no case is the prosperity of any society as a whole a product of, caused by, or created by government - unless the lack of prosperity that is under discussion, and in that case, government generally IS the culprit.

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Good government is a scarce commodity and one of the most important components of productivity and economic growth. Our government isn't perfect, but it's better than found in most other countries.

          1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
            weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            it's a scarce commodity, because the only good government, is that which does very little.

            1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
              Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Wrong again. We can't go back to the simple world of the Revolution and Daniel Boone. There are good reasons for most of the things our government does. It doesn't do all of them well but there are good reasons for trying.

              1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                oh, I see, you're one of the "evolved" tuypes, who believes himself wiser than history and smarter than the founders and the public. 

                The answer is, why , YES WE CAN go back to living withing the Constitution boundaries.   And, in fact, is the ONLY means by which the nation and world will survive without complete and total collapse.

                1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                  Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Within the "Constitution boundaries" as amended and interpreted by the Supreme Court in light of current circumstances not contemplated by the framers.

                  1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                    weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Nonsense.   There is no need to imagine stuff into the Constitution, or invent nonsense out of thin air.   The Constitution as it exists, and the limits in places on government are perfectly relevant, fine and adequate.

        2. Sylvie Strong profile image60
          Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Are you agreeing with me or disagreeing with me?  You have no idea what you have "earned" because you have never known a world without a society around you.  Taxation is to pay for common services for this society.  There would be no financial system...no money...no electronic transfers...no banking...without trust in the currency.  We could destroy the financial system and return to hoarding and spending precious metals and bartering, but you don't know how much you would have "earned" in that world.  You don't know how much you would have "earned" but for every business, and consumer around you that is interconnected in our society.  You don't know how much you would have "earned" but for the infrastructure, the common defense, the various social services.  If these services don't affect you, they may affect your customers, your business partners, your employers, etc.  What you "earned" is not what you hunt, grow and gather in a remote island...if someone tries to take that you can call it stealing.

          I'm not saying whether taxes should be more or less.  I'm not expressing a view on whether our tax dollars are being spent inefficiently or efficiently.  I'm just saying that when we make comments about how much of our money is "stolen" we are making false assumptions about how much we should have in the first place.  The only way to really put value on how much we have earned is to compare ourselves to other people in the same society.

          1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
            weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I'm a little uncertain how you get this far, but fail to grasp how people see their money as stolen.    I'm sympathetic to the "my money is stolen" viewpoint, because in terms of what we publicly fund, very little of it is of true benefit.    As you say, as a society, our founding documents grants government the power to tax, to pay for specific things, a list of them.   I don't, and for the most part, nor does anyone else consider their money stolen when it's local property taxes, and in return you get a public school system, police, and roads and bridges and municipals, etc.   

            But when your money is taken from you, not for the purpose of governance, but the purpose of adjusting the outcome of your life, and the life of whomever it is given to,   then we quite correctly see it as  theft.   It isn't taken for the legitemate purposes of governance, it's taken simply to punish one group and favor another.   At the whim of a small group of people who are still trying to buy the majority's votes, by promising them handouts funded by the few.    It is stealing, in every sense of the word, as it is immoral, irrational, and those doing it are corrupt.

      2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        This idea that "the amount of money you earn is dependent on your society" is kind of nonsense.

        Things have value because people want them.

        That's all there is to it. Nothing more, nothing less. A single person living alone on a deserted planet would still assign value to things, and a single person living in a world of trillions of people would still assign values to things.

        Demanding that society assigns value to things is nonsense. Individuals assign values to things. Gold is, indeed, valuable mostly because other people want it... but think about that: it's VALUABLE because other PEOPLE WANT IT. Because a person wants the thing, it has value. It is NOT valuable because Society got up one day and said "GOLD SHALL HAVE VALUE!!!"

        No - individuals assigned gold value. They assigned countless things value. They assigned random stones on the ground value (pet rocks). "Society" didn't do it, people did. Individual people did.

    4. I am DB Cooper profile image67
      I am DB Cooperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The richest Americans already have major tax advantages over the poor. If a person making $10 million a year spends $5,000 (.05% of his income) on a good accountant to do his taxes, he can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on his taxes. The poorest Americans overpay on their taxes because they don't have the resources to pay someone to find tax breaks they don't know about.

      The tax rate on the rich has gone down significantly in recent decades, even as the deficit has expanded greatly. The tax rates that were in place 50 years ago would be called socialist by modern standards, yet people still seem to think the rich are getting shafted. The tax rate on the rich could be double what it is now and there would still be significant incentive to earn money. It's not like the rich just stop working because Uncle Sam wants 40% of their income.

  2. Joe Badtoe profile image61
    Joe Badtoeposted 6 years ago

    Great Hub KerryG

    Though I think moves to tax the wealthiest 1% should be far greater and all the savings they made using intricate tax avoidance advisors and schemes (such as offshore accounts) should be put nto a general pot and be distributed to projects that offer the poorest a chance to better themselves.

    Hedge Fund as a practice should be outlawed.

    Then again the level of corruption at the top of the financial world would be diffcult to break down. Guess that's why Madoff managed to scam people for so long.

    The theory of blaming people for being homeless and leaving them to rot is typical of those that got a step on the ladder via inheritance or parental assistance.

    And how these middle class and upwards folk think that ignoring the plight of those less fortunate won't come back to haunt them is beyond me.

    It's a vicious circle and the wealthiest sit and watch the hamster's wheel.

  3. tobey100 profile image59
    tobey100posted 6 years ago

    What you're saying sounds very reasonable except for the fact that locigcally its unworkable.  Why?

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Lets-Tax-the-Rich

  4. Evan G Rogers profile image82
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    Question 1: We're looking for more investment during this economic downturn. Who's more likely to invest money properly: poor people, who have no money to invest? the government, who doesn't earn the money they spend? or the rich, who are spending their own dollars on investments?

    Question 2: Why is it better for the government to steal people's money and then spend it than it is to let people who've earned the money by providing a good or service to others spend it as they wish? Clearly the rich have shown better foresight than government has.

    Question 3: If you truly believe that we need to establish a complete "redistribution of wealth", then you should be in favor for a flat tax of 100%. What is this notion that we HAVE to correct the "redistribution" of wealth? This argument openly demands that you are NOT entitled to the money you earn. Not even poor people like this notion.

    Question 4: "They benefited from tax cuts and deregulation". part 1: why is that a bad thing if it clearly is helping people? part 2: can you even cite a source?

    Question 5: Why would you even believe Gandel's argument? If you agree with "trickle-down economics" then you should have been VERY happy with the $1 trillion bail outs that Obama gave out. Rich people DO invest their money, they do it better than poor people - that's why they're rich. They invest their money better than government - that's why the government is always trying to find more income. Anyone who is for "trickle down economics" should have been very very happy with the bailouts.

    Statement 1: the Great depression had nothing to do with inequality of wealth. For starters, you're probably measuring the difference in Dollars, and thus getting a distorted number: the dollar has lost about 95% of its value since 1913. This means that if you measure a gap in dollars in 1913 and you measure a gap in dollars in 2010, the number HAS to look bigger and wider than before. But it might not necessarily be true.

    The great depression was caused by horrendous monetary inflation. Mostly because we were trying to bailout the British. When the Fed finally stopped printing money, because, obviously, they had to, the inevitable crash ensued. Then FDR went ape-nuts on the economy, ignoring every aspect of the Constitution he could.

    Interesting Fact: the Great Depression was the FIRST economic downturn where the government tried to do everything they could to fix things. It was also the first Depression to last longer than a decade. There IS a connection there.

    Statement 2: You wrote: "So total taxes for top earners are 29% of their incomes. Total taxes for low earners are 24% of their incomes." and then used this fact to prove (?) that the richest pay less in taxes?... how does that work? The argument is incorrect - blatantly incorrect - not only because you're measuring in percentages, and the richest STILL pay a higher percentage, but also because each percentage point of the rich stands for (about) 10 times as much as the poor. So not only are the rich paying a higher tax RATE, but they ARE paying more TAXES. I'm actually amazed you would include that factoid because it goes against your argument.

    Statement 3: Of course poor people would pay more (percentage wise) for utilities. If you make 10 bucks an hour, and spend 30 cents an hour on utilities, you're percentage will be much higher than someone who makes 100 bucks an hour, but spends 2 dollars an hour on utilities.

    Question 6: Why did you even bother including utilities? you could have used anything: "the rich pay x% of their income on (anything), which is less then the percentage poor people pay!"  Of course that's true (except for things like gold nuggets and monocles): the rich have a larger denominator and a relatively similar numerator. How bout we ask the question "who gives the most of their income to charity?" -- the rich pay almost double to charity.  But I'm sure you'll find SOME way to make them sound evil for donating money. And i'll even cite a source: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m … _95309979/

    Question 7: why are you relying on "consumption economics"? the trillion dollar bailouts should've proved this to be foolish.

    Let's think about this: The rich are rich because they can foresee future monetary needs, i.e., they can speculate better (buy low, sell high). The government is rich because... well, it's actually very very very very very poor. How big is the debt? ridiculously big?

    So why the hell would I want to rely on anything that the government thinks will help the economy? - "$1 trillion consumption aimed bailouts" was the government/horrendously-in-debt-people's solution. "Investing money in the future in low-risk areas of the economy" was the rich/knows-how-to-speculate people's response.

    I'm gonna go with the people who earned their money.

    1. tobey100 profile image59
      tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Evan, I'm writing your name in the next Presidential election.  Excellent!

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        thank you - i'd suggest writing Ron Paul in, instead. he has a better chance

    2. kerryg profile image86
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      First of all, just to make sure this is clear, I didn't write that post, just thought it was an interesting perspective and generally solid overview of the logic behind progressive taxation.

      "Question 1: We're looking for more investment during this economic downturn. Who's more likely to invest money properly: poor people, who have no money to invest? the government, who doesn't earn the money they spend? or the rich, who are spending their own dollars on investments?"

      One of the primary points of the article (which makes me question how thoroughly you read it) is that the rich have NOT been investing their money "properly." What is "properly," anyway? "Properly" to me means in a way that benefits society as well as the individual. The stock market was created as a mutually beneficial arrangement that allowed stockholders to invest in promising companies, helping the company raise funds and rewarding the investor when the company succeeded. Plenty of this type of investing still goes on, and it should be encouraged, I agree. But huge fortunes are also made doing nothing but moving imaginary money around to bet on bubbles. This kind of irresponsible, unproductive investing has become rampant and contributed significantly to the housing bubble and the resulting crash.

      "Question 2: Why is it better for the government to steal people's money and then spend it than it is to let people who've earned the money by providing a good or service to others spend it as they wish? Clearly the rich have shown better foresight than government has."

      Again, what good or service is provided by high stakes gambling with imaginary money?

      "Question 3: If you truly believe that we need to establish a complete "redistribution of wealth", then you should be in favor for a flat tax of 100%. What is this notion that we HAVE to correct the "redistribution" of wealth? This argument openly demands that you are NOT entitled to the money you earn. Not even poor people like this notion."

      I don't believe in a complete redistribution of wealth, although I would like to point out that during the 1950's, one of the most consistently prosperous decades in US history, the tax rate for the top income bracket was 90%.

      As the article states, the goal is not complete redistribution of wealth, it's reversing the money grab perpetrated by the very rich over the last three decades or so. Allow me to remind you of two depressing figures:

      "The richest 1% took $7 of every $100 of America's income in 1980. They have increased that to $20 of every $100 today."

      "Workers are now earning only 83 cents of every dollar they earned more than 35 years ago, while their productivity has increased a dramatic 80%."

      "Question 4: "They benefited from tax cuts and deregulation". part 1: why is that a bad thing if it clearly is helping people? part 2: can you even cite a source?"

      Is helping the richest 1% of Americans become even richer really a beneficial use of government time, energy, and money?

      "Question 5: Why would you even believe Gandel's argument? If you agree with "trickle-down economics" then you should have been VERY happy with the $1 trillion bail outs that Obama gave out. Rich people DO invest their money, they do it better than poor people - that's why they're rich. They invest their money better than government - that's why the government is always trying to find more income. Anyone who is for "trickle down economics" should have been very very happy with the bailouts."

      ???

      I don't believe in "trickle down economics." I think it's complete and utter bullcr*p. Are you misunderstanding my post or am I misunderstanding yours?

      "Statement 1: the Great depression had nothing to do with inequality of wealth."

      I actually agree with you that was a weird and not effective argument by the OP.

      "Statement 2: You wrote: "So total taxes for top earners are 29% of their incomes. Total taxes for low earners are 24% of their incomes." and then used this fact to prove (?) that the richest pay less in taxes?... how does that work? The argument is incorrect - blatantly incorrect - not only because you're measuring in percentages, and the richest STILL pay a higher percentage, but also because each percentage point of the rich stands for (about) 10 times as much as the poor. So not only are the rich paying a higher tax RATE, but they ARE paying more TAXES. I'm actually amazed you would include that factoid because it goes against your argument."

      The article was written for a progressive website and progressives are accustomed to arguing against the flat tax in rather similar terms, so that's probably why you're missing the point. What he's saying is that, going by percentages, the rich don't pay "most" of the taxes, they pay only a few percent more than the poor. Additionally, when your annual income is $20 million, paying 29% is going to interfere a lot less with your ability to live a decent life than 24% of $20,000 will.

      "Statement 3: Of course poor people would pay more (percentage wise) for utilities. If you make 10 bucks an hour, and spend 30 cents an hour on utilities, you're percentage will be much higher than someone who makes 100 bucks an hour, but spends 2 dollars an hour on utilities.

      Question 6: Why did you even bother including utilities? you could have used anything"

      Same principle. He's pointing out that the government and (frequently) government run utilities are actually taking more income by percentage from poor people than it is from rich people.

      "Question 7: why are you relying on "consumption economics"? the trillion dollar bailouts should've proved this to be foolish."

      I'm not sure what your point is. It's a fact that the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on goods and services than the rich. What do the bailouts have to do with that?

      "Let's think about this: The rich are rich because they can foresee future monetary needs, i.e., they can speculate better (buy low, sell high). The government is rich because... well, it's actually very very very very very poor. How big is the debt? ridiculously big?

      So why the hell would I want to rely on anything that the government thinks will help the economy? - "$1 trillion consumption aimed bailouts" was the government/horrendously-in-debt-people's solution. "Investing money in the future in low-risk areas of the economy" was the rich/knows-how-to-speculate people's response.

      I'm gonna go with the people who earned their money."

      I don't remember if you were around back then (I don't think so) but I opposed the bailouts loudly and frequently here on the forums and in hubs, so throwing those back in my face isn't really a winning argument. Granted, I probably opposed them for completely different reasons than you did, but oppose them I did, and still do.

      Moreover, I don't have the foggiest idea what "low risk areas of the economy" rich people decided to switch their money to during the recession. It looks to me like they went right back to the same stupid tricks that got us into this mess in the first place.

      The bailouts, and the total lack of meaningful reform following them, are symptomatic of the real problem: the fact that corporations essentially control the US government and have been using it for decades to redistribute wealth upwards. All I'm saying is, it's time to take it back.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I haven't read everything you wrote, but yeah, sorry, i didn't realize you didn't wrote it until I saw that source thing at the end. it was hard to see. Sorry I aimed it at you

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "you didn't wrote it?" wtf was i thinking?

      2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        actually, the rich HAVE been investing their money properly - that's what rich people do. That's why they're rich. They aren't investing it properly in the eyes of the poor!! The poor just want the money for themselves! If a rich guy invests his money in something, and it pays off and makes him money... ... then he invested it correctly by definition.

        Stock market investing is NOT imaginary money, it is not gambling (well, it is, but so is everything the market does. Did you go to the store to buy a sandwich? you gambled that you would value the sandwich more than the money). When you buy a stock, you are taking real money - your money - and buying a share of ownership in that stock. You are saying "i value being able to tell the company what to do more than i value the money it cost to get there".

        However, I WILL agree that people put WAY too much emphasis on the stock market.

        Why are workers more productive (80% by your stat)? it's because some rich, money-grubbing bastard investing in capital equipment! 30 years ago, did the guy behind the counter at your local super market have a super-computer backed database of information to make "going to the store" easier? No. of course not. Capital increased, and thus, productivity did as well.

        Your statistic makes it sound like our parents gave birth to super-babies who can somehow create things 80% faster, 80% better, and 80% cheaper!!! ... but this isn't right - the reason we're more productive is because we have better equipment.

        This also explains why the rich are taking in more money: they are the ones who invested in the capital, thus they own it.

        The trickle down economics- The person who wrote the article quotes Stephen Gandel. Here's the statement in your post/ the article:

        As explained by Time's economics writer Stephen Gandel, "Consider what [money held by the very rich] is doing now. It is adding to our economic problems not helping. For the most part it is not money being spent and trickling down. Instead it just adds to that global pool of money that sloshes around our financial markets and creates all types of bubbles...it actually makes our economy prone to booms and busts, and less stable."

        This is "trickle down economics". He is arguing that trickle down economics is what we need, when obviously this is incorrect. Idiots like Gandel are the same people who argue that we need more money printed out of thin air.

        As far as the tax-amount goes... if the rich pay the highest percentage of money, then they pay the majority of the money. The argument you used seems to suggest that "Whites" might not be the majority, since we might not make up 50% of the population. I guess there's some truth to the argument, but "the most" is still "the majority" in my book.

        Also, he's only looking at percentages. What about raw dollars? If the rich pay a direct 30% (rounding) of their cash, and the poor pay a direct 25% (rounding) then.... ... the rich are paying more --- unless the population difference is substantial enough.

        This guy, and, apparently, progressives really rely too heavily on percentages. yes yes yes... if you take 1% income from a rich guy, and 1% income from a poor guy, the poor guy will be harder off. Yes. That is true. But that doesn't mean "let's steal money from the rich".  There is a logical disconnect somewhere in there.

        But, even if we WERE to argue "let's steal from the rich and give to the poor", then why are we stealing from the rich... and then giving our money to government? That's even MORE preposterous, and also the same reason why Robin Hood was a hero. Imagine if Robin hood stole money from the rich people (who were government at that time, but let's ignore that), and then gave the money to the government to then give to the poor.... that would be one sucktastic hero.

        Anyway...

        you're talking about stealing money from the rich, and then giving it to the poor via government. This is the idea behind the bailouts... sort of. "X is falling into hard times, so let's all help him out via governmental force". Just replace "X" with "corporations" or with "poor people". Either way it's highly dubious.

        I probably missed your arguments against the bailouts- at least we can agree there. But I have to insist that "stealing money from X and giving it to Y" is the exact same thing as what the OP wrote, and is the exact same thing as the bailouts.

        As far as "corporations controlling the government" - I can agree with you there. But I must insist:  punishing the corporations is the wrong way to go.

        If a company wants money from the government, and the government agrees to give the money to them... then who's at fault?  To clear up the question a bit, let's replace a few words: "If a child cries in a store for a lollipop, and the mom caves in and gives it to him, who's at fault?"

        As you can see, the government SHOULDN'T be dishing out money. I'm sure you would agree with this (even though we get into numerous debates about the 10th Amendment).

        So what should we do?

        I argue that we should prevent the mom from giving the candy out, via a rule that has been in place since 1791 (the 10th amendment).

        you argue that we should steal the candy that the child actually earned on his own, without his mom.

        That's where we're disagreeing.

        1. kerryg profile image86
          kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "actually, the rich HAVE been investing their money properly - that's what rich people do. That's why they're rich. They aren't investing it properly in the eyes of the poor!! The poor just want the money for themselves! If a rich guy invests his money in something, and it pays off and makes him money... ... then he invested it correctly by definition."

          If a rich guy invests his money in something and it pays off and makes him money but causes the world economy to collapse, then that is not "properly" in MY book.

          How much do you actually know about what passes for "investing" on Wall Street these days? You seem awfully naive about it.

          "This also explains why the rich are taking in more money: they are the ones who invested in the capital, thus they own it."

          That doesn't give them the right to pay workers less money for more work.

          "This is "trickle down economics". He is arguing that trickle down economics is what we need, when obviously this is incorrect. Idiots like Gandel are the same people who argue that we need more money printed out of thin air."

          I still have no idea where you're getting this argument. Are you overlooking a negative somewhere? Gandel is obviously opposed to trickle down economics.

          "But, even if we WERE to argue "let's steal from the rich and give to the poor", then why are we stealing from the rich... and then giving our money to government? That's even MORE preposterous, and also the same reason why Robin Hood was a hero. Imagine if Robin hood stole money from the rich people (who were government at that time, but let's ignore that), and then gave the money to the government to then give to the poor.... that would be one sucktastic hero."

          Because welfare isn't the only thing government spends its money on. Improved infrastructure benefits everyone, including the rich, and the government is currently the only entity with the reach (and motivation) to do things like provide a basic level of education (however sucktastic) to every single child in the country. If we would stop wasting trillions on idiotic wars and corporate welfare, we might actually get somewhere with this country. Europe is not perfect, obviously, but all the money they've poured into infrastructure and social spending has resulted in a better quality of life than the US in many countries. Lately, they've been surpassing us in some areas of technological innovation as well.

          They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

          This is a Louisiana levee, in the Katrina era:

          http://i51.tinypic.com/25gfcoy.jpg

          This is a Dutch levee:

          http://i55.tinypic.com/vpyc83.jpg

          British levee:

          http://i51.tinypic.com/2j0h2yp.jpg

          Italian levee:

          http://i51.tinypic.com/wlf2ox.jpg

          As a patriot, I find this kind of discrepancy offensive.

          "As far as "corporations controlling the government" - I can agree with you there. But I must insist:  punishing the corporations is the wrong way to go."

          Granted, I do think it's more important to limit the amount of money they can spend on campaigns and get rid of the revolving door that puts corporate lackeys in charge of regulating and in some cases running the branch of government that's supposed to be overseeing their operations. (Goldman Sachs all but runs the Treasury Department, to name one).

          "If a company wants money from the government, and the government agrees to give the money to them... then who's at fault?"

          If a company wants money from the government, and the government department that agrees to give it to them is headed by the former CEO of the company... then who's at fault?

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            your argument that workers need to earn money based off of the "amount of work" they do is a bit incorrect.

            You get paid based off of how much money you are worth. How is this decided? Well, if you can get a higher paying job elsewhere, you take it. If you can't, then you don't. That's how wages are set - just like every other valuable object in the world. The same reason why YOU go shopping for the best deal on orange juice in the super market is the same reason why workers get paid what they do. The reason is: because they don't have to pay more.

            Also, if they started paying people higher salaries, then prices would likely go up. And if you were to argue that "well the rich are just getting profits" , then people can start a similar company to compete and steal more profits. The only way that this freedom to chase profits can be denied is via government.

            About the trickle down economics: I think that the one making the mistake is you - but you can keep demanding that I'm the one making the mistake if you want to: here's Gandel's quote again. read it carefully, and you'll see that he is FOR trickle down economics:

            Consider what [money held by the very rich] is doing now. It is adding to our economic problems not helping. For the most part it is not money being spent and trickling down. Instead it just adds to that global pool of money that sloshes around our financial markets and creates all types of bubbles...it actually makes our economy prone to booms and busts, and less stable

            Last issue I'll address for now: "If a company wants money from the government, and the government department that agrees to give it to them is headed by the former CEO of the company... then who's at fault?"

            The government's. Why? because the 10th amendment makes such allocations of federal money unconstitutional. and the phrase "general welfare" further makes such allocations unconstitutional!!!

            1. kerryg profile image86
              kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Gandel is stating that trickle down economics do not work because the rich do not spend the money, so it never actually "trickles down" as supporters of trickle down economics claim it will. Instead, it just makes rich people richer, often through irresponsible investing that leaves a trail of boom and bust cycles in its wake.

              IF trickle down economics worked, maybe he would support it (maybe you and I would too), but he plainly understands that it doesn't.

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                The author WANTS the trickle down economics, but it's not happening.

                Trickle down economics is nonsense, and thus the author is spouting further nonsense.

                I hope that clarifies where the confusion is coming from.

              2. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                "Trickle Down Economics" is an interesting phrase.   It has no actual meaning, since it applies to no known economic theory.   

                It is, however, just a verbal red herring to disguise that the intention of the user is actually redistribution by force, and he's making pejorative statements which have no basis and can't be argued rationally, in an attempt to malign the opposition and silence dissent. 

                Statists always silence dissent, since they believe they have an innate wisdom that gives them moral license to "adjust" the outcome of people's lives by force, and debate will always eventually reveal that lack of foundation for what they do.

                1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                  Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  "actually redistribution by force"

                  Not by force, but by law, enacted by duly elected representatives.

                  1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                    weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    That's "by force".   It's why the Constitution specifically forbids congress to do it.

                2. Pcunix profile image91
                  Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Well, you can have your opinion.  It is wrong, of course, but you don't know that and I am quite sure that no amount of logic would change your opinion or your outrsge.

                  We will simply pass you by, leaving you angrily shaking your fist.  We need to raise taxes on the very wealthy and we will.  I am sure they deeply appreciate your concern for their money.

                  1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                    weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    No, I'm not wrong.   And your temper tantrum, based on envy, isn't going to work.   Whether you  temporarily win and get your way or not isn't the game.   The game is to be right, to be correct.   And you are not.    The fact that you haven't the faintest idea why is the reason why most Americans are now rising up and telling the government - which is full of people like you - to go stuff itself.   You've played social engineer far too long, and it has become crystal clear that you, and your allies, have not the faintest idea what you're doing, because NOTHING you do works.

            2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
              Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              The only people who've been getting higher salaries lately are the Wall Street banksters and dull, bureaucrat CEOs who pay themselves as if they were entrepreneurs like Bill Gates or Henry Ford who actually created something. Of course these increases in compensation are deserved rewards for jobs well done, and, of course they don't cause prices to go up.

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                if the investments are foolish, they'll be punished on the market.

                1. kerryg profile image86
                  kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Hi there, did you notice the recession we're in right now? It's hurting the poor and middle classes a lot more than the people who made the bad investments in the first place.

                  Also, did you notice the tendency of CEOs, even CEOs who have literally run their companies into the ground through bad decision-making, to get massive compensation packages? Then they have to cut jobs to pay for it, but who cares about the workers who've actually been doing what they were supposed to, right?

                  1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    the people who made the bad investments were the poor and middle class.

                    They invested in houses they couldn't afford. This was made possible by a horrendously expanded monetary supply and numerous government incentives.

                    Remember the term "house flipping" - that went on for nearly a decade.

                    I understand that corrupt and idiotic CEOs can be stupid - but if a CEO makes bad decisions their company will lose money, and won't be able to afford such a huge paycheck. The other stock holders - those evil men you hate on wall street - will vote the CEOs out (that is, if they don't like their stocks being run into the ground).

                    Of course this doesn't always happen, but I would demand that without weird government regulations and credit expansion, it would happen less frequently.

          2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
            Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            According to Evan the free market will automatically take care of little details like levees.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              yeah, i guess i'm the only person on here who thinks "people will pay for what they want".

              The first question you'll ask yourself: "should we even really bother building levees".

              1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                what on earth was the purpose of rebuilding NOLA after Katrina?   The land continues to subside under the city, and eventually, it will either cost a fortune beyond belief to continue to try to save it, or we give up and surrender all that investment to the loss column. 

                It was dumb to build in the first place, and then we gave the federal government the responsibility of saving it.   

                "Ok, let's build in the most stupid place...  then let's have the most incompetent people in the world fix the problems."

              2. kerryg profile image86
                kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Levees I'll concede (too bad for New Orleans, I guess) but let's take a look at something more basic.

                If business has to pay for highways to protect their chain of distribution, they're going to go bankrupt pretty quickly.

                I'm all for smaller, localized businesses, but the world isn't currently set up to operate that way and the relocalization movement is fringe at best. Until it becomes mainstream, we can't just stop paying for roads because most people in the US don't have the faintest idea how to feed themselves and in most regions of the country, the farms don't actually grow food for human beings anymore. Oops. Most farms in most regions of the country also wouldn't be able to grow any food if their local gas stations didn't get regular shipments of diesel, which requires good roads again. Double oops.

                Now, in fairness you'd have a few years before the roads disintegrated enough to really cause problems, so maybe in that time you'll be able to spread livestock and seeds around enough to prevent total famine, but you still have the problem that nearly all the livestock species in widespread used today have been specially bred to do well in confinement and can't handle scary stuff like sunlight and rainstorms, and most of the grain species are dependent on chemical fertilizers and pesticides which, again, require good roads for transport. Triple oops. At least there's still some heirloom veggies and fruits hanging around, but their hard to store unless you know how to can, which requires electricity... oh yeah, most power plants are public too. Hmm, I guess there's always wood. 'Cause cutting down trees always turns out well...

                I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea.

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  You realize, of course, that the percentage of tax money spent on roads, is microscopic.

                  1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                    Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    True, much more is spent on wars and unnecessary military weapons. Our roads are full of pot holes.

    3. weholdthesetruths profile image60
      weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Even, I admire your efforts to reach these people.  But as you can see, he has myriad walls of fictional blather, pretend knowledge and phantom reason, to shield himself from reality.   Anyone who can make up 10 "reasons" has got to be so removed from reality, that they possibly can never actually be gotten back to it. 

      You will not ever convince these people with reason, for they have rejected reason, logic, and fact, and instead, substituted the soothing bleatings of those who write to make them confortable in thier mess.

  5. Pcunix profile image91
    Pcunixposted 6 years ago

    Sing it.

    It's all true.

    Good post.

  6. dutchman1951 profile image61
    dutchman1951posted 6 years ago

    PURE FIRST CLASS BS! Work for what you want and stop asking everyone else to pay your way.

    If you want Better Education in New York. go after your state Legislature and stop teaching Kids to just pass a state test.

    2012 Sir, thiis will not happen. we all have had enough of this "communisim lite" crap

  7. Pcunix profile image91
    Pcunixposted 6 years ago

    Let's not forget that most of the rich get their wealth by exploiting and abusing others. "Behind every great fortune is a great crime".

    1. Ben Evans profile image76
      Ben Evansposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Most conspiracy theorists get their ideas by abusing their sensibilities.

    2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      this just isn't true. I agree with Pcunix on a few things, but sadly this isn't one of them.

      Bill Gates never exploited anyone. Neither did Jim Rogers. Neither did COUNTLESS other rich people. My dad makes 6 figures, he never screwed anyone over.

      Ti's simply not true.

      1. Pcunix profile image91
        Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Wrong.

        You don't know very much about Microsoft.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          ok... who did bill gates screw over?

          1. Doug Hughes profile image60
            Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I like Bill Gates, but Mcrosoft was guilty of a lot of unfair trade practices to maintain their monoply. They got nicked for it in a lot of countries including the US.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              So, some government called them a monopoly...

              ... even though they weren't...

              ... and I'm supposed to think they're bad?

              1. kerryg profile image86
                kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I like how you completely ignored ryankett and sunforged's posts in favor of attacking the one with the least detail.

                Again, for someone so concerned about the government "stealing" your stuff through taxes, you seem awfully unconcerned about corporate theft. Microsoft stole, deal with it. And it's far from alone in having done so.

                1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                  Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  A - i didnt' see sunforged's post.

                  B- Ryankett has addressed issues that I've written hubs about and have responded to in forums numerous times.

                  Sweatshops aren't evil. - they do suck, but the workers still choose to work there; obviously they're getting something out of it. Many sweatshop workers get 4-7 times the average pay of their fellow countrymen. Plus, even if sweatshops WERE evil, Ryankett even admits that they are only accusations.

                  I'm not familiar with the "human rights record [being] attrocious, nor any sort of Chinese evil conspiracy - and Ryankeett didn't bother posting a source... so.... don't blame me for that.

                  And then Ryankett makes the ridiculous statement that a select few control most of our country's wealth, and somehow suggests that Microsoft is a member of this group. He then completely ignores the issue of minimum wage and welfare when it comes to outsourcing.

                  Alright, I addressed them. If you look at the time I posted the remark, you'll see that it was 1:30am EST. give a guy a break. -- i've never changed a single person's mind on these forums, and it was very very late. i chose bed.

                  1. 0
                    ryankettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    It is rather rude to write a whole post talking about me, whilst ignoring a clear opportunity to enter into a discussion with me directly. It actually shows a high level of immaturity, does conversing with me intimidate you?

                    Often workers have very little choice, you appear to display a lot of ignorance in the plight of others. For most it is a matter of survival.

                    http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ … hop-labor/

                    Would you want your 14 year old son or daughter working 90-100 hours per week in 90 degree temperatures? These working conditions are highly illegal, even in China. Now, run along and play with your Xbox.... nothing wrong with slavery of course hmm

                    Not that I would expect somebody engrained in Japanese culture, and who looks to have a Japanese partner, to have any ounce of sympathy for Chinese slaves.... seeing as the Japanese still fail to recognise the existance of the Nanjing Massacre.

              2. Sylvie Strong profile image60
                Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Actually, their competitors did as well.  These laws were created to protect competition.  I'm not expressing an opinion as to whether they work.  But accusations of anticompetitive behavior are often driven by the private sector.  This doesn't really fall neatly into a private business versus evil government peg.

      2. 0
        ryankettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Laughable.

        Microsoft have lost numerous legal cases after having reneged on licensing agreements. In other words, they purchase most of their technologies and then forget to pay the agreed amount for them.

        Their human rights record is attrocious, in particular assistance/collaboration with the Chinese government in the censorship/oppression of their people.

        As recently as April there were strong accusations that they were using a sweatshop to manufactuer Xbox components, most of the workers were children and worked 90-100 hours a week.

        That is before I mention the negative effects on the standard of living of everyday American people caused by a select few controlling most of YOUR countries wealth; they repay you by outsourcing all of their manufacturing.

        But yeah whatever, Microsoft are perfect hmm

      3. kerryg profile image86
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        My dad makes six figures, too. That hardly qualifies as a fortune, nor does it place them in the top 1% of Americans.

  8. lovemychris profile image79
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    Great post Kerry...and great replies as well.

    It's pretty simple to me: either you care about the people in the country you live in and want all of them to have a decent life, or you care about a big fat bank account for yourself and your friends. You can most assuredly do both, but in the last 30 years or so, we have been over-ridden with Robber Barons...just as many times before in our country's history.

    They had a good run. They had a good time. They took the money and ran.

    Time to give it back.
    Gvt policies have been made in their behalf...we have a new gvt now. Now the rest of the 95% of us get some attention.

    The pictures did speak Kerry--it is heartbreaking that we have come so far away from the ideals of the founders.....
    Far from escaping a Monarchy, we are living in one...with profit as King.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      many of the robber barons helped our country out a lot. Rockefeller did do some bad stuff, but if it weren't for him, we'd probably not be driving around in cars - he made oil what it is today.

      1. kerryg profile image86
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        For someone so concerned about "theft" by the government, you seem awfully unconcerned about corporate theft. They weren't called robber barons for no reason, you know.

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Very true, but lately faceless, dull CEO bureaucrats have been paying themselves as if they had actually created something like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Gates and other entrepreneurs. And if they results don't look good, they cook the books and/or back date their stock options. OPM (other people's money) Soc it tuum (Sock it to 'em!)

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          holy god, I got a mild agreement from ralph deeds on an economic issue!!!

          rejoice!

          1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
            weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I guess it never occurred to Mr Deeds to buy stock in those companies, get his voice of infinite reason heard on the board, so that those companies can be indefinitely sustainable in perfection.

            1. lovemychris profile image79
              lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Ever watch the movie Wallstreet???

              Guess what the board thinks?  Greed is Good!!!

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Good old Gordon Gecko and LLoyd Blankfein, doin' the Lord's work.

                1. lovemychris profile image79
                  lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  With the Holy Priest of Profit....Glenny-Boy Beckles!

              2. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I don't take my cues about what is wise and what is real from Hollywood.

                1. lovemychris profile image79
                  lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Really? Don't you quote Fox News?

                  1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                    weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Fox News is based in Hollywood?     

                    BTW, "Fox News" isn't much different from any other news organization.   Their website mostly credits AP / Reuters / McClatchy, etc, for the buylines on the stories they run.   

                    Again, you're just way off out in space, somewhere, detached from reality.

              3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                oh man, a MOVIE disagree with me?

                well, i guess it's time to give up on everything I believe in.

  9. Doug Hughes profile image60
    Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago

    ""At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth......

    "No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar?s worth of service rendered?not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective, a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate."

    Teddy Roosevelt - He's the Republican Roosevelt on Mt. Rushmore.

    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/stevenwaldman … z0yW1Swe1A

  10. sunforged profile image65
    sunforgedposted 6 years ago

    You can see a snapshot into some of the successful lawsuits against Microsoft during their rise -

    http://www.aaxnet.com/topics/msinc.html

    It was kind of funny to see that the MS and Gates PR machine has been working so well.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      every one of those arguments relies on Intellectual Property or false monopoly charges.

      I could get into the strong and logical arguments against IP, but i'll just link you to a site that talks about it. The site lives by their arguments - they put every book they can online for free, so long as they won't get sued for doing so.

      http://mises.org/daily/3682

      1. sunforged profile image65
        sunforgedposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        You actually read every case?

        I could agree that IP/trademark lawsuits can be overzealous. (facebook/teachbook)

        But cant agree that many of these cases are representative of such.

        Many of these cases point to clear theft and espionage - and the life works of small businesses and inventors being outright stolen via MS' superior legal war chest.

  11. LillyGrillzit profile image82
    LillyGrillzitposted 6 years ago

    Right On!

  12. learner.brown profile image60
    learner.brownposted 6 years ago

    LOL. You gave me a good chuckle this morning. When I read the title, I was hoping it was a spoof or something, then realized quickly that you are serious. Taking from the rich and giving to the poor is also known as stealing.

    1. Misha profile image75
      Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      For some reason many people think that it is not, if government does it. But then they also think that killing is not killing, if done by government. People are quite funny...

    2. kerryg profile image86
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      As I've indicated earlier in the thread, I am most interested in programs that use taxes for the general good, such as roads, schools, libraries, police, and universal health care. tongue

      I do believe that social welfare programs are necessary to some degree, especially those like school lunch assistance that benefit poor children, but most welfare programs directed at adults are best treated as temporary assistance, not permanent, and certainly not generational. Regardless, society as a whole benefits by keeping people from complete destitution. Just look at the crime and disease rates in the slums of Victorian England or the modern third world.

    3. lovemychris profile image79
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It's not stealing to pay taxes...well, it may be, but that's how we do it here. That is the price you pay to live here and enjoy the benefits...WHICH SOME people are always touting, and then hate the fact that they have to do anything for it!!
      AND, from 2000-2008, it was hardly taking from the rich to give to the poor. It was taking from the middle class to give to the rich!!! Just find a graph of income distribution during the Bush years. It ALL went to the very very top.
      And , of course, the working poor chug along, paying FICA, which takes care of elderly, disabled, rr retirement, all kinds of social issues.

      In case you haven't read, the biggest "theft" of money comes from those 2 "wars' and the tax give-away for the uber rich....those are the biggest chunks. Even more than the stimulus and the bail-outs.

      So, where you get this idea that the "martyred" rich people are being stolen from is beyond me. if anything, the gvt has coddled and babied them BECAUSE they are rich!!

    4. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wrong! Not paying your taxes IS stealing. And you can go to jail for it.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        no - stealing is when someone takes your money. That's what government does. Taxes are stealing

        1. Susana S profile image91
          Susana Sposted 6 years ago in reply to this



          I don't understand this whole "stealing" mindset. As far as I'm aware both main parties in the US (and probably 99% of all other parties) have within their policy the use of taxes to fund public services. Since it's a democracy, the people of your country voted for that; therefore they made a choice and by doing that endorsed the policy of taxation, so it's not stealing in any sense of the word.

          1. Misha profile image75
            Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah, it's not exactly stealing, it's more like a highway robbery and taking hostages - if you don't give what is demanded from you, you go to jail. smile

            1. Susana S profile image91
              Susana Sposted 6 years ago in reply to this



              Lol - Yep it's law that everyone who works contributes, that makes sense to me smile Do I get peeved about what my taxes are spent on sometimes - yep I sure do (especially the way the UK gov't are doing it right now), but on the whole I think they are necessary. And to put it in perspective I voted for a political party that has taxes as part of their policy, so I don't think after doing that one can really complain about getting taxed (although we might complain about what the money is going to e.g. a war I don't believe in)!

              Does your comment mean that you think taxes should be voluntary?

              1. Misha profile image75
                Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Ideally I would prefer no taxes and no government at all. As for a possible middle way solution, I have a hub on this. smile

            2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
              Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              If you don't fulfilled your obligations to pay taxes determined by a vote by your democratically elected officials, federal, state, local, you go to jail, as in the case of other violations of the law, from murder to selling heroin.

          2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Let me sum things up.

            Let's say that 5 criminals break into your home. They steal your tv. Then you stop them: "hey, that's my tv". Now, the criminals are rather philosophical robbers, and they say "ok. How bout this? we vote on it -- All in favor of stealing his tv?" all 5 robbers raise their hands. "All opposed?"... only you raise your hand.

            "Well", they conclude, "you had a say in it, and it was democratic. Sorry! I guess the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

            You can vote and still have things taken away from you - just ask the Jews during Hitler's elected monarchy.

            1. Ron Montgomery profile image60
              Ron Montgomeryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Totally ridiculous analogy, followed by an inaccurate historical point.  Bravo sir.

              The burglars were not "citizens" of the home and had no lawful right to anything - taxes, painful as they may be, are legal and don't fit any logical definition of "stealing"

              Please reference your source for the outrageous claim that Hitler was elected as Der Fuehrer.

              1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
                Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                How Hitler came to power is sort of complicated.  It was not an outright majority vote, although after he consolidated power there was a plebiscite where he did receive one.  It was more that his party gained more and more power over the legislature, the legislative and executive powers were combined, and they engaged in unconstitutional means at the end to consolidate power.

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, he was elected to office.   The thing about legitemate governance is not about whether you get elected, but whether you serve at the free will of the people, or whether you rule, by accrual of power over the people.

                  This nation has long ago flipped from the federa government serving, to the federal government ruling against the people, all the while, those elected and appointed just tell the people "shut up, it's for you own good, you neanderthal twits!"

                  1. kerryg profile image86
                    kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    No, he wasn't. He was appointed.

            2. Sylvie Strong profile image60
              Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              How are you sure it's your tv?  Or that you would have had it but for a system that involves breakins?  You keep assuming what you earn is yours...but you have no idea what you would have "earned" but for the society you live in.  If you are living on a remote island and hoarding coconuts and growing plants in your own little home, I understand if you believe you shouldn't have to give up a portion of what you have hunted, gathered and grown to a "society" even if they want to tax you by force.  But you are living in a developed nation, with a system of currency based on trust and a developed infrastructure where every means that we earn is in some sense created by the society around us.  You aren't on an island and what you've "earned" is relative to people around you and in the context of your society.  So you may earn more than your neighbor but it is hard to put a value on it in an intrinsic sense.

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                so you're saying that if i go to work for an agreed upon sum of money -- agreed upon by the person who has the money and the person who does the work -- that I don't own the money that is then given to me via that contract?

                ?

                "I deny the premise", i suppose is my answer. All that has been created has been created via contracts and other such things.

                Jimmy horded coconuts, joey horded fish, and then jimbo horded cucumbers. If i Jimmy trades his coconuts to joey, and joey trades his fish to jimbo, and jimbo trades his cucumbers to jimmy....

                ... then when jimmy trades joey coconuts the next day, Jimbo doesn't get to claim ownership of joey's fish, nor of jimmy's fish.

                1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
                  Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Evan, I am making a much simpler point.  You do not know how much you would "earn" without the society you live in.  You can compare yourself to other people in our society, but nothing you "earn" is in relation to some kind of intrinsic value that is divorced from our society because we have no way of knowing how much you would "earn" on a desert island with no one around.  So when you enter into contracts (that are unenforceable in a state of nature but are within our society) for money (that has no value in a state of nature, but does in our society), using things like infrastructure, tools, means of connecting with other human beings, etc., you are getting money but I think you need to question the assumption that you earned it.  You earned it on an desert island if you hunted it, gathered it, or grew it.  Then if some marauders came on boats and took it away they have stolen.  But the money in your bank account cannot be separated from the society you live in.  Perhaps taxes should be less or perhaps they should be more.  But if I have to surrender some of the numbers in my bank account to be in society that is essentially a cost of "earning" the rest.  It isn't theft.

                  1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    indeed, value is relative. If I took a rifle, a car, and a bunch of food down to a third world country, it could fetch a much larger sum of "value" than it would in the US.

                    This is simply because of supply and demand. That's all you're really saying "demand is different, and so is supply, thus prices are determined by other people in the society".

                    When you say that "money has no value" - that is incorrect. True money has value. I highly suggest reading my Economics hubs - I discuss this thoroughly. The money today has been stripped of all it's true value via government. FDR outlawed the ownership of gold, and he outlawed the redemption of dollars for gold (stripped our money of the gold standard).

                    This is why dollars have value: because they used to have true value. They used to represent, DIRECTLY, a real commodity that people wanted.

                    ANYWAY

                    To address "the assumption that you earned (the money)" ... If you enter a private contract, then you are owed the money. that's how money works. Yes yes yes - i rely on other people to do it, but that's simply because they are engaging in private contracts of their own:  a private police force gets paid money because they enter into contracts to protect other people's private contracts;  I get money because I promise to teach children english and japanese, and they promise to pay me money (which used to be gold)

                    The argument "because value is dependent on numerous people working in tandem, we need a giant government to steal wealth from those that produce the most value" doesn't... make sense.  You might not even be making this point, so it's unfair of me to claim this.

                    Your point seems to be 'because the value of things is dependent on other people...' (quote: "You do not know how much you would "earn" without the society you live in.") '... people don't actually earn what they produce" (quote: "You keep assuming what you earn is yours...but you have no idea what you would have "earned" but for the society you live in.")

                    I can't see how this argument makes sense. If I produce chickens, and I consume them all by myself - they still have value.

                  2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    no, i simply have to disagree with you.

                    The value of something is NOT dependent on society.

                    If I have a chicken, and have it breed over time to the point of a giant egg-farm, and each day I get thousands of eggs, then EACH EGG STILL HAS A VALUE TO ME. The first egg is worth X, the second Y, the third has a Z value... all the way down to the 1,000th egg.

                    It's just that each egg is worth a pathetically small amount to me, and it would be better for me, personally, to trade them with someone else.

                    Your premise is incorrect: value does NOT come from other people's judgments of value, nor does it come from society. It comes from individuals asking themselves "what is the best use of my capital?".

                    This is known as "Marginal Utility". I have a hub about it. I also have one discussing how REAL money DOES have value. It discusses how government stripped our money (gold) of it's value.

        2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Your use of language is quite unorthodox, not to say incorrect or erroneous.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            definition of steal: take without the owner's consent

            Via google search of "define: steal"

            So... If I don't consent to give my government my money, they come to take it with guns and jails. That's stealing. If ANYONE but the government did this, it'd be an open and shut case.

            If I don't want my money going towards "bombing pakistan", then I have no recourse - except to go to jail and have my freedoms stripped from me.

            And before you say "elected government, ergo you agreed to it" - this is not a good argument. 1- our Congress never declared war on Iraq or in Afghanistan LET ALONE Pakistan. 2- Just because people in a society vote for something doesn't make it acceptable... Apparently people disagree with this argument, but Hitler is the perfect example of this: the jews voted, and then they got murdered.

            1. Pcunix profile image91
              Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I wish there was a way for fools to opt out, become non-participants.  They wouldn't be allowed to use our money, our roads, our airports, hospitals - they would need to manufacture everything they needed for themselves.  They would pay no taxes and live freely in the woods, naked and hungry.

              Of course they would be dead in a few weeks.  No great loss.

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                ugh

  13. thisisoli profile image64
    thisisoliposted 6 years ago

    Point a) Bill Gates has exploited a lot of people, but there are a load of people who have done that.

    My second point is that I don't believe heavier taxation on richer people has a huge amount of benefit, they pay a LOT more anyway because taxes are a percentage.

    People work hard to get to the position they are in, would you be happy if you spent 40 years of your life trying to get to a rich comfortable life only to have over half your cash taken away every month.

    1. Rafini profile image82
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      People work hard to get to the position they are in, would you be happy if you spent 40 years of your life trying to get to a rich comfortable life only to have over half your cash taken away every month.

      No, I'm not happy with it because lets be honest...I've never made it to the rich comfortable life yet. hmm  lol

    2. Rafini profile image82
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      LOL  I just had a crazy thought....why not encourage the super rich, who own the companies that rule the world, to pay their lower level employees more rather than continuously allowing them to pay their employees as little as possible?  Hhmmm, such a crazy idea, it just might work....tax breaks to American companies who pay their American employees a minimum of $15.00/hour.....

      1. Misha profile image75
        Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        As much as I despise tax breaks and such, this one is probably one of the smartest I've ever heard of smile

        1. Rafini profile image82
          Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          lol  Wonder if it would take care of the 'greediness' factor?

          1. Misha profile image75
            Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            LOL I doubt anything can take care of it, this seems to be an inherent human trait smile

            1. Rafini profile image82
              Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              inherent or learned, it's gotta go sometime!  why not push it out the window?  lol

              1. Misha profile image75
                Mishaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You can theoretically do it if it is learned, but if it is inherent... you have to live with it smile

        2. Pcunix profile image91
          Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I think there is an even smarter way to do it.  Limit the highest pay to some multiple of the lowest.  We could argue about the multiple, of course.

          1. Rafini profile image82
            Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            that wouldn't work for the greedy business owners, though, because a business owner has the right to earn as much as they want, right?  So, you have an entry level employee earning $7.50/hr and the highest paid employee earning $15.00/hr but the owner takes home $400,000 for the year.  I'm not saying it's wrong, because it is legal, but why not encourage the owner to 'share the wealth' a little bit by increasing his employees salaries a bit and cutting his own earnings just a little bit?  All employees can earn $15.00/hr and the owner can still earn $300,000 per year - would it hurt him?  Nope, same tax bracket!  lol

            1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
              weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Wow, the most amusing things people dream up. 

              No businessman can make 400K cleared from hiring a bunch of minimum to low wage workers.   

              Sorry, they just dont' produce enough.   You need a LOT more productivity from the individual employee than you get from low wage low skil occupations.

              1. Rafini profile image82
                Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                How much money do you think the owner of McDonald's Corporation 'earns' per year?  It's not all about productivity, you know. hmm  You also have to look at how much products cost the consumer!!

                1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
                  weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't know.  Ask the stockholders.   THEY own it.

                  But his is not the premise of your statement.  You said a business OWNER.   Not a public corporation, and not something so massive it requires hundreds of managers to run it.   You said that  single owner-meaning a privately incorporated company owned by one person, or a simple sole proprietorship, that could hire a bunch of minium wage flunkies and make a half million a year.   That's nonsense.   Without literally HUNDREDS of, or thousands, even, you can't make enough to make any large percentage profit.    At typical business rates of net profit to the owner, which range from 30 to 80 for a single individual to more like 10 to 15 for any signficant sized business,  to make 400K would mean you're doing 3 to 4 million dollars a year.    High value employees can produce 100 to 300 thousand a year, emaning you need 10 to 40 very highly skilled and productive people to make 400 grand.

                  The more specialized the b usiness, the higher the normal is for profit percentages.   But, the more specialized, the more skilled the employees must be.

                  1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
                    Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Aren't you getting a little removed from the premise?  It was about how much money could be earned by leveraging the time of low-earning employees.  You are saying that a small business has limits on how much it can earn with low-earning employees because there are scalability problems and eventually higher paid managers will need to be hired etc.  It all seems rather besides the point.

                  2. Rafini profile image82
                    Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Okay.  Let's put it this way, an entry level manager (manager in training?  I don't remember, it was someone I knew not me)  at McDonalds (in 1995) earned $50,000 per year and was given a free car (can't remember if gas was provided or not)  How much do you think the owner earned per year?  Couldn't the owner have earned a little less and paid entry level employees closer to $10.00/hr instead of the minimum which was $5.75 at the time?

                    (btw - I went with McDonalds Corporation because -I believe- each McDonalds is a franchise and is independently owned and operated, but has to be connected to the Corporation somehow)

          2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
            Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That might help. And/or a more steeply graduated income tax eliminating loopholes such as the ones enjoyed by hedge fund operators.

          3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream tried the entire "CEO only makes a small multiple of the smallest paid worker"

            ... it failed. The company gave up on that procedure.

            (i spent time trying to find the clip, but couldn't find it. John Stossel has a short clip of it in one of his 20/20 videos online.)

            1. Pcunix profile image91
              Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Why did it fail?  Because the CEO's wanted more money?  No, no, it was probably that the little guys hated making more.

            2. Sylvie Strong profile image60
              Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Has it occurred to you that there may have been other causal factors at work other than this policy?  Do companies that pay their CEOs more succeed?

              1. Pcunix profile image91
                Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Ben and Jerry's didn't fail.  They are all over the place here in the Northeast.  He means they gave up on that policy - I would guess when they sold it, most likely smile

                1. Pcunix profile image91
                  Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this
                2. Sylvie Strong profile image60
                  Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't eat ice cream much any more.  Although I recall that they had the best flavor of pistachio that I had ever tried.

              2. Rafini profile image82
                Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I'd say companies that pay their CEO's more charge more for their products...so it probably looks like they're more successful. hmm

      2. kerryg profile image86
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yeah, I could get behind that. I've never understood why so many businesses fight so hard against raising wages (either by choice or forced through raises in the minimum wage) - paying people more means they have more money to spend at your business after all!

        I guess it looks pretty bad to the companies like Walmart and McDonald's whose entire business model consists of paying their employees so little that Walmart and McDonald's are the only places they can afford to go, but I don't really feel companies like those are the ones we should be listening to on policy matters. tongue

      3. Evan G Rogers profile image82
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        i'm completely for any sort of tax break.

    3. Pcunix profile image91
      Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      So if lots of people do it, it is fine?

      As Warren Buffet is fond of pointing out, his secretary pays a higher percentage of taxes than he does, because because he can afford the accountants that shield his money AND because he makes so much more than he needs, he can move money in those ways.

      His secretary needs most of her income to live on and cannot pay high priced accountants anyway.

      Many people work hard.  Some of the hardest working are the poorest.

      Our infrastructure is crumbling.  We do not provide decent education, homeless people sleep in the streets, the mentally ill go without services, our roads are dangerous, we need to invest in alternative energy and on and on.  The middle class, having been milked by the rich, and having had many jobs moved overseas, can no longer pay the tab.  The rich HAVE to pay or we will collapse.

  14. LillyGrillzit profile image82
    LillyGrillzitposted 6 years ago

    "over half your income?" really...

    1. Rafini profile image82
      Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      lol   yeah, my 'expendable' income has consistently been less than $100 per month - even when I was making almost $2000 per month - because my cash is taken by the rich landlords (who increase rent annually by more than the $0.25/hr raise given to average workers) and all the other 'requirements' of living in today's society.  When it comes right down to it, I have had little to nothing left at the end of the month, after paying for necessities (other than clothing, entertainment, and leisure activities such as a vacation) yet I repeatedly hear 'claims' that tell me in order to reach my dreams I have to work harder.  Absolute BS.

      I've worked pretty d@mn hard all my life just to end up being forced into unemployment!  By who?  By the rich employer who didn't want to forfeit his annual $5,000 - $10,000 raise in order for me to keep my job.

      lol  The wealth disparity of the world drives me crazy - considering the world is ruled by greed.  Seriously, it's time to tax the rich (without tax breaks!!) and give raises to the poor (with added tax breaks!!).

      just my humble opinion.....big_smile

      1. thisisoli profile image64
        thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The good news is you are in the right place to become your own rich boss wink

        1. Rafini profile image82
          Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          big_smile  That's what I'm working on!! big_smile  Gotta figure out how to write a completely fictional novel pretty soon so I can do it again and again and again and again....lol

    2. thisisoli profile image64
      thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      In England if you are earning a comfortable 6 figure income you are easily paying over 50% in taxes.

  15. CkhoffmanK profile image61
    CkhoffmanKposted 6 years ago

    taxes pay for needed things such as public services


    dont wanna pay taxes = then don't use public services (i.e. public schools, parks, etc etc)


    it's pretty simple.

  16. Doug Hughes profile image60
    Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago

    "Sweatshops aren't evil. - they do suck, but the workers still choose to work there; obviously they're getting something out of it." 

    That's what Evan wrote. It's consitent with Libertarian philosophy. On minig safety Rand Paul said if the mines can be safe with no goverment control.. "If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”

    So in a free market, wages can be as low as the owners can push them down and safety can be as bad as the owners find cost-effective. Workers can elect to starve.

    Stay with me. On the subject of TAXES, it seems to me the same logic should apply. There are plenty of countries with weak or no government - no taxes at all. Somalia comes to mind. If capitalists don't want to pay taxes, they have the same choice as the worker in the universe they love. If they don't want to pay fair taxes, they can do business only in no-tax countries.

    They don't want to do that. In those countries with no taxes, stark poverty is the rule. There is anarchy, no skilled or semi-skilled work force. What the capitalist needs to thrive are the product of developed contries with the rule of law and education and infrastructure, all the direct result of taxes.

    1. kerryg profile image86
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hear, hear.

    2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      yes yes yes - employees want to pay their workers the least possible price they can

      but you completely fail to mention that the workers want to work for the highest possible price they can.

      Everyone is acting like "the employer decides how much to pay, and there's not debate whatsoever". That's not correct. If those miners were being paid 50 cents per hour, and they didn't have any protection... i'm pretty sure they all would have quit and worked at a fast food joint instead.

      You are acting like "it's the mines, or DEATH BY STARVATION" ... that' just simply not correct.

      1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
        Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Alternative jobs may not feed your family, if they are available at all.  If you offered people a job that was dangerous they may knowingly take it depending on the alternatives.  Perhaps the alternative is that they could just starve, let their families starve?  Would you then say that businesses will lose a labor pool, be less competitive, and over a 100 years businesses will treat workers better because they don't want their workers to commit suicide like less competitive mining companies?  What if, instead, the miners make the human decision of choosing the only decision that will feed them because they don't want to die just to make a point?

        1. weholdthesetruths profile image60
          weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Well, in that case, require that all jobs in third world countries pay at least $15/hr American.   That'll end that problem .  None of them will have jobs and they can just be unemployed and happy, just the way you want it.

        2. Evan G Rogers profile image82
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yes yes yes - IF there were some sort of an example where there was ONE ruling man who owned 99% of the wealth, and he chose to force people to work in the Acid Mines for a penny a day... then, indeed, life would suck. But A) this situation doesn't exist anywhere, B) it can't exist, and C) if it could exist, then expecting government to make things better would be pointless.

          indeed, if the alternative is to starve -- then we're talking about a 3rd world country with a horrible economic infrastructure.  And in that case "taxing the rich and regulating the mining industry" won't help either. In fact, in that situation, building a sweatshop would be a godsend: "yay, a choice as to where to work!! Higher than average wages!!"

          So your argument fails in that it fails to account for itself.  In the modern US (heck, in the US over its entire history) I can simply fail to find any example where people absolutely had NO other option than a single company that was not in competition for labor with any other employer. Trains, Boats, Bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, cars -- these have all made it possible for people to move from one area to another, where their labor can fetch a higher price.

          Your argument is simply inconsistent.

  17. livelonger profile image88
    livelongerposted 6 years ago

    Great post, KerryG, and excellent, thought-provoking thread.

    I see another benefit: if the ultra-rich are forced to bear the cost of trillion-dollar boondoggles like the Iraq War or Medicare prescription drug benefit, maybe they'll use their tremendous power and influence to kill these outright because the result would be higher taxes on them than on poorer people for whom increases to taxes truly affect their ability to sustain their lives. This is why the ultrarich have created the Tea Party movement (which has "Club for Growth" written all over it) now that a Democratic government is threatening to raise their taxes.

    When the ultra-rich are not taxed, or even get breaks, like they did under Bush, they don't do anything but support the administration's irresponsible spending.

    1. kerryg profile image86
      kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Definitely. It was glaringly obvious from the start that all the high falutin' babble about bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq was really just a cover for one more way to transfer money from the taxpayers to the super-rich. Worked, too. mad

  18. Cleanclover profile image56
    Cleancloverposted 6 years ago

    The higher 1% that is the corporates don't pay taxes legally. Atleast in my country the rate is 5 to less than 5% and sometimes all they pay are fees and no taxes as the amount get re-invested.

  19. 69
    logic,commonsenseposted 6 years ago

    This issue is simply solved.  All those that desire higher taxes, send all their money to the government.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      indeed - people seem to think that charity should be forced on people "because they earned their money".

  20. lovemychris profile image79
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    "Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them aid and comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution."


    This applies to all members of PNAC. I say bring the Constitution on!!!

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      they still get a fair trial!

      "... No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

    2. weholdthesetruths profile image60
      weholdthesetruthsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Oh, look, it's the b lack helicopter/conspiracy nut contingent.

  21. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    no but i do like it down with the thing and do with it again and again ok lol and i wot to join your club and be what ever you wot me to be and go skateing or something but its ok with me before and start all over again ok lol but i think it willl be something diffrent then that ok lol an di think your a nice guy  lol

  22. SparklingJewel profile image65
    SparklingJewelposted 6 years ago

    The Small Business Tax Hike and the 97 Percent Fallacy


    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?A … mpaign=DPD

  23. Billytickets1 profile image61
    Billytickets1posted 6 years ago

    The fact of the matter is after Kennedy reagan and Bush cut taxes the total tax receipts became LARGER the next 3 years after in EVERY instance

    The problem is that Congress in BOTH parties spent the money like drunken sailors

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That's a myth.

      1. kerryg profile image86
        kerrygposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Somebody who was older than 6 when his term ended can correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Reagan actually end up raising taxes substantially because revenue crashed so sharply after his initial cuts?

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          The Reagan Tax Cut

          The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which enjoyed strong bi-partisan support in the Congress, represented a fundamental shift in the course of federal income tax policy. Championed in principle for many years by then-Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) and then-Senator Bill Roth (R- DE), it featured a 25 percent reduction in individual tax brackets, phased in over 3 years, and indexed for inflation thereafter. This brought the top tax bracket down to 50 percent.

          The 1981 Act also featured a dramatic departure in the treatment of business outlays for plant and equipment, i.e. capital cost recovery, or tax depreciation. Heretofore, capital cost recovery had attempted roughly to follow a concept known as economic depreciation, which refers to the decline in the market value of a producing asset over a specified period of time. The 1981 Act explicitly displaced the notion of economic depreciation, instituting instead the Accelerated Cost Recovery System which greatly reduced the disincentive facing business investment and ultimately prepared the way for the subsequent boom in capital formation. In addition to accelerated cost recovery, the 1981 Act also instituted a 10 percent Investment Tax Credit to spur additional capital formation.

          Prior to, and in many circles even after the 1981 tax cut, the prevailing view was that tax policy is most effective in modulating aggregate demand whenever demand and supply become mismatched, i.e. whenever the economy went in to recession or became "over-heated". The 1981 tax cut represented a new way of looking at tax policy, though it was in fact a return to a more traditional, or neoclassical, economic perspective. The essential idea was that taxes have their first and primary effect on the economic incentives facing individuals and businesses. Thus, the tax rate on the last dollar earned, i.e. the marginal dollar, is much more important to economic activity than the tax rate facing the first dollar earned or than the average tax rate. By reducing marginal tax rates it was believed the natural forces of economic growth would be less restrained. The most productive individuals would then shift more of their energies to productive activities rather than leisure and businesses would take advantage of many more now profitable opportunities. It was also thought that reducing marginal tax rates would significantly expand the tax base as individuals shifted more of their income and activities into taxable forms and out of tax-exempt forms.

          The 1981 tax cut actually represented two departures from previous tax policy philosophies, one explicit and intended and the second by implication. The first change was the new focus on marginal tax rates and incentives as the key factors in how the tax system affects economic activity. The second policy departure was the de facto shift away from income taxation and toward taxing consumption. Accelerated cost recovery was one manifestation of this shift on the business side, but the individual side also saw a significant shift in the enactment of various provisions to reduce the multiple taxation of individual saving. The Individual Retirement Account, for example, was enacted in 1981.

          Simultaneously with the enactment of the tax cuts in 1981 the Federal Reserve Board, with the full support of the Reagan Administration, altered monetary policy so as to bring inflation under control. The Federal Reserve's actions brought inflation down faster and further than was anticipated at the time, and one consequence was that the economy fell into a deep recession in 1982. Another consequence of the collapse in inflation was that federal spending levels, which had been predicated on a higher level of expected inflation, were suddenly much higher in inflation-adjusted terms. The combination of the tax cuts, the recession, and the one-time increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending produced historically high budget deficits which, in turn, led to a tax increase in 1984 that pared back some of the tax cuts enacted in 1981, especially on the business side.

          Source: U.S. Treasury Department

          My recollection is that George Bush I increased taxes and referred to Reagan's tax policy as "Voodoo Economics."

          1. Sylvie Strong profile image60
            Sylvie Strongposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "something...something economics.  Beuller?"

  24. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago

    Here's another interesting chart showing what happened to the national debt under recent presidents;

    http://zfacts.com/p/318.html

  25. 60
    bki10posted 6 years ago

    I realize that I am missing the point of the argument, however, this article at its core is about making more money for the government. Argue if you will that this money will help the poor/rich/mid class etc., yet how does that solve the problem or get down to the core of the issue the argument is relating to?


    To those who are good at managing their money: is it more manageable to try to make more money or to cut back on your spending? While the one we want to be true might be to make more money, we all realize that isn't as easy as saying so. While I don't particularly agree with any of you in every case, the truth is that we should be mostly blaming our government(although then you could go into the argument that we the people elected them and it's our fault but I would rather not get into that discussion.) Who do we give our money to in taxes? Who do we let budget that money? Ralph's graph(which I really like btw) shows the era of irrational spending(although I do believe our tax brackets need to be expanded into the millions but this cannot fix everything.)

    /tangent the biggest problem facing our society is a lack of morals /endtangent

    Also, we all know that a rotten apple spoils the bunch. This can be the same for rich people. Sure I have met quite a few evil rich people, but the majority of those who are "rich" are some of the most generous, kind, wise and well-liked people I have ever met. Remember, we always hear more about the bad than we do the good.

  26. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    oh so you have cases to help you get better and fell good so what are you doing right now or something i am not going away so when are you moveing in 3 weeks my brthday the8  on october yeah that's when i need help! and can you tell me were you um..... post your self on the contest

  27. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    ha  so what are you doing right now i am just um......talking to you you

  28. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    haha i do not have own but at my school i do. and what is up with you? lol ^-^

  29. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    weel no but maybe? i think that if you work hard you get to play hard and that is what

  30. sydney1234567890 profile image61
    sydney1234567890posted 6 years ago

    my moms car was stolein on the morning the car was gone and in the middle of the night the police came like.... wow i can't belive it well i am lisning to if i had you

 
working