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Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:08 AM

So really ... what is wrong with redistributing wealth?

I, for one, don't believe that any one person should be able to tie up all that money in personal accounts. I think that there should be a cap on personal wealth (say $10M ... and I'm being generous) and anything above that the government should be able to take that money off of the person and use it to fund various government programs like rebuilding infrastructure, funding a nationwide healthcare system, education for the underprivledged etc.

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Reply So really ... what is wrong with redistributing wealth? (Original post)
chemenger Sep 2012 OP
ananda Sep 2012 #1
gollygee Sep 2012 #2
Duer 157099 Sep 2012 #70
gollygee Sep 2012 #77
haele Sep 2012 #79
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #85
Nye Bevan Sep 2012 #3
Major Nikon Sep 2012 #103
former-republican Sep 2012 #107
99Forever Sep 2012 #4
HereSince1628 Sep 2012 #5
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #15
CJCRANE Sep 2012 #20
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #21
kentuck Sep 2012 #26
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #33
kentuck Sep 2012 #37
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #41
kentuck Sep 2012 #48
Missycim Sep 2012 #54
theKed Sep 2012 #110
Missycim Sep 2012 #124
HereSince1628 Sep 2012 #87
CJCRANE Sep 2012 #30
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #34
CJCRANE Sep 2012 #42
theKed Sep 2012 #112
kentuck Sep 2012 #129
ChazII Sep 2012 #50
Missycim Sep 2012 #58
HereSince1628 Sep 2012 #81
cynatnite Sep 2012 #6
Avalux Sep 2012 #7
pampango Sep 2012 #8
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #9
Incitatus Sep 2012 #14
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #18
Missycim Sep 2012 #23
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #27
Incitatus Sep 2012 #38
Missycim Sep 2012 #53
dmallind Sep 2012 #59
dmallind Sep 2012 #55
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #28
Lightbulb_on Sep 2012 #44
dmallind Sep 2012 #64
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #25
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #36
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #43
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #45
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #47
Missycim Sep 2012 #61
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #62
Missycim Sep 2012 #65
Missycim Sep 2012 #68
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #86
Missycim Sep 2012 #126
kentuck Sep 2012 #131
Missycim Sep 2012 #133
kentuck Sep 2012 #140
Missycim Sep 2012 #142
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #91
Kindly Refrain Sep 2012 #135
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #137
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #141
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #144
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #148
virginia mountainman Sep 2012 #116
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #117
virginia mountainman Sep 2012 #119
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #118
virginia mountainman Sep 2012 #120
moondust Sep 2012 #10
slackmaster Sep 2012 #11
Missycim Sep 2012 #24
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #29
ChazII Sep 2012 #82
uponit7771 Sep 2012 #83
Skip Intro Sep 2012 #94
Skip Intro Sep 2012 #95
tama Sep 2012 #132
SmileyRose Sep 2012 #106
randome Sep 2012 #12
Risen Demon Sep 2012 #102
tama Sep 2012 #128
abumbyanyothername Sep 2012 #13
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #16
CJCRANE Sep 2012 #22
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #32
theKed Sep 2012 #115
Ron Green Sep 2012 #17
kentuck Sep 2012 #19
porphyrian Sep 2012 #31
kentuck Sep 2012 #35
porphyrian Sep 2012 #89
awwwsheet Sep 2012 #39
porphyrian Sep 2012 #90
haele Sep 2012 #40
hay rick Sep 2012 #46
kentuck Sep 2012 #51
loyalsister Sep 2012 #49
Cleita Sep 2012 #52
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #56
Missycim Sep 2012 #63
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #66
Missycim Sep 2012 #69
Marr Sep 2012 #57
reformist2 Sep 2012 #60
JesterCS Sep 2012 #67
ehrnst Sep 2012 #71
rock Sep 2012 #72
JackRiddler Sep 2012 #73
Yavin4 Sep 2012 #74
dmallind Sep 2012 #75
ErikJ Sep 2012 #76
One_Life_To_Give Sep 2012 #78
uponit7771 Sep 2012 #84
SickOfTheOnePct Sep 2012 #111
One_Life_To_Give Sep 2012 #134
chemenger Sep 2012 #80
GreenStormCloud Sep 2012 #88
TheKentuckian Sep 2012 #92
white_wolf Sep 2012 #93
former-republican Sep 2012 #96
white_wolf Sep 2012 #97
former-republican Sep 2012 #99
former-republican Sep 2012 #100
white_wolf Sep 2012 #104
former-republican Sep 2012 #105
white_wolf Sep 2012 #108
former-republican Sep 2012 #114
Zax2me Sep 2012 #98
DeSwiss Sep 2012 #101
former-republican Sep 2012 #109
DeSwiss Sep 2012 #121
L0oniX Sep 2012 #113
gulliver Sep 2012 #122
hughee99 Sep 2012 #123
greytdemocrat Sep 2012 #125
tama Sep 2012 #127
kentuck Sep 2012 #130
Missycim Sep 2012 #136
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #138
Missycim Sep 2012 #139
PowerToThePeople Sep 2012 #143
Missycim Sep 2012 #146
TBF Sep 2012 #145
LiberalFighter Sep 2012 #147

Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:09 AM

1. I can't think of a thing wrong with it.

But I can think of a lot of good it would do.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:10 AM

2. I don't believe in a cap on personal wealth

Just like there will always be poor among us, so there will also always be the wealthy.

But every government that taxes people and spends money redistributes wealth. Every government that taxes rich people and makes sure poor people don't starve does. When the Republicans say they don't believe in redistributing wealth, does that mean they think poor people in the US should starve? That the elderly should starve? Because that's what saying they're against redistributing wealth means.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:29 PM

70. Why is it axiomatic that there will always be poor among us?

Is it maybe because we accept that it is axiomatic?

(or is it because "Jesus" said so?)

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #70)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:18 PM

77. There will always be people who are unable to support themselves in any way

so unless they are supported by someone else, they will be poor. I guess it seems like common sense to me, but of course a government could be structured so that at least theoretically every person would have enough money to not be in poverty. I'm not sure how well it would work in reality.

I believe it to be the truth and you can just take it as my opinion if you wish.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #70)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:40 PM

79. Well, it's the nature of social hierarchy.

Defining poor and wealthy is where the vast amount of sticky differences exist. The reality of experiencing poor to wealthy in Sweden is quite different than the reality of experiencing poor to wealthy in Haiti.
Even the experience of poverty from the late 1950's to poverty now is significantly different in America - I observed from growing up in the 1960's that amongst my "generational compatriots", a poor child (even the "no indoor plumbing" poor) had a greater chance to achieve the success of a living fairly comfortable life with little outstanding debt and some savings to carry over into old age than a child that is growing up in the current definition of poverty, because the current child is required to go into debt just to "buy" most chances for that same sort of success that society invested in the dirt-poor child of the 1950's/1960's.
There will always be those who are poorer than most due to circumstance and opportunity, whether outside or internal to that person, just as there will always be those who are richer than most - also due to circumstance and opportunity. Not everyone can be a manager or a leader because there are not jobs for 1000 managers in an organizational production line that requires 1001 people working to create a product or service at a company. And not everyone has same the temperament, skills or ability to be a professional, to be a compassionate, attentive doctor, the confidence to do persuasive work in public as, say, a lawyer, the savvy to be a good salesperson, or even the strength and persistence to just to do manual labor or a precise and tedious desk job. Some people are best at a simpler hunter/gatherer existence, and there is no longer a frontier that they can escape into and make their own lives.

How we as a society deal with these inequalities, the personal economic and the production states, is what defines the experience of being "poor" or "wealthy".

There are some people out there that consider themselves wealthy because they are comfortable and secure, rather than rich. They may be making just enough to keep the roof over their heads and feed the kids, but to them, that's enough - they're not struggling and they're happy.
And there are those people out there who are mired in an emotional poverty they can't seem to buy their way out of, no matter how large their bank account is - and I certainly wouldn't consider those constantly needy people "wealthy".

Haele

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #70)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:07 PM

85. In any race someone will come in last.

Poor will always be defined as having less than most people. Being poor is a relative position.

I was raised in poverty. Childhood home (1946 - 1964) had no insulation, no phone, no indoor plumbing, rat and mouse infested, etc. I joined the Army and saw a huge improvement in my personal standard of living. Army food was far superior to home.

All of Dad's friends were almost as poor. Later, as an adult, I realized that all of those families had problems that caused their poverty. Some had too many kids. Some had booze problems. All were poorly educated and did nothing to try to improve their situation. (That was Dad's problem.) A few families were just down on their luck, but not many. One cousin was poor but he worked smart and hard. Today he is a rich rancher, but he started with nothing.

No matter what you do, there will be difference in people and those differences matter. Some will be smart, some stupid, some industrious, some lazy, some frugal, some wasteful and those difference will make some poor.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:11 AM

3. A "cap on personal wealth" would be just nuts.

I hope I don't need to spell out all the reasons why.

All that is needed is a fair, progressive tax system with no loopholes.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:51 PM

103. The biggest reason is the Constitution

I don't hold out any hope for a fair, progressive tax system and I doubt we'll ever see it in my lifetime. When Rmoney pays an overall tax rate that is less than some of the people he calls parasites, this isn't going to be fixed anytime soon and if it does get "fixed" the result will likely be worse.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:04 PM

107. yup

 

That's a hard one to pull off with the current administration or any prior one .

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:12 AM

4. Agree, but..

... realistically, it will never happen. Dynastic wealth is to blame for much of what is wrong, not only here in the States, but around the world. However, short of a Global revolution, it's unlikely to change.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:13 AM

5. Money is like manure, spread around it can help things grow

When it's left in a pile it's a great stinking polluting problem.

Wish I knew who said the original of that...

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:28 AM

15. even if that means printing more money?

 

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:44 AM

20. Sometimes that's necessary if money has been taken out of the economy

or if not enough cash or investment is coming into the economy by private means.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:47 AM

21. but doesnt that just lower the price of the dollar making it harder to purchace things when we print

 

money?

Wouldnt printing money just make the problem worse?

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:52 AM

26. What about the $2 trillion dollars taken out of circulation by big businesses...

which they are sitting on and refuse to invest? Is that still part of the equation??

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Response to kentuck (Reply #26)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:00 PM

33. so if you have money you must spend it?

 

maybe they dont have the right idea or something to invest in.

Would you invest your money into a bad idea? or would you hold onto it waiting for the right investment to come along?

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #33)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:02 PM

37. You can hold on to it, if you wish...

But you will pay a fair tax on it. And what is this capital gains tax rate bullshit? Really!

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Response to kentuck (Reply #37)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:11 PM

41. pay a fair tax on money you hold in your posession that you have already paid taxes on?

 

is that what you are stating? im a little confused.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #41)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:50 PM

48. That you paid taxes on?

Or someone else paid taxes on?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #48)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:10 PM

54. So in other words you think its right for the govt

 

to force people/businesses to spend their money? Not a very free country if you are for that.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #54)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:15 PM

110. Nobody's being forced to spend money

in that model. There is a strong incentive to do so, however, and that is how it should be. Incentives exist to encourage people to do the things we want, ideally what is best for society. If society - and in this instance I mean the "government" - decides it's in the nation's best interest for large sums of money to be recirculated through spending, then it needs to be more advantageous to spend than save large quantities. Changing capital gains taxes may or may not fix that, but there are ways to incentivize investing and would make investors, potentially, actual "job creators".

If you're going to argue that diminishes freedom, well, you need to start taking issue with a lot more things in your society than just that.

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Response to theKed (Reply #110)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 04:16 AM

124. Well if you offer tax cuts to goad people into investing then i am for it

 

but to threaten someone with theft of said money if they don't is something you don't do in a free society

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #41)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:21 PM

87. In Arkansas you've got to pay property tax on a car you already own and that is rusting away...

Why NOT pay taxes on investment income? It's income.

What makes financiers so special? oo! oo! I know the Answer to That One==LOBBYISTS!

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:54 AM

30. Not necessarily. The crash took $2 trillion per year out of circulation in the economy.

That's a big chunk of change.

So that's what the bailouts and stimulus and quantitive easing are for...to replace the money that's been sucked out the economy*.

*Don't ask me where the money went, that's for the experts to explain.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #30)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:01 PM

34. so when people hold onto their money we need a stimulus to replenish

 

those funds? all that does is lower the value of the dollar, it actually hurts more than helps in my opinion.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #34)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:12 PM

42. If we let the banks fail, the global economy would have collapsed

and we'd all be living in the dark ages again. So the banks and corporations were bailed out with taxpayers' cash.

So the cash they're sitting on is basically our cash. But now they've got it they don't want to invest it, so we have to come up with some other way of stimulating the economy. And that's where we are right now.

But there is still a huge demand hole in the economy compared to before the crash. If the corporations release the cash sensibly and invest in jobs and infrastructure, that shouldn't cause inflation, they'll just be filling the hole that was already there IMO.

I'm not an expert though, however US treasury bonds are considered a safe haven by global investors who have more faith in the American economy than they do in Europe's for example, which has followed the austerity path rather than the stimulus path.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #42)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:23 PM

112. Frankly,

IMO anything classified as "too big to fail" has no business being in the hands of private citizens. If an industry - for example, banking - has enough power and control that for it to go away would cause catastrophic damage to society as a whole it should be nationalized and controlled by the government.

Will this ever happen? Not bloody likely. Nevertheless, it really ought to be.

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Response to theKed (Reply #112)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:48 AM

129. But that might interfere with the freedom...

of everyone except the "too big to fail"...

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:53 PM

50. Here you go

"Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow"
-Thornton Wilder

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1787445

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Response to ChazII (Reply #50)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:14 PM

58. Yes this is a good idea

 

if you invest it in sensible investments, spending for the sake of spending is what got us in this mess in the first place.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #58)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 03:50 PM

81. Funding two wars by borrowing mostly from the Chinese is what got us in this mess

If you don't object to historical evidence, go look what the deficit was in 2001 when Clinton left office.

What happened? Cheney said Deficits Don't Matter...and so 2 wars and the Bush tax cuts later we borrowed ourselves into a terrific hole.

Because deficits ONLY matter if they can be used to beat up a Democrat that is in the White House.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:13 AM

6. I don't think there should be a cap on personal wealth...

I do think there should be tighter regulation for those with over a certain amount of wealth. I don't have a problem with wealth at all. I have a problem with how it's gained and how it's managed at the expense of those without.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:21 AM

7. This is an ethical question, depends on how you feel about your fellow human beings.

I believe there's plenty of money to go around, and those who have most of it (1%), should be compelled to share and help out those who don't. There are some who are philanthropic and do this, however most hoard it and want more more more (how much money does a person actually need?). As we know, these people are all about gaming the system and doing whatever they can to not pay their fair share; they take advantage of those who have less every chance they get.

Government's role should be to regulate amassing huge amounts of wealth through closing loopholes and ensuring these people pay their fair share; in a perfect world, that money would be used to help those who need food and housing. There should be no hunger or homelessness in this country.



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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:39 AM

8. BBC: Is redistribution a foreign idea to the US?

Mitt Romney, in the wake of his "47%" comments, told Fox News that government redistribution of wealth is an "entirely foreign concept" to Americans. Despite being factually wrong, he has hit upon a central reason why American politics can seem so very different to what happens in Europe, including in Britain. Specifically, conservatism here is very different from conservatism there.

There is a large section of the American right, indeed of the American people, which does not accept the grand central bargain of post-war politics across the other side of the Atlantic.

This is in contrast to Europe, where both main political traditions after World War II seemed to broadly agree that while Soviet Union-style socialism didn't work, capitalism if left to its own devices produced inequalities which if not softened could prove dangerous.

There has never really been the equivalent in the United States. While America certainly does have some redistribution of wealth via taxation, many on the right have always been vehemently opposed. Until a few months ago it was a core part of Mitt Romney's argument that President Barack Obama was leading the US towards a "European-style entitlement society".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19656323

Romney and others in the 1% would like for "government redistribution of wealth is an "entirely foreign concept" to Americans". Historically, they are "factually wrong". (I know. "We don't need no stinking fact-checkers here." )

I did not realize that romney was no longer using the "Obama is leading the US towards a "European-style entitlement society". We should be so lucky.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:57 AM

9. My thoughts

100% inheritance tax. Stop the generational oligarchy. Libertarians should even be able to get on board, as it truly makes people earn their own way. I am not sure how we would deal with the wealth while the robber-baron was still alive. Possibly 100% funding of basic needs and education through college level.

Also, Corporations should be dissolved after 100 years (the effective lifespan of the founders)

What I would also like to see are more employee owned corps, where dividends go to the workers, not some fat oligarch sitting in his 100mil$ NYC penthouse who has never worked a day in their life.

Well, what I really want is capitalism to die and replaced by socialism, but that is likely a more log term thing.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:22 AM

14. 100% ?

So you shouldn't be able to leave your house or car to your kids? There should be an inheritance tax, but I say make it progressive just like income tax and maybe 90% after a certain point but a 100% tax would hurt middle and lower class families

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:34 AM

18. yes 100%

If not, you would see another oligarchy, as exponential growth of the inherited wealth still occurs.

It's Arithmetic.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:49 AM

23. I do understand what makes you think someones property

 

is the govt's just because they die? If someone earned it lawfully he/she can pass it on (after a modest tax)to any person they wish.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:52 AM

27. Why does there need to be a modest tax to pass it on?

 

didnt the original owner already pay taxes on it?

wouldnt that be taxing it twice?

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:04 PM

38. Because it is still income for the recipient

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:06 PM

53. I am just saying that to be fair

 

but if I had my way there'd be no taxes on inheritances. YMMV

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Response to Missycim (Reply #53)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:15 PM

59. Why should unearned income be tax free when earned income is not? nt

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:13 PM

55. I agree with this surface fishing.

There should be no estate tax whatsoever. Abolish it completely.








Then replace it with a progressive inheritance or gift tax assessed against the person who was not the original owner and did not pay tax on it.

That should get rid of this bloody stupid double taxation canard/excuse.

Almost ALL money has been taxed before, many many times when it passes to another. People buy products from my employer using money they paid taxes on. I pay taxes on my income from them. My mechanic pays taxes on the after tax money I use to get a problem fixed and maybe he uses after tax money from that source to buy products from my employer again.

Why should somebody who did no work for money but just inherited it pay LESS taxes than someone who did work for it? I'm not pushing silly 100% rates here but the idea that inheritances are uniquely "double taxed" is pure buffoonish pseudo-sophistry

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Response to Missycim (Reply #23)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:53 AM

28. this is true, currently

What I am proposing is changing it.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:24 PM

44. Question..

 

Per your plan...

If my father starts a business and works it for his whole life, with me as second in command, and then dies...

Do I then become a government employee? Does the government become the manager of the store? Does my father have to liquidate upon news of his impending demise? What if he passes ownership to me when he retires but before he dies?

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Response to Lightbulb_on (Reply #44)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:23 PM

64. Wealth should be taxed on transfer, regardless of timing.

How much is the store worth? There is a sliding scale obviously. If it's worth very little you'll pay no or very little taxes just as you would on the same income from labor. If it's worth a huge amount you'll pay hefty taxes (again same as on a huge income), but given that the store is worth a huge amount because of its profitability, it will be easy for you to use it as collateral to pay off the taxes would it not?

Why should unearned income be taxed less than earned? Income from family members less than from the strangers who patronize the shop?

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:51 AM

25. So if you built up a company to support your family,

 

you would not want your children to be able to have that and keep it going to help THEIR future families?

You would put your family in harms way because there should be a 100% inheritance tax?


I would like to see more employee owned corporations, all they need to do is make an investment into their business to get is running. then they can reap all the benefits from starting it themselves. unlike starting out working for someone who made an investment, the investor gets to reap the benefits and not the worker.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #25)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:01 PM

36. It is not putting my children in harms way

as they will be able to take care of themselves. See the note about using funds to provide basic housing/food/education to all.

The issue is we need to kill the current oligarchy, we need to get back to

"All men are created equal"

again. This has never been true when wealth is inherited from prior generations.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #36)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:13 PM

43. so every American citizen should start out poor and see if they can make it?

 

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #43)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:26 PM

45. it depends what you consider poor

If you are currently wealthy, you would probably consider what I propose "starting out poor." If you are an average citizen, there likely wouldn't be much of a change. If you are impoverished, you may get a boost.

I do not have any real numbers, as this is just a mental exercise currently.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #45)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:32 PM

47. there are still a lot of bugs..

 

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #47)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:18 PM

61. Thats putting it very,very,very kindly.

 

I really don't want to say what I want to say on that idea.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #61)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:19 PM

62. say it, freedom of speech.... n/t

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #62)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:24 PM

65. Nope, I am trying to be nice today

 

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #62)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:27 PM

68. I just want to know why you think you or the gov't is

 

entitled to all of what I make over the course of a lifetime? I paid taxes and I choose to leave it to family or charity. I don't agree with a inheritance tax but I kind of understand that there'd be a small percentage going to the govt.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #68)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:09 PM

86. A person gained their wealth by

Last edited Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:47 PM - Edit history (1)

By either
-exploiting the natural resources of this world for financial gain or
-exploiting the labor (human capital) of the world for financial gain or
-exploiting the consumers of the world by overcharging for products/services rendered.
-or some combination of these.
This wealth was denied to those who rightly deserved it by those who kept more for themselves.
This was either done directly by those who profited or via proxy, through investments or corporations which sheltered the individual from having to do the deed first hand.

It is right for this wealth to go back to the commons, where it was taken from in the first place.

Now, if you are talking about cash/physical property you saved throughout a lifetime of laboring and bootstrapping, then I have this to ask:

Do you not see that by your statements, you are supporting the very power structure that the oligarchs wish to maintain? Do you not see that they want you to fight for your right to hold onto your pittance after death? Because it supports their extreme hold over all of the world, even you and your future inheritors of pittance.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #86)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

126. You labor under the delusion that all wealth is ill gotten.

 

1. If a business makes a product that isn't harmful to the environment you first point is moot.

2. You have to believe in Marx (which I don't) Labor in and of itself isn't the end all be all, like Heinlein said, "all the labor in the world doesn't turn a mud pie into a apple tart" Labor has to be directed, an owner of a business has an idea/product and labor makes that product. I am all for fair pay and beni's but they don't warrant the whole pie.

3 Your third point is very hard to pin down, some believe any profit is evil so if you charge more then breaking even you're a soulless beast. If you make 10% on your investment that's not exploiting anyone. No one forces you to buy most products.

Its none of my bushiness (or yours) what someone does with their money as long as they earned it lawfully. Pay a small tax when you pass it on to whoever you want. I don't want their money or need it.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #126)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:04 AM

131. What a load of misguided nonsense.

"..but they don't warrant the whole pie."

How much of the pie do they warrant? That is a very good question.

Of course, nobody is going to buy a mud pie. But they may buy all the apple pies you can bake? You may bake them yourself or you may hire people to help you bake them. WIthout the labor, a lot of people will not have any apple pies? How much is that worth? Well, that is up to the owner of the pie factory, isn't it?

You say, "Its none of my bushiness (or yours) what someone does with their money as long as they earned it lawfully." That depends on a lot of factors. Does making money affect the rest of us? The air we breathe or the water we drink or the good roads we drive our cars on or even the price of other goods, if that person decides to manipulate the marketplace. Yes, we have a duty to control your business. Our country has taxed the people, as it is needed, since the Revolutionary War.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #131)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:17 AM

133. Well aren't the

 

businesses taxed to pay for roads? or the EPA to control what they do to the environment? Just because they have an impact on this world doesn't mean you deserve all of their profits.

Again you and a lot of others think its one end of the spectrum or the other, I don't think that way. Yes workers deserve a fair wage and benefits but they don't deserve it all. Corporations need to be taxed fairly, not punitively. We can argue till we are blue in the face on what constitutes fair. Now I am going to move on because we aren't going to get anywhere, so have a nice day.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #133)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:27 AM

140. "...doesn't mean you deserve all of their profits."

Who said they deserve all their profits?

And can you name one business anywhere where labor takes all the profits??

I would think 50% to the workers and 50% to the owner of the business might be a fair equation? Have a good day.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #140)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:28 AM

142. But if the workers get half of the profits

 

don't they have to pay also for the expenses of running the company as well?

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:45 PM

91. You are trying to go against evolution. Nature will win, you won't.

We are shaped by hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Parts of our brain are hard wired because those who didn't share that hard wiring didn't survive as well as those who did. We are mammals and mammals have been around from the beginning of the dinosaurs, 230 million years ago. All mammals care for their young. For that matter so did some dinosaur species. So do modern birds. It is part of our DNA to try to give our personal DNA that is in our children a head start over everybody else's DNA. That is just the way nature is.

People will always want to give their own personal children a better edge than everybody else's children. If you try to block them from doing that, they will revolt. They will accept giving everybody's child a good chance, but they will still want to help their own kids.

The above is a general statement. There will always be some individuals that depart from it, but the masses won't.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #91)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:34 AM

135. Society and civilization go against evolution

 

If there weren't governments dictating how people behave there would be a lot less people on the planet right now.

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Response to Kindly Refrain (Reply #135)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:17 AM

137. Society and civilization do NOT go against evolution.

Humans are a social species. You missed the entire point that everybody wants to care for their own children more than for the neighbor's kids.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #137)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:27 AM

141. If that is the case

why does anybody adopt a child?

I believe your statement is false.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #141)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

144. I previously stated that there are individual exceptions.

From my my post #91: "The above is a general statement. There will always be some individuals that depart from it, but the masses won't."

What I said holds for the general rule, but not for everybody. If you try to force everybody to not try to give their own child an advantage there will be a revolt.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #144)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:38 AM

148. if you try to enslave a population of over 300,000,000

there will be a revolt.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #9)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:11 AM

116. So, let me get this straight...

When I was orphaned at 17, you would TAKE everything my mother and father worked for and even MY HOUSE, and property that I lived in, and when they died it passed to me???? Effectively leaving me homeless with nothing to my name?

How in the HELL is that fair????

If something god forbid happens to me and my wife, you would do the same to MY kids?!

What the hell dude!!

And for clarification, I came up in VERY modest household, all I got when my parents passed away WAS the property and belongings, and $2,500, and that was IT.

What you propose is NOT "the way to socialism" but a way to make people extremely angry, and resentful.

And in truth, at that time, I was under an amazing amount of stress, and almost completely alone, anyone coming to "take' what was rightfully mine, would have met a well aimed load of "00" buckshot from my fathers 12 gauge pump shotgun.

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Response to virginia mountainman (Reply #116)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:23 AM

117. that is a good point

I was more thinking of extreme wealth passed on. Not putting a minor out on the streets. So let me amend my initial statement of 100% to 100% over some threshold (100k, 200k?)

Certainly not millions or billions.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #117)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:44 AM

119. Good!

I am glad you saw the potential for extreme harm in your idea. As for my views, I am for a "robust" tax, but you must also realize if you make it too extreme, the rich will do as they always do, find ways around it... Like giving large gifts and such, as they get older, so that when they die, technically they will be penniless.

Folks in my neck of the woods already do that...A few years before "ma and pa" need to go in the nursing homes, everything they own is quietly put in their kids or even their grand kids names. So that when they do go, their will be nothing for the nursing home or hospital to take.

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Response to virginia mountainman (Reply #116)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:34 AM

118. also, if you read my post

The moneys from the inheritance tax would be used to supply food/housing/education expenses for all. No one goes without.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #118)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:48 AM

120. Yes but...

I already had that, why take it, then give it back to me?!?

My parents made certain that I would be taken care of to the best of their ability, that was THEIR responsibility. Just as my wife and I are doing for our kids.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:00 AM

10. It's actually a good thing.

TPTB never should have allowed this much inequality to develop but their personal greed is way out of control so that's what we got. It's not altogether new since their ancestors once slaughtered Native Americans and kept slaves and before that serfs to satisfy their uncontrollable greed and egotism. Perhaps one day their spawn will pay the ultimate price for all that greed, though that may be a long way off.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:04 AM

11. What you described isn't redistribution. It's confiscation by government.

 

Our federal and state governments are granted the power to levy taxes, and charged with the responsibility of providing services. They don't have the authority to impose a cap on personal wealth.

If they did, there would be nothing to stop them from gradually lowering that cap as they take more power away from individuals. It's all fine until they decide YOU are too wealthy.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:51 AM

24. +10000

 

nt

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:54 AM

29. +1,000,000

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 03:58 PM

82. +100

thank you. Your common sense is appreciated.

I have it so that my son receives benefits when I pass away. I receive about $800 less a month in retirement so that he will be taken care of. For other DUers, why should the gov't get money that I earned instead of of my son? I should have the final say in what happens to my money.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:04 PM

83. Going by your INITIAL logic the government will NEVER go after the non wealthy...this statement

...makes little sense, all of the "you" can't be in the 1% meaning as long as you're no where near it you're ok

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:36 PM

94. +100. A Libertarian friend put it in the form of a question:


What power given the government (given, because the power of the government is bestowed upon it by the people) allows it to take money from the person who earned, and give it to someone else?

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Response to Skip Intro (Reply #94)


Response to Skip Intro (Reply #94)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 09:04 AM

132. The power

 

to create money and structures that give money power over people (police, army etc. monopoly of violence). Funnily enough, that makes Federal Reserve the real government of USA.

But what did libertarian Jesus say about money? To emperor what is emperors.

Ok, what about land then? "Private owners" were not able to steel the land from Indians without government standing army. And private landlords feared nothing more than democracy when drafting Constitution, because democracy aka "mob rule" could never accept that one person "owns" the land while many children are hungry.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:04 PM

106. thank you

Well put

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:08 AM

12. Greed IS human nature. It's the truth.

Even if the 'money clock' was somehow reset and all of us started with the exact same amount of money and resources, people would find ways to accumulate more than their neighbors.

I think the single, most important attribute of human beings is they want attention. To stand out in some way. For many, the easiest way to do that is through the accumulation of wealth.

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:46 PM

102. +1000

Truth in that last paragraph. It's imbedded in our genetic code to try to stand out in some way. To feel superior in one way or another.

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:42 AM

128. Two wolves

 

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:14 AM

13. If it were not for the administrative nightmares . . . .

a net worth tax would be the way to go. I once calculated that all of government at every level could be funded with a net worth tax of less than 10%. Of course it is very difficult to get people to declare their assets which is what would be required to make such a system work.

In the absence of a net worth tax, shifting the entire basis of taxation to land would lead to a more egalitarian society. Google Henry George for some interesting late 19th Century thought on the relationship between land, taxation and poverty.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:30 AM

16. the only problem I can see is that

 

you will get SOME people, not many, but SOME will take that money and not work a day in their life.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:49 AM

22. That's a separate issue...

I think you're taking about a guaranteed wage.

The OP is taking about a maximum wage.

"SOME will take that money and not work a day in their life"...there are plenty of peope today who live on inherited trust funds and never work a day in their life.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:58 AM

32. right but those people are only taking money from their relative who left it for them.

 

they are not taking money from the people who really need it.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #32)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:29 PM

115. That's

just shifting the taking back a generation, though. Somewhere along the line of wealth there was someone taking money, and people that needed it.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:30 AM

17. The "free market" tends to redistribute wealth

upward. It's OK for government to balance this tendency.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:34 AM

19. I think this is an excellent topic...

I think it is time Democrats stop being shy about this subject. Yes, we support a capitalist system but not a bunch of cannibals.

They are reporting on the Forbes 400 this morning. The Top 5 have over $200 billion in wealth. That is obscene and should be called that by every thinking American. Would we prefer to see our country go under or see these fatcats stuff their pockets even further?

And lets get away from this nonsense about the "Clinton rates" of 39%. Let's start at 50% and work from that point, up or down, if more revenues are needed. Name-calling by these folks like "socialist" and "redistribution" should be seen as the nonsense that it is.

Politicians in Washington, of all stripes, should be put on notice. Don't go writing more tax breaks for the wealthy and decide which side you are on - the fat cats or the people's?

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:57 AM

31. The people with it don't want it redistributed. n/t

 

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:01 PM

35. Yes, if we look at the middle class...

We see it is shrinking. That wealth is being "re-distributed" to the top. It's all OK as long as we re-distribute to the top but something terribly wrong if someone at the bottom improves their station in life?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #35)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:34 PM

89. That's not my position, that's the position of many of the wealthy.

 

I've been poor enough to understand that $100 is nothing to someone who regularly has thousands of dollars of disposable income, but seems like a fortune to someone who is broke (it may as well be a million dollars if you have none). I've also been around enough to know that many people who only have two dollars to their name are more likely to offer a stranger in need a dollar than many rich people are to allow someone to short them two cents, even if it was an honest mistake.

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Response to porphyrian (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:05 PM

39. well thats common sense

 

If You dont have someting that someone else has more of, you will want them to share to make things equal.

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Response to awwwsheet (Reply #39)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:35 PM

90. And the people who who have a bunch of it don't want to share it at all. n/t

 

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:10 PM

40. Nothing, It's actually very beneficial to the wealthy to redistribute wealth through taxes -

Money in circulation through taxation (wealth redistribution) allows the government to fund jobs that are not available in the private sector, common education and infrastructure, (amongst other beneficial communal services) in an even-handed, non-discriminatory way (far more based on individual merit) and creates more long-term value and revenue to both individuals and communities than charity or direct giving does.

These activities are investments that create more money, fund innovation, and stabilize communication and delivery resources for everyone. This in turn creates more wealth within a communal structure, which in a long cycle, ends back up into the bank accounts of the wealthy, giving them a long-term source of money for them and their children.
They may not have more money "today", but in ten/twenty/fifty years, that investment via taxes leaves them and their heirs with some serious return in dividends - a stable wealth stream.

The evidence is staring them in the face - it took 30 years for the "wealth redistribution" investments of the 1940's through the mid 1980's to wither away via supply-side (voodoo) economics, when it took just about seven years for those investments to build up a economic machine that ensured some base of opportunity for prosperity for just over 75% of the population back in the late 1930's/early 1940's, and a form of stability for the other 25% that could allow for their children, if not them, to at least be able to dream of attaining economic security and could be better off than the parents. Keynesian economics worked until it was vilified and pretty much torn down to bare bones during the mid-1980's.

When all the wealth begins to be redistributed to the top and just sits there, as what historically happened prior to the 1930's, the cycle becomes much shorter, and even though the wealthy see a short-term "boost" in their wealth, there is no base for that wealth to continue to grow from, and it begins to actually lose value as the customer and production demands that determine that value shrinks.

If you don't have customers, your business fails. If you're a small entrepreneur and you don't have customers - because the majority can't afford your product, can't get to your business to purchase your product, or don't have the energy and means to know your product even exists, you fail.

So, wealthy people who anthropomorphise money - by pretending "your money" can create more of itself without a broad and increasing customer base to demand goods and services, you are cutting your own throats and stealing from your children and your later years to party with today. Money only has value if it can get out and grow; if you keep it to yourselves, it can't, and it stagnates and eventually dies - leaving you with billions of dollars of worthlessness.
And then, all you'll be left with is no way of paying to protect yourself from the millions of un-employed people you made surplus or redundant while you played your self-centered "survival of the richest" reality TV world. I guess you think it's worth it so long as tonight, you get to "party on" in the (as Steven Colbert so elegantly put it) the Russian F*** Pit in your Olympic-sized pool tonight with the few-dozen of your money's friends that can stand to be around you for any length of time.

Haele

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:28 PM

46. The problem with redistribution of wealth is it needs to be reversed.

In 1971, the top 1% received about 8% of all income, and by 2007, that number had increased to 23%. The top marginal tax rate in 1971 was 70%. It is now 35%. If this isn't redistribution, I can't imagine what is. The omission of these basic facts from the discussion of "redistribution" is an indictment of our media and both political parties.

Characterizing Democrats who would restore the 39.6% top marginal income tax rate for top incomes as socialists might be appropriate as a taunt during recess in middle school but is simply embarrassing when it surfaces in discussions among informed adults.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #46)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:56 PM

51. Morons only think in one direction...

Re-distribution can only go downward and is not considered re-distribution when it goes upward.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:52 PM

49. I think it's the language as opposed to the actual concept

To some I think it had s ring of communism. Some consider it to be the exact opposite of capitalism as opposed to a system that includes some systems that sensibly contribute to the well being of the 47% etc....

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 12:56 PM

52. Government doesn't necessarily have to take all of it.

They should be able to give half of it to family members and friends who aren't rich. Sort of a real trickle down. The point is that they can't keep anymore than the cap or ceiling and when said family or friends reach the cap they have to do the same so it spreads around the populace. I have thought about this a lot and think it's more in our nature to live this way. After all in functioning hunter and gatherer societies, the able bodied men and women hunt and gather. They bring it all back to the village to share with everyone, the children, the elderly and the handicapped.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:14 PM

56. Lots of "new" posters on board with this thread

Did we hit the Capitalists/Oligarchs/Robber-Barons right where they are most vulnerable with this line of discussion? Too many low numbered posters on board here, we brought out the trolls imo.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #56)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:22 PM

63. You aint ringing up the post count either,

 

so please don't judge.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #63)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:25 PM

66. I wasn't talking about you, but

I have been here for over 8 years, thank you very much. Stayed on DU2 for a while, but finally came over here.

17 posts, 1 post, 21 posts. There are several brand new posters in this thread.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #66)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:28 PM

69. Ok sorry but I really dislike

 

this automatic suspicion of anyone with a low post count. I am no troll but I tend to disagree with people in certain areas here.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:14 PM

57. We redistribute wealth in the extreme, but most of it goes *TO* people like Romney.

Government bailouts of various types, government contracts... we are very heavily into wealth redistribution here. We just don't often do it to benefit anyone other than the 1%.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:15 PM

60. If there aren't enough jobs to go around, giving people money is a moral imperative!

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:25 PM

67. in the rich's eyes

They want to give less of the fortune they have, and want to tax more of the common-man for what they already dont have.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:34 PM

71. American culture has a very narrow circle of moral outreach - always has.

Other countries think of 20-30 people in their family, Americans generally think of less than 10.

That's one reason universal health care is a hard sell. People want to take care of "their own," and sharing anything outside the tribe (be it race, religion, rural/urban) is taking away from the tribe.

Other countries with extensive social programs tend to be more racially and religiously homogeneous, which makes their circle of acceptance bigger.

Just an explanation, not an excuse.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:42 PM

72. Collecting great wealth is anti-social

It's pathological and perhaps even schizophrenic. It's one thing to be greedy, but to get to the point that no amount will satisfy you, shows a mental disorder. I agree with excessively progressive taxes.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:44 PM

73. To answer your question, it's what all governments do.

They redistribute wealth. The current one in the US is redistributing it to the rich.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:55 PM

74. I Don't Believe in Caps on Personal Income

There needs to be incentives in our society for people who make and build goods and services that improve the human condition. The problem today is that the incentives reward fiancial parasites like Romney instead of people who create clean, renewable energy that benefits us all.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 01:58 PM

75. Depends on how you do it.

Absurd fantasies of financial equality among all walks of life rely on humans who have both perfect altruism and perfect work ethics - an impossible state even as an aspiration. If surgeons made the same money as parking lot attendants who would do choose the former?

Similarly caps on wealth are harmful too. There is nothing wrong with being successful and seeking further success, especially as that further success may come from truly beneficial entrepreneurial activity.

But redistribution on a sliding scale to the benefit of all is absolutely fine, absolutely workable, and quite realistic. Heck it's pretty close to achieved in some Northern European nations.

Few basic principles needed even:

1) Health care provided to all from common funds, as efficiently as possible (we don't need 9 MRI centers in a town of 45000 people as I saw in my last home). Forget basic humanity if you like - this removes the biggest obstacles to labor mobility, entrepreneurism and equal competition among companies of different sizes and locations.

2) Education likewise, with seats assigned purely on academic merit. Not everybody needs to be a PhD - but the ones who could do the best by being one may not be the richest applicants.

3) All income taxed equally. Work for it, invest for it, get it from rich uncle, gamble for it or whatever - same tax rate

4) Tax rates vary progressively, with zero below poverty level, X% up to modest income, X+5% up to decent income, X+10% up to middle class, X+20% up to upper class and X+40% in the very rich segment. The barriers are beyond my actuarial knowledge but guesses would be 0 to 17k 10% to 30k 15% to 50k 20% to 100k, 30% to 250k and 50% thereafter. Nobody ever pays more than half, so always incentive to make that extra milion or billion.

5) Everyone is guaranteed a minimal subsistence income - yep even if they never work a minute in their life. Not pleasant, barely comfortable, but survivable. The more effectively and efficiently goods and services are produced, the fewer people are needed to do them. The less capable, less industrious and less fortunate need to survive even if they are no longer needed to produce. If you think living on a subsistence income is pleasant, feel free to be one (a lot of the self-proclaimed producers see this as an intractable weakness, but when I hear a 40 something guy whine about people who prefer to live on welfare than work, I have to wonder how economically unproductive he himself must be to not have that choice himself from savings. I am far from wealthy but I could quit tomorrow and live in welfare-level squalor for decades. I don't. I wouldn't want to. Who would? Paying somebody, say, $1000 a month if they don't work does not give them a great lifestyle choice that would make an otherwise potential middle-income earner say "sure I'll settle for that!". It does give the desperate underclass a roof and food though.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:03 PM

76. Thom Hartmann's limit is one billion $ cap.

FDR threatened the rich with this cap idea in the 30's to scare them into accepting a higher tax rate which eventually was 94%. He said (roughly).." there are lots of commuinists out there ready for revolution and guess who they'll go after first? so the choice is yours."

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:19 PM

78. Goodbye NFL, NBA etc.

Tom Brady and Payton Manning love to play. But do you really think they are going to push themselves nearly as hard throughout the year when playing just for fun? Are we going to enjoy the games nearly as much kn owing each player is there only till they hit the magic number?

If your employer came by and said you could produce X or X+10, either way your pay is the same. How much would you produce?

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #78)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:05 PM

84. Most of them are NOT in the 1%, that's how bad the knowledge of income in the US is....

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #84)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:18 PM

111. What do you believe the income threshold is

to be in the top 1% of wage earners?

Most NFL players most certainly are in the 1% of wage earners.

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #84)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:28 AM

134. $770,000/yr is not in the 1%?

Over an average 3.5yr career thats $2.5 million.

Although the biggest impact wouldn't be on the average. But stem from the quick loss of anyone whom people would learn to identify with the sport. As all of the stars would cap out in short order.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 02:48 PM

80. What I don't know is ...

is all that money the wealthy stash away in offshore accounts (or whatever they do with all that money of theirs) in or out of circulation???

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 04:29 PM

88. Very little personal wealth is in cash accounts.

Most of a rich person's net wealth is in assests, such as land, equipment, patents, copyrights, etc. I have a cousin that is a rich rancher. (He started out poor.) While he could buy a new car for cash is he wanted to, cash assests form very little of his wealth. Most of it is in land that the cattle are on, then in cattle, barns, equipment, other ranch animals,etc. While you could force one rancher to sell, or one industrialist to sell everything, if you try to force all of the business owners in America to all sell at once, there would be no one to buy, prices would plummet to next to nothing, and you would have very little cash to redistribute, and you would have completely destroyed the economy.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:05 PM

92. Nothing, an economy exists to distribute resource. If there is no movement then the economy fails.

Now, that isn't to say I agree with your maximum wealth concept but I feel ya.

My thought is a maximum differential from highest paid to lowest, including stock holder payout. You can pay your CEO whatever you like and payout whatever dividends you feel fit to, just keep in mind that means paying the cleaning lady a substantial chunk.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:32 PM

93. Well ideally I'd like to see capitalism itself abolished, but in the short term...

I fully support a cap on personal wealth, at the most being 1 million. If you can't live on that then you really need to talk a look at your lifestyle, because somethings wrong there. I also support a heavy inheritance tax. I don't have a problem with things like houses being passed on but wealth needs a heavy tax over a certain point.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #93)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:52 PM

96. So the government would confiscate anyones money that has liquid over 1 million ?

 

wow

There's probably countries that do things like this to people, confiscate property , bank accounts etc...
I bet it's a country you wouldn't want to live in.

When you give a few people that have that much power under the penalty of arrest or imprisonment.
Power corrupts my Friend.

This country would become a dictatorship. I don't think that's what you want.

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Response to former-republican (Reply #96)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:55 PM

97. We already tax people, this would just be an extension of that.

It doesn't require a dictatorship. However, it is necessary to prevent the entrenchment of a plutocracy. Something drastic has to be done, our economic system as it is, is broken. Small reforms here and there aren't going to fix the problem. It needs major changes.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #97)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:02 PM

99. Revamping the tax code would be a start

 

The IRS tax code was lobbied to be this way.
That's why it's 5000 pages or more.
That's insane

It written specifically for loop holes to avoid paying taxes for the ultra wealthy and the corporations.
Both parties are at fault for that.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #97)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:05 PM

100. And also remember

 

You are trusting the same few people who did this to the tax code to confiscate pretty much all the wealth in America.

bad plan..

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Response to former-republican (Reply #100)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:55 PM

104. I'm not trusting the "same" people to do anything.

I don't expect any real change to come from our government as it is. We will have to get a whole new group of people in office far more left-leaning than what we have now. Furthermore it will require action on the streets with protests and strikes to force the capitalists to make these concessions.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #104)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:59 PM

105. Modern revolutions never end well

 

Why...

because the most powerful left standing gain control of everything

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Response to former-republican (Reply #105)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:06 PM

108. I haven't actually proposed revolution in the sense of violent overthrow.

I am realistic and accept that someday future generations might decide it is necessary and that is their right to overthrow a government they view as unjust. However, I'm hopeful that socialism can be achieved democratically and peacefully. However, the proposal I mentioned wouldn't require a revolution, these are merely reforms. Major reforms to be sure, but still simply reforms. They could be accomplished via elected actual leftists and putting pressure on the government through strikes and protests.

Your line about modern revolutions could easily be applied to historical ones as well so I don't think it is all that accurate to say modern revolutions are doomed to fail, they could succeed if the right conditions are in place, but I don't think they are right now.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #108)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:28 PM

114. It won't be in our lifetime or your children's but I believe

 

you will see a one world government one day that hopefully exists to serve all of mankind.

Not just the select few.

Kind of like the Federation on Star Trek

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:59 PM

98. Goodbye Clooney, Tom Hanks, Stephen King, John Kerry....

 

Or at least their money and mansions.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 10:18 PM

101. ''So really ... what is wrong with redistributing wealth?''

Not. One. Damned. Thing. The current system's only justification for existing at all is that this is always the way it's been since everyone who is currently on the planet right now -- got here. That's it.

- In Nature, things change and evolve, or they disappear........

K&R

"I don't understand why we have to pay to live on the planet we were born on. I mean it's such a simple question. But can anyone answer that? Why does anyone have to pay to live on the planet they were born on? Ask yourself that question. And who are we actually paying for the privilege to live here? Who decided this? Who made "them" the boss? Who put "them" in-charge?" ~Alex Collier


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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #101)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:10 PM

109. You can go back to Native Americans

 

They thought it the strangest concept when we asked them to buy land.
How can someone own the earth they said.

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Response to former-republican (Reply #109)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 03:08 AM

121. Another ancient Indian proverb says:

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."


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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:23 PM

113. Depends on whos wealth it is.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 03:25 AM

122. I think it is all about recirculation

There's a great book called "Gardens of Democracy" that talks about it. Keep the money circulating. For example, the government redistributes/recirculates Social Security money. It goes to the recipients, who then spend it. That spending pays salaries, some of which go to Social Security, etc...

And I don't think there should be a cap on wealth any more than I think there should be an arbitrary cap on the government budget. I do think there should be a large inheritance tax for vast wealth. Overall though, whatever money flow promotes the best everyone has to offer is the best flow, imo.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 03:46 AM

123. If the goal is to raise revenue for those things you outlined

then raise taxes and fund them. The government SHOULD collect taxes for those things it deems necessary. The proposal to seize personal assets beyond a certain point just because it's not fair is, IMHO, doesn't make any sense. If you can do all of those things without having to do this, what's the problem with someone having $20 million in a personal account?

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:08 AM

125. Yikes!!!

Thank you for your concern, comrade!!!

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:39 AM

127. The whole frame is misleading

 

Money-as-we-know-it is not wealth, it is artificial scarcity and organized crime.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:54 AM

130. If the horses don't poop, the sparrows don't eat...

paraphrasing John Kenneth Galbraith.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:06 AM

136. So whats to stop someone from making up to 10mil and

 

halts making any more? There goes jobs or investing money in other companies. Heck if 10mil was the cap, i'd make right up to that amount and just not bother to make anymore. Why bother if all of it is going to go to the govt? Again there should be a fair and progressive tax rate but taking all above a certain amount is insane.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #136)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:24 AM

138. Don't take offense, but

I will venture to guess that you will never have 10mil in assets during your lifetime. So, the point is moot.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #138)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:26 AM

139. no offence taken,

 

now answer the question? If you put a Income cap on someone, why would they want to make any more then that? That's where this idea falls flat on its face.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #139)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:29 AM

143. I was not

advocating a wealth cap. OP will have to answer this. Mine idea was a tax on the generational transfer of that wealth.

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #143)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

146. oops my bad :D

 

I got you guys mixed up.

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Response to Missycim (Reply #139)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

145. Who cares?

I could care less whether you want to make more or not. I hear that argument all the time - "what motivates me to go to work if I can't make $$$?". Why don't you ask your lawn boy? My guess is that he goes to work because he wants to eat.

It's the dumbest excuse for ending capitalism that I've ever seen.

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Response to chemenger (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:37 AM

147. Having higher taxes is similar to that.

Years ago, there were 20 to 30 tax brackets and the highest was about 90%. There is some incentive to making as much as possible but there is also a point that making more is not worth the effort. This in my opinion would also increase wages for everyone else because the rich are not trying to take all the money for themselves.

Having higher taxes would be better than "taking" the money.

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