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Old 4th October 2019, 09:34 PM   #41
cullennz
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Actually it really is. The amount of money someone needs to pay for basic needs is finite. You can debate what's a "need," but at some point, after they are living as comfortably and securely as anybody can, the rich are not spending money on any "needs." They are investing their money to make more money. They can afford to pay more of that in taxes.

Yes but if the people with the money who employ loads of people get a sudden jump in tax, they tend to move away where there is't the tax. Ditch their workers and create more poor out of work people.

I realise there are some scummy rich people fleecing the economy, but a lot of the others actually provide jobs that in turn flows into the economy.
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Old 4th October 2019, 09:56 PM   #42
The Great Zaganza
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The only problem Economists have with taxes is how they are implemented: if they negativity affect beneficial market activity, they are bad.
But if they transfer wealth from unproductive sources to productive ones, they are good.
Vast wealth accumulation means that less money is available for consumption - it weakens the Demand side of the market.
So the question isn't: should we transfer a ton money from the Top to the Bottom, but how to do it in a way that isn't easily circumvental.
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Old 5th October 2019, 05:34 AM   #43
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It's Only Money
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Old 5th October 2019, 07:10 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Yes but if the people with the money who employ loads of people get a sudden jump in tax, they tend to move away where there is't the tax. Ditch their workers and create more poor out of work people.

I realise there are some scummy rich people fleecing the economy, but a lot of the others actually provide jobs that in turn flows into the economy.
Businesses certainly are run by rich individuals, and they can move businesses to places where there is less tax.

But an income tax isn't a business tax. And "leaving the United States" permanently in order to avoid taxes is something easier said than done even for insanely wealthy individuals. The US taxes income worldwide, so simply moving to another country, even permanently, does not relieve a citizen's tax burden; and renouncing US citizenship comes with a crushing tax assessment for high net worth individuals. If a millionaire expatriates from the US, the government treats the entirety of his assets - including deferred things like securities, pensions, 401(x)s, and the like - as if they had all been liquidated the day before his expatriation, and immediately taxes the assessed net gain as income. That's regardless of whether the assets were in fact liquidated or not; so if they're maintained, they may continue to be taxed as normal going forward despite the expatriation penalty that taxed them as if they were sold. Needless to say, that is a much more painful hit for your typical billionaire to take than any income tax increase currently being proposed.
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Old 5th October 2019, 07:18 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
As I recall, taking all that money frm all those billionaires would give a one time payment of umm $270 to each of us poor folks.

But yeah, I'd rather a wealth/property tax over the income tax. Because those rich bastards take in sooo much money but some how none of it is "taxable income".
Most of it is taxable capital, and is taxed as such at the legally appropriate points in its movement.

For example, Warren Buffet's secretary makes a good income, and pays income taxes on it.

Buffet himself, meanwhile, mostly realizes gains on capital investments, and pays capital gains taxes on it. His "income" is actually the investment revenue left over after he's paid the taxes on it.

So while it's true that Buffet pays far less income tax than his secretary, it's a red herring.

There's a separate issue of capital being much easier to move into a more generous tax jurisdiction than income.
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Old 5th October 2019, 08:12 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The only problem Economists have with taxes is how they are implemented: if they negativity affect beneficial market activity, they are bad.
But if they transfer wealth from unproductive sources to productive ones, they are good.
Vast wealth accumulation means that less money is available for consumption - it weakens the Demand side of the market.
So the question isn't: should we transfer a ton money from the Top to the Bottom, but how to do it in a way that isn't easily circumvental.
You are mixing up economics with philosophy. Economics doesn't say demand is good.
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Old 5th October 2019, 08:22 AM   #47
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
You are mixing up economics with philosophy. Economics doesn't say demand is good.
economics says demand and supply must be in a balance for markets to function efficiently.
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Old 5th October 2019, 08:48 AM   #48
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Confiscate and redistribute every billionaire's wealth.

Quote:
There are 2,153 billionaires on the 2019 list, down from 2,208 in 2018. The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires is $8.7 trillion, down from $9.1 trillion in 2018.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesp.../#4f1ac0e245b9
$8,700,000,000,000/7,000,000,000 people=$1,242.85 each. Once.

That will solve everything.
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Old 5th October 2019, 09:03 AM   #49
The Great Zaganza
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Alternatively, we could just cancel all debts ...
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Old 5th October 2019, 09:21 AM   #50
theprestige
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Alternatively, we could just cancel all debts ...
That would probably cause more problems than it solves.

Serious question: Were you making a serious proposal? Or is this more of a "Fight Club" joke, and I'm having trouble reading tone?
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Old 5th October 2019, 10:19 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
economics says demand and supply must be in a balance for markets to function efficiently.
A) not exactly.

B) Economics does not say efficiency is good. That is a value judgement.
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Old 5th October 2019, 11:15 AM   #52
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
That would probably cause more problems than it solves.
if just done like that, yes, absolutely

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Serious question: Were you making a serious proposal? Or is this more of a "Fight Club" joke, and I'm having trouble reading tone?
the problem of debt is as old as money itself.
If people can go into debt, sooner or later a part of the population will be in the era equivalent of Debt Bondage.
In the past, this usually affected peasants, who would lose their farms and had to flee to the cities, which in turn would lead to loss of harvests.
Today, it's often healthcare or loss of work or recessions.

Hence the Biblical Law of Debt Forgiveness every seven years.

When too much private debt becomes a system-critical problem, mandatory debt forgiveness should absolutely be on the table.
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Old 5th October 2019, 11:59 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
if just done like that, yes, absolutely
"Just cancel all debts" was your phrasing, not mine. If you think it will absolutely cause more problems than it solves, why the hell did you propose just doing it like that?

Quote:
the problem of debt is as old as money itself.
If people can go into debt, sooner or later a part of the population will be in the era equivalent of Debt Bondage.
In the past, this usually affected peasants, who would lose their farms and had to flee to the cities, which in turn would lead to loss of harvests.
Today, it's often healthcare or loss of work or recessions.

Hence the Biblical Law of Debt Forgiveness every seven years.
I'm less interested in history, and more in practical policy in modern times.

Quote:
When too much private debt becomes a system-critical problem, mandatory debt forgiveness should absolutely be on the table.
How do you propose making the lenders whole? For the most part, they're making legitimate loans, and have a reasonable expectation that those loans will be repaid. You can't just erase their valid claims because the borrower says that benefiting from someone else's wealth and owing them a repayment feels like slavery to them.

So yeah, let's not propose "just" forgiving all debt. Let's take the time to look at the actual problem in a modern context, and figure out an appropriately complex solution to a complex problem.

Though, we might find that a good mechanism for debt forgiveness in extremis, with reasonable measures to protect the creditor's legitimate interests, already exists. We might also find that we already have good policies in place for combating predatory or fraudulent lending, though perhaps we will want to strengthen those a bit.

To me, it seems obvious that mandatory debt erasure every seven years (for example) would just produce a vicious cycle:

Borrowers would simply borrow vast sums, and then ride out the payment defaults for a few years until the money they'd borrowed magically becomes theirs in perpetuity, and the lender is simply robbed.

Followed by lenders refusing to make any loans of terms longer than the next forgiveness date, and instituting increasingly draconian and abusive strategies to collect outstanding debts before the next forgiveness date. Woe to the poor healthcare debtor, who discovers that her creditors won't work with her on a long-term payment plan anymore, and are anxious to claim as much of their pound of flesh before forgiveness supersedes. Better to leave her bleeding out on Forgiveness Day, then have to explain to your stakeholders why you left money on the table - money you were legitimately owed! - when you knew this was your last chance to claim it.

Followed by people with capital to lend seeking markets where they're reasonably assured of being able to pursue and collect on debts as long as those debts remain outstanding. And people who need a capital infusion to start a business or weather a crisis will be left out in the cold, since nobody with capital to lend is going to touch their Debt Forgiveness with a ten foot pole.
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Old 5th October 2019, 12:21 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
When you say people are living paycheck to paycheck, there are two possibilities:

1. That they make barely enough money to cover their basic living expenses.
2. That they earn plenty of money, but make no efforts to economize. Basically they spend money until they are broke.

I'm guessing that most of that 10% of those who make $100K+ a year and live paycheck to paycheck are behind door #2.

I have a friend who lives paycheck to paycheck. She will spend her money until she is broke, then she will try to borrow money (I cut her off years ago). She makes pretty good money for our area, but:

She never eats at home--every meal is out.
She never stays at home in the evening. She's in a pool league, she's in a poker league and she loves karaoke in bars.
Speaking of the poker league, we play (free entry) poker tournaments three nights a week. But if you go out before the break you can get back in by buying about $10 worth of drinks. Guess who leads the league in rebuys.

So while I'm sure lots of people live from paycheck to paycheck because they barely make enough to cover the basics, a lot of them do it because they lack self-control and discipline.
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Old 5th October 2019, 12:26 PM   #55
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Just cancel all debts" was your phrasing, not mine. If you think it will absolutely cause more problems than it solves, why the hell did you propose just doing it like that?


I'm less interested in history, and more in practical policy in modern times.


How do you propose making the lenders whole? For the most part, they're making legitimate loans, and have a reasonable expectation that those loans will be repaid. You can't just erase their valid claims because the borrower says that benefiting from someone else's wealth and owing them a repayment feels like slavery to them.

So yeah, let's not propose "just" forgiving all debt. Let's take the time to look at the actual problem in a modern context, and figure out an appropriately complex solution to a complex problem.

Though, we might find that a good mechanism for debt forgiveness in extremis, with reasonable measures to protect the creditor's legitimate interests, already exists. We might also find that we already have good policies in place for combating predatory or fraudulent lending, though perhaps we will want to strengthen those a bit.

To me, it seems obvious that mandatory debt erasure every seven years (for example) would just produce a vicious cycle:

Borrowers would simply borrow vast sums, and then ride out the payment defaults for a few years until the money they'd borrowed magically becomes theirs in perpetuity, and the lender is simply robbed.

Followed by lenders refusing to make any loans of terms longer than the next forgiveness date, and instituting increasingly draconian and abusive strategies to collect outstanding debts before the next forgiveness date. Woe to the poor healthcare debtor, who discovers that her creditors won't work with her on a long-term payment plan anymore, and are anxious to claim as much of their pound of flesh before forgiveness supersedes. Better to leave her bleeding out on Forgiveness Day, then have to explain to your stakeholders why you left money on the table - money you were legitimately owed! - when you knew this was your last chance to claim it.

Followed by people with capital to lend seeking markets where they're reasonably assured of being able to pursue and collect on debts as long as those debts remain outstanding. And people who need a capital infusion to start a business or weather a crisis will be left out in the cold, since nobody with capital to lend is going to touch their Debt Forgiveness with a ten foot pole.
why would anyone have to make the lenders whole?
This is such an alien idea, something that only very, very recently has been thought of as something that needs to happen.
A lender always has the risk of losing his money - that is why he gets interest payments: they aren't just income, they are also an insurance premium.
Banks routinely have to write off debt.
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Old 5th October 2019, 07:10 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
When you say people are living paycheck to paycheck, there are two possibilities:

1. That they make barely enough money to cover their basic living expenses.
2. That they earn plenty of money, but make no efforts to economize. Basically they spend money until they are broke.
There are certainly some in category 2, but pretty well everyone in the bottom half of earnings is in the club. 78% is an enormous number majority. You could probably say that almost everyone in the bottom 2/3 of wage earners will fit.
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:17 AM   #57
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I'm confused by the apparent "So, that's the way of the world" response when the OP highlights that this is situation created by policy.
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Old 6th October 2019, 12:53 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
When you say people are living paycheck to paycheck, there are two possibilities:

1. That they make barely enough money to cover their basic living expenses.
2. That they earn plenty of money, but make no efforts to economize. Basically they spend money until they are broke.

Is this better? 40% of Americans can't cover a $400 emergency expense (CNN Money, May 22, 2018)


ETA:
Quote:
Mark Zuckerberg, the fifth richest person in the world with many billions of dollars to his name, said he "understands" where Bernie Sanders is coming from when the Democratic presidential candidate says billionaires shouldn't exist.
"I don't know if I have an exact threshold on what amount of money someone should have, but on some level no one deserves to have that much money," the Facebook (FB) CEO said during a town hall event at the company's headquarters on Thursday in response to an employee question about Sanders' comments.
Mark Zuckerberg on billionaires: 'No one deserves to have that much money' (CNN Business, Oct. 4, 2019)
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Last edited by dann; 6th October 2019 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 6th October 2019, 02:50 PM   #59
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Quote:
Mark Zuckerberg on billionaires: 'No one deserves to have that much money' (CNN Business, Oct. 4, 2019)

Especially you, whatever "deserve" means.

What did Zuck do to earn all those billions, cure cancer? Our richest CEOs earn billions with companies that don't even make tangible products. Facebook, Google, Twitter... for the most part, turn off the servers and these companies don't even exist. Just kinda weird that's all.
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Old 6th October 2019, 03:21 PM   #60
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Once there are no more billionaires of course there will have to be no more millionaires, that's just the way these things go
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Old 6th October 2019, 06:50 PM   #61
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Slippery slope is probably my Top Lame Argument.
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Old 6th October 2019, 09:35 PM   #62
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Breaking news:
Quote:
For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate — spanning federal, state and local taxes — than any other income group, according to newly released data.

That’s a sharp change from the 1950s and 1960s, when the wealthy paid vastly higher tax rates than the middle class or poor.

Since then, taxes that hit the wealthiest the hardest — like the estate tax and corporate tax — have plummeted, while tax avoidance has become more common.

President Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which was largely a handout to the rich, plays a role, too. It helped push the tax rate on the 400 wealthiest households below the rates for almost everyone else.

The point is that it doesn't have to be like this, and for most of our history, it wasn't.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...gtype=Homepage
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Old 6th October 2019, 09:44 PM   #63
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Look at history. When the wealth gap grows too big a revolution overturns the ruling elite. Why would that not happen now?
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Old 6th October 2019, 09:46 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Once there are no more billionaires of course there will have to be no more millionaires, that's just the way these things go
Oh like that's something I give a **** about, even if I believed it had any logic whatsoever.
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Old 6th October 2019, 10:00 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Look at history. When the wealth gap grows too big a revolution overturns the ruling elite. Why would that not happen now?
Wage slavery.
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Old 6th October 2019, 10:06 PM   #66
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Wage slavery.
Cable TV and video games
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:11 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
There are certainly some in category 2, but pretty well everyone in the bottom half of earnings is in the club. 78% is an enormous number majority. You could probably say that almost everyone in the bottom 2/3 of wage earners will fit.
Apple sold 52.2 million iphones in the first quarter of this year. Most of those were the new $999 phone. A lot of people are very dumb with money.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:17 AM   #68
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If you think Bill Gates and Warren Buffett make too much money, fine. But don't pretend like they somehow have "your" money that would just be yours if they didn't have it.

The economy is not a pizza where if one person gets too many slices there's nothing left over and you have to eat the box.

Bill Gates is worth 95.4 billion dollars. I'm worth enough to supersize a meal at McDonalds.

If Bill Gates tomorrow finds himself worth.... *pulls number out of thin air* 10 billion dollars that 85.4 billion wouldn't magically be distributed to the rest of us, it would just go away.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Indeed

Think this is the most obvious one from your quote

"It pushed rich people out of the country, and the wealth taxes didn't raise a lot of revenue."


It is pretty easy for a billionaire to just walk away from a country who introduces it
Exactly we are getting back to a more natural state, an unbound aristocracy with no ties to any concept of nation and just personal betterment, and the serfs who are bound to the land. All these socialist lies about average people being able to afford things need to be put down.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:26 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I have a problem with idea that making billions of dollars is somehow a crime in and of itself. I think HOW you made a Billion matters.
I just don't think wealth is and of itself evil, which for some on the left is pretty much an article of faith.
I think no one should live in poverty, but don't want to limit someone's success either
I sort of think everybody should be guaranteed the basics, but for the luxuries you are on your own.
Bah poverty is an important part of capitalism you need the die in a ditch or do what I want as an important motivator. I mean look at how people argue that being on ones parents health insurance is a major disincentive to work for those 20-26. The immediate threat of death is a feature not a bug in the system, as is the increasing concentrations of wealth, increasing housing prices along with medical and education and stagnating wages. The system is working exactly as conservative thinkers have designed it to work.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:28 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Your problem is that all a wealth tax does is make rich people move to other places to avoid it, which means they sack thousands of people, making more poor people struggling.
Hence why the poors just need to accept serfdom and stop fighting it. The job creators may let them have the scraps and that is all they should ever have hoped for.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:31 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Yes but if the people with the money who employ loads of people get a sudden jump in tax, they tend to move away where there is't the tax. Ditch their workers and create more poor out of work people.

I realise there are some scummy rich people fleecing the economy, but a lot of the others actually provide jobs that in turn flows into the economy.
Those jobs just don't actually pay enough on average for the workers to not be an instant from financial ruin. But they are not starving so they have no reason to complain.

It is like those ingrate miners who thought being paid in company script was some kind of injustice. They had their jobs and lifestyle to thank the mine owners with and what did they do? Strike like the ingrates they were.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:34 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
When you say people are living paycheck to paycheck, there are two possibilities:

1. That they make barely enough money to cover their basic living expenses.
2. That they earn plenty of money, but make no efforts to economize. Basically they spend money until they are broke.

I'm guessing that most of that 10% of those who make $100K+ a year and live paycheck to paycheck are behind door #2.
Once you give up on luxuries like a home it becomes easy. I mean no one expects most people to be able to live in their own house. That is patently a ridiculous socialist idea.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:55 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I have a problem with idea that making billions of dollars is somehow a crime in and of itself. I think HOW you made a Billion matters.
I agree. Most of the money billionaires have is actually tied up either in owning business, lending money to businesses or lending it to the government. If you were to take a share of all the large corporations, who would be able to buy those shares from you? If you could find a buyer, there wouldn’t be any more goods/services available so all you’d accomplish is driving up prices, people wouldn’t actually benefit.

Furthermore, would Amazon be worth at much if someone other than Bezos was running it? New billionaires are almost always rich because they are good at running business or good at figuring out where resources are best allocated in the economy. This doesn’t actually “create jobs” like the right wing propaganda would have you believe, but it does improve economic efficiency which means there is more/better goods & services available. More goods&services is a rising tide that lifts all boats.

There are at least 2 real problems though. The first is people who make money by distorting the market in negative ways, this needs to stop. The second is generational wealth, people who are rick not because they did something that improved economic efficiency, but because their parents did. What you want is for smart people to be able to move up the economic ladder by doing things that help improve availability and/or desirability of goods& services. This inherently means that people who were born rich but don’t have the same level of competence as their parents need to move downwards. It’s not billionaires that matter it’s economic mobility.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:00 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I agree. Most of the money billionaires have is actually tied up either in owning business, lending money to businesses or lending it to the government. If you were to take a share of all the large corporations, who would be able to buy those shares from you? If you could find a buyer, there wouldn’t be any more goods/services available so all you’d accomplish is driving up prices, people wouldn’t actually benefit.

Furthermore, would Amazon be worth at much if someone other than Bezos was running it? New billionaires are almost always rich because they are good at running business or good at figuring out where resources are best allocated in the economy. This doesn’t actually “create jobs” like the right wing propaganda would have you believe, but it does improve economic efficiency which means there is more/better goods & services available.
Sure it does look at all the jobs in it's fulfillment centers running people into the ground! That is the kind of jobs we want right?

Quote:
More goods&services is a rising tide that lifts all boats.
As long as you can afford a boat of course. Otherwise rising tides can be a bit of a problem to those who can not afford a boat. But no one cares about those people.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:06 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Wealth tax would solve this.
This paper (also editorialised in "The Economist" last week) argues that wealth tax can be superior to capital gains tax. Several economists rubbish both taxes but mostly for reasons that can be brought out to criticise almost any tax ("if you tax something you get less of it in the first place and for most things that's bad")

Capital gains tax "punishes" folks that use wealth to generate high returns and lets off others that don't. Wealth tax would do it the opposite way round in a "use it or lose it" sense
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:07 AM   #77
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Wrt capital gains tax.

“I want to take the profits I made investing in Apple and invest it in some other rapidly growing company” shouldn’t be taxed at all. All this really does is encourage people to keep investment capital where it is instead of trying to move it to where it should be.

“I want to take the profits I made investing in Apple and buy a luxury yacht, private jet and a mansion” should be taxed as any other income.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:11 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
I agree. Most of the money billionaires have is actually tied up either in owning business, lending money to businesses or lending it to the government. If you were to take a share of all the large corporations, who would be able to buy those shares from you? If you could find a buyer, there wouldn’t be any more goods/services available so all you’d accomplish is driving up prices, people wouldn’t actually benefit.



Furthermore, would Amazon be worth at much if someone other than Bezos was running it? New billionaires are almost always rich because they are good at running business or good at figuring out where resources are best allocated in the economy. This doesn’t actually “create jobs” like the right wing propaganda would have you believe, but it does improve economic efficiency which means there is more/better goods & services available. More goods&services is a rising tide that lifts all boats.



There are at least 2 real problems though. The first is people who make money by distorting the market in negative ways, this needs to stop. The second is generational wealth, people who are rick not because they did something that improved economic efficiency, but because their parents did. What you want is for smart people to be able to move up the economic ladder by doing things that help improve availability and/or desirability of goods& services. This inherently means that people who were born rich but don’t have the same level of competence as their parents need to move downwards. It’s not billionaires that matter it’s economic mobility.
The problem with getting rid of inherited wealth is that people need to feel like their efforts serve their needs, provide for their wants, and uphold their values. Take away a person's right to spend their wealth providing for their descendants, and it will probably impact their motivation to earn.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:13 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
All this really does is encourage people to keep investment capital where it is instead of trying to move it to where it should be.
Wealth tax probably would not require gains/losses to be actually traded to trigger incidence. Also a yacht, second mansion could be taxed along with a bank balance.
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:18 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The problem with getting rid of inherited wealth is that people need to feel like their efforts serve their needs, provide for their wants, and uphold their values. Take away a person's right to spend their wealth providing for their descendants, and it will probably impact their motivation to earn.
Taxation would have to be pretty extreme to entirely eliminate the incentives for participating in the market. Plenty of people would be highly driven to accumulate wealth, even if they could never realistically reach billionaire status. Plenty of rich folk would be content to be multi-millionaires and hand down 7 figure wealth to their children, and that would represent a massive reduction in the wealth that exists in this country.

There is a lot of wiggle room, in terms of policy, between such an extreme and where we are today.
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