Why don't we tax the wealthy?


By The Professor   Follow   Sat, 22 Dec 2012, 6:22am   7,754 views   133 comments
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As in Tax their wealth and not their income.

According to Forbes there are 403 billionaires in the US. A recent survey from British analyst WealthInsight reports the U.S. has added 1.1 million millionaires since Obama was elected in 2008.

We all know that most of the wealth is concentrated at the top. Instead of taking working peoples income why don't we take some of the vast accumulations of wealth that the "owner" class has?

How much wealth and power does an individual need? I realize at a certain point it is not about money but power. Unfortunately that power is amassing more and more of the world’s resources.

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.

I know this is unrealistic. In the utopian world of my mind healthcare, education, and security are readily available and the people of the world live in peace and harmony. Instead of warring for profit we could expand into the infinite space of the universe.

"From each according to their ability. To each according to their need".

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  1. The Professor


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    54   7:20am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Meccos says

    Meccos says
    BTW what is the "UBER" rich? Lets first define that.

    The Professor says

    People that already make more than they, their children, and grandchildren can ever spend yet still want to make more by exploiting the working class.

    Meccos says

    If one's goal is to make more and more, is there anything wrong with that? As I mentioned previously, you need to make a distinction of those who want to make more and more and those who exploit.

    The key word your ignoring from my definition is "and".

    I have nothing against people that earn their money. I am against people that take advantage of others.

  2. The Professor


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    55   7:44am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Meccos says

    Does a school teacher produce anything? Does a doctor produce anything? Does a walking guard produce anything? Does a financial planner produce anything? Does security guard produce anything?

    Yep. They provide needed services.

  3. SoftShell


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    56   7:44am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    The Professor, in essence, is saying once you reach XXX dollars, it turns from "making more" to "exploitation".

    Only the Diaper Doper Babies get to set that threshold....

    Meccos says

    The Professor says

    Meccos says

    BTW what is the "UBER" rich? Lets first define that.

    People that already make more than they, their children, and grandchildren can ever spend yet still want to make more by exploiting the working class.

    If one's goal is to make more and more, is there anything wrong with that? As I mentioned previously, you need to make a distinction of those who want to make more and more and those who exploit

  4. The Professor


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    57   7:46am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Meccos says

    In fact I would argue that the fed creating money out of thin air steals from the majority of those who you consider to be "rich" as well.

    No argument here.

  5. The Professor


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    58   7:50am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    SoftShell says

    The Professor, in essence, is saying once you reach XXX dollars, it turns from "making more" to "exploitation".

    Nope. Not what I said or meant.

    If you can make a product or provide a service that is useful to humankind you deserve to be handsomely rewarded.

  6. SoftShell


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    59   8:04am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    Why do you not consider 'providing rental space' a service?
    Is it not better than living under a bridge??

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says

    The Professor, in essence, is saying once you reach XXX dollars, it turns from "making more" to "exploitation".

    Nope. Not what I said or meant.

    If you can make a product or provide a service that is useful to humankind you deserve to be handsomely rewarded.

  7. The Professor


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    60   8:14am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    SoftShell says

    Why do you not consider 'providing rental space' a service?

    I do.

  8. The Professor


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    61   9:22am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says



    Why do you not consider 'providing rental space' a service?


    I do.

    I have mixed feelings on landlords. Some are good; they provide a service by maintaining property and letting it out to people who for one reason or another do not want to "own".

    And then there are the investors. They use other peoples money and prevent young familys from buying a home. They then turn around and rent the home to the priced out young family for more rent than they would have paid in mortgage.

  9. Vicente


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    62   9:54am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Meccos says

    Again for the millionth time, you and professor have the fundamental problem of being unable or unwilling to differentiate those "rent seekers" with the rest of the "wealthy".

    If you have great wealth, you are probably a rent-seeker. Look at the Forbes richest list, it's full of 'em.

    In any case I have no "envy", I merely demand sensible tax policies regarding them. Thanks for caring!

    I suppose if you are going to paint me as a relentless "rich hater" then you are a relentless unpaid "class warrior" who thinks everyone else is a taker, moocher, welfare queen, or a socialist. Large majority of Americans believe the wealth gap needs fixing, so you'd better get used to being in the minority.

    http://www.mybudget360.com/wealth-inequality-rivals-the-months-prior-to-the-great-depression-america-wealth-distribution/

  10. FortWayne


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    63   10:06am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (2)  

    What is with the new generation and such a lean toward the failure of socialism.

  11. SoftShell


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    64   11:09am Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    So it would seem you are for landlords/investors that purchase homes outright, then rent them out at the going rate for the location....

    No use of bank money needed....

    The Professor says

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says

    Why do you not consider 'providing rental space' a service?

    I do.

    I have mixed feelings on landlords. Some are good; they provide a service by maintaining property and letting it out to people who for one reason or another do not want to "own".

    And then there are the investors. They use other peoples money and prevent young familys from buying a home. They then turn around and rent the home to the priced out young family for more rent than they would have paid in mortgage.

  12. Meccos


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    65   1:19pm Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says

    The Professor, in essence, is saying once you reach XXX dollars, it turns from "making more" to "exploitation".

    Nope. Not what I said or meant.

    If you can make a product or provide a service that is useful to humankind you deserve to be handsomely rewarded.

    If so then you need to make this distinction rather than just generalizing the rich which is what happens on this form alll the time. The problem is that you and others are not very clear on this distinction and generalize all the rich as rent seekers.

  13. Meccos


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    66   1:27pm Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Define specifically who these rent seeking exploiters are, rather than generalizing them as the rich and I guarantee you that you will have less people oppose your views

  14. The Professor


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    67   2:56pm Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Meccos says

    Define specifically who these rent seeking exploiters are

    You want names?

  15. Meccos


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    68   7:17pm Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    The Professor says

    Meccos says

    Define specifically who these rent seeking exploiters are

    You want names?

    No but if you are making accusations about a group of people then I would think you can be more specific than blaming "the rich". After all "the rich" is a very ambiguous term and quite arbitrary as we have all seen on th is forum.

  16. taxee


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    69   7:55pm Tue 25 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    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.

  17. Nobody


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    70   12:53pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    The Professor says

    How much wealth and power does an individual need?

    That's a dumb question. Have you ever heard of a term "Hoarding?"

  18. Nobody


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    71   12:55pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

    When FEDs implemented QE, we should have increased the tax. When you make that much US$, we should have known that most of it will just go to the top 1%. And top1% will use that money to extract more money from the rest.

    I am surprised to realize that not many people know the phrase "Mo money gets Mo money."

  19. The Professor


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    72   6:53pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Nobody says

    Have you ever heard of a term "Hoarding?"

    I do it myself. I call it investing for retirement, but not by exploiting my fellow!

  20. Meccos


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    73   7:41am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The Professor says

    Nobody says

    Have you ever heard of a term "Hoarding?"

    I do it myself. I call it investing for retirement, but not by exploiting my fellow!

    So. What is it that you do differently from the top 5% that you criticize? Please tell me specifics and also evidence to back this up. And I don't want to hear about the billionaires since they are not the 5% nor even the 1%...but rather the .01%.

  21. SoftShell


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    74   8:02am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    There's not a single form of investment that, when broken down into individual components, cannot be traced back to some kind of human exploitation...

    Maybe what you really mean is the 'degree' of human exploitation..

    The Professor says

    Nobody says

    Have you ever heard of a term "Hoarding?"

    I do it myself. I call it investing for retirement, but not by exploiting my fellow!

  22. The Professor


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    75   9:29am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    We live in an oligarchy.

    The ruling class manipulates the pawns into believing they have free will to become king. In reality they will never be more than a knight or a rook.

    The bishops are closest to the real power and will do everything they can to win the game.

    Even the queen might be sacrificed.

    The real point of my original post is that the game is fixed and the kings need to fall. The game is getting old and too many people are suffering.

    Compared to the poly-dimensional game played in the world chess is simple.

  23. Robber Baron Elite Scum


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    76   9:30am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    why don't we tax the peasants?

  24. The Professor


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    77   9:33am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SoftShell says

    Maybe what you really mean is the 'degree' of human exploitation..

    Nope. From the slave labor in China to the renter in America ALL exploitation should be stopped.

    Humankind should be able to get together and solve the worlds problems.

    Call me naive, ignorant, or stupid, I prefer "Idealist".

  25. The Professor


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    78   9:37am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Robber Baron Elite Scum says

    why don't we tax the peasants?

    And the Quails?
    http://realchange.org/quayle.htm

  26. SoftShell


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    79   9:42am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    How can you achieve this without someone being exploited?

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says

    Maybe what you really mean is the 'degree' of human exploitation..

    Nope. From the slave labor in China to the renter in America ALL exploitation should be stopped.

    Humankind should be able to get together and solve the worlds problems.

    Call me naive, ignorant, or stupid, I prefer "Idealist".

  27. The Professor


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    80   9:22am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SoftShell says

    How can you achieve this without someone being exploited?

    The Professor says

    SoftShell says

    Maybe what you really mean is the 'degree' of human exploitation..

    Nope. From the slave labor in China to the renter in America ALL exploitation should be stopped.

    Humankind should be able to get together and solve the worlds problems.

    Call me naive, ignorant, or stupid, I prefer "Idealist".

    You are right. It is difficult being an idealist without being exploited.

  28. Peter P


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    81   11:16am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Yep. This is why I support having a wealth tax instead of an income tax. The most practical form of wealth tax is the Land Value Tax because you cannot hide real properties.

    If government is the protector of wealth, tax can be seen as a form of insurance premium.

  29. Peter P


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    82   11:19am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    All morality arguments of taxation are based on the false assumption that equality is a virtue. This could be an artifact of democracy. In the end, we will get mediocrity.

    No. We are NOT equal. Even if we are all equal, some will always be more equal.

    It is either men exploiting men, or the other way around.

  30. FortWayne


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    83   5:14pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Equal sharing of misery is not a value nor a good goal to achieve.

  31. Patrick


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    84   5:22pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    Yep. This is why I support having a wealth tax instead of an income tax. The most practical form of wealth tax is the Land Value Tax because you cannot hide real properties.

    If government is the protector of wealth, tax can be seen as a form of insurance premium.

    I agree!

    A 2% annual tax on wealth alone could replace all income tax, all sales tax, and all other taxes.

    2% is not too much to ask in return for hiring armed peasants (police, judicial system, national guard) willing to shoot at unarmed peasants to protect 98% of your wealth.

    Especially if your investment income exceeds 2%.

  32. Entitlemented


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    85   6:10pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Since in the past generation the US has slowed in R&D and manufacturing, the effects of the contributors kicking up to the rim of Champagne glass are the root cause of the malaise, not the wealthy.....

  33. Dan8267


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    86   7:10pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (6)   Dislike  

    The Professor says

    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.

  34. Meccos


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    87   11:05pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    @Dan8267

    I 100% agree with your post above...

  35. oliverks1


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    88   11:56pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Meccos says

    If one's goal is to make more and more, is there anything wrong with that?

    Is snorting more and more coke a good idea? Could there be an addiction here?

  36. The Professor


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    89   8:36am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    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.

    Agreed. But how?

    Should we vote them out? Tried, failed.

    Arrest them? How?

  37. FortWayne


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    90   8:51am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    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.

    That's our government, an old boys club that takes care of the old boys club taxing, stealing, plundering the working people. That's the real welfare state of America.

    They work for a few years and get their salary for a lifetime by taxing the rest of us to pay for their lavish lifestyles.

  38. Dan8267


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    91   8:53am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    The Professor says

    Agreed. But how?

    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.

  39. Dan8267


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    92   8:57am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    FortWayne says

    They work for a few years and get their salary for a lifetime by taxing the rest of us to pay for their lavish lifestyles.

    How would you feel about a nationwide 1.5% and 25 cents per transaction sales tax?

  40. FortWayne


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    93   9:19am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    How would you feel about a nationwide 1.5% and 25 cents per transaction sales tax?

    I like that idea, but...

    Would that replace existing taxes in CA? Because here we have some really high costs of doing business. I'm not talking about high sales taxes or income taxes alone, I'm talking about all the other fees and levies that make hiring someone full-time almost impossible without going bankrupt.

    It's why we all hire Mexicans out here, cost of hiring in CA is tremendous.

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