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Author Topic:   Wealth Distribution in the USA
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 42 of 531 (699439)
05-19-2013 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Coyote
05-17-2013 10:17 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
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?
I hadn't, but I'm willing to give it a try. If you can find 1000 conservatives who share this view, and each of whom will donate 10% of his income to me, then I in return will spend the money on doing rich-person things. You will have the satisfaction of having increased the number of rich folks to the tune of 1, and I will have the satisfaction of knowing that according to the all-wise pundits of conservatism I shall be bringing immeasurable joy to all around me and indescribable benefits to the economy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Coyote, posted 05-17-2013 10:17 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Coyote, posted 05-19-2013 9:39 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(3)
Message 44 of 531 (699441)
05-19-2013 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Coyote
05-19-2013 9:39 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
Nice try, but you should take this topic seriously.
I was. It is seriously orthodox conservative doctrine that rich people somehow make everyone wealthy through the magic of "trickle-down". Well, if everyone who voted Republican in the last election joined a scheme such as I proposed in my previous post, then they could produce 60,000 more rich people, thus magically making everyone richer, including themselves. One wonders why they don't.
True wealth is earned, not "acquired."
Are true wealth and false wealth both the same shade of green and equally accepted by retailers?
Crony capitalism is a plague that should be eliminated, while any honestly earned money should be honored.
Well said, comrade. When do we start expropriating the expropriators?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Coyote, posted 05-19-2013 9:39 PM Coyote has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Coyote, posted 05-19-2013 11:00 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 47 of 531 (699447)
05-20-2013 2:07 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by Coyote
05-19-2013 11:00 PM


Re: Tax and Force are not synonymous
More bullshit.
Do you think paupers make anyone better off? Are socialists trying to expropriate money from paupers? How many paupers start businesses and hire people? Paupers are a drain on society, not an asset. Those with money can create jobs and spread money around. Those who work for their money and create wealth are an asset, not a class to be demonized.
You destroy that class of people and you think anyone will be better off? What a joke!
That is not a reply to anything I actually wrote.
Socialists have been trying to expropriate every loose dime that they can, but what happens when they run out of people to loot?
Socialists should realize that they need a lot more wealthy people to support their nefarious schemes, not fewer. When everyone is reduced to pauperism who will the socialists have left to loot? Their whole sorry scheme will collapse around their ears.
But still they and their sycophants continue to decry those who have earned their money by hard and honest work. What a joke!
Nor is that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Coyote, posted 05-19-2013 11:00 PM Coyote has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(8)
Message 53 of 531 (699473)
05-20-2013 1:08 PM


The Psychology Of Millionaires: A Conservative View
One of the things that we hear from conservatives is that higher taxes on millionaires will take away their incentive for working, and so they'd stop working, thus stopping them from showering on us the incalculable benefits that they currently do.
Of course, some of them don't work, and some of those who do don't do any good for society, but let's think about those who do benefit society. By the conservative account they must be an odd bunch of people.
Suppose I were to say: "I will do no work unless I get ten million dollars a year after tax. Nine is not enough, and if you offered me that I'd decline to work."
You would then think I was:
* Lazy. When millions of Americans are willing to work for minimum wage, apparently I won't get out of bed for less than ten million a year.
* Greedy. For the same reason.
* Incredibly stupid. Because nine million dollars is better than nothing.
So according to conservative ideology, it would seem that the rich are lazy, greedy, and stupid. And yet these lazy greedy stupid people are absolutely essential to our economy, so much so that if you raised their taxes and they stopped doing whatever it is they do, they could not be replaced by people who are less lazy, greedy, and stupid, and who would be willing to do the same job for a mere nine million dollars a year.
The curious thing about this rule is that it's scalable. After all, some millionaires do work for a measly nine million dollars a year after tax. But they would stop working if they only got $8,100,000 after tax. And the guy who works for a mere million net dollars a year? He'd stop working if he only got $900,000. It seems that what influences their decision to either earn huge amounts of money or to earn nothing is not the net dollar amount that they would earn by working, but the proportion of their gross income that will go to things such as education, federal highways, or national defense.
Like I say, they're a funny bunch. I could hardly imagine that they exist, but fortunately conservatives, who have more imagination, can. It's good that we have conservative ideologues around to imagine these things for the rest of us.
Meanwhile, conservatives are outraged that the poorest Americans, the notorious 47%, pay no federal income tax. You'd think they'd applaud this as giving people incentives to work. But no, apparently this applies only to millionaires. Poor people are best motivated by poverty.
Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 54 of 531 (699481)
05-20-2013 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by GDR
05-20-2013 10:42 AM


I did point out in my post that I don't have any answers but a few suggestions would be to simplify our income tax forms [...] There should be ways of encouraging businesses large and small, possibly through tax incentives, of being more involved in the communities in which they operate.
But the trouble is that you can't do both. You can't at once simplify the tax forms, and introduce an extra section in them that gives tax breaks for community involvement.
I remember in the last election, or possibly the one before that, someone asked Obama if he could pledge to make taxation fairer and simpler. I forget what he answered, but I thought: "No. Because every time someone makes taxation more complicated, they're doing it in an attempt to make it fairer (at least as they see it)."
In any case, how complicated are tax forms? I've filled 'em out, they don't take that long. They're a few pages, but most of what I have to do is tick the boxes that say "this doesn't apply to me, I am not a self-employed farmer", and "this doesn't apply to me, I am not a disabled veteran" ... and so on, I can't actually remember what the boxes are. Once a year one has to look through a few pages, tick a few boxes, fill in a few figures, and sign one's name a few times. And yet every time there's a discussion of tax reform, there's always someone who'll imply that it would be a significant boon to the life of the nation if, once a year, we each had to cope with ten minutes of bureaucratic tedium rather than fifteen.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by GDR, posted 05-20-2013 10:42 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by GDR, posted 05-20-2013 2:58 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 57 of 531 (699499)
05-20-2013 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Jon
05-20-2013 4:23 PM


Why?
What about a hobby that gives them a sense of self-worth?
If there is enough wealthand there is, then what is wrong with letting the people who want to get paid for 'working' get paid for 'working' and the people who want to get paid for 'hobbies' get paid for 'hobbies'?
That would depend on what these hobbies actually achieve. If they're really worthwhile, then those people aren't so much having their lifestyles subsidized as being employees of the federal government. If they aren't, why pay them for it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Jon, posted 05-20-2013 4:23 PM Jon has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Jon, posted 05-20-2013 6:22 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 62 of 531 (699505)
05-20-2013 6:30 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by Jon
05-20-2013 6:22 PM


But if there is extra money to go aroundso much so that the people who have it, their children, their children's children, and their children's children's children could never possibly spend itwhy not?
Why? People have hobbies anyway. If we have that much spare money, why not use it to abolish polio instead of paying some guy to build a scale model of Notre Dame out of matchsticks.
How do you measure this?
What's the 'worth' of a hobby?
Are we worthwhile? What about the unemployed guy who starts a blog on his favorite pastime: refrigerator repair?
What's a hobby 'worth'?
I will decide that for a small fee.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Jon, posted 05-20-2013 6:22 PM Jon has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 6:36 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 66 of 531 (699510)
05-20-2013 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by jar
05-20-2013 6:36 PM


Re: Do false dichotomies taste great?
Well, as with Coyote's idea for improving the economy, I volunteer to be the first and possibly the last beneficiary of the New Order. Please would you and Jon send me any spare money you have, and in return I shall pursue my hobbies, something that I was going to do anyway.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 6:36 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 8:13 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 68 of 531 (699512)
05-20-2013 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by jar
05-20-2013 8:13 PM


Re: Do false dichotomies taste great?
And of course, your response has nothing to do with the questions I asked.
OK, in answer to your question, I would say that we probably don't have enough money to fix all the actual problems in the world and pay people to have hobbies, so if we have to choose we should probably concentrate on the former.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 8:13 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 9:27 PM Dr Adequate has replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 71 of 531 (699515)
05-20-2013 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by jar
05-20-2013 9:27 PM


Re: Do false dichotomies taste great?
But we may have far more than enough money. For example, there's far more than enough money to wipe out polio world-wide.
Well, just in case, shall we do that first?
Money is not the problem, politics are the problem there.
Obviously we should try to do those things that will provide the greatest return but trying to frame the issue with sophomoric examples and false dichotomies does nothing productive.
I had forgotten that only sophomores object to polio; a fleeting antipathy which in mature individuals vanishes in one's senior year.
The issue and topic are about wealth distribution in the US.
Polio is not an issue in the US and totally unrelated to the topic.
Well, it's an example of something else we could do with the money.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 9:27 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by jar, posted 05-20-2013 9:39 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 78 of 531 (699531)
05-21-2013 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Coyote
05-21-2013 1:08 AM


The same is true of redistributed wealth--you didn't earn it so it has far less value than money you actually earned through your own efforts. It is nothing to be proud of.
So no, I am not in favor of redistribution even if I were to be the beneficiary.
Yes, but I'm going to guess you ate yesterday. Pride is one of those luxuries you can afford.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Coyote, posted 05-21-2013 1:08 AM Coyote has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 96 of 531 (699556)
05-21-2013 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Coyote
05-21-2013 12:40 PM


The principal point is that, except for the governmental involvement, at each level some value (i.e., wealth) is created by voluntary interactions between people or companies selling their labor, materials, or services.
Why do lefties have such a problem with that?
Because that doesn't always produce the best outcome. If, for example, taxation was a purely voluntary transaction, then this post would be written in Russian, and you would be a stalwart member of the Communist Party of the American Soviet Republic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Coyote, posted 05-21-2013 12:40 PM Coyote has not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 129 of 531 (699612)
05-22-2013 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 123 by Percy
05-21-2013 10:35 PM


What is the contribution to a company's value of the night watchman, the delivery truck mechanic or the computer repair guy? You just have no idea. Even the companies themselves can't break it down with any reliability.
But we do know the value of the employee's labor - it's equal to their wages, and wages are largely set by market forces.
Well, this is confusing and equivocal. Perhaps instead of saying "the value of the employee's labor", you could say "the value of the employee's labor to the employee". Or better yet, since you apparently wish to refer to his wages, you could use the word "wages", reserving the word "value" for the concept "value".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Percy, posted 05-21-2013 10:35 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 135 of 531 (699619)
05-22-2013 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 133 by Percy
05-22-2013 10:54 AM


AbE: Maybe this is just a terminology issue. In my lingo, the value of a worker's labor is what someone is willing to pay, which is his wages.
In my lingo, we call that his wages.

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 399 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 148 of 531 (699634)
05-22-2013 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Percy
05-22-2013 12:40 PM


Let's be clear about what you're really saying ...
Let's be clear about what NoNukes is really saying. He's really saying something different from the stuff you've made up. As one can find out by reading his posts, where he really says the things that he's really saying.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Percy, posted 05-22-2013 12:40 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
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