Self-made men, debunked


By Dan8267   Follow   Thu, 3 May 2012, 1:20pm   8,702 views   101 comments
In Boca Raton FL 33433   Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

Heck, if you put any man in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, he will have trouble just surviving. He certainly won't be able to build a skyscraper, a computer, or an automobile without the help of other people. Well, not unless he's this guy. That guy is awesome.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/30/self_made_men_debunked_salpart/

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  1. CBOEtrader


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    22   9:12am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    iwog says

    TMAC54 says



    The cost will certainly contribute to America's demise.


    Every example in the world says you're wrong. Socializing health care makes it cheaper. Always.

    That's crazy talk.

  2. CBOEtrader


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    23   9:14am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Dan8267 says

    If we forced, by law, that every person's take home income was equal to what they produce minus 10% for taxes and 10% for the employer's profits, we would all be vastly richer and our society more prosperous. Of course, there would be no billionaires, but at quarter of the populations would be millionaires and the 10th percentile would still be above the poverty line. And wouldn't that be a more opportunistic society?

    I like the way you think, and I enjoy reading your posts...so I'm trying to sugar coat this...BUT...

    Any economy that implemented what you suggested would devastate their production. It would be a stone-age economy within 6 months.

  3. CBOEtrader


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    24   9:41am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Dan8267 says

    Naturally, Fox News would viciously oppose my idea with every fiber of Fox's being.

    Uh...so would any rational person.

    Dan8267 says

    Under my system the only way to make money is to produce wealth, not to control it with capital and/or politics

    By definition, you can't have a command and control economy that isn't controlled via "politics."

    Furthermore, economic decisions or "wealth", must either be controlled via economic interests or via political interests. There is no third option, though I'm willing to let you enlighten me.Dan8267 says

    if and only if there are no parasites making their income off of other people's work, i.e., no executives, CEOs, speculators, etc.

    Given proper regulation, these people aren't parasites. In fact, they serve a purpose, without which, no economy may funtion...unless you want to go back the stone age.

    Dan8267 says

    Naturally, that would put a lot of people in the "finance" industry out of work

    There are a ton of legit criticisms of the way the finance industry works. However, you cant have civilization without a way to transfer capital efficiently.

    Cro-magnum man had a larger brain than us AND was stronger. Why did we thrive, while they went extinct? We learned TRADE and DIVISION OF LABOR.

    Without finance we would be extinct.

  4. Dan8267


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    25   10:38am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    Any economy that implemented what you suggested would devastate their production. It would be a stone-age economy within 6 months.

    I would think it would drastically increase real productivity and real GDP. Aren't people always arguing that everyone needs a profit motive to produce? Why should that only apply to the rich? Doesn't the middle class also need motivation to produce?

    Think about all the wasted time at work because people are making the same crappy wage whether they work hard or do just enough not to get fired. Image how much more people would produce if they got to keep 80% of what they made and they knew that if they double their productivity, they'd double their income.

  5. Dan8267


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    26   10:39am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    Furthermore, economic decisions or "wealth", must either be controlled via economic interests or via political interests. There is no third option, though I'm willing to let you enlighten me.

    Software.

  6. Dan8267


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    27   10:42am Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    There are a ton of legit criticisms of the way the finance industry works. However, you cant have civilization without a way to transfer capital efficiently.

    Transfer of capital could be done better without human beings, who have selfish motives, interfering with the process. Resource allocation should be a science, not an art performed by self-centered business men.

    CBOEtrader says

    Cro-magnum man had a larger brain than us AND was stronger. Why did we thrive, while they went extinct? We learned TRADE and DIVISION OF LABOR.

    The removal of parasitic rent-seeking functions does not deteriorate trade or the division of labor. In fact, the removal of all rent-seeking functions and the streamlining of financial infrastructure would increase trade by reducing overhead including both waste and commissions.

  7. Patrick


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    28   12:19pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike   Protected  

    It is often difficult to distinguish between parasitic rent-seeking and actual production. Is the capital gain on a passive investment in a growing company rent-seeking or productive behavior? It seems to have elements of both to me.

    Also, how exactly do you measure the productivity of an office worker, so that he can claim 80% of it?

    One distinction is clear to me though, thanks to Henry George: income from mere ownership of land is purely parasitic because no one created or maintained the land, while income from renting out a house on that land is actually productive, because the house required building and maintenance.

  8. Patrick


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    29   12:37pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike   Protected  

    TMAC54 says

    I am consistently disappointed by any agency that does not have to compete for it's earnings.

    Health insurance companies do not have to compete for their earnings.

    It's just pay or die, with your options limited to two or three identical insurers with identical premiums. They just pretend to compete.

    And how would it limit your options in any way if you were granted another option: the option to buy into Medicare?

    So you're saying getting a fourth option takes away from your freedom somehow?

  9. CBOEtrader


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    30   2:49pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Dan8267 says

    I would think it would drastically increase real productivity and real GDP.

    The concept is valid. It's the implementation I had a problem with.

    You suggested a forced 90% of productivity compensation to employees.

    1)You would need an enormous bureaucracy to determine "production" and "compensation" per employee.

    2)Human capital is only one aspect of a business. With the advent of technology and industrialization it is often a smaller part of the puzzle than other capital. The difference in the ratio of human capital to machinery or pure money capital is vastly different. You can't command and control % of "productivity" compensation per employee without devastating 95% of companies.

    3)What company uses 90% human capital and only 10% machinery/technology/money? Sales perhaps? That's about it. Any high paying job is typically high-paying due to exactly the opposite ratio. My industry takes that to the extreme, where a group of a few hedge fund types might control $5 billion in capital-- however, every lawyer, corporate executive, and software engineer is the beneficiary of leveraging huge capital.

    In short, you have to let the free market determine the cost and value of human capital.

    I am reminded of Henry Ford, who famously paid his employees well above any other factory wages at the time. He was fabulously rewarded for this strategy, as were the employees-- but it was not, and could not happen via a command and control approach.

    The free market will work miracles if you let it.

  10. CBOEtrader


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    31   2:51pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Transfer of capital could be done better without human beings, who have selfish motives, interfering with the process. Resource allocation should be a science, not an art performed by self-centered business men

    Sounds nice...but what does that mean?

  11. Dan8267


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    32   3:51pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    It is often difficult to distinguish between parasitic rent-seeking and actual production.

    True, and that is where the difficulty in implementing a rent-free society lies. At this point, I can only advocate studying the idea not a specific implementation.

    However, I have found that if an idea is pursued, society has a way of generating and refining solutions to even the most difficult problems.

    Patrick says

    Also, how exactly do you measure the productivity of an office worker, so that he can claim 80% of it?

    Yep, business has to be turned into an objective, engineering discipline. So far, we've only been taking the approach of turning engineering into a business.

  12. Dan8267


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    33   3:57pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    t's the implementation I had a problem with.

    Yeah, because I don't have an implementation yet, just an idea. The next question is how to implement such a society. I think it will take many changes big and small. I have a few ideas on what some of those changes are, but not all of them.

    For example, I think we need to move away from hierarchical power structures including corporations and towards a peer-to-peer power and distribution architecture. I.e., no CEOs or executives, just workers producing some function. Each node performs a specific function and services all other nodes on the network. Compensation flows as a function of how much a service is used. Any service can be replicated in multiple nodes for competition.

    In such a network, there is no root, no headquarters, no board of directors. Direction is given entirely by market demands. No hierarchies and as such, no opportunity to steal production from other nodes. Individual nodes have no power, but ad-hoc networks of nodes can produce great things.

  13. Dan8267


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    34   3:58pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    It's just pay or die, with your options limited to two or three identical insurers with identical premiums. They just pretend to compete.

    All oligopolies behave this way. In function, oligopolies differ in no ways from monopolies.

  14. Dan8267


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    35   4:02pm Sun 6 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    Sounds nice...but what does that mean?

    The history of mankind could be viewed as subjects and disciplines moving from the arts to the sciences. This happened first with math, then physics, then chemistry, then biology, then ecology. Continuing this trend, one would expect government, economics, and social studies to make the transition next.

    When a subject or discipline becomes a science or engineering field, it hardens. People stop talking about it in vague, unquantifiable terms and start talking in very specific, standard terminology. The subject becomes precise.

    Of course, no one images that the subject could be a science. How could science possibly explain the creation of a baby, they'll say. But eventually it does with perfect precision.

  15. nw888


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    36   6:28am Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    "All you well off business owners listen up. It's because of me you've become wealthy, because I pay for the infrastructure!!"

    --Elmer Fudd middle class taxpayer who paid a total of $1437 in taxes last year and needs to take credit for people's success to compensate for his own feelings of failure.

  16. ArtimusMaxtor


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    37   6:34am Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I don't hate Democracy. I just wonder why there is only Democracy, Socialism, Communism and dictatorship. I guess there are a few small others. It makes me think they can't count past 4 and come up with anything else. I think they are all bullshit. When fucking France has the same monetary system based on loans and lending. WTF is the difference. For fucking freedom fighters. This peoples sure loves the debt cage. Don't live a fucking childs fantasy. Because Monday morning comes and so does the end of the month and reality. So you play the game. The people that are "really" at the top. Are laughing at your people. I don't think the whole thing is so GD funny myself. Your never going to "reform" a debt merchant they are stubborn little bastards that love to swindel.

    Artimus 8:00 o'clock Remeber I warned you if a debt merchant gives you flowers and balloons and wants to be your friend. Tell him to fuck off and walk away.

  17. Auntiegrav


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    38   7:45am Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Let's start at the beginning.
    1. What are people FOR?
    2. What is Good, and what is Bad?
    3. What is government/socialism/authority ?
    4. What is money?
    5. What is Opportunity and where does it come from?
    6. What enables people to take advantage of opportunities?

    Note: none of these questions are "Why" for a reason.
    1. To be useful to the future of the universe over and above what they consume in resources (to give more than we take).
    2. #1 pretty much defines "good" and "bad" because failing to do so means eventual extinction.
    3. Tools that people choose to utilize in order to make survival more convenient and productive. If they become too productive/consumptive, then the available resources disappear or are contaminated with complexity (see "enough").
    4. A tool that increases the efficiency of trade and production/consumption.
    5. Opportunity is the occurrence of resources (people, places, tools, time, money, materials) which randomly becomes present to people, depending on initial conditions and circumstances (insert Chaos theory explanation here).
    6. Preparation and willingness to take risks (combined).

    If people are uneducated or unwilling to take risks, then they cannot take advantage of opportunities when they occur. If OTHER people hoard resources or control the resources, then opportunities are no longer presented randomly to those who are willing and able to take risks (the masses, for the most part).

    The Redistribution platform is dependent upon overconsumption in order to have a place to tap resources for redistribution. It is not about normalizing the randomness of opportunity.
    The Free Market platform is about hoarding resources by those who already have the resources under their control, in the guise of "we earned it".

    Democrats do not stand for labor: they stand for the Labor Business.
    Republicans do not stand for free markets, they stand for THEIR markets (mostly military and oil consumption).

    There is no "Generosity" party.
    Civilization IS socialism. How we choose to implement social/herd tools are a matter of how we choose to apply either wisdom or selfishness or blind authority.

    "Every newspaper has a Business section. None of them have a Labor section." -Joe Bageant.

    The ironic part is that when we are young (unprepared), we are more willing to take risks than when we are older and more able to be successful at it.

  18. bob2356


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    39   8:40am Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    CBOEtrader says

    The free market will work miracles if you let it.

    There is no "free market" other than places like Somalia and Nigeria. In a true free market the person with the most guns sets the market. All other markets work within the legal and political structures of the society in which they exist. All markets must be balanced somewhere between predatory monopolies like the "guilded age" of the robber barons and overbearing government control like the former Soviet Union.

    I would have thought the crash of 2008, brought about by a lack of regulation not over regulation, would have at least muted the senseless bleatings of the "free market" crowd. Businesses, especially large ones, are like small children and satellites. They must be constantly watched over or they will wander off and create mischief.

    I'm not talking regulation of operations here, although some is necessary like not allowing dumping of deadly poison in rivers. Anyone remember the Cuyahoga river being so polluted that it actually caught fire in the 60's? Or all the superfund sites filled with deadly toxins? Meat packing in filth? Strip mining? The free market crowd never seems to get around to explaining exactly how the wonders of the free market will address these kinds of issues where business reaps huge private profit but the public is left poisoned and sick/dying/dead.

    What I'm mostly talking about accountability, transparency, and a level playing field which are all sorely lacking in the US today. Many large businesses talk ad nausiam about the "free market" but endlessly manipulate the system to squash competition or manipulate markets in their favor.

    Are there stupid, overbearing, senseless regulations. Of course there are, thousands of them. I've owned my own business and dealt with the inane crap enough. That's the nature of government. But simply throwing out all regulation and letting business run wild would make the situation many many orders of magnitude worse.

  19. Dan8267


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    40   11:59am Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    nw888 says

    --Elmer Fudd middle class taxpayer who paid a total of $1437 in taxes last year and needs to take credit for people's success to compensate for his own feelings of failure.

    I paid a total federal income tax of $24,828.00 last year alone, so I do claim credit for the success of billionaires. If you don't like that, send me back my 25 grand. It's a bit more than the figure you quoted.

  20. Dan8267


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    41   12:02pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    ArtimusMaxtor says

    I don't hate Democracy.

    How can you hate that which does not exist? There hasn't been a Democracy on this planet for over two millenia.

  21. Dan8267


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    42   12:04pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Auntiegrav says

    Democrats do not stand for labor: they stand for the Labor Business.
    Republicans do not stand for free markets, they stand for THEIR markets (mostly military and oil consumption).

    There is no "Generosity" party.
    Civilization IS socialism.

    All true.

  22. freak80


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    43   3:54pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Every example in the world says you're wrong. Socializing health care makes it cheaper. Always.

    Does it do so relative to the same level of quality though?

    I'm not saying socialized health care is a bad idea, I'm just genuinely curious.

  23. freak80


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    44   3:56pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    bob2356 says

    The free market crowd never seems to get around to explaining exactly how the wonders of the free market will address these kinds of issues where business reaps huge private profit but the public is left poisoned and sick/dying/dead.

    How unpatriotic and un-American to ask such a question! ;-)

  24. freak80


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    45   3:57pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    bob2356 says

    What I'm mostly talking about accountability, transparency, and a level playing field which are all sorely lacking in the US today. Many large businesses talk ad nausiam about the "free market" but endlessly manipulate the system to squash competition or manipulate markets in their favor.

    American as apple pie. God Bless America.

  25. bob2356


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    46   4:09pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    bob2356 says

    The free market crowd never seems to get around to explaining exactly how the wonders of the free market will address these kinds of issues where business reaps huge private profit but the public is left poisoned and sick/dying/dead.

    How unpatriotic and un-American to ask such a question! ;-)

    Sorry, not actually being part of the 1% of the population that actually owns everything and gets the financial benefits for these types of activities I sometimes have these thoughts.

  26. bob2356


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    47   4:16pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    iwog says

    Every example in the world says you're wrong. Socializing health care makes it cheaper. Always.

    Does it do so relative to the same level of quality though?

    I'm not saying socialized health care is a bad idea, I'm just genuinely curious.

    From personal experience living in France, Canada, and New Zealand I would say the level of quality is just fine. Everyone uses the same procedures, equipment, research, and textbooks all around the world. The only time you are better off in the US is you are one of the very tiny number of people who needs some type of super special leading edge treatment only offered at one of the big US (government funded) research centers.

  27. nw888


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    48   5:06pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    I paid a total federal income tax of $24,828.00 last year alone, so I do claim credit for the success of billionaires. If you don't like that, send me back my 25 grand. It's a bit more than the figure you quoted.

    I think you should thank everyone on this forum for making you successful. Without us you would be nothing.

  28. iwog


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    wthrfrk80 says

    Does it do so relative to the same level of quality though?

    I'm not saying socialized health care is a bad idea, I'm just genuinely curious.

    Low life expectancy, high infant mortality, horribly expensive. That's the USA.

  29. Dan8267


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    50   5:59pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    nw888 says

    I think you should thank everyone on this forum for making you successful. Without us you would be nothing.

    You still don't get it, do you? It's not that hard of a concept.

    Reality isn't a choice between people being 100% responsible for their own success and being 0% responsible. There's a lot of values in between.

    If I was born in Afghanistan, there is no way I would be a successful software engineer. Yet, I did teach myself everything I know about software, paid my own way through college, and exceeded at every job I took.

    My success comes from both my efforts and the opportunities created by public investment including the electric grid, the Internet, and the HTS. This is true for all successful people.

    The fact that I acknowledge the importance of having a stable government, infrastructure, the development of computers during WWII, and public domain knowledge does not in any way deteriorate my accomplishments or my hard work. It does, however, demonstrates that no person is makes it on his own despite society. That "rags to riches all by myself" myth is bullshit. And since you've accepted that I am one of those hard-working, successful individuals, then you should accept my point that in order to be great, you must stand on the shoulders of giants.

  30. CBOEtrader


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    51   7:43pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    bob2356 says

    There is no "free market" other than places like Somalia and Nigeria.

    You are repeating the lies your talking head cheerleaders feed to you. There is nothing within Somalia or Nigeria that resembles a free market.

    bob2356 says

    In a true free market the person with the most guns sets the market.

    Hahahahahahahahah...OMG. Wow. Ok, so if someone walks up to you with a gun, and demands all your stuff, in your world THAT'S A FREE MARKET TRANSACTION?!

    bob2356 says

    I would have thought the crash of 2008, brought about by a lack of regulation not over regulation

    Again. Nonsense.

    Specific regulations were destoyed in the name of the free market-- but in fact had zero to do with the free market. A free market requires proper regulation.

    Many, many more onerous regulations were created over the years than destroyed. Besides, the financial industry is one of our most highly controlled and regulated industries. We regulated ourselves into an ologopolistic system, into too big to fail, into a money system controlled by the friends of the big banks.

    2008 was a failure of our financial system-- which again, has little resemblance to a free market. The key elements of the 2008 crash would have been either non-existent, or greatly mitigated had big government not been controlling every aspect.

    bob2356 says

    There is no "free market"...

    You don't even know what point you are trying to make. Is there no "free market" or was 2008 a failure of the free market?

    bob2356 says

    The free market crowd never seems to get around to explaining exactly how the wonders of the free market will address these kinds of issues where business reaps huge private profit but the public is left poisoned and sick/dying/dead.

    What "crowd" are you talking about? Are you talking about Fox news? Fox news real purpose: a ready made go to straw man for all liberals. Talking heads on Fox news are only experts at public opinion manipulation-- certainly not economics.bob2356 says

    What I'm mostly talking about accountability, transparency, and a level playing field which are all sorely lacking in the US today. Many large businesses talk ad nausiam about the "free market" but endlessly manipulate the system to squash competition or manipulate markets in their favor.

    Exactly. Big government is the facilitating partner of big business. Together they are the aristocracy.

  31. nw888


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    52   9:45pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    You still don't get it, do you? It's not that hard of a concept.

    Dan8267 says

    so I do claim credit for the success of billionaires

    Yep...got your concept loud and clear. You're claiming that you are the reason that billionaires are where they are.

    Obviously if we're born in a country of opportunity we are lucky, i just think that taking ownership for someone's success is both weird and ridiculous. I pay more taxes than you do, so I pay more than my fair share of infrastructure costs. My parents paid for the infrastructure while I was a child. I'll give them some props, but not you or the guy down the street. You have nothing to do with my success.

  32. Dan8267


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    53   10:18pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    nw888 says

    Yep...got your concept loud and clear. You're claiming that you are the reason that billionaires are where they are.

    Yep, I personally am. I'm also claiming credit for creating oxygen, light, and the Earth.

    Tell me, are you really that stupid or are you just deliberately misinterpreting what I've said? Are you really so freaking brain dead that you read what I wrote and came to the conclusion that I'm stating that I am personally responsible for every fucking thing that goes right in the universe? If so, please don't reproduce. Our species doesn't need genetic predisposition to that level of stupidity.

    On the small chance that you might just be drunk out of your rocker, I suggest reading this entire thread again, this time without your head stuck up your ass. If you do that with a clear and open mind, you should be able to come back and demonstrate your reading comprehension skills by stating what I and others have actually said instead of the bullshit Straw Man arguments you are refuting.

    Do that, and I'll have respect for you. Continue on this assine path of deliberate misinterpretation and I'll have no problem brushing you off as another mindless troll who's too much of a pussy to address his opponents actual arguments.

  33. Honest Abe


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    54   10:57pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    mw888, welcome to the delusional world of liberal thinking in the flesh.

    It seems like you're one of the few that want to take ownership of yourself, your efforts, and the results - whatever they are, good or bad.

    You take personal responsibility for yourself and the outcome. The liberal interpretation: HOW DARE YOU! The government is supposed to take care of you from womb to tomb.

    You are already the target. You'll recieve insults, verbal jabs, derogatory sexual slurs, and put downs of every shape. Thats how the lib's on this site operate. They don't want anyone to exhibit self sufficiency. They don't want anyone to question authority. They want to maintain the status quo. They don't want anyone with common sense or logic.

    Here is the lib's battle cry: Government - good, thinking for yourself or being self sufficient- bad. Communism, collectivism, socialsim, statism - good, being independent - bad. Equality - good, freedom and opportunity - bad.

    You get the picture,

    Honest Abe

  34. Kevin


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    55   11:24pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    nw888 says

    Obviously if we're born in a country of opportunity we are lucky, i just think that taking ownership for someone's success is both weird and ridiculous.

    You clearly miss the point here. It's the collective accomplishments of society that deserves credit for the success of our people. Yes, the individual is also important, but the most amazing individual in the world will still fail without an adequate base of:

    - Infrastructure
    - Employees
    - Customers
    - Rule of law

    I pay more taxes than you do,

    Can you prove that?

    so I pay more than my fair share of infrastructure costs.

    Logical fallacy I'm afraid. You paying more taxes than Dan does not mean that you pay more than your "fair share". Realistically, based on your previous threads and your implied income level, I find it unlikely that you're actually paying your fair share. Most people don't.

    My parents paid for the infrastructure while I was a child.

    This is also unlikely, but even if it was, it's not like infrastructure is a fixed, one-time cost.

    I'll give them some props, but not you or the guy down the street. You have nothing to do with my success.

    Try living in a country without infrastructure, skilled employees, good customers, and the rule of law for a while and then let me know how successful you are.

  35. Dan8267


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    56   11:42pm Tue 8 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    You paying more taxes than Dan does not mean that you pay more than your "fair share".

    Somehow I doubt that nw888 pays more in taxes than I do or has a higher income. He strikes me as someone deluded into thinking that someday he'll be rich because he's so special.

    In any case, as for taxation, I would be all for replacing the general income tax fund with taxing for specific services. For example, the roads would be paid for with an automobile tax and/or gas tax. Lighthouses would be paid for by boat registration taxes. Education would be paid for by a child tax. Police and fire departments would still be paid for via land / real estate taxes. In other words, socialize the cost of a service over the users of that service rather than the population at large.

    Such a system would eliminate the free-for-all tax and spend policies encouraged, nay demanded, by a single general source of revenue. Furthermore, such a system would allow the tax-payers to have a more refined control over government spending. Boat owners could vote on whether or not to build more lighthouses. Commuters could decide how much they want to spend on expanding roads. Parents could vote on whether or not the public education system works or needs to be expanded or contracted.

    Of course, such a system would not be a graduated tax system, but it does not have to be. An income tax, applied only to the richest people, and graduated as a function of the rich-poor gap could still be used to provide social services aimed at eliminating poverty and insuring a minimum standard of living. This was the original intention of the federal income tax. And it would give the rich motivation to make the poor better off since it would be the only way to make themselves better off. I.e., if the rich wanted to be richer they would have to solve poverty not cause it.

    Of course, the best situation for society is for it to be impossible for parasites to become billionaires in the first place. Society should be structured so that the only way to become rich is to produce wealth rather than siphoning it off of others. Most of those self-proclaimed self-made men are simply parasites who got lucky and ended up rich instead of in prison where they belong.

  36. CBOEtrader


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    57   4:43am Wed 9 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    Most of those self-proclaimed self-made men are simply parasites who got lucky and ended up rich instead of in prison where they belong.

    Yup. It is my opinion that those who siphoned value, did so with the government as their main partner. Mitt Romney for example, made his fortune in private equity. The private equity lobby has given themselves a favorable tax and legal structure-- allowing them to make an investment which is 10% of their equity, 90% debt on the purchased company's balance sheet. They bring in an army of consultants, whose job it is to show a few quarters of increased returns-- long term value is seondary, though nice if it happens. They then pile on more debt to the purchased company's balance sheet, which they take out as bonuses for themselves.

    In short, a year into it, they have zero skin in the game. The company and banks shoulder all the risk, while the private equity firm has set themselves up with a free call option.

    It's sickening...and not even close to the worst siphoning game. All of this is only possible because the government lets industry lobbyists write the laws and regulations.

    There's a world of difference between Lloyd Blankfein and Sergei Brin. It is not coincidence that Mr. Brin's company operates in a mostly free market industry and creates value for all of us-- whereas Lloyd Blankfein operates in a highly government controlled industry, and his company destroys wealth for the general public.

  37. nw888


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    58   7:25am Wed 9 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    ell me, are you really that stupid or are you just deliberately misinterpreting what I've said? Are you really so freaking brain dead that you read what I wrote and came to the conclusion that I'm stating that I am personally responsible for every fucking thing that goes right in the universe? If so, please don't reproduce. Our species doesn't need genetic predisposition to that level of stupidity.

    There's no reason to be rude, so please refrain from doing it. If you want to have an adult discussion, that's fine with me, but let's be civil here.

    You stated that you take credit for people's success. There's no arguing that. Own your words sir. I've read this whole thread, and your quote on taking credit is what prompted me to respond.

    I'm with the whole being the reason for the individual. Without the whole we would be nothing. No one's arguing that.

    Dan8267 says

    Most of those self-proclaimed self-made men are simply parasites who got lucky and ended up rich instead of in prison where they belong.

    See it's statements like this to lead me to believe you have this skewed view of wealthy people, and you are trying to both take credit for and demean their success. That's what I have a problem with. Maybe you're speaking specifically about bankers though? If so, it's best to be very clear on who you're speaking of.

  38. nw888


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    59   7:51am Wed 9 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    nw888 says

    Obviously if we're born in a country of opportunity we are lucky, i just think that taking ownership for someone's success is both weird and ridiculous.

    You clearly miss the point here. It's the collective accomplishments of society that deserves credit for the success of our people. Yes, the individual is also important, but the most amazing individual in the world will still fail without an adequate base of:

    - Infrastructure
    - Employees
    - Customers
    - Rule of law

    No I understand the point perfectly.
    Kevin says

    Logical fallacy I'm afraid. You paying more taxes than Dan does not mean that you pay more than your "fair share". Realistically, based on your previous threads and your implied income level, I find it unlikely that you're actually paying your fair share. Most people don't.

    I pay plenty of money to cover roads and services that I use. I pay for a lot of services that I don't use, so yes I pay my fair share and then some.

    My parents paid for their services via taxes as well, so how were they not paying for the infrastructure?
    Kevin says

    Try living in a country without infrastructure, skilled employees, good customers, and the rule of law for a while and then let me know how successful you are.

    Again, I'm not arguing that living in this country doesn't provide opportunity. Just because you as an individual pay taxes doesn't mean you contribute to a rich person's success anymore than I do. Employees and good customers need business owners who provide a product just as much as the business needs them. It's a mutualism.

    I just think this thread is trying to imply that rich people are nothing with US, and that's one sided to me.

  39. socal2


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    60   2:03pm Wed 9 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    What a loser argument. Do Democrats really want to tell Americans that they are nothing without the Government wiping our behinds 24/7? It's just like that creepy "Julia" cartoon that Obama put out showing how the government supported Julia her entire life.

    Seriously, who really wants to live in a society where all of our success and very existence is beholden to politicians and union protected bureaucrats?

  40. Dan8267


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    61   4:05pm Wed 9 May 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    nw888 says

    There's no reason to be rude, so please refrain from doing it. If you want to have an adult discussion, that's fine with me, but let's be civil here.

    There is nothing ruder than shoving your words down someone else's mouth. It should a distinct lack of respect for the other party, the audience, and the truth. I'll correct a person the first and second time they do it, but when it becomes a pattern, there is no choice but to call out the bullshit for what it is.

    nw888 says

    You stated that you take credit for people's success. There's no arguing that.

    This is exactly the bullshit that I'm talking about. So, yes, I'm arguing it, you idiot. My claim is that in order for any person to succeed, he must use resources that are available only because society has made those resources available. The real world ain't Minecraft where you can chop down a tree with you bare hands and two days later have a castle on a private island you created with plenty of torches to keep the monsters at bay. In the real world we all use resources that we take for granted from roads to sewer systems to the electric grid that make modern life possible and becoming rich possible. Without all the inventions and institutions and labor of countless pass generations, we'd still be in the stone age. No man is an island that creates billions of dollars of wealth without using other people's labor.

    This point is so obvious that there is no argument against it. And that is precisely why you deliberately twisted these words into "Dan thinks he is personally responsible for any success any person in the world has ever had". That is fucking retarded and quite frankly not worthy of my respect. If you want to have an adult conversation, than stop making childish and obvious Straw Man arguments. It shows that you have no confidence in what you are saying.

    nw888 says

    I just think this thread is trying to imply that rich people are nothing with US, and that's one sided to me.

    That's because you're not listening. This thread is clearly addressing the myth that the ultra-rich are solely responsible for their riches and society contributed nothing to their success, and therefore the rich are morally responsible when they say "I've got mine, fuck everybody else".

    What's really apparent is that well off middle class people with six figure salaries, who actually produce the wealth they take home, are perfectly ok with acknowledging that the poor and middle class should be protected from exploitation, whereas the utlra-rich, who never produced any wealth in their lives, want a multitude of poor people to maintain their opulent lifestyles. And the ultra-rich brainwash the Republican voter into thinking that the ultra-rich are rich because of hard work and production instead of bribing Congress to let them do things that would be illegal for anyone else.

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