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Why don't we tax the wealthy?


By The Professor   Follow   Fri, 21 Dec 2012, 10:22pm PST   10,327 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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The Professor   Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:20pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 54

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.

The Professor   Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:44pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 55

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.

SoftShell   Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:44pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)     Comment 56

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

The Professor   Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:46pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 57

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.

The Professor   Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:50pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 58

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.

SoftShell   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 12:04am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)     Comment 59

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.

The Professor   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 12:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 60

SoftShell says

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

I do.

The Professor   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 1:22am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 61

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.

Vicente   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 1:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 62

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/

FortWayne   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 2:06am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (2)     Comment 63

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

SoftShell   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 3:09am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 64

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.

Meccos   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 5:19am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 65

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.

Meccos   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 5:27am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 66

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

The Professor   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 6:56am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 67

Meccos says

Define specifically who these rent seeking exploiters are

You want names?

Meccos   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 11:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 68

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.

taxee   Tue, 25 Dec 2012, 11:55am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 69

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.

Nobody   Thu, 27 Dec 2012, 4:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 70

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?"

Nobody   Thu, 27 Dec 2012, 4:55am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 71

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."

The Professor   Thu, 27 Dec 2012, 10:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 72

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!

Meccos   Thu, 27 Dec 2012, 11:41pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 73

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%.

SoftShell   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 12:02am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 74

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!

The Professor   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 1:29am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 75

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.

Robber Baron Elite Scum   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 1:30am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 76

why don't we tax the peasants?

The Professor   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 1:33am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 77

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".

The Professor   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 1:37am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 78

Robber Baron Elite Scum says

why don't we tax the peasants?

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

SoftShell   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 1:42am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 79

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".

The Professor   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 1:22am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 80

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.

Peter P   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 3:16am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 81

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.

Peter P   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 3:19am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 82

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.

FortWayne   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 9:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 83

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

Patrick   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 9:22am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 84

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%.

Entitlemented   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 10:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 85

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.....

Dan8267   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 11:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (6)   Dislike     Comment 86

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.

Meccos   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 3:05pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 87

@Dan8267

I 100% agree with your post above...

oliverks1   Sun, 30 Dec 2012, 3:56pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 88

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?

The Professor   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:36am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 89

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?

FortWayne   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:51am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 90

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.

Dan8267   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 91

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.

Dan8267   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:57am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 92

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?

FortWayne   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:19am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 93

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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