How about we take 10% a year of everything over $10,000,000 in accrued wealth from the upper class? When their wealth fell below ten million they would still have enough to live fairly comfortably.
The problem isn't that some people have vast amounts of wealth. The problem is how those people got those vast amounts of wealth. The richest in our society become that rich by stealing wealth from the rest of us. The theft is legal, because the wealthy make the laws, but it's theft nonetheless. The problem is that their parasitic activities impoverish the rest of us.
For the few wealthy that made their money by inventing something or entertaining, those rich do not impoverish us and so there is no reason to begrudge them their riches. Those few wealthy actually increase our wealth as well.
But for the vast majority of the ultra-wealthy, their wealth comes from zero-sum games that cost the rest of us. The answer isn't to tax them. Under your proposal, those people would simply wastefully spend all money they acquire over the ten million on absurd luxuries. No, the answer isn't to tax them. The answer is to prevent those parasites from siphoning off our wealth in the first place. Those parasitic wealthy should not even exist in the first place.
Fuck, I would need at least $500 Billion to invade and hold Anatolia and crown myself Monarch-God for Life and rule it AND guarantee my progeny for the next 200 generations enough wealth to preserve their legacy.
Many of you have participated in this class warfare
Class warfare is terrible, so let's not even bring up this uncomfortable subject? That's the excuse of the oligarchs and their apologists.
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
― Warren Buffett
Quoting Buffet? This guy claims his secretary pays more taxes than him, yet he fails to mention a few things.
1. based on his numbers his secretary makes over 6 figures
2. all his income is based on dividends and capital gains. Yet his argument has been to increase wage taxes and does not really push dividends and capital gains taxes
If people want to devote the majority of their lives to making more and more money, what is it to you?
This is EXACTLY the problem in this country, confusing money for wealth like Meccos does above.
First of all money does equal wealth, although other things can be considered wealth besides money. Secondly, why do you put words into my mouth? where in the quote above did I even imply that? This is one of the problems with you Bill... you put words into peoples mouths.
I simply replied to the previous posters comments as posted below. Vicente says
Richie Rich however lives, breathes, eats, sleeps MONEY. They work 18 hour days thinking about getting MORE MORE MORE and how they can destroy the concept of the estate tax.
But that's not what we're doing now, not how the 5% operate at least.
They don't create wealth, they just MONETIZE their ownership of existing wealth, looking for sectors with high barriers to entry and highly motivated buyers -- these are where the economics rents lie.
Really? So everyone who makes above 160K, which are the 5% which you speak about) they just "monetize their ownership of wealth?"
Bill, you and many of you on this forum have a fundamental problem of generalizing the rich and making them out to be villains. THis is why many of us who oppose your views. Its not that we are not against those people who are crooked and take advantage of others to gain wealth. We are against this philosophy that the rich are bad and they need to be somehow penalized for being rich. Just as you randomly chose the 5% or others who chose the "2%" or "1%", these are arbitrary numbers. Rather than focusing on the rich, perhaps you and the rest should focus on those who have gained their riches or wealth by cheating and taking advantage. I guarantee you that the majority of the 5% or 2% or even 1% have not. Villainzing the rich for the sake of them being rich makes people look simply envious. Villainize people because they are bad, not just because they are rich.
Land and labor do not produce money, printing presses and banks do.
You are right about this if you want to get technical. But this is analogous to saying flour and bakers do not produce bread, it is the bread machines, the ovens and bread company that produces it. It is rather pointless and a matter of irrelevant technical distinction for the purposes of the previous conversation.
But it is very hard to find a member of the 1% who got there by honest work and receives his current income in wealth-accreting activity aka "labor".
First, are we now talking about the top 1% or the top 5%? The way you change from 1 to 5%, it sure does seem this is arbitrary.
Second, what do you define as "labor" and "honest work"? Do farmers create wealth? Do service profession create wealth? teachers, doctors, police, dry cleaners? stock brokers? TV anchors? Bell boys? crossing guards? land owners who rent their property?
This is the point you continue to ignore, preferring to argue about idiotic dividing lines that do not exist in complex economies.
The problem is that you are the one who keeps bringing up the dividing lines. This is EXACTLY my point. You arbitrarily pick out the top 5%, now the top 1% with generalized claims. Your argument is "generally these people do this, rent seeker, blah blah blah."
I suspect the truth of the matter is that most rent seeking was/is being done now in the name of retired working people unbeknownst to and uncontrolled by them, through pension funds and annuities via MBS that were created by crooks to exploit both home buyers and pensioners. Now the poor fed has to buy all those homes with their keyboard to save the old folks. You couldn't make this stuff up.
There are a number of structural changes that we can make to eliminate financial parasitic behavior. No single change will solve the problem, and the fight is to a certain extent an arms race, but here are a few changes that will significantly improve things and greatly reduce parasitic behavior.
Change 1: Captain Gains Tax
Capital gains on anything should be set with the following formula.
taxRate = 1.00 - 0.01 * floor(numberOfMonthsCommodityIsHeld)
This simply formula would have prevented the Dot Com Bubble, the Housing Bubble, and the Second Great Depression. It would also prevent most financial parasitic behavior including the extremely dangerous practice of microtrading, holding assets for nanoseconds in order to manipulate the market.
The Goldman Sachs of the world would not be able to do nearly as much damage if this single change were made.
Change 2: Enforce Anti-Trust Laws
Any company that is too big to fail is, by definition, too big to exist. All banks that got the $16 trillion in interest free loans should be nationalized and all profits from them should go back to paying back the tax payer and dollar holder via paying off the national debt and offsetting the inflation of the past 10 years with an equal amount of deflation. These banks can be denationalized by liquidating them and selling the assets to smaller, more responsible banks.
Any other company that is too big to fail or gets too big to fail should be broken up into smaller companies. Company mergers/buyouts should not be allowed if a company has more than 1% of the market share of any industry.
Change 3: Tax the land, not the house.
A 6% tax on the value of land would stop parasites, including banks and real estate investment firms, from hording land and preventing its productive use.
I personally don't believe in taxing the buildings as that discourages production of high quality, valuable buildings, but if buildings are to be taxed, they should be taxed equally as opposed to the policies in states like Florida that tax younger people more than older people.
Change 4: Eliminate all deductions from all income taxes.
Do not lower the tax rates, just eliminate all deductions. Do not replace an income tax with a sales tax.
Eliminating these deductions will prevent the richest corporations and individuals from paying an effective lower rate than the middle class.
Change 5: Apply income taxes after capital gains taxes rather than instead of it.
Any income from capital gains should be taxed at income tax levels after the capital gains tax has been applied. This will prevent capital from devouring everything like a black hole. Right now, capital makes itself necessary by sucking all available capital. It's a positive feedback system that benefits those who do not have to produce anything while enslaving those who do produce wealth, the middle class.
Why don't we take this one step further? Why stop with the US? Do you realize that as American wage earners most of us make more than 90% of the rest of the world? Is this really fair? Did we really EARN this money? Wouldn't it make more sense to just transfer most of our wages to the rest of the world so we can all live on world average salaries. Most of the world hates us, not because of our rich, but because of our rich wage earners. Think of the goodwill wage redistribution will bring our country. not to mention the peace, freedom, and opportunity across the globe. We've got to stop being selfish and start thinking about other people.
Consider a wealth tax instead of an income tax or sales taxes or pay caps. By wealth I mean all land, stocks, bonds, and everything else which is owned in the name of a particular person.
A 2% annual tax on all accumulated wealth, levied monthly as 0.17%, would be sufficient to replace all other taxes and would have these substantial benefits:
* The tax rate on your income would be zero, so working people could very rapidly accumulate assets.
* Vast wealth would also mean vast taxes paid every year, slowing down the formation of hereditary aristocracy.
* It is hard to hide vast wealth, especially land.
* The tax would never reduce anyone's wealth to zero. It would take about 35 years of sitting on uninvested assets for them to be reduced by half - but if your investment income were greater than 2%, you'd gain and never lose.
* It would dramatically reduce paperwork, since incomes and sales would not need to be tracked at all anymore, and land and other asset ownership is already tracked.
I know realize that I have chosen the wrong forum to spew my socialist utopian ideals.
Well the flaw is .....its a fairy tale. Much like John Lennon's Imagine(and I despise that song for the same reasons). Its a situation that will never ever exist unless you somehow control or brainwash everyone. Human beings are each individuals and are relatively unique creations with disparate thoughts, ideas, and talents. There simply no one size fits all.
Why do we want to penalize people for being rich? What crime was committed?
Even if we take this away from legal aspects and speak on the morality of wealth, who is to say that taking wealth away from those who have it a moral thing to do?
To all those who support taxing the rich, etc, etc.... perhaps you should spend more time working to become wealthy, then you wont have to spend so much time thinking of ways to take their money away...
Richie Rich however lives, breathes, eats, sleeps MONEY. They work 18 hour days thinking about getting MORE MORE MORE and how they can destroy the concept of the estate tax. You may have a variety of interests in your life and money is just an enabler to live that life. To Richie Rich the greatest purpose in life is having a bigger mansion portfolio than the neighbor:
If people want to devote the majority of their lives to making more and more money, what is it to you? If thats how they want to live, then let them be. Why hate on that? Sounds like envy to me. You want to be rich, but dont want to spend the time nor have what it takes to be rich.
If people want to devote the majority of their lives to making more and more money, what is it to you?
Unlike many of my fellow citizens, I don't want to put SOCIOPATHS in charge of everything on the planet. Time was when corporations were not people, and not to be trusted. Trusts were busted, monopolies broken up. Because Richie Rich was not "more equal" of a person than any other citizen. This has changed a lot, corporations hold sway and finance bean-counters get paid 200+ times more than real workers.
Sometimes to fight the dominant paradigm, you need some heat to break the hold it has. Eschew the word "consumer", you are not a fucking economic unit you are a CITIZEN.
Who are these mysterious "rich" people you speak of? Are they those who make over 200K a year? Is it that typical CEO of a very very big corporation that many on this forum generally refer to? Who are these rich that we should hate so much for being so rich and powerful and ruining the rest of our commoner's lives...