Thesh wrote:The notion that our system is anything resembling a meritocracy is just plain silly. If I inherited 100 million dollars, and I put my money in mutual funds, I could easily make a million a year (adjusted for inflation), doing absolutely nothing but keeping that money in funds. With a good funds manager, I could sit on my ass averaging 10 million a year or more. Am I doing more to provide for this country than someone bagging groceries just because I have money? I would say absolutely not. In fact, in the past decade, I would say that the people who earned the most did so by using technology to replace labor and off-shoring to increase their cut, rather than by bringing anything new to the table.
I dare say that the number of people who inherit 100 mil is fairly small, and that the number who then do that is far, far smaller. Plus, the stock market is not guaranteed to always rise, nor are you guaranteed to have a good funds manager.
But there is an inherent truth here, which is that it's easier to produce wealth if you already have wealth. This is nigh-universal, from such trivial examples as having tools vs making something by hand, all the way up to such grandiose examples as this.
Also, using technology to replace labor IS bringing something new to the table.
Essentially the game is this: if you are at the top, if you had money at the start of the 2000s, you did really well not because you were doing anything innovative, but because you could offshore jobs and use readily available technologies that anyone in the world can realize it will boost your efficiency. The game is essentially stacked at the top. There's no merit involved, just power and luck.
If it were solely a matter of luck, one would expect winners and losers to be selected at random. This is ESPECIALLY not the case at the top.
People keep saying "it's just luck" as if this is something that doesn't require evidence without thinking about what ascribing something to luck really means.
leady wrote:Maybe but I can't find any true earnings type information only income, which hides the underlying reality.
I suspect a combination of
increased tax take
increased cost of health benefits
increased cost of work pensions
all screw the income infomation - bar for the super rich who essentially can ignore all these things. I think you'd get an economics phd for separating out all the effects through
Accurate. All of those are known effects. I can give fairly good breakdowns for any one of those, but none of those are exactly simple things. Fully breaking out each is a fairly significant undertaking.
Note that many of them will skew averages despite being a positive effect. Consider globalization, working women, and immigration. All of these represent an increase in available labor to the US market. More resources is a good thing, with a growth in overall production, but obviously, this will depress prices for that resource. Therefore, we can expect average wages to fall as a result of outsourcing, etc. The same effect is easily observable with any other resource as supply spikes rapidly. Labor isn't special in terms of resources. We've just been trained to think that it is.
No, I want justification for limiting freedoms - in this case the freedom to keep my money. "He has too much money" is not justification by itself.
Taxation is legal and very important principle of any government or society. Justification given. Technically, I don't even have to convince you, I just have to convince 51% of the country that it's ok to raise taxes to pay for program xyz. That's all the justification I need. And no, the freedom to keep your money is not a legitimate excuse to not say... pay to prevent families from freezing.
I think he's looking for a moral justification, not a legal one. After all, you don't seem to accept a 51% majority as a moral justification for letting people freeze to death, do you? Thus, it is obvious that a majority vote is not the moral basis you're using, and it is indeed possible for a majority to vote for something they shouldn't.
I do not oppose all taxes on a moral basis, but your specific argument here appears broken.
Zcorp wrote: ucim wrote:
Zcorp wrote:Don't just tell me it is the wrong way to look at it. [....]Given my explanation, why is this the wrong way to look at it? What is a better way to look at it?
I don't have a solution. But that doesn't make any other solution better than leaving it alone. And the right problem has to be the one addressed, or we end up in the "drug problem" miasma; a similar feedback loop where the wrong problem is typically addressed.
We aren't even to the point if talking about a solution...we are still simply trying to get you to recognize that there is a problem with the wealth distribution. That some people have too much money.
You didn't tell me how 'my way of looking at it' is wrong.
Looking at this as "someone has too much money" is backward. The problem should be framed as "someone does not have enough money". This may seem similar, but it's an important difference. If you simply removed wealth from the system at the top, that is obviously an undesirable solution, though it would "fix" the first problem. If you could somehow magically introduce wealth and give it to everyone, that'd be fantastic for the second.
It is reasonably to be concerned about shortages. It is not reasonable to hate wealth.
When a corporation becomes "too big to fail", then it has jackknifed, and has transferred the risk (of failure) to the general public. Perhaps at this point the public should become a stockholder.
You aren't ok with taking the rich guys money, say through paying their at least their proportional share of taxes, but are ok with taking their company over?
"Too big to fail" is a misnomer. The point of anti-monopoly laws is that they are supposed to prevent any one company from getting a stranglehold and being entirely irreplacable. The problem does not arise when they ask for a bailout. The problem existed before that. Bailouts are simply a horrible band-aid over an underlying issue. Even if you bail them out, what if, down the road, they end up in trouble again? Single points of failure are bad.
sardia wrote:I disagree. The rich may not require spending, but it doesn't mean they don't ask and get spending.
I disagree, subsidies to the rich come at expense to the poor and the middle class. For example, sequestration bit everyone, but then we passed a few bills to refund the faa because rich people were complaint. That's the rich getting subsidized at the expense of the poor. The same thing happens when our taxes have all these loopholes. The ones who can afford to take advantage of them results in either a higher rate or less services for everyone else.
There's also weirder scenarios that are hard to categorized. If a successful steel and casting company gets taken apart by large shareholders ( eg pensioners mutual fund) for the overfunded retirement accounts inside, then is it the rich robbing the rich to pay pensioners? Meanwhile, the workers get their retirement money siphoned off.
"subsidies" to the rich almost invariably take the form of tax reductions. Not direct payments. These are inherently different from those given to the poor. I mean, you contradict me, then immediately jump to talking about tax loopholes. That's EXACTLY the difference I'm talking about.
Now, obviously, direct payments to the rich, where they exist, should be removed on general economic principles, but that is almost irrelevant to income inequality as a whole.
Fun fact: Germany is debating removing their inheritence tax exemptions. Corporations would usually be passed down family lines almost entirely untaxed. Just something to keep in mind as people go on and on about how the US is so ridiculously unfair with inheritence and corporations being all corporationy and what not.