There are some who contend that there is a gross inequality regarding income. They maintain that there are poverty amid wealth. They vehemently decry that there should be equalization in terms of income. They maintain that having wealth borders on obscenity & they should spread the wealth around. Some even go as far to assert that there should be limits upon how much people can earn. A few maintain that it is THE OBLIGATION of the wealth to support the poor. Your thoughts?
We have to accept the fact that wealth is simply the result (if done legally) of the exchange of money for goods and services. So, the poor are supporting and enriching the wealthy through this continuing endeavor. If the poor support the wealthy in this manner, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask that the rich, through taxes, support some basic necessities for the poor. Can the wealthy survive without the poor? No. If the bottom economic levels of our society were to cease to exist they would simply be replaced with another economic bottom level.
The wealthy have already exchanged value for value with the exchange. Why should they then pay more, effectively making their exchange a one-way deal (the rich sell to the poor, get money and then are forced to return the money so net nothing at all in exchange for their product)?
Well, let's think about it. If it is simply an upward movement of money and it becomes bottle necked at the top is that good for anyone? I don't think so. What we are moving to is another era of serfs and lords. Corporations, run by the wealthy, are manipulating our governments to serve their needs, not those of the people. Did not lords of the past have some obligation to the serfs they were lords over? Or should we expect those who have been victims of unfair practices which have divested them of any representation within those halls of power to smile quietly about this?
I'm not advocating beheading the king or a revolution French style. I am simply saying that to avoid such we need to accept the fact that this economic system we exist within has certain disadvantages. In order to continue on we must recognize them and put in place mechanisms to offset the downside of the system. If not taxing the rich at a fair and equitable rate, commensurate with their wealth, what? I know you are a firm advocate of taxing the rich at a rate equal to others but think about it. If I make 50 million and pay 35% how much disposable income what am I left with? What can I do with that disposable income? If you make 50 thousand and pay 35% what are you left with?
If I make 50 million, as the fool in charge of some hedge fund, and those gains were made raising prices of life saving drugs, to the point that the average person cannot afford to purchase it; and this was done through laws put in place to protect my right to do so (by lobbyists paid for by me and those like me) do I not then have some obligation to those who were not considered when those laws were put in place? If not, do those who were not considered when the laws were put in place have some obligation to me?
"Well, let's think about it. If it is simply an upward movement of money and it becomes bottle necked at the top is that good for anyone?"
I keep seeing that, as if the rich have billions of dollars stuffed in their mattress. They don't; that "bottleneck" doesn't exist. But even if it did, if they DID keep their money out of circulation, does that mean it actually belongs to someone else that that wants more than they earn?
"I know you are a firm advocate of taxing the rich at a rate equal to others..."
Untrue; I recognize that it isn't possible to do that and run the country at the same time. But that has nothing to do with being "fair", just with being necessary if we want the nation to survive.
"If I make 50 million and pay 35% how much disposable income what am I left with? What can I do with that disposable income? If you make 50 thousand and pay 35% what are you left with? "
Your point? That if you are rich your wealth belongs to others because you have too much (as defined by those "others")? That we'll assume you didn't earn it legally, or perhaps not ethically and therefore it is not yours?
"...do I not then have some obligation to those who were not considered when those laws were put in place?"
IMHO, yes you have an (ethical) obligation to help the poor. But that does not mean that I have the right to force you to conform to my opinion by taking what I wish from you, to do with as I wish. When I do that I am no better than the person that owns that wealth, and unless it was actually obtained illegally I am much worse (from an ethics standpoint: if I make it law that I can have it then it is legal but still unethical).
Maybe you and I define 'rich' differently. But, I don't think you are quite seeing the point of my comment. No one has the right to steal from anyone. But, if we look at a society which must be funded to survive we must look at a fair and equitable manner in which to do it. We have to determine what our bottom line expectations are for our citizens. Are we going to let some starve? Are we going to let some stay homeless? Are we going to deny basic medical care to some? If we answer no to those questions then we have to figure out a way to say no. If your income allows you to check no on all of those questions, great. If my income allows me to check no on all with money to spare I should contribute a percentage to the common good. But, I shouldn't be expected to donate such a large amount as to put me into a position to be among those in need of help. A higher tax bracket for someone making a great deal of money more than I do will not put them into a position of being in need of help either and they can continue to outpace me in savings and disposable income for luxury items.
I don't see the problem with having a higher tax bracket for greater incomes.
And neither do most of the rest of us disagree with the rich paying a higher tax rate.. Even Wilderness has said he accepts the reality that a progressive taxing structure is a necessity.
The question is one of limits. Both the degree of those progressive brackets, and the moral justifications for continually demanding more.
"If we answer no to those questions then we have to figure out a way to say no."
And that way (ethically speaking) is to dig down into your own pocket, suck it up and pay for them. It is NOT to demand, at gunpoint, that a third person do so.
LTL, you can go on and on about how you (not being rich) should not have to pay for the poor, but at the end it always seems to come back to "make the rich pay because they have more than I do and more than I think they should".
Of course the rich have more than you do, of course they can pay more taxes and still have more. But that does not give you the ethical right to take what they have because you have a good cause to spend it on.
One of Obama's early comments was that taxes should rise because "I have a better use for it than the owner does", and that's exactly what you're saying. You know better than the owner of that wealth how it should be spent and therefore you have a right to take it. Stripped of all the rationalization, all the cries that the rich have more than they need, all the tears about the poor; stripped down to the nubbin that's what it amounts to. "I have the right to take their wealth because I know better than they do how it should be spent."
A concept that I don't agree with and never will. I think a good case can be made for limited govt. charity; an actual "safety net" for the people. But it cannot be made for supporting millions of people for years or decades, simply throwing money at them, because they do not wish to improve their lot themselves.
Thank you Wilderness, totally agree.
The wealthy have design the world to be synthetic codes to take away the competition. Even at that the world is too competitive because the poor are too busy surviving and fighting each other so the wealthy can walk and laugh all the way to the bank as the steal their money.
The poor are not lazy or stupid or unhappy as you think. Trump would say. The beauty about me is I am very rich and smarter than you and my generals. Wait til the green parties and people revolution comes and changes many things for the positive as they have throughout human history. There too many billionaire that are really unhappy with themselves.
I never said that someone else should pay and I shouldn't . I said we should all contribute commensurate to our means; in a manner that proves the least likely to adversely change our ability to live in the manner our income allows.
Edit. I think your comment about throwing money at people is not in line with my stand. I think all should contribute, in the ways they can. We have moved to a state where people can take and take and not be expected to contribute anything in return. That is wrong.
Perhaps we're standing on the same soapbox, then. I tried to make it clear that I believe it is in the nations best interests to help those temporarily in need, and maybe even those that need care all their life (quadriplegic, mentally ill, etc.) On the other hand, those that simply take forever while returning nothing don't need a dime from you, from I or from the multi-multi billionaires.
Pretending that taking from the rich does not "adversely change their ability to live in the manner their income allows" is beneath you. Only the fabulously rich, the Trumps, the Gates, etc. of the world are ones that that could even be hinted at, and we could both be wrong there. Those that are earning a half mil each year...those people will certainly be adversely affected, yet we still expect and demand hundreds of thousands of $$ from them. Compared to the hundreds we give ourselves.
Half a million isn't rich. Richer than I am, for sure, but not rich.
Although, I will say that if I gave up 35% of my income and someone in the high six figures gave up 38% of their income they wouldn't be suffering a change in life style that I wasn't. Probably less of one.
Hi Live to Learn, Does your logic of buying and selling, (exchanging values), apply to the poor buying from the poor also?
If a poor person buys from another poor person's sidewalk produce stand, does that poor produce stand owner incur the same obligation to provide extra support for the poor person that bought from them?
If your concept, as applied to the "wealthy," doesn't also apply to the poor seller, (making it just a matter of scale), then the logic of your reasoning is unsupportable.
Well, let's put it into perspective. I have a produce stand. You sell milk. I buy from you, you buy from me. We have a reciprocal relationship. Bob around the corner has pigs and he has them butchered, periodically, in order to supply meat to the community. Betty has a flour mill and we all buy from each other. Again, a reciprocal relationship. We all have local people working with us. We pay them a fair wage and benefits. They use these funds to buy staples from their boss and their neighbors.
Joe, on the other hand, lives far up stream. He knows that our only water source is the river that runs through our community. He comes into town, throws a great deal of money around at the local elected officials and has laws put into place which allow him to dam the river, which name him as the only legal source for water other than what is naturally occurring in our area. Once the river bed in our area becomes dry he ships in the water, selling it at incredibly high prices. His labor force is made up of part time workers far outside of our community, with no benefits, paid a wage that it is almost impossible to survive on.
Now, no one can move. How long do you think it will be before the river bed of the economy dries up?Those producing have spent all of their money for survival. We have had to lay off our workers so they are making nothing. We, as a community, know Joe's considerable wealth has ensured that our politicians will not back any attempt to change the laws governing Joe's right to do business in the manner he is doing it. Do we owe Joe the courtesy of caring about his rights when ours have been so pointedly ignored?
You are changing the subject Live to Learn. Now you are talking about corruption, not the topic of whether the wealthy are morally obliged to contribute more to the support of the poor.
I'm afraid our current system is fraught with corruption. Is every rich person corrupt? Certainly not. But, there is ample evidence that many, many people who could be classified as rich who are not corrupt recognize an obligation to their fellow citizens and, their fellow man.
We can call it stealing, nanny state, socialism; whatever. But, the truth is the humanity within our society is showcased by how we treat each other. The rampant greed and selfishness displayed in our refusal to care about the less fortunate among us is on display to the world. It isn't pretty.
I have never met a single person who says anything like your post. The only complaints I hear are about rich people using their wealth to bend the laws in their favor.
I would say somewhat what the post is saying.
It started with
"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild.
Changed to: The Golden rule, he who controls the gold makes the rules.
Change to: Trump and billionaire club, we care to Control all Nations with oil and fossil energy, we keep printing the American dollar and war we earn the soils.
Good thing Trade and Gold is coming back everywhere else.
Some times I have to work odd jobs outside my business. From a teenager I made closed to double the wages compare to wages I take now. Wail cost of living was 1/0 the cost. Dam right! the wealthy are cheating the poor and the middle class are dying off like dinosaurs.
Screw Trump and his council and club of billionaire, they don't give a dam about the poor they don't give a dam poverty is the world's greatest killers.
Tell the religious, to stop being fruitful and multiplying to save everybody.
"the wealthy are cheating the poor"
Do they promise one thing and deliver another? Do they not pay for what they get?
How do they "cheat"?
Trickle-Down Economics" -- The Most Destructive Phrase Of All Time?
Our language is loaded with phrases that lead people into false beliefs and harmful actions. Trump is loaded with them more than ever.
President Reagan’s economic policy combination of tax rate cuts and some relaxation of federal regulations. They needed a catchy, easy-to-remember zinger to fire at Reagan; a line that would keep their voting base angry.
Reagan’s policies amounted to cutting taxes on the rich in hopes that some small amount of that money would eventually trickle down into the pockets of workers was perfect. It painted Reagan and other advocates of tax reduction as friends of the rich who would cruelly deprive the government of the money it needed to help the poor and middle class.
As a political slogan, it was a brilliant stroke.
The trouble is that it has led vast numbers of people into a disastrously mistaken idea about the source of prosperity – that high taxes and a growing government is the way to increase it.
There more ways for the wealthy to steal from the Government and us poor than we can imagine.
The "trickle down" economic theory is how the rich cheat? Following the tax laws or legally keeping what they own is "cheating"? Yet at the same time you say "mistaken idea about the source of prosperity – that high taxes and a growing government is the way to increase it.", which would tend to argue that neither is true. Confusion.
But the question wasn't how to steal from the government (claiming disability when you're not is one way, as is fraudulently getting food stamps); it was how the rich cheat the poor. Can you give examples of the rich cheating the poor?
A war economy for the wealthy to profit and poor to endure the slave wages. Trump & Monsanto controlling the food and drug administration the greatest killer of all. When military Troops and Justice system are the most Corperation employed in the World. When your security is larger than any group. You loose your security and your freedom. CEO made 25times more than average person in the 70s. Today CEOs make 450 times greater. And so on and on.
When a country is attacked and goes to war it is cheating the poor? Trump controls the FDA and that is cheating the poor? When you pretend that the military and Justice are corporations it is cheating the poor? A CEO earning market value for his services is somehow cheating the poor that do not have his skills?
You have a very, very strange definition of "cheating". And some really strange ideas as well (Trump controls the FDA, for instance, or that the military has filed incorporation papers.)
The political right in the US should avoid trying to make moral arguments. They simply make themselves look ridiculous.
Forget about justice, just get to the real arguments. These always circle around the notion that the weak should go to the wall and the strong should prosper. That philosophy came to the fore during the classical period of economics in relation to businesses. It was soon applied to people, despite some hand wringing from the churches.
It is also the way the animal kingdom works. The strongest lions get the lions share, the halt and the lame die in a ditch. Thus the species can thrive.
You can dress these arguments up a bit, of course.
For example, you can say, if we increase taxes on the wealthy so that we can cut taxes on the poor, or to fund education and healthcare, the rich will flee to low tax regimes and take their money with them, ruining the economy.
That kind of argument has a basis in reality.
"The political right in the US should avoid trying to make moral arguments. They simply make themselves look ridiculous."
You may be right Trying to explain to someone that stealing is immoral, when that someone is not only willing but eager to rationalize their stealing of what they want but don't want to pay for as "fair" IS rather ridiculous. Those that will take from others against their will don't care that their so-called "morals" are but empty words.
We can agree on this.
But, aren't many of the problems in America today the result of things being 'taken against our will'? We have had affordable medical care taken away from us against our will. It is not my will that a simple office visit, with no labwork involved, can run in excess of $500 dollars, even for someone with insurance. It is not my will that a small medical procedure can bankrupt a family. It is not my will that our government bailed out large international corporations while the American public spent years with 10% of its population unemployed due to poor business practices by these corporations. It is not my will that those who enrich themselves through fraud are given slaps on the wrist; while the Americans bilked by this fraud become impoverished. And, if we are being honest, it is against my will to spend billions of dollars and countless lives on a series of military actions overseas which are only going to make things worse, in the long run. It is against my will for our government to pervert national pride by convincing our young people that to participate somehow displays this national pride.
There are many, many examples of things being taken, against our will. Through corporate infiltration of our halls of congress. Those with no power to change, no real representation within their own country, certainly have the right to look at the inequities and attempt to determine the shortest route to alleviate them. These routes may not be the best, in the short run, but has the American public not, in the long ron, been shoved between the proverbial wall and hard place?
No one "took our medical care"; we just don't want to pay for what we want.
You don't get to set prices, and you certainly don't get to set them without regard to costs.
But you didn't list a thing taken from you. All the complaints about what current costs have nothing to do with anything being "taken". The talk about "inequities" isn't about something being "taken"; it's just a gripe that someone else as more than you do.
So what was "taken" - something you had but was taken away - against your will? You've said you're happy to pay current taxes (or even more), so what else is there?
Um, you do understand the difference between 'affordable' and 'none'?
Thank goodness no one in our country as NO health care. No insurance, yes - the lower tiers of ObamaCare assured that - but ER's are available to rich and poor alike. And if you're poor you don't have to pay for them, either.
So when you say you used to have health care and (somebody) took it away from you it isn't true. Bear in mind that you didn't have CAT scans, MRI's or the multitude of tests they now run - and that as you never had them they weren't taken away.
(I will agree that home visits were taken away, but that was by doctors and I don't think you can blame the rich for that. Unless you count all doctors as rich?)
I said affordable care and you are purposely choosing to ignore the affordable part. That's fine. You've repeated yourself already so we'll just leave it as that.
I used to have affordable care, too. My two children cost me $0 to be born. But the cost of health care went up and up and I began to have a deductible and co-pays. Both of which got higher and higher. Finally ObamaCare came into being and I lost any chance at all of having affordable care, even with insurance.
The question is "who took it away?" The doctors, covering the cost of malpractice insurance? Hospitals, covering the cost of lots of new and expensive equipment or by providing single bed hospital rooms that people demand? Clinics, playing CYA with unnecessary tests? Obama? Did I play a part by going to the ER when a clinic was all that was needed or by demanding a doctor when a band aid would suffice?
I don't see it as somebody "taking it away" - we the people simply priced it beyond our own means. We demanded more and more and more "care" but aren't willing to pay the cost of it. Our health care system is among the best in the world, and includes perks that almost no one else provides; we should expect it to cost!
I've said this before, but an example: last year we had a hospital provide for us a specialized CAT scanner. And the people to run it. And the people to interpret the results. On 20 minutes notice, simply because it was convenient for us. And when the test was done and we spoke to our doctor that already had the results we were offered non-emergency, major surgery the next day in that same hospital. No other nation can boast of such things and to think that that kind of thing doesn't cost is a fantasy.
(Just how many of those million dollar machines does that hospital have in it's bowels, anyway? And how many operators and radiologists? And that is only one of two major and more minor hospitals plus a plethora of clinics in a city of only a quarter million people!)
Picking any single aspect of where the divide between the wealthy and the poor are symbiotically connected is impossible to do as there are too many aspects that contribute to the argument. To our detriment our manufacturing segment has been sold out to foreign labor pools which has ultimately adversely devastated mostly our middle and lower class. While the jobs disappear and the wages remain seriously behind the inflation curve the divide gets wider and wider. To now expect the average American worker to go out and pay higher and higher premiums or living costs after having the rug pulled out from under them is foolish. On the other hand expecting those who have profited from these inadequacies in the economic cycle to now unilaterally make up the difference is just as foolish. You cannot possibly make the top 1% now make up for the years of wage earning neglect in one swoop of the law. Corporate welfare, insider trading by both the private and Congressional membership as well as too much one sided corrupt legislation cannot be made up overnight. This is a whole encompassing problem that one or two silver bullets cannot fix. The biggest factor holding us back from making any of the changes necessary to change this is ridding ourselves of the influence that is allowed to control it. The common man is not represented in this fight and until all are represented nothing will change for the better.
But the common man IS represented - it was the greedy search for ever lower pricing that sent jobs overseas. And he doesn't like paying the cost of that greed now so fights to force the "rich" to pay for his wants. With "rich" meaning anyone that has more than he does.
Who represents him? Perhaps Congressional corruption through lobbyist bribery is the culprit. Or is it the political parties who decide who runs and who doesn't? Maybe searching for the lowest price is a corner he has to find as his wages which are determined by the previous factors I mentioned have been mandated by those seeking higher profits? Its' not a simple problem as you suggest. Coupled with mindless and endless media dysfunction how is the common man figure in your equation? Unite? With the division perpetrated by the politics of deception and dirty tactics it is even more of a perplexing trail to fixing this.
Wilderness said US has one of the best healthcare in the World. It is sad that the riches Country in the World ranked 37th and among a few third world countries. Yet for prisons, wars and angels they are the best.
World Health Organization Ranking; The World’s Health Systems
3 San Marino
18 United Kingdom
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
36 Costa Rica
41 New Zealand
48 Czech Republic
Gee, Canada really sucks too, we dropped from the top ten to 30th place.
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