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Wed Jun 24, 2015, 01:27 PM

 

No one in the world should have a net worth of a billion dollars. No one.

Nowhere even close to that. Just think how much the standard of living for the 99% could be raised if the wealthiest part of the 1% were cut down to size.

Every country in the world -- even Pitcairn Island, population 48 -- should do something along the lines of passing a wealth tax of 90% (85% ? 70% ... whatever will work) over a certain amount and then distribute the proceeds equally to everyone in the country -- even to the wealthiest. Then do the same thing again in, say, one, three, or five years. If it were done every year, it shouldn’t be very long before everyone was nearly equal.

Maybe after intra-country wealth inequalities were mitigated, inter-country inequalities could be tackled as well. By the United Nations?

To me, that’s what’s meant by equality. Anything less than taking steps to achieve economic equality throughout the world is just paying lip service to equality. After all, we’re all human beings living on planet Earth. Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbors? On this tiny planet, everyone is my neighbor. If I had more to share, I would. But I barely get by on my fixed retirement income.

(All right, maybe this particular idea won’t work or isn’t the best one, but surely there’s someone out there smart enough to figure out a scheme that will work better to improve the lot of the poor. We simply can’t continue on the path we’re on. If we do, everyone will eventually be at everyone’s throat, sort of like -- what was it? Lord of the Flies?)

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Reply No one in the world should have a net worth of a billion dollars. No one. (Original post)
pogglethrope Jun 2015 OP
Coventina Jun 2015 #1
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #2
Angry Dragon Jun 2015 #13
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #39
Angry Dragon Jun 2015 #42
Ed Suspicious Jun 2015 #23
antigop Jun 2015 #29
Ed Suspicious Jun 2015 #30
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #40
progressoid Jun 2015 #57
TreasonousBastard Jun 2015 #3
hifiguy Jun 2015 #8
TreasonousBastard Jun 2015 #36
avebury Jun 2015 #12
TreasonousBastard Jun 2015 #37
LanternWaste Jun 2015 #19
BeyondGeography Jun 2015 #4
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2015 #5
jtuck004 Jun 2015 #6
DFW Jun 2015 #15
jtuck004 Jun 2015 #34
salib Jun 2015 #7
hifiguy Jun 2015 #10
hifiguy Jun 2015 #9
Angry Dragon Jun 2015 #11
Cleita Jun 2015 #14
brooklynite Jun 2015 #16
PETRUS Jun 2015 #43
mythology Jun 2015 #45
PETRUS Jun 2015 #46
Fumesucker Jun 2015 #49
lonestarnot Jun 2015 #59
kentuck Jun 2015 #17
Nuclear Unicorn Jun 2015 #60
DFW Jun 2015 #18
kentuck Jun 2015 #21
melm00se Jun 2015 #26
former9thward Jun 2015 #28
AZ Progressive Jun 2015 #20
KamaAina Jun 2015 #22
BKH70041 Jun 2015 #24
En Garde Jun 2015 #25
napi21 Jun 2015 #27
former9thward Jun 2015 #31
napi21 Jun 2015 #47
Ed Suspicious Jun 2015 #32
KT2000 Jun 2015 #33
Name removed Jun 2015 #35
hunter Jun 2015 #38
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #41
LittleBlue Jun 2015 #44
Scuba Jun 2015 #48
PowerToThePeople Jun 2015 #50
moondust Jun 2015 #51
Kennah Jun 2015 #52
Hoyt Jun 2015 #53
Half-Century Man Jun 2015 #54
X_Digger Jun 2015 #55
pogglethrope Jun 2015 #56
Thinkingabout Jun 2015 #58

Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 01:29 PM

1. Couldn't agree more.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 01:34 PM

2. Do you realize those of means donate to different causes, a few which comes to mind is Warren Buffet

Bill and Linda Gates, and groups like the Clinton Foundation.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:00 PM

13. the one thing about foundations is that

they still control the wealth and the people who work for the foundation
like the Gates kids

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:51 PM

39. And what would be wrong with them controlling the foundation?

Last edited Wed Jun 24, 2015, 06:50 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #39)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 05:09 PM

42. I am unfamiliar with conrillong

If you mean controlling, on the surface nothing

depends what the foundation does with the money

Gates has put money in a foundation that he controls, taken a tax deduction for this and then employs his children to work there and takes a lot of the money to influence the education in this country. I guess if you don't mind that a rich person tells others how to educate their children then everything is okay

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:31 PM

23. Oh, those magnanimous rich folks. Always looking out for the little guy. I can almost feel the

piss trickling down on my head.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:50 PM

29. which one of those rich folks can I count on to help me when I lose my job because it's been sent

overseas or insourced with an h-1b visaholder?

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Response to antigop (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:52 PM

30. It's a fair question. I hope one of those rich folks or rich folks supporters can clue us in.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:53 PM

40. Perhaps the foundations should be notified their money is not appreciated.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 02:44 AM

57. Yeah, like the Walton family.

145 Billion fucking dollars. They've donated %0.04 of it. And most of that goes to their own foundations that have little positive impact on the world.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 01:39 PM

3. Competition is a fundamental human compulsion...

and while it's nice to think about limiting wealth, they'll always figure some way around the limits.

Better to control the influence of wealth, and the means to gain it.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:53 PM

8. And tax the living bejesus out of it above certain levels.

 

Thomas Piketty proposes the very interesting idea of an annual, progressive tax on capital (imposed upon those with a million Euros or more, including all property and assets) of 2-5%.

Of course this would require actual transparency in financial dealings, which Piketty admits is a problem, but not one that is theoretically insoluble.

He also proposes returning estate taxes to the significant levels of the mid 20th century.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:09 PM

36. I go along with raising estate taxes...

but not necessarily on the estate. Since being born to wealthy family is the equivalent of winning a lottery-- tax the heirs as lottery winners are taxed.

Other easy taxes should be on financial transactions (you have to pay a tax if you buy a house, and another if you take out a mortgage, so why not if you sell a block of stock...) and, yes, some sort of wealth tax.


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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:58 PM

12. There is a difference between wealth

earned through hard work and wealth that is hoarded or acquired on the backs of the taxpayers (ie the 99 %ers). There is a major problem when they use that wealth to game the system at the expense of everyone else. Paying nominal to no taxes at the expense of public programs like education and infrastructure makes them the ultimate welfare queens and kings and a threat to us all. Buffet and Gates are rare among this group.

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Response to avebury (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:11 PM

37. I agree-- the way things are now, concentration of wealth is the real problem.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:25 PM

19. If and only if access to the basics of life are not distributed equitably.

"ompetition is a fundamental human compulsion..."

If and only if access to the basics of life are not distributed equitably. (Bumper stickers are often best answered by other bumper stickers-- both fundamentally meaningless and unsupported with any objective evidence, but allows us the pretense of wisdom we really cannot claim)

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 01:47 PM

4. Wouldn't focus on directly regulating top-end individual net worth

Enlightened regulation designed to promote wage growth from the bottom up will help with that. Also, the big squeeze for most people in the past 40 years has been dramatic increases in the cost of basic essentials; health care, housing and education. Taxation and regulation is needed to come to the rescue there.

It's about creating a more livable economy for people who are willing and able to try to fend for themselves (which is most people in this country) and building more cost protections into the system.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:46 PM

5. I totally agree. What isn't well understood is how excess money corrupts.

Just like excess power. Money becomes an unhealthy addiction - like all addictions.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:50 PM

6. Everyone should have a net worth of a billion dollars. Everyone.

 

Problem solved.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:07 PM

15. "Please deposit $100,000 for the next three minutes of your local call"

In Zimbabwe, everyone is already a billionaire.

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Response to DFW (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:04 PM

34. That's kinda what I was thinkin' n/t

 

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:52 PM

7. It should be the '50's tax rate: 93% top marginal.

You and I will never pay that, as it is the top marginal rate. In fact, it leaves room for lowering the tax rate on work and raising it on sitting on your ass waiting for the dividend check to arrive, err, capital gains.

Yes, raise it on capital gains. Yes.

The one thing that we have as the 99% is our labor, our effort, our creativity, out artistry. What the one percent have is control of (our, i.e. everyone's) money. They have control over vast sums of money to invest. Thus, that is precisely what should be taxed. Not as high as hoarding it (top marginal rate) but higher than income from work.

Forget the right-wing canards about high-taxes means low growth or negative growth, or some such bogeyman. Forget the ones about capital gains should be lower to encourage investment, blah, blah, blah. Don't even bother with arguing.

The history is there to look at. In the U.S., as an example. In the 20th, 19th, even now the 21st Centuries. Excessive wealth ==> economic bubble and crash, terrible misery for the 99%, etc.

Time to stop the B.S. arguments from the right. They are the age old endeavor to try to assign some sort of moral or other value to Greed. That is all.

Argue if you want, just means I will put out a new post on that "point". Not gonna argue.

We just need to do it.

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Response to salib (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:56 PM

10. Yep, but close the loopholes.

 

If that rate was good enough for Truman and Ike, it's good enough for me.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:55 PM

9. One thing in particular about reichwingers puzzles and bemuses me.

 

They always rattle on about the "dignity of work" until they begin to foam at the mouth and fall over backwards.

If they believe this - which they obviously do not - how come money earned by actual work is taxed so much more highly than money "earned" by money? Hmm? That question inevitably shorts out their two-volt brains.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:57 PM

11. you mean I have to give some back??

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:03 PM

14. It has been suggested that once one reaches a billion, that they pay 100% in taxes over that

to be returned to the Treasury and redistributed to the people, not corporations. The fact is they won't miss it because there is no way a billion dollars can't buy them everything they want or need.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:18 PM

16. UNREC

Let's be honest. You picked 1 Billion because it's big and emotionally satisfying. But is it right? Should you be able to have $500 Million? $100? $50? Do you know how much revenue you need to reallocate to everyone else?

Add to which, it conveys the underlying message that the person doesn't "deserve" the money. I'm happy to stipulate that inheritance shouldn't count. But if your work/invention/investing saavy has gotten you wealth, and you're paying the INCOME taxes that society needs to provide for it's social safety net and other expenses, I won't begrudge you.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 06:00 PM

43. -1

Your argument is bogus. I'm sure a billion was an arbitrary choice, but it's a sufficient sum to convey the point. Producing a billion dollars of wealth requires more labor and resources than one person can provide or deal with; in one person's hands it is only ever an outsized share of a collective effort. Whether or not it's "deserved" is a moral judgement, but considering the weight of history, the role of power and circumstance, and the measurable and deleterious effects of extreme wealth disparity on human health and society, the idea that there's any justice or utility to the current distribution of resources is laughable.

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #43)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 06:43 PM

45. Actually the argument is quite valid

 

Because everybody who posts one of these "nobody should have over X amount of money" posts always picks a number greater than they have. Yeah very few people will ever have 1 billion in net worth. But to the average person living in sub-Sahara Africa, somebody with a net worth of $500,000 is beyond their capacity. But that for most people isn't seen as enough for retirement in the U.S. To a homeless person, or even somebody making minimum wage in the U.S. $500,000 is beyond them.

To state that amount X is too great for any one person is largely a matter or perspective. What is too great for you is perhaps not for another and what is too great for another is perhaps not enough for you.

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Response to mythology (Reply #45)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 07:49 PM

46. No.

You are saying his point of view is valid, and further - like I pointed out - you admit it's a judgement call. The problem with his post was that he dismissed the OP's opinion as absurd, and did not provide any explanation other than to say he personally doesn't mind billionaires (as long as certain conditions are met - conditions that arguably are not being met, which makes that part of his comment a strangely dissonant one). You haven't really given any explanation either, by the way. I provided one possible reason for the OP's point of view. Both the OP and the other guy are entitled to their opinions but they can't just be waved away.

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Response to mythology (Reply #45)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 10:16 PM

49. What if one person had *all* the money?

Largely a matter of perspective, eh?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #49)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 09:56 AM

59. We may find out.

 

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:20 PM

17. Well, it is written in stone...

...that whatever you can make as a capitalist has no limits on it, and there is no obligation to society as a whole to surrender any of your wealth.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #17)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 09:58 AM

60. If you don't want them to have the money don't purchase their goods and services.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:22 PM

18. The triumph of theory over practice

The trouble with Marxism ("from each according to his ability to each according to his need"--from the original French, but popularized by Marx in 1875) is human nature. After the State was done collecting all the wealth, the redistribution went heavily skewed toward the ones doing the redistributing. Funny thing about that. In every so-called "people's republic" or "democratic republic" under the banner of true socialism, the governing elite became the new elite. The ones calling themselves everyone's "comrades" didn't turn out to be very comradely once they had grabbed the reins of power. I remember a group of idealistic soldiers in the bush of the future Zimbabwe singing "long live comrade Mugabe, Mu-ga-be!" I wonder if they're still singing it.

When you figure out how to re-program human nature, and to convince everyone to have it done to them voluntarily, let me know. We have little to fear from the abstract concept of wealth re-distribution. We have much to fear from those who would enthusiatically offer their services as re-distributors. I'd rather live in a country with billionaires than Khmer Rouge re-education camps.

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Response to DFW (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:28 PM

21. However, we had very had tax rates (redistribution) in the 1950's...

and we had few billionaires. And we were not sent to re-education camps.

I think we need to change the way we look at capitalism? Is it entirely for the benefit of the individual or is it an economic system for the betterment of all?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:42 PM

26. yes the top marginal tax rate in the 1950's was

very high... the number of tax loopholes was just as high.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:50 PM

28. There was no redistribution in the 50s.

Government was tiny compared to now. There was no social welfare as we know it. No medical insurance. Government revenue was small because there was no need for more. There were few billionaires because our current value of money is about 10% of what it was in the 50s. There were plenty of millionaires.

The top tax rates were paid by almost nobody because of the loopholes which existed then and do not exist now. The tax code of the 1950s allowed upper-income Americans to take exemptions and deductions that are unheard of today. Tax shelters were widespread, and not just for the superrich. The working wealthy—including doctors, lawyers, business owners and executives—were versed in the art of creating losses to lower their tax exposure.

For instance, a 1950s doctor who earned $50,000 through his medical practice could reduce his taxable income to zero with $50,000 in paper losses or depreciation from property he owned through a real-estate investment partnership. Huge numbers of professionals signed up for all kinds of money-losing schemes. Today, a corresponding doctor earning $500,000 can deduct a maximum of $3,000 from his taxable income, no matter how large the loss.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:25 PM

20. We have narcissists, sociopaths, and other greedheads that are determined that there will never be..

economic equality, and so many of them happen to be very clever, well organized, and well funded.

Unless the good people are willing to make an incredibly huge organization just to continually combat these people (including continually deflecting their schemes), there will never be lasting economic equality.

In other words, the good people have to continually fight and win against the bad people if there is to be lasting fairness and goodness in this world. Money and the power it has is irresistible to too many people. Maybe that is one of the biggest monsters of the industrial revolution (other than climate change), it has given too much power for people with a ton of money in the abilities to obtain goods and services, including abilities to multiply one's money.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:30 PM

22. Pitcairn actually does a pretty good job of income equality.

 

When the cargo ships come in, all 48 of them celebrate with a communal feast.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:34 PM

24. That "freedom" shit is so overarated.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:34 PM

25. In a perfect world....

 

Humans are far from perfection.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:48 PM

27. A big advantage of having a very high top marginal tax rate is investment in business.

When he top marginal rate was 90%, the owners f the business (that's who usually was the really rich guy) decided it wasn't worth it to them to take more money in salary, but to instead reinvest in their business. Things like increasing employees wages, upgrading equipment, etc. When Uncle Ronnie lowered that rate, just keeping that money for themselves made it very profitable for them, thus stagnant wages, fewer benefits and GREED took over.

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Response to napi21 (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:53 PM

31. JFK significantly lowered the rate.

Reagan (and a Democratic congress) took it lower.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #31)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 08:31 PM

47. Yes he did. BUT he also eliminated a number of loop holes to offset the reduction.

Reagan did not.

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Response to napi21 (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 03:55 PM

32. Precisely. High taxes encourage investment and philanthropy. Clearly we need to strike a balance,

but we are so far to the side that aids the wealthy that if feels right to swing that pendulum back way hard and way far.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:01 PM

33. how to become a billionaire:

Buy a couple cash rich companies.
Take their cash and purchase medium size manufacturing plants in the US.
Send the jobs overseas but keep them on US based computer system.
Reap the profits.
Buy art and several huge homes.
Sell art for a profit.

Moving jobs offshore should be penalized not glorified as it is in the US.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)


Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:25 PM

38. I say it often: The uberwealthy ought to be taxed out of existence.

Nobody should be so wealthy that they can buy and control our democracy.

Taxes should be near zero at minimum living wages and near 100% on income some multiple of that minimum living wage; I would propose a multiple of less than twenty. If minimum wage is $100 a day than maximum possible income is $2000 a day. If minimum wealth is fully owning a $50,000 house and a small hunting cabin by the time you retire, than maximum wealth might be owning a million dollar house and a fancy beach condo somewhere.

The wealthiest people would live in the same neighborhoods as their employees, and send their kids to the same schools. They'd have a stake in the world as they've made it; they would not be insulated from the damage they do to society.

That's right, a Bill Gates might have the biggest house in town, the fanciest cars, maybe a couple of vacation homes, but the guy who cleans the corporate bathrooms has a pretty comfortable home too and his kids attend the same schools, colleges, and universities, and everyone shops in the same places.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 05:01 PM

41. I got an idea, we will make one new billionaire each year and tha person would be taxed at

100%.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 06:07 PM

44. That doesn't make sense. What would you do with Bill Gates?

 

He started a company and gained wealth because he owned half of it. How would you prevent him from attaining >$1bn? You'd have to seize his company from him.

That would represent the end of property rights. Humanity only turned the corner when we guaranteed property rights. Failure to recognize property rights is why systems like feudalism and communism failed.

No need for drastic measures. There is plenty of wealth without arbitrarily seizing property. Better to tax them a reasonable amount.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 10:03 PM

48. We should tax and tax and tax them until they're only fabulously wealthy.

 

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 10:18 PM

50. True.

 

Not sure what is acceptable wealth in a managed capitalist system, maybe 5 million net assets? That is more than enough to live out a lifetime without lifting a finger.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 10:43 PM

51. Cap inheritance.

It's one thing for somebody to work hard, make a lot of money, have a lot of nice things, and wield a lot of leverage/power in their lifetime. It's another thing to pass on a giant fortune to somebody else who may never have to get out of bed to make a lot more money, have even nicer things, and wield even more leverage/power. Piketty has addressed some issues with inheritance.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 11:12 PM

52. High top marginal rates and a high inheritance tax

These solve of the biggest problems we face.

A high top marginal rate keeps the money invested in the business, rather than the speculative markets which create instability.

High inheritance tax eliminates jackasses like Donald Trump, Steve Forbes, and Mittens. When Mommy or Daddy is successful, then gives the money to Junior, Junior is going to grow up and be a fuckstick.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 11:15 PM

53. Don't disagree. Though, I bet you would be surprised how little it is divided among 7 Billion peopl

And, since most of wealth is on paper, the minute there were serious talk of the that, the value of the investments would drop like a rock.

Then, rich people would hoard what ever they had left, and employment would drop worse than the great depression after the stock market crashed.

100 years from now, people might be better off if anyone is left alive. But, at least we could feel better about the billionaires moving next to us living under bridges.

Then again, armed militia types might be running the world. Don't think you'd like what they have in store.

I'd suggest something more reasonable to increase taxes.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 11:46 PM

54. I've posted this before.

Wealth cap at a certain level; ie $100,000,000.00 (one hundred million dollars) per individual. All and every form of wealth capped. Individuals achieving top border forced retirement. As in "You have won, enjoy your victory with an extended vacation. The others will continue play". Winners may still do volunteer work providing no form of compensation at all is credited (no profit to or donated in their name) to them; lunch may be provided as well as public documentation of their efforts. Investments properties or portfolios may generate wealth to the extent of maintaining the $100,000,000.00 trove during the lifetime of the individual. Overages are taxed at 100%. In the case of diminished trove do to life expenses and poor investments, retirees may be re-eligible for compensation at loss of 66% of trove (2/3ds).
Married couples may keep a household of $200,000,000.00 providing that who owns what is carefully documented.
Those who wish to forgo the forced retirement can opt to donate 2/3ds of trove at any point and to any non-profit organization.

From capped trove households
During the life of a capped individual. Gifts of money maybe given to any non-capped individual at any amount. Gifted individuals pay appropriate taxes.
Inheritance/ bequeathment capped at 7.5 million dollars, per deceased person per individual/organization. Any wealth not documented in a registered will to become public funding (taxed at 100%).
Surviving spouses may hand pick from the trove any undocumented property and/or monies to reach cap or rearrange their individual wealth portfolio.



At a certain point, one far below the hypothetical wealth cap from above, you have all you will ever need as a individual. Any further wealth accumulation is simply hording or addiction. What those driven individuals need is pause and psychiatric help.
You do not cure a heroin addiction with unlimited heroin. An end is eventually reached, but not a cure. You preform an intervention. You stop their access to the mind blot of choice, help them understand the value of the things they have, and give them time to recover.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 11:48 PM

55. This is your second OP with highly inflammatory language. (The other was locked.)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026892528

It's almost a caricature of what a non-Democrat might say while pretending to be a Democrat.

If one were a suspicious-minded person, they might think something's afoot.

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Response to pogglethrope (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 12:38 AM

56. No one seems to have picked up that the wealth tax I proposed

 

No one seems to have picked up that the wealth tax I proposed

was not on net wealth over $1 billion. My set-up was that each country would determine at which point the wealth tax kicked in, say $N[sub]USA[/sub] for the United States. Furthermore, it wouldn't have mattered that much in the long run whether the wealth tax rate was set at 90% or 95% or 100%. Since everyone in the country would share equally in the proceeds of the tax, everyone would be driven over time towards a net wealth of $N[sub]USA[/sub] -- with whoever was wealthiest at the end of a given tax year also remaining the wealthiest after taxes were collected and the proceeds distributed equally.

Everyone, in fact, would end up having the same rank wealthwise as she did to begin with. It's just that the wealthier would have ended up with less than they started with and the poorer more than they started with. All it is is a simple, straightforward wealth redistribution scheme.

And it's a boneheaded idea. I knew that when I dreamed it up, tweaking the notion as I went along. It’s a good enough outcome, but there have to be better ways of getting there. If ever there was anything that would disincentivize working to improve one's lot in life, this would do it. No matter how much ability one has or how creative, educated, smart, or talented one is and no matter how much effort one puts in, everyone ends up relatively close wealthwise.

Some here may think that's fine. I don't. I believe competition makes us both better and stronger -- and that most of us need incentives to do our very best. Growing up, I always tried to be the best at most things I did -- and I often was, in school and out. If I had always been an also-ran, I might not feel the way I do.

Not many of you posting at DU are going to remember the 1940s and 1950s. I do. When the highest marginal tax rate was 93%, I heard more than one local say something to this effect, "There's no point in me making any more money this year. If I did, Uncle Sam would just take it all." Of course, no one in the small town I grew up in came anywhere close to being in the highest tax bracket.

It was only in the last few years that one guy from my hometown became a multi-billionaire and several in his extended family became multi-multi-millionaires. The others bought stock in a company he started, a company that has >$10 billion in sales each year, even though its revenue has been down for the last several years.


Still, some people probably did tend to quit working when they reached a certain income level. The extra effort simply wasn't worth it for what might have effectively been half-pay. For someone who could draw unemployment benefits while she sat out, the inclination to do so was even stronger.

In fact, a plumber I knew in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s did just that. He didn't bother working between roughly the first of November and the first of April, even when he could could have. He preferred to be a couch potato and not go out in the cold winter weather in Minnesota. His wife, of course, worked year-round alongside my wife. He thought of himself as a "working man," but he worked nowhere near as hard or near as much as I did. Except for holidays, illnesses, and vacations, I averaged sixty hours a week or more all year long. The pay was good -- but, as I look back, I'm not sure it was worth the time it took me from my family. In particular I didn’t spend enough time with my kids. They turned out fine, fortunately, but it was mostly due to their mother’s influence. I provided some decent DNA, but that’s about all.

Foolishness or not, this discussion and another one I started have hopefully served my purpose: I wanted to get people to think about things in ways they might not have thought about them before. And, in the process, enlighten me and entertain themselves -- even if some folks got annoyed at my preposterous proposals. Perhaps only one person on the other thread figured out what I was doing was leg-pulling. I was -- with no intention of being an actual troll.

I signed up intending to post only enough to allow me to start a discussion. I thought the minimum number of posts for starting one was 30, but it turned out to be only 10. So I've made several times as many posts as I needed to. And I've started twice as many discussions as I had in mind starting out.

Regardless of what Janet Napolitano says, America remains The Land of Opportunity for many of us, if not for all of us. (It's OK to say that at Democratic Underground, isn't it?)

I think I hear a Rod McKuen song on my TV, so good night and good luck.

SYOTB

H.W, Beecher aka pogglethorpe
(Don't ask me where I came up with Pogglethorpe as a monicker. I don't even remember.)

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Response to pogglethrope (Reply #56)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 09:53 AM

58. Ok, then give a person a billiondollars a year and tax them at 100%, now that is a good deal.

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