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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:06 AM

DU POLL: Do you think there should be a cap on how much wealth one individual can accumulate?

Last edited Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:43 AM - Edit history (1)

I think there should be a cap on wealth accumulation, we used to do it through taxation, but that has eroded.

No society IMO can function for the whole of the citizenry when outlandish accumulation of wealth occurs. And, over time, the wealth will grow to incredible levels, much as will poverty and the have-nots.

It's a game rigged against the majority. The 21st century has to be about more than whom can create the most wealth. If not, we probably don't need to worry about the 22nd century.

Hence, I vote yes.




80 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Yes, accumulation of wealth should be capped.
19 (24%)
No, accumulation of wealth should not be capped.
61 (76%)
Yes for them, but not for me.
0 (0%)
Why worry when we're all having such a good time.
0 (0%)
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Reply DU POLL: Do you think there should be a cap on how much wealth one individual can accumulate? (Original post)
RKP5637 Nov 2012 OP
bowens43 Nov 2012 #1
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #2
RoccoR5955 Nov 2012 #3
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #5
HooptieWagon Nov 2012 #51
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #4
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #6
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #8
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #11
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #13
Doctor_J Nov 2012 #32
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #37
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 2012 #78
XemaSab Nov 2012 #39
guardian Nov 2012 #73
Nye Bevan Nov 2012 #7
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #12
dynasaw Nov 2012 #9
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #10
MNBrewer Nov 2012 #14
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #16
madokie Nov 2012 #15
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #19
madokie Nov 2012 #24
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #17
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #20
gollygee Nov 2012 #23
Javaman Nov 2012 #25
Faygo Kid Nov 2012 #29
Walk away Nov 2012 #33
Initech Nov 2012 #81
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #88
WillyT Nov 2012 #83
ieoeja Nov 2012 #109
99Forever Nov 2012 #18
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #21
slackmaster Nov 2012 #22
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #26
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2012 #36
RoccoR5955 Nov 2012 #63
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2012 #27
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #28
geckosfeet Nov 2012 #30
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #31
IDoMath Nov 2012 #34
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #49
IDoMath Nov 2012 #68
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #104
IDoMath Nov 2012 #108
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #110
PD Turk Nov 2012 #35
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #53
kossp Nov 2012 #38
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #50
gravity Nov 2012 #40
redqueen Nov 2012 #41
PETRUS Nov 2012 #45
redqueen Nov 2012 #47
PETRUS Nov 2012 #52
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #59
Hoyt Nov 2012 #42
Motown_Johnny Nov 2012 #43
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #102
RomneyLies Nov 2012 #44
leftstreet Nov 2012 #46
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #48
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #56
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #65
Kaleva Nov 2012 #57
RomneyLies Nov 2012 #86
Cary Nov 2012 #54
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #60
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #55
Stand and Fight Nov 2012 #80
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #58
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #61
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #62
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #66
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #75
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #87
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #77
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #85
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #100
Whisp Nov 2012 #64
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #69
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #67
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #97
closeupready Nov 2012 #70
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #95
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #71
yurbud Nov 2012 #72
Zorra Nov 2012 #74
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #93
MADem Nov 2012 #76
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #92
Agnosticsherbet Nov 2012 #79
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #91
Stand and Fight Nov 2012 #82
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #90
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #84
B Calm Nov 2012 #89
eridani Nov 2012 #94
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #99
mainer Nov 2012 #96
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #98
Blue_In_AK Nov 2012 #101
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #103
mainer Nov 2012 #105
B Calm Nov 2012 #112
mainer Nov 2012 #113
B Calm Dec 2012 #115
larkrake Nov 2012 #106
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #107
arely staircase Nov 2012 #111
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #114

Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:10 AM

1. yes, absolutely

if not that then every thing over a certain amount should be taxed at a rate of 100%.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:14 AM

2. I think taxation would probably be best. If we continue to allow the

incredible accumulation of wealth we might as well wander in tribes, because the gap will grow to incredible extremes. We will become as in the old scifi movies, peasants in the forests and caves while extreme wealth dwellers are the controllers.

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:21 AM

3. I couldn't agree more

Back in the 60s, the top tax rate was 91% and the rich did okay back then. We need to get them off of their welfare program asap.

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:39 AM

5. Yep, I recall it as being more balanced back then, and there were lots of extremely wealthy

people doing just fine. This, now, is a runaway system. Most citizens will start life with not even a ghost of a chance of true wealth accumulation of even a modest amount given today's yardstick. It is, we have Wealth Welfare. And they want everything without paying their share.

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:15 AM

51. Not quite.

Shortly after taking office, Kennedy pushed through lowering the top rate from 91% to about 70%. So, most of the 60s had that lower top rate. Just a guess, but probably few paid that rate. Sports and entertainment people made far less money then, and CEO salaries were more in line with worker incomes than now. So probably only a few Rockefellers, DuPonts, Henry Ford, and the like paid the top rate.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:22 AM

4. ‘The people do not own the land. The people do not control the land.’ NT

 

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:45 AM

6. Accumulation of wealth, no. Income, yes.

I have no problem with someone who has slowly and steadily earned a fortune (provided it was earned without victimizing others). But when you have CEO's who are now making nine-figure salaries, they're doing it at the expense of their employees and shareholders. And they're using that wealth to protect their interests at the expense of the rest of the country, as in Citizen's United.

Make me your king, and you'll see a 35%, 50% and a 75% tax rate. Because I'm a goddamed corporatist, I won't even go as far as that Notorious Lefty, Dwight Eisenhower, and create a 90% tax bracket. Because that's how I roll.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:52 AM

8. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head as to what I was trying to state. I too have no

"problem with someone who has slowly and steadily earned a fortune (provided it was earned without victimizing others)."

It's the rigged game today. I worked in too many corporations where the elite cornered the wealth while the rest of us worked our asses off. They lavished stock on themselves and incredible benefits, and HR was guilty of doing the same for themselves. It was a rigged game to benefit those that had manipulated the company, and those companies are all gone now, but the riggers still have the wealth. It's a bullshit game.

And many of the CEOs today are crooks that have come to realize great wealth can be made in the corporate games and in this deranged capitalistic system we have it's legal and oh sooo good.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:56 AM

11. And the corporate boards who approve those insane salaries?

Are typically CEO's from other corporations. So the back scratching goes on and on -- meanwhile Hostess goes out of business and the union takes the fall.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:02 AM

13. And, the elite at Hostess want bonuses too. A reward for destroying

the company and to stay on to liquidate the company. In my book they would be serving prison time.

What a corrupt BS system.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:44 AM

32. Yup. 90% tax on income over, say, $50M

close all of the loopholes, and track down tax shelters like Rmoneys'

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:56 AM

37. We don't lack the resources...

We've just allowed the plutocrats to "opt out" of the system.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:21 AM

39. word

n/t

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:27 PM

73. Does that include lottery winners? n/t

 

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:45 AM

7. YES! If the value of your house rises beyond a certain level, the Government should confiscate it!

Cool idea!

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:57 AM

12. It would need to be refined ... speaking more of rigged manipulative wealth, those gaming the system

which erodes the country for the majority.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:53 AM

9. Depends How Wealth is Accumulated

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Response to dynasaw (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:55 AM

10. Yes!!! Excellent point! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:04 AM

14. The cap should be on how much can be passed on to relatives

a progressive "death tax" would be a very good thing.

Cut the head of the aristocracy.

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Response to MNBrewer (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:09 AM

16. Yes, definitely for outrageous wealth building useless aristocratic empires that

are parasites on the majority.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:07 AM

15. How anyone can say no is beyond my comprehension

It will never be right for one person to accumulate so much wealth because they learn how to game the system. When we have those who can't provide a roof over their heads or food for their stomach it should be wrong for those with the wherewithall to continue to make if rougher on those lesser of us.
How is it right for a family like the waltons to continue to rake in the doe hand over fist when they already have more money than they'll ever be able to spend. They could do things differently so that they aren't putting such a bind on so many due to the higher than necessary prices on the cheap shit they sell plus the lost jobs due to their business model that so many others have copied. The end result is the rich keep getting richer and the poorer keep getting poorer. It is not right!

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Response to madokie (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:18 AM

19. I was surprised too! Basically a no is saying we like the rigged system for the 1% and the

rest are happy peasants.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:29 AM

24. Your sig line says all that needs be said

for how I live my life.
I hope the time never comes that I can agree with the NO's

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:09 AM

17. Not capped. Properly taxed.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:19 AM

20. Yes!!! If I were to do this poll again I should have said taxed rather than capped. n/t

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:27 AM

23. +1

agree completely.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:36 AM

25. +1000! nt

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:41 AM

29. +1001.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:45 AM

33. Absoutely! I lean to the left and I believe in a 100/1 earnings ratio.

People should be able to accumulate as much as they want but if you make more than 100 times the average worker you should be paying a seriously progressive tax.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:18 PM

81. Yes - the "job creators" need the shit taxed out of them. It's way past time to end the free ride!

Hey - here's another group that ought to be taxed - churches!! They make billions a year and pay zero. If we taxed churches, the billionaires, and windfall profits we could have a balanced budget in two years!!

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Response to Initech (Reply #81)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:37 PM

88. Yep!!! n/t

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:30 PM

83. Yep...



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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:08 PM

109. Taxing wealth would lead to even more concentration of wealth into fewer hands.


First, let me remind everybody that we already have some forms of a wealth tax. I pay roughly $13,000 a year in property taxes, for instance. Now, back to my subject line:


Lets take, for example, me.

I am a millionaire on paper. I own a rundown house in Chicago. I am buying a nice apartment that I rent out at a slight loss. And the biggie is that I recently inherited a 240 acre farm.

Wealth
-------
House worth $350k (even if it is falling down; literally at certain points)
Farm worth $850k
Equity in apartment ~$100k
Estimated Total Wealth = $1,300,000

Lets say you tax that at 10%. Then my annual tax liability would be $130,000.

Income
--------
Job $100K
Farm $8k
Apt $21,600 (mortgage is roughly $22,200, but that doesn't matter to the IRS)
Total Income ~$130k

Believe it or not, I did not do the math before I started writing this. I knew my income would not let me pay a 10% wealth tax, but I didn't realize my gross income currently exactly equals.

Obviously, I can not afford to keep my wealth at even a 10% tax. So I have to sell my property.

Who can buy my $850K farm then pay the $85k annual tax? Someone who can afford the tax ($85k-8k = $77k loss).

Fine. The farm that has been in my family since the 1840s is now gone. What about that house? Can I afford $35K a year in wealth tax? Yes. But that would be quite a hit. In fact, at even a low 10% rate, I wouldn't see the point of owning the house. I might as well find an apt.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:15 AM

18. Dynastic wealth is the problem..

.. not simply wealth itself. A cap on inheritance would do more good.

Of course, neither will happen, and even if they would, the greedy would find a way to game it, because as you noted, it is rigged.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:20 AM

21. +++ 1,000 +++ n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:26 AM

22. Attempting to cap wealth accumulation would be a slippery slope

 

Once government has the power to confiscate assets over a designated level, it is inevitable IMO that the level would be lowered when government decides that it "needs" more money or that there are still people whose accumulations of wealth are the cause of societal dysfunction.

Taking from the rich is all well and good until they decide that YOU are too rich.

Automatic DU Rec for a naive, terrible idea.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:40 AM

26. I would suggest it is done via taxation, much as it used to be? n/t

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:54 AM

36. It's like the alarming call of many on DU of late advocating

for restrictions on speech, it's all well and good when your views aren't the ones being suppressed so just wait until someone decideds you have a little too much more than the next guy. Give me the liberal back in Liberal, please!

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:01 PM

63. The government already has the power to confiscate assets

If you are arrested. Why not if you accumulate over a certain amount?
I guess people here would have no problem if one person owned, let's say, the state of Texas, or the Island of Puerto Rico. This is unbelievable. Nobody should be allowed to own that much.
Not only should it be given back to WE THE PEOPLE, but there should be a relatively high inheritance tax on upper incomes.

I honestly do not know how one could accumulate lots of wealth honestly, without exploiting others, whether or not they wanted to be exploited. Perhaps someone could explain that concept, because I am either too stupid, or too dense to grasp it.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:40 AM

27. No, but it should be fairly taxed.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:41 AM

28. Agree! Capped was a wrong word choice by me. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:42 AM

30. No limits, but income tax rates should increase in proportion to wealth.

And interest income would need to be on a progressive schedule as well.

This would effectively limit wealth accumulation if done properly.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:43 AM

31. Yes! This is the way to do it IMO! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:47 AM

34. Yes but we lack a good way to determine the cap

 

The cap should be based on some fraction of the overall economy which is hard to nail down because our current economy lacks a basis in reality. Our current economy is based on "confidence" instead of something tangible.

In general we should consider that an economy is very similar to an ecology. It has similar properties to engines or circuits. Wealth is the equivalent of energy in an economy. If too much wealth/energy is horded by one individual the entire system can suffer. But we don't know the overall energy of the system or the amounts necessary for effective functioning so we have no good model for deciding where to place that cap.

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:13 AM

49. Well said. Also, rather than cap. I should have said taxation. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:07 PM

68. An effective tax would prevent anyone from exceeding the cap but that is even harder to craft

 

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:43 PM

104. We could do modeling for it with effective systems, computing power and 'what if' scenarios. The

problem I see, sadly, is even if the best methodologies were devised wealth, power, politics and policy have merged in this country and often rise to the top, so there would be great resistance and manipulative efforts against it ... I have no idea how it would become policy in a rational and logical manner.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #104)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:01 PM

108. If you can find the research funds I'm in

 

I've been wanting to develop that modeling system for a long time.

I don't see it as 'what if' scenarios. I see our laws the same way I see laws of physics. They are interacting forces - If we can model complex fluids, why not and entire economic/legal system?

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Response to IDoMath (Reply #108)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:09 PM

110. Exactly!!! This can be solved! In the big picture, this is a very solvable problem. It's

pretty much all mathematics! Research funds, I only wish!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:47 AM

35. No

But we need to have a national discussion and revisit the laws and regulations pertaining to how wealth is accumulated.

It shouldn't be an "anything goes" environment

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Response to PD Turk (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:16 AM

53. I see that as a root cause for many of the problems today, as you said, ""an "anything goes"

environment.""

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:18 AM

38. No.

 

The government shouldn't be in the business of telling citizens how much wealth they can accumulate, but the wealth should be taxed at a progressive rate as more wealth is acquired.

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Response to kossp (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:14 AM

50. Yep!!! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:22 AM

40. As long as someone made their wealth fairly

and paid their taxes, they should be able to make as much as want.

We should focus on making sure the poor and middle class are better off. Attacking wealth is counterproductive.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:28 AM

41. Wealth is power.

I would say I definitely lean toward yes.

Somewhat related, and very good:
http://www.outlookindia.com/story.aspx?sid=4&aid=280234

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Response to redqueen (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:04 AM

45. Uh Oh! Sorry, 404 Page Not Found

Where should that link take me?

Thanks!

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:10 AM

47. Dang. It is an essay called 'Capitalism: A Ghost Story' by Arundhati Roy

I edited this link from m. to www. but I thought it would work...

http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx?sid=4&aid=280234

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Response to redqueen (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:15 AM

52. That link gets me to the piece.

Much obliged!

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Response to redqueen (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:34 AM

59. Very interesting essay! Thanks! Here's one paragraph I took with me ...

"Capitalism’s real “grave-diggers” may end up being its own delusional Cardinals, who have turned ideology into faith. Despite their strategic brilliance, they seem to have trouble grasping a simple fact: Capitalism is destroying the planet. The two old tricks that dug it out of past crises—War and Shopping—simply will not work."

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:51 AM

42. Don't think there should be a cap, but a wealth tax might make sense.


The idea that you only pay taxes -- a contribution to society -- on money you earned in a calendar year is bull. Accumulated wealth should also be taxed each year. Don't know the parameters right now.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:52 AM

43. no, but there should be much higher tax brackets for much higher income levels

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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:30 PM

102. Yep! Definitely!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:52 AM

44. Nope, no cap on anything

 

to be truly free, you must be free to acquire as much as you are able to.

This assumes you actually want to acquire it, too.

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Response to RomneyLies (Reply #44)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:07 AM

46. The Minimum Wage is a cap on working class wealth

so remove it?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:13 AM

48. It's not a cap.

It's a floor.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:22 AM

56. Yep. And I don't believe in a floor without a ceiling. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:04 PM

65. What.... You never seen a patio?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:26 AM

57. Minimum wage is a floor and not a cap

Remove the minimum wage and the floor drops down into the basement.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:46 PM

86. Minimum wage is not a cap.

 

Minimum wage is the floor, not the cap.

I swear, I don't know where people get off trying to always redefine terms around here.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:20 AM

54. Progressive taxes and estate taxes are the answers

We just have to overcome "conservative" propaganda again. It's a never ending battle.

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Response to Cary (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:38 AM

60. Definitely!!! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:21 AM

55. Yes. Concentrated wealth causes less freedom...

 

No employee should be able to make more than 10-times the salary of his lowest-paid employee.

All income above 10 million should be taxed at 100%.

The estate tax should be 90%. Pulling yourself up by your own umbilical cord is no reason to leach off the wealth of the society.

Owning large tracts of land and not doing anything with it should result in an automatic seizure and used to develop things that benefit the community.

The only argument you'll get when you propose ideas like this is: "MAH FREEDOM! MAH FREEDOM!"

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:16 PM

80. Comrade indeed. n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:32 AM

58. Not as such. As has been pointed out previously, the key is to severely restrict the capacity to

 

accumulate generational wealth. Money has to circulate to keep the economy moving. Progressive taxation of all income and very, very high inheritance taxes are necessary to keep that cycle going.

The great irony of this method is that it does inevitably lead to everybody doing better which leads to everybody doing better. That cycle leads to ever greater rewards for creativity and innovation, which further fuels the cycle.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:42 AM

61. What I see is that formula has been broken, in past decades it worked quite well, but now

accumulation of vast wealth is often used to game the system, not necessarily to benefit society.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #61)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:54 AM

62. The formula is fine, it's the system that's broken.

 

Is it irony that the system was broken in response to the modest reforms of the 1930's?

The politicians of that day blocked investigation and refused to prosecute the very highest crimes, including literal treason, because they were committed by some of the most powerful people in America, leaving them free to continue to commit crimes and consolidate power through WWII. They came out of that war unimaginably richer and more powerful in a devastated world that lacked any means to oppose them.

Still, the system could be re-created I just don't see how it could be implemented given the circumstances.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:05 PM

66. Today, the tentacles run deep, and somehow, sometimes, those with nothing are led to believe they

are just temporarily embarrassed millionaires, that their wealth is just around the corner, so they want the absurdly wealthy to get more wealthy ... deluded into thinking it's helping them.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #66)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:30 PM

75. Right again. I've read here on DU that $9.75 is a good job.

 

We cling to our delusions and fantasies with such fervor, many of us actually believe that faith is sufficient to change reality. We have such a long way to go, it can be quite discouraging.

What's that saying, pray to God, but row away from the rocks?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #75)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:35 PM

87. I often think some are so disillusioned, even if they don't realize it, that they need to turn to

something they feel is more powerful than their lot in life ... but some will crash into the rocks.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:41 PM

77. Talk about the founding fathers - Many in favor of a severe estate tax

In some ways the American Revolution was more about getting away from the corrosive power of old money than it was about escaping a monarchy of a state church.

I have nothing against a person being very successful monetarily through their hard word, superior intellect, charm, strategic thinking, investing insights, or any other means that includes a level playing field.

Inherited wealth is a huge problem. It is the aristocracy that causes most of our problems.

Allow the rich to pass on enough so that their next generation doesn't live in poverty. I don't even have a problem with passing on enough to help the next generation get started with their own business, such as Bill Gates Sr. did for Junior.

But beyond that either put it to a charitable purpose or else give it back to the state.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #77)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:44 PM

85. That's it exactly. Huge fortunes are a severe drain on the economy. Ours

 

is big and robust enough to accommodate them for a time, but once a fortune reaches the critical mass and becomes self-perpetuating it must be expire with the person that accumulated it. This applies to companies as well.

I think Carnegie is a good example. He was the richest man in the world (and a world class bastard as well) and rather than pass his fortune on, he spent the majority of it building free public libraries across the nation, a legacy that still benefits the nation today. Now, he did it to buy his way into heaven, but the motivation is irrelevant. If someone doesn't want to give almost all of their fortune to the government they hate, let them go an a building spree, have a philanthropic orgy, adopt a city, whatever, as long as most of that money goes back into the pool.

Eliminate all differentiation of income, make companies/corporations mortal with an expiration date, institute a confiscatory inheritance tax for great fortunes, and force Wall Street back into an investment model. Take these steps and we can begin to realize the ideals that we claim to aspire to.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #77)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:28 PM

100. Yep, allowing endless inherited wealth contributes to empire building often those empires having

little interest in the success of the majority and the country, unless it affects their wealth. And those empires become, in effect, countries (so to say) to themselves.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:03 PM

64. there is a cap to being poor - you die

 

from lack of health care, lack of proper food and shelter.

so yeh, there should be a ceiling too as there is a definite floor.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #64)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:08 PM

69. Those in desperation are often not seen in this country, the media paves over them for the most

part. We are living a tragedy, but it's an unreported story for the most part.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:06 PM

67. No. But income and income from accumulated wealth should be taxed fairly with no loopholes. nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:15 PM

97. I think that's the best way to approach it, through fair taxation that benefits all. And riddance of

the endless loopholes!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:11 PM

70. No, just bring back progressive taxation. Eisenhower

had no problem taxing up to 91% of income. We've flattened income taxation, and we need to move in the other direction. Do that, and wealth will distribute itself more equitably.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #70)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:12 PM

95. Exactly!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:16 PM

71. Wealth should be taxed and at a pretty high rate,

but there should not be a cap on the accumulation of wealth.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:22 PM

72. I would be happy with a fair tax system that treated all income the same with Wall St gambling

taxed at AT LEAST the same rate as showing up for a job, if not higher.

I would also like politicians who want higher taxes on the rich to start calling those who oppose it what they are: spoiled crybabies.

Would a few more percent in taxes make them sell a house or a car or pull their kids out of an elite prep school?

No.

I suspect those who most oppose raising taxes are those who deep down feel they have no talent and no means to replenish the family fortune if it gets taxed down and financial chicanery is made more difficult since they weren't the once who amassed it in the first place--it was their fathers, grandfathers, or in the case of the Bushes, great great great grandfathers.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:29 PM

74. Here is an interesting take from Thomas Jefferson that is relevant to this topic.

Seems like the US is becoming somewhat similar to France just before the French Revolution. This letter was not written to James Madison, the statesman, but rather, to Rev. James Madison, TJ's cousin.

Thomas Jefferson Letter to Rev. James Madison

Fontainebleau, October 28, 1785
snip----
The property of this country is absolutely concentred in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not laboring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers and tradesmen, and lastly the class of laboring husbandmen. But after all there comes the most numerous of all classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are undisturbed only for the sake of game. It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be labored. I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable, but the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree, is a politic measure and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment, but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.


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Response to Zorra (Reply #74)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:10 PM

93. Very relevant!!! Thanks!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:33 PM

76. Let's not cap taxes....that's the issue, these days. nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #76)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:06 PM

92. K&R !!! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:52 PM

79. No, but neither should there be a cap on how much the wealthy must repay....

society for the opportunity to make as much wealth as possible.

There should be very harsh limits on how much influence the wealthy have over government.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:03 PM

91. I really like your last sentence!!!!!!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:23 PM

82. No.

Progressive taxation at no more than 30% is fair. Lower the tax rates on the poorest Americans. Close the loopholes. However, capping how much wealth someone can accumulate is disgusting. For the record, the government double-dipping on money that has already been taxed via a large death tax is bullshit as well. Tax it, but once again cap the tax rate on that at 30%.

EDIT TO ADD:
While I disagree with the premise of the poll question, it's discussion like this that make me love DU.

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Response to Stand and Fight (Reply #82)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:02 PM

90. Yep!!!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:40 PM

84. No.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:45 PM

89. Minimum wage / Maximum wage . . Makes sense

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:11 PM

94. Redressing this problem is what the tax code should be for, among other things n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #94)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:23 PM

99. Yes, it should be ... one of the problems often is the wealthy worm their way into positions

of political and policy power ... hence, many are unwilling to do anything that might affect them. And effective tax policy stagnates.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:14 PM

96. Where would the cap be set?

What's the definition of wealth? Ten million? Five million? A hundred thousand? THAT'S considered wealthy in many countries.

Does it include the value of your primary home that you may have owned for fifty years? Does it include the money you saved because you're a penny pincher? Does it include earnings from a small business that you built from the ground up?

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Response to mainer (Reply #96)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:21 PM

98. I think what is required is a review/modification of the entire tax code. It's complicated, so

complicated it creates many loopholes. One person's wealth might be another's poverty. There is sooo much baggage with the current taxing system that it will be extremely difficult to affect change. That said, without change, I think many are headed for a dystopia.

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:29 PM

101. Personally, I don't see a problem with incomes being capped.

I mean, really, who needs more than a million or two a year to get by on?

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #101)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:34 PM

103. A lot of people have discussed that progressive taxation is really a

form of a cap. That might be best, to make progressive taxation really work ... that way revenues are gained rather than just a cap on income ... but in effect the progressive taxation is a cap. I think something needs to be done else down the road we're going to be really in even more of a mess with the spreading wealth gap in this country.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #101)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:45 PM

105. What if you're an inventor or author and you sell too many products to consumers?

do you start giving away the product for free because you've reached your cap? Or does the government just get to keep the money from all those sales?

In this case, there's no salary given or bonus awarded by a corporation. You're just selling a lot of what you produced.

There are some forms of income that have nothing to do with corporations, but have more to do with building a better mousetrap and selling it out of your garage.

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Response to mainer (Reply #105)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:12 PM

112. No, you don't give away your product

for free. Instead of declaring all profits as your salary, you pay your employees a very decent wage!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #112)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:43 PM

113. What if you have no employees? You're, say, an author?

And all you do is write books alone at your desk?

Or what if you have a five-employee software company, and you make so much that all your employees exceed the million dollar a year income cap?

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Response to mainer (Reply #113)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:42 AM

115. You can "WHAT IF" all day long, but

I think you get the point!

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:47 PM

106. wealth goes to your kids, splitting up the pot. Tax yes, do not cap wealth.

super wealthy folk are the ones who build hospital wings and other community gifts. When you have too much to spend, you give.

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Response to larkrake (Reply #106)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:59 PM

107. Yep, I think taxation is the way to go too! n/t

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Response to RKP5637 (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:12 PM

111. I am not comfortable with the wording of the choices because

i do believe wealth accumulation should be regulated and curtailed through high taxation rates on upper incomes and estate taxes. but to simply say nobody may own more than X in assets is not something I could support.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:19 PM

114. I agree, it's a slippery slope! In retrospect, I should have worded it differently, more

toward a progressive tax. I had sort of the right idea but the wrong choice of words and methodology.

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