Issue: Why raising taxes on corporations is BAD economics and does NOT serve any social justice:
1. when gov't raises taxes on corps., corps. don't pay more money, CONSUMERS do with increased prices that account for the increased cost of doing business.
2. when gov't raises taxes on corps., corps. don't pay more money, EMPLOYEES do with lower wages and fewer hirings that account for the increased cst of doing business.
3. when gov't raises taxes on corp., corp. don't pay more money, everyday Americans do when they witness their companies go out of business or move a broad to nations that have sensible tax policies.
4. when gov't raises taxes on corps., corps. have less money to expand and reinvest profits or to reward common stock holders, who finance business, by rewarding them with dividends.
5. when gov't raises taxes, taxes receipts paradoxically do not increase as rapidly as when rates are lower for all of the above reasons. Why? re-read 1-4.
6. when gov't raises taxes, social justice is NOT served because rich people will always find a way to hide their money and are MORE APT to hide it when taxes are high. They will resort to steps 1-4 before parting with their money.
7. when gov't raises taxes, social justice is NOT served because high corporate taxes punishes success and subsidizes failure when these moneys are redistributed. It's stifles productivity and the entrepreneurally spirit. That's why anyone who has any wealth emigrates from countries like Sweden and France, to country like the US and Switzerland. The only people high corps. taxes hurt are working people and people who want to become rich, not those who are already rich.
Anyone know a good place to move in Switzerland?
Well you win this argument. The government agrees with you.
"Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.
The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.
[...] During that time corporate sales in the United States totaled $2.5 trillion, according to Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who requested the GAO study."
So they just raised my cigarette taxes. Why should theives and rich
people pay taxes? If I wanted that I should move to a socialist country.
That is why Spanish will be the language of the United States soon. More poor immigrants = more taxes. It's the American way.
Goddam socialists in Europe just want to tax the guys with the money. How fair is that? Un-American is what that is.
Maybe we could all donate some money to these corporations. I'm really worried about them. I don't have much but I'm sending an anonymous check to Exxon right now.
Also, in the spirit of true Americanism I think we should all start donating our labor.
Or maybe we could pay the corporations for the privilege of working there.
Obama's been voted into office. Isn't this trickle down crap extreme cliche by this point?
I think we should re-enact feudalism!! Ooops, the protectorate, benign trickle down corporation junk IS almost like feudalism. Combine that with some Iron Maiden torture devices circa 1300 for Guatanamo--there ya go! Heaven on earth...
I notice that everything you happen to disagree with is "cliche." What alternative economic model do you propose? I can't wait to hear it. I'm still waiting for my abortion hub by the way...or did that plan get aborted.
No, I only use cliche when a lot when I respond to some of your comments, .... And it is cliche. As in sooooo 1980's. 'Greed is Good.' Maybe you were born in the wrong decade!
Abortion hub MAY come, yet... I just got off work at the 'ol corporation, and you know...my soul was temporarily sucked out of my body.
I think I mentioned elsewhere, I am a libertarian socialist...a la Noam Chomsky.
I know some of you will completely think I'm off my rocker but I'm responding anyways.
The simple truth is citizens are not required to pay any form of federal income tax. Corporations are required to pay tax on income and only those individuals who are not from this country working here are to be taxed as individuals as well as corporations.
It's a complicated subject but these are facts. The federal government has perpetrated the biggest fraud in history on it's own citizens. The IRS continually violates our constitutional rights by seizing our personal property without due process and the list goes on.
Oh, and the solution to the immigration problem is to make them all completely legal and then TAX them! They'll either stay and pay, or leave in droves.
You are off your rocker. Please refer to the text of the 16th Amendment:
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
There is no violation of Constitutional rights.
The tax law provides the definition of Income within the code itself. The definition does not apply to US citizens. We might define income as money earned from a job, but if the tax law defines income as money earned earned from having a lemonade stand, then only those who have lemonade stands pay income tax.
I only bring it up because your post describes the problems with our tax system, and it runs much deeper then what your enlightened us on already.
As chance would have I am formally studying the tax code this very moment. The IRC and the corresponding regulations promulgated by the Dept. of Treasury, admittedly not famous for their clarity, are quite clear about what constitutes income and who is liable to have their income taxed. In addition to the tax code, there are thousands of cases interpreting the Code and Regs. I can guarantee your theory will get about as far as a motion to dismiss were you to challenge it in court--in fact, these very challenges have already been dismissed in the District Courts and the Federal Claims Courts. But you are welcome to prove me wrong.
It has been challenged on several premises, however there are recently some who have won their cases against the IRS. You won't hear much about it because the cases are vacated.
If a judgment is vacated that means the petitioners lost their case.
Exactly and who do you think were the petitioners. The IRS!
The IRS were the petitioners, and your statement about vacture is not entirely accurate. In 2001 American Family Insurance defended itself in a law suite, seeing that they might loose requested to have the case vacated and offer a settlement. It was denied.
Trouble is the 16th amendment was never officially ratified. Oops !
You're absolutely right. I do think you're completely "off your rocker." [You and Tom Mullins--check out his Hubs. He's a kindred spirit. He's even written and published a book on the subject.]
OH don't make me say 'BS' again, Nick...
Maybe I don't feel like typing so much tonight. The corporation really bled me dry, lol, and I cannot let you do it too,
But, yes, I have found I have thought about and appreciate much of what Chomsky has to say. I hardly call the father of modern linguistics a propagandist. He could probably chew your verbal 'observations' and acumen up and spit it out.
And libertarian socialist is not a meaningless paradox. Valid philosophy. For real. Look it up. We are in grad. school now...
I am, unfortunately, well-acquianted both with Chomsky's linguistic and political views. I would be somewhat disappointed in Mr. Chomsky if he were unable to give my acumen a run for its money. Alas, I have yet to find a Chomsky here. I recognize that an estahlished philosophy called "anarchism" parades with the euphemistic label "libertarian socialism"--I would be reluctant to call it "valid", however.
Taxes are necessary. 'Poor taxes' are not.
Too late for you and the rest of 'the fatherland', Nick. Obama made it to office.
Taxes may be necessary, but it is the type of taxes and what they are used for that it important. This country was started because of bad and oppressive taxes. It is ironic then that we are back to the eve of the Boston Tea Party today. Then they complained about taxation without representation. But today, we have representation that calls for complaining about taxation.
The power to tax is the power to destroy, said on Supreme Court Justice.
That power is Congress and they .......
Can't say I disagree with you.
Can't make out your last thought, though.
Where's Huey Long when we need him? Dig up Huey!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwdqeeuG … re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbyMeMAp … re=related
If you were to live in a place with literally no sidewalks and reallllly pathetic schools (as I do), you might begin to question your own statement.
Proper tax distribution, however, is another thing.
Community projects and taxes are two different animals. And "proper" tax distribution is impossible
I believe we will see a difference now that Obama is in office. It is not a foreign language. It is fairly well spelled out on his website.
And I think some rich men, such as my fellow Omahan, Warren Buffet, would disagree with you about an improvement on the tax distribution, .
This town is a hotbed (and microcosm) of stupid (excuse me, truly sorry), proletariate--or as they are known here--redneck (didn't use the word until coming here) Republicans and old blue hairs screeching 'no property taxes,' who would have a dirt road through the center of town and 'them kids' educatered like, at the bible schools like good Christian folk.... Don't need no public schools.
How much more RED can it get?
Aren't sidewalks bad for the enviroment? All the nicest suburbs around NYC do NOT have sidewalks, incidentally.
That's exactly my point - everybody has their own opinion what proper distribution is, and everybody's opinion is different - hence proper distribution is not achievable even in theory. Scratch it, even not definable, let alone achievable
Not sure what the rest of your post has to do with this
How would you know? You are on an island or a peninsula, and I know it!
And I believe you are referring to 'the automobile slums,' not nice neighborhoods. Only your types think those are 'nice neighborhoods!'
BTW...Auto slums ARE bad for the environment... Last time checked, walking was less so... Plus, I don't want to wear hiking boots every day, do you?
I am presuming (because I still know I am right, lol) that those with larger incomes be taxed at a higher percentage, because it is fair. Obama spells out his tax plan on his website--a step in the right direction.
The rest of my post w/ the sidewalks, etc., is just a little anecdote on a microcosm right-wing non tax desirin' municipality hell..... I was assuming (which may be wrong) that you are a kind of default Rebublican (they have characteristics, but I won't go into that).
Taxes usually pay for 'community projects.'
I do believe we can define and achieve what we will. I always have & doubt it will change! LOL.. I saw you and Univited over there chatting it up...
And I believe it is unfair, or rather does not benefit anybody.
So, how do we determine what is proper then?
I don't see why we must be taxed at all on our income. We didn't used to be.
I also think we should stop double taxing self-employed persons. That's just a punishment. Like, fine, work for yourself and not a corporation, but we'll tax you double for doing it.
It doesn't matter. The whole country will be in chaos within 6 months at this rate. It won't matter what the rules are at that point, no one will be following them.
Raising taxes on corporations is a waste of time and energy and only good for political bantering.
All CEO's must do the bidding of the board and the board requires that profits be maintained. If they raise corporate taxes they will either raise prices of the end product or cut labor and wages either way the government gets the same amount and everyone and everything gets shuffled in the process. Why waste the energy?
Income taxes whether corporate or individual go to pay debt services. Anything you think the government is providing for you from your taxes is only an illusion as all services have their on tax and or fee that pays for them. Not the roads, not the schools, and not even social security as it is its own separate tax. Talking of placing taxes on profits is a waste of the collective intellect of our society. Because if a Corporation decides; it can do away with its money any number of ways in order to avoid posting a profit and paying any taxes as any percent of zero will always be zero.
Personally, I would rather we put our energy into enforcing the tax laws we already have (and removing loopholes) than writing new ones, especially for corporations. Does anyone else around here read David Cay Johnston? A couple pages alone of his books are enough to make you feel physically ill over the level of income redistribution our tax laws currently mandate... and I ain't talking Robin Hood-style income redistribution. More like Sheriff of Nottingham-style.
He had a rather interesting editorial in the latest Mother Jones - I'd be interested in hearing some thoughts about it from some of you smarties.
Well said--the first sensible thing I've heard on this thread. I note that everyone else has either a wisecrack or some link to a Op-Ed article as if it were the word of god. I am astonished by the ignorance displayed here.
You shouldn't be. Law and the knowledge there of is the weapon of choice these days in a certain war that IS happening.
As far as I see it, truthfully, you can decide to help or grab for your McMansion out in the automobile slums, too. (Oh, big deal.)
I am rather ignorant about tax law and I freely admit it. That's why I asked for opinions about the validity of the article's suggestions. Care to provide any? Specifics, not generalities, please.
The suggestions (for full details, see the editorial in question):
1. Require companies to use the same accounting rules for both shareholders and the IRS
2. Raise the tax rate for the top bracket to 40% and allow publicly traded companies to give out unlimited stock bonuses, on the condition that they cannot be sold for three years after leaving the company and must spread sales out over five years
3. Stop all tax deferrals beyond the amount allowed for retirement savings
4. Invade the Caymans (a joke, I think)/Block financial transactions with the Caymans and other tax havens
5. Stop sales tax givebacks and stadium subsidies
6. Force utilities to pay taxes or refund unpaid taxes to customers
7. Stop exempting private jet travel from taxes and air traffic control fees
8. Exchange the mortgage deduction for a tax credit based on principal paid by home buyers
9. Reverse interest-rate deregulation and strengthen predatory lending laws
10. Restore federal pension protections
11. End the burglar alarm subsidy
12. Abolish student loan profiteering
13. Restructure the tax code
I'm reading the article, and so far, it seems to make excellent points....
This article has one purpose and one purpose only: It's class envy. Writers like this propagandist tell their readers that they'd be a lot better off if the rich weren't "stealing" from them, or the rich aren't paying enough taxes. These demagogues want everybody equalized according to their standards of social justice. They want people in the lower income brackets to think that they are going to get even with the rich by raising taxes on them, that it's not fair the rich have that much more than they do, and so it's time to get out there and punish the rich. And so whether that impacts the poor or the middle class in a positive fashion, which it doesn't, is irrelevant in a monetary sense, they're just doing it. It's just a political cheap trick, appealing to envy with no grounding in actual economics at all.
Just wanna say, yes, this is true about an LLC... Have been researching it.
This is a lot of the stuff we 'small' people do not know. Obama even has used the LLC structure to shelter his house. I will, soon, too--my real estate.
I believe it has always been in 'their' interest that we do not know some of these things.... Thanks for that, Nick....
Lita, do you have a good resource for that? I should check it out.
There are a lot of resources online. I found one site, written by a helpful lawyer, ahem, that goes into many issues of llc. I will dig it up here and get the address for you.... And yes, another friend of mine who is self employed as a web designer is just now forming his llc. Matt (my partner) also went llc, but found it did not offer enough benefits for his case--their are many issues in design, building and contracting...
Yes, I do have an accountant. I just wondered if there was anything in particular in the way of articles on it that you found helpful. It's not like it's urgent or anything.
In general I've noticed the business end of working for yourself is a bit of a no man's land. People don't talk about it--it's like talking about one's bowel movements or something along those lines. But success in business depends so much on exactly this kind of knowledge and on talking to other people and finding out what works for them.
I hired an accountant for my ex's landscape design business and later, when he started hiring employees, I handed the whole mess over to an accountant, all of it, after which he got in all kinds of trouble because he had all these crackpot opinions about how things should be that conflicted with how things, um, actually are. I left. I couldn't stand it.
Working in that industry I saw so many self employed people, and I'd say about 80% of them had no clue how to handle their taxes, finances, receipts, how to set up their business legally, how much other people were charging for comparable services, and on and on. People fail at working for themselves because they are afraid or ashamed to ask lots of questions and then take appropriate action. There's lots of talent out there that goes bankrupt for lack of business understanding.
Plus, I don't think our government wants us to understand how to work for ourselves and prosper.
What you say is fair. I'm sure the tax code and the law generally is intentionally made arcane to put a large segment of the population at a distinct disadvantage--I'm the first to admit this. However, your troubles with one particular accountant seem to be more idiosyncratic to him rather than the rule. Any acocuntant worth his salt will not only be able to advise you as to whether an LLC or an INC is appropriate for you, but usually he can form these entities for you at the fraction of the cost of an atty. The best way to find an accountant, of course, is to get a recommendation from someone else in your community who is self-employed. You cannot afford to run a business without an good accountant no matter how much you know or how much research you do.
That is the beauty of Greece - dodging tax is an art-form, and they learn how to evade it before they learn to walk. According to the Greek Constitution, the government cannot look at how much money you have in your bank-account, which makes life a little easier.
I actually tried to declare my earnings, and the tax-office could not be bothered, as my money comes from abroad. Lazy civil servants are a Greek's best friend.
TMG and Nick - We could probably find you houses in the village.
Yep..... Stay in Brooklyn and get yourself a cool loft. Or out on Staten Island and (?) I dunno--never went that far over there. Suppose it is like a small town with clapboard houses. Someone I worked with said it had a small town look..
And it isn't cliche.
An obnoxious display of 'wealth' does not make taste in architecture or design. Give me a classic 1940's bungalow properly dressed any day of the week.
I agree. Anyway, I'm a notorious do-it-your-selfer and find sometimes the less middle men there are, the better. I sent you an e-mail on a site about LLC.
And yes, not knowing some of this stuff can get you into trouble. Believe me, I've seen that close up here, lol.
You know last night I was watching suze on CNN and just the difference in the way she is addressing peoples questions even sounds dire.
To be honest, it really is starting to scare me, more than I thought previously. Cali's 10 % unemployed. I actually see it happening around me so I think that people who are still in denial will be very sorry.
Yeah, Pam, OMG, OMG, OMG! You give it six months, I say by April no one will be second guessing the reality. eek.
As much as I tend to disagree with Nick on 99% of cases, here I agree
Did not go to read the article, basing my opinion on the points outlined by Kerry.
Nicky, my dear--
I, a full-scholarship student--still with a huge amount of student loan debt--DO and HAVE felt the impact of the changes and problems concerning student loan issues. That alone tells me your response to Kerry's article is in itself is your own propaganda.
Trust me, I ain't gonna let it get me down--and will use all skill I have to figure this crap (because in the end it is crap) out. That doesn't make it any less wrong.
Envy? LOL, OMG. Excuse me for spitting...
Like you actually come from this 'ruling class' you profess to be a part of and as if you actually read that article. You are the one who is envious...
And Misha, if I may ask this usually out of line question--
How much do you earn a year? Over $200,000?
Oh, sure, I don't have exact numbers yet, but the rough estimate would be between 30 to 35K for the year 2008. Hardly something comparable to 200K
Then why in God's name do you agree with Nick here?
TMG is the one people actually need to listen to..... Really.
And sorry, when I hear some of this stuff, it is so obviously junk sometimes, I do get a bit miffed.
The only junk to be seen in this thread are from those that share your perspective.
These propagandists, like your friend Chomsky, always trying to tell the little guy out there that they, the Democrats or Obama or whoever, are going to get even with these evil rich people who are stealing everything and they're going to make them pay. They're going to really inflict a lot of pain on them. Lita, let me tell you why YOUR class envy is not only a waste of time, but it's actually counterproductive. Let me ask you a question. What is the incentive that drives entrepreneurs and inventors to find new, and innovative, and cheaper ways of providing goods and services and making a product? What is the driving force? Profit! The hope of making a profit. That does not mean somebody's heartless. It doesn't mean somebody's cold and cruel. It means somebody wants to go into business for something, a reason that they love, provide a service, a product or whatever, and they want it to be worth their while financially. The idea that people want to improve their financial circumstances is somehow sin or that it's "mature and our civic reponsibility" to deprive these individuals of the fruit of their labor, is absurd. Yet that's what anarchist like you believe. If everybody in a society -- and this has been tried, and it's failed miserably as Misha has indicated-- if everyone received the same amount of money, income, no matter how productive or inventive they were, there would be NO incentive to do the things necessary to grow the economy or to stand out above anybody else.
Lita, if you are going to make whatever everybody else makes and have all disparities equalized by a "fairer" tax code, why should you work harder, if there's not going to be some reward? It's depressing. It does not advance prosperity in any way, shape, manner, or form. Therefore, I would submit to you that it is good for society when there are LARGE differences in income between the upper and middle classes. It is HEALTHY that these differences, these gaps exist, because it means that there is still INCENTIVE out there for others, like Misha and myself , to continue to try to find the ways of providing more and even better goods or services. Remember, the rich person only became rich through the willing participation of millions of people who, on a daily basis, give up their money in return for something of greater value to them than their money -- exempt the Kennedys who inherited it all. But when you part ways with your money for a product, goods, or services, you're finding something that is at least as valuable to you as your money or perhaps even more so -- and, for this reason, the great wealth of a few people is just a tiny reflection of the much greater benefits that the whole economy has experienced.
So the middle class, as well as the poor, need to be THANKFUL that there is this gap because it's something to shoot for. It's an incentive. It's something to shoot for, to be part of. This, by the way, this does not just apply to millionaires and billionaires. It applies to Misha that makes only $30,000 a year, because, if he makes 30, I guarantee you he's "rich" in the eyes of somebody else. If you make 75, you're rich in the eyes of somebody else. If I make 125, I'm rich in the eyes of somebody else, because there's always somebody that's going to have less than I've got. There's always somebody going to have more than I've got as well. The people who have more than me and Misha INSPIRE us to get where they are, and the people below us are trying to get where we are, even though we think there are people who have more than we do. It goes throughout the chain this way, and it provides the INCENTIVE for entrepreneurs and inventors to come up with better services and products at lower cost, and all of this is rooted in competition, and if that isn't taught or if competition is taught as something EVIL and OPPRESSIVE, then the people are being done a great disservice. This is not only TRUE civic responsibility, this is REALITY which will forever come crashing down on the social engineers who attempt to make it otherwise whether through the tax code or through irresponsible and disingenuous propaganda.
But nobody is saying that everybody should make the same amount. That's patently ridiculous. Johnston specifically offered an alternative form of reward that would encourage good management by corporate officers, unlike the current practices allowing CEOs to earn hundreds of millions of mostly tax-free dollars for essentially running their businesses (and our economy) into the ground.
Instead, most of Johnston's points relate to three issues: 1) closing tax loopholes that allow corporations and individuals to defer or avoid taxes indefinitely, 2) ending some of the most blatant examples of corporate welfare in our current tax code, and 3) ending usurious practices. His only proposed increase in taxes is just 5% more than McCain proposed in his tax plan; a full 30% LESS than the tax rate of the highest income bracket under Nixon and Ford, which was 70%.
I would also like to point out that the economy of the last 50 years unfortunately has not shown any indication of the lack of motivation and innovation you claim people would experience under slightly higher taxes in the higher income brackets. The US economy since 1945 has consistently performed better on nearly every economic indicator under Democratic presidents than Republican ones, including GDP growth (4.4% vs. 2.6%), employment (+3.0% vs. +1.3%), and stock returns (4.7% vs. 2.9%). (All figures are average per year.)
Personally, I also have to say that I really don't understand why anyone, faced with the opportunity to improve their income to earn more than $200,000 per year, would choose not to do so simply because they'd pay a few percent more on whatever income they earned greater than $200,000. It makes no sense whatsoever to me. Obviously, I'd like to keep as much as possible of the money I earn. Greed is human nature. But if I were faced with the opportunity to (roughly double) my families' income to reach the $200,000 level, hell yeah I'd jump on it, taxes or no.
Are you so foolish to take at face value the statistics you find on someone's BLOG as unquestionably facts?! Even assuming arguendo the statistics are "correct", the set of statistics selected by a particular author when marshalled in a clever way can prove pretty much anything. If for instance we change the measure from percentage of GPD growth to actual dollar growth, you will very likely find that you will have quite different result. 5% GDP growth in 1940 is very different (and not proportional) to 5% in 1984 if we were to look at actual dollar amounts. And this is only with the asusmption that the GDP figrues they are using are accurate and not tailored to their ideology. One tremendous red flag are the comparisons between Carter and Reagan--I'm pretty confident they "cooked" some numbers here. These statistics prove absolutely 0 even if they are correct and strongly suspect they are not correct or consistent with other measures.
Secondly, I am not directly addressing the particular Op-Ed article you cited, but the all-too-prevalent ideology which underlies it---that's called "marxism" or if you prefer a euphemisn "libertarian socialism", whatever that means. Remember the "Op" in "Op-Ed" is short for OPINION. I think we should be mindful of the dinstinction between opinion and fact, and how the very same set of facts marshalled by that author can EASILY be rearranged to favor a totally opposite (and more accurate) perspective.
Are you saying that a graduated income tax=Marxism? How big does the gap have to be in order to "provide something to shoot for." The gap between CEOs and ordinary workers has gone from something like 45 to one to 300 to one. Social scientists tell us that money is but one of many factors that motivate people to work hard, contribute and succeed. And many have observed that the outrageous increase in the gap between rich and poor in this country is undermining public support for our democratic, market-based capitalistic system.
I observe differently. Our democracy is being undermined by the fact that an increasingly SMALLER proportion of people pay income taxes in this nation and that tax is increasingly being used for class warfare purposes. If it were up to me, I would abolish income tax altogether and collect a consumption tax or sales tax. This would provide an incentive for people to save and invest their money and not run up credit cards. It would also make those who consume the most (the rich) pay according to what they consume. Exemptions could be made for certain essentials like food, and surcharges could be placed on luxury items like yachts and corporate jets. That would be the ideal tax system and it would be easier to enforce as well, since disinterested 3rd parties (merchants) would be the tax collectors as they are today.
There are various ways of collecting taxes, each with its pros and cons. Most people agree that our current tax code is too complicated and riddled with special interest loopholes, and there is a fairly wide feeling that many people aren't even paying what the law requires. Any tax system will have to get the money from the people and corporations that have it. We aren't going to pay for the government and necessary public services out of the hides of welfare recipients and the majority of people who are struggling to pay their bills and raise their families on average income. You sound to me like a John Thane wannabe--
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 … ooled.aspx
Well, in fairness, not just anybody's blog. The Liscio Report is a pretty highly respected macroeconomic research organization. You can also find similar statistics in the Stock Trader's Almanac and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others.
This I don't argue with.
I'm with that raging Marxist Teddy Roosevelt on this one, sorry:
- You should read the whole speech. Now there's a conservative I could get behind.
This conservative never contemplated the sort of income taxes we see today. Before World War I, income taxes were um....something like 5% not 40%.
Why shouldn't I? I don't really see your point.
Nick is stating that calling for higher taxes on rich people is a propaganda designed to breed inter-class hate. Having USSR experience behind, I fully agree to him on this.
More, the fact that you guys elected Obama tells me that overwhelming majority of Americans are victims to that propaganda. And we are heading into the Great American Socialist Revolution, or however else it will be called afterwords...
Well, that is not to say that McCain would have been any better, fascism and socialism are twins. Just the target would have been different. Muslims instead of rich probably. Or may be white, it would make more sense...
What I hear him saying is a complete discredit of the article Kerry suggested we read, an article pointing out very clear loopholes and unethical spots that can be changed to directly and positively effect the vast majority of people.
Usury is not right, even if those who know an arcane language can legislate laws to benefit them effectively.
What I see in you, and I must say, also, in him, is a loss of hope that there are people of certain principle. What I like and see in Obama is that he is one of my tribe. For a person such as this, wealth in itself is not enough, and not something to envy. That is too easy, and certainly not enough of a challenge.
The mistake I believe many of 'them' make is that yes, they indeed do believe 'we' envy them. The truth is, I believe, many of us could have cashed in long ago, but have not. It doesn't interest us enough.
I believe a person can make a difference in life--I believed this long before Obama. I believe the vast majority of Obama supporters here on hubpages are also of this ilk--not those who want to be taken care of by some ridiculous notion of socialism.
The last thing I would say is that civic responsibility--indeed, true, ethical governance--is not the same thing as Soviet-style communism or Bush era quasi-fascism. It is simply time that America and Americans grew up.
95% of us make less than $200,000 a year. 80% of us make less than $100,000 a year. And yet the internet is full of people who make crappy money and are taxed to death who passionately defend the rights of the obscenely rich, even while they are getting screwed by them.
I understand why Misha feels this way, and why Aya Katz feels this way--I mean, at least they have personal negative experiences in other countries that they can reference--I get the sense what is happening here triggers fears about what happened somewhere else, even though IMO here is here and there is there. Different times, different places. I don't think it's the same at all, but I understand why they do think it is. So at least there's something solid there.
The past 15 years has seen the greatest transfer of American wealth from the bottom 99% to the top 1/2 of 1% of the country since the time of the industrial robber barons. These folks already have most of the money, and now they have serfs defending their right to have it. Is that really necessary? Seriously, I think they have the resources to have everything their own way already without the help of poor people who like to be annoying on the internet.
And the 20% of us who make more that $100,000 already pay EIGHTY (80%) PERCENT of the income taxes in this nation. I passionately defend the rights of the obscenely rich because I aspire to be obscenely rich one day and I don't want to share my money with you.
The difference between you and me is that I come a perspective of abundance and you come from a perspective of scarcity. This annoying serf is confident--even in this economic downturn and even with a marxist administration--that he will one day become an baron. He is also confident that YOU TOO could become a baronness but for your own limiting beliefs and ressentiment. I will forever hound and annoy all the world to safeguard your right to keep the fruit of your labor to the greatest extent possible and with all judgment calls resolved in favor of the individual as opposed to the "collective".
Well that's one of the many differences between you and me. Another is that I wouldn't post a photo of myself in a goofy dreadlock wig on the internet, but I guess that's something that comes with a 'philosophy of abundance'. Good luck with that getting obscenely rich thing. Let me know how it works fer ya.
See, now--I didn't even see this. Sad. It proves Ralph's point above here, and my thought on Nick to a T..... Ralph, who I believe if I was not mistaken has shown us previously in this link that he fits well into or above this 'upper income bracket'---if not quite a bit above, who I believe DOES get it. As does Buffett or others who are not just about conspicuous consumption, but investing well and managing well, and integrity.
And absolutely, I would say as TMG would say--real wealth is not about a high salary or being a professional (you are still a slave), but what you actually own--and that this has its base almost always in the land.
The ironic thing also, is that many of the people I knew in New York did make $100,000 a year--but of course, you realize, that is like literally making $35,000 to $40,000 in a place like Omaha, NE or KC--as the standard of living there is higher--at least materially. So one wonders about the Bonfire of the Vanities.
Maybe when Nick starts to see 'professionalism' is a roller coaster (no matter how good it is going at the moment) and you just may never get off of it--a few years down the line--maybe he will be able to address us all with more sincerity. Or maybe, when life throws that first real curve ball at him, he may develop the necessary empathy it takes to really understand things in a holistic fashion.
Of course, we are sure WE ALL could be Barons/Baronesses, if we just were all as arrogant and frankly, blind to many real things in life. But if Pam concentrated on the perhaps soulless task of procuring lots and lots of money by squeezing blood from turnips or withholding food stamps from the poor or enacting whatever dastardly points of legislation he hopes to--we'd be out one good writer. We may be out good teachers (which I'm sure at least on this point Nick gets) that deal in a currency of influence and enrichment that absolutely is an important part of the fabric of society (maybe more than lawyers) but which doesn't offer such a >dreamed-of < pay out. And never will, if the above philosophy was held by everyone.
FYI, everyone--I speak to a person who I see has potential, but who is, yep, as he stated above, annoying as sh*t in his intelligently spoken but still soulless and lacking political commentary and in his philosophy of casual disregard toward other people here.
Clearly, you are incapable of addressing my ideas--you never do. And the reason why is that in the battlefield of ideas, conservative principles ALWAYS prevail. That's why you resort to attacking me and speaking in rhetorical generalities to manipulate the emotions of your readers. You have no fluency in any actual ideas or economic theory unless they happen to be about me. Fascinating as I am, your intellectual laziness disappoints me.
Nickny, where, pray tell is the government supposed to get the money it needs to function--from welfare recipients and others living below the poverty line?
According to our House Speaker, we can save money by aborting as many babies as possible to "reduce costs."
are you kidding? Obama just passed law that no money will be given to foreign countries to support abortion or abortion counselling.
Don't you have some home work to do, young man, if you are going to spout such stupid stuff?
Check--bad news sense. Also, does not respond with constructive answer to higher level question.
We too thought we were unique back in 90s on the remains of the Soviet Union. It appeared we were not. Well, not exactly, cultural differences of course were and still are there, but economics is economics, be it USA, USSR, China, Japan, Chili, or whatever else country you pick...
And people on average are more or less the same, and pretty predictable... Everybody wants to blame their own inability to fix their lives on somebody else, be it jews or rich, muslims or white, foreigners or aliens... Which is so natural - and absolutely counter-productive
So no Pam, I disagree, I think Russian or German experience has a direct relation to what is happening right here right now.
More on John Thain. This illustrates why many people are losing faith in our system. Too many greedy CEOs and little weeney wannabe lawyers. Too many CEOs and executives aren't asking whether a contemplated action is moral, honest or in the interest of their shareholders, their clients and their employees. Instead they are asking their lawyers only three questions:
1. Is it legal?
2. If yes, what are my chances of getting caught?
3. If I do get caught will I go to the slammer or just pay back part of my ill gotten gains?
Thain didn't get it! http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/ar … t_start=21
Exactly. John Boehner was on Meet the Press this morning saying things like, "The majority of Americans believe that if you follow the rules and work hard at your job that will result in success." We started laughing because very few Americans believe that anymore! Following the rules and working hard gets you farther and farther behind. Acting like a greedy cutthroat asshole gets you promoted. And now it's so 'out there' that most people can see that this is true--even the ones who would prefer an eensy bit of ethical behavior in their working lives.
The lines that are being drawn now between complete, insane, amoral greed and 1984-type socialism are way too thick and exaggerated. I grew up in an America in which most people had a sense of common decency--that appears to have disappeared. It wasn't socialist, it was just a time when most people were a little embarrassed to act like total greedy assholes. People had some, I don't know --manners. Feelings.
The trouble with weeny little lawyers with delusions of obscene wealth is they have no frame of reference that includes a more decent time--as if simple decency was just some vague idea that suckers and losers have while whining in the corner. The nation's best and brightest all flocked to Wall Street instead of doing real work, all because of this attitude that money talks, everything else is BS. And this is what we have as a result. It's as if we let our most spoiled children run the national candy store. And now they're all demanding more candy.
Another talented display of stereotyping---well done.
The dispostive question here is whose morality? which honesty? You trade in stereotypes and not actual substance. I don't embrace the "morality" of redistribution.
It's not very complicated--Start with the Ten Commandments or John Keats' "truth is beauty" or the average Joes on the street and test their reaction to CitiGroup's outrageous tricks and traps, or the legions of CEOs who have back-dated their options, or the plaintiff law firms that reap millions from class action suits but provide small benefits to their clients who were harmed, to Dennis Kowalski's, John Thains, the Angelo Mozilos, et al.
I tend to agree with Misha and Nick with this. Trickle down economics is a misnomer. The rich become wealthier by the hands of "grunt" workers unable to go for the wealth ourselves which has made it increasingly impossible for the poor man to make a buck.
But because of unfair taxing not only to the grunts but to the rich, the rich cut jobs, raise cost etc...so their profits aren't harmed. It is like a very sick twist to the age old saying, "don't bite the hand that feeds", and it works both ways.
I do believe now, that McCain would have been the better choice for the economy but voted against him on accounts of Palin and his views on war and his favoring of deregulating.
I mostly "blame" I suppose, the middle man. Not the rich, not the poor and not the middle income folks or the federal government in their failure to oversee what was going on and thier ignorance when told what was going on and doing nothing to stop it from happening.
I do believe the mortgage banks, banks, wallstreet speculators are the culprits.
1. mortgage companies; not only because of the forclosure crisis but because in general, they went up againts one of all peoples basics needs, which is to have a home to live in, and started to take more and more of people disposable income, driving inflation which started (in my eyes from what I can see) about 10 years go.
2. banks; besides adding fees without notice, they were gamblin with money that was never theirs to begin with and made assesments to homes that were also speculative. They drove the asking prices for homes up, the mortage lenders made loans in the same mannor.
3. wallstreet also speculated. Of course we know what happened with gas now, speculators were buying barrells of gas by the millions and they weren't using it, but holding it to be sold to the higest bidder. And so because the supply while readily available was being held up, it seemed as though supply and demand had taken hold when really, it was always there but a few indaviduals knew they could buy it up and basically blackmale people to make their money, driving inflation with the trickle down economic pattern.
4. when people started paying out all this money for gas, it took it's toll on retail sales, farmers, stock holders, banks, jobs, etc...it trickled all the way down to us who feel it more than anyone else.
Now it is so bad that the only thing left to do is crumble. I don't think can get better unless it does. I don't think the government has the right idea, that giving tax breaks to lower income people will work, nore do I think that higher taxes on rich people will work either.
The only possible solution I can see is to close down the banks all together.
readjust peoples mortgages with an APR of 1%, give back all the money that people paid into higher intrest rates and add that to the principal of their original loans.
The banks should pay back all fees to everyone they scammed by every illiagitamante nick and dime they ate up, cause I know for myself this adds up to probably over 4000 in just the last few years.
I think the credit card companies should also readjust every rate, remove all late payment fees, higher interest rate fees etc...and the money should be added to the original balance of what was actually borrowed. I am pretty sure this would either pay off peoples balances altogether and free people from their credit card debt or it would make the payments doable and people could get back on track in less time.
Then I think we should do away with the credit industry altogether. No loans but things like buying homes should be made on a "pay as you go" standard. Contracts should be voided so that people are not being held accountable for future monies on things they do not use. You don't use it, you don't pay.
I think that government should put caps on community rentals as well and make real and fair assesments of the cost of living in each area. In Cali for example. The government would have you believe that the average income here is 150,000 but it isn't.
The average is more like 40k but they make their assesments to include the few that make millions every year which completely thows their average off. Though california also has other problems that include immagration.
I think that people who vote to pay taxes to build new freeways, should be the ones who pay for them, but not everyone as a hole because some people just don't use all the things that get voted for and still have to pay.
If you want it, you pay for it, but I should not have to pay for what you want especially when I can't pay my own rent. you see?
I think the entire economy and government, local and fedral needs an overhaul, banks should not be allowed to buy but be what they were generally made to be...a place to keep your money safe with a small fee of 1% for the service and that the government should only insure the banks for exactly what they have in them, which is the peoples money and the government should not insure the 1% the banker makes off peoples money, just to keep them in check.
and I could go on....
I think it would be good for your opinion on this if you did a little research into the connection between the federal reserve, the banks concerned and certain high-level politicians.
You government, along with most of the rest of the world's govs failed the people they are supposed to protect.
Actually, Clinton's actions and policies are part of the problem. Who pushed and pushed for "affordable housing" for those that could not afford it?
Unintentional perhaps, but certainly a large part of the puzzle.
And I never said it was either as a whole but just a few of the middle men. not everyone in politics is a culprit, not all people dealing with banks is a culprit, not all rich people are culprits and not all poor people are culprits, and not all people in government are culprits but it does rest in the hands of just a few.
Either way, we see things from different perspectives but as you like to say, "we are all DOOMED!"
There is one small point Sandy, that sets government people aside from everybody - they ALL live off your tax money
and I still like my idea, stop paying for it. lol
ok, now I see what Mark is saying about Fedral reserves. I call for a world wide protest!
Lets go back to bartaring.
The thing to do is not look at who loses out.
Ask yourself who benefits instead.
The net outcome of this (and not just in the US) will be more government, more control by the federal reserve, more inflation. Just take a look at Obama's "solutions". More government employees. more dependence on the state, more banking regulations that only apply to the man on the street.
The Federal reserve was set up specifically to prevent asset bubbles. Who controls the increase of money that caused the bubble?
Bush may be a moron, but he is a very rich moron from a family of bankers.
Sure - people like nicky think they are being very pro freedom etc when they make the sort of statements he has been making.
They are the dumbest of all - because they have been persuaded to think they are clever.
Misha, you are sounding more like an anarchist than a libertarian. What are government employees supposed to live off of?
LOL I am trying to not apply labels to myself, but if you still need one, yes, I am anarchist
Yeah--reading through all that, particularly your response to me. The largest thing I see is that your writing and your ideas show so little exposure to actual experience. And how you match up your ideas of education--ie, the thought that students are internally motivated to achieve vs. your ideas of envy and competitiveness being the driving force in the market place is quite, quite disconnected, don't you think?
It looks like some experience and well-rounded thought might mark one realm, and foolish dreams and little experience marks the other.
FYI, you are among many entreprenuerial minds presently, within this conversation. Do they seem to be supporting your point of view? Also, to use him as an example once again--my partner owns his own company--and the driving force behind him working for himself, honestly, is to be his own boss and not have to deal with the control and stupidity that is corporate America (and which I can vouch for, certainly). His freedom, and the freedom to CREATE, which is so inherent among artistic people--which is an internal motivation. That he can do what he loves and not have a thumb over his head is such a strong motivation that even now, when the design and housing industry is suffering, and his profits are down, he is sticking it out (btw, he is with me politically, also).
And there is such a thing as a diminishing point of return with happiness by wealth. Past $50,000/yr., some studies have shown (don't tell me to give you the f*ing citation--I understand citation & could find it, just don't want to take the time now) a point (obviously adjusted by income--in NYC, that figure would be closer to $75,000 due to the high cost of living), a point where most people are comfortable and can basically have all they need, there is no great difference. Indeed, having lots and lots of stuff, but no real MEANING tends to breed ennui and boredom in many.
If there is anything I 'envy' (or actual, what plainly just makes me angry) is the rip off factor of a certain sense of security--minimal security--that I feel every human being is owed as part of a code of human rights. That means no ex-college professors not working because they are disabled freezing to death on the steps of a downtown building because the privately owned company who controls the utilities shut her gas off (as Pam related on another post), no poor kids with teeth rotting out because their parents don't have the means to take them to a dentist, f*ing sidewalks in municipalities, etc., etc.
And, lastly, have you read much game theory? It contends, in part, that corporate greed culture (which seems to me you espouse) depends on a lottery mentality--in this culture, we tell everyone that if you work hard enough, you can be like those in power or those who possess lots of wealth. But this is actually a mechanism to control those who 'would-be,' because only a very very few in this model can ever be there. So that if, like Joe the plumber, ie, you have bought the myth, you believe you are a shark swimming among a lot of fish, when actually you are just a lil guppy (lol). Simply a tool of the big machine.
I read it largely as a problem of deregulation of certain industries. Also personal responsibility in a debt and greed culture. In short, that of a bunch of fools.
I may be slightly short on the precise details, but certainly, this is the over-all theme. Certainly saw a lot of ugly McMansion problems here in the Southwest and CA. Lots of stupid ARM loans.
I think we are all short of precise details. lol. These days we couldn't tell what the truth is from an absurdly ridiculous lie.
I, like Ralph Deeds above, believe there are certain universal truths which those of sound mind and principle can never really get away from.
Therefore, if it looks like a rat, smells like a rat, it usually is a rat...
And please don't one of you (not mentioning any names,lol) take that statement as a tipping point for some big serious debate. Pls. take it holistically and generally, as it was intended....
This may be an eye opening reading for some calling themselves "libertarian"
1500 pages though, some work required - but trust me, well worth the effort
There are many 'designations' of libertarian in our society. The semantics and linguistics here in the USA is always a problem--not just among the ESL crowd, lol!
For my particular designation, if any are interested, I'd direct you to works by Noam Chomsky.
"In 1999, Bill Clinton signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a bank deregulation bill that swept away a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall. The new law had such a chorus of bipartisan support that it passed the Senate 90-8. One of the few who raised a cry against it was Byron Dorgan. “I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this, but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past,” said Dorgan, a populist North Dakota Democratic senator, “and that that which is true in the 1930s is true in 2010.” Today, a few years earlier than he predicted, Dorgan looks prescient. The current financial crisis is frequently called the worst since the Great Depression. And Gramm-Leach-Bliley is often cited as a cause, even by some of its onetime supporters."
Well, OK.... But I suggest we keep moving in the right direction, not looking for blame and implicating one party or individual or another. Clinton may have made some mistakes (I liked him, but never completely respected him). In 8 years, Bush has done more damage on so many realms than Clinton ever did. An intelligent president may have also been able to see problems and correct himself...
Hey Lita, a song for you, you will probably like, it's my anthom.
I agree Bush took the football Bill Clinton should have never picked up in the first place and ran it right into the end zone, and he's still doing a happy dance! Worst President even, bar none.
But Bill Clinton let us down in ways that have nothing to do with pretty pages. He helped pass NAFTA. He was all for the repeal of Glass Steagall. He was really not the raging liberal the neocons painted him out to be--I see him as more of a centrist. But the point is, he started some of these fires and then the Bush administration poured gasoline all over them. So there's plenty of blame to go around. I don't think Fannie & Freddie were the cause of it all so much as they were a symptom. So long as everyone in Washington was making money it was all good, don't worry about it. I see the problem starting with Reagan and his idea that deregulation is always good and unfettered capitalism is this beautiful wild animal that should never be tamed. What a load of crap.
McCain and his best buddy Phil Gramm were instrumental in repealing Glass Steagall, so I doubt McCain would be doing a better job at dealing with any of this. I'm glad Obama won, but I doubt he'll be able to fix it at this point. We are so beyond doomed right now.
I believe the going will be hard for a while, but it isn't anything we haven't seen before. I think because of where you are just physically in MI, Pam, it probably does look pretty dire. But I have an internal optimism, I guess, and believe we will come through it, perhaps better than before. Am with Buffett on that sense.
A period like this just may get our ethics straight. I do worry about the most vulnerable people out there, however. They will feel this the most.
And we couldn't ask for a better person at the seat of power at this point, I feel, either.
"I agree Bush took the football Bill Clinton should have never...."
pgrundy I agree with you 100% on this point.
Why raising taxes on corporations is BAD: it's rooted in class envy and not economics.
some of what you say I agree, but that is not one of them. Using terms like that persuades people to believe that all rich are bad and all poor are just envous and everything happens out of hate.
Which i think from listening to Misha, he said when he was growing up in Russia that, that was the same bolonga he was fed and thought but it simply isn't true.
Or am I wrong about what you said Misha?
I don't equate moral worth with a person's socio-economic status at all. It appears that the majority of the people on this thread do and that's why I use the term "class envy." As an exercise, take a look at all the predicates used to describe "rich people" in this section and then let me know if you still disagree.
and you don't believe that a person shouldn't be envious of a fat rich cat who eats to his hearts content while the others are pissed off that they have to work to the bone and still worry about getting something to eat.
I think you don't have a heart. what do you think happens when you deprive people of their basic needs, and those people made money a basic need and how now deprived them of that as well and then you equate a poor mans injustice to being envious of the rich.
You a cold hearted person.
Sorry, you see people as victims. I see people as the being responsible for their own lot in life and having huge potential. I believe people would do a lot better for themselves if they invested their energy making the most of themselves rather than being resentful and blaming others for every perceived ill, real or imagined. If that is cold-hearted so be it.
You guys do not know what class envy is - try being foisted with a hereditary aristocracy. I do object to bloodline dictating social status, something that you guys have right over there, with a republic.
For me, I do not hate or envy the rich. One of my neighbours worked hard for his money, and is a multi-millionaire, and also a very nice guy.
The people that I object to are criminals. Look at two scenarios.
1) A con-man steals the life savings of an old lady. Most people would agree that he should be punished.
2) The head of a blue-chip company uses creative accounting to hide losses and artificially inflate share prices. The resulting crash, when s/he is found out causes the value of many pensions to crash, stealing the life savings of many old ladies.
I do not hate these people because they are rich, nor do I envy them their lifestyle. What I do hate is the criminality and incompetence that has lost people a lot of money. This has nothing to do with whether they should be taxed to the hilt or not.
The problem about expecting people to 'better' themselves is that they need good advice. Not everybody is a financial or legal expert, so need reliable and trustworthy professionals. Many people have tried to better themselves by investing, but have been sadly let down by incompetence and greed. Admittedly, some were stupidly sucked into paying more than they could afford for a house, but others were given bad advice from people they trusted.
Hope that there is nothing shriiiiiillll about that opinion.
And Sufi again saves the day! Yes. I've been trying to explain that for hours now. I respect Warren Buffett, ie. It has nothing to do with envy but total agreement with point 2 above.
What you say is fair, but I'm still inclined to put more faith in the individual even with the sort of hazards you describe. Part of the cost of doing business in this life includes encountering and anticipating deceptive people. These people should be deterred and punished to the fullest extent possible; however, this doesn't mean that we should ignorantly and blissfully trust all whom we encounter and always expect justice to be presented to us on a silver platter. People should not be conditioned into victimhood, as is all too common in the public (i.e. state sponsored) schools here. Individuals need to be self-reliant to the greatest extent possible--our society can't afford for it to be otherwise.
sounds like you put your faith in people who have a heart to not become criminals even if the law would have it that "criminals" are justified by the law of the land.
I agree to a certain extent, that self-help is the best way to get on. Unfortunately, it is not always possible if you do not have the aptitude to follow the markets.
As an analogy, if I take my (hypothetical) car to a mechanic, and pay him money, I expect him to fix things. I do not know enough about cars to check that he has done a good job, although I would ask questions if the bill seemed high. If the car then fails because of his incompetence or fraud, he has done something wrong, and should pay the price.
The same applies in finance - if you pay a professional for advice, they are compelled to give good service. Anybody can make a mistake, and that is life - you gamble, you might lose. If, on the other hand, the advisor indulges in risky or illegal practices, then they have stolen from you, and should face severe penalties. The strange thing is, the UK has very strict certifications and tests for becoming a financial advisor. Sadly, CEO's undergo no such testing, even though they are potentially dealing with billions.
Mind you, if anybody seriously believes that they can make a million on the internet in just one month, then they get what they deserve. Some scams are so obvious.
Going back to earlier in the thread, tortuous tax laws help nobody - the only reason that they exist is so that politicians can hide tax raises through indirect taxation. I have not researched enough to form a solid opinion, but I have been looking into flat-rate tax. Everybody pays the same rate, and it makes it more difficult to hide money through creative accounting. Not sure whether it would work, but then I did not study economics.
Don't know if you have a position on that one.
Hi Sufi, it always comes back to being able to trust motive and intent, doesn't it? :-) Whether its the professional advice or a lawyer or a creative accountant, how pure are their inclinations? They may be compelled to give good advice but they're human too. Then we start having more laws to protect more people because we can't trust the ones who made the laws in the first place - or each other. lol!
Hi Lifebydesign - It always seems to end up that way. Unfortunately, human greed always seems to win. I came across a quote today:
"These banks were failing by the close of the century, partly because they were foolishly speculating with the deposits, significantly reducing the necessary reserve of funds"
Believe it or not, this quote refers to banks in 15th century Europe.
We never learn!
Well said. I would be unreasonable to dispute your position here. I agree the tax code is a shambles and does more harm than good. I personally support using sales taxes instead of an income tax, which is something I spoke about at some length earlier in the thread.
Greece largely works on sales tax, because the Greeks are so good at tax evasion. It seems to work, to a certain extent, although they still tax food and energy, which I do not agree with. Unfortunately, the endemic corruption is the major problem, from the top downwards.
Anyway, 3am here, so off to bed. Thanks for the interesting debate, folks, and behave yourselves.
I would agree with you that many of the predicates here show a tendency. Yet so does the term 'class envy' - which in itself reveals a certain perspective. You may be trying to make a point but to some 'thems fighting words'. :-) I agree with you up to a point that equal monetary prosperity is not necessarily beneficial either. Every element of society has its role. Who would collect the recyclables, look after our children, man the ferries. These are all deserving and necessary services that make societies run. But its the distribution and enormous disparities between the rich and poor that's creating division, unequal opportunity and access, and impacting on health, education in developed and undeveloped countries.
You make a good point about the need to inspire people, but I don't think that's a good reason for maintaining disparity.
You are more or less right Sandy
I was fed a lot of stuff, and hating rich people was one of the major ones. Exemplary rich people were Americans. Much to my surprise, here I found you guys are fed pretty much the same crap from the birth, too.
It's a world-wide blunder Sandy. Half the world tried it already to a devastating effect, still the other half is eager to try it again. This is not Nick who seeds hate to rich, schools did this already, he is just calling it what it is...
Very short and not much exposition, Nick. D- - - for you. (I was always an easy grader, lol, got me into trouble sometimes.)
Misha-- As I was extremely confident that Obama would be elected, and he did, yes, we will talk a few years down the line.
"Why raising taxes on corporations is BAD: it's rooted in class envy and not economics."
Agreed. It is why the poor vote for Repubs, thinking they will actually some day be rich. There is a book about it called 'What's The Matter With Kansas?' by Thomas Frank.
Have it. Recommend it. Excellent... Precisely my point with Mr. Nick from Brooklyn or Staten Island.
Mr. Nick has first hand exposure to whole generations of individuals in Brooklyn and Staten Island and Queens and New Jersey and Bronx and Long Island and Florida not to mention Manhattan who made SOMETHING (and in some cases QUITE a bit) out of nothing and without the benefit of our current social safety nets or affirmative action or even a knowledge of English. If these people can and do become rich, so can any of the so-called "entrepreneurs" here. Poor people do indeed vote Republican, and so do middle class people and so do rich people because they take responsiblity for their lot in life and do not sit idly in a hypnotized stupor of victimhood blaming the bogeymen of Wall Street.
Not seeing a lot of that here nicky boy.
Class means not bragging about it. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.......
You remind me of one of my nieces. When she was about 3 years old, she would come up to me and say, "you won't chase me, will you uncle Mark? Promise?"
She loved to be chased more than she loved chocolate. Which is saying something.
Class envy? Only people with money but no class equate money with class.
"If these people can and do become rich, so can any of the so-called "entrepreneurs" here." How does the rich factory owner get fat and sassy without factory workers? If all these factory workers become
"entrepreneurs" and became rich, would they work for the factory owner? Takes two 2 tango.
OH! By your definition of it, maybe some "entrepreneurs" in our immediate vicinity or even ourselves are perhaps 'rich.' Maybe we don't go spewing our mouths off about it much because we do not have to. Maybe even Warren Buffett is rich, but doesn't vote like you or ascribe to your philosophies, and that outlook may have served him well.
Maybe some of us realize that looking out for our fellow human beings (which if you notice most for of us here that is all we are asking) enriches all of us. And not just monetarily.
And I say sprawling bureaucracies and welfare programs along with the tax burden to support them neither serves that purpose nor enriches us. People help people--not a faceless, wasteful bureaucracy.
Maybe Warren Buffet is less then sincere about his beliefs and has less than generous motives when claiming to subscribe to a certain perspective--after all, aren't all rich people "bad and greedy and deceptive"?
Buffet has put his stock in Berhshire in a trust to go to the Gates Foundation upon his death. You are the first person I've heard question the sincerity of Warren Buffett. He supported Obama. And he opposed the Bush tax cuts. He has spoken out many times about closing tax loopholes. He has pointed ou the unfairness that his secretary is in a higher tax bracket than he is because his income is in capital gains.
I wonder why he would hide his wealth in a foundation and utilize the loopholes if he was so sincere about "looking out for our fellow human beings and eriching them." Why doesn't he just let the IRS save him and the Gates Foundation the work. and let the gov't redistribute all this money and fund all of Obama's nifty new programs!? Are you so naive as to why people of means form foundations?
Please! You're sounding kind of naive yourself... Didn't the parents teach you well? Do you assume everyone you are talking to is less than yourself?
You don't follow Buffett nor have you read about him much, have you? It is OK not to be right all the time, you know....
I didn't read his book and it doesn't take a genius to realize people don't always reveal their true motives especially when it is human nature to want to be viewed in the best possible light. What are ALL THE POSSIBLE REASONS why people with money form "foundations"? I'll let that be hypothetical because I wouldn't want to be too demanding on your intellect.
ppppooof. Oh you scare me sooooooo bad!
To hide their money. Because it is a tax right-off.
Just because you are just now studying this crap doesn't mean anything in REALITY about another's intellect. Neither does you possessing some tricky little point. Also, just because you aren't a very good judge of character doesn't mean some of us don't make it our goal to understand these things.
Point is, Buffett is successful---VERY successful--and he is ethical in business as well as supportive of broad human rights; an Obama supporter. It's obvious when you haven't read something and are just making a pretty little show of bravado.... And again, not everybody is after lots of women, huge McMansions, million dollar shower curtains and other things that will make you fat, lazy and cross eyed, lol!
The only reason a person would espouse your beliefs (as they are presented), frankly, is that you are unsure of your efficacy in a very real way.
Before we get the big list of possible reasons why brilliant, wealthy truly deserving people who should get lotsa women and 50 houses would and should put their money behind foundations, what I am really interested in is how you make the crossover of believing students to be internally motivated, and then take that leap into cut throat competition--carrot and stick motivation via mega money and the market.
I don't endorse cut throat competition at all because I don't think wealth is a zero-sum game. I believe when one person gets wealthy the whole community is enriched...people can create wealth in addition to stealing it you know. You see, you are stuck in this weird, leninist mentality that wealth has to be competited for and acquired at the expense of someone else. I just don't think like that....and thanks for reminding me about those shower curtains! man...I gotta go run out and rip someone off to get me some those!
I can assure you that I have no doubt about my efficacy, though I am certainly beginning to doubt yours since the main thrust of your wit is, as a rule, directed at a caricature of me instead of used productively to form rational, non-shrill, propositions. It's very easy to attack a caricature of some imaginary person...but not quite so easy to attack my ideas as it seems.
You display your 'efficacy' and invite caricature for all the world to see by your, uh, hubs? Is that lost on you?
And OMG, you doubt everybody's validity in advance here--you just assume you are talking to people, what (?), of no experience? Who never made a salary at least equivalent to what you made as a teacher? LOL It's just funny! And you are just rude sometimes.
The loopholes and tax issues I see as thievery, yes. And you just did a 180. In your long response to me earlier, you talked at length about competition, now you refute that.
And it is you responding to an imaginary 'liberal' person--one you think I am. Leninist? Read my hub on Warren Buffett, maybe, for starters. What I'm saying is we can have all things--wealth and a respect for human rights--we can make changes that will work. You are the one stuck in realllly old paradigms. Which leads me to believe you come from a long line of conservatives, yes?
Shriiiiiiiiiiiillll. I love how everyone accuses me of no class for daring to utter "class envy" and yet I see only one person comparing and estimating salaries as if that meant something. I agree it is funny...and I should hope you make more than a law student, I would be sad for you if you didn't.
There are many types of competition--it's not a term that exists without qualification, like everything else. One can compete with oneself. One can compete with another with the result that at the end of the competition both are enrich for having competed and pushing each other to the limit. Competition can be positve and competition doesn't have to result in a net loss for anyone. For you, there are only winners and losers with blind chance or larger than life malevolent forces determining the results.
Yes I come from an ancient line of conservatives---a proud tradition that has generously permitted you a voice.
btw-- This is the same reason, you, ahem, probably have some issues with girls... You view them as 'ideas' or objects in relation to you--rather than unique people.
(Sorry!) Couldn't resist!
The 'shrillness' about salaries has nothing to do with me. I don't particularly like it when you 'beat up' (like a funny puppy, I might add) on the adults here many times your senior. Leading me to question whether yer parents taught you right. Even if you are Italian and in NYC.... (lol)
"For you, there are only winners and losers with blind chance or larger than life malevolent forces determining the results. "
The above is simply stupid. Something you read in one of those get rich now if ya think hard enough thingy 'book.' And it is not lost on me that I was not the one to say you had no class (even if I think you don't, I never said it)--but that you blindly accused me of saying that.
"I am in a very happy relation and I treat all people I encounter as unique people--your very limited impressions of me notwithstanding. This was particularly true of my students, incidentally."
Your very limited impression of me, as well, I might add.... Suppose you tortured little feminist shrill high school students and gave them C's and D's when they should get A's though, lol! And I'm sorry--maybe it is that your verbal sense isn't quite so acute or something--but certainly, you do not see people here as individual in a very clear light.
And what of those extremely vulnerable people who literally cannot fend for themselves (which could be you at some point)? You discount those totally. I say it is a societal obligation that we care for them.
All I've been trying to say for the longest time. Which leads to indeed believe--as well as the tenor of the response just above, and juxtaposition-- you do indeed have issues with females. .
The vulnerable individuals are better served by their families and private organizations and charities than thye ever would be by the gov't. Free market solutions can be devised just as easily to account for the vulnerable about whom I am not unmindful.
To be sure, it is you who has issues with any person who disagrees with your dogmas, and you have this pathological habit of attacking instead of explaining your position. You'd do well to model your responses on Sufidreamer who responds with fair substance and who has the ability to distinguish the person from his position.
That's crap, Nick. I laid out several long arguments in the beginning which you all but ignored or never responded with substantive points. Your exact words: Class envy is why taxing corporations is bad. The exact substance of your rebuttal. D- - - , remember? You pre-attack and pre-assume anyone who disagrees with YOU.
You have never, in any post, responded substantively to any female, except for ASU or SJ--who agree with you generally. I do not carry around 'dogmas' --and have tried to state this numerous times (this is YOUR idea of what liberals are put onto me) unlike someone who admits to an ancient tradition of conservativism. You also play coy with your real thoughts--an extremely annoying habit of yours. But whatever...
Not to mention, I remember when you were posting 'scientific' dogma and attacking Sufi right off, specifically. It is only testimony to his own peacemaking skill, or perhaps the fact he likes Greek culture, lol, that he's able to take you out of your didactic premises and slight rudeness.
And just to rankle you & pull your chain further, and to show you that your concepts of liberal/conservativism and DOGMA might just be your own construct, among other things, here is something I just posted on another forum:
"This just in:
My partner, Matt, just got back from a business meeting with a man, R.B. in Phoenix who is the 'bundler,' for McCain's financial interests.... HE is saying that because Buffett is behind Obama, that there is hope, though the situation is more dire than most of us at a certain level can imagine. That several large name companies are about to go under right now (can't name them.) That although he supported McCain, as they are friends and do business together, that Obama is the man we want there in office at this point.
From a financial stand point, for what it is worth, this man is saying 2009 is gonna be hell. But that from there, we should see a light at the end of the tunnel."
He also said the situation we are currently in is due to greed and the unethical behavior of certain wealthy bankers in the business.....
Lita, will you ever try to think for yourself, not to repeat that someone said somewhere?
Give it a try, it's a liberating feeling
My quarrel is with Mr. Nick here, not you, Misha. The above was related to certain assumptions he has-- Just showing him the fallacy of his ways.
I have never in my entire days had an issue with thinking, speaking, writing or supporting myself. And that--since the age of 18, by choice.
Oh, ok, I don't like to be caught between rock and stone, so I'll stay away
The Richest Americans Ever
It's OK, . You aren't the one going around saying everybody is envious of wealthy people in a blind stupid assumption of who he is talking to, or assuming there is this cut and dried division between a very parallel political universe, or pasting his vision of 'liberal' and 'shrill' and 'dogmatic' onto certain people.
I didn't appreciate the comment about not thinking for myself (because if you knew me that would be a humongous joke--one of the reasons it broke w/ my former USSR guy is, as he said, I am enormously stubborn), but that's OK, cuz I know you are not really rude, we just have a difference of opinion. .
Mr Nick is entirely your own creation. You nursed him with your attention when nobody else looked in his direction. If not for you, he would have been banned already or voluntarily left the place...
I think you made the right pick, though - lately it seems like this guy actually has some personality behind his jerk mask, so he may become an interesting conversation partner when he finally learns to communicate properly.
As for thinking - I definitely don't know you personally, probably you are, sorry, my fault - I did not recognize this in our online interactions. Will try harder
I think Nick is just fine. He's trying to communicate something here - aren't we all - and whether he's successful or not in everyone else's eyes, or whether we seek to understand him or just keep defending our own positions is no reason to write him off. I get what he's saying (I think :-)) But banned off hubpages? Really? Can't say I know this guy well but I'm happy to make up my own mind about someone. I also doubt he's Lita's creation, this guy appears to be able to speak very well for himself. I would agree with 'interesting' Misha.
Well pooh pooh on you, I'm not going to tell you what my partner said when she spoke to S.L.I.K., Hillary Clinton's dog walker at Tavern on the Green. But you'd be very shocked! lol
Dogwalkers and finance managers are in twoooo different realms, aren't they?
Don't think you are taking from this what was my intention, but then that figures, doesn't it? LOL
Nickny, are you a wnanabe John Thain or a wannabe Bernie Maddof?
Arianna Huffington: Tony Blankley nailed it on our radio show when he said that far too many Wall Street CEOs "have been studying at the Marie Antoinette School of Public Presentation." Among those following in the footsteps of the tone deaf queen and her "let them eat cake" is former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, the poster child for the modern era of Not Getting It -- with his $1.2 million office makeover while preparing to lay off thousands. But Thain is not alone. Execs at Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and State Street have also shown themselves to be tone deaf. So has Barney Frank who secured bailout money for a home state bank that had been accused of poor lending practices and that made Marie Antoinette moves such as providing a Porsche SUV for executives to use. Not Getting It: There is no substitute. Click here to read more.
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