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Author Topic:   Wealth Distribution in the USA
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2183 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 16 of 531 (699350)
05-17-2013 9:07 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by jar
05-17-2013 8:59 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Nor is taxation synonymous with force.
Sure it is. You just try ducking taxes and see what happens. Force is the ultimate "argument" that the government has for enforcing its edicts.
In addition, every management study I've ever seen has shown that money is NOT the main or best motivator for increasing productivity.
For who? I agree that for many workers there are a lot of other motivators for increasing productivity.
But for those who are wealthy? Try taking 90% of their earnings and see how motivated they become! Their primary motivation will be to duck those taxes somehow!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 8:59 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 9:12 PM Coyote has replied
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jar
Member
Posts: 34047
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 17 of 531 (699351)
05-17-2013 9:12 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Coyote
05-17-2013 9:07 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Bullshit.
Taxes are no more synonymous with force than speed limits or stop signs or having to go to school. It is only the current crop of fascist Republicans that make such gross misrepresentations.
Taxes are a mutually agreed upon commitment.
For who? I agree that for many workers there are a lot of other motivators for increasing productivity.
But for those who are wealthy? Try taking 90% of their earnings and see how motivated they become! Their primary motivation will be to duck those taxes somehow!
No great loss even if that were true. Certainly there will be some low life worthless bastards that would expend their efforts in avoiding paying taxes but that would be no great loss.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 9:07 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 9:50 PM jar has replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2183 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 18 of 531 (699352)
05-17-2013 9:50 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by jar
05-17-2013 9:12 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
It is only the current crop of fascist Republicans that make such gross misrepresentations.
Bullshit.
Taxes are a mutually agreed upon commitment.
More bullshit. (See below.)
Certainly there will be some low life worthless bastards that would expend their efforts in avoiding paying taxes but that would be no great loss.
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it which for the majority translates as "Bread and Circuses."
"Bread and Circuses" is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invaderthe barbarians enter Rome.
― Robert A. Heinlein
And when this happens, what do you think the productive members of society do? They're certainly not going to spend all their efforts to support the parasites. And why should they?
Socialists spend so much time demonizing those productive folks who have earned a lot of money through their efforts, but they seldom realize they would be doomed without them. Socialists have to have someone to extort money from! (See also the parable about the goose and the golden egg.)

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 9:12 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 10:06 PM Coyote has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34047
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


(4)
Message 19 of 531 (699355)
05-17-2013 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Coyote
05-17-2013 9:50 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Horseshit coyote.
Once again you are simply showing that today's American conservatives (mostly a'cuase I consider myself a conservative) cannot be honest or even recognize reality.
If we look at those nations which most Americans would describe as socialist we see success, we do not see intellect, inventiveness, creativity, production, manufacturing or any other such measure falling behind the US. In fact we see just the opposite; we see better health care, safer societies, higher standards of living, greater personal satisfaction.
Robert Heinlein was a fiction writer and about like Rand as far as spouting total moronic crap.
In addition, as usual, you are simply pushing bullshit no one has advocated. No one has advocated bread and circumstances, there is a real question of whether it is the rich that are the parasites or the rest of the population.
Let the 1% run away. Good riddance. They are no great loss.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 9:50 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 10:17 PM jar has replied
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 2183 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


(1)
Message 20 of 531 (699358)
05-17-2013 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by jar
05-17-2013 10:06 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Let the 1% run away. Good riddance. They are no great loss.
If the lefties keep it up, you may get your wish.
According to new IRS data, the 1.35 million taxpayers that represent the highest-earning one percent of the Americans who filed federal income tax returns in 2010 earned 18.9% of the total gross income and paid 37.4% of all federal income taxes paid in that year.
Link
You want to try to get by without that 37.4% of all federal income taxes? The folks no longer getting their Obamaphones and free government cheese would riot!
I know this is contrary to socialist thinking, but have you ever considered that we need more rich folks, not fewer? And that we should be encouraging them to earn more, not demonizing them?
Now wouldn't that make more sense?

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 10:06 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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foreveryoung
Member (Idle past 660 days)
Posts: 921
Joined: 12-26-2011


Message 21 of 531 (699361)
05-17-2013 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Panda
05-17-2013 7:35 PM


I was thinking about a reduction in the standard of living. But hasn't iceland always had the same distribution of wealth?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Panda, posted 05-17-2013 7:35 PM Panda has replied

Replies to this message:
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foreveryoung
Member (Idle past 660 days)
Posts: 921
Joined: 12-26-2011


Message 22 of 531 (699362)
05-18-2013 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by jar
05-17-2013 8:59 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
The experience though is that when the disparity between the richest and poorest are minimized the standard of living goes up. This has held true in almost ever case.
Are you sure it isn't the other way around? Doesn't the disparity between richest and poorest become less when the standard of living goes up? Can you show me a time in american history when the disparity between rich and poor was achieved through taxation and resulted in an improved standard of living?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 8:59 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 8593
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 23 of 531 (699363)
05-18-2013 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tangle
05-17-2013 5:16 PM


Re: Cry, cry, cry.
I reckon bitching would be a damn good start.
Maybe I'm just way way older but this have/have-not richer-get-richer bitching has been going on for decades and I'm not talking just 3 or 4. And we as a society do nothing to change this so it just keeps getting more pronounced.
Unless we're content to let this continue to the point where the trodden poor, and the state in response, have to start killing people in large numbers doesn't anyone think we might try to address the problem?
And if the answer is "sure," then the question is "how"?

This message is a reply to:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 5.3


(1)
Message 24 of 531 (699364)
05-18-2013 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by foreveryoung
05-18-2013 12:09 AM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Can you show me a time in american history when the disparity between rich and poor was achieved through taxation and resulted in an improved standard of living?
The end of the Great Depression.
During the Depression the difference between rich and poor was immense.
The postwar period turned America into an economic superpower...through the generation of an extremely strong middle class. Top tax margins were at their highest rate ever, and yet the potential to have a job making a living wage, own your own home, have a few luxuries, and have a positive retirement were all made possible by utilizing those tax dollars to set up the so-called "entitlement" programs we know of today like Social Security.
It's not like "taxation" is the end of the equasion. It all comes down to what you spend the money on. When the tax dollars are funnelled back into the economy through massive public works programs, "entitlement" programs (let's be honest here, every dollar that gets paid out of Social Security goes right back into the economy, which can only ever be a good thing), and even war spending, you stimulate economic growth that simply isn't sustainable through private industry alone. Tax dollars allow for incentives for creating and maintaining infrastructure, and provide for thousands upon thousands of real jobs that continue the flow of money.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. - Francis Bacon
"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers
A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity. — Albert Camus
"...the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit." - Barash, David 1995...
"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." - Gandalf, J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord Of the Rings

This message is a reply to:
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anglagard
Member (Idle past 914 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


(2)
Message 25 of 531 (699367)
05-18-2013 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Coyote
05-17-2013 9:07 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Coyote writes:
But for those who are wealthy? Try taking 90% of their earnings and see how motivated they become! Their primary motivation will be to duck those taxes somehow!
Like under the notorious Marxist Dwight Eisenhower with the top 91% tax rate?
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States
Of course the actual tax rate was far less due to deductions. Perhaps the reason the USA was generally prosperous under Eisenhower may have had more to do with rewarding invention, productivity, and middle class 'scum' for their work than it does under the current system of rewarding financial traders who buy and sell politicians like the old slave market.
Coyote, you are brilliant in your areas of expertise. Please don't allow so called 'fiscal conservatives' who always forget the deficit once in power, Ayn Rand, or even Heinlein to be the only source of information.
I am actually still a member of the Libertarian Party USA, although many of their recent actions disgust me.
I feel I know where you are coming from, much of which is true, but it is not the whole truth.
I am between classes in yet another grad degree and as much as I may dislike having to disagree, I believe your analysis of the current situation lacks a sense of history, economics, politics, and indeed nuance.
Hopefully more to come shortly, time and health permitting.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon

This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34047
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


(2)
Message 26 of 531 (699371)
05-18-2013 7:20 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Coyote
05-17-2013 10:17 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
No one has said that people should be discouraged from earning more.
If you look around the world though you will find (as I have already pointed out) that many countries generally seen as being socialist, countries where the disparity of income is far less than in the US, also have a far higher standard of living, better healthcare, seem far happier and satisfied than the US.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 10:17 PM Coyote has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Phat, posted 05-18-2013 6:46 PM jar has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 34047
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


(5)
Message 27 of 531 (699372)
05-18-2013 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by foreveryoung
05-18-2013 12:09 AM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Certainly. In fact many of the good things about the US are the direct result of taxation. If you just want recent examples (within my lifetime) FDR, Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter all improved the quality of American life through taxation. Our highway systems, our public schools, fire, police, environmental improvements (and boy has that ever improved) were all funded thought taxation.
Look at the examples coyote tried to use?
Is free cheese to folk that can't afford even that an improvement in their standard of living?
Is a mobile phone when you can't afford one an improvement in the standard of living?
And by the way, neither of those are really an example of "Obama".
Other Presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, have supported similar programs; building highways, rural electrification, rural phone service, surplus food distribution (food supplies bought using tax funds, often to prop up agribusiness).
It was only with the coup that brought Reagan and the Christian Right New Speak into power that taxation became misrepresented.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by foreveryoung, posted 05-18-2013 12:09 AM foreveryoung has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18388
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 28 of 531 (699373)
05-18-2013 8:11 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by jar
05-17-2013 10:06 PM


If the 1% ran off, would taxes double?
anglagard writes:
Perhaps the reason the USA was generally prosperous under Eisenhower may have had more to do with rewarding invention, productivity, and middle class 'scum' for their work than it does under the current system of rewarding financial traders who buy and sell politicians like the old slave market.
jar writes:
If we look at those nations which most Americans would describe as socialist we see success, we do not see intellect, inventiveness, creativity, production, manufacturing or any other such measure falling behind the US. In fact we see just the opposite; we see better health care, safer societies, higher standards of living, greater personal satisfaction.
The only difference is that now we have no ramped up industrial capacity following a war. The other countries are the new middle class, and our(US) middle class is having to join the ranks of a new emerging global middle class.
As I said before, I am proud to be part of a labor union that stands up to the efforts of a corporate culture that seeks to break the US wage structure into more of a global conformity.
Globalism has its pros and cons.
If the 1% ran off, would taxes double? ...and if so, would the population feel exploited and thus start a needless revolution?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by jar, posted 05-17-2013 10:06 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 34047
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 29 of 531 (699374)
05-18-2013 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Phat
05-18-2013 8:11 AM


Re: If the 1% ran off, would taxes double?
Hopefully taxes will go up considerably. In particular I'd like to see the US inheritance taxes go way up.
Will the populous stage a pointless and destructive revolution? Very likely. That is what ignorant or oppressed folk often do.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Phat, posted 05-18-2013 8:11 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 3790 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 30 of 531 (699381)
05-18-2013 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by foreveryoung
05-17-2013 11:55 PM


FEY writes:
I was thinking about a reduction in the standard of living. But hasn't iceland always had the same distribution of wealth?
It seems not.
Iceland's economy - like any economy - goes through changes.
Unfortunately, there is not much data about wealth distribution in Iceland pre-2004.
But since 2004, Iceland's wealth distribution curve has flattened further still - but with no signs of a drop in the standard of living.
There seems to be no detrimental consequences to being in a 'flat wealth distribution curve' country.

"There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god." J. B. S. Haldane

This message is a reply to:
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