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Economy The 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate than any other income group

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by PolishHeadlock2, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. franklinstower

    franklinstower Red Belt

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    I am not saying that requiring the wealthy to pay more in taxes would make the love of money not sinful although I can see how it sounded like that. Still, there is absolutely less sin involved by far in someone being wealthy when no one is going hungry or without medical care and good education. The greatest sin of having more than you need by a lot is that it IS your fault when someone starves to death or dies due to lack of medical care.

    As far as seeking wealth absent of the love of money I don't personally see much of that although it exists in some small way I'm sure. What I see is parents spending most of their time running businesses rather than with family and children and serving community. I see the pain from absentee fathers who are always at the office instead of parenting and the deep generational pain this causes. I see a certain cruelty in the eyes of may very wealthy young men and women too that comes from having too much and being raised a certain way in relationship to that wealth.

    I see a lot of men and women using success in business to cover up for deep insecurities that never get healed and are passed on to children.

    In terms of damage spirituality the seeking of wealth occupies the will and the mind and the time of a person, often almost exclusively in people seeking wealth-- and why wouldn't it? Money is tied to the instincts responsible for social well being, security and sexuality, it is easy for the seeking of wealth to drive a person inordinately in very intense ways that are wired deep into a person on the instinctual level. Think "adrenaline" day in and day out over the next deal and the bump up you get in social status and sexual attractiveness over that. Its easy to end up living an animalistic life this way.

    I also never said you mostly have to be dumb or come from bad families to be poor and I don't think that. Why would you even think that statement speaks to all of my thoughts on the matter? This is not an essay thread is it? These are the examples I use to reach a certain segment of the population that will admit NO good reason for a person to be poor except laziness. IQ and poor upbringing are the easiest position to come from to get that segment of the population to see that poverty is not necessarily the fault of the person who is poor.

    On your third point it seems unconnected to anything I've said except in support of it. I never said the rich would see the benefit of helping the poor. I spoke of enacting policies and laws that make them help the poor, and it will benefit them whether they know it or like it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  2. Crazy Diamond

    Crazy Diamond 2GM/c^2 belt

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    I think you missed my point, but ok.

    Well, we're certainly in agreement that this is a result of neoliberal policies. But I don't think the crux of the discussion revolves around the joe average wage slave. That issue is cultural. Consider Europe. They take far more vacation, work fewer hours, etc. Several experiments carried out in the US consistently show that working fewer hours results in better overall productivity. But you can't even get some people to take their vacation time let alone suggest a 32 hour work week or more holidays. A shift in that kind of thinking requires far more than getting the rich to pay more taxes.

    It sounds to me like you're arguing shitty parenting will make you unhappy, not that it will keep you from making money, as you implied earlier. I agree with both, but I felt the need to note they are independent. This does not add support to what you said in the other post.

    I don't know why you thought it necessary to include this paragraph. It's explaining something we both took for granted in our previous posts.

    You said, "...IQ being high among those reasons, and terrible upbringing being another reason (there are others)...." Indeed, I may have exaggerated. That whole "being poor is their own fault" thing is a very sore spot with me, and I admit I overreacted to that part. In any case,
    I see and I retract my comment. I don't agree that this is an effective tactic to get around their ignorance, as I previously said to @Job Interview in another thread, but I will leave you to it in the hope it works.

    Yes, it was indeed in support of it; just saying I don't see things changing much in my lifetime, sadly. But then I thought pot would never be legal so....

    Here's hoping.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Prokofievian

    Prokofievian Silver Belt

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    Instead of an abstract number like 100 (in which case, the government would go unfunded), why not divide the total tax receipts by the number of tax payers? The total tax receipts were 3.643 trillion dollars last year. There's about 141 million tax payers. That comes to about 26,000 per person (rounding up, because I also rounded up the people) per year, just for federal income tax, and that's with a 1 trillion dollar deficit. Now that would be ''fair'' nominally (eVerYoNe'S pAyInG thE sAmE) but disastrous and morally objectionable.

    To address the ''converse'' of 5%: why would you want to punish success you socialist! Any non-zero rate ''punishes success'' if we're saying that the rich paying more is ''punishing them'' which, as we've established above, they must do to avoid absurdity.

    That's all I have to say about that.
     
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  4. franklinstower

    franklinstower Red Belt

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    Somehow I feel you are not understanding my points very well which is unusual...... I cant really explain it. Just one example is that I have not been discussing the average wages slave.... we are discussing the chasing of money by the wealthy......

    We are certainly in agreement that being poor is not ones fault. It really bothers me that those chasing wealth think everyone ought to do the same as if that lifestyle is even a good one. Seems profoundly self centered and arrogant to me. Lots of people just want enough and then focus on love and family which is the better pursuit IME.
     
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  5. tinker_190

    tinker_190 Brown Belt

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    So working backwards, my abstract example of $100 is morally wrong because we are currently spending way more. You even admit my logic is fair nominally, but then claim it is morally objectionable. Where is the morally objectionable portion? You just tack that on at the end with no actual justification. Sure, I readily admit in my example the actual dollar amount is hypothetical and not reflective of current receipts, but you cannot use that as an A -> B causality of immorality.

    As far as 5% goes, I didn't mention anything about punishing success or punishment in general. From whence come thee, bizarre strawman?
     
  6. Prokofievian

    Prokofievian Silver Belt

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    It's morally objectionable to take everything someone makes and leave them with nothing, and plenty of people are included in those 141 million who make less than 26,000 per year. It's disastrous because you would find that, in such a scenario, you wouldn't have 141 million tax payers, but like...1/10th that many.

    ''But why is it morally objectionable to take everything that someone has and leave them with nothing?'' We would need to agree to this. Do you agree or not? If yes, then we can proceed, if not then an agreement to disagree is as far as it goes. But, hier stehe ich.

    It comes from the previous argument: that paying a flat dollar amount is the fairest possible tax, and that a rate leads to an unequal dollar amount paid, and is thus ''unfair'' to those making more (as would be any positive non-zero rate).
     
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  7. Jack V Savage

    Jack V Savage Secretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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    What if we went backwards? The gov't issues a memo saying that all taxes are cut, but unless we can raise $4T this year, we're going to stop defending land claims, IP claims, copyrights, abolish the military, stop road maintenance, eliminate SS, Medicare, public schools, etc. Who's going to try to contribute to that $4T? Who's going to think that doing nothing is a good deal? Probably it's bad for everyone to some extent, but the very poor (like homeless) would benefit the most, and the very rich would be hurt the most, by far.
     
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  8. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    Would triple like if I could.
     
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  9. tinker_190

    tinker_190 Brown Belt

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    Again, you are working backwards from the assumption of the total dollar amount needing to be spent. This doesn't address my point at all. Sure, if we absolutely have to spend the insane exorbitant amount the USA currently does, then the plan would not successfully function. However, the abstract principle I describe still hasn't been addressed in and of itself.


    I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to imply or communicate, but I must say, for as much as people lament the rich around here, this sounds right in line with the thinking. Let's do it!

    Or maybe, combining the two quotes above, we could start with a massive checklist of projects that the public could directly fund. Something tells me spending on a bunch of pork projects and other goofy crap would fall dramatically and the public would be much happier, but I digress.
     
  10. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    I'd take it one step further, look at the race of those 400, and the ruling vs. slave classes become a lot more clear.
     
  11. Jack V Savage

    Jack V Savage Secretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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    The point is that the rich obviously benefit far more from the existence of a gov't (though everyone except the homeless benefits to some extent). And I didn't know you were a communist.

    I'd think that such a move would quickly lead to economic collapse (not talking about 2008-style collapse; I think it would be more like mass starvation). We have representative democracy for good reason, though the system is taxed when representatives are as misinformed or uninformed as the general public.
     
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  12. tinker_190

    tinker_190 Brown Belt

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    That's a pretty big leap, to go from "what if people could actually pick and choose what the state funds" to the big C word. Though your argument that the rich benefit from more state is valid and reasonable.
    (isn't this where Bakunin is supposed to step in?)

    This is another huge leap, but getting way off topic. I am sympathetic to the idea that the modern nation state facilitates mass agriculture the way it is now, but again, I do think it's a huge leap to go from big spending cuts -> starvation.
     
  13. Jack V Savage

    Jack V Savage Secretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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    I think that that's the impact of direct democracy, and pretty close to the definition. And, yeah, exactly, on Bakunin (other communists had different ideas, but something like that).

    The U.S. is already spending very little for an advanced democracy, and anti-tax ideology forces it to inefficiently run a lot of "spending" through the tax code (that is, we provide tax breaks to encourage results instead of simply spending money to directly achieve those results). For example, rather than directly spending money and providing healthcare, we give companies tax incentives to provide insurance to employees, achieving the same result (with some gaps) without spending money directly but with less efficiency (note that I say this as someone who is ambivalent about single-payer). But putting that all aside, what I'm saying is not just that cutting spending would lead to complete economic collapse but that subjecting all spending decisions to a popular vote would lead to complete economic collapse. Further, I think that you'd have to subject property rights to the same test to be fair (if the gov't imposes restrictions on property use that benefit a small number of Americans and doesn't compensate them for the loss, it loses legitimacy and becomes an occupying force rather than a tool for society to govern itself).
     
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  14. AGGAMEMNON66

    AGGAMEMNON66 ———Villain———

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    How much did they actually pay out by comparison tho..?
     
  15. THEfightsAREfixed

    THEfightsAREfixed Master Servant

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    what are the race of the richest people in the UAE, and in China? Or in India? What are the races of the poor people in those countries? I'm seeing something pretty clearly
     
  16. Prokofievian

    Prokofievian Silver Belt

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    It does address your point, by situating it within reality. Why pick 100 dollars? Why not 1 dollar? Then surely everyone, even a kid with a lemonade stand can pay their fair share, and I have thus proven that a fixed dollar amount for everyone, without deductions is the only moral tax! Right? No. In optimal tax theory, there is always a chunk that needs to be funded, that forms a constraint. Then you add other constraints to the optimization problem (with an objective of maximizing revenue or some other thing) and see what tax policy comes out. Your tax policy must stand on its own, not borrow from some other consideration like ''whether we need to pay for x at all,'' because it would then cease to be purely abstract anyways.

    And what of the 5% point, have you conceded the point or just left it for the moment?
     
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  17. tinker_190

    tinker_190 Brown Belt

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    The external constraint (total amount needed to be generated) from your previous example was based off of current US Federal spending. This seems to be retroactive or circular, ie "With a progressive tax system we generated $N trillion. We are spending all of it. With another tax system, we will generate (N-x) trillion, which isn't sufficient because we have justified getting $N trillion via our current system. Therefore the newly proposed system is immoral". If the only moral constraint is revenue optimization, just find some point on the Laffer curve everyone agrees on and go from there. I still postulate that the flat dollar amount paid in is the most fair system.

    I will, however, concede your point about the "whether we need to pay for X at all" taking things out of the purely speculative/abstract, but I never introduced that area of argument either.

    Not sure what specifically you are asking about the 5% point? I think my sentiments are roughly the same regarding that as well.
     
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  18. SammyPops

    SammyPops Gold Belt

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    Firstly, you should read the thread's title.

    Secondly, the US is comprised of many races and religions and so on. The rest of your simple minded examples are not.
     
  19. Prokofievian

    Prokofievian Silver Belt

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    Okay, let me try to state it in a way that I think wouldn't be circular. The question that I would try to answer would be ''Assuming we must generate N dollars, what is the fairest way to do that''? For some N, this is the lump sum tax. As N grows large, however, we see that while the lump sum is nominally fair (tautologically, I suppose), it leads to undesirable and arguably immoral consequences.

    This is, for the moment, just considering income as well: things get interesting when we start to consider things like consumption taxes or land taxes. A lump sum land tax would actually be somewhat progressive because poor people don't own land. But I digress.

    Oh okay, I was just checking because I thought this could go in an interesting direction as well.
     
  20. THEfightsAREfixed

    THEfightsAREfixed Master Servant

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    so whats your explanation for the same dynamic appearing in countries with, as you claim, homogeneous cultures? would you be willing to consider the possibility that the issue may not be limited to the US and white people but a feature of the human condition? and it may even be damaging to the search for a solution by being a retard and thinking evil people come in one color or creed
     

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