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  #51  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
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.
Could you run the numbers on this? I.e. cite?

You are talking about income, not wealth, AFAICT. So, how much income is left for households who make more than $2M a year, after they pay taxes on that amount?

Thus, supposing I make $10M a year. I pay standard tax on the first $2M (unless you mean we don't impose taxes on incomes less than $2M), capital gains, etc. I also pay standard tax on the remaining $8M. Are you saying that the total amount remaining for all such taxpayers in the US is a trillion dollars?

I am not necessarily disputing this claim, but I want to be sure I understand it.

IIUC then maybe we raise rates such that the US government then gets all or most of the trillion. Thus the government simply confiscates all income over $2M a year. If you are including capital gains in that, that is going to have a depressing effect on investment. Even if it is only income tax, that will tend (to say the least) to discourage trying to earn higher incomes. Some wealthy doctor who does surgeries and earns $3M a year is going to be incentivized to work less, since anything he earns over $2M doesn't benefit him. Maybe he should do more, just out of the goodness of his heart, but he or she probably won't.

Or we tax away some lesser proportion of the income. If we spend it, we are currently running about a trillion a year or so in deficit. That fact needs to be included in any proposals to raise taxes on the rich, and then implement gaudy new spending programs. As in, raise taxes by $500B, raise spending by $800B, and then change the subject when the deficit gets mentioned.

And of course this all assumes the rich will sit still and be taxed. Again, not IMO a likely outcome. There is a reason that tax lawyers can make six figures, and one man's loophole is another man's simple fairness.

Regards,
Shodan
  #52  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:08 PM
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...IIUC then maybe we raise rates such that the US government then gets all or most of the trillion. Thus the government simply confiscates all income over $2M a year...Even if it is only income tax, that will tend (to say the least) to discourage trying to earn higher incomes. Some wealthy doctor who does surgeries and earns $3M a year is going to be incentivized to work less, since anything he earns over $2M doesn't benefit him. Maybe he should do more, just out of the goodness of his heart, but he or she probably won't...
I hear this a lot, but I think it's an absurdity.

In my career, I've met and worked with wealthy people who earn millions of dollars a year in income. Unless they are professional athletes, these people are almost universally in some form of 'sales', with an unlimited ceiling, and their very high earnings are the result of their huge commissions (I'm specifically thinking of one guy who sold aircraft, and would earn six figure commissions on each sale, or a lawyer who has a ton of clients and puts 20% of each flat fee into his pocket; also, high end realtors and wealth managers, also with commissions).

[Now, as an aside, there are obviously people who make millions per year passively, based on income producing assets, but here we are talking about those actively working]

Based on my observations, these really successful people don't make the same amount each year; for example, some year they may have a "good year" and make closer to $10 million. Other years they may have a more "normal" year where they only make a few million.

The difference? They will chalk it up to variances in the market or the economy, or pure luck. They will most certainly not chalk it up to, "well, I was really lazy one year and decided to take it easy." The people I am thinking of are always working, usually always on the phone, and always hustling to close another transaction.

My point? The idea that multi-million dollar wage earners, if they have a higher tax burden, will stop working so hard is just not realistic. The people who reach that level make their huge amounts precisely because they are always working and never turning down business. They can't just 'only' work a portion of the year to stop their earnings at a few million - if they did that, it would mean that they are not constantly hustling, which would topple the entire money-making operation.

(Consider that hypothetical doctor who makes $3 million a year doing surgery. That person would obviously not get to that point unless they have a top of the field reputation, lots of high end clientele, and a number of prominent successes - say, athletes they were able to help get back on the field of play. If that person decided to lay low to avoid taxes, you don't think some other doctor - working 80 hours a week - won't swoop in and tax all of those patients and start promoting themselves as the savant in the field?)

The only possible reason I could see it being otherwise is if people suddenly start getting taxed above 100%, which nobody is proposing. Even AOC's 70% proposal (largely criticized when she had made it earlier) would only apply to earnings about $10 million. What, you think the guy who made $15 million last year, and $12 million the year before, is suddenly going to half-ass it because he would have owed an additional $3.5 million the $15 and $1.4million on the $12million?

I truly think that if people think that the ultra-wealthy wage earners would stop their efforts because of a huge tax burden, they've never seen how those people live and work.
  #53  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:21 PM
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My point? The idea that multi-million dollar wage earners, if they have a higher tax burden, will stop working so hard is just not realistic. The people who reach that level make their huge amounts precisely because they are always working and never turning down business. They can't just 'only' work a portion of the year to stop their earnings at a few million - if they did that, it would mean that they are not constantly hustling, which would topple the entire money-making operation...

I truly think that if people think that the ultra-wealthy wage earners would stop their efforts because of a huge tax burden, they've never seen how those people live and work.
If that's the case, then ISTM that the companies are over-paying them.

If the company put a limit on how much they earned - after, say, $2 million in commissions per year the company just kept everything and didn't pay any commission - that would be more profitable for the company and the sales people you describe would produce the same amount in sales because they can't help themselves.

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  #54  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:28 PM
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If that's the case, then ISTM that the companies are over-paying them.

If the company put a limit on how much they earned - after, say, $2 million in commissions per year the company just kept everything and didn't pay any commission - that would be more profitable for the company and the sales people you describe would produce the same amount in sales because they can't help themselves.

Regards,
Shodan
No, it's not that. It's that, if a person has a goal of making as much as they can, then they can't just stop at some arbitrary point and say, "I've done enough". If you take that attitude, you wouldn't be successful in the first place. You are suggesting that a person who earns millions can just tweak their effort to come in under the tax ceiling; I think that's an absurdity.
  #55  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan
... IIUC then maybe we raise rates such that the US government then gets all or most of the trillion.
My point? The idea that multi-million dollar wage earners, if they have a higher tax burden, will stop working so hard is just not realistic.
@ Shodan — So the only two alternatives are to leave the top tax rate (for income above $1 or $2 million) at the present historic-low level, or to increase that rate to 100% (or almost that high). No middle-ground is possible. Got it.
  #56  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:50 PM
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No, it's not that. It's that, if a person has a goal of making as much as they can, then they can't just stop at some arbitrary point and say, "I've done enough". If you take that attitude, you wouldn't be successful in the first place. You are suggesting that a person who earns millions can just tweak their effort to come in under the tax ceiling; I think that's an absurdity.
That's kind of what I meant by saying the company is wasting money paying commissions above any arbitrary point - the sales people can't and won't stop, they will just continue to make as many sales as possible.
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@ Shodan — So the only two alternatives are to leave the top tax rate (for income above $1 or $2 million) at the present historic-low level, or to increase that rate to 100% (or almost that high). No middle-ground is possible. Got it.
I don't suppose you could trouble yourself to read my post all the way to the end. Or at least to the point where I said -
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Or we tax away some lesser proportion of the income.
Ah well - Shodan's Law. If they didn't read it the first time, they won't read it the second time either.

Regards,
Shodan
  #57  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:57 PM
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Some countries do have wealth taxes: France and Italy for example. I don't know how well they work.
Spain does too but it comes and goes. Right now it's set by each region, with the central government acting as the collector for most regions (our central treasury can act as a subcontractor for a lot of taxes which are defined at the regional or municipal level, they collect the money and pass it over to whomever 'owns' it); I think neither of the two regions which have their own collecting structures has it active. Sadly, the "divulgative" articles I find have all been written by people who assume anybody reading them knows how to read a P&L report, which I definitely don't. There is some sort of 2M€ cutoff and about 200K people who will need to file that tax for this year, it's always personal (not familiar), which I guess is linked to why so many rich people distribute the official ownership of their wealth among relatives as much as possible, but the rest goes way above my head.

It seems to be the kind of tax which is used as a sort of cushion, now I have it now I don't depending on which way the political and economical winds blow.
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  #58  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:59 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.
Thats a strawman argument though. Its not about punish everyone who does better than me personally, its more about making sure the top 0.1% who have gained 90% of the wealth created in the last 50 years while their taxes have been cut are seeing their tax rates go up to compensate for the tax cuts they've gotten and the increase share of wealth and income that has gone to them. The share of income and wealth controlled by the top 0.1% keeps growing while their taxes keep getting cut.

Also it is undemocratic to have a handful of extremely rich people. They can buy politicians with their pocket change. The Koch network spent 900 million in 2016, which is a huge % of total funding on politics in that year. Rich people can buy media to promote their viewpoints, they can buy politicians. They can even (in more corrupt nations) buy cops, judges and soldiers. It poses a risk to democracy itself to have a handful of rich people with too much power.

The total tax rate in the US is around 25%. About 25% of GDP is collected in tax revenue. The OECD average is around 35%, with some nations closer to 40%. I'd be fine with a rate closer to 35% that comes from taxes on the rich as well as some higher taxes on everyone else if it meant universal health care, universal long term care, addressing climate change, free public college, subsidized daycare, etc.

https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/site...?itok=ysJxzzyg

Some 'rich' people are paying too much in taxes if anything. People in the 500k-1mm a year household income probably pay 40% of their total income in taxes. Thats not really fair to them, esp when you consider that some companies and rich people pay no taxes or at the very least far less in taxes. However I'd fully support taxing capital gains and dividends as regular income, and a wealth tax.
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  #59  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:01 PM
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People that are significant wage earners, don't work because they enjoy the hustle and just like making money regardless of who it goes to. They work and hustle because they money is going to them. Trust me, I am my own cite. If there was a diminishing return on my investment of my time, i.e. if you are going to take 75% of every dollar I make above a certain amount, then I'm going to find other pursuits that I find more valuable for me personally, than toiling for Uncle Sam.
  #60  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:10 PM
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That's kind of what I meant by saying the company is wasting money paying commissions above any arbitrary point - the sales people can't and won't stop, they will just continue to make as many sales as possible.
So, you plainly don't agree with my theory.

Let's go back to your original concern then.

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Some wealthy doctor who does surgeries and earns $3M a year is going to be incentivized to work less, since anything he earns over $2M doesn't benefit him. Maybe he should do more, just out of the goodness of his heart, but he or she probably won't.
You seem to be arguing that, if tax rates are too high, we as a society will lose out on the benefit of our most productive citizens, right? I mean, in this scenario, there's no bad outcome for the doctor who decides to work less - it's just more vacation or leisure time. Hell, if that's what's happening, that person probably is injecting more money into the economy: it tends to be easier to spend money when you aren't working than when you are.

So, do I have it right that the problem is the lack of social benefit? We are telling people to not work so much because it is not profitable to do so, right?

If that be true, though, then doesn't that just create a platform for a more diversified success among lots of different people. Take your doctor: clearly top of the field to be earning millions. Now, though, takes 3 months off during the summer, to avoid the tax hit.

Haven't we just opened up the field of potential clients to those people who aren't as successful? During those summers, aren't doctors who haven't cracked the million dollar a year mark going to fill the void, take on the patients, and work those extra hours.

In other words, if you are right, and people will hold back because their taxes are too high, does that really extract a social cost, if other people will make up for it with their own work? Per your theory, the incentive to slow down and work less only applies once you reach that tax threshold, correct?

Last edited by Moriarty; 10-17-2019 at 04:11 PM.
  #61  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:11 PM
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People that are significant wage earners, don't work because they enjoy the hustle and just like making money regardless of who it goes to. They work and hustle because they money is going to them. Trust me, I am my own cite. If there was a diminishing return on my investment of my time, i.e. if you are going to take 75% of every dollar I make above a certain amount, then I'm going to find other pursuits that I find more valuable for me personally, than toiling for Uncle Sam.
Thats good. If you are a large corporation of extremely wealthy, you're more likely to reinvest your money rather than keep it as profit if the tax rate is high enough.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/...-new-deal.html

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Meanwhile, French economist Thomas Piketty has demonstrated that high tax rates reduce pre-tax inequality – ostensibly, by discouraging rent-seeking among top executives, whose compensation is often determined less by productivity than a combination of social mores and their own audacity: CEOs are less likely to extract an extra $5 million from their companies (instead of allowing their firms to invest that sum in other purposes) if they know that Uncle Sam will collect 70 percent of their bonus. Thus, there is now some reason to believe that confiscatory top rates can reduce wage inequality, while producing some gains in economic efficiency.
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  #62  
Old 10-17-2019, 04:20 PM
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People that are significant wage earners, don't work because they enjoy the hustle and just like making money regardless of who it goes to. They work and hustle because they money is going to them. Trust me, I am my own cite. If there was a diminishing return on my investment of my time, i.e. if you are going to take 75% of every dollar I make above a certain amount, then I'm going to find other pursuits that I find more valuable for me personally, than toiling for Uncle Sam.
Here's the thing, though. To get to the point where the government is going to take "75% of every dollar you make", you first have to get to that 'certain amount'. Presumably, that 'certain amount' is pretty high and not easy to achieve. So, in order to get to the point that you are deciding to find other pursuits that are more value for you personally, you have already likely invested nearly all of your time getting to that point.

I'm trying to think of a good analogy for what I am trying to convey. Imagine a sprinter who says, "If I get to the end of the 100 meter race and the tape is broken, what's the point? I'm not going to run as hard unless I get to break the tape." My point is, you don't know whether you get to break the tape unless you run the race and finish first, and the only way to be in a position to finish first is to run the race as hard as you can; it's simply not a determination you can make before you start, and if you do decide to preemptively make it, you've pre-determined that it likely won't happen.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:34 PM
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I hear this a lot, but I think it's an absurdity.

In my career, I've met and worked with wealthy people who earn millions of dollars a year in income. Unless they are professional athletes, these people are almost universally in some form of 'sales', with an unlimited ceiling, and their very high earnings are the result of their huge commissions (I'm specifically thinking of one guy who sold aircraft, and would earn six figure commissions on each sale, or a lawyer who has a ton of clients and puts 20% of each flat fee into his pocket; also, high end realtors and wealth managers, also with commissions).

[Now, as an aside, there are obviously people who make millions per year passively, based on income producing assets, but here we are talking about those actively working]

Based on my observations, these really successful people don't make the same amount each year; for example, some year they may have a "good year" and make closer to $10 million. Other years they may have a more "normal" year where they only make a few million.

The difference? They will chalk it up to variances in the market or the economy, or pure luck. They will most certainly not chalk it up to, "well, I was really lazy one year and decided to take it easy." The people I am thinking of are always working, usually always on the phone, and always hustling to close another transaction.

My point? The idea that multi-million dollar wage earners, if they have a higher tax burden, will stop working so hard is just not realistic. The people who reach that level make their huge amounts precisely because they are always working and never turning down business. They can't just 'only' work a portion of the year to stop their earnings at a few million - if they did that, it would mean that they are not constantly hustling, which would topple the entire money-making operation.

(Consider that hypothetical doctor who makes $3 million a year doing surgery. That person would obviously not get to that point unless they have a top of the field reputation, lots of high end clientele, and a number of prominent successes - say, athletes they were able to help get back on the field of play. If that person decided to lay low to avoid taxes, you don't think some other doctor - working 80 hours a week - won't swoop in and tax all of those patients and start promoting themselves as the savant in the field?)

The only possible reason I could see it being otherwise is if people suddenly start getting taxed above 100%, which nobody is proposing. Even AOC's 70% proposal (largely criticized when she had made it earlier) would only apply to earnings about $10 million. What, you think the guy who made $15 million last year, and $12 million the year before, is suddenly going to half-ass it because he would have owed an additional $3.5 million the $15 and $1.4million on the $12million?

I truly think that if people think that the ultra-wealthy wage earners would stop their efforts because of a huge tax burden, they've never seen how those people live and work.
You are taking how they live and work now and extrapolating to another set of circumstances.

"I see these people working very hard, they aren't going to stop if you tax them 75% on marginal dollars" is basically just a statement of opinion.

The reality is that some people will adjust, and others will not.

Professional athletes in particular have a limited earning window and the tax rate probably isn't going to effect that much.

Surgeons on the other hand I can see just adjusting their schedule to max out the dollars. Some will, some won't, but overall I think having taxes like that is going to induce reductions in productivity of those people. Trading the summer off and not buying another porsche (cause you already bought a new porsche every year for the last decade anyway) might be a nice tradeoff.

Anyway there would clearly be a diversity in behavior of people but I don't see how some people don't reduce productivity at least somewhat under that scenario.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:39 PM
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Thats good. If you are a large corporation of extremely wealthy, you're more likely to reinvest your money rather than keep it as profit if the tax rate is high enough.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/...-new-deal.html
Reinvesting is how you get Bezos though. He reinvested Amazon profits for years without taking any profits just to grow as quickly as possible.

Why do you want to make it so hard to take money off the table? As an entrepreneur and someone that hangs out with a lot of other entrepreneurs I see a lot of people who already have a really hard time taking money off the table. It's one of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs making on a regular basis. Don't you want them to take some of that and spend it in the economy?

Keep in mind that "reinvestment" doesn't mean the money is going to stay in the country or go into the local economy.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:45 PM
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Anyway there would clearly be a diversity in behavior of people but I don't see how some people don't reduce productivity at least somewhat under that scenario.
Which is why I broached the possibility that it would just open up opportunities for others. You appear to be in agreement that a wealthy doctor can just hold back to make a little less, since taxes are a disincentive to work, and since wealthy people can directly dictate their earnings like adjusting a faucet.

But, even if that happens, those patients still exist; the market of money is still out there to be had.

So, if some people reduce productivity, it just means others have a chance to be more productive. If we accept that people work based on their tax burden, and can control their effort to ensure that they control their earnings, other can just working up to that tax threshold. In the grand scheme of things, we as a society aren't losing out.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:52 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there is a finite amount of wealth to be had. When I hear "Tax the rich!" I don't think of folks like neutro, he's just comfortable but not wealthy enough to influence foreign government policies. Get down with your bad self and enjoy the world as you will.

But I DO think about people/organizations that are hoarding vast wealth. Not creating jobs, or investing in industries, or funding even local infrastructure, or doing really anything to suggest they are even human beings. Not only are they not helping society, they are actively harming it--sucking the wealth out of everyone just so they can...have it, I guess. It's an old argument, but finding a way to identify and tax that hoarded wealth would incentivize Tha Rich to part with it on their own terms. Hmm, I can give $1 billion to the government, or I can contribute it to the development of this interesting tech or industry, or whatever other pet project I can come up with in my copious free time. The wealth belongs to the nation, and if the hoarding cripples the nation, then the hoarder is crippling the nation. If you're actually contributing to the betterment of the world and that process brings in billions of $, then fine and good work. Clearly you've found a way to provide something that a lot of people want. Enjoy it and thank you for greasing the machinery of capitalism. Keep (most of) that income. But don't just be sitting on it while the roads crumble and people starve. That's just monstrous and you should be treated like the monster you are.

And until that happens it seems incredibly unjust to take one cent from a family living on even $50k/year. Sure, a family can survive on that, but there's no room for extras--it's enough to keep folks alive so they can get up and go to work again, and that's it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:53 PM
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Which is why I broached the possibility that it would just open up opportunities for others. You appear to be in agreement that a wealthy doctor can just hold back to make a little less, since taxes are a disincentive to work, and since wealthy people can directly dictate their earnings like adjusting a faucet.

But, even if that happens, those patients still exist; the market of money is still out there to be had.

So, if some people reduce productivity, it just means others have a chance to be more productive. If we accept that people work based on their tax burden, and can control their effort to ensure that they control their earnings, other can just working up to that tax threshold. In the grand scheme of things, we as a society aren't losing out.
There may not be any other doctors to take up the slack. There is an artificial limitation on the number of doctors in the country. I'm not sure medical care is one of those things where we want to incent our best people to take more time off.

Regardless, this is just one of the many effects that ultra high tax rates will have. People will start going through machinations to avoid the taxes. Groups will also for special rates for their members. All of this is perfectly predictable.

I don't understand why we can't have a simple and objectively fair tax system that just works. Say a $10k deduction per person and then a flat tax. At least under that scenario almost the entire populace has skin the game. A tax increase hits everyone fairly.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:54 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there is a finite amount of wealth to be had. When I hear "Tax the rich!" I don't think of folks like neutro, he's just comfortable but not wealthy enough to influence foreign government policies. Get down with your bad self and enjoy the world as you will.

But I DO think about people/organizations that are hoarding vast wealth. Not creating jobs, or investing in industries, or funding even local infrastructure, or doing really anything to suggest they are even human beings. Not only are they not helping society, they are actively harming it--sucking the wealth out of everyone just so they can...have it, I guess. It's an old argument, but finding a way to identify and tax that hoarded wealth would incentivize Tha Rich to part with it on their own terms. Hmm, I can give $1 billion to the government, or I can contribute it to the development of this interesting tech or industry, or whatever other pet project I can come up with in my copious free time. The wealth belongs to the nation, and if the hoarding cripples the nation, then the hoarder is crippling the nation. If you're actually contributing to the betterment of the world and that process brings in billions of $, then fine and good work. Clearly you've found a way to provide something that a lot of people want. Enjoy it and thank you for greasing the machinery of capitalism. Keep (most of) that income. But don't just be sitting on it while the roads crumble and people starve. That's just monstrous and you should be treated like the monster you are.

And until that happens it seems incredibly unjust to take one cent from a family living on even $50k/year. Sure, a family can survive on that, but there's no room for extras--it's enough to keep folks alive so they can get up and go to work again, and that's it.

Who do you think is hoarding wealth though? I hear this claim but I don't understand who it is you are talking about or what hoarding means.

All of the wealthy people I can think of have their wealth invested in working companies. That's the opposite of hoarding.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
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.



Even a flat tax, as you've defined it, might be unfair to the rich. I explained this in an earlier thread:
Yes, I should be subsidized for creating jobs and get an exemption on my personal taxes for the tax my companies pay. I like that idea a lot.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:04 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there is a finite amount of wealth to be had.
You're wrong.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:05 PM
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You're wrong.
This is also one of the primary issues with wealth taxes. Not only is wealth not a fixed sum, it can be super difficult to even value things. And of course if your start selling it off to pay taxes the price will go down which might end up destroying more net wealth than the government gets from the tax.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:16 PM
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There may not be any other doctors to take up the slack. There is an artificial limitation on the number of doctors in the country. I'm not sure medical care is one of those things where we want to incent our best people to take more time off.
I thought we were positing a world where people are perfectly rational actors motivated by their tax burden. Why, then, wouldn't other people become doctors to take advantage of this opportunity. We were imagining a scenario where doctors are incentivized to earn up to $2 million; you don't think others would fill that role?

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I don't understand why we can't have a simple and objectively fair tax system that just works. Say a $10k deduction per person and then a flat tax. At least under that scenario almost the entire populace has skin the game. A tax increase hits everyone fairly.
Others have already explained to you why this would not be fair; you simply said the explanation was "made up" and dismissed it.

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I should be subsidized for creating jobs and get an exemption on my personal taxes for the tax my companies pay. I like that idea a lot.
So much for equal treatment, huh?

Aren't you relying on subsidies when you 'create jobs': do you teach your employees how to read and write? Do you pay their medical bills for them?

And aren't you profiting off of their labor, in the form of profit.

Now, you want to be paid additionally for the privilege, too?

And you want a credit for the taxes your company pays; are you willing to consider it your alter ego in all other respects, too, such as when somebody sues it? Or does it exist as a separate legal entity when it suits you to reduce liability but should be considered the same as you when it has to pay for the cost of its participation in society.

So much for fairness, too, I see.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:21 PM
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This is also one of the primary issues with wealth taxes. Not only is wealth not a fixed sum, it can be super difficult to even value things. And of course if your start selling it off to pay taxes the price will go down which might end up destroying more net wealth than the government gets from the tax.
Exactly; you'd likely have all sorts of shenanigans to dump stocks at low points and otherwise minimize the amount of wealth subject to the tax.

Beyond that, you'd have the issue that in a lot of cases, the selling off of significant amounts of wealth can skew the market itself, dropping values and otherwise having an undue impact on the person doing the selling. Example- if someone had say.... a 200 million ownership stake in some company because he's a co-founder, and the govt. says he owes them 30 million in wealth tax, it's entirely possible that selling 30 million in stock will affect the stock market such that the value of the remaining shares ends up LESS than 170 million. So not only did the guy pay his 30 million, but by doing so, reduced the value of what he got to keep. He started with 200 million, but ended up with say... 150 million after paying his 30 million in wealth tax, and that other 20 million just disappeared as a consequence of driving stock values down by selling a bunch.

That's pretty terrible, IMO.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:24 PM
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I thought we were positing a world where people are perfectly rational actors motivated by their tax burden. Why, then, wouldn't other people become doctors to take advantage of this opportunity. We were imagining a scenario where doctors are incentivized to earn up to $2 million; you don't think others would fill that role?
Sure, but the AMA limits of the number of slots pretty purposefully. It's not exactly easy to become a surgeon to fill the gap. Note that immigration could work but it's also being clamped down upon by the feds.

As for the rest of your comments you are basically just verging into anti-capitalism. It seems like your theory is that any money business owners make are ill gotten gains and this justifies your push for insane tax rates.

Employing people is not without significant risk. I've invested into projects that lost money but the employees all still got paid. That's the bargain of employment, you get paid for your time. In our case since I've made multiple people multi-millionaires through giving them stock in the company as well they also get some bonus based on performance and success of the company.

I don't accept the narrative that employment is some kind of bad bargain. I don't accept the narrative that capitalism is bad. And I don't accept the narrative that the government is justified in taking as much of my life's work as it has.

All opinions, as usual worth what you pay.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:26 PM
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Exactly; you'd likely have all sorts of shenanigans to dump stocks at low points and otherwise minimize the amount of wealth subject to the tax.

Beyond that, you'd have the issue that in a lot of cases, the selling off of significant amounts of wealth can skew the market itself, dropping values and otherwise having an undue impact on the person doing the selling. Example- if someone had say.... a 200 million ownership stake in some company because he's a co-founder, and the govt. says he owes them 30 million in wealth tax, it's entirely possible that selling 30 million in stock will affect the stock market such that the value of the remaining shares ends up LESS than 170 million. So not only did the guy pay his 30 million, but by doing so, reduced the value of what he got to keep. He started with 200 million, but ended up with say... 150 million after paying his 30 million in wealth tax, and that other 20 million just disappeared as a consequence of driving stock values down by selling a bunch.

That's pretty terrible, IMO.
Yes, it would destroy vast amounts of wealth. This includes people's pensions, private savings etc.

There is a reason we don't use wealth taxes. When you start chipping away at the economic base it makes everyone poorer.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:37 PM
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As for the rest of your comments you are basically just verging into anti-capitalism. It seems like your theory is that any money business owners make are ill gotten gains and this justifies your push for insane tax rates.

Employing people is not without significant risk. I've invested into projects that lost money but the employees all still got paid. That's the bargain of employment, you get paid for your time. In our case since I've made multiple people multi-millionaires through giving them stock in the company as well they also get some bonus based on performance and success of the company.

I don't accept the narrative that employment is some kind of bad bargain. I don't accept the narrative that capitalism is bad. And I don't accept the narrative that the government is justified in taking as much of my life's work as it has.

All opinions, as usual worth what you pay.
You have made assertions about my opinions that are not accurate and not based on anything said here, or elsewhere.

My theory is not that any money business owners is ill-gotten gains. Rather, I just don't think that you ought to be rewarded specially with extra tax incentives in addition to those profits. The money is reward enough.

I'm not pushing for "insane tax rates", either. In fact, I think you'll be hard pressed to find any tax rate which I've pushed. Based on your comments, however, it does sound like you think a 25% effective tax rate is insane.

I don't think employment is some kind of bad bargain. There is a wide chasm between such a thought, however, and thinking that you need to be paid above and beyond what you're earning because you employed somebody else.

In fact, that's why I don't think capitalism is bad. Rather, I accept that it provides rewards and doesn't need the government to subsidize the incentive to earn a profit.

And, finally, I am simply perplexed by this "narrative" you speak, whereby you claim that the government has taken as much of your "life's work" as it has.

If it has taken so much from you, why not simply leave? You can find lower tax rates, elsewhere. Perhaps Somalia is more your style.

IF that is ridiculous, why? Is it because you couldn't make millions over there? Or because you like what American society has to offer? What exactly is it that forces you to ensure such a predatory nation as America?
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:50 PM
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Let's have this conversation again after you've paid some heavy taxes.
You seem to be under the impression that you paid taxes with your money. You didn't. You paid taxes with the government's money that you were holding. I don't think the bank gets upset when they have to give me my deposits when I withdraw them. Why do you get upset when you give the government its money?

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People will come up with all kinds of excuses
People come up with all kinds of excuses for why they don't owe the taxes that the democracy in which they live have decided they owe. You said it yourself, everyone gets a vote. We vote that you pay more taxes than we do. We like it that way. If you feel differently, cast your vote accordingly, and we'll tally them all.

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people then use it to claim how people are supposed to feel about paying huge checks to the government
I'm not under the impression anyone actually cares how you feel about it. You're not supposed to like it, you're supposed to do it.


You still haven't told us exactly how you incurred this liability. I for one think it would be hysterical to discover it's your sales tax or employer FICA tax, money collected or withheld from others for the express purpose of turning over to the government.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:53 PM
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You have made assertions about my opinions that are not accurate and not based on anything said here, or elsewhere.

My theory is not that any money business owners is ill-gotten gains. Rather, I just don't think that you ought to be rewarded specially with extra tax incentives in addition to those profits. The money is reward enough.

I'm not pushing for "insane tax rates", either. In fact, I think you'll be hard pressed to find any tax rate which I've pushed. Based on your comments, however, it does sound like you think a 25% effective tax rate is insane.

I don't think employment is some kind of bad bargain. There is a wide chasm between such a thought, however, and thinking that you need to be paid above and beyond what you're earning because you employed somebody else.

In fact, that's why I don't think capitalism is bad. Rather, I accept that it provides rewards and doesn't need the government to subsidize the incentive to earn a profit.

And, finally, I am simply perplexed by this "narrative" you speak, whereby you claim that the government has taken as much of your "life's work" as it has.

If it has taken so much from you, why not simply leave? You can find lower tax rates, elsewhere. Perhaps Somalia is more your style.

IF that is ridiculous, why? Is it because you couldn't make millions over there? Or because you like what American society has to offer? What exactly is it that forces you to ensure such a predatory nation as America?
Yes, everyone who doesn't agree with you should move to Somalia.

Ok, you don't think capitalism is bad. We just disagree on tax rates. That doesn't mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater and move to Somalia.

Basically in your world the people who pay the majority of taxes aren't even allowed to express their displeasure with it? Otherwise they should move to Somalia?

I'm not asking for anything other than fairness and for everyone in society to have a bit of skin in the game. Being told to move to Somalia is ridiculous.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:57 PM
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You still haven't told us exactly how you incurred this liability. I for one think it would be hysterical to discover it's your sales tax or employer FICA tax, money collected or withheld from others for the express purpose of turning over to the government.
Everyone is always curious about where wealth comes from. Although I don't mind using myself as an example I'm not sure it's really fruitful to get into the details. I will say that I'm not talking about corporate anything here, this is just personal taxes I'm whining about. I typically get income from multiple entities and it's a mix of cap gains / dividends / earned income.

Corporate taxes were recently cut to 20% which was a nice cut and saved us a significant amount on the corporate side.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:10 PM
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Yes, everyone who doesn't agree with you should move to Somalia.

Ok, you don't think capitalism is bad. We just disagree on tax rates. That doesn't mean you throw out the baby with the bathwater and move to Somalia.

Basically in your world the people who pay the majority of taxes aren't even allowed to express their displeasure with it? Otherwise they should move to Somalia?

I'm not asking for anything other than fairness and for everyone in society to have a bit of skin in the game. Being told to move to Somalia is ridiculous.
So, rather than just discuss the topic, you're going to continue to misstate my words?

Where did I ever say, let alone suggest, that "everyone who doesn't agree with [me] should move to Somalia"? I wrote a bunch of things, but that's all you got out of my post? Convenient that you don't have to actually respond to any arguments; just put Somalia in every sentence so you can be offended that I mentioned it.

How about, instead, you actually engage me in conversation? My point was to ask why you don't move to another country with a lower tax base. It was the same question I raised earlier in this thread, which you had also ignored.

See, if you were honest and admitted that you were not able to make so much money in a country that didn't have as much respect for the rule of law, or provided the same infrastructure, or offered the same workforce, you might have to consider that taxes are the cost necessary to enable you to make the money you did. It's the old maxim, "you have to spend money to make money". At that point, complaining about the cost of doing business misses the fundamental point that those costs are why you are able to make so much money.

And a similar point holds if you say something like, "I could earn this money elsewhere, but I prefer it here." Again, that attitude is selfish unless the person who thinks that way wants to pay for the cost of the luxury this country provides.

So, why not Somalia? Taxes are low, and that's what matters, right? Or do taxes actually do things that explain why Somalia is such a ridiculous thought that you were insulted at the mere suggestion that it would suit you?
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:16 PM
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So, rather than just discuss the topic, you're going to continue to misstate my words?

Where did I ever say, let alone suggest, that "everyone who doesn't agree with [me] should move to Somalia"? I wrote a bunch of things, but that's all you got out of my post? Convenient that you don't have to actually respond to any arguments; just put Somalia in every sentence so you can be offended that I mentioned it.
I'm not the one who brought Somalia into the conversation. You did. And it's a standard trope that's trotted out every time someone objects to pay taxes. "Well dontcha like ROADS!" Yes, I like roads. I'm willing to pay for roads. I'm also fine with paying taxes, but I think it's gotta a bit out of hand. Now people are calling for even high taxes and wealth taxes. Well sorry but I don't agree we need more taxes.

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How about, instead, you actually engage me in conversation? My point was to ask why you don't move to another country with a lower tax base. It was the same question I raised earlier in this thread, which you had also ignored.
Well for one thing it doesn't do any good. The US will tax you no matter where you live. Without that rule I would expect you would see a great many people relocate somewhere like Monaco. It's just simply not available as an option for people in the US to do that and avoid the taxes.

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See, if you were honest and admitted that you were not able to make so much money in a country that didn't have as much respect for the rule of law, or provided the same infrastructure, or offered the same workforce, you might have to consider that taxes are the cost necessary to enable you to make the money you did. It's the old maxim, "you have to spend money to make money". At that point, complaining about the cost of doing business misses the fundamental point that those costs are why you are able to make so much money.
Again, I'm not disagreeing we should have taxes. I'm arguing they are too high. Your argument here might hold some water if I wanted everything for free, but I don't. So why would I engage in arguing against your strawman Somalian lover? It's pointless.


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And a similar point holds if you say something like, "I could earn this money elsewhere, but I prefer it here." Again, that attitude is selfish unless the person who thinks that way wants to pay for the cost of the luxury this country provides.
Basically your opinion is charge people as much as possible right up until the point where they decide to bail. Good policy you got there. I personally find it extremely distasteful.

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So, why not Somalia? Taxes are low, and that's what matters, right? Or do taxes actually do things that explain why Somalia is such a ridiculous thought that you were insulted at the mere suggestion that it would suit you?

Again banging the move to Somalia if you don't like it drum. What a waste of time.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:42 PM
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I'm not the one who brought Somalia into the conversation. You did. And it's a standard trope that's trotted out every time someone objects to pay taxes. "Well dontcha like ROADS!" Yes, I like roads. I'm willing to pay for roads. I'm also fine with paying taxes, but I think it's gotta a bit out of hand. Now people are calling for even high taxes and wealth taxes. Well sorry but I don't agree we need more taxes.
Since you are fine with paying taxes, but you have some idea of their maximum amount, how much is that? Have you even attempted to figure out what a standard rate should be, or do you just know it should be lower than you pay? I guess I'm asking whether you base your opinion on a sense that you are being gouged or some particular calculation.

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The US will tax you no matter where you live. Without that rule I would expect you would see a great many people relocate somewhere like Monaco. It's just simply not available as an option for people in the US to do that and avoid the taxes.
You don't actually have to be an American, you know. Why are you so beholden to this country?

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Again, I'm not disagreeing we should have taxes. I'm arguing they are too high. Your argument here might hold some water if I wanted everything for free, but I don't. So why would I engage in arguing against your strawman Somalian lover? It's pointless.
I think it's a mistake to address the tax issue by asking how high taxes should be. I think we start with, "what do we need?" then figure out how to pay for it. That's why I think Somalia is relevant - it's an example of a society that barely provides for anything; it's plainly not something you or I would tolerate. So, now we need to figure out how much a better society costs; only at that point can we discuss tax rates.

Instead, though, you seem to be limiting yourself to the tax rate, and are unwilling to discuss the larger social standard that those taxes pay for.

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Basically your opinion is charge people as much as possible right up until the point where they decide to bail. Good policy you got there. I personally find it extremely distasteful.
More distortion. Where do you get that from? Instead, I am asking why people don't bail when they are in your situation, where they are making lots of money but appalled at how much tax it causes them to owe. You don't seem to want to answer the question.

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Again banging the move to Somalia if you don't like it drum. What a waste of time.
I can use another country, if you prefer. Anguila looks to have pretty low taxes, too. Why not move there?

The point isn't to cast you to some god forsaken shithole. It's to ask you to consider why taxes matter.

It'd be like if you were complaining about the cost of a meal but refuse to talk about what restaurant you will eat at. I suggest going to McDonalds if you think a $100 dinner is too much, and you get all offended because I told you to eat fast food. But I'm not really doing that; I'm simply pointing out what a cheap meal is like, and trying to figure out why that isn't to your taste. And, if you are going to insist on certain features (like an appetizer menu), I'm going to argue that you aren't being realistic about your price complaints.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:58 PM
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So you're OK with a law targeting 400 individuals out of a population of 327 million?
Moved goalposts ignored. You queried my statement that "nobody AFAIK is seriously suggesting that taxation should take away all or even most of the money rich people have" with a mostly-irrelevant remark about the effects of a proposed tax plan on 400 individuals, I pointed out the irrelevance of your remark, and you changed the subject.

If you would like to include in this thread a discussion of a possible wealth tax and its effects on a tiny super-elite, feel free to raise the issue as a general remark.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:59 PM
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Since you are fine with paying taxes, but you have some idea of their maximum amount, how much is that?
As little as we need to get the job done. And it should be done in a way that most people pay a similar amount in taxes. Note, not percentage, amount.

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You don't actually have to be an American, you know. Why are you so beholden to this country?
What can I say about being a patriot?


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I think it's a mistake to address the tax issue by asking how high taxes should be. I think we start with, "what do we need?" then figure out how to pay for it.
I disagree. Instead I think we should pick a tax method and then live within our means. The tax revenues will grow with the economy. There shouldn't be a need in the long run to tinker with the rates much.


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Instead, though, you seem to be limiting yourself to the tax rate, and are unwilling to discuss the larger social standard that those taxes pay for.
Correct. I think we should live within our means and be conservative in how much of the economy the government gets to take over.

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More distortion. Where do you get that from? Instead, I am asking why people don't bail when they are in your situation, where they are making lots of money but appalled at how much tax it causes them to owe. You don't seem to want to answer the question.
What part of "they can't" don't you understand?

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It'd be like if you were complaining about the cost of a meal but refuse to talk about what restaurant you will eat at. I suggest going to McDonalds if you think a $100 dinner is too much, and you get all offended because I told you to eat fast food. But I'm not really doing that; I'm simply pointing out what a cheap meal is like, and trying to figure out why that isn't to your taste. And, if you are going to insist on certain features (like an appetizer menu), I'm going to argue that you aren't being realistic about your price complaints.
What utter nonsense you are spewing.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:03 PM
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[...] I get it. Most people are fine to soak anyone who makes more than them.
You don't get it, because you continue to ignore the fact that I, and most other taxpayers, are also fine with the tax system "soaking" us more heavily than the people who make less than we do. Because the declining marginal utility of wealth/income applies to everybody, not just the wealthiest.

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Originally Posted by neutro
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.
Carry on; you're doing an excellent job of demonstrating the fundamental emptiness, impracticality, and groundless emotional resentment underlying your position.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:25 PM
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Reinvesting is how you get Bezos though. He reinvested Amazon profits for years without taking any profits just to grow as quickly as possible.

Why do you want to make it so hard to take money off the table? As an entrepreneur and someone that hangs out with a lot of other entrepreneurs I see a lot of people who already have a really hard time taking money off the table. It's one of the biggest mistakes that I see entrepreneurs making on a regular basis. Don't you want them to take some of that and spend it in the economy?

Keep in mind that "reinvestment" doesn't mean the money is going to stay in the country or go into the local economy.
We already live in a plutonomy where a handful of rich people drive consumer spending. I don't like the economy like that and its probably not sustainable. A system where we're supposed to be happy that a rich person spends millions on luxury items while large numbers of people can't afford health care doesn't interest me.

Also reinvestment overseas will eventually benefit America. As other nations rise in wealth they buy US goods as well as contribute to science and technology, creating cures for the future. If people invest in Vietnam or Africa, that'll benefit the US by increasing our exports and people in those areas will eventually contribute to solving global problems as they become wealthy the same way China is starting to do so.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:26 PM
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You don't get it, because you continue to ignore the fact that I, and most other taxpayers, are also fine with the tax system "soaking" us more heavily than the people who make less than we do. Because the declining marginal utility of wealth/income applies to everybody, not just the wealthiest.
There are plenty of rich people that are also fine paying higher taxes. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to whine about it.

I really think the only true argument here is "might makes right" and "suck it up buttercup" which is about all I can do. I'm outvoted. I get it. But that doesn't stop me from cringing when writing the checks.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:27 PM
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We already live in a plutonomy where a handful of rich people drive consumer spending.
That's quite the claim.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:14 PM
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As little as we need to get the job done. And it should be done in a way that most people pay a similar amount in taxes. Note, not percentage, amount.
You and I agree that we should only pay the amount of taxes needed to get the job done. I find it perplexing how you can say that but then dismiss a call to figure out how much is needed to get the job done.

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What can I say about being a patriot?
In a thread where you are complaining about the cost of your life in America, it is odd that you would revert back to some notion of loving the country to explain why you live there, instead of just admitting that it provides you the lifestyle you like by offering you the opportunities you need to succeed as much as you have.

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I disagree. Instead I think we should pick a tax method and then live within our means. The tax revenues will grow with the economy. There shouldn't be a need in the long run to tinker with the rates much.
Other than a vague notion about paying less, have you given this any thought at all. What would this tax amount be?

Normally, when people spend money, they first figure out what they want to buy, then consider the cost, then figure out how to pay for it. It sounds like you are suggesting that a better tactic is to just say, "I only need whatever I can afford based on how much is in my wallet." How would that work in national cases of war or natural disaster, for example?

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Correct. I think we should live within our means and be conservative in how much of the economy the government gets to take over.
This "live within our means" is so vague as to be meaningless. Should the US have an air force? Saying we need to 'live within our means' provides absolutely no guidance on such an issue, but a nation can live within its means both with and without an air force. What, then, is your standard for determining how much is necessary, other than just "whatever amount the government takes in is enough".

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What part of "they can't" don't you understand?
The part where you seem to take the position that people can't leave the US and become citizens elsewhere, even when they have millions of dollars at their disposal. Earlier, you used patriotism to explain why you insist on staying in America. Now, you explain that people do this because they have no other option.

I'm confused by the contradiction; why can't people bail and go to other countries? If paying money is so distasteful, why is it overcome by an amorphous 'love of country', instead of the more likely answer that 'they can't' because then they'd lose their income stream?

Quote:
What utter nonsense you are spewing.
How so? I've tried to get you to explain why America is an important place for you, since it is so unfair in how it treats you. You won't give a clear answer other than to repeat your right to 'whine'.

Well, I'm saying that you have no basis to whine about the costs you have unless you are willing to give up the benefits you enjoy (and I'll go further by saying that a person makes millions per year enjoys greater benefits than somebody making far less).

You, however, won't even acknowledge what those benefits are, let alone what they should cost. You seem to want 5 star service for the cost of a value meal.
  #90  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:48 PM
neutro is offline
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This "live within our means" is so vague as to be meaningless.
Not at all. Pick a rate for everyone and stick with it. That's the amount the government has to spend. If they want to use the markets to float a bit of debt that makes some sense in certain situations as well.

Quote:
The part where you seem to take the position that people can't leave the US and become citizens elsewhere, even when they have millions of dollars at their disposal. Earlier, you used patriotism to explain why you insist on staying in America. Now, you explain that people do this because they have no other option.
Again, what part of they can't don't you understand? There is no way to avoid your tax liability by leaving.



Quote:
I'm confused by the contradiction; why can't people bail and go to other countries?
Because US law.

Quote:
If paying money is so distasteful, why is it overcome by an amorphous 'love of country', instead of the more likely answer that 'they can't' because then they'd lose their income stream?
It's really just if you want to go to jail or not. I don't want any trouble so I pay my taxes. Compliance doesn't in any way mean I give up my right to complain. Compliance doesn't in any way imply someone should move to some other country with lower taxes when it's not really possible to do so.


Quote:
How so? I've tried to get you to explain why America is an important place for you, since it is so unfair in how it treats you. You won't give a clear answer other than to repeat your right to 'whine'.
The best think about the USA is the right to free speech. At least I can complain to all the people want to tax my wealth away.

Quote:
Well, I'm saying that you have no basis to whine about the costs you have unless you are willing to give up the benefits you enjoy (and I'll go further by saying that a person makes millions per year enjoys greater benefits than somebody making far less).
Good thing you don't make the rules!

And yes having a Ferrari and a beach house does rule.
  #91  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:58 PM
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If that be true, though, then doesn't that just create a platform for a more diversified success among lots of different people. Take your doctor: clearly top of the field to be earning millions. Now, though, takes 3 months off during the summer, to avoid the tax hit.

Haven't we just opened up the field of potential clients to those people who aren't as successful? During those summers, aren't doctors who haven't cracked the million dollar a year mark going to fill the void, take on the patients, and work those extra hours.

In other words, if you are right, and people will hold back because their taxes are too high, does that really extract a social cost, if other people will make up for it with their own work? Per your theory, the incentive to slow down and work less only applies once you reach that tax threshold, correct?
I find this very insightful, and answers my own questions about high tax rates affecting people who would just stop working once they reached the "100%" tax rate threshold. Thanks!

On a side note, I can't believe someone who makes $2M a year comes to this board and complains when members here are actually homeless.
  #92  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:20 PM
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I find this very insightful, and answers my own questions about high tax rates affecting people who would just stop working once they reached the "100%" tax rate threshold. Thanks!

On a side note, I can't believe someone who makes $2M a year comes to this board and complains when members here are actually homeless.
Seriously? What does that have to do with anything.

Someone else started this thread btw, not me. I thought it would be interesting to give my perspective. I will go away now and leave all ya'll to continue to think of ways to get more money out of me. Because taxing the rich will totally just magically solve everything including homelessness.
  #93  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by neutro View Post
Seriously? What does that have to do with anything.

Someone else started this thread btw, not me. I thought it would be interesting to give my perspective. I will go away now and leave all ya'll to continue to think of ways to get more money out of me. Because taxing the rich will totally just magically solve everything including homelessness.
Yeah, your perspective is whining that you make so much money you have to pay $500K in taxes. If only all of us had that problem.
  #94  
Old 10-17-2019, 10:08 PM
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Neutro, it’s not illegal to renounce your citizenship and become a citizen of another country where you no longer have to pay American taxes.

You’ll give up your American dividends and capital gains, of course, but that’s no big deal when you consider the tax savings!
  #95  
Old 10-17-2019, 10:42 PM
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Your problem here is that you haven't convinced anyone that your $500k tax bill is ridiculous. Nobody else seems to think it's excessive. In fact, some have said it's too low. Perhaps you should justify your position that it's too much.
  #96  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Moriarty View Post
Per your theory, the incentive to slow down and work less only applies once you reach that tax threshold, correct?
According to your theory, there is no incentive to slow down - your sales people example were people who were going to sell as much as possible even if they didn't get to collect anything above a certain amount.

To over-simplify, my theory is that people tend not to want to work for free, and your theory is that they are too driven to care if they are working for free or not. So under your theory, my surgeon wouldn't slow down at all - he would continue to produce at a rate of $3M a year even though the marginal utility of the work required to produce the extra $1M declines as tax rates increase.

Or, as mentioned, if your sales people's company didn't pay commissions above $2M per year - would the sales people continue to sell as hard as possible?

That's the theory that I disagree with - that there is no such thing as diminishing returns, or that people don't need to be paid overtime - if they are going to work 60 hour weeks, they will work those weeks whether they get paid for them or not.

Regards,
Shodan
  #97  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:09 PM
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Everyone is always curious about where wealth comes from. Although I don't mind using myself as an example I'm not sure it's really fruitful to get into the details. I will say that I'm not talking about corporate anything here, this is just personal taxes I'm whining about. I typically get income from multiple entities and it's a mix of cap gains / dividends / earned income.
So you are whining about being taxes on income that you largely don't have to "do" anything to create, aside from already having enough wealth to acquire those appreciating, dividend producing assets?




Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
As little as we need to get the job done. And it should be done in a way that most people pay a similar amount in taxes. Note, not percentage, amount.
Just out of curiosity, why do you think people should pay a similar amount in taxes but not receive a similar amount in income? I don't think many, if anyone here has suggested outrageous, confiscatory levels of taxation for the wealthy. Just that they pay their fair share.

Also, there is a bit of debate on what the actual "job" is that Government needs to get done, which would also tend to drive how much people should be taxed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
There are plenty of rich people that are also fine paying higher taxes. That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to whine about it.

I really think the only true argument here is "might makes right" and "suck it up buttercup" which is about all I can do. I'm outvoted. I get it. But that doesn't stop me from cringing when writing the checks.
Yeah, we get it. Writing a check the size of the family income of ten average American families to the government each year is painful. But on the plus side, you get to keep the equivalent income of fifteen average American families.




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Originally Posted by neutro View Post
And yes having a Ferrari and a beach house does rule.
As they say, it's the best alternative to actually having a large penis.
  #98  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:18 PM
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As they say, it's the best alternative to actually having a large penis.
Good point. You aren't born driving a Ferrari but you can earn one, unlike a giant penis which is just luck.
  #99  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:23 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there is a finite amount of wealth to be had.
You are wrong. Well, wrong in the sense that it's a fixed pie. It's really more about how the pie is sliced. But slicing the pie the wrong way inhibits the growth of the pie. Then you get into a whole philosophical debate on whether it's better to have a smaller piece of a large pie or a large piece of a smaller pie.

It's a complex economic issue.
  #100  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:36 PM
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So you are whining about being taxes on income that you largely don't have to "do" anything to create, aside from already having enough wealth to acquire those appreciating, dividend producing assets?
Why is it that investment capital is do disregarded?

Without the capital invested in those appreciating, dividend producing assets, there would be no jobs that those companies create, no products that society consumes or enjoys, and no corporate income taxes paid on the income that those companies' generate.

Do you believe that all companies should be ESOP's? If people can't even pony up money for 401k contributions, where do you think the capital will come from to invest in companies?
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