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Old 10-16-2019, 04:32 PM
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Tax the rich!


I suppose this could easily tip over into Great Debates but I'm genuinely curious...

A lot of democratic politicians keep saying "tax the rich! taxes must go up!" but is the tax rate even a problem? Seems to me the bigger problem is people (and corporations) who pay almost no taxes whatsoever by exploiting loopholes. So in one sense, increasing taxes on rich people who already pay taxes isn't going to do much of anything.

Or am I totally off base?
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:02 PM
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the bigger problem is people (and corporations) who pay almost no taxes whatsoever by exploiting loopholes.
"Exploiting loopholes" is that your definition of following the tax code? It's easy to spout off or repeat tropes like "Amazon had $11 billion in profits and paid no taxes last year".

We have a part of the tax code that when a company has losses, and can't deduct them, it can carry forward those losses into future years to offset income they generate into the future. This isn't some special loophole only permitted for Company's run by Jeff Bezos, it's permitted to be used by all companies. It's there to help incentivize innovation and growth. Most companies when they begin are not immediately profitable, many struggle with losses for many years until their business plans come into fruition.

Amazon only recently began generating profits. It racked up losses for many years. Much in the same way that Tesla is currently.

Do we need tax reform? Yes, we need to make filing your taxes for people and companies simpler. Do we need to find ways to balance our federal budget? Definitely. That needs to come from increased taxes and a smaller federal budget.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:23 PM
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The richest 400 families pay a lower tax rate than middle class. That's overall taxes, not just income tax. This is not from obscure loopholes, this is from a lower tax rate and ways they can avoid paying.

So, if you are middle class and don't like paying more than the Koch's, you know who to thank. As for spending less, get back to me on that the next time your suspension goes out after running over a pothole or a bridge about to fall down is closed.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:54 PM
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"Tax rate" is already an abstraction though. If I make $2M and pay $500k in taxes and you make $100,000 and pay 30k in taxes you are paying a higher tax rate but I'm writing a check that's 15x larger. Of course the only way that would happen is if those are capital gains or dividends. Capital gains entail risk and dividends are double taxed.

Overall I don't really see the problem. Rich people pay way more in absolute terms.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:00 PM
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Overall I don't really see the problem. Rich people pay way more in absolute terms.
Watch it there neutron, you will be accused of supporting regressive taxes!
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:10 PM
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A country needs a certain amount of money to be run to a particular standard. Ideally, you should get that money from where it will be missed the least.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:17 PM
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A country needs a certain amount of money to be run to a particular standard. Ideally, you should get that money from where it will be missed the least.
Why?

I would argue the opposite. Everyone gets a vote and everyone should be on the hook to pay for what the government comes up with. If you can't pay because you are on hard times, that's fine, some kind of minimum deduction seems good. But beyond that a fair amount of tax would be everyone paying the same IMHO. Note, not the same percentage, the same amount.

If I go to burger king they don't charge me more based on my income. This is just an excuse to justify taking as much as possible.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:18 PM
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Who misses money less???
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:31 PM
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Who misses money less???
The loss of any particular sum or percentage of money is felt less by people who have more money than by people who have less money. This is why, for example, accidentally dropping a couple of twenties in the street can be a budget-wrecking disaster for a poor person but may not even be noticed by a rich person. See also: Diminishing marginal utility of income and wealth.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:36 PM
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The loss of any particular sum or percentage of money is felt less by people who have more money than by people who have less money. This is why, for example, accidentally dropping a couple of twenties in the street can be a budget-wrecking disaster for a poor person but may not even be noticed by a rich person. See also: Diminishing marginal utility of income and wealth.
Diminishing marginal utility is something made up to justify taking the money IMHO.

People who are productive can use that capital to do exciting things. Imagine if we had taxed away all of Elon Musk's wealth for example.

Yes, your last $20 is valuable if it's all you have. So a reasonable deduction on taxes makes sense. But that's not an argument to soak everyone else.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:49 PM
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Diminishing marginal utility is something made up to justify taking the money IMHO.
ISTM that attitude is elevating dogma over acknowledgement of reality. You don't want rich people to be disproportionately taxed, so you simply ignore the fundamental fact that losing, say, a hundred bucks or a day's wages generally has much less negative impact on rich people than poor people. That's all that diminishing marginal utility of wealth/income means.

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People who are productive can use that capital to do exciting things.
Sure, but (a) not everybody who has a lot of money is productive, and (b) nobody AFAIK is seriously suggesting that taxation should take away all or even most of the money rich people have. Just that it makes sense to tax rich people more than poor people, since as a matter of simple practicality they can more easily spare the money.

Plenty of rich people in relatively high-tax countries are managing both to live very comfortably and to do exciting things with their capital despite paying a higher proportion of their income/wealth in taxes. I wouldn't insult American rich people by assuming that they're not capable of similar achievements and therefore mustn't be subjected to a higher tax rate because it'll bweak their poor widdle motivations and make them feel all sad.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:53 PM
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Diminishing marginal utility is something made up to justify taking the money IMHO.
You know what the difference is between economics and geology? Nobody ever goes up to a geologist and says "Igneous rocks are bullshit!" Marginal utility isn't even a debate, it's a fundamental concept, and refusing to acknowledge it even exists disqualifies you.

Yes, you can be disqualified from a debate. Thinking you have the right to have an opinion is the real bullshit.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:59 PM
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You know what the difference is between economics and geology? Nobody ever goes up to a geologist and says "Igneous rocks are bullshit!" Marginal utility isn't even a debate, it's a fundamental concept, and refusing to acknowledge it even exists disqualifies you.

Yes, you can be disqualified from a debate. Thinking you have the right to have an opinion is the real bullshit.
The economic part of it is fine. But people then use it to claim how people are supposed to feel about paying huge checks to the government and from that perspective it's BS. The first time I wrote a huge check it made me question where the money went a lot more.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:03 PM
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ISTM that attitude is elevating dogma over acknowledgement of reality. You don't want rich people to be disproportionately taxed, so you simply ignore the fundamental fact that losing, say, a hundred bucks or a day's wages generally has much less negative impact on rich people than poor people. That's all that diminishing marginal utility of wealth/income means.


Sure, but (a) not everybody who has a lot of money is productive, and (b) nobody AFAIK is seriously suggesting that taxation should take away all or even most of the money rich people have. Just that it makes sense to tax rich people more than poor people, since as a matter of simple practicality they can more easily spare the money.

Plenty of rich people in relatively high-tax countries are managing both to live very comfortably and to do exciting things with their capital despite paying a higher proportion of their income/wealth in taxes. I wouldn't insult American rich people by assuming that they're not capable of similar achievements and therefore mustn't be subjected to a higher tax rate because it'll bweak their poor widdle motivations and make them feel all sad.

Meh, next time you write a check for $500k to the government we can talk. I really doubt you appreciate what it's like to do that.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:11 PM
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Meh, next time you write a check for $500k to the government we can talk. I really doubt you appreciate what it's like to do that.
This number is utterly meaningless unless you also disclose the gross revenues that caused such a tax liability. Don’t be coy: how much?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:12 PM
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This number is utterly meaningless unless you also disclose the gross revenues that caused such a tax liability. Don’t be coy: how much?
I already listed it above $2M or so in round numbers. Did you guys think that was a hypothetical?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:15 PM
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Nah, Derleth I'm with ya right up to where ya said, in essence, that neutro doesn't have a right to an opinion. That's the bs, not his wrong opinion. How ya gonna kick him (her?) out of the convo anyway?

My (hopefully) useful addition to this is...is...ah shoot, well we wore an onion on our belt...
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:19 PM
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Anyway I've had this discussion before. Soak the rich is basically the mantra of most people. I get it, but I think it's kinda gross. People will come up with all kinds of excuses as to why anyone who makes more than them should get soaked before them.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:20 PM
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Nah, Derleth I'm with ya right up to where ya said, in essence, that neutro doesn't have a right to an opinion. That's the bs, not his wrong opinion. How ya gonna kick him (her?) out of the convo anyway?
I can't. I can, however, say that unless someone's living in the same world as me, trying to debate them is pointless.

Education is hard. Self-righteous ignorance is easy. The former can't conquer the latter until the person to be taught renounces enough ego to admit they were wrong. neutro shows no sign of that so far, so I refuse to waste my time.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:27 PM
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I guess my question is whether or not there's really *that* much money to be had by sticking it to the rich more. They're not pulling their weight in terms of taxes anyway, so go for it if that's the case.

But if there's really not that much money to be had in terms of governmental tax revenue(i.e. enough to materially change the Federal budget), then it sounds like sour grapes driven retribution / class warfare to me, and that makes me more than a little bit uneasy.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:28 PM
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I guess my question is whether or not there's really *that* much money to be had by sticking it to the rich more. They're not pulling their weight in terms of taxes anyway, so go for it if that's the case.

But if there's really not that much money to be had in terms of governmental tax revenue(i.e. enough to materially change the Federal budget), then it sounds like sour grapes driven retribution / class warfare to me, and that makes me more than a little bit uneasy.
There isn't unless you start taxing wealth. In which case you will destroy a bunch of wealth in the process.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:29 PM
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I can't. I can, however, say that unless someone's living in the same world as me, trying to debate them is pointless.

Education is hard. Self-righteous ignorance is easy. The former can't conquer the latter until the person to be taught renounces enough ego to admit they were wrong. neutro shows no sign of that so far, so I refuse to waste my time.
I'm plenty educated on the subject. You seem very indignant that someone might have a different opinion.

Let's have this conversation again after you've paid some heavy taxes.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:31 PM
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I already listed it above $2M or so in round numbers. Did you guys think that was a hypothetical?
In the discussion above you noted that this rate was lower than if a person only made $100k. So you are advocating for an even lower rate?

I’m curious: do you think there is anything particular to America that allowed you to make that $2 million. What I mean is, do you think you could have earned that anywhere, and it’s purely choice (or an accident of birth) that locates you in the U.S., or are there any characteristics of America’s economy, government, society, or other facet that made those earnings feasible?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:40 PM
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"Tax rate" is already an abstraction though. If I make $2M and pay $500k in taxes...Of course the only way that would happen is if those are capital gains or dividends. Capital gains entail risk and dividends are double taxed...
This doesn’t actually appear to match the actual tax rates in effect. You’ll excuse me for not realizing that this was meant to be a factual account.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxe...ins-tax-rates/

https://smartasset.com/taxes/dividend-tax-rate
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:09 PM
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Sure, but (a) not everybody who has a lot of money is productive, and (b) nobody AFAIK is seriously suggesting that taxation should take away all or even most of the money rich people have.
Does an effective 97% tax rate qualify for all or even most?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-under-sanders
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:55 PM
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I'm plenty educated on the subject.
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Diminishing marginal utility is something made up
Nope, you’re not.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:55 PM
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So hilarious to hear a bunch of poor people defend the wealthy as if they someday think they'll be in the same strata as billionaires.

62 Billionaires possesses literally half the wealth in the world.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...ation-combined

I promise you billionaires and corporations don't care about you, why do you care about them? Take a look around sometime the cost of living keeps going up, but real wages are stagnant or even decreasing. When my Dad was in his twenties he was the sole provider and owned a house and two cars, and had two children, people now can't even survive let alone thrive.

Poignant clip of Noam Chomsky discussing these very issues:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lPBaVcHJtjk
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:26 PM
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Anyway I've had this discussion before. Soak the rich is basically the mantra of most people. I get it, but I think it's kinda gross. People will come up with all kinds of excuses as to why anyone who makes more than them should get soaked before them.
"Why tax the rich?"

"Because that's where the money is."
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:15 PM
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Does an effective 97% tax rate qualify for all or even most?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-under-sanders
Uh, your cited article says that that estimated effective tax rate (which includes a wealth tax on inherited assets) would apply to the 400 richest individuals. No, that definitely does not qualify as taking away "all or even most of the money that rich people have", even if it would take away most of the money belonging to that small subset of the richest individuals.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:21 PM
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Meh, next time you write a check for $500k to the government we can talk. I really doubt you appreciate what it's like to do that.
I definitely have never written a check for $500K in taxes, and I very much doubt that you have either.

However, a tax liability of $500K on an income of $2M corresponds to an effective tax rate of only about 25%. I have definitely paid tax at a higher rate than that, so I've actually paid heavier taxes as a proportion of income than this hypothetical taxpayer writing checks for $500K.

Anyway, if I had an income of $2M, I would be perfectly happy to write the government a tax check for 25% of that, or even 75% or more. I can get by just fine on an annual income of a "mere" few hundred thousand dollars, thanks.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:55 PM
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As I said, I get it. Most people are fine to soak anyone who makes more than them.

A fair tax system would be dividing up the budget by the number of people and sending everyone a bill. Then people would get the government they are willing to pay for.

Anyway I'll continue to whine about paying ridiculous sums to the government. Doing anything other than whining is pointless because I know that everyone else is on the other side of the table on this one.

A flat tax with a basic deduction for everyone and a cap seems pretty reasonable to me. Say a max of $100k in taxes.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:21 AM
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Uh, your cited article says that that estimated effective tax rate (which includes a wealth tax on inherited assets) would apply to the 400 richest individuals. No, that definitely does not qualify as taking away "all or even most of the money that rich people have", even if it would take away most of the money belonging to that small subset of the richest individuals.
So you're OK with a law targeting 400 individuals out of a population of 327 million?

Also, a wealth tax would likely require a Constitutional Amendment, due to the issue of apportionment.

Good luck getting that passed.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:00 AM
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Diminishing marginal utility is something made up to justify taking the money IMHO.
Marginal utility has been experimentally verified. And if you ever have had money (I have) it is pretty fucking obvious.

Think of how much $100 is worth to a person who has nothing in the bank and is going to use it for food. Now think how much it is worth to someone with a couple of million bucks in the bank? It's in the noise. Now think how much it is worth to Bill Gates.

The example I've heard is that the first ice cream cone or even the second on a summer day is worth a good bit - the 9th, not so much.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:04 AM
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The economic part of it is fine. But people then use it to claim how people are supposed to feel about paying huge checks to the government and from that perspective it's BS. The first time I wrote a huge check it made me question where the money went a lot more.
I've paid more in taxes than I made when I started to work at Bell Labs. I felt good about it, since it meant that I made a ton of money that year. I didn't feel soaked in the least.

You do want to pay our soldiers, don't you?
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:06 AM
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As I said, I get it. Most people are fine to soak anyone who makes more than them.

A fair tax system would be dividing up the budget by the number of people and sending everyone a bill. Then people would get the government they are willing to pay for.
Ah, so giving the same bill to a guy flipping burgers for minimum wage and a billionaire makes sense to you? And are you absolutely sure that both these people get the same amount out of government?
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:47 AM
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I promise you billionaires and corporations don't care about you, why do you care about them?
They'be bought the myth that wealthy people are somehow smarter and more capable than they are, and if they just let the CEO's run things one day they, too, will be billionaires.

That's bullshit, of course. Billionaires have no incentive to add to their ranks.

While there are some benevolent wealthy people out there for the most part they only care about themselves and their families, which is why they use their wealth and influence to change the system to benefit themselves. Not you. Themselves.

Why should I care about a class of people that I will never be a part of, who aren't even aware I exist?

We've been hearing about "trickle down" since Reagan was elected in 1980, but so far as I can tell that isn't wealth trickling down it's piss. The lot of the common man has NOT gotten better, if anything, it has gotten worse since the general public swallowed the notion that benefiting the wealthy would benefit everyone. It doesn't. We've had 40 years of that and that is long enough.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:36 AM
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Meh, next time you write a check for $500k to the government we can talk. I really doubt you appreciate what it's like to do that.
I wonder if there is some equivalent to something like an "opposite marginal utility of money" that only affects wealthy people? Kind of like each extra dollar received inflates their ego a bit more and gives them a greater sense of entitlement and resentment.





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So you're OK with a law targeting 400 individuals out of a population of 327 million?
Maybe a better question is why so much wealth consolidated with so few people?



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So hilarious to hear a bunch of poor people defend the wealthy as if they someday think they'll be in the same strata as billionaires.

62 Billionaires possesses literally half the wealth in the world.
How do they come up with that? From some quick Googling:
The total wealth of the Forbes 400 (wealthiest 400 people in America) is $2.7 trillion

Total wealth of all American households is $98 trillion.

That's only like 3%.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:29 AM
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These days the mainstream magazines are full of stories that lament the economic and social flaws of income inequality. But perhaps the real 'income inequality problem' is that incomes aren't unequal enough!

Some say that the present U.S. GINI is unprecedented. Wrong! It was higher at the height of the Roaring Twenties boom — those years were called 'Roaring' for a reason. 14th-century Paris, just before the bubonic plague struck, had a GINI estimated at 0.7. The great New Spain Empire during the 18th century also had a GINI much higher than today's U.S.

Like "P/E ratio" — which needs a 2nd parameter to be meaningful — GINI is misleading without a 2nd parameter. See, for example, this graph.

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A fair tax system would be dividing up the budget by the number of people and sending everyone a bill.
Even a flat tax, as you've defined it, might be unfair to the rich. I explained this in an earlier thread:

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Why not a truly Fair Tax?

At present Americans pay an average of $4600 in individual income taxes. It would be fair to jack up the taxes for SocSec and Medicare, which are underfunded, and borrow a few more 100's of $Million$ annually from China. Do both and we can cut the average income tax in half.

Some would say that $2300 per each person, young or old, rich or poor, would be the fairest tax. But if you think about it this discriminates against the rich.

The rich use private schools — is it really fair to make them also fund public schools? They often have their own private security — why should they have to pay as much for police as the people in crime-ridden ghettos? The rich shouldn't be forced to subsidize national parks — they vacation in the Caribbean or on the Riviera. And what sense does it make for the rich to help fund the Dept. of Labor??

A fair tax would be progressive; something like this:
* Earning less than $75,000 per year — pay $3000
* Earning $75,000 to $150,000 — pay $2500
* Earning $150,000 to $350,000 — pay $2000
* Earning $350,000 to $550,000 — pay $1500
* Earning $550,000 to $750,000 — pay $1000
Anyone earning more than $1,000,000 is probably a Job Creator. The government should be subsidizing them, not taxing them. I know the Trump plan won't accomplish all this, but it will be a big step in the right direction.

Yes, the $3000 tax would be burdensome on many freeloaders. I think the tax would motivate them to find work! And the prohibitions against cash for kidneys and other organs should be repealed of course — Win, win!
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:22 AM
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If I go to burger king they don't charge me more based on my income. This is just an excuse to justify taking as much as possible.
What if they charged everyone the same amount - and that meant that half of their customers couldn't afford to eat there anymore?
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:55 AM
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Some say that the present U.S. GINI is unprecedented. Wrong! It was higher at the height of the Roaring Twenties boom
Well, hard to come up with more a solid financial strategy than trying to replicate the 1920's.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pool View Post
62 Billionaires possesses literally half the wealth in the world.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...ation-combined ...

Poignant clip of Noam Chomsky discussing these very issues:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lPBaVcHJtjk
I'm afraid the game of Gossip is at work here.

Your first cite cites an Oxfam report:
"a new Oxfam report showing that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population" [my emphasis]
but, in the headline of that same article, this mutates into
"Richest 62 people as wealthy as half of world's population, says Oxfam"
This is arguably true — it doesn't say which "half" of the world's population — but certainly misleading. And then Noam Chomsky — I thought he was a smart guy — comes up with
"[In 2015] ... 62 individuals hold half the world's wealth."
The numerator ("62 richest people") has grown even smaller since 2015, but it's the denominator that is ambiguous. Many of the world's poorest have negative net worth: are they reckoned as zero wealth in these calculations? Or negative? And much of the world's wealth is owned by governments or by non-profits, and thus not included in total individual wealth.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:13 AM
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Thinking you have the right to have an opinion is the real bullshit.
This is in IMHO. Everyone has a right to an opinion here. You can state your opinion about their opinion, but do not tell them what they can and cannot post or can and cannot have an opinion about.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:45 AM
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The great New Spain Empire during the 18th century also had a GINI much higher than today's U.S.
Sorry, which place do you mean exactly? The Virreynate of New Spain or the Spanish Empire?
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:03 AM
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Sorry, which place do you mean exactly? The Virreynate of New Spain or the Spanish Empire?
I meant New Spain. Sorry about the "Empire" — I added it foolishly thinking it might call attention to wealth transfers across the Atlantic.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:05 AM
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The mantra of "tax the rich" presupposes that we can have all the programs we want (universal health care, free college tuition, a robust plan to stem climate change, infrastructure maintenance and improvements, a strong defense etc. etc.) by taxing billionaires/the 1%, while maintaining or even reducing taxes on everyone else.

This not going to fly (economically or practically), and it's highly disingenuous for politicians to claim it will.

Eventually the bill has to come due not just for "the rich", but for the well-off and middle class as well. Most people will have to feel the pain to some extent.

Honest leaders would make this clear.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:24 AM
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The whole wealth tax is a sham and isn’t even feasible to enforce or even be attempted.

Let’s use Jeff Bezos as an example. The Federal Government is going to arbitrarily pick one day every year to measure his wealth. AMZN stock is a volatile security, so which day does the government want to pick? December 31st? So they end of the year is selected. It says that Bezos wealth is $85 billion and the government wants 3% of that, $2.6 billion. But almost all of Bezos’ wealth is tied up in his ownership of AMZN, so the government is going to force him to liquidate a portion of his company to pay his wealth tax.

Now that’s for the owner of a publicly traded company. What about people that privately own their companies, no publicly traded exchange to value them. What mechanism will be used to value their company’s, some journalist at Forbes? And then they are forced to sell off a portion of their private company to pay the wealth tax?

This thing would be tied up in the courts forever.

It will never happen.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:31 AM
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Now that’s for the owner of a publicly traded company. What about people that privately own their companies, no publicly traded exchange to value them. What mechanism will be used to value their company’s, some journalist at Forbes? And then they are forced to sell off a portion of their private company to pay the wealth tax?

This thing would be tied up in the courts forever.

It will never happen.
While I don't disagree with any of this - valuation of illiquid assets is a big practical issue and this will contribute to its not taking effect - this is currently happening all the time with the wealth tax that middle class people face - the property tax. I don't see why the ultra-rich should be exempt from its vagaries if everyone else isn't.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:36 AM
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Some of the wealthiest people alive agree that the wealthiest don't pay enough in taxes (not that they're necessarily paying more taxes voluntarily of course)

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/25/warr...her-taxes.html
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:37 AM
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This thing would be tied up in the courts forever.

It will never happen.
This isn't going to happen because it will never see the inside of a courthouse.
The Golden Rule will prevail.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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Some countries do have wealth taxes: France and Italy for example. I don't know how well they work.

There are various ways to tax. Estate taxes make sense. Real estate taxes and taxes on corporate profits make sense since there's little scope for confusion or wealth hiding: real estate is ... real!

I like the idea of consumption taxes with different rates for different goods. Food might be untaxed, while luxury items are heavily taxed. Perhaps Bezos and Zuckerberg should be allowed to retain their huge wealth until they spend it.

But whatever the details, it is appropriate that the rich pay taxes at a higher rate than the poor. (Those who disagree may not even define the term "human society" the way most of us do.)

And, please, let's stop pretending that the rich don't have enough riches to bother taxing. If we exclude the first $2,000,000 of each household's income, as reported on Form 1040 as AGI, this still leaves almost a trillion dollars of excess personal income nationwide available for a tax surcharge. (Note that our Doper friend above makes "only" $2 million and wouldn't have to pay the surcharge.) And this trillion excludes income hidden from AGI.

One trillion dollars of "excess income" as so defined. That's 'trillion' with a 'T.' (I just noticed I spelt 'billion' with an 'M' in the post I self-quoted above. )

The right-wingers complaining that the extra hundreds of billions available by restoring 1990's tax rates are 'chickenfeed' or 'a rounding error' are the same ones who complain about the National School Lunch Program providing small fresh tomatoes to poor kids for 35¢ each.

Last edited by septimus; 10-17-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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