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2/24/11

Will you ever get rich?

It used to be an easy question to answer if you were headed to Wall Street.

Not so much today...

Yet another look at America's growing wealth gap doesn't instill confidence.

In fact, if you stop to actually read the article you may wind up looking in the mirror and asking yourself some difficult questions with regards to your goals, aspirations and ambitions.

Proceed... with caution.

Very disturbingly the poorest 90 % of Americans make an average of $31,244 a year. While the richest 1% make a hardly inspiring $1.1 million plus.

Two Very Disturbing Extrapolations

1) $31,244 is a very humble amount of money. It is a very humble amount of money if you are a single person in their 20's living in a studio apartment in a not-so-terrific urban neighborhood. Taking into account this must read Zero Hedge article, (assist to VTech Forever on that one) we can safely say that the majority of today's middle class...really is poor. For an average of ~$30K to apply to 90% of the population (i.e. ~270,000,000 people) there has to be an anchor of dead weight pulling down the honest hardworking sub-six figure crowd subsidizing them.

But who cares...we are the elite,right?

Let us examine...

2) $1.1 million dollars is a nice chunk of change. Let's be clear. A mil definitely does not buy you what it once did. But it's still a nice number...

However...

If the top %1 of Americans (i.e. 3,000,000) make a mil...how discrepant is that figure, really?

Considering how many F50-1000 bosses make a lot more, considering the billionaires and media megastars involved...how many people are actually making that much?

Isn't it highly likely that the "typical Wall Street stiff making $400K/year" is the caboose pulling down this party wagon?

Isn't it actually becoming a reality that in the top 1%, the monkeys and the chimps are the anchor babies making the disgusting discrepancy seem more paletteable in this sort of analysis?

Tell me, monkeys...

What do these figures tell you?

Then think about it and answer honestly...

Will you ever really be rich or will you be paying someone else's free lunch so the real %1 do not have to?

Comments (353)

2/25/11

Why does the IRS say that the AGI of the top 1% is 380,354 instead of 1.1 million plus??
http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/article/0,,id=102886,0...

2/25/11
freeweezy123:

Why does the IRS say that the AGI of the top 1% is 380,354 instead of 1.1 million plus??
http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/article/0,,id=102886,0...

Depends on the definition of income. The wealthier you are the better you are at hiding it from the tax man as well.

2/25/11

No one addresses my post. Rich save and invest. Poor spend and accumulate debt. This is why they have no assets.

Either fundamentally change how they handle their finances or nothing will change.

Naaaa, that does feel as good or get the votes as stealing from the rich does.

2/25/11

Watch the video eddie put up although its funny its extremely true.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/25/11

In my econometrics class I had a research about this same issue, 5 years ago.

The biggest correlation is taxes. As taxes get lowered- in all countries- the income inequality grew. It is the sad truth: if everyone was taxed at 90%, we would be closer to each other (communism), and if people do not get taxed, the richer would get richer (total free market).

I think it is all about finding the right medium.

2/25/11

I also this issue is very important in a social point of view. If 70 or even 90% of the population feels disenfranchised; they will revolt and probably cause uproars.

It is in the best interest of capitalism to have a good relationship with society.

2/25/11
freroht:

I also this issue is very important in a social point of view. If 70 or even 90% of the population feels disenfranchised; they will revolt and probably cause uproars.

It is in the best interest of capitalism to have a good relationship with society.

I'm long on pitchforks and torches futures.

2/25/11
freroht:

It is in the best interest of capitalism to have a good relationship with society.

I agree that it's bad to have people feel disenfranchised. But, I completely disagree that capitalism promotes that feeling. Many economists make the argument that capitalism benefits the poor much more than it benefits the rich. Their argument is that the rich are always doing well in any kind of society. Capitalism allows the poorest people to be fed, own/rent homes, have a great deal of leisure time, etc. I think it is a complete myth to say that capitalism disenfranchises the people at the bottom.

Lets not hijack the thread by completely discussing this at length, so if you want to start a discussion, please make a post (preferably in the Econ Group, as I'd love to have a bunch of these debates saved there).

2/25/11

Lol let the poor revolt. Educated and well off will just leave. Look at how well China fared when they killed and punished the educated class.

Fuckem. All te rationalization in the world doesn't make taking what people have earned and giving it to those who haven't any more right or correct.

If liberals are so comfortable with violating basic rights, why not advocate simply killing people in the lowest bracket. Both will reduce the number of poor.

The USA offers a chance at wealth. That is it.

Our taxes are high enough.

If people are under crushing debt, go bankrupt. We offer legal remedy for this.

The intelligent and rich are the economic engine for this country. Hurting us hurts everyone. Giving money to poor people is probably the worst use of cash. Why not just tax the rich and burn all the money. Same effect.

@Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

2/25/11
ANT:

@Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

LOL! +1

You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

2/25/11
econ:
ANT:

@Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

LOL! +1

You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
ANT:

@Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

LOL! +1

You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

Oh, okay, I get it... it's okay for you to tax the sh*t out of the wealthy because you'd be okay with it IF you were in their shoes.

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:
econ:
ANT:

@Monkey- please provide a pic of your taxes showing 60-70-80 of your income going to the lower class. You advocate state backed theft, I sure hope you are walking the talk yourself.

LOL! +1

You seem to be saying that taxing the sh*t out of the wealthy is for their own good. If improving the material wealth of the poor is so great for the middle and upper class, I sure hope you're all for donating large sums of your money "for the cause"...

I would provide a pic of me donating 50 percent of my wealth if I was making a billion a year. As it is I'm unemployed and probably will be destitute for a long time.

Oh, okay, I get it... it's okay for you to tax the sh*t out of the wealthy because you'd be okay with it IF you were in their shoes.

It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

2/25/11
monkeysama:

It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

monkeysama -> you need to be looking for a job, not BSing here. I say this for your benefit.....

econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

Let the debate rage on, gentlemen, start your engines

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:
econ:
monkeysama:

It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

monkeysama -> you need to be looking for a job, not BSing here. I say this for your benefit.....

econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

Let the debate rage on, gentlemen, start your engines

I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

After.

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

Eventually the country will get so bad that people will start making sensible choices in the voting booth, but that's a long ways away.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

After.

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

Eventually the country will get so bad that people will start making sensible choices in the voting booth, but that's a long ways away.

I am so so so curious as to what these "sensible choices in the voting booth" are.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

Not necessarily. It's possible that a lot of people can have much more than $30K (wealth is not a zero sum game). Also, it might not be in their best interest if attempts to redistribute income decreases output and opportunities, and thus making them poorer than before. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between intentions and outcomes. Lastly, many people do not stand for economic policies just because they're in their best economic self-interest, since principles are an important component of human psychology, as well.

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent. It's a common psychological problem - 70 percent of people believe they are above average drivers, after people make a bad purchase they rationalize the bad decision. People do this to preserve their self identity of assumed superiority. Pure ego protection. With ones' own sense of self worth wrapped up in how much you make in this country people need to believe that they can be rich and famous one day, even if it's a false pretense.

Not necessarily. It's possible that a lot of people can have much more than $30K (wealth is not a zero sum game). Also, it might not be in their best interest if attempts to redistribute income decreases output and opportunities, and thus making them poorer than before. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between intentions and outcomes. Lastly, many people do not stand for economic policies just because they're in their best economic self-interest, since principles are an important component of human psychology, as well.

I never assumed people couldn't have more than 30k. It is in their best interest to make income distribution flatter - they would make more money and the opportunity you are talking about is illusory. Lastly, people vote against their economic wellbeing all the time I never denied that.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

I never assumed people couldn't have more than 30k. It is in their best interest to make income distribution flatter - they would make more money and the opportunity you are talking about is illusory. Lastly, people vote against their economic wellbeing all the time I never denied that.

Sorry for misunderstanding your view point on your first and last sentence. The second one though, I disagree with. It's not clearly in their interest for a flatter distribution for a variety of reasons (some economic, some personal).

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed. That's true, I do vote based on greed, but to me the liberty is more valuable than the money, so I'm greedy for the maximum amount of individual liberty and self-determination. More Republicans vote on the idea of living in a free society than the idea of what is economically convenient. Some people just don't believe in systematic robbery, even if it is "for their own benefit," as many people feel maintaining a free country is an even greater benefit. Though this is hard for you to understand as you have shown time and again that you have no value for the concept of individual liberty. People where I'm from talked / talk about this all the time. I can tell you from where I grew up, in rural America, people voted Republican on an ideal of freedom, some had a saying in jest at times when joking with friends and family: "At least one thing held true from when I was born till when I die, I was always...po' (poor)."

2/25/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

2/25/11

.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

2/25/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

Don't so readily confuse "free society" with a society in which the tax burden falls inequitably upon the poor.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Keep in mind, if the 90 percent make 30k rule is correct that means that 90 percent of all republicans (give or take) are voting against their economic best interest (aside from religious and dog whistle politics). They do so because they're operating under the mistaken belief that they too can some day be in the top 10 percent.

Fail. You assume everybody votes based on greed.

No I don't. In fact I very explicitly did not state that. What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest. You could vote on religious, philosophical, or other issues all you like, but in the end Republican policies generally benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else. If you want to vote on principals and become poorer for it be my guest.

Your idea of "benefit" and "economic self interest" is confused. By "benefit the rich" you are suggesting that they help the economic interests of the rich. However, again, the benefit of a free society is also valuable to the poor voter as well. In fact, everybody benefits. Don't so readily confuse the idea of "economic self interest" and "benefit." They are not one in the same.

Don't so readily confuse "free society" with a society in which the tax burden falls inequitably upon the poor.

Complete disconnect between what you are trying to say and what you are saying. People voting to maximize their level of freedom and minimize government interference in all lives (hence a move towards greater freedom) has nothing to do with whether the system originally was fair or not, it's simply a move a step closer to the ideal of freedom and is the consideration when voting. And then you're talking about a fine line as well as "equality" and "freedom" are not one in the same either. A free society is not necessarily economically "equal," due to free actions preceding that created inequalities, a free society is only equal in the level of self-determinism that people have (whether physical, psychological or financial.)

2/25/11
monkeysama:

What I said was that a vote for a Republican is typically a vote against ones' own economic self interest.

Not true... (and I say this as someone who refuses to vote)

How do you figure?

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

I'm pretty much convinced I'm unemployable at this point. I'm tired of humiliating myself over and over for no gain.

Did your empathy for billionaires develop before or after you figured this out? By the way, that is 100% tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it personal. I'm unemployed too, so don't feel too bad. Not to mention, I guarantee you'll have a solid job within the next 5 years, so keep your head up...

Yeah dude, just keep at it. I understand your frustration, but you're better off going for a jog or to the gym and blowing off steam that way. Personally, I drink, but that's another story.

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:

econ -> while I am a conservative, I will point out that the enormous concentration of wealth and power is dangerous for a democracy.

Some of that is debatable (in a cause and effect sense, not in a correlation sense). More importantly, I hold the belief that in a fairly capitalistic country, the poor will be fairly wealthy on an absolute sense. I'm almost tempted to say that we might even have much less inequality because I currently see the government as a huge barrier to the progress of poor people (watch the videos in the econ group about public policies and African Americans). Richard Epstein lays out a lot of this stuff quite eloquently in the podcast I keep posting: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2008/11/richard_e...

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

It's called empathy. I have it and clearly some of the wealthy don't. Additionally, your thinly veiled sarcasm aside there's nothing implicitly absurd about the statement. I believe in a rule that should be applied to everyone - taxes should be apportioned upon the individuals ability to pay them. How do you not understand this?

Why can't you live and let live? If you had $1B, you're free to donate 50% of it to poor people. Why do you feel the need to force others to live by your values?

Then I presume you advocate not taxing people based on their ability to pay? How much do you feel the poor should pay more as a percentage of their income than billionaires?

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Then I presume you advocate not taxing people based on their ability to pay? How much do you feel the poor should pay more as a percentage of their income than billionaires?

Not necessarily. If the government stuck to a limited number of functions, required tax revenues would be extremely low. We could easily fund them with a small tax burden imposed on everyone. In such a society, I think the rich would be much more willing to pay a disproportionate amount of the taxes, but I digress...

2/25/11

Why would Latinos uprise? We are anti illegal immigration, not anti Hispanic people. Are you saying Latinos identify with illegal immigrants instead of fellow Americans?

Entering the USA without documentation is

ILLEGAL

Criminal and civil

The USA is not a right, it is a privilege. Try and grasp that.

2/25/11
ANT:

Why would Latinos uprise? We are anti illegal immigration, not anti Hispanic people. Are you saying Latinos identify with illegal immigrants instead of fellow Americans?

Entering the USA without documentation is

ILLEGAL

Criminal and civil

The USA is not a right, it is a privilege. Try and grasp that.

Some people don't have a

CHOICE

Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Some people don't have a

CHOICE

Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

At the heart of the argument, is this:

We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

Some people don't have a

CHOICE

Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

At the heart of the argument, is this:

We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

First paragraph: Yes, I know the difference between positive and negative rights. If you're such a fan of positive rights, than let me ask you again, why aren't you in favor of taxing all Americans to provide the positive rights of the poor in the third world?

Second/third paragraph: Immigration is a separate issue. If it were up to me, anybody could come here. Especially if we focused more on negative rights. As long as they're not forcing me and you to pay for their food, water, shelter, etc., then why should I have the right to keep them out?

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

What is at the heart of our philosophical difference is that you believe in only negative rights - those things for which other people may not do to you (such as incarceration without due process) whereas I believe in those things as well as positive rights - things that human beings must have done for them (they must have access to clean drinking water).

The funny thing about positive rights is that it really doesn't matter if you believe they are rights or not, they affect you. Many Mexicans do not have access to fundamental positive rights, such as freedom from fear of violence, adequate food water and shelter to provide for the bear minimum of human comfort and security. It doesn't matter how illegal it is to cross our border (one of the largest borders in the world). So long as they do not have access to those rights in their home country they will come, they are COMPELLED to come, as necessary for there own survival.

The only way to get Mexicans to stop illegally emigrating to our country is to make it more miserable to be here than in Mexico - we'd have to probably have to resort to large scale torture and murder on an industrial level to get there.

First paragraph: Yes, I know the difference between positive and negative rights. If you're such a fan of positive rights, than let me ask you again, why aren't you in favor of taxing all Americans to provide the positive rights of the poor in the third world?

Second/third paragraph: Immigration is a separate issue. If it were up to me, anybody could come here. Especially if we focused more on negative rights. As long as they're not forcing me and you to pay for their food, water, shelter, etc., then why should I have the right to keep them out?

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators. If there were a way around this problem I would advocate it. I would start with raising the standard of living in this country though, as that's a challenging enough problem as it is.

The immigration issue was aimed at ANT.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

2/25/11
txjustin:
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

What the hell are you talking about!?? Dude, go freaking volunteer somewhere, give money to charities when you get a job, etc. Anyone can make a difference with a little effort.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
txjustin:
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

When we give food aid to third world countries (and we do to about 30 billion a year) it almost invariably goes to prop up dictators.

I couldn't agree more. I was just curious about your principle (in a hypothetical situation), which you provided me with. Thanks. My next question, is why can't you donate your own time/money? Or, even try to raise money through persuaded rich people to donate? Why do you feel the need to force your opinion (of which rights should be positive rights) on others?

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

Your reasoning is what is holding you and everyone like you back. Even if you make the slightest difference, you still made a difference. The only conclusion you are making is you want to punish the productive to help the unproductive because that's what YOU believe.

It's like a bleeding man coming in to the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Two surgeons are sitting around shooting the shit, while me and 4 of my friends who have no medical training are given a box of bandaids. The point is the man is going to die, so I'd rather not get my clothes dirty.

This is such a retarded way to think and a big reason as to why poor people want help from everyone else... and when they don't get it they say people don't care about them. If you want to help someone go volunteer you aren't going to change the world for everyone BUT for the people you do help YOU will change the world for them. You are stuck on the stupid notion that if you can't help everyone you shouldn't help anyone this is your problem sama. If you can get this idea out of your head you would think so much differently. You don't have to be a billionaire and have so much disposable income to help people. Instead of watching 4 hours of tv watch 2 and spend the other 2 at a soup kitchen or something. For those 2 hours your there, you have help the people that were there. You aren't going to help everyone but you won't help anyone if you do nothing. Understand this and you will think differently...

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Because my ability to do good with either time and/or money won't change a god damned thing. I don't have the resources of a billionaire and it's silly for you to assume that I do.

I'm not assuming you can change society. I'm just asking you again, why do you feel so strongly that you should be able to take money that you did not earn and spend it how you see fit?

P.S. Why do you assume you can do so much good politically? Again, there is a difference between intentions and results. Lots of policies have great intentions, but terrible results. But, let's leave that for some other thread/discussion...

2/26/11
econ:
monkeysama:

Some people don't have a

CHOICE

Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

At the heart of the argument, is this:

We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

For the record, and no offense, all of this theoretical stuff in these debates (like coercion, etc.) is utter bullshit. The American people are practical. Too much political theory really cuts off compromise because those that are very theoretical are way too dogmatic. Again, no offense. Governing a country is not like defending a dissertation.

2/26/11
prinmemo:

For the record, and no offense, all of this theoretical stuff in these debates (like coercion, etc.) is utter bullshit. The American people are practical. Too much political theory really cuts off compromise because those that are very theoretical are way too dogmatic. Again, no offense. Governing a country is not like defending a dissertation.

What I propose is pretty simple and straightforward, so I don't know what you're talking about with all this "theory" nonsense, which is precisely why these things wouldn't make it into any solid dissertations these days, it's not complicated enough.

And, I have no idea how "the American people are practical" has anything to do with what we're talking about here. Feel free to explain to me because I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean in the context of this debate.

2/26/11
econ:
prinmemo:

For the record, and no offense, all of this theoretical stuff in these debates (like coercion, etc.) is utter bullshit. The American people are practical. Too much political theory really cuts off compromise because those that are very theoretical are way too dogmatic. Again, no offense. Governing a country is not like defending a dissertation.

What I propose is pretty simple and straightforward, so I don't know what you're talking about with all this "theory" nonsense, which is precisely why these things wouldn't make it into any solid dissertations these days, it's not complicated enough.

And, I have no idea how "the American people are practical" has anything to do with what we're talking about here. Feel free to explain to me because I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean in the context of this debate.

Well he's criticizing our argument over what constitutes coercion versus noncoercion. For the most part Americans don't give a shit and as long as they got some cash, some sex, and American Idol they could give a flying fuck. I think his argument also is that as long as we argue from a standpoint of political and philosophical theory than actual dollars and sense (heehee!) then we won't make any progress. I think without a solid foundation in political philosophy you're doomed to lick the boot heels of your oppressors, but then what do I know.

2/26/11
monkeysama:
econ:
prinmemo:

For the record, and no offense, all of this theoretical stuff in these debates (like coercion, etc.) is utter bullshit. The American people are practical. Too much political theory really cuts off compromise because those that are very theoretical are way too dogmatic. Again, no offense. Governing a country is not like defending a dissertation.

What I propose is pretty simple and straightforward, so I don't know what you're talking about with all this "theory" nonsense, which is precisely why these things wouldn't make it into any solid dissertations these days, it's not complicated enough.

And, I have no idea how "the American people are practical" has anything to do with what we're talking about here. Feel free to explain to me because I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean in the context of this debate.

Well he's criticizing our argument over what constitutes coercion versus noncoercion. For the most part Americans don't give a shit and as long as they got some cash, some sex, and American Idol they could give a flying fuck. I think his argument also is that as long as we argue from a standpoint of political and philosophical theory than actual dollars and sense (heehee!) then we won't make any progress. I think without a solid foundation in political philosophy you're doomed to lick the boot heels of your oppressors, but then what do I know.

Exactly.

2/26/11
prinmemo:
econ:
monkeysama:

Some people don't have a

CHOICE

Eating is a right, not a privilege. Try and grasp that.

Depend on what kind of rights we're talking about. A lot of people will tell you that human beings have the right to be free of force, but not the right to food, housing, etc. Dr. Walter Williams explains it pretty well in this short article titled "Rights versus Wishes": http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/rights/...

At the heart of the argument, is this:

We hear so much about "rights" -- a right to this and a right to that. People say they have a right to decent housing, a right to adequate health care, food and a decent job, and more recently, senior citizens have a right to prescription drugs. In a free society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.

At least in the standard historical usage of the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. A right confers no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. That right imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference.

Contrast those rights to the supposed right to decent housing or medical care. Those supposed rights do confer obligations upon others. There is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy. If you don't have money to pay for decent housing or medical services, and the government gives you a right to those services, where do you think the money comes from?

More importantly, you're not talking about taking billionaires money to feed the poor. You're talking about taking billionaires money to change the income distribution, in a society in which "the poor" are far from starving. If what you're really concerned with is feeding "the poor" than you should be all for taxing the sh*t out of lower, middle, and upper income Americans, in order to feed the real poor (you know, those people in third world countries). I suspect you don't like that idea though because as far as I can tell, one of the main reasons you're so in favor of taxing the wealthy, is not because you're trying to feed the poor. It seems, you're just against the economic gains the rich have earned, and you simply wish that different outcomes had occurred, and you want to use coercion and politics to make your wishes a reality (regardless of how much other people share your wishes).

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

For the record, and no offense, all of this theoretical stuff in these debates (like coercion, etc.) is utter bullshit. The American people are practical. Too much political theory really cuts off compromise because those that are very theoretical are way too dogmatic. Again, no offense. Governing a country is not like defending a dissertation.

I agree, theory is all well and good but it really does distract from practical solutions.

2/26/11
prinmemo:

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

I think you've actually missed part of my argument. (It's not your fault, as I didn't really do a great job laying this part out, as we spent a lot of time discussing other stuff.) I think the best way you achieve the ends you guys are concerned with, is through protecting negative rights, respect for private property, and capitalism generally. In other words, we can probably do a better job of offering everyone those positive rights if we don't try to accomplish them politically. So, there actually is a pretty pragmatic argument for what I'm proposing.

Also, I'm a little confused with your guys' focus on positive rights in this debate because so far you've just been arguing for a more equal income distribution, which is obviously not the same thing as positive rights (unless, you guys think one of the positive rights people are afforded is "to not be too poor compared to the rich"). I don't remember either one of you guys saying, "we need to tax the rich to provide food and shelter to the American poor." All I remember you guys saying, is that income inequality is bad for a society. It's like you're using positive rights as a red herring.

2/26/11
econ:
prinmemo:

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

I think you've actually missed part of my argument. (It's not your fault, as I didn't really do a great job laying this part out, as we spent a lot of time discussing other stuff.) I think the best way you achieve the ends you guys are concerned with, is through protecting negative rights, respect for private property, and capitalism generally. In other words, we can probably do a better job of offering everyone those positive rights if we don't try to accomplish them politically. So, there actually is a pretty pragmatic argument for what I'm proposing.

Also, I'm a little confused with your guys' focus on positive rights in this debate because so far you've just been arguing for a more equal income distribution, which is obviously not the same thing as positive rights (unless, you guys think one of the positive rights people are afforded is "to not be too poor compared to the rich"). I don't remember either one of you guys saying, "we need to tax the rich to provide food and shelter to the American poor." All I remember you guys saying, is that income inequality is bad for a society. It's like you're using positive rights to cover up your argument.

To your first point, I don't think you can accomplish those things strictly through the protection of negative rights. It will require a combination of different kinds of strategies, some aimed at protecting negative rights and some at promoting some positive rights. I understand your argument and I think it makes sense, but in practice I think you need a mix of both to ensure that a certain standard of living is within reach for most Americans. We had strictly negative rights in this country for a very long time and it wasn't until the 20th century that we saw the end of child labor, widespread public education (positive right, essentially, at the state level), the 8 hour workday, the 40 hour workweek, etc. Protecting property rights sure as hell wouldn't have improved labor conditions in this country (or anywhere else, for that matter). On this point we just disagree, I believe.

I should point out that I think capitalism and respect for property rights is essential to long-term sustainable economic growth and to foster innovation. That doesn't mean I believe we should have a 0% tax rate and that the government ought not get involved in anything. Rather, it's a question of degree from the pure capitalism spectrum to pure communism. If pure capitalism were scored a 0 and communism a 100 I would probably vote for somewhere around 30-35.

As to your second point, my main argument all along has been that income inequality is a bad thing if it results in or from the lack of meaningful economic opportunity for those below (mainly at the bottom). The point of reducing income inequality at that point would be to ensure that those at the bottom of the economic pyramid have the resources and opportunities to meaningfully improve their lot. In other words, I would be in favor of higher marginal income taxes to improve the opportunities of those at the bottom and not as a punitive measure. I don't think it would be wise to do it purely to punish others or to reduce inequality without actually achieving any measurable improvements in economic opportunity for those at the bottom.

2/26/11
econ:
prinmemo:

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

I think you've actually missed part of my argument. (It's not your fault, as I didn't really do a great job laying this part out, as we spent a lot of time discussing other stuff.) I think the best way you achieve the ends you guys are concerned with, is through protecting negative rights, respect for private property, and capitalism generally. In other words, we can probably do a better job of offering everyone those positive rights if we don't try to accomplish them politically. So, there actually is a pretty pragmatic argument for what I'm proposing.

Also, I'm a little confused with your guys' focus on positive rights in this debate because so far you've just been arguing for a more equal income distribution, which is obviously not the same thing as positive rights (unless, you guys think one of the positive rights people are afforded is "to not be too poor compared to the rich"). I don't remember either one of you guys saying, "we need to tax the rich to provide food and shelter to the American poor." All I remember you guys saying, is that income inequality is bad for a society. It's like you're using positive rights as a red herring.

Positive rights are not a red herring. They're not really part of the original topic as the topic had how poor 90 percent of Americans are today, and most Americans have the most basic of their positive rights fulfilled, but let's have that discussion.

Corporations absolutely do not guarantee positive rights, their goal is to make a profit legally, nothing else. Capitalism itself is just the idea that capital should be used to finance industry from large groups of private individuals, again nothing else. In general capitalism and corporatism help to increase the goods and purchasing power of individuals in society as a whole but they famously do nothing for the following:

1) They do not guarantee clean air or drinking water. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

2) They do not guarantee a minimum wage or safe working conditions. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

3) They do not guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or be able to afford housing. Some people need assistance.

As for your confusion about why we are arguing for a more equal distribution rather than positive rights, it's because that's the topic of the thread. Your previous argument that said no one should be forced to give some one something else caused me to mention positive rights and start that discussion.

Finally, there's nothing inherently contradictory in my believing that positive rights exist and are important and that we need a more equitable society. Those two beliefs are not the same thing, but in fact are probably complementary. I'm unsure as to why you are confused.

2/26/11
monkeysama:
econ:
prinmemo:

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

I think you've actually missed part of my argument. (It's not your fault, as I didn't really do a great job laying this part out, as we spent a lot of time discussing other stuff.) I think the best way you achieve the ends you guys are concerned with, is through protecting negative rights, respect for private property, and capitalism generally. In other words, we can probably do a better job of offering everyone those positive rights if we don't try to accomplish them politically. So, there actually is a pretty pragmatic argument for what I'm proposing.

Also, I'm a little confused with your guys' focus on positive rights in this debate because so far you've just been arguing for a more equal income distribution, which is obviously not the same thing as positive rights (unless, you guys think one of the positive rights people are afforded is "to not be too poor compared to the rich"). I don't remember either one of you guys saying, "we need to tax the rich to provide food and shelter to the American poor." All I remember you guys saying, is that income inequality is bad for a society. It's like you're using positive rights as a red herring.

Positive rights are not a red herring. They're not really part of the original topic as the topic had how poor 90 percent of Americans are today, and most Americans have the most basic of their positive rights fulfilled, but let's have that discussion.

Corporations absolutely do not guarantee positive rights, their goal is to make a profit legally, nothing else. Capitalism itself is just the idea that capital should be used to finance industry from large groups of private individuals, again nothing else. In general capitalism and corporatism help to increase the goods and purchasing power of individuals in society as a whole but they famously do nothing for the following:

1) They do not guarantee clean air or drinking water. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

2) They do not guarantee a minimum wage or safe working conditions. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

3) They do not guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or be able to afford housing. Some people need assistance.

As for your confusion about why we are arguing for a more equal distribution rather than positive rights, it's because that's the topic of the thread. Your previous argument that said no one should be forced to give some one something else caused me to mention positive rights and start that discussion.

Finally, there's nothing inherently contradictory in my believing that positive rights exist and are important and that we need a more equitable society. Those two beliefs are not the same thing, but in fact are probably complementary. I'm unsure as to why you are confused.

+1

2/26/11
prinmemo:
monkeysama:
econ:
prinmemo:

It's negative vs. positive rights. Some people believe only political and civil liberties are rights, whereas others also think there are economic and social rights (and some even cultural rights). Clearly, you believe in only political and civil rights. Sounds like monkeysama believes in some economic and social rights. I agree with him. This whole thing boils down to values. I don't take it personally. I believe in certain rights and others believe in others. How this country is run depends on who wins elections and who the parties are representing the most.

I think you've actually missed part of my argument. (It's not your fault, as I didn't really do a great job laying this part out, as we spent a lot of time discussing other stuff.) I think the best way you achieve the ends you guys are concerned with, is through protecting negative rights, respect for private property, and capitalism generally. In other words, we can probably do a better job of offering everyone those positive rights if we don't try to accomplish them politically. So, there actually is a pretty pragmatic argument for what I'm proposing.

Also, I'm a little confused with your guys' focus on positive rights in this debate because so far you've just been arguing for a more equal income distribution, which is obviously not the same thing as positive rights (unless, you guys think one of the positive rights people are afforded is "to not be too poor compared to the rich"). I don't remember either one of you guys saying, "we need to tax the rich to provide food and shelter to the American poor." All I remember you guys saying, is that income inequality is bad for a society. It's like you're using positive rights as a red herring.

Positive rights are not a red herring. They're not really part of the original topic as the topic had how poor 90 percent of Americans are today, and most Americans have the most basic of their positive rights fulfilled, but let's have that discussion.

Corporations absolutely do not guarantee positive rights, their goal is to make a profit legally, nothing else. Capitalism itself is just the idea that capital should be used to finance industry from large groups of private individuals, again nothing else. In general capitalism and corporatism help to increase the goods and purchasing power of individuals in society as a whole but they famously do nothing for the following:

1) They do not guarantee clean air or drinking water. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

2) They do not guarantee a minimum wage or safe working conditions. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

3) They do not guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or be able to afford housing. Some people need assistance.

As for your confusion about why we are arguing for a more equal distribution rather than positive rights, it's because that's the topic of the thread. Your previous argument that said no one should be forced to give some one something else caused me to mention positive rights and start that discussion.

Finally, there's nothing inherently contradictory in my believing that positive rights exist and are important and that we need a more equitable society. Those two beliefs are not the same thing, but in fact are probably complementary. I'm unsure as to why you are confused.

+1

You too man. I feel a little bad that we're tag teaming him though.

2/26/11
monkeysama:

Corporations absolutely do not guarantee positive rights, their goal is to make a profit legally, nothing else. Capitalism itself is just the idea that capital should be used to finance industry from large groups of private individuals, again nothing else. In general capitalism and corporatism help to increase the goods and purchasing power of individuals in society as a whole but they famously do nothing for the following:

I didn't mean to imply that corporations guarantee positive rights. My point, is that capitalism tends to make "goodies" available to the overwhelming majority of the population. I didn't intend to make it sound as if corporations intend to pursue that goal and I totally understand that they're thinking about profits. As Adam Smith pointed out over 2 centuries ago: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Similarly, Adam Ferguson (a predecessor of Smith) realized that plenty of outcomes were "the product of human action, but not human design."

Corporations not intending to provide positive rights, doesn't mean they won't. Likewise, government "guaranteeing" positive rights, won't necessarily get the job done. Let's not confuse intentions with results.

monkeysama:

1) They do not guarantee clean air or drinking water. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

I actually agree with you here. There is a pollution issue, primarily because property rights cannot be issued. I'm not so sure we need to invoke positive rights to deal with pollution. Rather, we just need to realize the externality issue and attempt to solve it.

monkeysama:

2) They do not guarantee a minimum wage or safe working conditions. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

Unfortunately, the government cannot guarantee anyone a minimum wage either. Sure, they can implement a minimum wage, but they cannot make sure employers want to hire someone at said wage. The argument that minimum wage legislation actually helps poor people, suffers from the free lunch fallacy. If minimum wages could actually make people better off, why don't we just implement a $50/hour minimum wage? There is a decent amount of evidence that minimum wage legislation actually makes it difficult for poor people to get a job in the first place, which makes it difficult for them to gain the knowledge and skills that would allow them to climb the income ladder. There are some videos in the Econ Group (and in a million other places) that discuss this issue at length.

With respect to safe working conditions (and safety more generally), there actually is plenty of economic evidence that capitalism promotes these. Again, it's a standard invisible hand argument. Furthermore, there is often evidence that the attempts to solve safety problems via government have backfire and have unintended consequences. A good example of this is The Peltzman Effect.

monkeysama:

3) They do not guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or be able to afford housing. Some people need assistance.

Sure, they don't guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or afford housing. But, it does a pretty good job for the overwhelming majority of the population. If you want to have some minor social safety nets to help out the rest of the population, that's fine. You won't need much tax revenues, nor will you need to tax the rich at anywhere near 50% to provide them.

monkeysama:

As for your confusion about why we are arguing for a more equal distribution rather than positive rights, it's because that's the topic of the thread. Your previous argument that said no one should be forced to give some one something else caused me to mention positive rights and start that discussion.

Okay, so you favor taxing the rich for two reasons: 1) to provide positive rights for the poor, and 2) to make the income distribution more equitable. Is that a fair assessment? Just out of curiosity, what specific things do you consider positive rights? And more importantly, how high do we have to tax the rich, in order to accomplish 1 and 2 (since it seems the current level of 40% is not enough to you).

monkeysama:

Finally, there's nothing inherently contradictory in my believing that positive rights exist and are important and that we need a more equitable society. Those two beliefs are not the same thing, but in fact are probably complementary. I'm unsure as to why you are confused.

I'm not confused. And, I never said your views were contradictory (because I agree with you, they're not). I feel you guys keep bringing up positive rights to justify taxing the rich. I think this confuses the issue, since most of the American poor already are fed and have shelter. Not to mention, there are plenty of private charities and public programs that address these issues, for the ones who are not. It seems then, that you're mainly in favor of increases in tax rates for the rich for equality reasons.

2/26/11
econ:
monkeysama:

Corporations absolutely do not guarantee positive rights, their goal is to make a profit legally, nothing else. Capitalism itself is just the idea that capital should be used to finance industry from large groups of private individuals, again nothing else. In general capitalism and corporatism help to increase the goods and purchasing power of individuals in society as a whole but they famously do nothing for the following:

I didn't mean to imply that corporations guarantee positive rights. My point, is that capitalism tends to make "goodies" available to the overwhelming majority of the population. I didn't intend to make it sound as if corporations intend to pursue that goal and I totally understand that they're thinking about profits. As Adam Smith pointed out over 2 centuries ago: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." Similarly, Adam Ferguson (a predecessor of Smith) realized that plenty of outcomes were "the product of human action, but not human design."

Corporations not intending to provide positive rights, doesn't mean they won't. Likewise, government "guaranteeing" positive rights, won't necessarily get the job done. Let's not confuse intentions with results.

monkeysama:

1) They do not guarantee clean air or drinking water. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

I actually agree with you here. There is a pollution issue, primarily because property rights cannot be issued. I'm not so sure we need to invoke positive rights to deal with pollution. Rather, we just need to realize the externality issue and attempt to solve it.

monkeysama:

2) They do not guarantee a minimum wage or safe working conditions. In fact, they tend to pollute those things because it's more profitable.

Unfortunately, the government cannot guarantee anyone a minimum wage either. Sure, they can implement a minimum wage, but they cannot make sure employers want to hire someone at said wage. The argument that minimum wage legislation actually helps poor people, suffers from the free lunch fallacy. If minimum wages could actually make people better off, why don't we just implement a $50/hour minimum wage? There is a decent amount of evidence that minimum wage legislation actually makes it difficult for poor people to get a job in the first place, which makes it difficult for them to gain the knowledge and skills that would allow them to climb the income ladder. There are some videos in the Econ Group (and in a million other places) that discuss this issue at length.

With respect to safe working conditions (and safety more generally), there actually is plenty of economic evidence that capitalism promotes these. Again, it's a standard invisible hand argument. Furthermore, there is often evidence that the attempts to solve safety problems via government have backfire and have unintended consequences. A good example of this is The Peltzman Effect.

monkeysama:

3) They do not guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or be able to afford housing. Some people need assistance.

Sure, they don't guarantee that everyone will have enough to eat or afford housing. But, it does a pretty good job for the overwhelming majority of the population. If you want to have some minor social safety nets to help out the rest of the population, that's fine. You won't need much tax revenues, nor will you need to tax the rich at anywhere near 50% to provide them.

monkeysama:

As for your confusion about why we are arguing for a more equal distribution rather than positive rights, it's because that's the topic of the thread. Your previous argument that said no one should be forced to give some one something else caused me to mention positive rights and start that discussion.

Okay, so you favor taxing the rich for two reasons: 1) to provide positive rights for the poor, and 2) to make the income distribution more equitable. Is that a fair assessment? Just out of curiosity, what specific things do you consider positive rights? And more importantly, how high do we have to tax the rich, in order to accomplish 1 and 2 (since it seems the current level of 40% is not enough to you).

monkeysama:

Finally, there's nothing inherently contradictory in my believing that positive rights exist and are important and that we need a more equitable society. Those two beliefs are not the same thing, but in fact are probably complementary. I'm unsure as to why you are confused.

I'm not confused. And, I never said your views were contradictory (because I agree with you, they're not). I feel you guys keep bringing up positive rights to justify taxing the rich. I think this confuses the issue, since most of the American poor already are fed and have shelter. Not to mention, there are plenty of private charities and public programs that address these issues, for the ones who are not. It seems then, that you're mainly in favor of increases in tax rates for the rich for equality reasons.

+1

2/26/11

That's a lot of argument Econ, let me see what I can do to address some of your points.

Argument: Corporations not intending to provide positive rights, doesn't mean they won't. Likewise, government "guaranteeing" positive rights, won't necessarily get the job done. Let's not confuse intentions with results.

Rebuttal: If something is a right that means that it is something that a human being cannot do without - perhaps not physically, but at the least it would be an outrage to our belief in what it means to be a person. If a corporation provides enough so that a right is met, then fine. But a government must guarantee rights, as a right is something that a person is entitled to. Potable drinking water is an example that I think everyone can agree to. If corporations do not provide it then governments must. Further, not all things people consider rights, but for the majority, if they are not provided the outrage the lack of fulfillment causes creates a backlash and resistance. Perhaps even violence. This is important to remember if our goal is a safe and stable society.

Argument: Unfortunately, the government cannot guarantee anyone a minimum wage either.

Rebuttal: There is a long literature both for and against a minimum wage. I really don't want to rehash all that here. But yes, there are practical issues that need to be overcome.

Argument: A good example of this is The Peltzman Effect.

Rebuttal: No it's not. Safe working conditions are things that workers want, but employers don't. The Peltzman effect happens when the safety requirement are imposed on someone who does not want them. Speed limits are a good example. But safety regulation increases employee bargaining power against the corporation in its desire to cut corners against the well being of its' staff.

Argument: Okay, so you favor taxing the rich for two reasons: 1) to provide positive rights for the poor, and 2) to make the income distribution more equitable. Is that a fair assessment? Just out of curiosity, what specific things do you consider positive rights?

Rebuttal: Yes, that's a fair assessment. I think the UN declaration on Human Rights would be a good charter to emulate.

Argument: And more importantly, how high do we have to tax the rich, in order to accomplish 1 and 2 (since it seems the current level of 40% is not enough to you).

Rebuttal: A good goal is the increase in the median wage to 40k per person. That could happen by encouraging unions, making healthcare more affordable, closing tax loopholes, increasing tax brackets, subsidizing education, and a laundry list of other minor fixes. I'm not targeting the tax rate explicitly, but overall our current system clearly benefits the rich at the expense of everyone else.

Argument: I feel you guys keep bringing up positive rights to justify taxing the rich.

Rebuttal: No I don't. I justify taxing the rich because 90 percent of Americans make 30k or less a year. Positive rights are just an added bonus.

Argument: I think this confuses the issue, since most of the American poor already are fed and have shelter.

Rebuttal: Attacking the straw man that you set up. Also that's not all of positive rights either.

Argument: Not to mention, there are plenty of private charities and public programs that address these issues, for the ones who are not.

Rebuttal: Which don't do anything to guarantee a right the way the government can. They help, but they don't explicitly guarantee everyone will have safe drinking water, for example, because they don't have the power to regulate.

Argument:It seems then, that you're mainly in favor of increases in tax rates for the rich for equality reasons.

Rebuttal: The right conclusion (sort of) for the wrong reasons. I am in favor of increasing taxes on the rich and doing all the other things I mentioned, because it will make our country more equitable and prosperous.

2/25/11

Typical do as I say not as I do liberal argument.

2/25/11

If you have so much empathy, then how come you can't understand that not everyone shares your opinions and values, and just let people live their own life without so much interference from you?

2/25/11

^^That's an easy one. It is because majority of the liberal base want you to live by what they believe or they're gonna whine and cry about it and claim life is unfair when they should be out there hustling to make a better life for themselves.

2/25/11

I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

2/25/11
rebelcross:

I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

So I'm wrong and it's all been addressed before. Ok, so why did you bother posting?

2/25/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

I just want to butt in and address an annoying comment monkeysama made about abortion saying that it "might as well be legal because women will just shove clothes hangers [where the sun don't shine]." I addressed this last night and you dodged it, but then you just tried to sneak it again...I don't want to argue the legality of abortion, but I'm annoyed that you tried to sneak that bullshit argument. You know for a fact that that's an argument that doesn't work...and I won't reiterate why, I already addressed it previously. But you have to do much better than that.

Also, monkeysama, you already lost this debate in the other thread that went to 300 or so comments, where your argument failed on the same basic premise of coercion and the fact that you with your opinion had no right to force that opinion on others. There is really no ethical way to overcome that problem for the liberal, and in the end, that's all it boils down to. So, I don't know what you are doing trying to reiterate this failed argument here. If you want the answer to what you are saying, just go back to the other thread. It's all been addressed here before.

So I'm wrong and it's all been addressed before. Ok, so why did you bother posting?

So that's like what I'm wondering, why do you keep bothering with this argument? It's been addressed...nothing's changed since then.

2/25/11

Yawn. Liberal want to tax based on feelings and thoughts.

I fail to see why the poor would have any basis to revolt. They have free schooling, low cost college, plenty of government aid programs. People come here from worse countries and succeed. You know why? Because they take advantage of the benefits of this country.

If your waiting for help your wasting your time. Take control of your life, you are an adult.

Also, I am sick of hypocrite in this thread. You advocate punitive taxation to helpthe poor, but don't lift a finger to help yourself. Go fucking mentor a kid instead of bitching how unfair life is.

I used to work full time and volunteer 3 days a week. Looks like the evil republican walked the talk more than the liberals in this thread.

2/25/11

Do as I say, not as I do.

Glad we could finally get the truth to come out.

Bravo gents.

2/25/11

I only think it is a risk factor. I really would not mind having a society where the 1% elite possess 99% of the resources. The only that situation like that creates is chaos, uproar and socialism.

There is a reason why communism was formed; the disparity of wealth was the biggest reason for that.

I think if you want to have a free and capitalistic society, we will need to find a way to have more people succeed.

2/25/11
freroht:

I only think it is a risk factor. I really would not mind having a society where the 1% elite possess 99% of the resources. The only that situation like that creates is chaos, uproar and socialism.

There is a reason why communism was formed; the disparity of wealth was the biggest reason for that.

I think if you want to have a free and capitalistic society, we will need to find a way to have more people succeed.

Inequitable societies naturally lead to less free societies.

2/25/11
monkeysama:

Inequitable societies naturally lead to less free societies.

And you are a perfect example of why that happens. You are taking what is not a perfectly equal society and trying to impart your methods of coercion and limited financial freedom upon certain members of it. Perhaps that's where the real problem lies.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
freroht:

I only think it is a risk factor. I really would not mind having a society where the 1% elite possess 99% of the resources. The only that situation like that creates is chaos, uproar and socialism.

There is a reason why communism was formed; the disparity of wealth was the biggest reason for that.

I think if you want to have a free and capitalistic society, we will need to find a way to have more people succeed.

Inequitable societies naturally lead to less free societies.

Dude, seriously, I understand your frustration, but you need to be pestering people for an 'in' to help you get working. Hacking 2nd rate leftist posits here is going to get you nowhere, unless you're trying to become a democrat.

I say this with all due respect, and mean no disrespect to actual leftist democrats

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
freroht:

I only think it is a risk factor. I really would not mind having a society where the 1% elite possess 99% of the resources. The only that situation like that creates is chaos, uproar and socialism.

There is a reason why communism was formed; the disparity of wealth was the biggest reason for that.

I think if you want to have a free and capitalistic society, we will need to find a way to have more people succeed.

Inequitable societies naturally lead to less free societies.

Dude, seriously, I understand your frustration, but you need to be pestering people for an 'in' to help you get working. Hacking 2nd rate leftist posits here is going to get you nowhere, unless you're trying to become a democrat.

I say this with all due respect, and mean no disrespect to actual leftist democrats

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
UFOinsider:
monkeysama:
freroht:

I only think it is a risk factor. I really would not mind having a society where the 1% elite possess 99% of the resources. The only that situation like that creates is chaos, uproar and socialism.

There is a reason why communism was formed; the disparity of wealth was the biggest reason for that.

I think if you want to have a free and capitalistic society, we will need to find a way to have more people succeed.

Inequitable societies naturally lead to less free societies.

Dude, seriously, I understand your frustration, but you need to be pestering people for an 'in' to help you get working. Hacking 2nd rate leftist posits here is going to get you nowhere, unless you're trying to become a democrat.

I say this with all due respect, and mean no disrespect to actual leftist democrats

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

I can't motivate you. I can only let you know what's in YOUR best interest.

Get busy living

2/25/11
monkeysama:

I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

Dude, you're going to be fine. One's career is a marathon, not a sprint. I can empathize with you, as I've been unemployed for 5 months (and am honestly not sure when I'll receive an offer). You're a smart guy with a technical background, things will work out for you. Look man, transitions are always tough. Don't mistake a tough transition for hopelessness, you have a lot more going for you than many, many people. Less than a month ago, I met a lady who is Senior Vice President at a successful, fast-growing startup. This lady used to teach K-12 art (for several years, mind you) and quit. She then took an extremely low-level career at a startup, and became VP there after 10 years. Once they were bought out, she found a new job at a new startup, which is where she's at now (as a SVP). No offense, but I suspect you have it nowhere as difficult as she did (especially when you consider she had a family when she quit her teaching job). I understand you're down on yourself right now, but I urge you to start thinking about it rationally. Plenty of people with worse backgrounds than you have succeeded at a fairly high-level.

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

Dude, you're going to be fine. One's career is a marathon, not a sprint. I can empathize with you, as I've been unemployed for 5 months (and am honestly not sure when I'll receive an offer). You're a smart guy with a technical background, things will work out for you. Look man, transitions are always tough. Don't mistake a tough transition for hopelessness, you have a lot more going for you than many, many people. Less than a month ago, I met a lady who is Senior Vice President at a successful, fast-growing startup. This lady used to teach K-12 art (for several years, mind you) and quit. She then took an extremely low-level career at a startup, and became VP there after 10 years. Once they were bought out, she found a new job at a new startup, which is where she's at now (as a SVP). No offense, but I suspect you have it nowhere as difficult as she did (especially when you consider she had a family when she quit her teaching job). I understand you're down on yourself right now, but I urge you to start thinking about it rationally. Plenty of people with worse backgrounds than you have succeeded at a fairly high-level.

We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement though.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

Dude, you're going to be fine. One's career is a marathon, not a sprint. I can empathize with you, as I've been unemployed for 5 months (and am honestly not sure when I'll receive an offer). You're a smart guy with a technical background, things will work out for you. Look man, transitions are always tough. Don't mistake a tough transition for hopelessness, you have a lot more going for you than many, many people. Less than a month ago, I met a lady who is Senior Vice President at a successful, fast-growing startup. This lady used to teach K-12 art (for several years, mind you) and quit. She then took an extremely low-level career at a startup, and became VP there after 10 years. Once they were bought out, she found a new job at a new startup, which is where she's at now (as a SVP). No offense, but I suspect you have it nowhere as difficult as she did (especially when you consider she had a family when she quit her teaching job). I understand you're down on yourself right now, but I urge you to start thinking about it rationally. Plenty of people with worse backgrounds than you have succeeded at a fairly high-level.

We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement though.

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious. (Funny thing is, I probably won't be able to tell whether your reply is sarcastic or serious, either. Man, the internet sucks sometimes.)

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

Dude, you're going to be fine. One's career is a marathon, not a sprint. I can empathize with you, as I've been unemployed for 5 months (and am honestly not sure when I'll receive an offer). You're a smart guy with a technical background, things will work out for you. Look man, transitions are always tough. Don't mistake a tough transition for hopelessness, you have a lot more going for you than many, many people. Less than a month ago, I met a lady who is Senior Vice President at a successful, fast-growing startup. This lady used to teach K-12 art (for several years, mind you) and quit. She then took an extremely low-level career at a startup, and became VP there after 10 years. Once they were bought out, she found a new job at a new startup, which is where she's at now (as a SVP). No offense, but I suspect you have it nowhere as difficult as she did (especially when you consider she had a family when she quit her teaching job). I understand you're down on yourself right now, but I urge you to start thinking about it rationally. Plenty of people with worse backgrounds than you have succeeded at a fairly high-level.

We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement though.

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious. (Funny thing is, I probably won't be able to tell whether your reply is sarcastic or serious, either. Man, the internet sucks sometimes.)

Judging by past posts, I would say he's serious.

Get busy living

2/25/11
econ:
monkeysama:
econ:
monkeysama:

Why? They're equally pointless, but at least right now I'm being entertained. I really don't ever see myself being able to restart anything resembling a career again.

Dude, you're going to be fine. One's career is a marathon, not a sprint. I can empathize with you, as I've been unemployed for 5 months (and am honestly not sure when I'll receive an offer). You're a smart guy with a technical background, things will work out for you. Look man, transitions are always tough. Don't mistake a tough transition for hopelessness, you have a lot more going for you than many, many people. Less than a month ago, I met a lady who is Senior Vice President at a successful, fast-growing startup. This lady used to teach K-12 art (for several years, mind you) and quit. She then took an extremely low-level career at a startup, and became VP there after 10 years. Once they were bought out, she found a new job at a new startup, which is where she's at now (as a SVP). No offense, but I suspect you have it nowhere as difficult as she did (especially when you consider she had a family when she quit her teaching job). I understand you're down on yourself right now, but I urge you to start thinking about it rationally. Plenty of people with worse backgrounds than you have succeeded at a fairly high-level.

We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement though.

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or serious. (Funny thing is, I probably won't be able to tell whether your reply is sarcastic or serious, either. Man, the internet sucks sometimes.)

Oh, no I was serious. I was debating an exclamation market at the end of the second sentence, but it really didn't feel exclamatory. I tend not to use sarcasm - generally when I feel the situation calls for me to tell someone how stupid they are I tend not to believe they would be able to grasp my facetiousness.

2/25/11

The USA succeeds because we provide opportunity. Socialism grows when people have no chance. As long as immigrants come to this country and improve their lot, the USA will be fine.

2/25/11

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

2/25/11
txjustin:

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

2/25/11
rebelcross:
txjustin:

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

I'm not wallowing in pity. I'm simply being realistic. I've run out of options as far as anything like a career is concerned - maybe I can become a janitor or a bar tender. Who knows? But for right now I don't really have any idea.

2/25/11
rebelcross:
txjustin:

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

Went there for a short while years ago, it wasn't pretty. I was poor and isolated, and they dragged me into their stupid fucking 'cause'. Now, when we fuck with the asshole protesters in front of the NYSE, it's actually personal for me. assholes. seriously. That reminds me, I need to pick up some eggs or something to throw at them next week, some big 'green' thing is coming up.

I'm going to hell, who's coming with me?

MONKEYSAMA -> hit the gym, get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow morning, start flooding LinkedIn. ALSO, use facebook: it's completely free, and is actually easier than LinkedIn. Do a search by company name and send private messages. Make sure to clean up your profile first though, people judge by what they see.

Get busy living

2/25/11
UFOinsider:
rebelcross:
txjustin:

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

Went there for a short while years ago, it wasn't pretty. I was poor and isolated, and they dragged me into their stupid fucking 'cause'. Now, when we fuck with the asshole protesters in front of the NYSE, it's actually personal for me. assholes. seriously. That reminds me, I need to pick up some eggs or something to throw at them next week, some big 'green' thing is coming up.

I'm going to hell, who's coming with me?

MONKEYSAMA -> hit the gym, get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow morning, start flooding LinkedIn. ALSO, use facebook: it's completely free, and is actually easier than LinkedIn. Do a search by company name and send private messages. Make sure to clean up your profile first though, people judge by what they see.

You seem to be under the impression that I haven't already done that and failed miserably. For months. I'm done man.

2/25/11
monkeysama:
UFOinsider:
rebelcross:
txjustin:

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

Went there for a short while years ago, it wasn't pretty. I was poor and isolated, and they dragged me into their stupid fucking 'cause'. Now, when we fuck with the asshole protesters in front of the NYSE, it's actually personal for me. assholes. seriously. That reminds me, I need to pick up some eggs or something to throw at them next week, some big 'green' thing is coming up.

I'm going to hell, who's coming with me?

MONKEYSAMA -> hit the gym, get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow morning, start flooding LinkedIn. ALSO, use facebook: it's completely free, and is actually easier than LinkedIn. Do a search by company name and send private messages. Make sure to clean up your profile first though, people judge by what they see.

You seem to be under the impression that I haven't already done that and failed miserably. For months. I'm done man.

I hate to be that guy but your idea of giving up on your career search is the same idea you have on helping the poor... just because it doesn't hit a homerun when you first try it out doesn't mean it isn't doing anything. Doing something is always going to be better than doing nothing...

But what do I know..

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

2/25/11

Do any family members own farmland? Why not start up an organic farm? Probably a good time to do that given food prices- in ten years- after the dollar crash, you'll probably have a bunch of former bankers like us to help you plant and take care of the livestock.

2/25/11
IlliniProgrammer:

Do any family members own farmland? Why not start up an organic farm? Probably a good time to do that given food prices- in ten years- after the dollar crash, you'll probably have a bunch of former bankers like us to help you plant and take care of the livestock.

My uncle owns farmland that he rents out to a bunch of corn farmers. I'm not sure how many acres he has but he pulls in maybe 70k a year for which he pays my uncle a flat rate (say 30 every year). Something like that. It's crazy though since some years he is down a ton of money. So the income stream swings wildly. Every time I see my uncle he says to me, he says, "Kid, whatever you do, don't be a farmer."

2/25/11

I don't know your background or what happened, but if you're willing to put it out here in the open I'm sure people can attempt to help you out.

2/25/11

Farmers live on loans. I grew up in a very rural area and many of my family members are still farmers. Not for the faint hearted.

2/25/11
txjustin:

Farmers live on loans. I grew up in a very rural area and many of my family members are still farmers. Not for the faint hearted.

Yeah, they're almost forced to play the futures market. So not only do you have to be someone who can work their ass of outdoors and actually lug shit for a living (not easy!) you have to be financially savvy enough to play derivatives. Scary stuff.

2/26/11

And who are these "oppressors" you speak of?

2/26/11
txjustin:

And who are these "oppressors" you speak of?

My sister once told me that her version of hell was that there were a bunch of people over a big pot of food and everyone had really long spoons. So long in fact that they were too long to be able to get them to their mouths without the food falling off, so everyone starved. Then someone figured out they could use their spoon to feed the person across from them and everyone ate until they were full. That was heaven.

There doesn't have to be an oppressor for everyone to starve.

2/26/11

Let me fill you in on a well known "secret" about America's poor, we have the fattest poor people in the world. Have you ever heard that saying before?

2/26/11
txjustin:

Let me fill you in on a well known "secret" about America's poor, we have the fattest poor people in the world. Have you ever heard that saying before?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it, will you still not understand what a koan is?

Meditate on this and become wise.

2/26/11

Jesus man. I don't wanna speak in metaphors.

2/26/11
txjustin:

Jesus man. I don't wanna speak in metaphors.

I'm not sure you would know how if you wanted to.

2/26/11

You know, I felt sorry for you the other day. Now I don't anymore.

2/26/11

Good.

2/26/11

Who is tag teaming Econ? He seems to be thoroughly trouncing everyone on pure economic theory as well as common sense, American freedom.

Really tired of this topic. We have every opportunity and chance in this country. Problem is we have a bunch of lazy and entitled people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax

"Progressive taxation often must be considered as part of an overall system since tax codes have many interdependent variables. For instance, the United States has a relatively low top marginal income tax rate of 35% when compared to other industrialized nations. However a 2008 OECD study found that when refundable tax credits and other tax incentives are included across the entire income spectrum, the U.S. has the most progressive tax codes among its peer nations.[8]"

-- a 2008 OECD study found that when refundable tax credits and other tax incentives are included across the entire income spectrum, the U.S. has the most progressive tax codes among its peer nations.[8]"

Read that above line.

You want to donate 70% of your income, feel free to do it.

I always find it funny how liberals tend to be moral relativists. I didn't realize that you lose your right to property as you gain more money. Stealing is wrong, rich or poor.

2/26/11
ANT:

Who is tag teaming Econ? He seems to be thoroughly trouncing everyone on pure economic theory as well as common sense, American freedom.

Really tired of this topic. We have every opportunity and chance in this country. Problem is we have a bunch of lazy and entitled people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax

"Progressive taxation often must be considered as part of an overall system since tax codes have many interdependent variables. For instance, the United States has a relatively low top marginal income tax rate of 35% when compared to other industrialized nations. However a 2008 OECD study found that when refundable tax credits and other tax incentives are included across the entire income spectrum, the U.S. has the most progressive tax codes among its peer nations.[8]"

-- a 2008 OECD study found that when refundable tax credits and other tax incentives are included across the entire income spectrum, the U.S. has the most progressive tax codes among its peer nations.[8]"

Read that above line.

You want to donate 70% of your income, feel free to do it.

I always find it funny how liberals tend to be moral relativists. I didn't realize that you lose your right to property as you gain more money. Stealing is wrong, rich or poor.

There's implicit distribution of property and explicit distribution of property. The rich typically bend laws and regulation to implicitly benefit from everyone else, while progressive taxation is an explicit distribution. Neither of those is theft as theft implies an illegal taking. Both are legal, so by definition you are wrong.

As an example, capital gains tax is 15 percent. Warren Buffet pays 20 percent less as a percent on earned interest than his gardener does on his salary. So is Warren Buffet stealing from his gardener?

You really need to cut down on the hyperbole ANT, it cheapens your argument and makes you appear foolish, even when you have a point to make.

2/26/11
monkeysama:

There's implicit distribution of property and explicit distribution of property. The rich typically bend laws and regulation to implicitly benefit from everyone else, while progressive taxation is an explicit distribution. Neither of those is theft as theft implies an illegal taking. Both are legal, so by definition you are wrong.

Ever hear of a logical fallacy entitled "appeal to law?" You just committed it. He is talking "theft" as it applies to ethics not formal law itself.

2/26/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

There's implicit distribution of property and explicit distribution of property. The rich typically bend laws and regulation to implicitly benefit from everyone else, while progressive taxation is an explicit distribution. Neither of those is theft as theft implies an illegal taking. Both are legal, so by definition you are wrong.

Ever hear of a logical fallacy entitled "appeal to law?" You just committed it. He is talking "theft" as it applies to ethics not formal law itself.

Ok, then the rich are 'morally' stealing from the poor by bending laws to their favor. What's your point?

2/26/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

There's implicit distribution of property and explicit distribution of property. The rich typically bend laws and regulation to implicitly benefit from everyone else, while progressive taxation is an explicit distribution. Neither of those is theft as theft implies an illegal taking. Both are legal, so by definition you are wrong.

Ever hear of a logical fallacy entitled "appeal to law?" You just committed it. He is talking "theft" as it applies to ethics not formal law itself.

Ok, then the rich are 'morally' stealing from the poor by bending laws to their favor. What's your point?

I'm saying you're defending government theft by suggesting it isn't "illegal" as a valid excuse. No, it's still theft, the law itself is inherently wrong to allow for such theft.

2/26/11

Yeah right. My argument could suck cock on the corner and not be cheaper than the socialist, theft by force crap you continue to parrot.

The Buffet argument is stupid on many levels. Your comparing income tax with capital gains tax. Completely different.

50% of the US population pay no Federal tax. Of the 50% who pay, the rich pay most of it. How much less than zero do you want the poor to pay?

How about this. Poor people can walk around with a card that allows them to take whatever they want? Would that make you happy?

"The rich typically bend laws and regulation to implicitly benefit from everyone else"

Where are you getting your facts? Jesus Christ. Not every rich person is Paris Hilton. Many of them are hard working people who do way more for this country than they take.

Sorry dude. Stealing from people because they are successful doesn't make it any less wrong. And yes, jacking the tax rate on rich people with the sole purpose to "redistribute" to the poor is theft. Instead of a gun you have an angry, ignorant to right and wrong, mass of voters who will authorize this shake down and use the IRS and imprisonment or mandatory taking the property as the force to ensure compliance.

2/26/11

Argument: The Buffet argument is stupid on many levels. Your comparing income tax with capital gains tax. Completely different.

Rebuttal: How so? Money is money. The gardener does not make enough money to make a living through investment return, but a trustfundian can smoke weed all day and do so. If the both make 60k in earned interest why should the trustfundian pay less than the gardener?

Argument: 50% of the US population pay no Federal tax. Of the 50% who pay, the rich pay most of it. How much less than zero do you want the poor to pay?

Rebuttal: The poor pay by living in a system that is implicitly designed with laws that benefit the rich at their expense. Government supported monopolies, anti-union policies, a broken tax code, military adventurism. That's the implicit expense.

Argument: Where are you getting your facts? Jesus Christ. Not every rich person is Paris Hilton. Many of them are hard working people who do way more for this country than they take.

Rebuttal: I don't doubt it. But there are enough people like the Koch brothers with billions and billions who spend their time playing politics and hurting everyone else that the sum result is that the rich get richer and everyone else eats grass.

Argument: Stealing from people because they are successful doesn't make it any less wrong.

Rebuttal: You're still conflating theft with distribution, but you're still wrong. If I'm starving to death and someone is eating bread in front of me I will take some and eat it. I have to for survival. If I am obese and I take bread from someone who is starving that is a clear ethical violation.

Argument: And yes, jacking the tax rate on rich people with the sole purpose to "redistribute" to the poor is theft.

Rebuttal: Yes it is. Here is the definition from Merriam-Webster:

Definition of THEFT

1
a : the act of stealing; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it
b : an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property

Emphasis on felonious and unlawful. If we can't agree on what words mean there is no point in us talking.

Argument: Instead of a gun you have an angry, ignorant to right and wrong, mass of voters who will authorize this shake down and use the IRS and imprisonment or mandatory taking the property as the force to ensure compliance.

Rebuttal: Laws are created for the advancement of the social welfare. I'm sorry you don't like paying taxes. Pretty much everyone has to pay taxes. Governments are created and run because without the use of force to collect payments and run society it wouldn't get done. The reason that no libertarian bastion of no taxes and laisse faire policy doesn't exist is that it is untenable. People are greedy to the point that such a society cannot be run.

2/26/11

OK, so we have a this country where all the people have exactly $100 each, there are a total of 30 people and that $100 is their entire net worth. They don't live great but they all eat fine, they have shelter, etc. All pay 15% in taxes and the government makes do with what it has, it's enough to protect hem.

Perfect world right?

OK, so a month goes by (inflation is 0%), and something miraculous takes place...now 28 of the people still have $100, but 2 of the people now have 4 billion dollars each. Nothing else has changed, everybody still pays 15% in taxes and the ones with $100 still have the exact same quality of life that they did before. The one's with the 4 billion live a better life obviously. Now 99% of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a very small fraction of the people.

This is a terrible world right? The fact that two of the people are rich is inherently harmful to the other 28 people right? So they need to have their wealth redistributed to an amount that "seems" fair, right? Or, are we just dealing with envy here?

2/26/11

How are the "rich" bending laws? Who are these "rich" people.

Do rich people have magical powers to influence the flip or a coin also?

Invest in tampons and tissues boys. Lot of crying pussies in this country.

2/26/11

Rebel, give it up. Rich people are criminals and because they are rich, all crimes committed on them are ok. Rape is only wrong if you make less than 100K a year.

Welcome to socialistic thinking. Steal, kill, whatever you want. The evil rich is holding the people down.

Blah Blah Blah.

Booooooo hoooooooooooo

Meano Rich people

gimmie gimmie, I WANNNNNTTTT what you have

2/26/11
ANT:

Rebel, give it up. Rich people are criminals and because they are rich, all crimes committed on them are ok. Rape is only wrong if you make less than 100K a year.

Welcome to socialistic thinking. Steal, kill, whatever you want. The evil rich is holding the people down.

Blah Blah Blah.

Booooooo hoooooooooooo

Meano Rich people

gimmie gimmie, I WANNNNNTTTT what you have

The sad thing is, I want to say that this is rhetoric on your part...but I fail to see any reasoning coming from the other side that, in the end, simply doesn't boil down to this perverse mindset.

2/27/11
ANT:

Rebel, give it up. Rich people are criminals and because they are rich, all crimes committed on them are ok. Rape is only wrong if you make less than 100K a year.

You're kidding right? "Political sex scandal" has its own category on wikipedia.

Here's a good one too! http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=3977702&page=1

It's still a crime ANT, they just have that much more in resources to get away with it. Just like everything else.

2/26/11

Just by the definition of theft you posted (which is dumb because we're not speaking formally, we're speaking interpretive spoken English), definition A proves my point exactly so...yeah

act of stealing, taking of personal property = yes

2/27/11

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

2/27/11
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

Capital gains stimulates investments. Sorry dude, but Buffet has done more for the world and the poor than the gardener. Also, why not lower all taxes.

Your always free to pay the gardener more. Naaa. Lets just increase taxes on the evil rich mean-o's.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

Typical monkeysama nonsense. So the trustfundian is stealing from the gardener because a third party stole less than what you wanted to be taken from him than they stole from somebody worse off than him? Try again.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

Typical monkeysama nonsense. So the trustfundian is stealing from the gardener because a third party stole less from him than they stole from somebody worse off than him? Try again.

It's not theft, I was saying that if you're assumption on what it means for theft to exist is true then so is mine. If your p then my q. Since I believe not p that would imply I believe not q. However, it is an implicit taking of capital from a standpoint of an equitable society.

Your also using the word "stole" for a taking of property that YOU don't believe in. The definition you gave is a "wrongful" taking. We clearly disagree on what constitutes a wrongful taking so it is unfair of you to assume that I would subscribe to your basis of value.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

Typical monkeysama nonsense. So the trustfundian is stealing from the gardener because a third party stole less from him than they stole from somebody worse off than him? Try again.

It's not theft, I was saying that if you're assumption on what it means for theft to exist is true then so is mine. If your p then my q. Since I believe not p that would imply I believe not q. However, it is an implicit taking of capital from a standpoint of an equitable society.

Your also using the word "stole" for a taking of property that YOU don't believe in. The definition you gave is a "wrongful" taking. We clearly disagree on what constitutes a wrongful taking so it is unfair of you to assume that I would subscribe to your basis of value.

Forget p and q...yes, my example was my definition of a "wrongful" taking (based on philosophy concerning the government's use of coercion which you are very familiar with by now and has been laid out ad nauseum). You can disagree on the wrongful or not (and that comes down to that coercion philosophy.) However, I am pointing out that your example had no taking in it, so forget the wrongful, agent A never took anything from agent B, there was only some agent in common that took from both. There's a reasoning gap there.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:

^^^Ignore this, I missed the felonious, but here is another definition of theft:

noun
1. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another

And it's pretty obvious that that is what is implied here when both parties are using this. Illegal is not inherently assumed by theft, "wrongful taking" was the obvious meaning here.

Fine, then I think it's wrong that the gardener has a lower marginal tax rate than the trustfundian. So that's stealing too then.

Typical monkeysama nonsense. So the trustfundian is stealing from the gardener because a third party stole less from him than they stole from somebody worse off than him? Try again.

It's not theft, I was saying that if you're assumption on what it means for theft to exist is true then so is mine. If your p then my q. Since I believe not p that would imply I believe not q. However, it is an implicit taking of capital from a standpoint of an equitable society.

Your also using the word "stole" for a taking of property that YOU don't believe in. The definition you gave is a "wrongful" taking. We clearly disagree on what constitutes a wrongful taking so it is unfair of you to assume that I would subscribe to your basis of value.

Forget p and q...yes, my example was my definition of a "wrongful" taking (based on philosophy concerning the government's use of coercion which you are very familiar with by now and has been laid out ad nauseum). You can disagree on the wrongful or not (and that comes down to that philosophy.) I am pointing out that your example had no taking in it, so forget the wrongful, agent A never took anything from agent B, there was only some agent in common that took from both. There's a reasoning gap there.

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

2/27/11
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

We have already disagreed on the definition of theft. Go back and read through our conversation.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

We have already disagreed on the definition of theft. Go back and read through our conversation.

Actually we were trying to establish a concept of theft and you provided an example that by no definition could possibly be construed as theft, whether fair or unfair. You then answered this by saying we are at an impasse over what is "fair" and "unfair." Which was irrelevant to what we were talking about at the time. Go back and read through our conversation.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

We have already disagreed on the definition of theft. Go back and read through our conversation.

Actually we were trying to establish a concept of theft and you provided an example that by no definition could possibly be construed as theft, whether fair or unfair. You then answered this by saying we are at an impasse over what is "fair" and "unfair." Which was irrelevant to what we were talking about at the time. Go back and read through our conversation.

False. Your definition of theft is an "wrongful" taking. I think my trustfundian versus gardener example is an wrongful taking. We disagree about what is wrongful. Another word for wrongful and unwrongful is unfair and fair. This is the basic problem of your definition as it allows each person to define theft based upon his own belief rather than legality. Since we disagree based on this fundamental belief there is no way we can convince the other. Therefore we are at an impasse.

2/27/11
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

We have already disagreed on the definition of theft. Go back and read through our conversation.

Actually we were trying to establish a concept of theft and you provided an example that by no definition could possibly be construed as theft, whether fair or unfair. You then answered this by saying we are at an impasse over what is "fair" and "unfair." Which was irrelevant to what we were talking about at the time. Go back and read through our conversation.

False. Your definition of theft is an "unwarranted" taking. I think my trustfundian versus gardener example is an unwarranted taking. We disagree about what is unwarranted. This is the basic problem of your definition as it allows each person to define theft based upon his own belief rather than legality. Since we disagree based on this fundamental belief there is no way we can convince the other. Therefore we are at an impasse.

False. I already broke down the definition of "taking" for you which does not exist in your trustfundian versus gardener example. You can call it "unfair", "unjust" or whatever, but there is no "taking" taking place. So we are not an impasse as the idea of "unwarranted" becomes irrelevant when you cannot even satisfy the more basic idea of "taking." Laid it out very clearly for you above. So again, I say, reread our conversation.

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

Reread what I said about an implicit versus explicit taking. Writing the rules of the game so that your tax burden is less than someone else is a taking, just not explicit.

No it is clearly not taking. Without getting into whether or not they did unfairly rewrite the rules, even assuming they did, that is not the concept of "taking." Taking is the following: "to get into one's hands, possession, control, etc., by force or artifice." What you have just laid out fulfills the second portion of this "by force or artifice" however you have not satisfied the idea that the rich have gotten any property from the poor into their possession through an "unfair" tax burden. The "implicit" gains from this could be defined as many things, wrongful "taking" or "theft" is not one of them.

I disagree with you on the nature of what is unfair. I think the current system that gives all the gains in society to the rich and where 90 percent of people make 30k or less a year is unfair. So it seems we are at an impasse.

We're talking about the concept theft here, not fair or unfair ("unfair" and "theft" are two very different concepts.) Clearly what you have described is not "theft," whether fair or unfair. As to how I feel about the issue you are addressing here, refer to all the rest of my posts on this thread not related to abortion or theft, and any posts that are to follow.

We have already disagreed on the definition of theft. Go back and read through our conversation.

Actually we were trying to establish a concept of theft and you provided an example that by no definition could possibly be construed as theft, whether fair or unfair. You then answered this by saying we are at an impasse over what is "fair" and "unfair." Which was irrelevant to what we were talking about at the time. Go back and read through our conversation.

False. Your definition of theft is an "unwarranted" taking. I think my trustfundian versus gardener example is an unwarranted taking. We disagree about what is unwarranted. This is the basic problem of your definition as it allows each person to define theft based upon his own belief rather than legality. Since we disagree based on this fundamental belief there is no way we can convince the other. Therefore we are at an impasse.

False. I already broke down the definition of "taking" for you which does not exist in your trustfundian versus gardener example. You can call it "unfair", "unjust" or whatever, but there is no "taking" taking place. So we are not an impasse as the idea of "unwarranted" becomes irrelevant when you cannot even satisfy the more basic idea of "taking." Laid it out very clearly for you above. So again, I say, reread our conversation.

I read your definition of taking. To acquire through "force or artifice" . Here;

Definition of ARTIFICE

1
a : clever or artful skill : ingenuity
b : an ingenious device or expedient

I would view the capital gains being taxed at 15 percent while other income is taxed at 35 percent (at the hire levels) a clever or ingenious way for the rich to alter the tax code in order to benefit at the publics' expense. The thing they are getting, which you believe that I have not supported, is the ability to live in this country and pay dis-proportionally less than what they would have had they not used this tax "expedient". I didn't really choose to respond to that argument because it seemed almost tautological - they pay less, have more. What is there really to argue?

2/27/11
monkeysama:

I read your definition of taking. To acquire through "force or artifice" . Here;

Definition of ARTIFICE

1
a : clever or artful skill : ingenuity
b : an ingenious device or expedient

I would view the capital gains being taxed at 15 percent while other income is taxed at 35 percent (at the hire levels) a clever or ingenious way for the rich to alter the tax code in order to benefit at the publics' expense. The thing they are getting, which you believe that I have not supported, is the ability to live in this country and pay dis-proportionally less than what they would have had they not used this tax "expedient". I didn't really choose to respond to that argument because it seemed almost tautological - they pay less, have more. What is there really to argue?

Swing and a miss.

First of all, I don't care about artifice at all, it's irrelevant here, we can agree or disagree on whether or not that took place...irrelevant to the idea of what was gained from the poor by the rich.

As to your definition here of what the wealthy have taken from the poor: classic fallacy on your part (I was expecting nothing more.) In other words, the "thing" or "property" that the rich have gained from the poor through force or artifice is an ability to live in this country in an unfairly comfortable way? Reread that and tell me that that makes logical sense in the English language. So, just to clarify, "an unfairly unburdened life" (or however you want to describe it) was "taken" from the poor by the rich, yes? I rest my case as to whether or not this defines "taking" much less "theft."

2/27/11
rebelcross:
monkeysama:

I read your definition of taking. To acquire through "force or artifice" . Here;

Definition of ARTIFICE

1
a : clever or artful skill : ingenuity
b : an ingenious device or expedient

I would view the capital gains being taxed at 15 percent while other income is taxed at 35 percent (at the hire levels) a clever or ingenious way for the rich to alter the tax code in order to benefit at the publics' expense. The thing they are getting, which you believe that I have not supported, is the ability to live in this country and pay dis-proportionally less than what they would have had they not used this tax "expedient". I didn't really choose to respond to that argument because it seemed almost tautological - they pay less, have more. What is there really to argue?

Swing and a miss.

First of all, I don't care about artifice at all, it's irrelevant here, we can agree or disagree on whether or not that took place...irrelevant to the idea of what was gained from the poor by the rich.

As to your definition here of what the wealthy have taken from the poor: classic fallacy on your part (I was expecting nothing more.) In other words, the "thing" or "property" that the rich have gained from the poor through force or artifice is an ability to live in this country in an unfairly comfortable way? Reread that and tell me that that makes logical sense in the English language. So, just to clarify, "an unfairly unburdened life" (or however you want to describe it) was "taken" from the poor by the rich, yes? I rest my case as to whether or not this defines "taking" much less "theft."

I believe that the burden of taxation should fall on those who have the ability to pay for it. To influence the burden away from a proportional distribution is taking from others, yes. Further, the richer you are, arguably the more you benefit from governmental services. The military protects you more as you have more property at stake - paying more is akin to paying more to insure a mansion than a gazebo. Same with the police. Same with paying to make sure that the free market operates with regulations that protect the market from scandal.

2/27/11

The poor in this country live a fine life as compared to poor elsewhere. If you are starving, yes, take some bread. The poor here are not starving. They are simply jealous.

The poor pay no federal tax. The federal budget goes to wars overseas. The poor do not fund these.

The rich provide the poor with free health care, low priced state universities, food stamps, heating subsidies, reduced cost housing, etc. The rich pay for the roads the poor use, the free public schools the poor use, on and on.

Taxes at a reasonable level are not theft. We all pay into the system and benefit from the collective good.

Then you reach a point when taxes are more than necessary. Where taxes are used to manipulate and benefit people who have not earned it. When taxes become punitive. That is when taxes become theft.

I love how you bring the Koch brothers into things. The unions and poor have the Democrats by the balls. Social Security is a lightning rod because of old people. You make it sound like only rich are represented in this political system. Pretty foolish statement on your part.

Bottom line, this is a victim mentality. Immigrants thrive in the USA. People who have always had our benefits fail. We have a work ethic and culture issue.

My suggestion : Fuck them

Plenty of people from around the world who will take our wonderful country and its benefits and succeed. They will also do more for this country.

Monkey -- When are you starting your 40 hour a week volunteering schedule??

2/27/11
ANT:

Taxes at a reasonable level are not theft. We all pay into the system and benefit from the collective good.

Question for you, just to see how you think. Let's replace taxes with another word and see how you feel.

"Health care payments at a reasonable level are not theft. We all pay into the system and benefit from the collective good."

Health care providers and their parent companies are government protected monopolies that charge more than a free market would probably dictate. So are they stealing?

2/27/11

1) Are we debating tax policy of heathcare?

2)The poor, old, young all have free health care currently

3) I agree that healthcare should be made more affordable. I think this can be achieved through a variety of ways.

I personally have not delved too deep into the subject. IMO, off the cuff, I think insurance companies should be regulated like power utilities. They are in essence, a monopoly. By regulating them as a utility you would cap profits and change the investor profile. Instead of growth and price increase, you would see dividend investors, etc.

Listen, government in a developed nation should provide a safety net for people. We already fucking do this. It blows my mind who the left tries to make it sound like this is the land of the dinosaur where people are being ripped apart and ate. The poor have healthcare, welfare and a myriad list of benefits. Yeah, life sucks. But being poor fucking sucks.

Monkey, please answer me this. You tax the rich as much as you want, ok. What the fuck are you going to do with that money? Simply give it to the poor? Free healthcare? Then what. How are you going to make the poor study, do well in school, show up on time, save their money, have kids when you can afford them, etc?

People do not magically become well off. They do things that help them. You keep bringing up the super rich. I am talking about people who work hard, get a good education and make 100-200-300K per year. You want to punish them or tax them because they dont need that money. These people employ others, invest, spend, pay all the taxes.

2/27/11

Healthcare was simply an example of a sector of the economy that I must participate in, whose prices are artificially inflated through government mandate, and what you might consider theft. I'm just trying to suss out if you believe that theft, what I think you mean by that is a price that is unfair, can exist in the private sector as well as government taxation.

Argument: Monkey, please answer me this. You tax the rich as much as you want, ok. What the fuck are you going to do with that money? Simply give it to the poor? Free healthcare?

Rebuttal: I won't simply give it to the poor (if by poor you mean the 90 percent of us). Health care should be reformed so that there is a national pool of individuals that pay into a pot which private companies can choose to service or not (like companies bid on the radio spectrum). Individuals can choose to be in the national pool or not, and companies will compete to offer the lowest price to pay into the spectrum. If you don't do this, or something similar, then moral hazard and low variable costs lead to monopolization and skyrocketing costs.

Argument: How are you going to make the poor study, do well in school, show up on time, save their money, have kids when you can afford them, etc?

Rebuttal: 90 percent of the population is making 30k or less a year. It's a little tired to imply that it's because we're all lazy welfare single mothers or are somehow just not trying hard enough.

Argument: People do not magically become well off

Rebuttal: You obviously haven't heard of inheritance.

Argument: You want to punish them or tax them because they dont need that money.

Rebuttal: Taxation is not a punishment, it's the necessary evil to maintain society.

2/27/11

Man oh man, if the rich are so smart and powerful, why on earth do they pay most of the taxes and allow half this country to pay nothing?

I still dont get it. The poor pay NOTHING in fed taxes. How can you fucking complain about that?

ZERO
NADA
ZILCH

How are rich people screwing the poor when the poor dont have to pay a dime? Sounds pretty damn generous to me. Rich people pay for the poor so they can have free health care, free K-12, food stamps, section 8, heating subsidies, etc.

2/27/11

If anything, this argument should be about sales tax or state taxes. These are the only taxes poor people pay.

Only in America can you complain about people not paying enough taxes when you dont pay any yourself.

2/27/11
ANT:

If anything, this argument should be about sales tax or state taxes. These are the only taxes poor people pay.

Only in America can you complain about people not paying enough taxes when you dont pay any yourself.

You haven't read any of what I have said about implicit takings or are intentionally ignoring it. Or don't understand it.

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