Those lazy, shiftless, non-productive rich people

When countries (and, as we have seen, states) raise taxes on “the rich,” the rich have been escaping to jurisdictions with lower taxes.  Thus, ever since Maryland has increased taxes on its wealthiest citizens, those citizens have been moving to lower-tax Virginia.  The co-founder of Facebook has renounced his American citizenship and is now a citizen of Singapore.  This is happening in other countries as well.

So our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on all countries to raise taxes on the rich so as to give them no place to hide.  From The Motley Fool‘s Rich Smith:

A rich guy can always decide to “pull a Facebook” — follow in the footsteps of Facebook (FB) co-founder Eduardo Saverin, renounce U.S. citizenship, and fly away to someplace with a more lenient tax code. (It’s not just U.S. citizens going this route, either. Last month, Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and the CEO of luxury-goods maker LVMH, responded to French plans to hike taxes on the rich by emigrating and seeking Belgian citizenship.)

Enter Secretary Clinton, with a novel solution to the problem: Tax everyone, everywhere, and especially the rich.

Clinton first floated her proposal at the Clinton Global Initiative conclave in New York last month: “It is a fact that the elites in every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries.”

So far, mainstream commentary on the speech has painted it as a simple expression of the American-centric worldview: We think raising taxes on our richest 1% is a pretty keen idea, and you other countries should, too.

But there may be something more subtle afoot. The real purpose behind Clinton’s salvo could be to send a shot across the bow of would-be Saverin and Arnault imitators: If you think you can avoid higher taxes by simply switching citizenship, think again.

via Hillary Clinton Wants to Tax the Rich — Here, There and Everywhere – DailyFinance.

I don’t understand this part:  “There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries.”  Really, Hillary?  Rich people do not contribute to the growth of their countries?  You think the only way countries can grow is for the government to rake in more taxes?  You don’t think economic growth has anything to do with people having money?  But if you do believe the rich are such shiftless, lazy freeloaders why should any country want them to stay around?  (Notice how some liberals look at the rich the same way some conservatives look at the poor!)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Ray

    I continue to be amazed at how the plot of “Atlas Shrugged” is coming true before my eyes.

  • Ray

    I continue to be amazed at how the plot of “Atlas Shrugged” is coming true before my eyes.

  • Pete

    I think it’s in the Bible somewhere – “The rich will be with you always…”

  • Pete

    I think it’s in the Bible somewhere – “The rich will be with you always…”

  • fjsteve

    Not only are they proposing this but, at the same time, they’re proposing that we brand anyone who meets certain criteria as having “tax avoidance intent” and bar them from ever entering the country again. This is the “Ex-PATRIOT” act but I have heretofore nicknamed it the “Sour Grapes Act”.

  • fjsteve

    Not only are they proposing this but, at the same time, they’re proposing that we brand anyone who meets certain criteria as having “tax avoidance intent” and bar them from ever entering the country again. This is the “Ex-PATRIOT” act but I have heretofore nicknamed it the “Sour Grapes Act”.

  • SKPeterson

    Mrs. Clinton has done a subtle twist on a basic economic truth, thereby creating a misleading falsehood. The rich don’t necessarily contribute to the growth of their own countries, and thank God for that. The United States was not built up using our own financial capital; much of the investment into the development of U.S. industrial and transport capacity in the 19th century (much of which is also still with us to some extent) was provided by British and Dutch investors who forsook “contribut[ing] to the growth of their own countries,” and invested in the growth of the U.S. economy. Here’s the kicker, though, and where Mrs. Clinton is misleading – the U.S. economy grew because of foreign investment, but so did the economies of Great Britain and the Netherlands. The upshot is that taxing the rich everywhere and always does not lead to prosperity and investment for all.

    Moreover, if Mrs. Clinton succeeded in setting up a tax cartel, it just creates incentives for nations to cheat, or to opt out and provide lower tax rates, thereby increasing their own chances for obtaining more investment and developing their own economies. Actually, now that I think about it, this idea of Mrs. Clinton’s is nothing more than naked economic imperialism – the desire to foist on growing and developing countries the same tax and regulatory burdens that the advanced economies of the world are increasingly faltering under and doing it under the guise of fairness and a faux anti-elitism.

  • SKPeterson

    Mrs. Clinton has done a subtle twist on a basic economic truth, thereby creating a misleading falsehood. The rich don’t necessarily contribute to the growth of their own countries, and thank God for that. The United States was not built up using our own financial capital; much of the investment into the development of U.S. industrial and transport capacity in the 19th century (much of which is also still with us to some extent) was provided by British and Dutch investors who forsook “contribut[ing] to the growth of their own countries,” and invested in the growth of the U.S. economy. Here’s the kicker, though, and where Mrs. Clinton is misleading – the U.S. economy grew because of foreign investment, but so did the economies of Great Britain and the Netherlands. The upshot is that taxing the rich everywhere and always does not lead to prosperity and investment for all.

    Moreover, if Mrs. Clinton succeeded in setting up a tax cartel, it just creates incentives for nations to cheat, or to opt out and provide lower tax rates, thereby increasing their own chances for obtaining more investment and developing their own economies. Actually, now that I think about it, this idea of Mrs. Clinton’s is nothing more than naked economic imperialism – the desire to foist on growing and developing countries the same tax and regulatory burdens that the advanced economies of the world are increasingly faltering under and doing it under the guise of fairness and a faux anti-elitism.

  • Michael B.

    One of the most frustrating victories of Republicans is to convince many middle class Americans that their interests are the interest of multi-millionaires are somehow aligned.

  • Michael B.

    One of the most frustrating victories of Republicans is to convince many middle class Americans that their interests are the interest of multi-millionaires are somehow aligned.

  • Tom Hering

    Resentment of the rich is a symptom of decline – or at least of stagnation without hope of improvement – among the middle and working classes. Do you want to make the environment in this country better for the rich? Then restore a sense of hope that the middle and working classes can improve their lot. Just remember that giving advantages to the rich has never made things better for anyone but the rich.

  • Tom Hering

    Resentment of the rich is a symptom of decline – or at least of stagnation without hope of improvement – among the middle and working classes. Do you want to make the environment in this country better for the rich? Then restore a sense of hope that the middle and working classes can improve their lot. Just remember that giving advantages to the rich has never made things better for anyone but the rich.

  • fjsteve

    Michael B,

    And one of the lies of the Left is that the middle class and multimillionaires are two separate classes of people and one can never become the other. The irony is that the heavy taxation advocated by the Left widens the chasm between the rich and the middle class.

  • fjsteve

    Michael B,

    And one of the lies of the Left is that the middle class and multimillionaires are two separate classes of people and one can never become the other. The irony is that the heavy taxation advocated by the Left widens the chasm between the rich and the middle class.

  • Julian

    I think some rich people (not all, or even most) are lazy, shiftless and unproductive.

    I think it’s wrong to be so rich that you do not need meaningful employment. Did God really intend for us to store up treasures and just wallow in them the rest of our days? I think not. The overwhelming thrust of Scripture speaks out against Mitt (“I’m unemployed, just like you!”) Romney’s manner of earning his daily bread.

    That said, it is incredibly elitist for us to think that all other nations should emulate our tax policies. How far we have come from 1776, indeed.

  • Julian

    I think some rich people (not all, or even most) are lazy, shiftless and unproductive.

    I think it’s wrong to be so rich that you do not need meaningful employment. Did God really intend for us to store up treasures and just wallow in them the rest of our days? I think not. The overwhelming thrust of Scripture speaks out against Mitt (“I’m unemployed, just like you!”) Romney’s manner of earning his daily bread.

    That said, it is incredibly elitist for us to think that all other nations should emulate our tax policies. How far we have come from 1776, indeed.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 7, in all my years on the Left, I’ve never heard that one, i.e., that someone in the middle class can never become a millionaire. Do you just make this stuff up? As for taxation widening the chasm between the rich and the middle class, how does that work exactly?

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 7, in all my years on the Left, I’ve never heard that one, i.e., that someone in the middle class can never become a millionaire. Do you just make this stuff up? As for taxation widening the chasm between the rich and the middle class, how does that work exactly?

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #9, you haven’t been listening to your own rhetoric then. As a side note, a couple decades ago, it was the poor and working class who were the downtrodden. I guess it’s been a good couple of decades because now the Left is champion of the middle class. Poor and working classes be damned. Anyway, this is how it works. If I am extremely rich I probably don’t have much as a portion of my wealth in traditional income so raising income taxes won’t affect me. In fact, raising capital gains taxes affects me but not as much as it affects those just entering the highest tax brackets because my purchasing power is still much higher than the baseline. But if I make $1,000,001 a year in income, an extremely high tax rate (both income and capital gains) puts me back into the middle class.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #9, you haven’t been listening to your own rhetoric then. As a side note, a couple decades ago, it was the poor and working class who were the downtrodden. I guess it’s been a good couple of decades because now the Left is champion of the middle class. Poor and working classes be damned. Anyway, this is how it works. If I am extremely rich I probably don’t have much as a portion of my wealth in traditional income so raising income taxes won’t affect me. In fact, raising capital gains taxes affects me but not as much as it affects those just entering the highest tax brackets because my purchasing power is still much higher than the baseline. But if I make $1,000,001 a year in income, an extremely high tax rate (both income and capital gains) puts me back into the middle class.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #9 On your way up the economic ladder taxation and regulation can keep you from getting ahead.

    If you’re already at the top and have the economies of scale and the political pull to get yourself protected (from government) then taxes don’t worry you as much.

    In general most special taxes and regulations are put in place to protect big businesses from upstart competitors. The big businesses consider buying Washington favors a cost of doing business.

    Only a fraction of regulation has anything to do with safety, the environment or the public good.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #9 On your way up the economic ladder taxation and regulation can keep you from getting ahead.

    If you’re already at the top and have the economies of scale and the political pull to get yourself protected (from government) then taxes don’t worry you as much.

    In general most special taxes and regulations are put in place to protect big businesses from upstart competitors. The big businesses consider buying Washington favors a cost of doing business.

    Only a fraction of regulation has anything to do with safety, the environment or the public good.

  • Susan

    Hillary’s campaign to close any exits for the rich seems to smack of progressivism’s totalitarian bent. We used to respect the liberty to vote with our feet and rethink bad policies when the negative consequences appeared. Progressivism does not respect liberty but demands submission to it’s agenda whether it is surrendering private property (eg: wealth), religious freedom (eg: HHS mandate), or so forth. Hillary seems to be the another face of the progressive lust for taking away our liberties and it’s determination to bring people into servitude to it’s whims and demands.

  • Susan

    Hillary’s campaign to close any exits for the rich seems to smack of progressivism’s totalitarian bent. We used to respect the liberty to vote with our feet and rethink bad policies when the negative consequences appeared. Progressivism does not respect liberty but demands submission to it’s agenda whether it is surrendering private property (eg: wealth), religious freedom (eg: HHS mandate), or so forth. Hillary seems to be the another face of the progressive lust for taking away our liberties and it’s determination to bring people into servitude to it’s whims and demands.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 10, I think you’re doubling down on something you pulled out of your integral seating feature.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 10, I think you’re doubling down on something you pulled out of your integral seating feature.

  • Tom Hering

    Susan @ 12, the answer to the threat you perceive is Lorazepam.

  • Tom Hering

    Susan @ 12, the answer to the threat you perceive is Lorazepam.

  • fjsteve

    Witty, Tom. Not exactly a meaningful retort, but witty.

  • fjsteve

    Witty, Tom. Not exactly a meaningful retort, but witty.

  • Susan

    Re: #5: “One of the most frustrating victories of Republicans is to convince many middle class Americans that their interests are the interest of multi-millionaires are somehow aligned.”

    I would like to point out that if the company you are working for is not doing well, you own well being will be at risk also. The same can be said regarding investments in the stock market. If the taxes on investments are raised (which are a flat rate), so will yours be increased. This is especially onerous for those who have saved and invested for their retirement years. So, yes, middle class interests are aligned to those of the upper class incomes.

  • Susan

    Re: #5: “One of the most frustrating victories of Republicans is to convince many middle class Americans that their interests are the interest of multi-millionaires are somehow aligned.”

    I would like to point out that if the company you are working for is not doing well, you own well being will be at risk also. The same can be said regarding investments in the stock market. If the taxes on investments are raised (which are a flat rate), so will yours be increased. This is especially onerous for those who have saved and invested for their retirement years. So, yes, middle class interests are aligned to those of the upper class incomes.

  • Susan

    @Tom Herring

    The answer would be psychiatric drugs if you want to zone out and ignore history. A historical understanding of the consequences of bad political ideologies and their threats would be preferable to your solution.

  • Susan

    @Tom Herring

    The answer would be psychiatric drugs if you want to zone out and ignore history. A historical understanding of the consequences of bad political ideologies and their threats would be preferable to your solution.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rich are not monolithic. Some of those people are very good at managing enterprises that improve life for many people and whose jobs can be done equally well by only a few. Fine. However, among the uber rich are folks who make practically no contribution whatever and live by cleverly skimming the cream of the productivity of the country. They devote themselves not to creation, or efficient provision and distribution of goods and services, but to ever more complex ways of gaming the system so as to personally profit without providing commensurate value to those whose productivity provides them huge profit. However, it is fairly hard to target those individuals and their activities because they are very clever. Duh. So, we use crude methods like the tax code to go after them, and we fail and end up taxing value creating businesses and individuals.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rich are not monolithic. Some of those people are very good at managing enterprises that improve life for many people and whose jobs can be done equally well by only a few. Fine. However, among the uber rich are folks who make practically no contribution whatever and live by cleverly skimming the cream of the productivity of the country. They devote themselves not to creation, or efficient provision and distribution of goods and services, but to ever more complex ways of gaming the system so as to personally profit without providing commensurate value to those whose productivity provides them huge profit. However, it is fairly hard to target those individuals and their activities because they are very clever. Duh. So, we use crude methods like the tax code to go after them, and we fail and end up taxing value creating businesses and individuals.

  • fjsteve

    sg,

    Even the laziest or most devious of the wealthy still buy. They buy homes, build home, buy cars, yachts, sports teams, race horses, etc. Extremely few just sit on their wealth. Thus, they still help to create jobs for those industries. Inasmuch as they use the wealth they are accused of acquiring at the expense of others to create jobs by consuming more than they could ever need, are they that much different than the government using the wealth it acquires at the expense of others to create jobs by building bridges and trains that nobody will ever use?

  • fjsteve

    sg,

    Even the laziest or most devious of the wealthy still buy. They buy homes, build home, buy cars, yachts, sports teams, race horses, etc. Extremely few just sit on their wealth. Thus, they still help to create jobs for those industries. Inasmuch as they use the wealth they are accused of acquiring at the expense of others to create jobs by consuming more than they could ever need, are they that much different than the government using the wealth it acquires at the expense of others to create jobs by building bridges and trains that nobody will ever use?

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 19, actually, the rich use a smaller percentage of their income to make purchases than the poor or the middle class do. The rich primarily use their income to increase their income, which doesn’t result in benefits for anyone else. Well, it does for people in the financial sector, I guess. But again, that’s where most of the money stays.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 19, actually, the rich use a smaller percentage of their income to make purchases than the poor or the middle class do. The rich primarily use their income to increase their income, which doesn’t result in benefits for anyone else. Well, it does for people in the financial sector, I guess. But again, that’s where most of the money stays.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I wonder where rich people keep their money? I mean, do they just stuff it in their mattresses so that it is effectively removed from circulation and the economy? Is that why we should tax the rich, so that that money gets put back into the economy?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I wonder where rich people keep their money? I mean, do they just stuff it in their mattresses so that it is effectively removed from circulation and the economy? Is that why we should tax the rich, so that that money gets put back into the economy?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Regardless of whether or not we think rich people “hoard” their cash, that does not give other people some “divine right” to snatch it.

    I may not like the way you run your household, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to invite myself in and run it for you.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Regardless of whether or not we think rich people “hoard” their cash, that does not give other people some “divine right” to snatch it.

    I may not like the way you run your household, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to invite myself in and run it for you.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #20

    Thanks, you just answered, partly at least, your own question of how higher tax rates widen the gap between the rich and the middle class. The fact that those at the bottom of the highest tax bracket pay a larger percentage of their income for basic sustenance, their investment income is smaller and their net worth raises more slowly. By taxing them heavily, it means their net worth increases that much slower.

    But, you deflate your argument when you state “smaller percentage of their income“. The fact of the matter is that it can be a smaller percentage of their income and much more than the middle class, at the same time.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #20

    Thanks, you just answered, partly at least, your own question of how higher tax rates widen the gap between the rich and the middle class. The fact that those at the bottom of the highest tax bracket pay a larger percentage of their income for basic sustenance, their investment income is smaller and their net worth raises more slowly. By taxing them heavily, it means their net worth increases that much slower.

    But, you deflate your argument when you state “smaller percentage of their income“. The fact of the matter is that it can be a smaller percentage of their income and much more than the middle class, at the same time.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @20 Thank you.

    Also, the skills of high financiers would earn them nothing without a productive country generating wealth for them to skim. The Atlas Shrugged scenario is bogus insofar as it assumes we so desperately need the people at the top. We don’t. They need us far more than we need them. The people just below them are pretty important because they do manage producers and projects. Senior engineers at the major firms are not fungible, nor are surgeons, welders, nurses etc. Insurance company executives and lawyers, however, could easily be replaced by underlings to a net benefit to many, both customers and employees.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @20 Thank you.

    Also, the skills of high financiers would earn them nothing without a productive country generating wealth for them to skim. The Atlas Shrugged scenario is bogus insofar as it assumes we so desperately need the people at the top. We don’t. They need us far more than we need them. The people just below them are pretty important because they do manage producers and projects. Senior engineers at the major firms are not fungible, nor are surgeons, welders, nurses etc. Insurance company executives and lawyers, however, could easily be replaced by underlings to a net benefit to many, both customers and employees.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Regardless of whether or not we think rich people “hoard” their cash, that does not give other people some “divine right” to snatch it.

    Okay, but when the board sees that a company has a $1 billion in profit and rather than pass that along to employees and consumers, they just dole it out to the few at the top, explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company. A $1 million dollar bonus for one person is one thing. A $50 million dollar bonus is another.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Regardless of whether or not we think rich people “hoard” their cash, that does not give other people some “divine right” to snatch it.

    Okay, but when the board sees that a company has a $1 billion in profit and rather than pass that along to employees and consumers, they just dole it out to the few at the top, explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company. A $1 million dollar bonus for one person is one thing. A $50 million dollar bonus is another.

  • Jon

    a. Who is the Secretary of State to go around blathering about the tax policies of foreign countries? This is the stuff of foreign policy, really? What, are we going to get a treaty on taxing the wealthy?

    b. This is clearly more evidence of the desire to shift to a global government. Wake up, people.

  • Jon

    a. Who is the Secretary of State to go around blathering about the tax policies of foreign countries? This is the stuff of foreign policy, really? What, are we going to get a treaty on taxing the wealthy?

    b. This is clearly more evidence of the desire to shift to a global government. Wake up, people.

  • dust

    since we have learned that the republicans have many “code words” for blacks (lazy, rhythm, etc), it just dawned on me that perhaps “rich” is the democrats code word for white,?

    or industrious, ambitious and clumsy :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    since we have learned that the republicans have many “code words” for blacks (lazy, rhythm, etc), it just dawned on me that perhaps “rich” is the democrats code word for white,?

    or industrious, ambitious and clumsy :)

    cheers!

  • Joe

    sg – “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company.”

    They have the right to distribute the company’s profits because they are the decision makers of the company or, depending on the company, the owners of the company. If BoD of the company or its shareholders become dissatisfied with the allocation of the profits they can effect a change of leadership and correct the perceived problem.

    The real question is who are you to judge how a private entity decides to manage its own resources?

    Also, have you actually read Atlas Shrugged? Here’s a hint, the lazy moochers who skim off the productive are not the heros of the story. The producers (who you seem fond of) are. I dont’ want to ruin it for you but John Galt is not a corporate executive …

  • Joe

    sg – “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company.”

    They have the right to distribute the company’s profits because they are the decision makers of the company or, depending on the company, the owners of the company. If BoD of the company or its shareholders become dissatisfied with the allocation of the profits they can effect a change of leadership and correct the perceived problem.

    The real question is who are you to judge how a private entity decides to manage its own resources?

    Also, have you actually read Atlas Shrugged? Here’s a hint, the lazy moochers who skim off the productive are not the heros of the story. The producers (who you seem fond of) are. I dont’ want to ruin it for you but John Galt is not a corporate executive …

  • fjsteve

    “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company.”

    They don’t have the divine right. They have the rights granted to them by their board, by the people who still choose to be employed at their company (I refuse to believe the vast majority of people in this country don’t, at some point in their lives, have choices of where they work. They don’t have to settle for scraps from the oligarchs) and, ultimately, by investors.

  • fjsteve

    “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company.”

    They don’t have the divine right. They have the rights granted to them by their board, by the people who still choose to be employed at their company (I refuse to believe the vast majority of people in this country don’t, at some point in their lives, have choices of where they work. They don’t have to settle for scraps from the oligarchs) and, ultimately, by investors.

  • Patrick kyle

    sg@25,
    “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company”
    Because in many cases they conceived, built and implemented the systems required to build the products or deliver the services that we pay them so well for. They help create or run these companies and are entitled to whatever share they get for themselves or their boards allow them.
    This idea that the ‘rich’ are somehow morally suspect because they have money is sickening. I think it has it’s roots in a breaking of the ninth and tenth commandments. Then this covetousness comes to fruition in the breaking of the seventh commandment under color of law, usually to the cheers of the rabble. ( Yes, some have gained their fortunes through theft and corruption, but this is a problem resulting from our government’s unwillingness to enforce the laws already on the books, ie. Wall Street and the SEC’s absolute dereliction of it’s duty, not some moral turpitude residing in the rest of those who have earned their money honestly.).
    One of the things that makes this country great is the opportunity to become wealthy. I own two businesses and hope to parlay them into a sizable and comfortable fortune. Hillary’s anti-rich propaganda is an outgrowth of her extreme left (some would say, and not without merit, communist) political views. God help us if she ever attains the office of POTUS.

  • Patrick kyle

    sg@25,
    “explain to me why they have the divine right to the grossly disproportionate share of the profit generated by the productivity of the entire company”
    Because in many cases they conceived, built and implemented the systems required to build the products or deliver the services that we pay them so well for. They help create or run these companies and are entitled to whatever share they get for themselves or their boards allow them.
    This idea that the ‘rich’ are somehow morally suspect because they have money is sickening. I think it has it’s roots in a breaking of the ninth and tenth commandments. Then this covetousness comes to fruition in the breaking of the seventh commandment under color of law, usually to the cheers of the rabble. ( Yes, some have gained their fortunes through theft and corruption, but this is a problem resulting from our government’s unwillingness to enforce the laws already on the books, ie. Wall Street and the SEC’s absolute dereliction of it’s duty, not some moral turpitude residing in the rest of those who have earned their money honestly.).
    One of the things that makes this country great is the opportunity to become wealthy. I own two businesses and hope to parlay them into a sizable and comfortable fortune. Hillary’s anti-rich propaganda is an outgrowth of her extreme left (some would say, and not without merit, communist) political views. God help us if she ever attains the office of POTUS.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    People freely trade their labor for money and vice-versa, and also trade their money for products and services and vice-versa. Why are the employees entitled to a share of the company’s profits? They have their agreed upon wages. Likewise, why are the customers entitled? They have the agreed upon product or service for which they willingly traded their money.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    People freely trade their labor for money and vice-versa, and also trade their money for products and services and vice-versa. Why are the employees entitled to a share of the company’s profits? They have their agreed upon wages. Likewise, why are the customers entitled? They have the agreed upon product or service for which they willingly traded their money.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You guys are making might makes right arguments.

    Some have noted that diversity contributes to this f- your- buddy attitude. Would you treat your own family like this? I mean, would you hire your sons for $10 bucks an hour and then make $5o0 an hour profit leaving your sons with the smart aleck answer that they agreed to work for that? Some have suggested that the other industrialized republics have less of this attitude because they are literally related to one another like the Islanders and the Japanese. I don’t know if it is true, but it is an interesting idea. I can see it in the case of the Japanese because being Japanese is essentially their religion, or in the case of the Islanders because there are so few of them and they are aware that they are all related.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You guys are making might makes right arguments.

    Some have noted that diversity contributes to this f- your- buddy attitude. Would you treat your own family like this? I mean, would you hire your sons for $10 bucks an hour and then make $5o0 an hour profit leaving your sons with the smart aleck answer that they agreed to work for that? Some have suggested that the other industrialized republics have less of this attitude because they are literally related to one another like the Islanders and the Japanese. I don’t know if it is true, but it is an interesting idea. I can see it in the case of the Japanese because being Japanese is essentially their religion, or in the case of the Islanders because there are so few of them and they are aware that they are all related.

  • dust

    sg….would you hire someone at 6 in the morning and after they work hard all day pay them the same as someone just hired minutes before the end of the shift?

    cheers!

  • dust

    sg….would you hire someone at 6 in the morning and after they work hard all day pay them the same as someone just hired minutes before the end of the shift?

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Patrick kyle @30

    Patrick has it right.

    The people who have made large amounts of money took ALL the chances, in many cases, put up their homes as collateral to start the process, worked 6 days per week, 14 hours plus each day, finally make it, – and then some of the employees want to divide up the gain.

    That same man and his wife, are the ones who have built hospitals, support scentific projects for diseases, you have little to no education to understand. These “rich people” support universities which make possible education for those who are talented to work in, and help the sick and the poor.

    Jealousy is a hideous sin, that eats like a cancer within mans heart.

    Yes there are those who keep everything for themselves, who never help anyone, but there are many more who work endlessly to help others.

  • Grace

    Patrick kyle @30

    Patrick has it right.

    The people who have made large amounts of money took ALL the chances, in many cases, put up their homes as collateral to start the process, worked 6 days per week, 14 hours plus each day, finally make it, – and then some of the employees want to divide up the gain.

    That same man and his wife, are the ones who have built hospitals, support scentific projects for diseases, you have little to no education to understand. These “rich people” support universities which make possible education for those who are talented to work in, and help the sick and the poor.

    Jealousy is a hideous sin, that eats like a cancer within mans heart.

    Yes there are those who keep everything for themselves, who never help anyone, but there are many more who work endlessly to help others.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The people who have made large amounts of money took ALL the chances, in many cases, put up their homes as collateral to start the process, worked 6 days per week, 14 hours plus each day, finally make it, – and then some of the employees want to divide up the gain.

    The executives of GM? of GE? of BP? of GoldmanSachs?

    Seriously?

    Those people didn’t build those companies. Their fortunes go up with the company and continue high even when the companies do miserably. Perhaps the folks this thread misunderstand me. I am not complaining of people who earn a living through managing and directing, not at all. Rather I complain of those who are scamming and skimming and not earning.

    Recall my comment @ 18 “The rich are not monolithic. Some of those people are very good at managing enterprises that improve life for many people and whose jobs can be done equally well by only a few. Fine. However, among the uber rich are folks who make practically no contribution whatever and live by cleverly skimming the cream of the productivity of the country.” which is similar to Patrick Kyle’s observation @30, that “Yes, some have gained their fortunes through theft and corruption, but this is a problem resulting from our government’s unwillingness to enforce the laws already on the books, ie. Wall Street and the SEC’s absolute dereliction of it’s duty, not some moral turpitude residing in the rest of those who have earned their money honestly.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The people who have made large amounts of money took ALL the chances, in many cases, put up their homes as collateral to start the process, worked 6 days per week, 14 hours plus each day, finally make it, – and then some of the employees want to divide up the gain.

    The executives of GM? of GE? of BP? of GoldmanSachs?

    Seriously?

    Those people didn’t build those companies. Their fortunes go up with the company and continue high even when the companies do miserably. Perhaps the folks this thread misunderstand me. I am not complaining of people who earn a living through managing and directing, not at all. Rather I complain of those who are scamming and skimming and not earning.

    Recall my comment @ 18 “The rich are not monolithic. Some of those people are very good at managing enterprises that improve life for many people and whose jobs can be done equally well by only a few. Fine. However, among the uber rich are folks who make practically no contribution whatever and live by cleverly skimming the cream of the productivity of the country.” which is similar to Patrick Kyle’s observation @30, that “Yes, some have gained their fortunes through theft and corruption, but this is a problem resulting from our government’s unwillingness to enforce the laws already on the books, ie. Wall Street and the SEC’s absolute dereliction of it’s duty, not some moral turpitude residing in the rest of those who have earned their money honestly.”

  • Grace

    sg @32

    Your comment, second paragraph beginning with “f”:

    When you comment using that approach, you lose credibility, it shows a lack of verbal skills, and vocabulary.

    It might work where you live, but it won’t garner any respect where I live, or anywhere I have lived in the past.

    Rough ‘street speak’ takes no talent.

  • Grace

    sg @32

    Your comment, second paragraph beginning with “f”:

    When you comment using that approach, you lose credibility, it shows a lack of verbal skills, and vocabulary.

    It might work where you live, but it won’t garner any respect where I live, or anywhere I have lived in the past.

    Rough ‘street speak’ takes no talent.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @33

    Would you?

    cheers

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @33

    Would you?

    cheers

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Come on, tell us, dust, what business it is that you run that way.

    With man, it is impossible.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Come on, tell us, dust, what business it is that you run that way.

    With man, it is impossible.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I always get discouraged when people who haven’t taken econ and finance have opinions on the subject. A few points:
    1) Quantity of wealth defines “rich”. It is not causal to behavior in any way whatsoever.
    2) Taxes are only as relevant as what they are spent on. How much the government uses is important, but so is what the gov uses it on. I think folks on both sides of the aisle would be glad to pay a reasonable tax if our elected reps could demonstrate fiscal wisdom.
    3) The gist of Hillary’s argument is that the government has a moral obligation to take from the rich and give to the poor. Robin Hood or robin’ hoodlum, this rhetoric disguises how this idea has worked itself out in history. It could be called the lynchpin of imperialism. Lenksi wrote a pretty good book about this. The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I always get discouraged when people who haven’t taken econ and finance have opinions on the subject. A few points:
    1) Quantity of wealth defines “rich”. It is not causal to behavior in any way whatsoever.
    2) Taxes are only as relevant as what they are spent on. How much the government uses is important, but so is what the gov uses it on. I think folks on both sides of the aisle would be glad to pay a reasonable tax if our elected reps could demonstrate fiscal wisdom.
    3) The gist of Hillary’s argument is that the government has a moral obligation to take from the rich and give to the poor. Robin Hood or robin’ hoodlum, this rhetoric disguises how this idea has worked itself out in history. It could be called the lynchpin of imperialism. Lenksi wrote a pretty good book about this. The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.

  • Grace

    I was not speaking of every corporation. My points were targeted at those who have STARTED THEIR OWN businesses, and become very successful, and YES, I know some.

    Those who work for these owners are resentful, with no reason. They didn’t take the chance. They took the job – were paid for what they did, they have no right to a piece of the pie.

  • Grace

    I was not speaking of every corporation. My points were targeted at those who have STARTED THEIR OWN businesses, and become very successful, and YES, I know some.

    Those who work for these owners are resentful, with no reason. They didn’t take the chance. They took the job – were paid for what they did, they have no right to a piece of the pie.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.

    Thank you

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.

    Thank you

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Those who work for these owners are resentful, with no reason. They didn’t take the chance. They took the job – were paid for what they did, they have no right to a piece of the pie.

    Both executives and other employees work for the owners. However, unlike the other employees, executives are particularly adept at getting only their own compensation greatly improved disproportionate to the value they bring. Some even get paid millions to leave a company they have ruined.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Those who work for these owners are resentful, with no reason. They didn’t take the chance. They took the job – were paid for what they did, they have no right to a piece of the pie.

    Both executives and other employees work for the owners. However, unlike the other employees, executives are particularly adept at getting only their own compensation greatly improved disproportionate to the value they bring. Some even get paid millions to leave a company they have ruined.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @36

    Yes, I concede I am a talentless rube. Does that make you feel better? Were you afraid that either I or others here were so unaware of the situation that it required your inimitable fault finding acumen to point it out?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @36

    Yes, I concede I am a talentless rube. Does that make you feel better? Were you afraid that either I or others here were so unaware of the situation that it required your inimitable fault finding acumen to point it out?

  • dust

    sg at 38….well, what about a ticket to a concert or movie? you pay the same price regardless of when you show up?

    but seriously, you are right, with man it’s impossible, so it seems to me you are asking folks to run a worldly business like a ministry, and in my opinion, it’s being a bit idealistic.

    if you want to do it, fine, go ahead…and if you want to force others to do it, fine, go ahead and try to pass laws to do it, but in the meantime, and in this country, right now it’s all a matter of individual choices…because overall, in the long run, it seems to work best for most folks?

    not all but what system does, this side of the next kingdom?

    finally, you have many valid points and agree with you that there is too much greed in the business world, and am sure it can be shown by looking at compensation from years past versus now.

    and agree there’s a big difference between the entrepreneur who creates new products and business versus the bureaucrats who run gigantic industries, and who deserves what….but just not sure if passing a bunch of laws and forcing folks to make the kind of moral choices you would make is the right way to go in a free country and free economic system?

    it is also worth thinking about…since you asked me what i would do in a certain situation….are you sure you would turn down all that compensation if you had the chance to receive, if you were the big shot in a big time corporation?

    not really important in the big scheme of the larger discussion, but my guess is most folks who complain about money, don’t really have too much, and if they had a bunch or had the opportunity to have it, they would sing a different song?

    except for those who get it easily, like movie stars, rock stars, athletes, folks who have blogs :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    sg at 38….well, what about a ticket to a concert or movie? you pay the same price regardless of when you show up?

    but seriously, you are right, with man it’s impossible, so it seems to me you are asking folks to run a worldly business like a ministry, and in my opinion, it’s being a bit idealistic.

    if you want to do it, fine, go ahead…and if you want to force others to do it, fine, go ahead and try to pass laws to do it, but in the meantime, and in this country, right now it’s all a matter of individual choices…because overall, in the long run, it seems to work best for most folks?

    not all but what system does, this side of the next kingdom?

    finally, you have many valid points and agree with you that there is too much greed in the business world, and am sure it can be shown by looking at compensation from years past versus now.

    and agree there’s a big difference between the entrepreneur who creates new products and business versus the bureaucrats who run gigantic industries, and who deserves what….but just not sure if passing a bunch of laws and forcing folks to make the kind of moral choices you would make is the right way to go in a free country and free economic system?

    it is also worth thinking about…since you asked me what i would do in a certain situation….are you sure you would turn down all that compensation if you had the chance to receive, if you were the big shot in a big time corporation?

    not really important in the big scheme of the larger discussion, but my guess is most folks who complain about money, don’t really have too much, and if they had a bunch or had the opportunity to have it, they would sing a different song?

    except for those who get it easily, like movie stars, rock stars, athletes, folks who have blogs :)

    cheers!

  • Jon H.

    Kyle @30, Loved your observation that the SecState is a Communist. Do you sell a product called ‘the gospel for those broken by the far right’? I imagine Missouri’d provide lots of buyers.

  • Jon H.

    Kyle @30, Loved your observation that the SecState is a Communist. Do you sell a product called ‘the gospel for those broken by the far right’? I imagine Missouri’d provide lots of buyers.

  • Susan

    @John and sg

    Re: “The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.”

    Can we please add the Chicago style politics that preys on businesses so that they must pay to play? Or the current EPA overreach with a mission to crush industries it doesn’t approve of? The EPA is but one current example of corruption of power.

  • Susan

    @John and sg

    Re: “The point is that when the powerful and wealthy essentially become the sponsors of the government, then they also exercise inordinate leverage over government. This is where “too big to fail” comes in.”

    Can we please add the Chicago style politics that preys on businesses so that they must pay to play? Or the current EPA overreach with a mission to crush industries it doesn’t approve of? The EPA is but one current example of corruption of power.

  • kerner

    sg, fjsteve, Joe, Patrick Kyle, etc.:

    While I mostly disagree w/ sg, I have to give her this much. Executives and Board Members are supposed to be responsible to the shareholders. The board is responsible to the employees is the sense that they have to honor their employment contracts, but they are responsible to the shareholders to a much greater extent because the shareholders are the owners of the company. Often, the employees are shareholders too, or their retirements are made up of corporate stock. When the Board fails to honor its duty to the shareholders by overpaying executive managers (who are simply employees themselves), I do have a problem with that. But I don’t think that the answer is government regulation of executive salaries.

    I think a better answer is to change corporate law to give shareholders more control ovwer the Board of Directors (perhaps through loosened up rules for derivative actions), and make it easier to change and replace directors. If that were the case, you would see fewer cases of Boards overpaying executives even as the shareholders lose money.

    And why does that happen in the first place? Well, if you look at the link below, you will see that Boards are largely made up of corporate executives, many of whom sit on not only their own boards, but on the boards of several other companies. Which is to say we have a small group of people all voting to pay each other a lot of money to the detriment of the per share value of the majority of stockholders.

    Believe me, if shareholders could vote on a resolution that would provide for executive bonuses when share vaule or dividends increased, but reduced executive compensation when share value falls or when dividends dry up, most small share holders would vote for that in a heartbeat. But in today’s system shareholders have no ability to insist on that or anything like it.

  • kerner

    sg, fjsteve, Joe, Patrick Kyle, etc.:

    While I mostly disagree w/ sg, I have to give her this much. Executives and Board Members are supposed to be responsible to the shareholders. The board is responsible to the employees is the sense that they have to honor their employment contracts, but they are responsible to the shareholders to a much greater extent because the shareholders are the owners of the company. Often, the employees are shareholders too, or their retirements are made up of corporate stock. When the Board fails to honor its duty to the shareholders by overpaying executive managers (who are simply employees themselves), I do have a problem with that. But I don’t think that the answer is government regulation of executive salaries.

    I think a better answer is to change corporate law to give shareholders more control ovwer the Board of Directors (perhaps through loosened up rules for derivative actions), and make it easier to change and replace directors. If that were the case, you would see fewer cases of Boards overpaying executives even as the shareholders lose money.

    And why does that happen in the first place? Well, if you look at the link below, you will see that Boards are largely made up of corporate executives, many of whom sit on not only their own boards, but on the boards of several other companies. Which is to say we have a small group of people all voting to pay each other a lot of money to the detriment of the per share value of the majority of stockholders.

    Believe me, if shareholders could vote on a resolution that would provide for executive bonuses when share vaule or dividends increased, but reduced executive compensation when share value falls or when dividends dry up, most small share holders would vote for that in a heartbeat. But in today’s system shareholders have no ability to insist on that or anything like it.

  • kerner
  • kerner
  • Grace

    Kerner 47

    You’re talking about the Chevrons and US Steel in the same category as a corporation which is worth less.

    The worth of many are a 100 million, with revenues of 500 million. The individual who starts many of these corporation still owns 65 or so percent. They have the final say, as it should be. They tend to work harder, that’s why they own more, and are CEO.

  • Grace

    Kerner 47

    You’re talking about the Chevrons and US Steel in the same category as a corporation which is worth less.

    The worth of many are a 100 million, with revenues of 500 million. The individual who starts many of these corporation still owns 65 or so percent. They have the final say, as it should be. They tend to work harder, that’s why they own more, and are CEO.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Kerner,

    Don’t the shareholders have ultimate control of the Board of Directors? They can vote them out at the next election, if the BOD is misbehaving. If that process is still too tedious, and the shareholder is worried about how the BOD is handling things, then the shareholders can divest himself of his shares. Why do we need laws?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Kerner,

    Don’t the shareholders have ultimate control of the Board of Directors? They can vote them out at the next election, if the BOD is misbehaving. If that process is still too tedious, and the shareholder is worried about how the BOD is handling things, then the shareholders can divest himself of his shares. Why do we need laws?

  • Grace

    Mike @ 50

    You’re talking about publicly owned companies – not all corporations fall under that umbrella. The other point is; it’s the thousands of corporation which are privately owned, which contribute far more than the publicly owned companies. The reason for that is; the owner has a vested interest in keeping the company afloat, making it work; in essence it serves both the CEO and those who are employed and have stock.

    There are privately owned companies which I spoke of above which contribute and provide thousands of jobs, with a future.

  • Grace

    Mike @ 50

    You’re talking about publicly owned companies – not all corporations fall under that umbrella. The other point is; it’s the thousands of corporation which are privately owned, which contribute far more than the publicly owned companies. The reason for that is; the owner has a vested interest in keeping the company afloat, making it work; in essence it serves both the CEO and those who are employed and have stock.

    There are privately owned companies which I spoke of above which contribute and provide thousands of jobs, with a future.

  • Grace

    I should have added in my post @ 50

    It is just those types of private companies which the government wants to tax the most, especially in California. That’s nothing short of socialism, when the government wants to inject their cancer into the private sector.

  • Grace

    I should have added in my post @ 50

    It is just those types of private companies which the government wants to tax the most, especially in California. That’s nothing short of socialism, when the government wants to inject their cancer into the private sector.

  • kerner

    The Board of Directors have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders. This means a duty to look out for the interest of the shareholders. ALL of the shareholders. Theoretically, shareholders could band together and replace the directors, but this is pretty hard when large shareholders, voting as a bloc, run against them, and most shareholders know very little about who the directors are or who is qualified to be one.

    When I talk about laws, I am not suggesting that the government interfere in corporate policy. What I AM suggesting is that giving executives huge bonuses when the corporation (i.e. the shareholders) are losing tons of money may be construed as a breach of the fiduciary duty that the Board owes to the shareholders. Generally, a breach of a fiduciary duty is actionable, and shareholders should be entitled to sue the offending board when it breaches its duty. But under existing corporate law, Boards are pretty effectively protected from being sanctioned by outraged shareholders. Minority shareholders, in particular, have little or no recourse.

    I find this situation problematic. I think shareholders should have some remedy to Board misconduct after the fact, and should not have to be content with the retort that they should have replaced the Board members before the fact, or that if they don’t like it, they can now sell their shares (at a loss). Board members make a lot of money, and theoretically they shoulder a lot of responsibility. All I am suggesting is that Board members’ responsibility include the concrete element of having to pay shareholders back if they betray their interests.

  • kerner

    The Board of Directors have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders. This means a duty to look out for the interest of the shareholders. ALL of the shareholders. Theoretically, shareholders could band together and replace the directors, but this is pretty hard when large shareholders, voting as a bloc, run against them, and most shareholders know very little about who the directors are or who is qualified to be one.

    When I talk about laws, I am not suggesting that the government interfere in corporate policy. What I AM suggesting is that giving executives huge bonuses when the corporation (i.e. the shareholders) are losing tons of money may be construed as a breach of the fiduciary duty that the Board owes to the shareholders. Generally, a breach of a fiduciary duty is actionable, and shareholders should be entitled to sue the offending board when it breaches its duty. But under existing corporate law, Boards are pretty effectively protected from being sanctioned by outraged shareholders. Minority shareholders, in particular, have little or no recourse.

    I find this situation problematic. I think shareholders should have some remedy to Board misconduct after the fact, and should not have to be content with the retort that they should have replaced the Board members before the fact, or that if they don’t like it, they can now sell their shares (at a loss). Board members make a lot of money, and theoretically they shoulder a lot of responsibility. All I am suggesting is that Board members’ responsibility include the concrete element of having to pay shareholders back if they betray their interests.

  • kerner

    Also, Grace is right. There is and should be a distinction between private and publically held companies.

  • kerner

    Also, Grace is right. There is and should be a distinction between private and publically held companies.

  • Grace

    Who Pays Almost All Federal Income Tax?

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats have talked about repealing President Bush’s tax cuts for upper-income Americans. But those who earn the most money – and invest the most in the economy – are already paying almost all federal personal income taxes, a recent report reveals.

    Congress’ Joint Economic Committee disclosed that the richer half of the American population pays nearly 97 percent of income taxes. Most of that, 54 percent, is paid by those in the top 5 percent, Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) disclosed.

    And the richest of the rich – just the top 1 percent – pay a hefty 34 percent of all personal income taxes collected by the federal government.

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/2/5/112446.shtml

  • Grace

    Who Pays Almost All Federal Income Tax?

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats have talked about repealing President Bush’s tax cuts for upper-income Americans. But those who earn the most money – and invest the most in the economy – are already paying almost all federal personal income taxes, a recent report reveals.

    Congress’ Joint Economic Committee disclosed that the richer half of the American population pays nearly 97 percent of income taxes. Most of that, 54 percent, is paid by those in the top 5 percent, Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) disclosed.

    And the richest of the rich – just the top 1 percent – pay a hefty 34 percent of all personal income taxes collected by the federal government.

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/2/5/112446.shtml

  • SKPeterson

    sg – You are conflating two (or three) distinct issues with respect to capitalism.

    1) Almost all of the large multinational firms started off as family-run enterprises, sole proprietorships or some type of partnership. In those cases, they literally did risk all. To the extent that any new businesses emerge, they are often led by entrepreneurs in various forms of legal organization. GM had William C. Durant, Ford had Henry, then there is Edison, Bell, and others who built up industrial behemoths from small scale enterprises. Today we have Facebook, Microsoft and Google. These should not be confused with

    2) Money. We have a problem in capitalism, the bankers are all socialists. An old joke, but true to a large extent. How does this socialism play out? The use of a fiat currency under the auspices of the Federal Reserve. Inflation of the amount of money in circulation has allowed for great riches to be commandeered (usurped may be a better word) that would not otherwise have happened. Manipulation of money yields great profits in the same manipulated currency units. So banks get richer, get bailed out regularly, pass losses on to taxpayers when needed, and repeat the cycle over. It isn’t capitalism, but some horrid mercantilist-socialist (which I guess is fascist) mix.

  • SKPeterson

    sg – You are conflating two (or three) distinct issues with respect to capitalism.

    1) Almost all of the large multinational firms started off as family-run enterprises, sole proprietorships or some type of partnership. In those cases, they literally did risk all. To the extent that any new businesses emerge, they are often led by entrepreneurs in various forms of legal organization. GM had William C. Durant, Ford had Henry, then there is Edison, Bell, and others who built up industrial behemoths from small scale enterprises. Today we have Facebook, Microsoft and Google. These should not be confused with

    2) Money. We have a problem in capitalism, the bankers are all socialists. An old joke, but true to a large extent. How does this socialism play out? The use of a fiat currency under the auspices of the Federal Reserve. Inflation of the amount of money in circulation has allowed for great riches to be commandeered (usurped may be a better word) that would not otherwise have happened. Manipulation of money yields great profits in the same manipulated currency units. So banks get richer, get bailed out regularly, pass losses on to taxpayers when needed, and repeat the cycle over. It isn’t capitalism, but some horrid mercantilist-socialist (which I guess is fascist) mix.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @56 Thank you

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @56 Thank you

  • kerner

    SKP:

    You don’t have to guess. “Fascist” is the perfect adjective. It’s a side of National Socialism that people don’t want to face because they don’t want to admit that the politicians they support are pursuing a policy associated with a movement that produced all those jack boots and gas chambers. But it’s the truth.

  • kerner

    SKP:

    You don’t have to guess. “Fascist” is the perfect adjective. It’s a side of National Socialism that people don’t want to face because they don’t want to admit that the politicians they support are pursuing a policy associated with a movement that produced all those jack boots and gas chambers. But it’s the truth.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I am not sure I see bankers as socialists per se. They like public welfare programs perhaps because they feel sorry for the sorts who cannot be good employees. However, unlike folks like Karl Marx, they feel that workers should forfeit quite a bit to help the indigent even though they have far less means to do so and the impact on their lives is greater than the impact on the rich. It really is easier for Bill Gates to give a $1 billion for birth control in some far away place than it is for a middle class neighborhood to suffer from a Section 8 influx into their neighborhood and schools. The middle class lose property values, pay more taxes and even lose their personal safety.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/american-murder-mystery/306872/

    Hillary Clinton’s neighborhood in Westchester is keeping out the Section 8 folks.

    http://www.democratunity.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3017%3Asegregation-in-the-land-of-limousine-liberalism&catid=94%3Asociety&Itemid=28

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I am not sure I see bankers as socialists per se. They like public welfare programs perhaps because they feel sorry for the sorts who cannot be good employees. However, unlike folks like Karl Marx, they feel that workers should forfeit quite a bit to help the indigent even though they have far less means to do so and the impact on their lives is greater than the impact on the rich. It really is easier for Bill Gates to give a $1 billion for birth control in some far away place than it is for a middle class neighborhood to suffer from a Section 8 influx into their neighborhood and schools. The middle class lose property values, pay more taxes and even lose their personal safety.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/american-murder-mystery/306872/

    Hillary Clinton’s neighborhood in Westchester is keeping out the Section 8 folks.

    http://www.democratunity.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3017%3Asegregation-in-the-land-of-limousine-liberalism&catid=94%3Asociety&Itemid=28

  • Grace

    Kerner @58 “You don’t have to guess. “Fascist” is the perfect adjective. It’s a side of National Socialism that people don’t want to face because they don’t want to admit that the politicians they support are pursuing a policy associated with a movement that produced all those jack boots and gas chambers. But it’s the truth.”

    Socialist, YES but not “Fascist” -

    Drawing a conclusion that the United States is in any way, headed for, or involved with a “movement” such as Nazi Germany undertook making a living hell for the Jewish people, is a lie. I’m sure there is a huge mass of people, who would love nothing better than to join the U.S. with the Nazi’s – it would make them feel ‘ever so much better –

  • Grace

    Kerner @58 “You don’t have to guess. “Fascist” is the perfect adjective. It’s a side of National Socialism that people don’t want to face because they don’t want to admit that the politicians they support are pursuing a policy associated with a movement that produced all those jack boots and gas chambers. But it’s the truth.”

    Socialist, YES but not “Fascist” -

    Drawing a conclusion that the United States is in any way, headed for, or involved with a “movement” such as Nazi Germany undertook making a living hell for the Jewish people, is a lie. I’m sure there is a huge mass of people, who would love nothing better than to join the U.S. with the Nazi’s – it would make them feel ‘ever so much better –

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    fas·cism/ˈfaSHizəm/
    Noun:
    An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    (in general use) Extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

    What does “right-wing” mean in a definition like this? I mean in what sense is our current so-called right wing arguing for the other attributes described in the above definition? The American right wing is pretty far left by definition because they strongly support the most left document ever, the US Constitution. It sounds more like China than the US. Note above that gas chambers for political enemies are not part of the definition of the fascist system of government.

    Anyway, the US government is pretty intolerant when it wants to be. Case and point, the criminal immigrant (who made the movie that our government used as the scapegoat for the 911 assassination of the US ambassador) ironically is in jail for the legal activity of film making and youtube posting, when in a sane world he wouldn’t even be allowed in here.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    fas·cism/ˈfaSHizəm/
    Noun:
    An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    (in general use) Extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

    What does “right-wing” mean in a definition like this? I mean in what sense is our current so-called right wing arguing for the other attributes described in the above definition? The American right wing is pretty far left by definition because they strongly support the most left document ever, the US Constitution. It sounds more like China than the US. Note above that gas chambers for political enemies are not part of the definition of the fascist system of government.

    Anyway, the US government is pretty intolerant when it wants to be. Case and point, the criminal immigrant (who made the movie that our government used as the scapegoat for the 911 assassination of the US ambassador) ironically is in jail for the legal activity of film making and youtube posting, when in a sane world he wouldn’t even be allowed in here.

  • SKPeterson

    Sg and Grace – Fascist is actually a pretty good descriptor; while Nazism is a variant, it’s anti-Semitic stances are the aberration, not the general rule. Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, all of the iterations of Peronism in Argentina are fascistic types. The funny thing is that many people, whom Grace alludes to, that support political policies that are effectively fascistic don’t associate their own political views as being largely in conformity with those of the Nazi’s. If you took out all of the screeds against the Jews from the Nazi party platform from say 1932, it would be something almost every died-in-the-wool left-liberal member of the Democrat Party would unashamedly embrace without reservation.

  • SKPeterson

    Sg and Grace – Fascist is actually a pretty good descriptor; while Nazism is a variant, it’s anti-Semitic stances are the aberration, not the general rule. Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, all of the iterations of Peronism in Argentina are fascistic types. The funny thing is that many people, whom Grace alludes to, that support political policies that are effectively fascistic don’t associate their own political views as being largely in conformity with those of the Nazi’s. If you took out all of the screeds against the Jews from the Nazi party platform from say 1932, it would be something almost every died-in-the-wool left-liberal member of the Democrat Party would unashamedly embrace without reservation.

  • Michael B.

    Most people don’t understand just how wide the gaps really are. Let me give an example. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was awarded $378 million in compensation. According to one survey, a senior systems engineer at Apple makes around $102,000 a year. In order to make the same amount as the CEO, the senior engineer would have had to start working 1700 years before the birth of Jesus. And keep in mind this is a senior engineer. Consider more junior level guys. A salesman working at an Apple store makes about $11.25 an hour. He would make the same amount as the CEO in about 16 thousand years — if you’re a creationist, this is longer than the age of the universe. And remember that Apple is a success story — imagine when it’s a company our tax dollars have bailed out.

  • Michael B.

    Most people don’t understand just how wide the gaps really are. Let me give an example. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was awarded $378 million in compensation. According to one survey, a senior systems engineer at Apple makes around $102,000 a year. In order to make the same amount as the CEO, the senior engineer would have had to start working 1700 years before the birth of Jesus. And keep in mind this is a senior engineer. Consider more junior level guys. A salesman working at an Apple store makes about $11.25 an hour. He would make the same amount as the CEO in about 16 thousand years — if you’re a creationist, this is longer than the age of the universe. And remember that Apple is a success story — imagine when it’s a company our tax dollars have bailed out.

  • fjsteve

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that society as a whole is responsible for the runaway salaries and bonuses of today’s CEO’s. We don’t want Presidents, we want rock stars. We don’t want CEO’s, we want rock stars. Apple and Microsoft weren’t due to the successes of talented architects and engineers, they were due to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.

    Perhaps we just want someone to go out before us and fight our battles. Perhaps the American people are inadvertently begging for a king. We will see what they get.

    Or perhaps I’m just being too philosophical tonight.

  • fjsteve

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that society as a whole is responsible for the runaway salaries and bonuses of today’s CEO’s. We don’t want Presidents, we want rock stars. We don’t want CEO’s, we want rock stars. Apple and Microsoft weren’t due to the successes of talented architects and engineers, they were due to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.

    Perhaps we just want someone to go out before us and fight our battles. Perhaps the American people are inadvertently begging for a king. We will see what they get.

    Or perhaps I’m just being too philosophical tonight.

  • Patrick Kyle

    jon h@45
    “Kyle @30, Loved your observation that the SecState is a Communist. Do you sell a product called ‘the gospel for those broken by the far right’? I imagine Missouri’d provide lots of buyers.”

    What is your problem? If my memory serves me correctly this is the second or third time you have used my political discussions in the comments of this blog in an attempt to discredit and disparage the work we do at New Reformation Press. Peruse our website carefully, including the blog, and notice there is not one shred of political commentary. This is not an accident. You cannot tell our political beliefs or party affiliation from anything on our site.
    Am I only allowed to share the Gospel with those hurt by the church if my politics fit into what you deem acceptable? Am I allowed to have personal political opinions of my own? Can I share them in appropriate forums? Or do my political beliefs, because they differ from yours, disqualify me from speaking the Gospel in other venues?
    Furthermore, you usually ‘hit and run,’ posting one comment and then refusing to engage. I am lead to believe by your behavior that you are either afraid or unable to defend your comments or beliefs.
    If you want to snipe like that, either man up and engage or shut the hell up.
    As to the SecState being a Communist, maybe, maybe not. But a little research into her ‘activism’ during her college years will provide some food for thought.

  • Patrick Kyle

    jon h@45
    “Kyle @30, Loved your observation that the SecState is a Communist. Do you sell a product called ‘the gospel for those broken by the far right’? I imagine Missouri’d provide lots of buyers.”

    What is your problem? If my memory serves me correctly this is the second or third time you have used my political discussions in the comments of this blog in an attempt to discredit and disparage the work we do at New Reformation Press. Peruse our website carefully, including the blog, and notice there is not one shred of political commentary. This is not an accident. You cannot tell our political beliefs or party affiliation from anything on our site.
    Am I only allowed to share the Gospel with those hurt by the church if my politics fit into what you deem acceptable? Am I allowed to have personal political opinions of my own? Can I share them in appropriate forums? Or do my political beliefs, because they differ from yours, disqualify me from speaking the Gospel in other venues?
    Furthermore, you usually ‘hit and run,’ posting one comment and then refusing to engage. I am lead to believe by your behavior that you are either afraid or unable to defend your comments or beliefs.
    If you want to snipe like that, either man up and engage or shut the hell up.
    As to the SecState being a Communist, maybe, maybe not. But a little research into her ‘activism’ during her college years will provide some food for thought.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner @ 47 – in theory that will work (giving shareholders more power), but less so in practice. Because nowadays, the majority of shares held in any given company is held by institutional investors, who play the same game. It is a more evolved version of the small group of people sitting on many boards.

    Of course, I don’t hold with more government ownership either, because that will just replace one set of self-servers with another set.

    The only legislation that does a better job is laws regarding standards and accountability. For instance, in the world of natural resources, the implementation of 43-101 (in Canada), JORC (in Australia), SAMREC (South Africa) and PERC (Europe) has vastly decreased the amount of shenanigans that used to happen in mining and exploration. What you need is the application of accountability, responsibility etc. standards. This is in effect a version of Ordoliberalism, in which the playing field is refereed, but the players are not controlled (I hope the analogy helps). This also improves technological prowess (how to do, follow and control things better etc.).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner @ 47 – in theory that will work (giving shareholders more power), but less so in practice. Because nowadays, the majority of shares held in any given company is held by institutional investors, who play the same game. It is a more evolved version of the small group of people sitting on many boards.

    Of course, I don’t hold with more government ownership either, because that will just replace one set of self-servers with another set.

    The only legislation that does a better job is laws regarding standards and accountability. For instance, in the world of natural resources, the implementation of 43-101 (in Canada), JORC (in Australia), SAMREC (South Africa) and PERC (Europe) has vastly decreased the amount of shenanigans that used to happen in mining and exploration. What you need is the application of accountability, responsibility etc. standards. This is in effect a version of Ordoliberalism, in which the playing field is refereed, but the players are not controlled (I hope the analogy helps). This also improves technological prowess (how to do, follow and control things better etc.).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP @ 62 – not only them, but a good number of neocon, ex-Trotskyites as well.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP @ 62 – not only them, but a good number of neocon, ex-Trotskyites as well.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Apple and Microsoft weren’t due to the successes of talented architects and engineers, they were due to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.

    This is so not true.

    If Bill Gates had been born in Bangladesh in some little village, he would not be where he is now. Period. Nor would Steve Jobs have been able to do what he did. Could not happen.

    Was Steve Jobs smarter than Isaac Newton? or Da Vinci etc.? Of course we don’t know, but we do know that Newton and Da Vinci did not have access to the people with the education and talents that Jobs could lead and direct. If Jobs had been born in Da Vinci’s village, he could not have created iPhones.

    Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and all who worked for them and the parents who raised them and teachers who taught them were each a necessary but not sufficient condition for the success to occur. There is no way around that. No man is an island.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Apple and Microsoft weren’t due to the successes of talented architects and engineers, they were due to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively.

    This is so not true.

    If Bill Gates had been born in Bangladesh in some little village, he would not be where he is now. Period. Nor would Steve Jobs have been able to do what he did. Could not happen.

    Was Steve Jobs smarter than Isaac Newton? or Da Vinci etc.? Of course we don’t know, but we do know that Newton and Da Vinci did not have access to the people with the education and talents that Jobs could lead and direct. If Jobs had been born in Da Vinci’s village, he could not have created iPhones.

    Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and all who worked for them and the parents who raised them and teachers who taught them were each a necessary but not sufficient condition for the success to occur. There is no way around that. No man is an island.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was awarded $378 million in compensation.

    Did Tim Cook build Apple Inc. and make it what it is today? Or is he just riding the wave? Is he Charlemagne or Louis the Fair?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was awarded $378 million in compensation.

    Did Tim Cook build Apple Inc. and make it what it is today? Or is he just riding the wave? Is he Charlemagne or Louis the Fair?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If you took out all of the screeds against the Jews [and replaced them with screeds about white males or white privilege] from the Nazi party platform from say 1932, it would be something almost every died-in-the-wool left-liberal member of the Democrat Party would unashamedly embrace without reservation.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If you took out all of the screeds against the Jews [and replaced them with screeds about white males or white privilege] from the Nazi party platform from say 1932, it would be something almost every died-in-the-wool left-liberal member of the Democrat Party would unashamedly embrace without reservation.

  • All men are created equal

    People should all be taxed by percentage. The same percentage for every man and woman. If there was three people and they earned 100 “apples”, 200 and 400. It would be fair for the goverment to take 10, 20, and 40 apples from them respectively. They rich pay more only because the same percentage that should be used for everyone raises theirs higher. It would be unfair for the man making a hundred and for the guy making 200 to be charged 10% while the man making 400 was taxed 25%.

    No wonder the rich are fleeing the country. The top 5% of the richest (I hate how people treat that word.) people pay 60% of all US taxes. A little kid could tell you that’s unfair. I’m not a rich guy, I’m nowhere being near even the top 10%, but the rich are being taxed so wrongly in this country.

    I mean say you and a friend get a pizza every Monday. Now you always have 20 dollars and he only has a dollar, every time. So you have to pay 14 dollars and he pays 25 cents. Not quite fair is it? You are paying 70% of your hard earned money while your friend pays 25% of his money.

    “A poor man never gave anyone a job”

  • All men are created equal

    People should all be taxed by percentage. The same percentage for every man and woman. If there was three people and they earned 100 “apples”, 200 and 400. It would be fair for the goverment to take 10, 20, and 40 apples from them respectively. They rich pay more only because the same percentage that should be used for everyone raises theirs higher. It would be unfair for the man making a hundred and for the guy making 200 to be charged 10% while the man making 400 was taxed 25%.

    No wonder the rich are fleeing the country. The top 5% of the richest (I hate how people treat that word.) people pay 60% of all US taxes. A little kid could tell you that’s unfair. I’m not a rich guy, I’m nowhere being near even the top 10%, but the rich are being taxed so wrongly in this country.

    I mean say you and a friend get a pizza every Monday. Now you always have 20 dollars and he only has a dollar, every time. So you have to pay 14 dollars and he pays 25 cents. Not quite fair is it? You are paying 70% of your hard earned money while your friend pays 25% of his money.

    “A poor man never gave anyone a job”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Amace @ 71: There are two issues here. If you earn a large percentage of the income, even with a flat tax rate (the term you were looking for), you will pay a large percentage of the tax. Also, one should compare the effective tax rates on all income. It is unequal, but not nearly to the extent that you are thinking.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Amace @ 71: There are two issues here. If you earn a large percentage of the income, even with a flat tax rate (the term you were looking for), you will pay a large percentage of the tax. Also, one should compare the effective tax rates on all income. It is unequal, but not nearly to the extent that you are thinking.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Let’s not forget that the middle class pay a much higher percentage of their wealth in taxes. If you put down $10k on a $150k house and pay $2k a year in taxes on the house, you are effectively paying 20% per year tax on that asset because you only own $10k of the house. A very wealthy person is paying a much lower percentage on his assets. Taxes that tax income are fair in the sense that they tax money you actually have, because if a middle class person loses his job and is below some x income, he doesn’t have to pay tax because he has too little income to afford both the tax and food and shelter. However, wealth taxes are fair because they tax the wealthy on their wealth which is how they often derive their income. The result is that the less affluent but working with some at least small assets are paying the highest effective rates because they pay very high effective property tax as I already showed and sales taxes and payroll taxes. The rich pay much less in property taxes because much of their wealth is in other non taxed forms of property, they have less income relative to their untaxed wealth and much of their income is in capital gains which are taxed at lower rates and they are exempt from payroll tax above a certain amount. The income tax hits hardest those with higher incomes but lower assets like say a young doctor. He has high property tax, payroll tax, income tax and often a lot of student debt.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Let’s not forget that the middle class pay a much higher percentage of their wealth in taxes. If you put down $10k on a $150k house and pay $2k a year in taxes on the house, you are effectively paying 20% per year tax on that asset because you only own $10k of the house. A very wealthy person is paying a much lower percentage on his assets. Taxes that tax income are fair in the sense that they tax money you actually have, because if a middle class person loses his job and is below some x income, he doesn’t have to pay tax because he has too little income to afford both the tax and food and shelter. However, wealth taxes are fair because they tax the wealthy on their wealth which is how they often derive their income. The result is that the less affluent but working with some at least small assets are paying the highest effective rates because they pay very high effective property tax as I already showed and sales taxes and payroll taxes. The rich pay much less in property taxes because much of their wealth is in other non taxed forms of property, they have less income relative to their untaxed wealth and much of their income is in capital gains which are taxed at lower rates and they are exempt from payroll tax above a certain amount. The income tax hits hardest those with higher incomes but lower assets like say a young doctor. He has high property tax, payroll tax, income tax and often a lot of student debt.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I suspect that flat-tax proponents spend all their days merely looking at numbers on paper, never having bothered to meet people. At least, not poor people.

    The reason that flat taxes are not, in fact, “fair” is that poor people do not have the same ability to pay the taxes as do rich people. A rich person will certainly complain about having to pay a chunk of his wealth in taxes, but, almost by definition, he will still be able to. The poor, on the other hand, will quite literally be unable to pay a tax rate beyond some number. At least, without having to go into debt or simply be unable to pay for basic necessities (food and shelter, say).

    Consider a 30% flat income tax. The rich man will whine, complain, hire several lobbyists, and not a few accountants, but, failing all that, he will actually be able to pay such a tax, if it comes to that. A poor person, on the other hand, will either have to go into debt (which isn’t really a solution), or simply choose to live under a bridge somewhere. Well now, isn’t that “fair”.

    “A poor man never gave anyone a job”

    Ha. The poor spend nearly every dollar they get buying food and shelter. If all the poor stopped spending 100% of their income somehow, I’m pretty sure there’d be quite a spike in the unemployment rate. The poor underwrite quite a number of jobs. But middle-class aphorism creators could care less about their role in the economy, I guess.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I suspect that flat-tax proponents spend all their days merely looking at numbers on paper, never having bothered to meet people. At least, not poor people.

    The reason that flat taxes are not, in fact, “fair” is that poor people do not have the same ability to pay the taxes as do rich people. A rich person will certainly complain about having to pay a chunk of his wealth in taxes, but, almost by definition, he will still be able to. The poor, on the other hand, will quite literally be unable to pay a tax rate beyond some number. At least, without having to go into debt or simply be unable to pay for basic necessities (food and shelter, say).

    Consider a 30% flat income tax. The rich man will whine, complain, hire several lobbyists, and not a few accountants, but, failing all that, he will actually be able to pay such a tax, if it comes to that. A poor person, on the other hand, will either have to go into debt (which isn’t really a solution), or simply choose to live under a bridge somewhere. Well now, isn’t that “fair”.

    “A poor man never gave anyone a job”

    Ha. The poor spend nearly every dollar they get buying food and shelter. If all the poor stopped spending 100% of their income somehow, I’m pretty sure there’d be quite a spike in the unemployment rate. The poor underwrite quite a number of jobs. But middle-class aphorism creators could care less about their role in the economy, I guess.

  • Really?

    What I met by the quote “a poor person never gave anyone a job”is the poor do not hire anyone. The poor can pay their taxes. Yes I have met poor people. A flat rate tax would put their total value of their tax low because they earn a low amount of money. And it should be nowhere near 30%. There shouldn’t even be an income tax. The income tax was first established by Lincoln to pay for the war. Afterwards it was removed. Later it was re-established. Since there is one it should be a flat rate tax at somewhere around 5 -10%.

  • Really?

    What I met by the quote “a poor person never gave anyone a job”is the poor do not hire anyone. The poor can pay their taxes. Yes I have met poor people. A flat rate tax would put their total value of their tax low because they earn a low amount of money. And it should be nowhere near 30%. There shouldn’t even be an income tax. The income tax was first established by Lincoln to pay for the war. Afterwards it was removed. Later it was re-established. Since there is one it should be a flat rate tax at somewhere around 5 -10%.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    For the record, changing your handle is really annoying, as it makes it near impossible to know if the same person is replying or not.

    Anyhow, you said:

    What I met by the quote “a poor person never gave anyone a job”is the poor do not hire anyone.

    And all that tells me is that you’re fixated on the particular action of hiring, as if it were somehow able to be divorced from the other economic activities out there. Know what? The rich aren’t able to hire people, either, if someone’s not paying them. And you know what? The poor help to pay the rich, too. Again, if the poor stopped spending, somehow, there’d be quite a lot of firing going on. As long as you remain focused solely on the act of hiring, however, you will continue to miss the big picture.

    The poor can pay their taxes.

    Many of them, quite simply, could not afford to pay a flat income tax. Because, again, every single cent in a poor person’s budget is necessary to merely purchase the basics of life. That’s why almost every viable “flat-tax” plan exempts the first $X,000 of income. Because that much is not flexible — at least if we want people to not have to choose homelessness as a result of your “fair” tax scheme.

    And it should be nowhere near 30%.

    Your argument was about the inherent “fairness” of a flat-tax scheme. The particular rate it’s at should be irrelevant. If it becomes relevant to your point, that only reveals the flaw in your “fairness” argument.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    For the record, changing your handle is really annoying, as it makes it near impossible to know if the same person is replying or not.

    Anyhow, you said:

    What I met by the quote “a poor person never gave anyone a job”is the poor do not hire anyone.

    And all that tells me is that you’re fixated on the particular action of hiring, as if it were somehow able to be divorced from the other economic activities out there. Know what? The rich aren’t able to hire people, either, if someone’s not paying them. And you know what? The poor help to pay the rich, too. Again, if the poor stopped spending, somehow, there’d be quite a lot of firing going on. As long as you remain focused solely on the act of hiring, however, you will continue to miss the big picture.

    The poor can pay their taxes.

    Many of them, quite simply, could not afford to pay a flat income tax. Because, again, every single cent in a poor person’s budget is necessary to merely purchase the basics of life. That’s why almost every viable “flat-tax” plan exempts the first $X,000 of income. Because that much is not flexible — at least if we want people to not have to choose homelessness as a result of your “fair” tax scheme.

    And it should be nowhere near 30%.

    Your argument was about the inherent “fairness” of a flat-tax scheme. The particular rate it’s at should be irrelevant. If it becomes relevant to your point, that only reveals the flaw in your “fairness” argument.

  • Really?

    The poor are not the only ones who buy goods. All those people you talk about that would be fired. Guess what? They also buy goods. All the richer people but goods. There are plenty of people to buy goods. With the poor people having to pay a tax I can insure you they will still have money to buy goods.

    You said:
    “The rich aren’t able to hire people, either, if someone’s not paying them.”

    Do you know how many people don’t even look for work? They sit on their butts waiting for there welfare check. Welfare used to be for the disabled. Now it’s for if you earn under this amount of money per year. Until they get up and look for work you are right. The richer are not going to be able to hire anyone. Again there are others to buy there goods besides the poor and the poor will still buy.

    Are you a democrate who believes the poor has no chance to rise to a higher class unless the government gives it to them?

    There are many people in history who grew up poorer than dirt and rose to have a great life and to be rich. (Yes you read that right, rich). AND they did it without the handout from the government. At the rate the U.S. is going I don’t blame the rich for leaving. We should make this country look great for the rich. If they leave the money leaves. Who is going to hire people, who is going to raise the economy, and one that should concern you and your precious non taxpayers who is going to pay the taxes? If the top 5% leave that means 60% of taxes will be distributed to the rest of us. Trust me the bottom 47% will not escape taxes then.

    The government was originally designed to make sure the states play nice together and declare war. The people are supposed to tell the government what the government is allowed to do. Not the government telling the people what they can do.

    If you are a Republican, you are misguided or you don’t realize you are actually a democrate.

  • Really?

    The poor are not the only ones who buy goods. All those people you talk about that would be fired. Guess what? They also buy goods. All the richer people but goods. There are plenty of people to buy goods. With the poor people having to pay a tax I can insure you they will still have money to buy goods.

    You said:
    “The rich aren’t able to hire people, either, if someone’s not paying them.”

    Do you know how many people don’t even look for work? They sit on their butts waiting for there welfare check. Welfare used to be for the disabled. Now it’s for if you earn under this amount of money per year. Until they get up and look for work you are right. The richer are not going to be able to hire anyone. Again there are others to buy there goods besides the poor and the poor will still buy.

    Are you a democrate who believes the poor has no chance to rise to a higher class unless the government gives it to them?

    There are many people in history who grew up poorer than dirt and rose to have a great life and to be rich. (Yes you read that right, rich). AND they did it without the handout from the government. At the rate the U.S. is going I don’t blame the rich for leaving. We should make this country look great for the rich. If they leave the money leaves. Who is going to hire people, who is going to raise the economy, and one that should concern you and your precious non taxpayers who is going to pay the taxes? If the top 5% leave that means 60% of taxes will be distributed to the rest of us. Trust me the bottom 47% will not escape taxes then.

    The government was originally designed to make sure the states play nice together and declare war. The people are supposed to tell the government what the government is allowed to do. Not the government telling the people what they can do.

    If you are a Republican, you are misguided or you don’t realize you are actually a democrate.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@77), you said:

    The poor are not the only ones who buy goods.

    No kidding! Wait, let me check. … Hey, you’re right! I’m not poor, and I buy things! So I guess your point checks out! Good thing I never claimed otherwise, huh?

    With the poor people having to pay a tax I can insure (sic) you they will still have money to buy goods.

    Except you can’t! All I have to do is pick a sufficiently high tax rate for your “fair” plan, and it will be patently obvious that most poor people (for some definition of “most” and “poor”) simply will not be able to pay that tax and buy the necessities of life.

    Are you a democrate (sic) who believes the poor has (sic) no chance to rise to a higher class unless the government gives it to them?

    I respectfully decline your invitation to engage in an off-topic, toeing-the-party-line bumper-sticker repartee.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@77), you said:

    The poor are not the only ones who buy goods.

    No kidding! Wait, let me check. … Hey, you’re right! I’m not poor, and I buy things! So I guess your point checks out! Good thing I never claimed otherwise, huh?

    With the poor people having to pay a tax I can insure (sic) you they will still have money to buy goods.

    Except you can’t! All I have to do is pick a sufficiently high tax rate for your “fair” plan, and it will be patently obvious that most poor people (for some definition of “most” and “poor”) simply will not be able to pay that tax and buy the necessities of life.

    Are you a democrate (sic) who believes the poor has (sic) no chance to rise to a higher class unless the government gives it to them?

    I respectfully decline your invitation to engage in an off-topic, toeing-the-party-line bumper-sticker repartee.

  • Really?

    “I respectfully decline your invitation to engage in an off-topic”

    No problem, I was just curious. Thank you for not saying anything completely rude.

    ” All I have to do is pick a sufficiently high tax rate for your “fair” plan, and it will be patently obvious that most poor people (for some definition of “most” and “poor”) simply will not be able to pay that tax and buy the necessities of life.”

    Yes but earlier I had said a 5-10% rate which is not a high tax rate. At this low rate they can.

  • Really?

    “I respectfully decline your invitation to engage in an off-topic”

    No problem, I was just curious. Thank you for not saying anything completely rude.

    ” All I have to do is pick a sufficiently high tax rate for your “fair” plan, and it will be patently obvious that most poor people (for some definition of “most” and “poor”) simply will not be able to pay that tax and buy the necessities of life.”

    Yes but earlier I had said a 5-10% rate which is not a high tax rate. At this low rate they can.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@79):

    Yes but earlier I had said a 5-10% rate which is not a high tax rate. At this low rate they can.

    Do you understand that what you’re claiming is that nearly all poor people have 5-10% of their income that they don’t use to purchase the necessities of life (food, shelter, etc.), such that, in addition to all the other taxes they likely pay (namely sales tax and payroll tax, perhaps others, depending), they could easily give up 5-10% of their income without it affecting their ability to pay for food and shelter? They just have a decent chunk of cash lying around like that?

    To which I would ask again: have you actually met a poor person?

    And, again, your claims of flat-tax “fairness” are shown to be false, given that straying outside of your preferred 5-10% rate range demonstrates easily, even in a thought experiment, how disproportionately a flat tax impacts the poor compared to the wealthy. That’s kind of the opposite of “fair”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@79):

    Yes but earlier I had said a 5-10% rate which is not a high tax rate. At this low rate they can.

    Do you understand that what you’re claiming is that nearly all poor people have 5-10% of their income that they don’t use to purchase the necessities of life (food, shelter, etc.), such that, in addition to all the other taxes they likely pay (namely sales tax and payroll tax, perhaps others, depending), they could easily give up 5-10% of their income without it affecting their ability to pay for food and shelter? They just have a decent chunk of cash lying around like that?

    To which I would ask again: have you actually met a poor person?

    And, again, your claims of flat-tax “fairness” are shown to be false, given that straying outside of your preferred 5-10% rate range demonstrates easily, even in a thought experiment, how disproportionately a flat tax impacts the poor compared to the wealthy. That’s kind of the opposite of “fair”.

  • Really?

    You are assuming poorer people spend all their money on food and shelter. What about the guys spending their money on drugs and lotteries. They are addicted and if they didn’t spend their money on those they could afford to pay a tax.

    Also here’s a great idea that people should use more. Not just poor people. Get jobs that pay cash. From employers hands to employees hands. Such as mowing grass. Government can’t collect income tax on that.

    “given that straying outside of your preferred 5-10% rate range”
    Yea well there is a reason why I said 5-10 percent.

    No matter how you look at it it is unfair to tax some and not others. It’s not right to tax people a higher % according to to how much they make.

    About to quote myself here
    “Yes I have met poor people.”

  • Really?

    You are assuming poorer people spend all their money on food and shelter. What about the guys spending their money on drugs and lotteries. They are addicted and if they didn’t spend their money on those they could afford to pay a tax.

    Also here’s a great idea that people should use more. Not just poor people. Get jobs that pay cash. From employers hands to employees hands. Such as mowing grass. Government can’t collect income tax on that.

    “given that straying outside of your preferred 5-10% rate range”
    Yea well there is a reason why I said 5-10 percent.

    No matter how you look at it it is unfair to tax some and not others. It’s not right to tax people a higher % according to to how much they make.

    About to quote myself here
    “Yes I have met poor people.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@81):

    You are assuming poorer people spend all their money on food and shelter.

    No, I am merely assuming that not all poor people frivolously spend their money on “drugs and lotteries”. In order for your assumption to be true, however, all poor people must necessarily spend 5-10% (or more) of their income on things they don’t need. That’s quite the assumption you’re making there.

    Also here’s a great idea that people should use more. Not just poor people. Get jobs that pay cash. From employers hands to employees hands. Such as mowing grass. Government can’t collect income tax on that.

    Yes, that is a swell idea! Let’s all just cheat on our taxes, why didn’t I think of that? How very moral of you.

    Yea well there is a reason why I said 5-10 percent.

    Because it is the only range at which your flat tax can even remotely pretend to be fair to everyone. And yet, even that is not true. It’s obviously not true if you go any higher, even though your original argument (@71) implied that “fairness” was merely about the equality of rates across income levels, not about the particular rate itself.

    I really don’t think you’ve yet gotten that point. There is a rate, above which a significant portion of society would literally have to be homeless to pay, while the rich would easily be able to shoulder it. This, to you, constitutes “fairness”.

    No matter how you look at it it is unfair to tax some and not others.

    Nearly everyone pays some kind of tax. Surely you know that.

    It’s not right to tax people a higher % according to to how much they make.

    Why not? Are you just going to argue by fiat?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Really (@81):

    You are assuming poorer people spend all their money on food and shelter.

    No, I am merely assuming that not all poor people frivolously spend their money on “drugs and lotteries”. In order for your assumption to be true, however, all poor people must necessarily spend 5-10% (or more) of their income on things they don’t need. That’s quite the assumption you’re making there.

    Also here’s a great idea that people should use more. Not just poor people. Get jobs that pay cash. From employers hands to employees hands. Such as mowing grass. Government can’t collect income tax on that.

    Yes, that is a swell idea! Let’s all just cheat on our taxes, why didn’t I think of that? How very moral of you.

    Yea well there is a reason why I said 5-10 percent.

    Because it is the only range at which your flat tax can even remotely pretend to be fair to everyone. And yet, even that is not true. It’s obviously not true if you go any higher, even though your original argument (@71) implied that “fairness” was merely about the equality of rates across income levels, not about the particular rate itself.

    I really don’t think you’ve yet gotten that point. There is a rate, above which a significant portion of society would literally have to be homeless to pay, while the rich would easily be able to shoulder it. This, to you, constitutes “fairness”.

    No matter how you look at it it is unfair to tax some and not others.

    Nearly everyone pays some kind of tax. Surely you know that.

    It’s not right to tax people a higher % according to to how much they make.

    Why not? Are you just going to argue by fiat?

  • Really?

    It looks like we are not going to convince each other. We keep repeating the same things. I would like to respectivaly end this arguement and let us go our own ways.

    It has been nice argueing with you.

  • Really?

    It looks like we are not going to convince each other. We keep repeating the same things. I would like to respectivaly end this arguement and let us go our own ways.

    It has been nice argueing with you.