When Large Corps Cause Social Harm - Shouldn't They Pay For It?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image91
    My Esotericposted 3 years ago

    In other forums, Seattle's "head tax" was brought up as gov't overreach to willie-nillie tax those who can pay it.  (I am still thinking about it.)  But the Seattle city council had a reason - a reason that my sense of justice finds compelling.

    It goes like this: As more and more high paying (to execs, that is) large corporations come to a city, one of the unintended consequences is skyrocketing home prices.  With increasing cost for housing due to the benefits from having a large corporation in your area is an increase in homelessness because citizens can no longer afford to buy homes or rent apartments.

    What the city council wants these large corporations to do is pay for the harm they cause to the poor even though they raise the standard of living for some others.  Seems right to me.

    This explains it better than I just did: http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/13/news/co … index.html

    1. profile image0
      promisemposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Try watching a person in poverty go through a trial with a court-appointed attorney who spends five minutes preparing for the trial.

      We have a capitalist system of justice in this country. Rich people and corporations get easy treatment when they break the law. Poor people don't.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Knew one young man subjected to an illegal search and seizure.  Unfortunately, that part of the charge required a challenge within 90 days and his court appointed attorney took a year to speak to him for the first time.  As explained by the attorney, yes, the seizure and charge was illegal but the system was designed to prevent a challenge by anyone not rich enough to provide their own lawyer.

        1. profile image0
          promisemposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          I saw someone get represented by a court-appointed attorney on two felony charges. The attorney was so bad and so unprepared that I wasn't surprised at the outcome.

          It opened my eyes about the problem. The court-appointed system is unjust.

          Since then, I have heard other people who also have been burned by the system say that you should sell whatever you own to get your own attorney. They are right.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            On this we can agree.  Adequate representation is almost totally missing for those that can't buy their own, and if they can afford it the cost of that representation will pretty much be everything they own.

            1. My Esoteric profile image91
              My Esotericposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Public lawyers are funded by the State and the more conservative a State is, the less interested it is in helping somebody who is presumed innocent prove they are innocent (rather than the state proving they are guilty).  Unfortunately, those more liberal states that put more money into their public defenders are also home to huge populations which end up overwhelming the public defenders office anyway.

              The problem, as I see it, is public attitude.  My wife's family are your typical rural conservatives.  A couple of nights ago at family dinner the conversation turned to this topic.  Bottom line is, save for my wife and I (and not even her so much) the attitude was "if they got arrested, their probably guilty because the cops wouldn't arrest an innocent person.  I think one said the person had to have done something wrong to catch the attention of the police in the first place.

              I know that worldview is ubiquitous (I love that word) in America and it makes me very sad.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                I really doubt that liberal states are putting more money (adjusted for living costs) into public defenders...per accused they defend.

                Yes, I see that attitude (arrest = guilt) all too much, and it really is a sad thing.  In effect it is the hanging mob all over again - laws and the whole concept of justice is left on the wayside.  I'm not very happy with our whole justice system, and that's just a part of it.

    2. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Are you assuming that the poor were always there, but owned a home (or rented an apartment) before the big corporations came to town but since has lost that home or apartment due to rising prices? 

      I would highly doubt that - Seattle has been growing for a long time, and it has taken decades for prices to rise to where they are now.  But Seattle is also pretty well known for providing free housing (they have spent millions and millions in doing so) - it is quite probable that the city itself created this problem with it's generosity.

      But no, a corporation offering high paying jobs (that result in rising home costs) should not be held responsible because a landlord or homeowner raises the price of their lodging.  That is nothing more than another case of deep pockets being required to pay "because they can".  It is also extremely short-sighted, and is already seen with Amazon stopping construction on their new headquarters in Seattle because their labor costs just went up some $20Million per year with the new tax. 

      If you want to blame (and tax) someone, how about blaming the landlord that raised the rent or the person that paid more for their home than it sold for a year ago.  Maybe anyone earning more than the average wage for the city in 2008 - if you take that money away they can't afford to live there, won't immigrate for the high paying job and prices won't rise.

      Government has a very strong tendency to bury their head in the sand when it comes to consideration of negative consequences of their tax plans - to pretend that the only result of raising taxes, will be to gain the city (county/state/country/whatever) more money.  It isn't true, but they've been doing it for generations and don't seem capable of learning that it isn't all golden egg; that eventually the golden goose will simply pack up and leave.  Or fight back somehow.

      1. MizBejabbers profile image91
        MizBejabbersposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        "That is nothing more than another case of deep pockets being required to pay "because they can"."
        "If you want to blame (and tax) someone, how about blaming the landlord that raised the rent..."

        Wilderness, your third paragraph shows that once again you know nothing of what you speak. When an area comes up and housing prices rise, for whatever the reason, the property taxes take a jump with it. Then the landlord has to raise the rental rates to keep up his profits (to which he is just as entitled as the big corporations), or just break even, whichever. Also, many of the elderly who've owned their own homes are just getting by on retirement and often can't afford to keep up with these taxes so they lose their homes for unpaid taxes.  Fortunately some states have "homestead tax" laws that hold the line on property taxes for homeowners, but not all do. There is no ceiling on property taxes for rental property, and the landlords have no choice but to exercise their right to raise the rent.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          To hear someone so knowledgeable about basic economics blame the supplier of high paying jobs - because of those good jobs - for the ills of the city (and it's poor decisions) is confusing.

          Guess such common knowledge is only available to the socialists among us that blame everything on the people that feed us all, and will do their level best to drive such evil away.  Seattle is a great example of such excellent reasoning - "If you're going to support our people, feed, house and clothe them, we want either to be paid enormous sums for doing such evil or you can just get out!"

          (You might look at some of the statements from Seattle officials, where they say exactly that.  That large companies will be charged "because they can afford to pay.")

      2. My Esoteric profile image91
        My Esotericposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        "Are you assuming that the poor were always there, but owned a home (or rented an apartment) before the big corporations came to town but since has lost that home or apartment due to rising prices?  " - YES. That is the essence of what Seattle is basing their tax on.

        Do I know it is true? Yes. I watched it happen in Northern Virginia where I lived.  In this case, due to the housing bubble in the early 2000s, housing prices skyrocketed in the DC metropolitan area (as well as in many places elsewhere in the US) people were forced out of their houses because they couldn't afford the property taxes (and I think Prince William County even lowered theirs a bit to help) any more.  It became a crisis that was only alleviated with the Great 2008 Recession.

        Rents also became affordable due to the boom in beltway bandits spreading to the suburbs.

        That also happened to a friend of mine in Las Vegas during the same period.

        That is what is happening in Seattle.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Property tax - you realize that you're saying the city saw an absolute boom in taxes collected, but went right on collecting them?  Never changed the rate people were charged as home values went through the roof, so were taking in double or triple what they actually needed.  And it's reasonable to blame the corporation paying high wages for that malfeasance?  I don't think so - was it prop 13 in California that put a stop to that nonsense?

          But rising rents/homes - the town of Ketchum, Id., where Sun Valley Resort is located, has had a problem the last couple of years.  It has become a town for the rich - movie stars and such - to the point that housing is completely out of reach for normal people.  The result is that they can't get help for the ski area, can't hire store clerks or anything else.  No one can afford to live there and the commute is out of line to anywhere reasonably priced.  They've been decrying the situation for a while now, and I think I heard that the town was going to kick in for ski area help.  I have a hard time feeling bad for those people that can't find help to operate the grocery store, the gas stations, etc.  Even the people that were forced out made a killing when they sold their homes (Outside the resort I don't think there are hardly any rentals); they just moved their life elsewhere, but the super rich that remain have made themselves a problem.

          1. profile image0
            ahorsebackposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            The problem the left has is comparing ALL  wealthy people to the "limousine rich" toads  that sit in mansions like the above or in Hollywood and destroy micro-economies like "Ketchum's "and there are plenty of those , while most rich are entrepreneurial , actual creators and  builders of wealth and infrastructure within the economies that they inhabit .

            1. My Esoteric profile image91
              My Esotericposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              I would argue that "most rich are entrepreneurial" is not true, especially if they inherited their wealth.  What statistics do you base that on.

              What I have observed is just the opposite.  In terms of a Venn diagram large circle X is ALL RICH people.
              Large, non-intersecting circle Y are ALL NOT-SO RICH.  Intersecting both circles is a third small circle Z which represents ALL ENTREPRENEURS.

              1. profile image0
                ahorsebackposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                So the alternative ?   Wealth redistribution because some people know better how to use another's wealth ? They don't deserve or know how to use it to others approval it , so I do ?

              2. profile image0
                ahorsebackposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                So wealth doesn't just appear like snow flakes on the front porch ,  someone earned it , someone built that ,  someone whether they had it handed to them or not somewhere created that wealth .    Was any of  it "stolen "? No , highly unlikely .     I believe large corporations create more prosperity , more jobs , more positive accomplishment that average individuals do and so deserve more leeway than not .    Corporate social harm ?  What , like Face Book , Twitter or  Exxon and BP ? It is generally the human element OF any corporation that causes the "social " harm .   So the individual responsible , if anyone , should pay .   

                We're not good in America at holding individuals accountable and  all too often naively look to the object as the "cause  all " for social ills .  When we DO find an individual responsible for some sin , we too often let them off easy .

          2. My Esoteric profile image91
            My Esotericposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Actually, I did say "and I think Prince William County even lowered theirs a bit to help". PWC is where I lived at the time.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Didn't mean Ketchum lowered taxes - as far as I know they didn't.  But to keep the "city" alive I understood they were subsidizing the wages of ski area workers.  And maybe others, though I hadn't heard.  They've also talked about building special housing for workers there, again subsidized by the city, but don't know if that ever happened.

              They aren't trying to make housing cheap enough to live - they're trying to get low wage workers.

              Where I am taxes are set by need of the county/city, not just property value.  If property values in general rise then the tax rate automatically falls in order to keep taxes collected the same.  Sounds like Seattle just went ahead and collected more taxes instead of what was needed.

              1. profile image0
                ahorsebackposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                This tax scheming plan by many states and localities is a farce ,  property taxes alone are driving people of little income especially older people , from their lifelong  homes  . Ranches , family farms ,classic ,  large, old , now popular and thus valuable homes and properties in new england and beyond are demanding sometimes ten - twenty thousand dollars a year in property taxes .

                And we the "sheople" keep avoiding the obvious .   We ARE right back where we started in 1776 , under the very tyrannical reign of taxation without representation .

  2. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 3 years ago

    Leave it to the social re-engineers to shame / blame the rich guy , Fact of the matter is rich people carry with them to the top of the ladder the "poorer " employees , the subcontractors , the private contractors , the surrounding community business' , the coffee shops , the repair shops the car dealers , the colleges  the fast food joints , the five star hotels , the bars .............

    Who doesn't get a free ride to the bank when corporations move to town ? Name one !  The realtors ? The home builders ? Day care owners ?  The only "corporations" who "hurt " the societies they reside in are perhaps government employers  they are the real  phony incomes , pensions , polluters , and taxers ...............who's gross product is simply a living made from the very pockets of the employees who work there .

    Yet ,check out Edgemount  SD.  a broke town , dirt  streets and alleys , a dying community .  Why ?     The military munitions storage facilities have closed down .  Leaving the people with out jobs ,  Empty government buildings , dead end jobs and lives . Low home values ,  Veterans and ex civil service employees who have moved elsewhere .

  3. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 3 years ago

    One thing for sure , As long as liberals put on their *Patagonia fleeces  the *Keen hiking boots ,* L.L. Bean forever dry hiking shirts and brimmed hat from Viet -Nam  , jump into the Honda Prius and head for the foot -beaten hiking  trail around the pond they are as guilty of the worst offending corporation on earth of "causing social harm " .

    Get out your check books kids , it's gonna cost us all .

 
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