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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

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.

In reply to freroht
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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).

In reply to monkeysama
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?

In reply to monkeysama
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

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.

In reply to UFOinsider
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

So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

In reply to monkeysama
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

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.

In reply to txjustin
2/25/11

txjustin:
So you're just gonna wallow in your pity?

Leads to a severe case of chronic leftism.

In reply to rebelcross
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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.

In reply to econ
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.

In reply to IlliniProgrammer
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.

In reply to txjustin
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.

In reply to rebelcross
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

In reply to monkeysama
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.)

In reply to econ
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

In reply to UFOinsider
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.

In reply to econ
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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.

In reply to GoodBread
2/26/11

GoodBread:
1 child, 2 child policy? Whatever happened to freedom and capitalism? You guys are assuming that every child born to parents who make under 30k will end up being a welfare recipient. No. These guys will be the farmers, construction workers, burger flippers, nurses, school teachers, policemen, firemen, secretaries, and for a lucky few bankers of our future. If we restrict demographic growth now, the US will be forcing a dwindling amount of workers to pay for millions of baby boomers' Medicare and shriveling tax receipts. Good luck pushing IPOs and mergers when your markets are inexorably shrinking (you guys do realize people making under 30k buy Ipods and use Facebook too, right?).

The American middle class isn't being destroyed by welfare recipients and Obama. It is now on the losing end of global imbalances correcting themselves as wage differentials between developed nations and the BRICs are being compressed and we ever so slowly creep back into being competitive in the industrial field. The people getting hit are the workers taking pay cuts and giving up benefits to keep their jobs. The winners are the top 1% dispensing advice and providing capital for the intervening restructuring process.

Good post.

In reply to econ
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.

In reply to prinmemo
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.

In reply to prinmemo
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.

In reply to econ
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

And who are these "oppressors" you speak of?

In reply to txjustin
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?

In reply to txjustin
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.

In reply to txjustin
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
In reply to monkeysama
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.

In reply to prinmemo
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.

In reply to econ
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.

In reply to econ
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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

In reply to prinmemo
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.

In reply to monkeysama
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.

In reply to econ
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

In reply to econ
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.

2/26/11

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.

In reply to TNA
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.

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