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4/10/12

Occupy Wall Street is back, and they're ON Wall Street. It's really just old at this point, and they're accomplishing nothing. I flat out told them to get the f*** out before they get hurt and that they were lucky the police were there.

Seriously, getting harrassed on the way to work sucks. Protesters: GET OUT, NO ONE CARES

Comments (226)

4/10/12

OWS is a joke. It's a social gathering now, not a protest. More than half of the people don't have any views on anything, or even know what they're protesting. It's a pure joke.

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4/10/12

I've gone from agreeing with some of their intellectual points to just despising them on a person to person level.

Get busy living

4/10/12
vdubben:

OWS is a joke. It's a social gathering now, not a protest. More than half of the people don't have any views on anything, or even know what they're protesting. It's a pure joke.

4/10/12

Don't nuke our imagination bra!

But more on point, ya they're tools most of whom don't really belong there, and then there are criminals, but like I told my roommate when he wanted to swing at a guy in Boston, "Just think about what they are doing, and look at what you are doing, and see who's going to be leave a more meaningful imprint in the future."

4/10/12
tiger90:

Don't nuke our imagination bra!

But more on point, ya they're tools most of whom don't really belong there, and then there are criminals, but like I told my roommate when he wanted to swing at a guy in Boston, "Just think about what they are doing, and look at what you are doing, and see who's going to be leave a more meaningful imprint in the future."

Fully agree.

4/10/12

Occupy Boston came back as well, setting up outside the State House (at least). Last night, no fewer than 5 state cruisers were positioned blocking off the sidewalk and had kicked out all of these bums. Glad the patience for this crap has worn thin...

4/10/12

They think they're people.

4/11/12
DangerZone:

They think they're people.

Woodhouse isn't people.

4/11/12
futurectdoc:
DangerZone:

They think they're people.

Woodhouse isn't people.

SOYLENT GREEN IS OWS PEOPLE!!!!!

4/12/12
swagon:
futurectdoc:
DangerZone:

They think they're people.

Woodhouse isn't people.

SOYLENT GREEN IS OWS PEOPLE!!!!!

Because Brawndo's got electrolytes

Get busy living

4/10/12

Well we are getting to summer. I imagine that probably has a big role in them coming back. It's a lot easier to convince people to stand outside when it's not freezing.

4/10/12

Sorry to hear about people harassing you on your way to work.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/10/12
sxh6321:

Sorry to hear about people harassing you on your way to work.

LOL I was tired and grumpy this morning. If the hot girls want to protest in their bikinis, ok, I'm all for it, but otherwise just leave us alone. We work for the 1%, go pester them in CT/DC

Get busy living

4/10/12

They're right. There are a lot of sociopaths in this business and they cause a lot of problems. I just wish they could attack this with a scalpel rather than a chainsaw.

4/10/12

Hopefully Bloomberg will grow a damn nut sack SOON
and kick these pieces of human excrement out of NYC!

4/10/12

^^^ The protesters or the sociopaths in our industry? I say let's shut wall street down and impose a 100% tax on income over $500K for a few years. The country will be a better place for it when we're done. Capitalism has cancer, and we need chemotherapy.

It's really no skin off my nose. Given that I produce something, I'll land a job somewhere else, and money is not the most important thing in life.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

^^^ The protesters or the sociopaths in our industry? I say let's shut wall street down and impose a 100% tax on income over $500K for a few years. The country will be a better place for it when we're done. Capitalism has cancer, and we need chemotherapy.

It's really no skin off my nose. Given that I produce something, I'll land a job somewhere else, and money is not the most important thing in life.

Is that a serious viewpoint? Where's that money going to go? Will it be absorbed by the ever expanding Obama government or redistributed to the poor/middle class? If it's redistributed, what kind of incentive does that give people to succeed in this world? Yeesh, wealth has become taboo in the U.S.

4/14/12
IlliniProgrammer:

^^^ The protesters or the sociopaths in our industry? I say let's shut wall street down and impose a 100% tax on income over $500K for a few years. The country will be a better place for it when we're done. Capitalism has cancer, and we need chemotherapy.

It's really no skin off my nose. Given that I produce something, I'll land a job somewhere else, and money is not the most important thing in life.

This is a perfect example of a fascist liberal Democrat mindset. "Well, I'd be cool with things that way--it would have no impact on my life, so why don't we steal the liberty of others to fit the world into my way of thinking?"

I can't believe this guy was voted Wall Streat Oasis poster of the year in 2011.

4/10/12

We could mandate that all income earned over $500K must be given to a charity of the taxpayer's choice. Otherwise, it goes to the feds to pay down the debt.

I don't mind. Money is not that important. If money is the most important thing in your life, three years of seeing every extra dollar you make beyond a certain point go to charity will change that.

I guess wealth has become taboo in the US. The coolest part is that we have the world's biggest military- we just killed Bin Ladin last year- and we claim global jurisdiction over earnings as well as charge an expatriation tax. So for a US citizen, we can easily make wealth taboo everywhere.

We had 90% marginal tax rates during the red scare. Capping incomes does not make us socialist.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

We could mandate that all income earned over $500K must be given to a charity of the taxpayer's choice.

This is fucking retarded. Please tell me where that extra money would come from as there is no incentive to earn it.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

We could mandate that all income earned over $500K must be given to a charity of the taxpayer's choice. Otherwise, it goes to the feds to pay down the debt.

I don't mind. Money is not that important. If money is the most important thing in your life, three years of seeing every extra dollar you make beyond a certain point go to charity will change that.

I guess wealth has become taboo in the US. The coolest part is that we have the world's biggest military- we just killed Bin Ladin last year- and we claim global jurisdiction over earnings as well as charge an expatriation tax. So for a US citizen, we can easily make wealth taboo everywhere.

We had 90% marginal tax rates during the red scare. Capping incomes does not make us socialist.

I wholeheartedly agree that major reforms are needed, I'm just a guy with a job and don't need to be caught up in everyone else's pathological need for attention or crusade to 'change the world', I do right by everyone and just want to live my life. As for your newfound openness to new ideas: it will pass and then you'll see things from a more balanced perspective. In the meantime, drink deep from the cup of socialism, you'll need it to get by in school....especially that one!

Get busy living

4/10/12

^^^ Bingo. So everyone would work a little less and spend more time with their families and friends. There's incentive to work, but no incentive to kill ourselves for money. The country needs to refocus on life's biggest priorities for two or three years, and money has supplanted them. Afterwards, people who really value money more than everything else can go back to making more of it, but at least they've had an opportunity to take a break and see what's important in life.

If you happen to earn more than $500K, you can give it to a private domestic charity of your choice. I don't really see why anyone *NEEDS* more than $100K/year for a family of four to live on, anyways.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

^^^ Bingo. So everyone would work a little less and spend more time with their families and friends. There's incentive to work, but no incentive to kill ourselves for money. The country needs to refocus on life's biggest priorities for two or three years, and money has supplanted them. Afterwards, people who really value money more than everything else can go back to making more of it, but at least they've had an opportunity to take a break and see what's important in life.

If you happen to earn more than $500K, you can give it to a private domestic charity of your choice. I don't really see why anyone *NEEDS* more than $100K/year for a family of four to live on, anyways.

Look, I understand your point but I see a couple of problems. First it isn't your right or mine or the government's or anyone else's right to decide how hard someone works and how much money they make.

Second, $100k/year is nowhere close enough to enough for a family of 4 that actually wants to live well. If you have 2 kids in private colleges you are paying that much in education expense alone. Then you have to buy cars, house, food, etc. Not to mention, you know, retirement savings.

100k after taxes, lets say 75k. Cheap mortgage of $1000/month, that's 12k a year. You now have $63,000 to spread over the insurance, food, clothing, education, etc. costs of 4 people for a year. Add in car expenses and everything else, you would be lucky to be saving anything for retirement.

This isn't 1950 where you can work on an assembly line at GM and support a family of 10 with that.

There were 9 kids in my dad's family and my grandpa put all of them through private kindergarten through college on a salary that would be about 150k in today's terms. Now my dad makes 300k, has 2 kids in private colleges and is trying to figure out how he is going to pay for a new car. Life is just more expensive now.

And don't give me any shit about expensive private colleges because that's where most of us go anyways and are the places where you are most likely to launch a good career.

4/10/12

Bear in mind that IP is saying all this after he's made a significant amount of money, leveraged his success into one of the top grad school programs on earth, and is in a position to live comfortably for the remainder of his life. Its alot easier to advocate astronomical tax rates and such when you have gotten what you want out of it already.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/10/12
happypantsmcgee:

Bear in mind that IP is saying all this after he's made a significant amount of money, leveraged his success into one of the top grad school programs on earth, and is in a position to live comfortably for the remainder of his life. Its alot easier to advocate astronomical tax rates and such when you have gotten what you want out of it already.

No, happy, it's easy to argue this when you know you can be content living on $60K/year; $100K/year with a family. I don't think I've saved up as much as you think and I wouldn't know what to do if someone gave me $500K/year and told me to spend all of it.

I wholeheartedly agree that major reforms are needed, I'm just a guy with a job and don't need to be caught up in everyone else's pathological need for attention or crusade to 'change the world', I do right by everyone and just want to live my life. As for your newfound openness to new ideas: it will pass and then you'll see things from a more balanced perspective. In the meantime, drink deep from the cup of socialism, you'll need it to get by in school....especially that one!

I don't think McCarthy was a socialist and his party was the one that supported 90% marginal tax rates on the rich during the '50s. Socialism is an economic system where the government takes care of people. Mandating that incomes beyond a certain point be given to private charity is actually extremely unsocialist.

Money is not really the priority in life, and the fewer opportunities people have to engage in conspicuous consumption, the happier we will be as a country. It's not so much taking care of the poor as it is forcing ourselves to have healthier priorities and getting folks to focus on making the world a better place rather than focusing on an unhealthy obsession. If the law can help cure a bunch of successful folks' OCD- and if the government has the genuine legal authority to do so (it does, and it has used that authority to this extent in the past), why not do it for a short time? Only the sociopaths are going to wind up truly getting hurt by it, and it's not like they're completely innocent.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

I don't think McCarthy was a socialist and his party was the one that supported 90% marginal tax rates on the rich during the '50s. Socialism is an economic system where the government takes care of people.
...
Mandating that incomes beyond a certain point be given to private charity is actually extremely unsocialist.

Debating what socialism is and who was/wasn't a socialist will make you lots of friends in academia. True story

Get busy living

4/10/12

IP: "No, happy, it's easy to argue this when you know you can be content living on $60K/year; $100K/year with a family. I don't think I've saved up as much as you think and I wouldn't know what to do if someone gave me $500K/year and told me to spend all of it."

Who the hell are you, or the government, to tell me what makes ME happy? I need lots of dough to finance all this swag yo.

Btw, is quoting not working for anyone else?

4/10/12
swagon:

Who the hell are you, or the government, to tell me what makes ME happy? I need lots of dough to finance all this swag yo.

Hilarious. Dudes, don't ruin this post with a social policy rant, please. oops, too late.

swagon:

Btw, is quoting not working for anyone else?

[/quote]
no dude, it's just you.

Get busy living

4/10/12
UFOinsider:
swagon:

Who the hell are you, or the government, to tell me what makes ME happy? I need lots of dough to finance all this swag yo.

Hilarious. Dudes, don't ruin this post with a social policy rant, please. oops, too late.

swagon:

Btw, is quoting not working for anyone else?

no dude, it's just you.[/quote]
Social policy rant? I asked a 15-word rhetorical question. Stop the straw man labeling.

4/10/12
swagon:
UFOinsider:
swagon:

Who the hell are you, or the government, to tell me what makes ME happy? I need lots of dough to finance all this swag yo.

Hilarious. Dudes, don't ruin this post with a social policy rant, please. oops, too late.

swagon:

Btw, is quoting not working for anyone else?

no dude, it's just you.

Social policy rant? I asked a 15-word rhetorical question. Stop the straw man labeling.[/quote]
^ STRAW MAN?

Get busy living

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:

No, happy, it's easy to argue this when you know you can be content living on $60K/year; $100K/year with a family. I don't think I've saved up as much as you think and I wouldn't know what to do if someone gave me $500K/year and told me to spend all of it.

Hello brah,
And I think, being the Almighty Zafrynex, that you could be well with 30 000$, and so I'm deciding that you should be taxed at 100% for everything above 30 000$.

See what I did here ?

Stop pulling numbers out of your ass of what is supposed to be "good enought".

4/12/12
Zafrynex:

Hello brah,
And I think, being the Almighty Zafrynex, that you could be well with 30 000$, and so I'm deciding that you should be taxed at 100% for everything above 30 000$.

See what I did here ?

Stop pulling numbers out of your ass of what is supposed to be "good enought".

I'm happy living on that too. Money is not the fun part of life. The reason I do finance is to play the game, and I'm happy to live on $30K/year for two years if everybody else is doing it and it makes the country a better place.

Sheesh, guys, it's just money.

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:

I'm happy living on that too. Money is not the fun part of life. The reason I do finance is to play the game, and I'm happy to live on $30K/year for two years if everybody else is doing it and it makes the country a better place.

Sheesh, guys, it's just money.

Pay me your extra cash buddy. I have real needs for "models and bottles".

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/10/12
happypantsmcgee:

Bear in mind that IP is saying all this after he's made a significant amount of money, leveraged his success into one of the top grad school programs on earth, and is in a position to live comfortably for the remainder of his life. Its alot easier to advocate astronomical tax rates and such when you have gotten what you want out of it already.

4/10/12

Nobody is arguing astronomical tax rates at $200K/year. I am just advocating astronomical tax rates at $500K/year. Life is a lot more fun where success motivates us to have a good work ethic but does not become the overriding factor in our lives. We would all be a lot happier if we did not need to sacrifice the stuff we shouldn't need to sacrifice to keep up with the Joneses, and if other peoples' success meant our success, too.

Capping incomes at $500K for two years wouldn't cause the economy to grind to a halt. Capping incomes at $0 for five years would.

Oh well, back to my rusty honda.

4/10/12

Look, I understand your point but I see a couple of problems. First it isn't your right or mine or the government's or anyone else's right to decide how hard someone works and how much money they make.

If they're doing it to buy a Ferrari because they think we'll be impressed by it or care about it, it is our business, and they need our help. They just don't know it yet. Regardless, your parents wouldn't be affected.

Who would be affected? The kid trying to decide whether he wants to work for a hedge fund or Allstate. Capping incomes will send that kid to the insurance company where he can do something that most people would argue is more productive for the economy.

100k after taxes, lets say 75k. Cheap mortgage of $1000/month, that's 12k a year. You now have $63,000 to spread over the insurance, food, clothing, education, etc. costs of 4 people for a year. Add in car expenses and everything else, you would be lucky to be saving anything for retirement.

Wife works part time, you're saving 20% of your income. You're right, this isn't 1950.

And don't give me any shit about expensive private colleges because that's where most of us go anyways and are the places where you are most likely to launch a good career.

You can do just as well in-state. UConn, SUNY, and Rutgers are excellent schools, and the factory line model of 200 students per classroom is a lot more efficient, too.

4/15/12
IlliniProgrammer:

Look, I understand your point but I see a couple of problems. First it isn't your right or mine or the government's or anyone else's right to decide how hard someone works and how much money they make.

If they're doing it to buy a Ferrari because they think we'll be impressed by it or care about it, it is our business, and they need our help. They just don't know it yet. Regardless, your parents wouldn't be affected.

Who would be affected? The kid trying to decide whether he wants to work for a hedge fund or Allstate. Capping incomes will send that kid to the insurance company where he can do something that most people would argue is more productive for the economy.

100k after taxes, lets say 75k. Cheap mortgage of $1000/month, that's 12k a year. You now have $63,000 to spread over the insurance, food, clothing, education, etc. costs of 4 people for a year. Add in car expenses and everything else, you would be lucky to be saving anything for retirement.

Wife works part time, you're saving 20% of your income. You're right, this isn't 1950.

And don't give me any shit about expensive private colleges because that's where most of us go anyways and are the places where you are most likely to launch a good career.

You can do just as well in-state. UConn, SUNY, and Rutgers are excellent schools, and the factory line model of 200 students per classroom is a lot more efficient, too.

Illini, You are naive! You'd rather see a kid go work for Allstate where he's selling overpriced life policies to the unsuspecting buyer. How stimulating! I'd rather be at some macro hedge fund any day analyzing global events, markets than dealing with some shitty policy on commission.

4/10/12

When what makes you happy happens to bring sociopathy into society, the government has the authority to help make the country healthier for everyone else. Deontologically, the people who wind up getting hurt most by capping incomes are the sociopaths of the world, and this is very mild punishment for them.

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

When what makes you happy happens to bring sociopathy into society, the government has the authority to help make the country healthier for everyone else. Deontologically, the people who wind up getting hurt most by capping incomes are the sociopaths of the world, and this is very mild punishment for them.

Canna getaa AHMENNNN from da gongegation!

Get busy living

4/10/12
IlliniProgrammer:

When what makes you happy happens to bring sociopathy into society, the government has the authority to help make the country healthier for everyone else. Deontologically, the people who wind up getting hurt most by capping incomes are the sociopaths of the world, and this is very mild punishment for them.

me wanting to join a startup brings sociopathy to society? Interesting.

Now, to address the broader implications of your statement:

So wanting to succeed brings sociopathy to society? In most cases that's not true. Buffet, Jack Welch, Gates, Zberg...these created people wealth/products that make our lives better.

As for some bankers, many are sociopaths. But they're not making society sociopathic. Their sociopathy is not bleeding into the rest of society turning people into Patrick Batemans. If anything, the opposite is true - the libertarian and OWS movements have sprung up in opposition to bankers and corporatism, and those movements have actually had serious influence, as opposed to bankers who have less and less influence, and are now the scorn of society.

Anyways, who is the goverment to tell people they should not be sociopaths? If I want to be psycho, let me be psycho. Now, if I go off on a murder spree like Patrick Bateman, or break the law somehow, arrest me...but you can't just make it illegal to be an asshole, which is essentially what sociopaths are, and arrest/fine/punish me for social behavior.

Now, bankers DO cause destruction outside of themselves, but it's not a social issue, it's financial/economic one. Obviously they played a role in fueling the housing bubble. But what facilitates, and even enhances, banks' ability to cause financial destruction? The federal reserve, the goverment's collusion with the banking system, Congress, Barney Frank, GSEs....and you should know this as a libertarian-leaning person (though these recent posts make me question your libertarianism). Banks could never cause such destruction if capital markets were truly free.

4/10/12

Shit, you're right, something's wrong with the quoting...

Get busy living

4/10/12
UFOinsider:

Shit, you're right, something's wrong with the quoting...

Yeah, so why don't you stop with the condescension?

Also, stop making false labels e.g. calling a shot rhetorical question a "social policy rant" then proceeding to make rebuttals which take the form of two word all caps yelling to make the other person's ideas sound stupid eg "STRAW MAN?"

This is akin to the left skipping out on the analytical aspect of a rebuttal, instead opting for painting their opponent as loony.

4/10/12
swagon:
UFOinsider:

Shit, you're right, something's wrong with the quoting...

Yeah, so why don't you stop with the condescension?

That's how I roll, brother

Just playin'

I meant that for everyone on the thread and wasn't trying to single you out. Easy there, killer

Get busy living

4/10/12
UFOinsider:
swagon:
UFOinsider:

Shit, you're right, something's wrong with the quoting...

Yeah, so why don't you stop with the condescension?

That's how I roll, brother

Just playin'

I meant that for everyone on the thread and wasn't trying to single you out. Easy there, killer

NO DUDE THIS IS THE INTERNET WHERE SHIT GETZ REAL

Seriously, it's all good man. No worries.

4/10/12

"If they're doing it to buy a Ferrari because they think we'll be impressed by it or care about it, it is our business, and they need our help."

What about a car enthusiast like myself? Someone who wants to fufill their childhood/teenage dream? Same thing can be said about many consumer goods.

"UConn, SUNY, and Rutgers are excellent schools"

If you want to work for Burger King corporate, sure. I know you have been very successful IP, but you are the outlier, and we all know chances improve dramatically when you go to a better school.

4/10/12
FusRoDah:

If you want to work for Burger King corporate, sure.

I think this mentality right here is part of the reason we need to cap incomes. I think money makes it tougher to judge people by their values rather than their success. If we were to take a break from money for a couple years, we'd be healthier as a society. We're not doing this to help poor people; we're doing this to help the rich and upper-middle-class.

4/10/12

Or we could just bring back the simple and sensible financial regulation that we had up until 1999 / 2000 that worked really well all around. But, because our politicians are essentially bought and paid for, we won't get that. So, instead, people are taking to the streets.

Look, like it or not, people are angry and are only going to get angrier until actual, workable solutions are put in place. Considering we had financial regulations in place for ~80 years that worked, bring them back and it'll go a long way to fixing things.

4/10/12
TheKing:

Or we could just bring back the simple and sensible financial regulation that we had up until 1999 / 2000 that worked really well all around. But, because our politicians are essentially bought and paid for, we won't get that. So, instead, people are taking to the streets.

Look, like it or not, people are angry and are only going to get angrier until actual, workable solutions are put in place. Considering we had financial regulations in place for ~80 years that worked, bring them back and it'll go a long way to fixing things.

You're right, they will get angrier, and eventually something will need to be done, but the wrong things will be done. Government will only get bigger, and we will go more and more into debt. Lowering corp. taxes would allow more production in America, and more employment would occur.

Although I'm pretty sure some people at OWS are content with collecting their welfare checks, and just going to protest for the hell of it.

4/10/12

So wanting to succeed brings sociopathy to society? In most cases that's not true. Buffet, Jack Welch, Gates, Zucckerberg...these people wealth/products that make our lives better.

But here's the thing. The people who aren't sociopaths don't CARE as much about money. As long as we have enough to put food on the table, take care of our needs, and enjoy *some* (not all) of our wants, we're pretty darned happy. And if we have to sacrifice some of our wants to make society as a whole better for a while, we don't feel so bad about it. The only people who get *seriously* hurt by all of this are the sociopaths- who care more about their own WANTS more than society's HEALTH. But since we're not sociopaths, we have the ability to look beyond all of that and feel good about it.

You can still succeed, and nobody is forcing you to give the money you earn to the government. You can give it to whichever cause you think makes the country a better place to live. After all, it's not like we get to take our wealth with us anyways. Capping incomes for a couple years is going to help us get some perspective and learn what's really important in life.

I think the way to renormalize GINIs isn't to talk about the needs of the poor and middle-class, but to talk about the needs of the rich and the upper middle class and how we need to spend a few years getting off the hedonic treadmill, and to have a free-market capitalist solution to the country's problems. Rather than "The Strike", let's call it "The Vacation" and take a break from striving for million dollar paydays for a few years. It's a well-needed, well-deserved break after decades and decades of striving for more.

4/10/12

But that will never happen.

4/10/12

It's inevitable. GINIs have swung too high and are going to swing back. The problem was that in the '30s, it was all about class warfare. I just want it to be more constructive this time. If it's about a "vacation for the rich" and the upper-middle-class reevaluating its priorities in life, the renormalization of opportunities becomes an opportunity for personal development rather than an economic threat.

4/10/12

How would this hurt sociopaths? What is the proportion of sociopaths in finance relative to the rest of the country? How do you measure the societal harm inflicted by sociopaths? How do you measure the societal good done by sociopaths? How much societal good has been done by regular people trying to make a lot of money? Where do you draw the line between a sociopath and the average person who just likes money?

You seem to be simplifying this down to "sociopaths like money. sociopaths fuck people over in their quest to get rich. society suffers". I'm saying these are tenuous assertions. If you want to advocate something as radical as a massive intervention into the current system you'd better have some goddamn convincing evidence that what you're doing is going to accomplish something positive. I have SERIOUS doubts as to the utility of your suggestion, even ignoring the obvious violations of individual property rights that it entails.

4/10/12

Agree with above: I came to finance because I never wanted to be poor again. I've been laid off, had my job outsourced, company closed, etc... and my way of thinking is that if I develop a specialty I'd always have an income. If I get rich...hey, cool...but I just want to live well. Even my MD tells me to keep life in perspective and not to get too caught up in making money, as it cost them their marriage and they wouldn't go back and do it again like that.

For most people here, this really is just a job. Some people are nuts, others just want to make a good living, and it's totally possible to do it honorably no matter WHAT the idiots on the fringes may say. OWS doesn't get that because they're nuts.

Get busy living

4/10/12
UFOinsider:

Agree with above: I came to finance because I never wanted to be poor again. I've been laid off, had my job outsourced, company closed, etc... and my way of thinking is that if I develop a specialty I'd always have an income. If I get rich...hey, cool...but I just want to live well. Even my MD tells me to keep life in perspective and not to get too caught up in making money, as it cost them their marriage and they wouldn't go back and do it again like that.

For most people here, this really is just a job. Some people are nuts, others just want to make a good living, and it's totally possible to do it honorably no matter WHAT the idiots on the fringes may say. OWS doesn't get that because they're nuts.

bro u gotta think bigger if u wanna get presteej

4/10/12

How would this hurt sociopaths? What is the proportion of sociopaths in finance relative to the rest of the country? How do you measure the societal harm inflicted by sociopaths? How do you measure the societal good done by sociopaths? How much societal good has been done by regular people trying to make a lot of money? Where do you draw the line between a sociopath and the average person who just likes money?

Sociopaths don't feel good when they give money away. The rest of us derive some utility from that. Maybe it doesn't feel as much as spending on ourselves, but generally, we feel good when we give our surplus towards making the rest of the country better. It sure as heck feels a lot better to write a check for $500K to the Salvation Army than to give $500K to the federal government.

You seem to be simplifying this down to "sociopaths like money. sociopaths fuck people over in their quest to get rich. society suffers". I'm saying these are tenuous assertions. If you want to advocate something as radical as a massive intervention into the current system you'd better have some goddamn convincing evidence that what you're doing is going to accomplish something positive.

The only certain assertion is that which goes up, and cannot keep going up forever, must one day go down. GINIs have to come down by hook or by crook, and we can make the world a better place and do something constructive with the decline in GINIs by requiring people give to charity rather than taxing them at 90%.

It's an inevitable part of the 70-year economic cycle. The rich fought it in the 1930s and became "victims of class warfare" rather than people who rediscovered what really makes them happy and satisfied. Beyond a certain point, material possessions don't make people happy.

4/10/12

Pay-caps...Central Planning in the US would lead to a huge brain drain, you would have people either hiding money of unprecedented value and methods, or the people making >$500k a year are going to take themselves and their companies to other countries. Once they do that they are going to bring talented people with them who want to some day make 500k a year. Plus politicians don't like to back-peddle on these types of things, and most "temporary" laws become long term and permanent ones, especially ones that single out individual groups to appease a larger spectrum of people who are indifferent to those people.

If people want to devote their lives to making money I don't see why they can't/shouldn't because they may be antisocial or "sociopaths". I don't like the Kardashians, or Jersey Shore, but I'm not going to slam them in prison because they are distorting the minds of impressionable youth. It's not very fair to pick and choose special interests that don't serve your ideals and tell them that they need to act in a way that fits with your beliefs.

I'm not saying that you have to be, like, or work for people who make that kind of money, who have those kinds of ideals, but you have to respect them and their rights to do that. If what you are talking about is fraud then propose better methods of pursuing and prosecuting it. If you think there is too much risk inside the banks, break them down into smaller pieces. But I don't think that someone who devoted their life to these goals should have to give it all up for people who dislike them and their ideals.

4/11/12
tiger90:

Pay-caps...Central Planning in the US would lead to a huge brain drain, you would have people either hiding money of unprecedented value and methods, or the people making >$500k a year are going to take themselves and their companies to other countries. Once they do that they are going to bring talented people with them who want to some day make 500k a year. Plus politicians don't like to back-peddle on these types of things, and most "temporary" laws become long term and permanent ones, especially ones that single out individual groups to appease a larger spectrum of people who are indifferent to those people.

See, that's the beauty of it. The US claims global jurisdiction over incomes on all citizens, wherever they are, from whatever source they derive it. You can expatriate if you want, but we still have the authority to tax you, and it's not exactly like the US is a completely irrelevant country economically, diplomatically, militarily, and agriculturally.

Or, it's just two years where you can focus on something besides money. It's such a short time, you'll probably forget all about it by the time everything is over. Honestly, of all the crazy ideas, to think people would seriously consider expatriating and running from the law over two short years of charitable giving. No, I'm pretty sure everyone will stay.

If people want to devote their lives to making money I don't see why they can't/shouldn't because they may be antisocial or "sociopaths". I don't like the Kardashians, or Jersey Shore, but I'm not going to slam them in prison because they are distorting the minds of impressionable youth. It's not very fair to pick and choose special interests that don't serve your ideals and tell them that they need to act in a way that fits with your beliefs.

There's nothing wrong with making money, but it's good for everyone to spend a year or two remembering what the important things in life are.

I'm not saying that you have to be, like, or work for people who make that kind of money, who have those kinds of ideals, but you have to respect them and their rights to do that. If what you are talking about is fraud then propose better methods of pursuing and prosecuting it. If you think there is too much risk inside the banks, break them down into smaller pieces. But I don't think that someone who devoted their life to these goals should have to give it all up for people who dislike them and their ideals.

Of course. And you have to respect the government's authority to tax you.

I don't think anyone's saying capitalism doesn't work. I just think a majority of the country- and a majority of the folks earning six figures- not seven- would be a lot happier if the country as a whole took a two year vacation from ambition.

4/10/12

So wait, only people in finance are sociopaths? For some reason I feel like this is not dependent on income. Some of the largest frauds committed were people running companies or wealth managers, not bankers.

I don't think anyone has a right to limit someones earnings or income based on personal opinion. Do that and people will simply go elsewhere to work. The country will be worse off, not better.

4/11/12
TNA:

I don't think anyone has a right to limit someones earnings or income based on personal opinion. Do that and people will simply go elsewhere to work. The country will be worse off, not better.

I'm not necessarily saying we should do it. But I have run the thought experiment here- and I've certainly taken expatriation into account- and I'm saying that we *could* do it for a couple years *if the country wanted to*. Nobody is going to expatriate over two or three years- especially if it's not the government taking their money but a private charity of their choice- and even if they tried to, between our diplomatic strength and our control of the world's food supply, they wouldn't make it very far.

The fact is that the 99% have us cornered if they want. And eventually the government will be forcing GINIs back down. Wouldn't it be better to do it on our terms? We can take a vacation from economic ambition and set our sights on the things that really matter in life. But if we don't do it at some point, it will be forced on us. And it's not like we'll be running from Zimbabwe or Cuba.

In order to expatriate without the feds' blessing, a tax haven has to take you. Only problem is that unless that tax haven is higher-tax Russia, Australia, or Argentina, that tax haven probably imports food from the US, since we literally produce half the world's food exports. So unless you are expatriating into a starving country where the rule of law does not necessarily exist and your assets may be forfeited, we can still tax you. No country would be that foolish to take lots of disgruntled taxpayers, and nobody is going to try to leave their friends and family over two years worth of taxes.

It's just so beautiful. The true sociopaths are left obsessing about how they're going to leave- dealing with the fact that they can't- and eventually taking themselves out of the gene pool- and the rest of us are focusing on what really matters in life.

These protests are going to keep getting bigger until GINIs normalize. We have civil unrest when GINIs get too high; we have economic malaise when they get too low. Rather than facing a remake of the French Revolution or the class warfare of the '30s, let's let go of our economic obsession on better, more constructive terms. After all, it's only money.

4/11/12
IlliniProgrammer:
TNA:

I don't think anyone has a right to limit someones earnings or income based on personal opinion. Do that and people will simply go elsewhere to work. The country will be worse off, not better.

This is the wonderful thing, ANT. We control the world's food supply. The constitution already gives us a global claim on our citizens' incomes as well as the authority to charge up to ten years of income taxes after expatriation. So you can leave if you want, but you're still paying the taxes. Unless of course you decide to give the money to charity, which really isn't so horrible.

But seriously, who would be silly enough leave the country over two short years of charitable giving? Is it really the end of the world for us to spend more time and energy focusing on our families and friends rather than revenue generation?

I'm not necessarily saying we should do it. But I have run the thought experiment here- and I've certainly taken expatriation into account- and I'm saying that we *could* do it for a couple years *if the country wanted to*. Nobody is going to expatriate over two or three years- especially if it's not the government taking their money but a private charity of their choice- and even if they tried to, between our diplomatic strength and our control of the world's food supply, they wouldn't make it very far.

The fact is that the 99% have us cornered if they want. And eventually the government will be forcing GINIs back down. Wouldn't it be better to do it on our terms? We can take a vacation from economic ambition and set our sights on the things that really matter in life. But if we don't do it at some point, it will be forced on us. And it's not like we'll be running from Zimbabwe or Cuba.

That's why I'mma ca$h out into gold, fake my own death, and move to the Caribbean, ballin!

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4/10/12

Its also a joke, assuming you could ever get a nominal limit on income through congress, that the number should be the same regardless of location. Family of 4 in NYC or San Fran on 500k != single person in an apartment in Charlotte.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/10/12

Yeah, also you can kiss NYC's economy down the drain.

Bring back Glass Steagal, stop bailing out banks, fix the tax structure and reduce corporate taxes. There are plenty of companies outsourcing labor and operations that are only marginally profitable and would happily bring jobs back if things were just a little cheaper. Wages and costs are rising in China and all it would take is fixing the corp tax structure to bring some of them home.

Besides, corporations don't pay taxes, they just college them for the government.

4/10/12
TNA:

Yeah, also you can kiss NYC's economy down the drain.

Bring back Glass Steagal, stop bailing out banks, fix the tax structure and reduce corporate taxes. There are plenty of companies outsourcing labor and operations that are only marginally profitable and would happily bring jobs back if things were just a little cheaper. Wages and costs are rising in China and all it would take is fixing the corp tax structure to bring some of them home.

Besides, corporations don't pay taxes, they just college them for the government.

This.

4/10/12

IP you need me to get you a padded cell bro?

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/11/12

That's why I'mma ca$h out into gold, fake my own death, and move to the Caribbean, ballin!

That's what Bin Laden thought, too.

Just kidding. Sort of. :evilgrin:

But seriously, I've heard the expatriation argument used like the US is the size of Leichtenstein or something rather than the country that accounts for 50% of the world's military aid and 50% of the world's grain exports. It's really not that simple, and at the end of the day, I don't think too many people will shove their thumb in the federal government's eye if the country as a whole chooses to do this. Seriously folks, it's only money. It's not like we're talking about the important things in life.

4/11/12
IlliniProgrammer:

That's why I'mma ca$h out into gold, fake my own death, and move to the Caribbean, ballin!

That's what Bin Laden thought, too.

Just kidding. Sort of. :evilgrin:

But seriously, I've heard the expatriation argument used like the US is the size of Leichtenstein or something rather than the country that accounts for 50% of the world's military aid and 50% of the world's grain exports. It's really not that simple, and at the end of the day, I don't think too many people will shove their thumb in the federal government's eye if the country as a whole chooses to do this. Seriously folks, it's only money. It's not like we're talking about the important things in life.

There are a lot of business owners who would stick their finger in the governments eye by firing their employees and waiting it out. You can't cap pay. Athleetes will riot and people will join them when they can't watch football baseball or basketball. You haven't even begun to assess the social consequences of this. You cap pay in this way you will destroy the ambition of those who run the economy. I don't give a fuck about someone who makes 40k a year I have the resources to fire them all and wait it out just to prove a point. It's not going to be me who suffers.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

4/11/12

There are a lot of business owners who would stick their finger in the governments eye by firing their employees and waiting it out. You can't cap pay. Athleetes will riot and people will join them when they can't watch football baseball or basketball. You haven't even begun to assess the social consequences of this. You cap pay in this way you will destroy the ambition of those who run the economy. I don't give a fuck about someone who makes 40k a year I have the resources to fire them all and wait it out just to prove a point. It's not going to be me who suffers.

Most of the economy is controlled by C-corps anyways- moreso than we had in the 1930s when we last tried something like this, and a corporation's job is to generate profits. Shareholders are going to continue to demand that. If the CEO quits, someone else who's fairly competent and willing to make $500K/year will take over.

The beauty is that if the rich quit, other people will step up to the plate to take over.

Sure you have the resources to fire everyone. Meanwhile, you've got to pay property taxes, maintain everything, and your competitors will gain a lot of market share. So someone who really hates giving back to their favorite charities will come out of the two years at a significant disadvantage to the competition. Of course, it's only a mere two years; why would anyone do that out of spite- and not spite for the federal government, but spite for their favorite charities? Trust me, we're not that special, and someone else will step up to the plate to take over.

Most likely, the rich and the middle-class will have an opportunity to reprioritize and figure out what really matters in life. Money is important, but spending time with family and friends are more important than that. I get the sense that over the past 30 years, the country has lost a lot of perspective on that.

And I think some of your mentality is the whole point. The next two years are an opportunity for you to take a vacation or at least focus a whole lot less on economic ambition and focus more on ambition in your friendships and your personal goals. Society will continue trudging along; this is just a chance to work less. So if you're quitting or working less out of self-interest, I'm happy for you. If you're quitting as a protest, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

4/11/12

Soooo, a militarily controlled, centrally run system? My man, welcome to the world of communism. Seriously, I agree with TheKing's assessment, as that system worked quite well until the rich decided to pay off the politicians to dismantle it...and then the economy promtly hit the shitter.

Arguing these viewpoints is futile, and are best saved for academia. Speaking of "taking a two year break from ambition", perhaps you're projecting your current mindset onto larger world affairs? This is plainly obvious to me because I did the same thing at your age.

Get busy living

4/11/12
UFOinsider:

Soooo, a militarily controlled, centrally run system? My man, welcome to the world of communism. Seriously, I agree with TheKing's assessment, as that system worked quite well until the rich decided to pay off the politicians to dismantle it...and then the economy promtly hit the shitter.

It's hardly centrally run. The government keeps a very small budget and lets people choose which charities to give to- effectively allowing PEOPLE to set domestic policy.

Of course it's ridiculous to talk about a military state. It's just as ridiculous to claim people are going to expatriate because they hate giving money to their favorite charities. My point is simply that we do claim global jurisdiction over the incomes of citizens and expatriates for ten years, and for those who want to flout tax law, it's not like the US is Estonia or Tuvalu.

Arguing these viewpoints is futile, and are best saved for academia. Speaking of "taking a two year break from ambition", perhaps you're projecting your current mindset onto larger world affairs? This is plainly obvious to me because I did the same thing at your age.

It's hardly futile UFO. GINIs have gotten to the point where they're creating civil unrest, and some contraction is inevitable. We can either have FDR Jr. show up, Lenin Jr. show up, or we can do it on our own terms.

4/11/12
IlliniProgrammer:

The government keeps a very small budget and lets people choose which charities to give to- effectively allowing PEOPLE to set domestic policy.

You and a lot of libertarians don't seem to understand that in the absense of government, People don't set up domestic policy....local mafia, gangs, religious nuts, corporate overlords, and warlords will. I know this because I've seen this firsthand. Get out of the office/academia for a bit and spend some time in the real world.

Get busy living

4/11/12

LOL IP, for all this talk of sociopathy, you yourself seem like the biggest sociopath of us all, in that you are forcing your rusty-honda-driving persona down all of our throats... regardless of whether we want your "help" or not. Surely your PBR drinking self can appreciate the irony?

Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn't come over to your property and break your windows.

4/11/12

LOL IP, for all this talk of sociopathy, you yourself seem like the biggest sociopath of us all, in that you are forcing your rusty-honda-driving persona down all of our throats... regardless of whether we want your "help" or not. Surely your PBR drinking self can appreciate the irony?

Maybe. But the country has developed an unhealthy obsession with money that I don't think we had 30 years ago. There's a time and a season for everything, including a season for the rich getting less rich.

4/11/12
IlliniProgrammer:

LOL IP, for all this talk of sociopathy, you yourself seem like the biggest sociopath of us all, in that you are forcing your rusty-honda-driving persona down all of our throats... regardless of whether we want your "help" or not. Surely your PBR drinking self can appreciate the irony?

Maybe. But the country has developed an unhealthy obsession with money that I don't think we had 30 years ago. There's a time and a season for everything, including a season for the rich getting less rich.

While I agree that society has regressed into a materialistic coma as of late, I don't think FORCING them to understand that Family>Money is the solution here. Remember: The best lessons, we learn by ourselves.

You know, for a self-proclaimed libertarian, you sound an awful lot like Santorum (may God have mercy on his soul).

Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn't come over to your property and break your windows.

4/11/12

I still cannot get over the fact that the guy lamenting the rise of rich and lust for money is a wall street veteran that could have gone into any number of fields with his very impressive academic credentials yet chose to work for a major player in international finance. All of this railing against the money culture is great but you're going to get a Masters in Finance at an Ivy. Hardly seems like you're planning to make a major shift in your career trajectory.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/11/12

I still cannot get over the fact that the guy lamenting the rise of rich and lust for money is a wall street veteran that could have gone into any number of fields with his very impressive academic credentials yet chose to work for a major player in international finance. All of this railing against the money culture is great but you're going to get a Masters in Finance at an Ivy. Hardly seems like you're planning to make a major shift in your career trajectory.

I'm not lamenting the rise of rich people. I'm simply looking at history. And history shows that the current income inequality in the country is unsustainable and we're seeing some of the first signs of civil unrest from OWS. I also think that, unlike the situation 30 years ago when we needed deregulation and we needed income stratification, there's a lot of competition to become richer than other people that's DRIVING sociopathy. People make the assumption that other people are cheating and aren't playing fair, so they follow the same rules. If we were to have the country take a short two year break from all of this, we could hit the reset button on much of that.

It's just part of the natural economic and political cycle. Heck, the reason the stock market and financial sector did so well from the '50s through the '90s was that we had a lot of idiots with money. If only smart rich people have money, it's a lot harder to make money from investing.

As for why I work for a major financial player? It's a fun game. It's not about the money. If it were about the money, I would have taken the offer from Facebook and probably be making eight figures on the IPO.

4/11/12

Fair point, thanks for addressing it.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/11/12

OK, I walked by the NYSE on my way to work and there were three people in sleeping bags and two police cars. I don't think we have a Zucotti Park situation on Wall Street yet. If it grows, they'll set up those metal barricades that make it pain to walk around down here- just like they did last time.

And, yes, stop bailing out/subsidizing the banks. Give the market control of interest rates and we'll change the world.

Bene qui latuit, bene vixit- Ovid

4/11/12

You and a lot of libertarians don't seem to understand that in the absense of government, People don't set up domestic policy....local mafia, gangs, religious nuts, corporate overlords, and warlords will. I know this because I've seen this firsthand. Get out of the office/academia for a bit and spend some time in the real world.

LOL, UFO, I currently work in the real world, and that's what's driving my views on this. I see a lot of people who should be thrilled about life but are instead extremely unsastisfied, unfulfilled, and unhappy. The money chase has made them miserable. Likewise, the middle class believes that the money chase by the RICH has made them miserable too. The one constant is that everyone seems to be less happy because the top 10% of the country is becoming too obsessed with money. So I think there's not just a utilitarian but a deontological justification for capping incomes for a short time and trying to shake off the obsession a little. Especially since there was a 25-year precedent for it between the '30s and the '50s.

Oh, we absolutely need to fund the police and the military. My point is would you rather have government bureaucrats the NEA be funding museums, arts and culture, or would you rather let the folks who would otherwise be paying the taxes decide which museums to support? Maybe we would get fewer "artists" getting grants for putting up a black canvas and calling it art.

Would you rather have the government mail out welfare checks for people who are on drugs, or would you rather have rich people funding the Salvation Army's rehabilitation programs?

Would you rather have long drawn out political arguments about global warming and companies like Solyndra, or would you rather have the rich people who believe it's real try to come up with a cheaper way of making energy than what we can get from fossil fuels?

Once we have the courts, the police, and the army, government starts getting really big and has trouble making the world a better place. But if we ask PEOPLE to step up to the plate and make the world a better place, they still have the ability to manage all of that.

4/11/12
IlliniProgrammer:

I see a lot of people who should be thrilled about life but are instead extremely unsastisfied, unfulfilled, and unhappy. The money chase has made them miserable.

Again, I think you're projecting your own state of mind onto the larger society. Honestly, take a government 101 course and get a fundamental overview of how the U.S. system works. You'll likely drop the labels you apply to yourself when you realize how off the mark ALL of the looney tunes thought systems are. I call myself a totalitarian just to get a rise out of the folks on this site, but really, just free your mind of all that, you're smart enough. I don't disagree with your assessment that there are problems...serious ones...in the tax structure, etc of America at the moment. I'm merely pointing out that jumping ship from finance to startup, while sounding exciting, will put you in the same state of mind in +/-5 years, so start looking at the big picture of your life instead of living in a world of ideology.

If you're not interested in business, then don't do it, there are plenty of ways to make a living...and plenty of ways to make a fortune. I question it myself...do I REALLY want to be here in 20 years? I don't know. Personally, I wanted to be a professor. But deriding people who earn > $40k, 200K, OR WHATEVER per year is futile, and hiding away in a world of abstractions will only come back to bite you. I'd PM this but (1) you've never responded to my messages and (2) a LOT of people on this site do the same thing and may benefit from some introspection.

Again, I know this because I used to do this.

Get busy living

4/11/12

When has the US not had income equality? The Constitution was written by the people who were landowners and issued the first loans to the government before securing foreign aid primarily from France. And they specifically protected themselves by allowing Congress the power to levy taxes (to which they all ran). Historically speaking, the US probably has the lowest levels of corruption in history considering elections were run by for profit syndicates with no accountability until the 1930s. And what's to stop companies from issuing non-cash benefits in lieu of pay. Like purchasing homes, equity, other things. If you impede that then you really will halt economic growth and jobs in a very direct manner. Besides, if you look at how the super-rich have historically guarded their fortunes from estate taxes - through charitable organizations - you will find that the only way you would really be able to do what you propose is to go to a fully centralized government.

Rockefeller - Peak wealth of $1.3B in the 1920s, 3 Charitable trusts with a value of $1.8B today. His progeny has either directly worked in the charities pulling salaries, or other charities such as the Ford and Hilton ones where they pull salaries, through the private asset management companies that only deal with their firms, which don't disclose their compensation, or went into their own profitable paths which derived from funding brought down from family wealth.

If you study NYC in the late 19th century, you'd see just how crooked politicians were and how large the wealth gaps truly were. Look at people like Jay Gould and Vanderbilt who paid judges to rule in their favor against the wishes of shareholders. Classic case of this was the Erie Railroad company that Jay Gould used as his own personal bank account for investing by secretly issuing convertable warrants without shareholder knowledge and taking the cash raised for his operations.

There is no coincidence that the wealthiest people in history (Rockefeller and Carnegie) were successful during the greatest economic growth in world history, during a period when the US did not have Federal guidelines for businesses other than free trade across states. And if you compared the average lifestyle of middle America (or even impoverished Americans) from the 1850s to 1910s, there is no comparison about the growth in social benefit even despite the loss of the labor capital with slavery. JP Morgan had to take on a loan from First National City Bank (Bank operated from Standard Oil cash flow) in order to loan the US Treasury gold to stay solvent, which was caused by usage of the Gold Standard, or a centrally planned valuation of US currency that was never sustainable.

Historically, governments are terrible at setting prices for anything, whether it is labor, commodities, products, etc. What has always come about when this has been enacted is larger wealth disparities (North Korea, China, Soviet Union, Cuba) caused by "illegal"/backroom deals between people of power. I just don't see a rational and logical way you could do this that would a) end any kind of large sized perk, b) not create a new level of cronyism or c) not destroy value creation processes within a nation.

4/11/12

Historically, governments are terrible at setting prices for anything, whether it is labor, commodities, products, etc. What has always come about when this has been enacted is larger wealth disparities (North Korea, China, Soviet Union, Cuba) caused by "illegal"/backroom deals between people of power. I just don't see a rational and logical way you could do this that would a) end any kind of large sized perk, b) not create a new level of cronyism or c) not destroy value creation processes within a nation.

Eventually, sure. But this is a short two-year deal and you can't really make long-term financial plans around it. It's simply a short period of time where everyone has the opportunity to take a step back, realize where money REALLY falls on the list of life's priorities, and figures out what really belongs in its place at the top. The net impact is that a bunch of charities get their endowments replenished and the rich and upper middle class remember what makes really makes them happy.

It won't fix the fact that too much obsession with wealth drives sociopathy in the country. (And yes, too much socialism shuts the economy down.) But it will set the clock back about 15-20 years and make people remember what's really important in life. Afterwards, we can go back to being a laissez-faire capitalist country, hopefully one where the poor and middle-class realize that rich people are a BLESSING- not a CURSE- and where the rich and upper middle class realize that some things are more important than money.

You know, for a self-proclaimed libertarian, you sound an awful lot like Santorum (may God have mercy on his soul).

I'm a puritan/malthusian kind of libertarian. A little bit of suffering is good for the soul. And I'm worried we're either going to turn out like WWI Russia or the Roman Republic if we're not careful.

4/11/12

OWS people were enjoying the NYC weather these past few weeks.

Now that it's getting cold again, back to camping out with no real purpose/goal.

4/11/12

I have never seen an instance of government taking power temporarily, then relinquishing it without some sort of civil unrest. Martial law in cities does not count, since there is larger oversight. Once you have the "temporary" law put into place, every 2 years Congress is going to vote to extend it. Why might you ask? Well, Congress has elections every 2 years, and who wants to look like they favor those rich scummy people that steal from the poor to line their pockets with the hopes and dreams of the middle class. It would be very quickly perceived by the liberal media to look like tax breaks on the rich, and once cutbacks on the now issued entitlement programs begin, they are stealing education from the youth, food from the poor, and enacting social stratification on the middle class.

What companies would probably do is utilize RSUs or other forms of deferred compensation, or perks if it was short term. Brain drain definitely occurring when Congress decides to keep renewing the tax.

4/11/12

Again, I think you're projecting your own state of mind onto the larger society. Honestly, take a government 101 course and get an fundamental overview of how the U.S. system works. I don't disagree with your assessment that there are problems...serious ones...in the tax structure, etc of America at the moment. I'm merely pointing out that jumping ship from finance to startup, while sounding exciting, will put you in the same state of mind in +/-5 years, so start looking at the big picture of your life instead of living in a world of ideology.

No UFO, I'm not. Just take a look at all of the posts from industry guys on the forums if you don't believe me. I see lots of angry and depressed people making posts. Studies show that people who work in investment banking are 4-5 times as likely to have anxiety or depression-related health issues as people who work for other fortune 500 companies. Studies show we're also 5-10x more at risk for sociopathy with as many as 1 in 10 people in sales and trading qualifying as clinical socipaths. The money chase is literally killing us.

I'll admit that my views are colored a lot by the financial sector. Maybe folks running startups and maybe lawyers and doctors are happier.

If you're not interested in business, then don't do it, there are plenty of ways to make a living...and plenty of ways to make a fortune. I question it myself...do I REALLY want to be here in 20 years? I don't know. Personally, I wanted to be a professor. But deriding people who earn > $40k, 200K, OR WHATEVER per year is futile, and hiding away in a world of abstractions will only come back to bite you. I'd PM this but (1) you've never responded to my messages and (2) a LOT of people on this site do the same thing and may benefit from some introspection.

I don't mind UFO. My passion is for finance and it's what I'm good at. I enjoy working in industry. But I don't need $1 million/year to be happy, and if it's making folks around me unhappy, I'm happy to give up some of my income for a couple years. It's not like a rusty honda costs a lot to maintain. I'd like to think most industry professionals think the same way. We're in this industry because we enjoy doing it, not for the money. And I think stepping away from the most unhappy parts of our ambition for a little bit actually makes the game more fun.

Monopoly is a much more fun, interesting, and thought-provoking game to play at the beginning than it is at the end. This is our opportunity to wind the game back about 10-15 turns around the board.

I have never seen an instance of government taking power temporarily, then relinquishing it without some sort of civil unrest.

That's the beauty of this. The government ISN'T taking power. We are making our own decisions about where the money we earned goes. We just have to give it away, and it's only for two years.

What companies would probably do is utilize RSUs or other forms of deferred compensation, or perks if it was short term. Brain drain definitely occurring when Congress decides to keep renewing the tax.

We can regulate that part too- when the RSUs vest, we can require those to be given to charity. Obviously there will be ways of optimizing everything if you get the right tax lawyer, but you still can't get around the general fact that beyond a certain point, all of your money is going to charity for those two years.

But seriously, in 100 years, it really won't matter how much money you made, anyways. It's not like you get to take it with you.

4/11/12

Well, if I am the master of my own charity with no government oversight, I'll start the "Tiger's 10% Annualized Return Foundation". It will save up a lot of money, but I will receive a fat bonus in 2 years thanks to my stewardship.

4/11/12
tiger90:

Well, if I am the master of my own charity with no government oversight, I'll start the "Tiger's 10% Annualized Return Foundation". It will save up a lot of money, but I will receive a fat bonus in 2 years thanks to my stewardship.

Apparently, you've never dealt with the IRS. Trust me, you don't want to get on their list.

But anyways, with the amount of ifs involved with this theory it doesn't even make sense anymore as this would have to be a completely different reality for all of the things to fall perfectly into place that are needed. As well fundamentals of government, economics and human psych/sociology would have to be different. The fact that are there so many different moving targets to hit is why these types of theories have never worked before.

Those theories saved the constitution in the early '30s. We could have wound up like Russia; thank God we had a democratically elected government; thank God the rich were willing to be a little open-minded back then. I think it's very possible we could be facing 90% marginal tax rates in five to ten years. I would much rather be required to give 90% of my income to charity. At least then I know it won't be wasted and at least then people would give me more credit for paying taxes. The myth that rich people make money at the expense of the middle-class tends to get dispelled a whole lot faster if the wealthy are doing the giving rather than the government.

What I do know is that I'm glad we stayed a democracy and 90% tax rates sure beat a red army death squad.

The Russian nobility and aristocracy hit the brick wall during WWI. Under FDR, and because we were a democratic country, we got a bit smarter and threw up a few pads- hitting the wall hurt badly, but it didn't kill us. This time, let's see if we can deploy an airbag. Instead of getting taxed at 90%, let's see if we can *give* at 90% and cut fifty years of the politics of class warfare down to just a couple. In order for income inequality to be sustainable, people have to see how rich peoples' success translates to their success.

4/11/12

"But seriously, in 100 years, it really won't matter how much money you made, anyways. It's not like you get to take it with you."

Well, that depends on where you're going ;). Although I do not foresee a problem myself currently at $500k, I would most certainly wish to leave something for my children, even if they are shitless layabouts. Blood is thicker than water, I would much rather help out family than strangers.

But anyways, with the amount of ifs involved with this theory it doesn't even make sense anymore as this would have to be a completely different reality for all of the things to fall perfectly into place that are needed. As well fundamentals of government, economics and human psych/sociology would have to be different. The fact that are there so many different moving targets to hit is why these types of theories have never worked before.

4/11/12

OWS New Haven never left...

They tried to kick them out yesterday with bulldozers, etc, but apparently they will get to stay until the Mayor files some official document.

Occupier guy they showed on the news : "We won! The people won!..........erm until they get that court order" lol

I always check the giant calendar they've got in the middle of the camp... funny that there has NEVER been anything written on it!

edit: also, be sure to get that photo, crouching in front of the bulldozers, with your little face mask on!

"That dude is so haole, he don't even have any breath left."

4/11/12

Yes but that was also under the Gold Standard as well as the fact the government had balanced budget laws that only gave exception to wartime. Although I have read Steinbeck, I'm hard pressed to believe how imposing the fear of Communism in the US was back then. None of my grandparents have ever said anything about the possible overthrow of the US Government during the 1930s. Upton Sinclair wrote some pretty nasty things about capitalism in The Jungle and Oil! It is and has been my belief that people were probably more worried about finding work and feeding their children, and less worried about how much money in taxes were being garnered by the 1%.

Besides, revolutions take decades in the making to occur. The average American was not bad off during the 20s. Although there were strikes, threats, and whatever J. Edgar Hoover produced to scare the shit out of the President, I still don't believe that an overthrow of a democratically elected government was going to occur. Besides, people loved FDR more because of the perception he gave people of watching over them, not because he actually helped them out. "Yes we can!"

4/11/12

Yes but that was also under the Gold Standard as well as the fact the government had balanced budget laws that only gave exception to wartime. Although I have read Steinbeck, I'm hard pressed to believe how imposing the fear of Communism in the US was back then. None of my grandparents have ever said anything about the possible overthrow of the US Government during the 1930s. Upton Sinclair wrote some pretty nasty things about capitalism in The Jungle and Oil! It is and has been my belief that people were probably more worried about finding work and feeding their children, and less worried about how much money in taxes were being garnered by the 1%.

Don't forget Sinclair Lewis's "It Can't Happen Here". The book literally revolved around a very thinly veiled Huey Long becoming a dictator. The man essentially had carte blanche to pass laws in Louisiana and had the entire state supreme court replaced when they ruled against him. He was also extremely popular in the US and was about to mount a run against FDR when the son in law of a disgruntled former judge shot him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huey_Long

It is and has been my belief that people were probably more worried about finding work and feeding their children, and less worried about how much money in taxes were being garnered by the 1%.

There was also a strong perception of corruption in the 1920s and 1930s. It was even worse in Soviet Russia and during the French revolution. Wealth disparity in and of itself doesn't drive revolutions, but the perception of ill-gotten wealth does.

Take away the incentive to steal, take away the stealing. Mandating charitable giving for two years takes away a lot of the nefarious wealth collector perception and replaces some of that with a friendly rich uncle vibe for a decade or so. If you get rich by working hard, playing by the rules, and it becomes the height of nobility to give money away, we get a much healthier culture than the one of conspicuous consumption that we have now.

4/11/12

I was just looking at the marginal tax rates historically, and it appears that Hoover (or at least Congress during his session) was the one who raised taxes in 1932 from 25% to 63%. It bounced around a lot, both rates and the top tier, some years it was $1M, others $90M of income, it was probably an attempt for Congress to directly control wages and savings. The peak of it the taxation was during WW2 when it spiked up to 94%. But the interesting thing I noticed was that taxation as a % of GDP was quite low throughout the 30s until the significant increase to 94% (Reaching 20% of GDP). Since then the tax-rate to GDP has been between 15-20%, most likely because of various other forms of taxation that have popped up that aren't attributed to income directly.

I was reading articles not specifically quotable I believe that stated that there were many tax loopholes that were utilized during those times so that a 1%er did not pay the nominal amount (other than the fact that they are marginal tax rates). I still think FDR did more of a dog and pony show than actually impose anything that significantly changed the social strata, but here are the sites I was looking at.

the tax foundation http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151...
the white house historical data http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

4/11/12

An overthrow of the government would take more than 1 man, if his death ended the momentum of the movement he had towards Socialism he clearly did not garner enough support to make a move against the US Government. Perhaps people talked about his politics in the living rooms of their homes over cocktails, but that's a far cry from getting an army to overthrow a government. If he were elected President I'd be interested to see how well he would have gotten along with Congress. Was he just going to say F the Constitution and fire them all?

Keep in mind, that a general fear and dislike of Communists, and Jews, and Socialists existed during this time. (I threw in Jews because they were considered by many to be utilizing Communism to garner power to take over the world). The fear didn't peak until after WW2, but there were things historically such as the pink scare, and others, that make me believe that there was still more negative sentiment than positive ones. I just think FDR was a populist like any president tries to be, and I dont think many of his decisions had a profoundly positive effect on the lives of people, other than his warm words during his Sunday radio broadcasts (historically speaking, the first people to utilize national media outlets geared towards youth have always won elections, and they have always been Democrats: radio, television, MTV, Facebook).

4/12/12

Ip if you would like to give away your money to whatever charity you want then more power to you. Same goes for Buffet, if he believes that he is not being taxed enough he can go ahead and make donations to the government for as much as he wants. This country was founded on the principals of economic freedom. This is allowing people to become as successful as they want to be. It is not the governments place to tell me what too much is, if I want to work my ass off and become successful then by God I will work my ass off and become successful. The day the government try's to step in and tell me, "no I'm sorry you don't deserve the money that you worked so hard for" this will be the day I leave and never look back.

I come from a family that is not rich, but I have family members that have started businesses and earn more than 500k per year. What you are not taking into consideration is all the struggles they had to go through in order to gain this success.

Also, by limiting the amount of income people can make to 500k, you would be eliminating the need to an entire industry of high-end luxury items. This in turn would cause a loss of millions of jobs, not just the CEOs or other rich people, but the cashiers at these stores or the clerks.

If no one is earning more than $500k per year there would be no incentive for people to create new industries. Things that we enjoy would not be here if there was no earning incentive, profit is the great motivator for this country and almost every other country out there. If you eliminate the motivator how much of society do you think is going to go to work hard every day? There is no "light at the end of the tunnel" anymore. Why should I go work when I can get paid by the government to sit at home and do nothing?

Sorry for the poor grammar, I am typing on cell phone in class lol

4/12/12

Ip if you would like to give away your money to whatever charity you want then more power to you. Same goes for Buffet, if he believes that he is not being taxed enough he can go ahead and make donations to the government for as much as he wants. This country was founded on the principals of economic freedom. This is allowing people to become as successful as they want to be. It is not the governments place to tell me what too much is, if I want to work my ass off and become successful then by God I will work my ass off and become successful. The day the government try's to step in and tell me, "no I'm sorry you don't deserve the money that you worked so hard for" this will be the day I leave and never look back

Which I do. But the fact is that society has developed an unhealthy obsession with wealth and conspicuous consumption. And practically everyone- except for a few people who deserve to be hurt anyways- is better off if we put a stop to that for two years. If we take two years off to give excess income to charity, we eliminate the perception that rich people have all of these ill-gotten gains and that the best way to get ahead is by cheating. We also literally drive the sociopaths of this country out of their minds- and hopefully towards institutions where they can get treatment.

This has everything to do with the rule of law and the mental health of the wealthy and upper-middle-class. The fact that a lot of money goes to charity is a nice side-effect, but the point of two years of charitable giving is to help reinforce the rule of law in this country, which is sorely lacking.

We don't want to turn out like the Roman Republic.

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:

Which I do. But the fact is that society has developed an unhealthy obsession with wealth and conspicuous consumption. And practically everyone- except for a few people who deserve to be hurt anyways- is better off if we put a stop to that for two years.

Who made you god? How do you get the power to decide who has an unhealthy obsession and if it is unhealthy or not? Also, how can you say that practically everyone will be better off? Have to received divine inspiration in the form of information that is not given to the rest of us?

This is the problem, the government is not here to be god to society. It is here to represent the people, not rule them. We do not live in a country where we have a ruler, we have a government of representatives and I hate to break it to you, but the majority of people do not want the government involved in every part of our lives. We live in a FREE country, you want to change the basis that our country was founded on.

4/12/12
Thomas Wood:

Who made you god? How do you get the power to decide who has an unhealthy obsession and if it is unhealthy or not? Also, how can you say that practically everyone will be better off? Have to received divine inspiration in the form of information that is not given to the rest of us?

You're right. I don't have the power to decide who has an unhealthy obsession. But the majority does if they are not actually taking your posessions or sending you to jail for exercising the right to free speech. And as long as the gini coefficient remains high, the majority will continue shifting towards more and more draconian measures to redistribute wealth.

This is the problem, the government is not here to be god to society. It is here to represent the people, not rule them. We do not live in a country where we have a ruler, we have a government of representatives and I hate to break it to you, but the majority of people do not want the government involved in every part of our lives. We live in a FREE country, you want to change the basis that our country was founded on.

Well actually, most people in this country who are religious believe that God actually delegates his authority to the government, and the government largely does God's will (Romans 13:4). Here in the US, we are blessed to have a government that's run by the people it governs, and they *do* have the authority to enact this if they like this idea.

You say we're changing the basis that our country was founded on, but we're actually doing a whole lot less than was done in the '30s when 90% tax rates were imposed, gold was swapped for fiat currency, and states were coerced into imposing unemployment insurance schemes. This is extremely minor compared to what was done under FDR and really looks more like stuff that Republicans did in the '50s.

So to answer your question, yes, God gives the government this authority, and no, it doesn't violate the constitution. Relax. It's only money. It's not like it's something important.

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:

God gives the government this authority

The founding fathers were predominately atheistic freemasons. Thomas Paine was openly so. Juss sayin, not trying to be difficult, but wow I don't know what you're smoking lately dude....bartender, give me WHATEVER he's having

Get busy living

4/12/12
UFOinsider:
IlliniProgrammer:

God gives the government this authority

The founding fathers were predominately atheistic freemasons. Thomas Paine was openly so. Juss sayin, not trying to be difficult, but wow I don't know what you're smoking lately dude....bartender, give me WHATEVER he's having

Of course. For the record, I wasn't the one who brought God into this. :-)

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:
UFOinsider:
IlliniProgrammer:

God gives the government this authority

The founding fathers were predominately atheistic freemasons. Thomas Paine was openly so. Juss sayin, not trying to be difficult, but wow I don't know what you're smoking lately dude....bartender, give me WHATEVER he's having

Of course. For the record, I wasn't the one who brought God into this. :-)

FWIW, I simply respond to the posts based on content and often don't pay attention to / notice who the poster is. Wasn't trying to single you out....

We cool bro? Drinks on me :D

Get busy living

4/12/12

Refer to above comments regarding politicians, short term tax policies, and liberal media spins on anything effecting the money of rich people ;).

Obama has been going after $ being held in safe havens for the past couple of years if you were wondering about that, I think he brought back around $50B through his various programs and nailed over 20k people who were hiding money.

4/12/12

I'd say that I tend to agree with IP that our country is too wealth obsessed. On some level, there is a sense of worshiping the rich. There is a lot of unnecessary stress that comes along with the constant rat race and drive for more money and it can drive one nuts. Quite honestly, we'd probably be best off if the wealth were more evenly spread. I'm not saying that we should have socialist policies, but I think it's pretty clear that we're healthiest when we have a vibrant middle class.

4/12/12
TheKing:

it's pretty clear that we're healthiest when we have a vibrant middle class.

This is the bottom line. Building the infrastructure around this demographic (+/- 75% of the nation) is really what makes a nation full spectrum strong. The wealthy elites will always be there and SOMEONE has to run things, but giving them everything they want really leads to a breakdown of civil society.

As far as weath redistribution and the poor:
* the super rich benefit from the system and I'm in favor of a progressive tax al la 50's.
* the poor need assistance, and the long term solution is to get them into the bottom rungs of the middle class.
* the middle class is best left to its own devices, as the overwhelming majority of innovation originats from that segment of the population

Get busy living

4/12/12

I'm just glad they're not back in Zucotti. I used to have to walk past them every day. Work directly across the street from them - and they smelled.

Step 1: Dream the Dream || Step 2: Live the Dream || Step 3: Rinse, repeat.

4/12/12
AVPGuerilla:

I'm just glad they're not back in Zucotti. I used to have to walk past them every day. Work directly across the street from them - and they smelled.

They're camping out on Wall between Broadway and the NYSE....I walk that way to work and they're right in your face. Again, I'm all for making a positive change, but I started working here after the crisis and I'd like to think I'm part of the effort to do things right on a going forward basis...that and the actual 1% doesn't walk to work at 8:30AM, so they're just pissing off regular people with jobs. Honestly, I just want to knock one of the punks the fugg out, but there's police everywhere, so no go.

I've even offered to help some of the protesters find jobs, but they typically fall into two categories: (1) professional degenerate or (2) parents have a lot of money.

Get busy living

4/12/12

All I was trying to say is that we were founded on a belief in limited government. If the government were to start dictating to Americans how much they are allowed to earn, this would be a severe overuse of power that was never supposed to be given to the government in the first place.

Also, what makes you believe the majority would want a government this large? Just because OWS says they speak for the "99%" I would have to disagree, it is actually a minority of Americans that would go for something like this.

P.S. Not trying to point fingers or piss people off, just saying what I believe =D

4/12/12
Thomas Wood:

P.S. Not trying to point fingers or piss people off, just saying what I believe =D

...is cool, same here, it's welcome, don't worry

Get busy living

4/12/12
Thomas Wood:

All I was trying to say is that we were founded on a belief in limited government. If the government were to start dictating to Americans how much they are allowed to earn, this would be a severe overuse of power that was never supposed to be given to the government in the first place.

But the fact is that the government really hasn't operated that way for over half our country's history- at least since the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The fact is that to increase liberties, you do need to have a bit of an involved government.

Also, what makes you believe the majority would want a government this large? Just because OWS says they speak for the "99%" I would have to disagree, it is actually a minority of Americans that would go for something like this.

It's a fundamental rule of government. When income inequality gets larger, people just generally tend to favor larger government.

4/12/12

Well to be fair UFO, you mentioned you were a hockey player right? How much incentive does it take for you to want to fight someone? Gloves comin' off! I'm juz sayin...

4/12/12
tiger90:

Well to be fair UFO, you mentioned you were a hockey player right? How much incentive does it take for you to want to fight someone? Gloves comin' off! I'm juz sayin...

LOL I used to party with hockey players at my school. I swear they got in fights over everything, "BITCH YOU STEPPED ON MY SHOES!! YO GONNA DIE!" haha good times, (probably why I no longer have a 3.7 >_<)

4/12/12

The only reason "people" tend to favor larger government due to income inequality is because they want a hand out. I believe it is fine for the government to give a hand up, as in providing income while in-between jobs, but for a limited time. The current way the welfare system works does not provide a hand up, it discourages people to better themselves less they lose their monthly check.

Honestly just look at the election in 2010, the majority of people were against the current government system and most of the candidates that won were running on the platform of smaller government involvement. This leads me to believe that your assumption of the majority of Americans wanting larger government is incorrect.

4/12/12

Hey Il, I will take all your extra money. I mean its not that important, I could use it to pay for student loans. THANKS BRUH!

4/12/12
Thomas Wood:

Hey Il, I will take all your extra money. I mean its not that important, I could use it to pay for student loans. THANKS BRUH!

Pay me your extra cash buddy. I have real needs for "models and bottles".

Actually, I plan to reserve that for charity. I was thinking something more along the lines of the University of Illinois or the Art Institute of Chicago. Hey, the fact that I get to give the money to a charity of my choosing- and the fact that I get to take credit for giving it- is part and parcel of the provision I'm suggesting, making it fundamentally different than taxes. I largely live not a whole lot above my needs, anyways.

It would be a little tough living exactly on my needs and none of my wants for two years, but I wouldn't be all that unhappy about it if I got to decide how the extra money made the world a better place and got to see it do that, and I knew everyone else was doing it with me. And we'd all come out healthier and better for it. But $500K/year is incredibly easy for just about anyone to live on.

So your argument lacks standing both from a deontological perspective and a utilitarian one. Mine works from both perspectives. Two years of charitable giving creates net utility for those doing the giving in the long-term and on top of that also improves net utility for all of society. I'm suggesting a $500K starting point, but I don't mind if other folks later come along and suggest $30K either. Just as long as our excess goes to private charities of our choosing rather than the federal government.

I see a whole lot of anger here from college students who aren't even earning anything or working in industry yet. When you have a few years of work experience, when you see how people lose sight of the important things in life and how depressed they become for it, you change your perspective.

Fasting gets us to see the important things in life. And I don't think a two year fast from conspicuous consumption is that terrible for me if we're all doing it as a country. I completely agree that's what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and I'm not that threatened by far-out suggestions that we cut income and spending to $5/day. I just think that a higher number- even one that hits me hard- would probably be more reasonable than $30K.

The only people who are going to be miserable living like monks for two years are going to be those who don't derive any utility from human interaction and making the world a better place. So yes, if some John Birch Society rewrite of a Twilight Zone episode comes along and changes the number from $500K to $5000 on me, it's not really a problem. :-)

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:
Thomas Wood:

Hey Il, I will take all your extra money. I mean its not that important, I could use it to pay for student loans. THANKS BRUH!

Pay me your extra cash buddy. I have real needs for "models and bottles".

So your argument lacks standing both from a deontological perspective and a utilitarian one. Mine works from both perspectives. Two years of charitable giving creates net utility for those doing the giving in the long-term and on top of that also improves net utility for all of society. I'm suggesting a $500K starting point, but I don't mind if other folks later come along and suggest $30K either. Just as long as our excess goes to private charities of our choosing rather than the federal government.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts IlliniProgrammer. I really enjoy reading your well put together thoughts. I applaud your way of thinking, seeing more than taking care of yourself and looking out for the greater good.

I am a bit of cynic so I believe that everyone is out there looking for their own interest. Every government, every society that you put, no matter how well the thinking process behind it, the richest and the powerful will use all the loopholes to solidify their power and root themselves within a system. Yes, there can be revolution. There can be a small win here and there for the people, but only the richest and the powerful truly win the battle, because they have the power and resources to corrupt people at every level of the system. And they are always out there looking out for their self interest; time and time again, throughout the history, throughout the world.

The only way to fix it to change people ideas. The only logical reasoning I can think of convincing the rich and the powerful to give up their power is "look if you keep killing off the middle class, who are you going to sell your products to?" Other than that, there is not really much incentives to force them to do so.

The bottom line is I agree with your ideas. But I am structural guy. From state building and economy perspectives, how can you set up rule and regulations that will put every stake holders to focus on the same issue? How do you set it up so that people don't cheat and work for the greater goods? It keeps reminding me of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" that we are being taught at school, that it is in all of us to look out for what is in our best interest, when things really really matter.

All in all, thanks for pointing out. I enjoy reading your comments.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/12/12
IlliniProgrammer:
Thomas Wood:

Hey Il, I will take all your extra money. I mean its not that important, I could use it to pay for student loans. THANKS BRUH!

Pay me your extra cash buddy. I have real needs for "models and bottles".

So your argument lacks standing both from a deontological perspective and a utilitarian one. Mine works from both perspectives. Two years of charitable giving creates net utility for those doing the giving in the long-term and on top of that also improves net utility for all of society. I'm suggesting a $500K starting point, but I don't mind if other folks later come along and suggest $30K either. Just as long as our excess goes to private charities of our choosing rather than the federal government.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts IlliniProgrammer. I really enjoy reading your well put together thoughts. I applaud your way of thinking, seeing more than taking care of yourself and looking out for the greater good.

I am a bit of cynic so I believe that everyone is out there looking for their own interest. Every government, every society that you put, no matter how well the thinking process behind it, the richest and the powerful will use all the loopholes to solidify their power and root themselves within a system. Yes, there can be revolution. There can be a small win here and there for the people, but only the richest and the powerful truly win the battle, because they have the power and resources to corrupt people at every level of the system. And they are always out there looking out for their self interest; time and time again, throughout the history, throughout the world.

The only way to fix it to change people ideas. The only logical reasoning I can think of convincing the rich and the powerful to give up their power is "look if you keep killing off the middle class, who are you going to sell your products to?" Other than that, there is not really much incentives to force them to do so.

The bottom line is I agree with your ideas. But I am structural guy. From state building and economy perspectives, how can you set up rule and regulations that will put every stake holders to focus on the same issue? How do you set it up so that people don't cheat and work for the greater goods? It keeps reminding me of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" that we are being taught at school, that it is in all of us to look out for what is in our best interest, when things really really matter.

All in all, thanks for pointing out. I enjoy reading your comments.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/12/12

Sorry, double posting.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/12/12

.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/12/12

A lot of people may be in college, including myself, but I have worked full time since I was 16 years old. I have help 2 jobs my entire time in college so as not to gain that much debt. I think I do understand how it works and I have worked in several different industries.

What you are suggesting is taking away from what people are used to having in order to make them appreciate what the have. Again, I just disagree that it is the governments place to do this. I am not saying that it would not cause people to appreciate what they have, but I do think it is overstepping if the government says you have to. It is along the lines of the government telling people they must purchase healthcare, yeah healthcare is good, but if I dont want it I do not want anyone telling me I have to. '

I am really enjoying see your perspective though Il, it is interesting and you do have some good points.

Also, this is coming from my perspective of having lived both extremely poor, and quite well off. I am just explaining the way I see it.

4/12/12
Thomas Wood:

A lot of people may be in college, including myself, but I have worked full time since I was 16 years old. I have help 2 jobs my entire time in college so as not to gain that much debt. I think I do understand how it works and I have worked in several different industries.

Your college debt was financed by taxpayers. In other words, you decided to gamble on your future, got a free option from us to help you pay for college, and now I'm getting the sense that you're infuriated that we've decided to impose a $200 limit at the blackjack table when you are playing with THE HOUSE'S MONEY in the first place.

What you are suggesting is taking away from what people are used to having in order to make them appreciate what the have. Again, I just disagree that it is the governments place to do this.

The government's job is to remove threats to the rule of law. I think most people believe that the prioritization of money over ethics is a threat to the rule of law, and will also agree that the rule of law can be served by steps to make sure money does overtake the rule of law in the minds of citizens and residents.

I am not saying that it would not cause people to appreciate what they have, but I do think it is overstepping if the government says you have to. It is along the lines of the government telling people they must purchase healthcare, yeah healthcare is good, but if I dont want it I do not want anyone telling me I have to.

Again, it's justified when the rulers (in this case, voters) believe that greed threatens the rule of law and the measures imposed leave people secure in their possessions, do not harm their right to due process of law, and protect their first amendment rights.

And I admit that it's a shock to some people, and I admit that an initial visceral reaction is natural. It NEEDS to be a shock for this to work. Fasting from brussel sprouts isn't really a fast- giving up *food* for 24 hours is. But I think that when you really think about it, nobody is asking people to sacrifice their firstborn son on the altar of Baal. Nobody is asking people to swear an allegiance to Stalin. Nobody is even having an all-powerful government collect your money. We're simply deciding, as a capitalist society, that we're going to spend two years reevaluating where cash really falls on life's priorities lists, in a way that keeps government small and helps people grow bigger.

4/12/12

[quote] Your college debt was financed by taxpayers. In other words, you decided to gamble on your future, got a free option from us to help you pay for college, and now I'm getting the sense that you're infuriated that we've decided to impose a $200 limit at the blackjack table when you are playing with money you borrowed from the house in the first place. Now you seem to be enraged at the thought of us merely limiting your potential upside with OUR MONEY for a short time. [quote]

I never said my debt was through government backed loans. My loans are through family members. You are jumping to assumptions. Also, I am not enraged; I thought we were simply discussing our opposing views on the topic. I am sorry if you are getting the impression that I am "enraged." lol it is an online forum, therefore it would be an utter waste of time for me to get upset over something someone else has posted. =D

4/12/12
Thomas Wood][quote] Your college debt was financed by taxpayers. In other words, you decided to gamble on your future, got a free option from us to help you pay for college, and now I'm getting the sense that you're infuriated that we've decided to impose a $200 limit at the blackjack table when you are playing with money you borrowed from the house in the first place. Now you seem to be enraged at the thought of us merely limiting your potential upside with OUR MONEY for a short time. [quote:

I never said my debt was through government backed loans. My loans are through family members. You are jumping to assumptions. Also, I am not enraged; I thought we were simply discussing our opposing views on the topic. I am sorry if you are getting the impression that I am "enraged." lol it is an online forum, therefore it would be an utter waste of time for me to get upset over something someone else has posted. =D

Your loans are through FAMILY MEMBERS? Clearly a champion of the lower class rising through the ranks. I'm sure you worked hard as hell, but keep in mind there's people who work just as hard who don't get shit for return. It's called privilege. Obviously it's not the rule, there are exceptions, but as income inequality becomes more unbalanced, those stories are fewer and farther apart. Social mobility is at an all-time low. I agree with whoever said they sympathize with the 40k to 1mm crowd that get lumped in with the big earners despite likely earning every penny of what they got, but there's nobody who should be making hundreds of millions a year while people starve on the streets, and young kids with all the potential in the world are growing up selling crack because society has failed to keep them on the right path.

I agree that it's wrong to just take peoples money that they earned, but it's even more wrong to continue on with this level of income inequality. It's too much.

4/13/12
Romneybot:

Your loans are through FAMILY MEMBERS? Clearly a champion of the lower class rising through the ranks. I'm sure you worked hard as hell, but keep in mind there's people who work just as hard who don't get shit for return. It's called privilege.

You have to understand, just because its a loan through family does not mean I am going to a school that costs $40,000 per year and borrowing that money from my family. Yes, I did work my ass off, I am a triple major and I work full time and am I interning. I am proud of what I have and proud that I did not have to take money from the government to get it. What I am saying is that I do not want the government taking money from me, or placing a cap on how much I can make once I do start being "successful," Your sarcasm is not appreciated. =D

It seems like many people here would like to live as part of the soviet union, the government would have taken care of you, given you a job, told you how much you could earn, told you when and how long you would work. Yes, it would have been a lot more level across the income spectrum, but there is a reason it failed. One of the things that has made America the great country that it is is the fact that people could/can come here with literally nothing, work hard, and retire with money. There are not limitations on success in this country, it is one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the world.

As Grover Cleveland said "the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government the government should not support the people." referring back to my older post, the government is there to represent the people, not rule them. My only point throughout this is that the government needs to be limited, once you give them the power to tell people how much they "deserve" what is to stop them from going the rest of the way and becoming dictators of the American people?

Again, not trying to offend anyone (I know people really get passionate about politics) just giving my point of view, take it or leave it =D

4/13/12
Thomas Wood:
Romneybot:

Your loans are through FAMILY MEMBERS? Clearly a champion of the lower class rising through the ranks. I'm sure you worked hard as hell, but keep in mind there's people who work just as hard who don't get shit for return. It's called privilege.

You have to understand, just because its a loan through family does not mean I am going to a school that costs $40,000 per year and borrowing that money from my family. Yes, I did work my ass off, I am a triple major and I work full time and am I interning. I am proud of what I have and proud that I did not have to take money from the government to get it. What I am saying is that I do not want the government taking money from me, or placing a cap on how much I can make once I do start being "successful," Your sarcasm is not appreciated. =D

It seems like many people here would like to live as part of the soviet union, the government would have taken care of you, given you a job, told you how much you could earn, told you when and how long you would work. Yes, it would have been a lot more level across the income spectrum, but there is a reason it failed. One of the things that has made America the great country that it is is the fact that people could/can come here with literally nothing, work hard, and retire with money. There are not limitations on success in this country, it is one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the world.

As Grover Cleveland said "the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government the government should not support the people." referring back to my older post, the government is there to represent the people, not rule them. My only point throughout this is that the government needs to be limited, once you give them the power to tell people how much they "deserve" what is to stop them from going the rest of the way and becoming dictators of the American people?

Again, not trying to offend anyone (I know people really get passionate about politics) just giving my point of view, take it or leave it =D

I understand what you're saying, and you should be proud of that, I just think you're looking at it too black and white. Socialist and not socialist. There's gray area in between. While I agree that full communism with complete government control is obviously no solution, being in the bottom 5 countries in the world in regards to income distribution is no better. The U.S. has 25% of the worlds GDP with only 6% of the worlds adult population, and yet, shit like this, http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A..., happens every day and no one gives a shit. You'll never see a story like that on mainstream news, but there's no shortage of writing off all welfare recipients as lazy entitled bums who pass on work to collect on those meager unemployment checks. Victim blaming on that level is the type of thing you see from dying nations. Detroit is our Coliseum, and the people there living in tents trying to find food are the gladiators. We just write them off as welfare queens sucking down our tax dollars and scream for more blood for the blood god. We laugh at the teachers, social workers, and researchers who go into tremendous debt to study with no hope of finding a career that will pay it off while completely ignoring the value they add to society. They don't make money, so we think of them as idiots who should have studied Finance or Engineering.

Not even including the morality of it, the U.S. needs to add 125,000 jobs a month just to keep up with inflation, and ideally more around 200,000. You think we'll be able to keep that pace as technology eliminates the need for manpower 20 years from now? 50? There's going to be more people than jobs, and that's just something we're going to have to learn to accept as a culture. You can account for that while still providing incentive for smart, ambitious kids to come make excel models 90 hours a week while drooling over the exit opportunities. I'm not advocating for Communism, I'm just saying if I have to buy a 2010 Porsche instead of a 2012 so that some inner city school kids can be brought up in an environment where crime ISN'T the standard to get by and to get them healthcare and an opportunity for themselves if they want to take it, so be it. There's a difference between wants and needs, and very few recognize that.

And don't worry about offending people. This is the internet. That's one of its perks!

Best Response
4/12/12

I appreciate where IlliniProgrammer is thinking: it's very idealistic. Thing is, don't waste your time on the class warfare line of thinking, it's really unproductive. Instead, think along the lines of what will make the system work at the most optimal level, and if the rich need to hysterically posit any contribution as "class warfare", then let them bitch, hell, no one wants to pay taxes but that's life.

Everyone comes to the negotiating table trying to push for everything they can, but my sympathies lie with the $40K - $1MM crowd, then helping the poor into that bracket, and then the rich: they have enough allies and power so I don't feel bad for them. If I was rich, I'd hold the same viewpoint....something GOP fanboys can't wrap their heads around and liberals think is a sign of communistic cooperation. The simple truth is that the core of a nation is the average citizen and their quality of life and contributions: that's where the REAL and SUSTAINABLE power comes from. If someone wants to work for more, let them. If someone is trying to get into the middle class, throw them a hand up. If someone is a slacker or a crook (rich OR poor), put them in line. People make this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

I too am fascinated with the structure of government and the ideas that drive it, and personally I start from hard nosed realist who wants to work idealistic causes in. America, even during the crisis/depression, is still a hella lot better place to be than most others, but I'm not just interested in good, or better...I want to see the BEST possible outcome. The very simple solution is to encourage the middle class to assert themselves.

Get busy living

4/12/12
UFOinsider:

I appreciate where IlliniProgrammer is thinking: it's very idealistic. Thing is, don't waste your time on the class warfare line of thinking, it's really unproductive. Instead, think along the lines of what will make the system work at the most optimal level, and if the rich need to hysterically posit any contribution as "class warfare", then let them bitch, hell, no one wants to pay taxes but that's life.

Everyone comes to the negotiating table trying to push for everything they can, but my sympathies lie with the $40K - $1MM crowd, then helping the poor into that bracket, and then the rich: they have enough allies and power so I don't feel bad for them. If I was rich, I'd hold the same viewpoint....something GOP fanboys can't wrap their heads around and liberals think is a sign of communistic cooperation. The simple truth is that the core of a nation is the average citizen and their quality of life and contributions: that's where the REAL and SUSTAINABLE power comes from. If someone wants to work for more, let them. If someone is trying to get into the middle class, throw them a hand up. If someone is a slacker or a crook (rich OR poor), put them in line. People make this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

I too am fascinated with the structure of government and the ideas that drive it, and personally I start from hard nosed realist who wants to work idealistic causes in. America, even during the crisis/depression, is still a hella lot better place to be than most others, but I'm not just interested in good, or better...I want to see the BEST possible outcome. The very simple solution is to encourage the middle class to assert themselves.

I'll tell you something funny - this is exactly my point of view. And I lean liberal/progressive. I have no patience for slackers, I feel some poor people may need a helping hand. Simples!

But Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought bravely.

And Rhaegar died.

4/12/12
Anomanderis:

I'll tell you something funny - this is exactly my point of view. And I lean liberal/progressive. I have no patience for slackers, I feel some poor people may need a helping hand. Simples!

It's funny you call yourself liberal/progressive unless agreeing on the above is the closest to right wing you'd go. For the better part of the last century, it was a function of common sense. It seems that somewhere between the 80's and 2000, everyone lost their damn minds.

TEAbagger Party??? Occupy Stuff??? REALLY????!!!!!! jeez, what a bunch of wackos

Get busy living

4/12/12
UFOinsider:

I appreciate where IlliniProgrammer is thinking: it's very idealistic. Thing is, don't waste your time on the class warfare line of thinking, it's really unproductive. Instead, think along the lines of what will make the system work at the most optimal level, and if the rich need to hysterically posit any contribution as "class warfare", then let them bitch, hell, no one wants to pay taxes but that's life.

Everyone comes to the negotiating table trying to push for everything they can, but my sympathies lie with the $40K - $1MM crowd, then helping the poor into that bracket, and then the rich: they have enough allies and power so I don't feel bad for them. If I was rich, I'd hold the same viewpoint....something GOP fanboys can't wrap their heads around and liberals think is a sign of communistic cooperation. The simple truth is that the core of a nation is the average citizen and their quality of life and contributions: that's where the REAL and SUSTAINABLE power comes from. If someone wants to work for more, let them. If someone is trying to get into the middle class, throw them a hand up. If someone is a slacker or a crook (rich OR poor), put them in line. People make this so much more complicated than it needs to be.

I too am fascinated with the structure of government and the ideas that drive it, and personally I start from hard nosed realist who wants to work idealistic causes in. America, even during the crisis/depression, is still a hella lot better place to be than most others, but I'm not just interested in good, or better...I want to see the BEST possible outcome. The very simple solution is to encourage the middle class to assert themselves.

I concur +1

4/13/12

A lot of commies in this thread. No wait it's just Illini.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.

4/13/12

[quote]
I'm not advocating for Communism, I'm just saying if I have to buy a 2010 Porsche instead of a 2012 so that some inner city school kids can be brought up in an environment where crime ISN'T the standard to get by and to get them healthcare and an opportunity for themselves if they want to take it, so be it. There's a difference between wants and needs, and very few recognize that.[quote]

This is the classic argument of amour de soi vs. amour de propre. Yes, I think it is good to live within your means. Yes, I think there is a need for charity ect. I never said any of that was wrong, my only point has been, if you allow the government this much power, who is to stop them from taking it all? I think there are better solutions than government involvement.

4/13/12

Time to wade in here.

Illini, ii think your belief in humanity is misplaced. Two years off the hedonic treadmill is not going to snap people out of their myopia. Human memory is very short and very selective. A few people might change their ways, but most will not.

It's like highway hypnosis. When you're going 75 for a while, it feels as if you're going slow.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

4/13/12
In The Flesh:

Time to wade in here.

Illini, ii think your belief in humanity is misplaced. Two years off the hedonic treadmill is not going to snap people out of their myopia. Human memory is very short and very selective. A few people might change their ways, but most will not.

It's like highway hypnosis. When you're going 75 for a while, it feels as if you're going slow.

Well, we tried prohibition 90 years ago and alcohol consumption *permanently* decreased in the US. We still drink less alcohol today than we did during WWI. The program worked great for three or four years, and then the mob stepped in. The idea here is that it's a two year shock that hits hard and then it's gone before people have a chance to figure out ways around it.

The ideal society isn't one where there's no millionaires or there's no drinking but one where our super-egos have more control over how we drink and what we do with our money than our lower mental functions. I think the first year or two of prohibition freed us from some of our social addictions to drinking, and I think one or two years of charitable giving for the entire country can free us from our social addiction to wealth.

4/13/12

Not to be a dick here but saying you're proud you didn't have to take government money to get through school because your family paid for it is silly.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

4/13/12

Lol, I was just thinking about some of my friends in california who didn't go to college, got laid off from whatever bs jobs they had, collected unemployment and bragged about working under the table cash jobs while getting unemployment and spending their time smoking blunts. Haven't really talked to them the past couple of years, but I imagine the only thing they have gotten upset about is that their unemployment has probably finally run out. I think people here would be surprised to hear about how many construction jobs are not reported in California because of cash deals with people who have plenty of capability but no licenses. It's not necessarily building homes or commercial buildings, or electrical/plumbing work, but remodeling kitchens, building decks, putting up drywall, all of these things can be pretty expensive to get done through normal channels but don't take an incredible amount of knowledge to do. It all depends on what city you live in and how the permits work.

4/13/12
tiger90:

It's not necessarily building homes or commercial buildings, or electrical/plumbing work, but remodeling kitchens, building decks, putting up drywall, all of these things can be pretty expensive to get done through normal channels but don't take an incredible amount of knowledge to do.

I did this for years and made $$$$ without anyone knowing. A LOT of people do this. Even the pros do a ton of side work and don't report it: how is the IRS going to know someone installed an outlet for cash? If it wasn't cash, it would be a few beers and dinner or something else among friends. It's not possible to tax and/or monetize every human interaction.

Get busy living

4/13/12
UFOinsider:
tiger90:

It's not necessarily building homes or commercial buildings, or electrical/plumbing work, but remodeling kitchens, building decks, putting up drywall, all of these things can be pretty expensive to get done through normal channels but don't take an incredible amount of knowledge to do.

I did this for years and made $$$$ without anyone knowing. A LOT of people do this. Even the pros do a ton of side work and don't report it: how is the IRS going to know someone installed an outlet for cash? If it wasn't cash, it would be a few beers and dinner or something else among friends. It's not possible to tax and/or monetize every human interaction.

Sure. But try that again when you're making $5 million/year and see if the IRS notices.

4/13/12
IlliniProgrammer:
UFOinsider:
tiger90:

It's not necessarily building homes or commercial buildings, or electrical/plumbing work, but remodeling kitchens, building decks, putting up drywall, all of these things can be pretty expensive to get done through normal channels but don't take an incredible amount of knowledge to do.

I did this for years and made $$$$ without anyone knowing. A LOT of people do this. Even the pros do a ton of side work and don't report it: how is the IRS going to know someone installed an outlet for cash? If it wasn't cash, it would be a few beers and dinner or something else among friends. It's not possible to tax and/or monetize every human interaction.

Sure. But try that again when you're making $5 million/year and see if the IRS notices.

...since we've wandered into that territory: if you know the right people you can hide WAY more than that dude.

Get busy living

4/13/12

...since we've wandered into that territory: if you know the right people you can hide WAY more than that dude.

That used to be the case; now everyone with a swiss bank account is going to jail because of their own problems with leaks. And Monaco, Liechtenstein, and the Cayman Islands aren't far behind.

4/13/12

There are some countries in South America that are starting to take over Swiss roles, but they are still legitimizing, and I'm sure something in Southeast Asia will pop up soon as well.

4/13/12
tiger90:

There are some countries in South America that are starting to take over Swiss roles, but they are still legitimizing, and I'm sure something in Southeast Asia will pop up soon as well.

Of course. Which is why I think we should have sought ten year prison sentences on everyone using those swiss bank accounts to avoid taxes. If there's this looming threat of a prison sentence if some foreign banker leaks a list of accounts, people will pay their taxes.

4/13/12
IlliniProgrammer:
tiger90:

There are some countries in South America that are starting to take over Swiss roles, but they are still legitimizing, and I'm sure something in Southeast Asia will pop up soon as well.

Of course. Which is why I think we should have sought ten year prison sentences on everyone using those swiss bank accounts to avoid taxes. If there's this looming threat of a prison sentence if some foreign banker leaks a list of accounts, people will pay their taxes.

Mostly agree. Also realize they keep a lot of the tax loopholes open so American intelligence services operating under the auspices of American business can move resources around without attracting attention. There's a lot of reasons why those loopholes will never be closed, or will just shift form. I do agree that tax dodgers should be subject to the law.....and speaking of which, why is it always the law and order types that are most vehemently against, well, enforcing tax laws??? I pay mine, why should a guy who can afford a Swiss account not do the same?

As far as moving money around, Singapore and the East are the new shadow centers and the Swiss reserve their secretive banking for old school clients and the rest are getting burned. Personally, I wouldn't go to a banker if I was trying to move money around...

Get busy living

4/13/12

Why $500k? Why not take 100% from people making 100K or 200K. Who needs more than that? Why allow people to buy organic food when they can just get normal food, cheaper? Why allow people to waste money on different colors for their car when black will suffice.

Government should simply take all excess money, thereby incentivizing people to make just what they need and enjoy their time off.

See, real slippery slope. I also think $500K is completely arbitrary.

The US has only one obligation, to provide freedom. That is it. Most people can succeed given freedom and liberty. If you cannot then that is your problem.

4/13/12
TNA:

Why allow people to waste money on different colors for their car when black will suffice.

I love this part especially, remind me of communist China. Oh wait, even China is not a communist country anymore. They just don't want to admit that they have changed so much from that; thus, keeping the official communist name. :-)

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/13/12
TNA:

Why $500k? Why not take 100% from people making 100K or 200K. Who needs more than that? Why allow people to buy organic food when they can just get normal food, cheaper? Why allow people to waste money on different colors for their car when black will suffice.

That's a good point ANT. I threw out $500K because it sounded reasonable. But in response to someone earlier, I'm perfectly happy spending two years giving everything over not just $100K but $30K to charity if that's what everyone else decides to do.

Government should simply take all excess money, thereby incentivizing people to make just what they need and enjoy their time off.

Government isn't taking anything. PEOPLE are giving to charity. So if you're motivated to make the world a better place, you're going to keep working, and you're going to have the privilege of deciding exactly *HOW* you make the world a better place. I will probably work less and give more to charity, but I will not quit my job if my earnings are capped at $30K.

See, real slippery slope. I also think $500K is completely arbitrary.

Sure. But it's not the exact number that matters. It can be $50K or it can be $1 million. The point is that for two years, we impose a ceiling on the money chase. This isn't about punishing rich people; this is about having the country spend two years fasting from conspicuous consumption and obsession with money. After all, money doesn't make us any happier.

The US has only one obligation, to provide freedom. That is it. Most people can succeed given freedom and liberty. If you cannot then that is your problem.

And fasting for relatively short periods helps us maximize liberty. The problem is that you can't fast from conspicuous consumption and obsession with money unless you're doing it with everyone else. It's even worse than drinking, and we decided to enact prohibition for fourteen long years just for that reason.

Best of all, people are still free to dictate where the money they make goes. You just can't *keep* it beyond a certain point for two years. So if you absolutely hate that the federal government is doing this, you can give to the NCRU's pro-bono fund if it qualifies for 501c3 status. Or you can fund vasectomies for welfare dads (and likely Dem voters) if you think that makes the world a better place. Nobody is taking away your liberties; we're simply having everyone give away money they make beyond a certain point to something that they feel actually HELPS society. And it's all finished after two years.

I believe that the alternative may eventually be FDR-style welfare statism or a socialist revolution if income inequality keeps increasing. The world's social and cultural brick walls for the economy are just as hard as the others. This is our opportunity to correct the liberals' misperception that all wealth is ill-gotten and ultimately care out MORE space for people to get wealthy.

4/13/12
TNA:

Why $500k? Why not take 100% from people making 100K or 200K. Who needs more than that? Why allow people to buy organic food when they can just get normal food, cheaper? Why allow people to waste money on different colors for their car when black will suffice.

Government should simply take all excess money, thereby incentivizing people to make just what they need and enjoy their time off.

^^ This. Once the government has the power, do you really think they are going to want to give it up? Not a chance

See, real slippery slope. I also think $500K is completely arbitrary.

The US has only one obligation, to provide freedom. That is it. Most people can succeed given freedom and liberty. If you cannot then that is your problem.

4/13/12

If the goal is to benefit society I don't think this can be achieved through unregulated charitable donations.

Besides, I think it is utterly frightening that the government would have the power to dictate my income level, regardless of job, and force me to give money away for any period in time. Also, wealth creation is one of the best ways to benefit this country.

Fact is the majority of millionaires are small business owners, employing the majority of Americans. We all hate the evil bankers and Kim Kardashian, but they are simply the minority. The US is one of the most (if not the most) charitable nations in the world. If you want to increase this reduce taxation and allow more deductions for charitable giving.

IP, I respect your desired end, but I think it can be achieved with less blunt force and a little more finesse. Some people will always worship the almighty dollar, but taking their wealth isn't going to fix a warped perspective. Some people are just fucked up.

4/13/12
TNA:

If the goal is to benefit society I don't think this can be achieved through unregulated charitable donations.

Besides, I think it is utterly frightening that the government would have the power to dictate my income level, regardless of job, and force me to give money away for any period in time. Also, wealth creation is one of the best ways to benefit this country.

ANT, the government has had this power for nearly 100 years, and chose to exercise this for 25 years between the mid-30s and 1960 when it imposed a marginal tax rate of 90% above a certain level of income.

Fact is the majority of millionaires are small business owners, employing the majority of Americans. We all hate the evil bankers and Kim Kardashian, but they are simply the minority. The US is one of the most (if not the most) charitable nations in the world. If you want to increase this reduce taxation and allow more deductions for charitable giving.

Sure, I am all for reducing the government's social spending and replacing it, dollar for dollar, with charitable giving. I'm just saying that the wealth distribution in this country IS a bit out of whack, a lot of that has to do with structural issues in the job market, and two years of keynesianism can go a long way towards fixing that. Let's just make sure it's constructive keynesianism that actually makes the country a better place to live rather than welfare state keynesianism.

IP, I respect your desired end, but I think it can be achieved with less blunt force and a little more finesse. Some people will always worship the almighty dollar, but taking their wealth isn't going to fix a warped perspective. Some people are just fucked up.

Sure. But while this will be a hardship on good people who believe in something bigger than themselves, it spells disaster for people who are "fucked up". The sociopaths of the world are really only interested in power and material possessions, and it's going to be a lot tougher for them to bounce back after this. Or hopefully during those two years, they'll get the help they need.

Forests need occasional fires to stay healthy. I think capitalist countries- at least ones made up of human beings- need a good fast every twenty or thirty years to give us perspective. The last time we really fasted as a country was WWII, and you'll notice that our politics became a lot more civil for the thirty years after that, and everyone got a lot happier and satisfied with life- even moreso than they were in the 1920s- afterwards. If everyone spends two years suffering together, and there's this perception that it's for the common as well as individual good, they tend to come out of it hating each other less.

There is a difference between self given charity and charity through taxation. If we provided tax breaks for those giving to charity, dont you think that more and more people would start donating money? I know personally I would rather donate my money to charity instead of giving to welfare or paying for someone elses social security. I think we greatly underestimate the number of people that would give to charity willingly, and the amount of money that would be given, if we recieved larger tax breaks and we were not forced to do it.

No. I think they'll give about the same. The way to get people to give more to charity is to create this perception that everyone's doing it and then try to let inertia take its course.

People cheat in MBA programs when they think everyone else is cheating.

Rajaratnam probably thought everyone else was doing insider trading.

Charitable giving as a percentage of income went *down* in the 1980s when Ivan Boesky was running around saying "greed is a good thing". You can argue tax rates and incentives went down too, but looking at the figures, you'd expect a serious bump down for the Tax Reform Act of 1986, and I'm only seeing the general trend of declining giving as a percentage of incomes:
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hauser/PDF_XLS/workingp...

I'm not saying we should stop giving deductions for charitable giving- I'm very glad we do- but I think social factors have a much bigger impact on philanthropy than economic incentives. If people see making the world a better place as part of their civic responsibility, more giving tends to happen.

4/13/12

There is a difference between self given charity and charity through taxation. If we provided tax breaks for those giving to charity, dont you think that more and more people would start donating money? I know personally I would rather donate my money to charity instead of giving to welfare or paying for someone elses social security. I think we greatly underestimate the number of people that would give to charity willingly, and the amount of money that would be given, if we recieved larger tax breaks and we were not forced to do it.

4/13/12

If your goal is to benefit society, make a larger charitable tax right off for people and businesses ;). Oh ya and force consolidation of charitable organizations, not like we need 300 different "National Save the Children" charities, all with Presidents who rake in 100k+. My two cents.

4/13/12

If your goal is to benefit society, make a larger charitable tax right off for people and businesses ;). Oh ya and force consolidation of charitable organizations, not like we need 300 different "National Save the Children" charities, all with Presidents who rake in 100k+. My two cents.

Or we could let the private sector solve that rather than having the government intervene.

I think a deduction for charitable giving is perfectly fair. If you want to give money to charity, great! We'll treat it as though you never earned it. I do agree with making it a for-AGI rather than from-AGI deduction.

Economics aren't that good at translating into psychology. Outside of giving used clothing or making a donation around April or the very end of the tax year, people aren't thinking about the tax deduction when they give. They think about the good their gift is going to do; they think about their obligations being a member of society; sometimes they think about the guilt or shame of not giving. Sure, increasing incentives for giving helps, but it's not as primary a motivator as the bandwagon effect.

4/13/12

Charities are the biggest wasters of money there is. If anything in this country should be nationalized it should be them. There is an incredible amount of redundancy, both in charities and with government stuff, and the management of charities spend an incredible amount of money pleasing themselves and their friends. My sister spent 10 years working for NGOs, the govt, and doing charitable work in DC and California. She is so fed up with how nothing gets done of any significance that she's decided to go back to school to get her masters, work in the private sector and completely blow off trying to continue to do socially-leftwingist things as a career.

4/13/12
tiger90:

Charities are the biggest wasters of money there is. If anything in this country should be nationalized it should be them. There is an incredible amount of redundancy, both in charities and with government stuff, and the management of charities spend an incredible amount of money pleasing themselves and their friends. My sister spent 10 years working for NGOs, the govt, and doing charitable work in DC and California. She is so fed up with how nothing gets done of any significance that she's decided to go back to school to get her masters, work in the private sector and completely blow off trying to continue to do socially-leftwingist things as a career.

So make rules limiting how much charities can spend on advertising, fundraising, and administrative costs if they want to qualify for 501c3 status and let people figure out for themselves which charities are effective and which ones aren't.

Giving back is simply a natural, healthy part of social living. It's been done for thousands and thousands of years, survived all sorts of economic and political systems, and it's a part of human nature that's even more indelible than property rights and capitalism.

What makes America special is that, while we don't often have the choice of whether to do something (like feeding ourselves), we have a whole lot of choices in HOW we do it. So if you don't like your charitable options, you can always create your own charity and qualify for 501c3 status. Two years of charitable giving is going to make that a whole lot easier for folks to do if their goal is to make the world a better place but also put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

4/13/12
tiger90:

Charities are the biggest wasters of money there is. If anything in this country should be nationalized it should be them. There is an incredible amount of redundancy, both in charities and with government stuff, and the management of charities spend an incredible amount of money pleasing themselves and their friends.

The money comes from charity donors right? There is nothing wrong with people doing what they like with their money, as long as it serves its purpose. Some people donate money to make themselves feel good. What is wrong with that?

Imagine this case. $1,000 (gross amount) - $200 (parties) = $800. That's better than $0. Of course, people can argue that why not give all the $1,000? Isn't that much more efficient? The reason that it will never be efficient is because charity involves a lot of other things other than just giving money like people using it to boost their egos. And the people who is giving their money is going to be doing what they want with their money. It is just a part of "the cost of doing charity". This is a part of human nature and human cost that cannot be easily eliminated.

"I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

4/13/12
sxh6321:
tiger90:

Charities are the biggest wasters of money there is. If anything in this country should be nationalized it should be them. There is an incredible amount of redundancy, both in charities and with government stuff, and the management of charities spend an incredible amount of money pleasing themselves and their friends.

The money comes from charity donors right? There is nothing wrong with people doing what they like with their money, as long as it serves its purpose. Some people donate money to make themselves feel good. What is wrong with that?

Imagine this case. $1,000 (gross amount) - $200 (parties) = $800. That's better than $0. Of course, people can argue that why not give all the $1,000? Isn't that much more efficient? The reason that it will never be efficient is because charity involves a lot of other things other than just giving money like people using it to boost their egos. And the people who is giving their money is going to be doing what they want with their money. It is just a part of "the cost of doing charity". This is a part of human nature and human cost that cannot be easily eliminated.

Charitable money doesn't only come from donations, there are tons of government grants, politicians using their office budgetary money, and other ways from which the capital comes from. On top of the massive amounts of capital flowing from billions of federal dollars that goes to organizations that then disperse it amongst other organizations creating a ton of excess beaurocracy that is not sourced from donations. Albeit the majority of charitable donations in the US does come from citizens and businesses, it's another wasted source of government spending. I think the government puts in around 30% of the total.

Fun fact is that Republicans donate far more money than Democrats.

4/13/12

If anything we need to get the income tax rate down to 10 percent (flat tax) across the board. No high taxes on anyone. America needs to make itself attractive again for capitalism (business as well as people who work everyday). A low 10 percent income tax, less spending, no capital gains tax and no estate tax would incentivize people to spend/invest more into the economy and also get rid of subsidization of cottage industries such as tax lawyers, etc. who profit from a confusing and cumbersome tax code.

If the average person didn't have to pay on average a third of his/her income, he/she would have more money to spend on consumption and more to invest. Plus, elimination of capital gains taxes would end the need to try to engage in tax avoidance/deferral through such vehicles as 401/k plans etc. The poor/middle class would be better off. The upper class would be as well.

I am ready to get the capitalist energy that once existed back to America. Not this class warfare and nonsensical taxation platform that exists today.

4/13/12
TraderDaily:

If anything we need to get the income tax rate down to 10 percent (flat tax) across the board. No high taxes on anyone. America needs to make itself attractive again for capitalism (business as well as people who work everyday). A low 10 percent income tax, less spending, no capital gains tax and no estate tax would incentivize people to spend/invest more into the economy and also get rid of subsidization of cottage industries such as tax lawyers, etc. who profit from a confusing and cumbersome tax code.

That would not even fund our military and justice system let alone entitlements.

I am ready to get the capitalist energy that once existed back to America. Not this class warfare and nonsensical taxation platform that exists today.

Most of the shrill class warfare talk is coming from conservatives. Our current tax schedule is flatter than it has been in 80 years and the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that the only way to get rich in this country is to cheat. We need to head in the exact opposite direction of that for a few years.

4/13/12
IlliniProgrammer:

the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that the only way to get rich in this country is to cheat. We need to head in the exact opposite direction of that for a few years.

Wholeheartedly agree.

Get busy living

4/15/12
IlliniProgrammer:
TraderDaily:

If anything we need to get the income tax rate down to 10 percent (flat tax) across the board. No high taxes on anyone. America needs to make itself attractive again for capitalism (business as well as people who work everyday). A low 10 percent income tax, less spending, no capital gains tax and no estate tax would incentivize people to spend/invest more into the economy and also get rid of subsidization of cottage industries such as tax lawyers, etc. who profit from a confusing and cumbersome tax code.

That would not even fund our military and justice system let alone entitlements.

I am ready to get the capitalist energy that once existed back to America. Not this class warfare and nonsensical taxation platform that exists today.

Most of the shrill class warfare talk is coming from conservatives. Our current tax schedule is flatter than it has been in 80 years and the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that the only way to get rich in this country is to cheat. We need to head in the exact opposite direction of that for a few years.

Oh so I guess I should feel excited about throwing money away. I saw a cpl days ago a group of rich guys standing with Obama and endorsing the Buffett rule with the rich guys' secretaries. What morons! As Gingrich said, they should, instead of trying to get their taxes to 30 percent, try to lower the secretaries' salaries to 15 percent with the rich guys' taxes.

4/13/12

@Illini: There are economists that have shown that a flat tax WOULD fund everything. Also, entitlements are in terms of SS outdated. FDR created SS at a time when people weren't living as long. Now SS is a burden that will go bankrupt. Why push an outdated system? It is my and your responsibility to fund your own retirement. I can save on my own. I don't need SS. People need to take responsibility for their own retirement. With less taxes, they will have a greater ability to do so.

Also, the military is needed, but I recently saw a retired colonel argue that the military budget is way too large. He said that there is a difference between defense and offense. Right now, we are spending to the point of having an offensive edge that is bloated and too expensive and involves spending to be able to respond at any point in time to any point in the world to any skirmish. We need a defense. Every country does. We don't need a bloated offense.

4/13/12
TraderDaily:

@Illini: There are economists that have shown that a flat tax WOULD fund everything. Also, entitlements are in terms of SS outdated. FDR created SS at a time when people weren't living as long. Now SS is a burden that will go bankrupt. Why push an outdated system? It is my and your responsibility to fund your own retirement. I can save on my own. I don't need SS. People need to take responsibility for their own retirement. With less taxes, they will have a greater ability to do so.

Also, the military is needed, but I recently saw a retired colonel argue that the military budget is way too large. He said that there is a difference between defense and offense. Right now, we are spending to the point of having an offensive edge that is bloated and too expensive and involves spending to be able to respond at any point in time to any point in the world to any skirmish. We need a defense. Every country does. We don't need a bloated offense.

I believe the number required to fund everything is about a 20-25% flat tax.

4/13/12

Whoa, where is the data to support this crap about cheating is the only way to get rich.

Everything I have read and seen indicates that waiting to have children and getting a college education is the best way to get wealthy.

4/13/12
TNA:

Whoa, where is the data to support this crap about cheating is the only way to get rich.

Everything I have read and seen indicates that waiting to have children and getting a college education is the best way to get wealthy.

Of course. But talk to about half the people in this country, ANT, and they'll tell you something else.