Occupy Wall Street

https://occupywallst.org/article/A-Message-From-O…

Day 8 - The Over Hype of the Century

So these clowns are complaining of "the man" violating their rights and all. I mean they have been protesting for 8 days, which is 8 days longer than Syria or Iran would deal with. They piss and moan about being "caged in" yet fail to realize that peaceful protesting doesn't mean blocking the sidewalk in a busy part of town and forcing people to walk in the street and endanger themselves.

Police stopped them from protesting into another area which they didn't have a permit for. I guess they equate protesting with violating other peoples rights. A few got maced, as compared to shot as in the middle east.

End of the day these guys are clowns. You really never realize that society is separated until you see clueless people protesting something they don't really understand and then complain that police try and force them to respect other people (which they clearly do not).

Why is it that socialism only benefits the people who put the least effort in life and punishes those who put the most effort in? Why do we worry about the underachievers at the expense of those who achieve? Why am I not seeing hard working Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their houses, etc protesting? Instead I see young kids with god knows what kind of educational background complaining?

Go long mace and cattle prods.

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Comments (1106)

Sep 25, 2011 - 12:24pm

so all of wall street's current practices are ok? (outright fraud, mismanagement of risk at US taxpayers expense, etc)

I think this is what they are protesting.....

And if this bothers you, this is just the beginning of civil unrest in the US. Just wait till people loose everything in their 401k.

Why aren't you seeing hardworking American's who have lost their jobs etc, protesting? because they are too busy looking for work, or working some shitty job to provide for their families.

Why do you see young kids with "god knows what kind of educational background" ( I really cant see how you can assume that) protesting? well its because they cant find a fucking job and they have nothing else to do.

Really ANT, respect, but I find your post quite naive.....

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Sep 25, 2011 - 3:33pm
mfoste1:
so all of wall street's current practices are ok? (outright fraud, mismanagement of risk at US taxpayers expense, etc)

I think this is what they are protesting.....


Are you sure those are the reasons they're protesting, and not the reasons you'd find legitimate? Watched a few of the protesters get interviewed, and none of them said anything coherent, or even pointed out a specific problem/issue.
Sep 25, 2011 - 2:57pm
mfoste1:

And if this bothers you, this is just the beginning of civil unrest in the US. Just wait till people loose everything in their 401k.

Retirement is a privileged, not a right. Besides, this is a rather extreme view of the future of our country.

Solid post, ANT. Agree with most of what you said. Would give a SB if I weren't a cheap bastard.

Sep 25, 2011 - 3:23pm
STorIB:

Retirement is a privileged, not a right.

Ok ass, let's see you working at wal-mart at the age of 75, and then tell me this. your lack of compassion is frightening, frankly.

trust me, i came from a country at a time when the governemnt had this view and i remember seeing crippled, old women going to the dump to look for food and clothing. you think you're in a place where you won't have to worry about retirement in a few decades, but trust me if the banking sector (and govt. regulators) fuck up again as royally as they did a few years ago, we'll all be trying to figure out how to save our asses. but honestly in the meantime, read a fucking vonnegut book to get a little perspective.

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.
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Sep 25, 2011 - 2:52pm

They're all garbage.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.
Sep 25, 2011 - 5:24pm

Here's my issue with all of this blame aimed at wall street for the current state of the economy. American's are at large very ignorant about the real way capitalism works and honestly I dot think they want to know it just needs to work. Well right now it isn't working, that's all we know so let's blame the people who we feel have the most money or power (wall street/ government).

I've not yet heard any decent suggestions on alternatives from this lot, but I have one. What if Americans lived within their means, started new innovative small businesses and decided they wouldn't purchase foreign goods/services until their situation was sorted.

What if Americans rebuilt America themselves with real balls, real sweat, and real resolve as opposed to relying on theoretical government plans. But they don't want to, because they have become the spoiled brats of this world. They want something for nothing and they'll get what they paid for.

Sep 25, 2011 - 5:53pm
jktecon:
Here's my issue with all of this blame aimed at wall street for the current state of the economy. American's are at large very ignorant about the real way capitalism works and honestly I dot think they want to know it just needs to work. Well right now it isn't working, that's all we know so let's blame the people who we feel have the most money or power (wall street/ government).

I've not yet heard any decent suggestions on alternatives from this lot, but I have one. What if Americans lived within their means, started new innovative small businesses and decided they wouldn't purchase foreign goods/services until their situation was sorted.

What if Americans rebuilt America themselves with real balls, real sweat, and real resolve as opposed to relying on theoretical government plans. But they don't want to, because they have become the spoiled brats of this world. They want something for nothing and they'll get what they paid for.

I'm sure they would..as soon as they got jobs

Sep 25, 2011 - 7:15pm

Well your in for the society that your expectations warrant. Jobs are a luxury if they are provided by someone else and Americans aren't worth the price they demand.

As a result they won't get jobs because they still haven't taken in the concept that businesses are for profit entities. Enjoy it because I'm sure the majority of the population shares your beliefs. Sometimes people say America has no culture; I think there is: it's ignorance, the society as it stands relies and thrives on it.

You came up with a great solution though, just get jobs, I'll notify Obama.

Sep 25, 2011 - 7:23pm

So a few banks make all of Wall Street guilty? Cost for tax payers? You must be talking about Freddie and Fannie since all the other banks paid back TARP. Yeah, the US govt stepped in and played Mr. Liquidity. We could do the free market vs. government intervention argument, but at the end of the day the big banks returned the money and with interest.

These kids can't find jobs? Work at Walmart or something. Join the Peace Corps/Americorps. Join the military. I didn't realize that this was the first bad economy. I mean we have never had a bad economy since the great depression.

I have ZERO issue with people protesting. This is America and that is what it is all about. I absolutely disagree with these people and think they are either uneducated of immature. With that said, they have the right to be poor morons and I support their right.

What I DO NOT support it a protest in a very busy, business center that pushed people into the street or inhibits day to day business. This is a protest based on subjective beliefs. It should not endanger people going about their normal business. It should not impede day to day business.

Freedom is free until you violate someone elses rights and freedom. From what I saw these people were getting tired of being back of the bus at their park and no one was paying attention to this protest so they decided to move it or try and block the sidewalk/business area. Can't do that. When the police "caged" them in so they were not blocking the side walk things got messy.

Maybe the police overreacted, maybe they didn't. I don't know. I am more than happy to condemn the police once I find out the whole story.

Also, to say that evil corporations control America is to be against every person who works for those evil corporations. My dad works for a corporation and my parents mortgages is paid through this salary. Millions of Americans are employed. If these kids think Europe is any better they should open their eyes. The unemployment we have been experiencing has been common place in Europe. Companies don't hire because they can never fire people. There is so much government interference that Europe has become an arthritic economy.

When you talk about global economy influences you talk about China, India, the USA, Brazil, etc. Places with growth. Europe is just chillin' , living the good life, not really hungry. Unfortunately the trust fund is ending and the world has moved on.

These protesters have no understanding of basic economics, how wealth is created or how to actually make a change. Bunch of kids who don't want to be productive members of society and think they are changing something. Nothing warms my heart than to think of these fools getting maced while I sit in my luxury apt and polish my Italian shoes.

Let them eat cake.

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Sep 25, 2011 - 7:27pm

Oh, Brooks Brothers has their Friends & Family sale going on. I thought I should bring up something truly important while these riff raff have their cute little "protest".

Sep 25, 2011 - 7:43pm

I agree with above. You are entitled to nothing in this world. How many children come down with cancer and die before then can truly start living. These kids suck it up and soldier on while little cunts protest wall street because they can't get enough kick backs.

This country is going to shit because we have allowed the weak to take control.

I had some scumbag tell me to buy him something today. I ignored him like I ignore most of the bums in this city, but I couldn't help but be shocked that someone on the street would tell ME to buy him something. This guy was probably getting laid and drunk while I was working full time and going to school. Now that he has realize the error of his ways he wants ME to take care of him.

Ever since I was a little kid, everyone and everything has told me that getting and education is the most important thing someone can do. Everyone has told me that hard work is what you have to do. I grew up with people who would be seriously fucked up and still go to work. My dad hasn't taken a vacation in 15 years. My mom worked full time, with kids and went to school.

Some people don't have the fire inside to succeed. Nature needs to take its course.

Buy me something. Mother fucker. Can you believe that entitled Obama supporter!

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Sep 25, 2011 - 7:46pm

I have empathy for the crippled guy living on the street. I have empathy for the Indian kid living in a gutter. I have empathy for the kid in Africa that watched his parents die of AIDS. I have empathy for sick kids who can't make it to 18.

I have NO empathy for grown, healthy American's who expect others to take care of them.

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Sep 25, 2011 - 8:11pm

Exactly. It seriously angers me when I see people younger than me (~23) begging me for money and when I refuse, cuss me out. I have no respect for them.

We live in the richest country in the world, which grants us many opportunities. People in "third world" countries would kill for such chances. It is depressing that most will never be able to get in but that is why there are some excellent charities that do manage to make an impact with the truly impoverished.

Instead of sitting around whining out of laziness, it really is out duty to make sure we are doing everything possible to take advantage of what is in front of us.

Sep 25, 2011 - 8:12pm

I've said it so many times before, when I look at recent immigrants I see real Americans. American's need to be deported to 3rd world countries to get a true taste of what disadvantaged truly is.

It's cool though. The BB sale will cheer me up. I feel bad for those who cannot afford the wso/">slim fit non irons. Such a travesty.

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Sep 25, 2011 - 8:28pm
ANT:

Why is it that socialism only benefits the people who put the least effort in life and punishes those who put the most effort in? Why do we worry about the underachievers at the expense of those who achieve? Why am I not seeing hard working Americans who have lost their jobs, who have lost their houses, etc protesting? Instead I see young kids with god knows what kind of educational background complaining?

Go long mace and cattle prods.

You're right, the banks never benefitted from socialism. Oh wait, they were bailed out to the tune of $1 trillion+ within the last three years. TARP, TALF, Fed lending programs, etc.

Not even saying I'm agreeing with these people (I imagine that most of them don't understand the details of all of the bailouts and the financial crisis at large), but still. Let's not act like these random fucking dudes are a bunch of lazy socialists after the banks benefitted from the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world.

Sep 25, 2011 - 8:44pm

TARP was repaid with a profit. The Fed is still in the hole with Freddie and Fannie and GM. I think AIG will end up break even. Many of the banks that were FORCED to take aid didn't even need it.

If you want to have scorn for the financial community, fine, but at least limit to the banks that needed the bailouts.

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Sep 25, 2011 - 8:53pm
ANT:
TARP was repaid with a profit. The Fed is still in the hole with Freddie and Fannie and GM. I think AIG will end up break even. Many of the banks that were FORCED to take aid didn't even need it.

If you want to have scorn for the financial community, fine, but at least limit to the banks that needed the bailouts.

Again, TARP was not the only program. The Fed was lending at virtually 0% interest rates to every bank on Earth (essentially) and even non-banking companies with finance arms. TARP was paid back "with interest" because the entire deck was stacked in the banks' favor. It isn't like the pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. As much as you might like to frame it that way, that's not reality.

And regardless, the crux of your response is basically "socialism is ok when it's for the banks and AIG." I understand that it's easier to say "durr lazy people bad! banks good!" because you worked oh-so-hard to get a big bad banking job (or whatever the fuck it is that you do) than it is to look at things honestly, but it's really tiresome and makes you look like a buffoon.

Sep 25, 2011 - 9:00pm

Honestly dude, right now I wish the banks would of failed. This country would of been crippled and the "people" would of gotten exactly what they deserve.

Lending at 0% interest? Big deal. The Fed was a liquidity provider of last resort. The financial sector is the heart of the economy and allowing it to collapse because of a liquidity crisis is most likely not going to benefit everyone.

You are right TheKing. The bailouts are what have bankrupted this country. Has nothing to do with social spending or government waste. Also, I am sure every socialist in this country appreciates how you give the people who over extended or who over spent a free pass.

Please OH please, provide me the names of the bankers who tied up hard working Americans, put guns to their heads and forced them to cash out equity or over extend themselves. Please help me find these criminals who FORCED people to buy 2 H2's and a couple LCD's.

A lot of people were to blame, individuals, the government and banks. Blaming the financial sector is a cop out.

FYI, I am not the buffoon in this conversation.

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Sep 25, 2011 - 9:13pm
ANT:
Honestly dude, right now I wish the banks would of failed. This country would of been crippled and the "people" would of gotten exactly what they deserve.

Lending at 0% interest? Big deal. The Fed was a liquidity provider of last resort. The financial sector is the heart of the economy and allowing it to collapse because of a liquidity crisis is most likely not going to benefit everyone.

You are right TheKing. The bailouts are what have bankrupted this country. Has nothing to do with social spending or government waste. Also, I am sure every socialist in this country appreciates how you give the people who over extended or who over spent a free pass.

Please OH please, provide me the names of the bankers who tied up hard working Americans, put guns to their heads and forced them to cash out equity or over extend themselves. Please help me find these criminals who FORCED people to buy 2 H2's and a couple LCD's.

A lot of people were to blame, individuals, the government and banks. Blaming the financial sector is a cop out.

FYI, I am not the buffoon in this conversation.

Many parties are at fault, I've said that forever. I'm just saying that it's ridiculous for you to complain about socialism in the context of the banks. I blame the lending houses and banks above all else because they failed in their fiduciary responsibilities and CDOs and CDS took a big problem and made it exponentially worse. And then...they were bailed out for it.

The government played a role via Freddie and Fannie and, yes, changes to the Community Reinvestment Act, thanks to dickheads like Bob Rubin and friends in the late 1990s / early 2000. But, let's not act like the lenders aren't majorly at fault for knowingly selling shitty products to major credit risks to drive short-term growth. And let's not act like the banks didn't go and create CDOs, CDO^2s, and CDS that helped crater the global economy.

And even if you want to take your position, which is essentially saying "we had to bail them out to save everything." Even if you want to really take that position, to then call other people socialist is mind boggling. At least be honest and say "I think some socialism is better than other forms of it!"

Sep 25, 2011 - 9:28pm

Socialism is not a one time event. I don't understand how saving the country from financial collapse = socialism.

I think the banks should of been winded down or broken up, etc. I also think this is the time of the true investment bank, the middle market firm, boutique, etc. We can happily debate that issue. But to say that I support socialism in one circumstance and not another is grossly overstating my opinion.

Ok, maybe I will boil my point down further. These kids are protesting the banks and the bail outs without realizing that a strong financial sector is fundamentally important for a nation. The financial community provides financing for large and small businesses, employees millions, provides ample taxes for the cities that house these communities and helps to create value. Millions of Americans are invested in the market and depend on dividends, etc.

Also, for a lot of firms, the issue wasn't needing a bailout, but the liquidity in the market. AIG simply could not liquidate assets fast enough to provide the needed capital. Many banks were fine, but there was a domino effect and people started making runs on healthy banks.

The bailout was bullshit and a handful of institutions fucked up. If these "protesters" were focusing Freddie, Fannie and AIG, I would have even less of an issue. JPM didn't need it. Wells Fargo didn't. Many of the other banks in FiDi didn't.

IMO, these kids are more against bankers and the perception of greed. You, me, everyone should be worried that this idea that some people make too much and that someone else should decide our (respectively) salaries terrifies me.

People who hate WS only see the paycheck, they don't see the work that went into getting that job and keeping it.

  • 2
Sep 26, 2011 - 9:42am
ANT:
Socialism is not a one time event. I don't understand how saving the country from financial collapse = socialism.

Subsidizing losses to the tune of $1 trillion+ is socialism. You can call it whatever you want, but it's still socialism. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it's a duck.

ANT:
I think the banks should of been winded down or broken up, etc. I also think this is the time of the true investment bank, the middle market firm, boutique, etc. We can happily debate that issue. But to say that I support socialism in one circumstance and not another is grossly overstating my opinion.

I agree with the first sentence here, big time. I take it further, however, and say that it still needs to be done. Bring back Glass-Steagall, get rid of too big to fail forever so bank failures can't destroy the world. As to the rest of what you said here, if it's the time of the true investment bank, let's make it clear by breaking them up.

ANT:
Ok, maybe I will boil my point down further. These kids are protesting the banks and the bail outs without realizing that a strong financial sector is fundamentally important for a nation. The financial community provides financing for large and small businesses, employees millions, provides ample taxes for the cities that house these communities and helps to create value. Millions of Americans are invested in the market and depend on dividends, etc.

I agree that a strong financial sector is necessary, a good system of commercial and investment banks acting responsibly and not acting as giant casinos would give us that. Nothing wrong with protesting so-called banks that helped drive the growth of a housing super-bubble via complex derivatives and silly lending practices which were put in place to "drive growth" and "gain market share." Yes, the government meddled in housing and that's simply wrong, but you can actually read company documents from WaMu and internal emails from WaMu execs that explain the conscious effort to shift from safe mortgage products to "high margin" (high risk) products (i.e. liar loans.) They did this because it fueled their bonuses and stock price and because they could simply pass the shitty loans to the big banks. The banks then packaged them into "investment grade" derivative securities and then passed them on to investment funds that needed to hold investment grade securities. It was a giant game of hot potato that was driven in large part by the banks at the top creating these highly rated, high yielding securities that needed new mortgages to be created...but I digress, I've said this too many times before and it falls on deaf ears.

ANT:
Also, for a lot of firms, the issue wasn't needing a bailout, but the liquidity in the market. AIG simply could not liquidate assets fast enough to provide the needed capital. Many banks were fine, but there was a domino effect and people started making runs on healthy banks.

The bailout was bullshit and a handful of institutions fucked up. If these "protesters" were focusing Freddie, Fannie and AIG, I would have even less of an issue. JPM didn't need it. Wells Fargo didn't. Many of the other banks in FiDi didn't.

I wouldn't say that "many banks were fine." JP Morgan was arguably the only major global bank that was truly "fine." Also, I'm pretty sure that "AIG could not liquidate its assets fast enough to provide the needed capital" is the understatement of the decade. It's also a bit misleading because AIG wrote naked CDS to the point where it took over $100 billion just to keep them afloat. And again, without the banks' CDO/CDO^2 money machine, there is no way that AIG would have even been able to have done that. The level of irresponsibility was absurd on almost every level and the number of people who are honest about the causes and necessary cures for what happened can be counted on one or two hands. It's truly disgusting.

ANT:
IMO, these kids are more against bankers and the perception of greed. You, me, everyone should be worried that this idea that some people make too much and that someone else should decide our (respectively) salaries terrifies me.

You're projecting what you want to believe on these people. No one is going to be dictating our pay anytime soon. Just not going to happen. And insatiable greed can be a bad thing (as we see in retrospect looking at what wall street and speculators in the housing market did from 2002 - 2007.)

ANT:
People who hate WS only see the paycheck, they don't see the work that went into getting that job and keeping it.

Please spare the white whine. "I worked hard! It's not fair!" I'm sure you worked hard, I work hard, too, as do a fuck ton of people on this forum and in the country at large. Hard work doesn't excuse shitbag irresponsible behavior on the part of the big banks, the sub-prime lending houses, the government, and society at large.

Sep 26, 2011 - 12:46am

Yeah, I just got 3 shirts, some sweaters and a couple over the calf socks. So nice.

Sep 26, 2011 - 10:44am

Seems like these guys are about three years late, it's over. The only thing the protest has accomplished, as far as I'm concerned, is making me 1.5 minutes later for work in the morning because I have to walk around the area that's fenced off. If someone wants to be a dirty hippie, fine, but don't make it my problem.

Do I DESPISE when peope on Wall Street say things like "fuck the poor" and "eat the poor".....yeah. I do. People saying this sound like a bunch of fucking jerkoffs who deserve to have the gov't take over their shit ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that they ran things into the ground a few years ago....Wall Street bought this on itself.

I'm just being honest because I stand nothing to gain or lose chugging the koolaid.

However, in the big picture, there's plenty of jobs...I've NEVER had a problem finding a way to make a buck, all it requires is shutting the hell up and getting to work. Years ago I got laid off from my nice cushy office job and guess what, I started working behind a bar TO GET PAID...did I fucking hate it? Yes. But I paid my bills while earning a living.

Listen, there's a shortage of high paying jobs w/ benefits right now, and that sucks for sure, but a few dozen people camping out does nothing to change this. The economy goes up, and it goes down, and the only thing you can do is be smart, plan ahead, and make an effort. kvetching about things can help blow off steam, but it does nothing to 'change' anything.

Coming from a guy with center left sympathies: Hippies, shut up and get to work.

Get busy living
  • 4
Sep 26, 2011 - 2:32pm
UFOinsider:
Seems like these guys are about three years late, it's over. The only thing the protest has accomplished, as far as I'm concerned, is making me 1.5 minutes later for work in the morning because I have to walk around the area that's fenced off. If someone wants to be a dirty hippie, fine, but don't make it my problem.

Do I DESPISE when peope on Wall Street say things like "fuck the poor" and "eat the poor".....yeah. I do. People saying this sound like a bunch of fucking jerkoffs who deserve to have the gov't take over their shit ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that they ran things into the ground a few years ago....Wall Street bought this on itself.

I'm just being honest because I stand nothing to gain or lose chugging the koolaid.

However, in the big picture, there's plenty of jobs...I've NEVER had a problem finding a way to make a buck, all it requires is shutting the hell up and getting to work. Years ago I got laid off from my nice cushy office job and guess what, I started working behind a bar TO GET PAID...did I fucking hate it? Yes. But I paid my bills while earning a living.

Listen, there's a shortage of high paying jobs w/ benefits right now, and that sucks for sure, but a few dozen people camping out does nothing to change this. The economy goes up, and it goes down, and the only thing you can do is be smart, plan ahead, and make an effort. kvetching about things can help blow off steam, but it does nothing to 'change' anything.

Coming from a guy with center left sympathies: Hippies, shut up and get to work.

Great post, coming from the same part of the political spectrum.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."
  • 3
Sep 26, 2011 - 10:42am

Retirement is in no way a right. Period. End of discussion. Speech, assembly, etc. those are rights. Retirement is privilege.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Sep 26, 2011 - 3:34pm

1.) Have to give credit to conservatives who know how to throw a relatively calm protest. Juxtapose this with G-8 protesters in London throwing paint at bankers.
2.) The protesters do have a point. If you want the bail-out, you have to accept the regulation that comes with it. If you don't want the regulation, don't take the bail-out.
3.) This country's wealth is less evenly divided than any time in the 20th century. We need to figure out a way to change that trend in a way that's consistent with a Capitalist society.

So in some ways, I agree with ANT about the protests, but the fact is that part of what makes this country great is the middle-class. For the first 125 years of our history, we were able to boost the middle-class by giving away land out West. For the past 100 years, we've boosted the middle-class through wealth redistribution. Now the middle-class is beginning to shrink.

At the same time, over the past 30 years, we've seen a huge concentration of market cap in a small number of oil companies, railroads, banks, consumer product firms, even retailers. As GINI coefficients have gone up, the Herfindahl index has followed. We have become a more corporate, more stratified, less individualistic society over the past thirty years. And while that's come with the benefit of economic freedom, I think it should make a lot of libertarians sad; it sure makes me sad. The bail-outs- passed without serious regulations- were probably the worst part in all of this- we bailed out a bunch of large banks, brought the country deeper into debt, and helped the rich stay rich.

Sep 26, 2011 - 4:04pm
IlliniProgrammer:

3.) This country's wealth is less evenly divided than any time in the 20th century. We need to figure out a way to change that trend in a way that's consistent with a Capitalist society.

This claim is utterly false, not that there is a solid definition for a "middle class." I've seen ranges from $15,000 - 49,999 or $35,000 - 75,000, but no matter how you define it, the "shrink" has been talked about for the past 35 years and it hasn't happened the way economists and sociologists predicted. The income bracket above the various definitions of middle class have been growing.

IlliniProgrammer:

So in some ways, I agree with ANT about the protests, but the fact is that part of what makes this country great is the middle-class. For the first 125 years of our history, we were able to boost the middle-class by giving away land out West. For the past 100 years, we've boosted the middle-class through wealth redistribution. Now the middle-class is beginning to shrink.

Why would a middle class make this country great? Wouldn't it be better if we were all "upper" class citizens? For the past 125 years, we were able to boost the general wealth of the population through deregulation, innovation and free enterprise. Already addressed your regurgitated last sentence.
IlliniProgrammer:

At the same time, over the past 30 years, we've seen a huge concentration of market cap in a small number of oil companies, railroads, banks, consumer product firms, even retailers. As GINI coefficients have gone up, the Herfindahl index has followed. We have become a more corporate, more stratified, less individualistic society over the past thirty years.

Both GINI and Herfindalh statistics are based on arbitrary math. True monopolies in this country have been brought down by innovation and entrepreneurship, not government intervention and bureaucratic decision making.

Does anyone bother to do independent reading and research or are we all listening to Arianna Huffington, MSNBC and Fox News? Do a damn google search. And try to click on links that aren't obviously biased.

Sep 26, 2011 - 4:18pm
STorIB:

This claim is utterly false, not that there is a solid definition for a "middle class." I've seen ranges from $15,000 - 49,999 or $35,000 - 75,000, but no matter how you define it, the "shrink" has been talked about for the past 35 years and it hasn't happened the way economists and sociologists predicted. The income bracket above the various definitions of middle class have been growing.

That's true. It hasn't turned out as dire as some of the predictions by the left in the early 1980s. Part of that reason was deficit spending- we kept the programs going and borrowed to pay for them.
IlliniProgrammer:

Why would a middle class make this country great? Wouldn't it be better if we were all "upper" class citizens? For the past 125 years, we were able to boost the general wealth of the population through deregulation, innovation and free enterprise. Already addressed your regurgitated last sentence.

Actually it would most likely be an environmental disaster. There's a hard geological limit, at least given the technology we've had over the past 50 years, to how much wealth this country can have. At least some of the regulations we have that keep the pool of rich people smaller is also regulations that keep our air safe to breathe and our tapwater safe to drink. Other environmental regulations ensure the sustainability of the size of the economic pie we have to split up. And of course there are other very basic regulations that we take for granted which allow us to not have to worry about our jobs killing us, employees looting the companies we hold stock in, and the like.
IlliniProgrammer:

Both GINI and Herfindalh statistics are based on arbitrary math. True monopolies in this country have been brought down by innovation and entrepreneurship, not government intervention and bureaucratic decision making.

Not really. There are currently only four major telecom companies left after the Ma Bell breakup produced ~12, and now they are trying to merge them down to three. In 1975, there were over 100 Class I railroads. Today there are 4 1/2.

Imagine trying to start up a new railroad or telecom firm today. Your competition has billions in capital to crush your business before it even gets off the ground. The concentration of business in this country deters entrepreneurship and we need to figure out how to reduce that concentration in a way that's consistent with Capitalism.

Sep 26, 2011 - 4:31pm

I fail to see how the middle class has been destroyed. More people have a college education and are making more money. Unskilled manufacturing has died, but it has been dying for 30-40 years now. Semi skilled and skilled manufacturing is actually growing and hurting for people. Sorry that you can't flub through high school and make 50k a year.

I grew up in the 80's and 90's. Everyone told me that you had to go to college or learn a skill/trade. Never once did I think I could stand in place and put a part together and make a good living.

Wealth is simply assets - liabilities. This is how immigrants get rich. They pay cash for everything, work like slaves and beat their kids if they get A-'s. Unfortunately in the USA, the second you get shit out you expect the world on a platter.

Sorry people, the world has gotten more competitive.

The Va-gini coefficient is worthless. There is so much opportunity out there, so much money to be made. If you are too lazy or too blind to do it, you never deserved it to begin with.

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Sep 26, 2011 - 4:34pm

Illini, you are right. Starting a railroad or telecom business is impossible. We also enjoy cheap cell phones and rail travel. Starting an internet business is dirt cheap. The internet has made entrepreneurship available to everyone. Look at Ebay, Amazon, etc. All the ways you can sell your goods and services.

Knowledge is free and plentiful. You can take MIT classes for free. You can access all the worlds info with a $10.00 per month dial up.

Back in the 1920's I could see the argument being made about the rich holding the poor down. Not today. Laziness holds them down. The tools and mechanisms for wealth are out there. Take them and run with them.

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Sep 26, 2011 - 8:50pm

Only three/four major telecomm companies? Sure, but what about substitute products? Right now there are 17.6 million users on Skype. These users can place telephone calls to anywhere in the world for either free or ridiculously cheaper than a landline or a cell phone...

Personally, I think it isn't fair to compare one class of people to another class. While the middle class may be declining in number or generating less income than previously, their quality of life continues to improve substantially, both relative to the prior generation of middle class folks and to foreigners. A middle class salary affords you a home, computers, cell phones, TVs, you name it. The middle class should stop complaining that the wealthy have a lot of money and start realizing that the rising tide is lifting all the ships.

CompBanker

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Sep 26, 2011 - 8:53pm

Agree with above. We don't live in a world of finite wealth. What someone else has means nothing to you. My income is not greater or less than because someone else makes more.

It boils down to jealousy or some childish concept of fairness.

Sep 26, 2011 - 11:45pm

Wow, what would the world be without massive government interference? Hmmmm, maybe more money in our pockets because of less taxation. Maybe more jobs because of less regulation (or more effective, less politically motivated regulation), lower corporate taxes, etc.

Dude, you are confusing America when the rest of the world was living on a farm to America where the rest of the world is industrializing. China was recovering from a horrible war and barely developed in the 1950's. Europe was destroyed. People all had jobs with no education because the USA was the only manufacturing place left.

Government is not the answer to your problems. This country would be a lot better off with a smaller federal government, one that focused on what it was created to do, rather than becoming everyone's mom and dad.

Look around. You see TV commercials advertising government websites. How much does that shit cost. Why does every tiny government department need to advertise and have a website. What does the DOE friggin do? Think of the countless government agencies and all the overlap, etc. All employed by government workers with government pensions.

It is hilarious. People hate the TSA. People hate the DMV. People bitch about the Post Office, Veterans Affairs, IRS, etc. All government agencies. And then in the same breath think the world would suck with out them or a smaller version of them.

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Sep 26, 2011 - 11:51pm

FYI - Socialism works when the people are disarmed. Socialism, at its core, is about control and violence. You give up your earnings OR ELSE. You can't make someone your bitch until you disarm and neuter them. Hence why Europe is a walking vagina.

Sep 27, 2011 - 12:55am

While I only briefly scanned your post, MNT, I think I can agree with most of it. Not to be nit-picky, but the United States experienced its highest national debt for the time shortly after WWII. We may have attempted to pay for wars back then, but we didn't actually get around to doing the paying until later -- in a similar fashion to how it is now.

Sep 27, 2011 - 1:17am

I am tired so my Europe is a vagina will have to stand.

I think we are fucked. The odds of people understanding anything are slim to none. I am pretty educated and don't think of myself as smart, but I went to a baseball game a week ago and realize how dumb normal America is. Even basically educated America. People just want free shit, sad but true.

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Jan 5, 2014 - 3:50am

OWS is back (Originally Posted: 04/10/2012)

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

Get busy living
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Sep 27, 2011 - 2:41am
ANT:
People just want free shit, sad but true.

You just reminded me of something a buddy of mine in New Orleans says all the time. It's his job to go around and give people grant money to raise their houses. This is all part of the post-Katrina giveaways. He gets so pissed off because he's giving people $120,000 apiece on average, and they're still complaining.

He always tells me, "People don't want free shit. They want better free shit."

Jan 5, 2014 - 3:51am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 3:53am

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

Get busy living
Jan 5, 2014 - 3:52am

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."

Jan 5, 2014 - 3:55am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 3:59am

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."
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:00am
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
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:03am

^^^ 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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:04am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 6:41am
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.

Array

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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:05am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:09am
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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:07am

^^^ 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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:14am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:08am

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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:10am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:12am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:13am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:15am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 7:00am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:20am
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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:30am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:22am

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

Get busy living
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:24am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:23am

"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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:25am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:28am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:43am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:29am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:32am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:33am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:34am

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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:35am
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
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:36am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:37am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:44am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:38am

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.

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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:45am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:39am

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
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:40am

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.

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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:42am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:41am

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

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:47am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:48am
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

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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:49am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:50am

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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:51am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:52am

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.
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:53am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:01am
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.
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:54am

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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:55am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 4:56am

Fair point, thanks for addressing it.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Jan 5, 2014 - 4:57am

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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 4:59am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:04am
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
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Jan 5, 2014 - 5:00am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:02am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:05am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:06am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:09am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:08am

"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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:10am

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."
  • 1
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:11am

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!"

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:12am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:13am

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.htmlU.S
the white house historical data http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:14am

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).

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:19am

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

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:18am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:21am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:20am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:23am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:24am
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
  • 2
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:27am

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.

Follow me on insta @FinancialDemigod
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:32am
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
  • 2
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:29am

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

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:30am
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
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:34am
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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:31am

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...

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:33am
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 >_

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:37am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:40am
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. :-)

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:41am

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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:42am
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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:48am

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
  • 5
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:49am
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.
  • 2
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:52am
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

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:55am

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.
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:56am

[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.

Jan 5, 2014 - 5:57am

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Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com
Jan 5, 2014 - 6:01am

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Ipsam corrupti dignissimos atque nihil tempora incidunt. Quasi illo et tempora aut ipsa id. Et quia at aliquam omnis vero fuga et.

Tempora et voluptatibus voluptatem quisquam. Consectetur magni a voluptatum nam corrupti vero temporibus. Maiores quaerat non tenetur labore dicta porro alias. Ut quia ipsum impedit quos est aut. Sit placeat consequatur rerum. Voluptate consequatur aut ut corporis laborum rem maxime.

Facere aperiam in assumenda et rerum minus. Quia harum recusandae consequatur non alias. Sunt eum vel doloremque asperiores fugit qui labore.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Jan 5, 2014 - 5:59am

Odit vero voluptatum est. Dolorem sint officiis suscipit delectus aut. Perspiciatis quis eius praesentium incidunt et. Esse voluptate delectus repellendus doloremque soluta doloremque. Dolor adipisci laboriosam veritatis rerum sint.

Autem rerum quia doloremque voluptas similique rem. Tempore facere autem a cum voluptatum fuga dolorem earum. Maiores autem ut maxime dolorem. Perspiciatis quia debitis suscipit sed perspiciatis sapiente est dolor.

Jan 5, 2014 - 6:00am

Ducimus explicabo eos eos deserunt quis consequatur molestias. Aut maiores ea debitis at rerum facilis quisquam. Nostrum distinctio aspernatur nihil cumque placeat rerum.

Omnis aperiam non consequatur voluptas. Dolor iste quae quia corporis iusto aperiam. Omnis fugit necessitatibus et. Quia autem aut ut id mollitia asperiores exercitationem.

Ratione consectetur facilis nihil veniam aliquam fugiat aut. Quia sapiente voluptatibus iusto sapiente animi autem. Et blanditiis recusandae laudantium quidem impedit rerum. Totam qui maxime doloremque dolores illo. Minima sequi quod sint et non.

Get busy living
Jan 5, 2014 - 6:04am

Optio minima qui at voluptatem mollitia dolor voluptatem. Explicabo saepe voluptas omnis perferendis modi. Rem suscipit occaecati esse ut libero et omnis. Rerum et deleniti molestias et velit. Ex ut ipsum sed qui fugit laboriosam atque qui.

Id officia laborum ullam est neque veritatis ratione. Sint nobis enim tenetur rerum dolorum et.

Autem vel nam voluptatem quis iure inventore optio. Hic debitis incidunt et alias dolorem aut quia. Impedit vitae qui nobis earum rerum. Aut qui quis ut veniam. Beatae non repudiandae vel quia qui eveniet. Perferendis minus doloribus qui perferendis accusamus dolores consequatur et.

Rerum ipsa occaecati numquam quia. Et optio accusamus quia et molestias modi. In et aut autem perspiciatis ad tempore. Id minus rerum exercitationem est aut consequatur rerum. Pariatur ut assumenda ipsam soluta.

Jan 5, 2014 - 6:05am

Necessitatibus voluptas iusto excepturi. Eaque dicta autem fuga maiores nemo minus. Similique laboriosam ipsum dolores totam optio nemo dignissimos fugiat.

Neque et nihil quam similique maxime necessitatibus. Blanditiis ut numquam deleniti iusto impedit reiciendis. Deleniti doloremque saepe voluptatem. Consequuntur natus occaecati maxime architecto.

Jan 5, 2014 - 6:06am

Omnis et aliquid esse at sit a ea. Et in explicabo autem blanditiis non. Quia similique necessitatibus et in dicta amet consequatur.

Minima quae quos enim ut. Est vitae est possimus incidunt facilis consequatur deserunt. Aut et accusantium quod aut veniam recusandae ut aut. Qui officiis quae perspiciatis officia architecto. Odit soluta repudiandae recusandae earum quia nihil ea modi.

Quaerat debitis consequuntur voluptatem ut totam dolores. Voluptas maxime autem quisquam illum repudiandae. Enim vitae repellat dolor. Maxime illo veniam perferendis eius. Sapiente amet velit harum est quo illum.

Jan 5, 2014 - 6:07am

Est corporis eum magni velit eos. Consequuntur dolores voluptas a. Nihil doloremque enim ex molestias qui quod rem. Libero enim ea aut deserunt eos consequatur.

Nostrum ullam asperiores nostrum voluptatem enim quas vero velit. Aliquid eos dolorum autem aut quis sunt neque. Alias voluptatem aperiam at nihil. Aut nesciunt et voluptatem ut. Autem labore error dolorem recusandae vel voluptatibus. Aut beatae quibusdam et tenetur voluptatem aut.

Aut quidem neque minima ut iste rerum aut omnis. Occaecati illo quos exercitationem animi. Doloremque alias quaerat culpa tenetur ducimus illo sequi.

Ut a vel harum ut minus ut. Cupiditate nesciunt sunt quia rerum aspernatur in. Ducimus voluptatem odio repellat maiores beatae in. Quae quasi minima nemo asperiores in et corporis quis. Ad est dolor officia.

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