How inequality holds back economic growth

by whateverpedia 180 replies
The OECD said that the richest 10% of the population now earned 9.5 times the income of the poorest 10%, up from seven times in the 1980s. However, the result had been slower, not faster, growth.
Revealed: how the wealth gap holds back economic growth | Business | The Guardian


Money is like shit. Pile it up and it stinks. Spread it around and you can grow things. Richard Flanagan
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I wish I could remember where I saw THIS, but I saw similar things ********HERE******** A group that was FIGHTING for wages over $15/hour declared it was INHUMANE to pay anything lower and said anything lower was NOT a livable wage!

    The needed a person to create and administer the site! WHAT were THEY offering? $13.00/hour!!!!!!!! Keep in mind that this is a job that requires some skills and responsibility! If they were offering $13.00/hour for THIS, how little might they for a person cooking burgers?

    BTW HOW could Richard Flanagan fly/drive to get the reward? I ASSUME he does things by the seat of his pants and hopes to retire in squalor, since he is against saving money. Why doesn't he suggest others follow THAT example? The poor will suddenly have PLENTY of money!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    Flanagan donated his prize money to a charity that promotes literacy for indigenous children.

    How about that for setting an example?
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

      Flanagan donated his prize money to a charity that promotes literacy for indigenous children.

      How about that for setting an example?
      But he was there to get the award! You can bet he ddn't donate all he earned, though he implies all should.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator

    S & P recently issued a report that said the same thing.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/0...conomic-growth


    In the U.S., the last time income inequality was this bad was in the times of 1929. We had a major economic crash then and now we just had the great recession in which among a host of negative outcomes, many millions of near retirees must change their retirement plans for the worse.

    Too many folks simply dismiss this important stat but they should take note of the historic problems associated with the wealth gap and act accordingly.

    It's clear that a national policy that promotes the wealth gap is not in the best interests of the average citizen and leads to many disastrous situations in a society.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    If you have a lot of people out of work, and/or on welfare, there WILL be income inequality!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      If you have a lot of people out of work, and/or on welfare, there WILL be income inequality!

      Steve

      Perhaps but that's not what historically produces income inequality.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

        Perhaps but that's not what historically produces income inequality.
        NO! MOST income inequality STARTS by one producing a desired item or somehow creating desire. They can get to be RICH, and often have MANY doing menial tasks. Later, there is the idea of managers and workers. THEN, comes favoritism.(Generally by some mutual friend, relation, or association.)

        STILL, the problem NOW is the lack of work skilled labor, and desire.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Income inequality in the US traces straight back to the FED. We are a nation owned by a bank, and until that situation is corrected you are going to see citizens being nothing more than surfs and vassals who grind out everything for the rich. The World Bank teams with corporations, they don't worry about people. They've helped build vast corporations which get subsidized tens of millions of our tax dollars, while our senior citizens quietly starve to death on their social security.

    It's not an accident that our first financial crash happened shortly after the FED was installed on us. Until we get rid of this beast, you're going to see pain, suffering, poverty and an endless decrease for anyone who isn't part of the "chosen" class.
    What other entity would set up a system of payment and taxes for property in which they can just turn around, pull a few illegal things, then get to take that real property back from people who have invested everything in it?

    There is no way to fix the injustice of the system unless we dismantle the FED - and do so Globally. Period.

    The most mind numbing part of the current economics grab is the fact that not only is the middle class being broken -- upward social mobility is becoming almost non-existent. Yes, there are some that make it up to at least a comfortable self-substance, but they don't go much further than that - and it's such a small amount its become a moot point.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I think most people writing about income inequality are out to prove a point - present a slant - or have one narrow rationale to discuss.

      I think there's so much more to the problem than "the FED" or "nasty rich people". Many previously 3rd world countries now have expanding and prosperous middle classes. Could that cause older Western economies to change? I don't know but there are a few real experts who consider that a possibility.

      http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-...tribution-1988
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I think most people writing about income inequality are out to prove a point - present a slant - or have one narrow rationale to discuss.

        I think there's so much more to the problem than "the FED" or "nasty rich people". Many previously 3rd world countries now have expanding and prosperous middle classes. Could that cause older Western economies to change? I don't know but there are a few real experts who consider that a possibility.

        Global income distribution since 1988 | VOX, CEPR
        NO country can really use othe countries as models! ARE 3rd world countries changing as you claim? NOT REALLY! MANY countries, including the US, are spending BILLIONS to help them out! Did germany get itself into the problems in the early 1900s? *******NOPE*******! They were FORCED that way! Did Germany then SOLELY build up all those structures? NOPE! THEY HAD HELP!

        Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Income inequality in the US traces straight back to the FED. We are a nation owned by a bank, and until that situation is corrected you are going to see citizens being nothing more than surfs and vassals who grind out everything for the rich. The World Bank teams with corporations, they don't worry about people. They've helped build vast corporations which get subsidized tens of millions of our tax dollars, while our senior citizens quietly starve to death on their social security.

      It's not an accident that our first financial crash happened shortly after the FED was installed on us. Until we get rid of this beast, you're going to see pain, suffering, poverty and an endless decrease for anyone who isn't part of the "chosen" class.
      What other entity would set up a system of payment and taxes for property in which they can just turn around, pull a few illegal things, then get to take that real property back from people who have invested everything in it?

      There is no way to fix the injustice of the system unless we dismantle the FED - and do so Globally. Period.

      The most mind numbing part of the current economics grab is the fact that not only is the middle class being broken -- upward social mobility is becoming almost non-existent. Yes, there are some that make it up to at least a comfortable self-substance, but they don't go much further than that - and it's such a small amount its become a moot point.
      You DEFINITELY have a point about the fed. HECK, we don't even have an income tax in the US! We have a WAGE tax! You want to save up $2000 to put in an IRA? GREAT! Outside of all other costs, you will only need to earn perhaps another $2700 to save that $2000! WHY? Because that $700 will be money you NEVER have COME IN! It will not be INCOME, because it is paid DIRECTLY to the FED! HECK, MOST mutual funds are REQUIRED to, every year, sell enough of their holdings to pay 20% of the gains in value,.each year, to the FED!!!!! If they DON'T, the funds may be DOUBLE TAXED! This is IN SPITE of the fact that, BY LAW, such gains are not supposed to be taxed until realized as monetary gains, and nothing is to be double taxed!

      It is actually ILLEGAL to pay more than 20%, last I heard, of your tax as INCOME tax! If you do, you have to pay PENALTIES!

      And it is ironic! If you make $220,000 in a year, and want to save $200,000 for a home, GOOD LUCK! It will be taken, and you won't get it. Oh SURE, you could maybe save for TWO years but things are SO expensive that people MORTGAGE, and buy higher priced homes, and prices climb.

      On a point EVERYONE here should see, the HIGH minimum wage today seems low NOT just because of the inept currency controls driving the currency down GLOBALLY, or the credit run economy driving the currency down still MORE, or the regulations driving it down still MORE, but the WAGE taxes ON TOP of that!

      Prior to the fed, the number of tiers was LIMITED, and SIMPLER! Even the HIGHEST tax rate was LOW! And most people in the us paid ********NO******** tax, because the first level was INCREDIBLY high! Do you guys realize we have only been on the fed for about 101 years? This country is about 238 years old!
      ANOTHER thing! The weird straying from the CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES didn't start until about 81 years ago. NOTE, this was about 20 years AFTER the FED was installed!!!!!!!! After the FED, all had a party, and things shot sky high. Many started investing in the stock market on margins that TODAY are VERY ILLEGAL! The party lasted for about 16 years(The later part called the roaring 20s), and came crashing down. That was called the great depression. Still MORE constitutionally illegal things started only within the last 50 years. NOTE, that MOST of the wild inflation started soon after that.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    The slant or narrow rational to discuss is...


    ... if allowed to fester, extreme income inequality will undermine the financial stability of a society in so many negative ways especially for the average person who's not already wealthy.

    - Upward mobility is undermined in the society.

    - Necessary investments in the society such as keeping up the infrastructure will more than likely be ignored.

    - Investment in the people of the society is ignored.

    - Many more people will retire in less than ideal circumstances than if income inequality had not occurred.

    - The job market will not be as robust as it could be and that alone is not a positive outcome for the average person who is not wealthy.


    - Major economic calamities are more likely to occur as they have already have - historically, right around the times of the greatest income inequality in the USA - such as around 1929 and now.

    IMHO, It is no coincidence.

    - The historical evidence is clear for people interested in a robust economy that you're not going to get a robust economy and in fact you'll get the opposite - when income inequality is allowed to run rampant.

    - The average small business person should be in favor of an robust bottom-up economy verses an extreme income inequality inspired economy since lots more people will have more money to spend.

    But that type of economy has no chance of happening with extreme income inequality on the loose.

    That is the slant.

    There will always be income inequality in most western countries simply because the wealthy make a lot more money than the average Joe but...

    The big takeaway is...

    ...that extreme income inequality is not good for a society if that society claims to be concerned about the financial fortunes, prospects and financial outcomes of the average citizen.

    Now a lot of people may choose to believe its still not a big deal and as far as i'm concerned that all depends on what a person desires for the people of their country.

    - If you don't give a hoot about the fortunes of the average person in your society then income inequality is something they won't have a problem with.

    - But on the other hand, if you do care about the fortunes of the population then extreme income inequality is something you're in favor of the society avoiding.


    More ways IE is not helpful to the average Joe.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...me-inequality/
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      The slant or narrow rational to discuss is...
      So you want to be NARROW minded!

      ... if allowed to fester, extreme income inequality will undermine the financial stability of a society in so many negative ways especially for the average person who's not already wealthy.

      - Upward mobility is undermined in the society.
      So why don't THEY work harder to eradicate it? YOU blame the rich for not giving money to the poor. Actually they DO, but that is CHARITY!

      I blame those that want to take jobs from KIDS, and blame the JOBS for their troubles!

      - Necessary investments in the society such as keeping up the infrastructure will more than likely be ignored.
      Actually, THAT is mostly do to the lazy politicians and road workers. But this is one of the FEW things the government is CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED to do!

      - Investment in the people of the society is ignored.
      SORRY, CONSTITUTIONALLY FORBIDDEN!

      - Many more people will retire in less than ideal circumstances than if income inequality had not occurred.
      ACTUALLY, most of this is due to INFLATION!!!!!!!!

      - The job market will not be as robust as it could be and that alone is not a positive outcome for the average person who is not wealthy.
      HUH? The regulations and mandated increases in salaries have CUT JOBS! There is a college here where the AVERAGE " ******UNSKILLED****** " SALARY was OVER $15/hour!!!!!! The $15 minimum wage is going to KILL many of those jobs, and make it harder for poorer people to get them! WHY? You see, they have hired ******UNSKILLED****** people almost for the asking at a bit over $10/hour! Those they don't like don't go on. Those they DO like GET A RAISE! NOW, they have to be more selective!


      - Major economic calamities are more likely to occur as they have already have - historically, right around the times of the greatest income inequality in the USA - such as around 1929 and now.
      WHO CARES about 1929-1933!?!?!?!?!?!? You DO realize that was pretty much WORLD WIDE, RIGHT?

      Income inequality did NOT cause 1929! 1929 caused income inequality!

      Economy in The 1920s

      People fear the same thing will happen NOW!


      - The historical evidence is clear for people interested in a robust economy that you're not going to get a robust economy and in fact you'll get the opposite - when income inequality is allowed to run rampant.
      Income CEASES to have meaning or value if the poor suddenly have middle class incomes for NOTHING! Then all others become SLAVES! And SLAVES will not want to work and with no work, how do you get what you pay for?

      - The average small business person should be in favor of an robust bottom-up economy verses an extreme income inequality inspired economy since lots more people will have more money to spend.
      OH, we could point to Russia, cuba, china, Venezuela, etc... to show how your method won't work. When honestly done, the idea of money as SOLELY a way of barter and charity WORKS!

      But that type of economy has no chance of happening with extreme income inequality on the loose.
      AGAIN, you have it BACKWARDS!

      That is the slant.
      EXACTLY!

      I'm STILL waiting to hear about your $5,000,000 donation as a sign of good faith. How about a nice regular foodbank at a church or some such? OH YEAH, I said to the IRS, didn't I. OK, then THERE! I mean you CERTAINLY made it sound like you could easily afford it! And you clearly want all of US to do that!

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I'm still trying to figure out in which 3rd world countries a middle class is developing. Any country that's doing just fine but not using global banking is being invaded by the US. Global corporations are moving in, but usually because of the ability to give slave wages and to extract part of that for WB. We had a very few countries in actual poverty before WB developed its circle of Globally powerful corporations. What gave the fossil fuel industry their monopoly on energy? WB. The pharmaceutical monopoly? WB. WB goes in and develops a country, then bankrupts it. If any country is actually in a development stage right now, it's in fatted calf status. WB is responsible for almost all of the poverty on this planet right now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      The problem with the idea of income inequality, is that ...

      If I make a fortune, it doesn't cost anyone anything. No person has less money...just because I make more money.

      If my income triples, yours doesn't go down.

      So, there is a feeling of unfairness, perhaps. "Why is that guy making so much more than I am?" Of course, the answer is "Because what that guy does, generates more profit, than what you do"

      There is nothing stopping the majority of us from becoming wealthy. I started my business on a credit card, and nerve. How to become wealthy isn't a secret. Nobody is keeping the information from the rest of us.

      I have nothing bad to say about paying people more, as long as their value increases.

      But being upset, because some people create wealth, and you don't? That's faulty thinking.

      A bigger middle class sure would help the economy. And it would make more people happy. But the people that are making more than the middle class, aren't causing other people (in this country at least.) to remain poor.

      There is no nobility in being poor. And there is no nobility in blaming others, because you are.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I think I used the wrong term - I should have said "developing countries" rather than "third world countries".

        India - China - some of the other Asian country and cities....have an emerging middle class that didn't exist before in those countries.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          I think I used the wrong term - I should have said "developing countries" rather than "third world countries".

          India - China - some of the other Asian country and cities....have an emerging middle class that didn't exist before in those countries.
          The UN, and allied countries, have setup some policies that are causing a LOT of money to flow into india, and there IS a cost to the other countries. So it is NOT independent! Although they are doing the SAME thing with china, china apparently isn't benefiting as much. STILL, China is getting a LOT of business from OTHER COUNTRIES that, AGAIN, are suffering because of it. One such country is the US!

          You can say the SAME for tiwan, Singapore, indonesia, etc... So don't think for a MINUTE we can use them as an example.

          Want an example? Watch The Other End of the Line (2008) - IMDb It is VERY telling. YEAH, it is a movie, but it talks about the first generation of the changes I am talking about in india. Even THAT caused a lot of incomes to skyrocket, and even the CULTURE to change. And that was effectively the STONEAGE of what it is now,

          BTW it is a FUNNY movie.


          Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        The problem with the idea of income inequality, is that ...

        If I make a fortune, it doesn't cost anyone anything. No person has less money...just because I make more money.

        If my income triples, yours doesn't go down.

        So, there is a feeling of unfairness, perhaps. "Why is that guy making so much more than I am?" Of course, the answer is "Because what that guy does, generates more profit, than what you do"

        There is nothing stopping the majority of us from becoming wealthy. I started my business on a credit card, and nerve. How to become wealthy isn't a secret. Nobody is keeping the information from the rest of us.

        I have nothing bad to say about paying people more, as long as their value increases.

        But being upset, because some people create wealth, and you don't? That's faulty thinking.

        A bigger middle class sure would help the economy. And it would make more people happy. But the people that are making more than the middle class, aren't causing other people (in this country at least.) to remain poor.

        There is no nobility in being poor. And there is no nobility in blaming others, because you are.
        The only problem with that is that the means for doing what you described are being eroded.

        There was a time when you could easily find a job and enjoy a middle class lifestyle. Now with jobs becoming scarcer and scarcer, the opportunities are also narrowing.

        The part of your statement I've bolded is demonstrably false. The upper class (via corporate structures) are the ones outsourcing the jobs to third world countries and putting people on zero hour contracts, or on a full time wage that people still need food stamps in order to survive.

        They are also the ones paying for the political campaigns of those who will not only keep this structure in place, but also exacerbate it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

          The only problem with that is that the means for doing what you described are being eroded.

          There was a time when you could easily find a job and enjoy a middle class lifestyle. Now with jobs becoming scarcer and scarcer, the opportunities are also narrowing.

          The part of your statement I've bolded is demonstrably false. The upper class (via corporate structures) are the ones outsourcing the jobs to third world countries and putting people on zero hour contracts, or on a full time wage that people still need food stamps in order to survive.
          What you are saying is true. So, I won't argue your facts.

          But I have a different perspective. I don't think that companies owe jobs to anyone. In other words, The people in this country are not owed a job, just because a company is home based here. A company doesn't exist to provide jobs. It exists to make a profit.

          So, when someone says "Companies are moving the jobs overseas", it doesn't make sense to me. The job isn't a thing that existed before, and now it's being moved. The company just found a less expensive way to operate, or to manufacture. They found a cheaper supplier.

          High paying jobs are becoming scarcer here. But the opportunities aren't narrowing, except for people who want to work for someone else. But there is no law that says you have to work for someone else. There is freedom of choice.

          And the idea that business owners owe other people higher paying jobs, or jobs at all....
          is an idea that I don't identify with at all.

          You said my statement; "But the people that are making more than the middle class, aren't causing other people (in this country at least.) to remain poor." is false. And it is. But only when you assume I'm talking about only being an employee. I'm not. Wealth isn't generated by being an employee, almost no matter what the salary.

          And nobody is keeping anyone from starting their own business...or consulting, or being an independent contractor.

          This is a case of you and I seeing facts, and just feeling about them differently. Your view isn't invalid, it just isn't mine.

          Look at it this way, if we agreed on everything, that would mean that you are a psychopath. So, I think congratulations are in order, that you are pretty normal.

          If you understood the totality of my world view, and I understood the totality of yours.....you would find that we have much in common.
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          • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            What you are saying is true. So, I won't argue your facts.

            But I have a different perspective. I don't think that companies owe jobs to anyone. In other words, The people in this country are not owed a job, just because a company is home based here. A company doesn't exist to provide jobs. It exists to make a profit.

            So, when someone says "Companies are moving the jobs overseas", it doesn't make sense to me. The job isn't a thing that existed before, and now it's being moved. The company just found a less expensive way to operate, or to manufacture. They found a cheaper supplier.

            High paying jobs are becoming scarcer here. But the opportunities aren't narrowing, except for people who want to work for someone else. But there is no law that says you have to work for someone else. There is freedom of choice.

            And the idea that business owners owe other people higher paying jobs, or jobs at all....
            is an idea that I don't identify with at all.

            You said my statement; "But the people that are making more than the middle class, aren't causing other people (in this country at least.) to remain poor." is false. And it is. But only when you assume I'm talking about only being an employee. I'm not. Wealth isn't generated by being an employee, almost no matter what the salary.

            And nobody is keeping anyone from starting their own business...or consulting, or being an independent contractor.

            This is a case of you and I seeing facts, and just feeling about them differently. Your view isn't invalid, it just isn't mine.

            Look at it this way, if we agreed on everything, that would mean that you are a psychopath. So, I think congratulations are in order, that you are pretty normal.

            If you understood the totality of my world view, and I understood the totality of yours.....you would find that we have much in common.
            We are all very much a product of where we are on the planet in terms of our views and beliefs and the opportunities we have. Countries that have tons of natural resources for example are likely to become richer and embrace capitalism. Some countries have very little.

            It must be noted however that America became what it is by imposition. Small countries in Europe (like the UK) spread out across the world to occupy larger land masses like the American continent, Africa, India, Australia etc.

            These countries provided scant opposition to our intrusion. They had no central government, armies etc to repel us. By and large we occupied countries that were non technological but perfectly balanced with their structure of occupancy, took the resources they had and got even richer. We also imposed our concepts of money, wealth, politics, religion and values on them. We corrupted them to embrace it, like it and go along with it.

            Has any of this been good for the native people who previously lived a simple but balanced life. I think not. Coupled with the fact that to produce energy we burned fossil fuels which accelerated global warming to what were already largely hot countries.

            If you were living in the UK or other European countries you would probably be paying 60 percent tax. We went out and conquer these countries and became richer because of it. Now we are finding that because we introduced these concepts to the native people they have embraced it and are now imposing their will, and chucking us out. I worked with a white guy from South Africa until recently. He was getting married to a US citizen and is going to live here.

            I said, don't you want to go back, he said no, we are now the second class citizens.

            Like I said. You and I are products of where we are. Our beliefs and indoctrinations are based on that. America is still a huge country with lots of natural resources and influence and interest in the world. It still allows the conditions of wealth creation that you have outlined.

            Will it be a permanent situation. Nothing is permanent.
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        • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
          Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

          The only problem with that is that the means for doing what you described are being eroded.

          There was a time when you could easily find a job and enjoy a middle class lifestyle. Now with jobs becoming scarcer and scarcer, the opportunities are also narrowing.

          The part of your statement I've bolded is demonstrably false. The upper class (via corporate structures) are the ones outsourcing the jobs to third world countries and putting people on zero hour contracts, or on a full time wage that people still need food stamps in order to survive.

          They are also the ones paying for the political campaigns of those who will not only keep this structure in place, but also exacerbate it.
          And...

          No one who understands and talks about income inequality is carping about how much income a person earns.

          The problem is how is that income is treated and taxed by the society after it is earned.

          That is the question.

          - If the income is taxed at a low rate when the earnings are much higher than the average income, then that tends to lead to extreme IE in the society.

          - If investment income is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income, that leads to extreme IE.

          - High earners who make a lot of money with investments are making a lot more income than average people and also keeping a lot more of their income.

          For example, should someone like Warren Buffet pay a lower tax rate than his secretary?

          Should income earned from investments be taxed at a lower rate than income earned from a job?

          Maybe there was a time in the USA when taxing investments at a lower rate than ordinary income made sense but since wall street is practically disconnected from the rest of the economy - unless things go south - dragging society with it, there is no good reason to continue the practice - especially with the recent damage the street has inflicted on this society.

          Also...

          When a low top tax rate for the high earners is in place other gravy giveaways for the high earners also seem to pop up in the tax code - along with a lot of extra gravy tax giveaways for the larger corporations in the society.

          In the U.S. that total number ranges from as low as 200 billion per year up to as high as 400-700 billion per year - maybe more in extra favorable tax treatment that under fairer tax treatment would be going to the federal government and state governments that could and should be funneled into the general society in the form of...

          - Lower taxes for poor and medium earners.

          - Investment in infrastructure.

          - Investment in the people of the society.


          Wages of average earners is a factor also when discussing IE.

          At this time in American history the very last thing the society needs is a continuation of the policies that got us into this latest mess in the first place.
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

            And...

            No one who understands and talks about income inequality is carping about how much income a person earns.
            THAT is part of the problem! You want the government to just give them free money!

            The problem is how is that income is treated and taxed by the society after it is earned.
            GEE, I, and others, complain, and you say We should be taxed up to over 90% and somehow THAT will help the economy!

            - If the income is taxed at a low rate when the earnings are much higher than the average income, then that tends to lead to extreme IE in the society.
            WOW, ANOTHER stupid ackronym!!!!! OK, so you basically wat everyone ******ELSE****** to make approximately the same aseveryone ******ELSE******! I say everyone ELSE, because we KNOW it doesn't apply to YOU!

            - If investment income is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income, that leads to extreme IE.
            Investment FUNDS other things, whether it is the business invested in, a business run, or retirement. Who are ****YOU**** to assume what it is for!?!?!?!?

            - High earners who make a lot of money with investments are making a lot more income than average people and also keeping a lot more of their income.
            They may also LOSE more! WHAT is your point?

            For example, should someone like Warren Buffet pay a lower tax rate than his secretary?
            YEAH, and he is employing more people with it to do more.

            Should income earned from investments be taxed at a lower rate than income earned from a job?
            YEP!

            Maybe there was a time in the USA when taxing investments at a lower rate than ordinary income made sense but since wall street is practically disconnected from the rest of the economy - unless things go south - dragging society with it, there is no good reason to continue the practice - especially with the recent damage the street has inflicted on this society.
            If it is SO disconnected, then how could that currency equate to the dollar, etc? The two are inextricably linked to one another. Do you think Amazon would have gotten where they are without the Stock? How about IBM? Oracle?

            When a low top tax rate for the high earners is in place other gravy giveaways for the high earners also seem to pop up in the tax code - along with a lot of extra gravy tax giveaways for the larger corporations in the society.

            In the U.S. that total number ranges from as low as 200 billion per year up to as high as 400-700 billion per year - maybe more in extra favorable tax treatment that under fairer tax treatment would be going to the federal government and state governments that could and should be funneled into the general society in the form of...

            - Lower taxes for poor and medium earners.

            - Investment in infrastructure.

            - Investment in the people of the society.


            Wages of average earners is a factor also when discussing IE.
            For someone claiming to have sooooo much money, you don'tknow much about this. And they DO have lower taxes for poor and medium workers. They DO have investment in infrastructure(which is one of the FEW CONSTITUTIONALLY LEGAL areas), and they DO have "Investment in the people of the society"(Though it is NOT legal)!

            At this time in American history the very last thing the society needs is a continuation of the policies that got us into this latest mess in the first place.
            AGREED, but the rest of your post indicates you want them to push them FAR MORE!

            Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            TL in Bold . Me not.

            - If the income is taxed at a low rate when the earnings are much higher than the average income, then that tends to lead to extreme IE in the society.

            OK, tax all income at the same rate.

            - If investment income is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income, that leads to extreme IE.

            OK, tax investment income as ordinary income.

            - High earners who make a lot of money with investments are making a lot more income than average people and also keeping a lot more of their income.
            Like I said, tax it all at the same rate.

            For example, should someone like Warren Buffet pay a lower tax rate than his secretary?

            Not if everyone pays the exact same rate.

            Should income earned from investments be taxed at a lower rate than income earned from a job?

            Nope. Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate. Now, rich people are paying the majority of taxes, and poor people are paying very little.

            Would that make you happy? Do you think that this would stop people howling about income inequality? It's a serious question.

            By the way, I would vote for this in a heartbeat.



            Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

            That might be your definition of the people who bring up income equality. But in my experience, most people who talk about it are saying how McDonald's workers should make a minimum of $15/hr and Walmart shelf stockers shouldn't make so little that they need welfare in order to support their family.
            Yes. Although we are talking about a bigger picture...it seems that most people who are talking about income inequality, simply want employees to be paid more for what they are doing now. This is outside of what most of these discussions are here.
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            • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              TL in Bold . Me not.

              - If the income is taxed at a low rate when the earnings are much higher than the average income, then that tends to lead to extreme IE in the society.

              OK, tax all income at the same rate.

              - If investment income is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income, that leads to extreme IE.

              OK, tax investment income as ordinary income.

              - High earners who make a lot of money with investments are making a lot more income than average people and also keeping a lot more of their income.
              Like I said, tax it all at the same rate.

              For example, should someone like Warren Buffet pay a lower tax rate than his secretary?

              Not if everyone pays the exact same rate.

              Should income earned from investments be taxed at a lower rate than income earned from a job?

              Nope. Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate. Now, rich people are paying the majority of taxes, and poor people are paying very little.

              Would that make you happy? Do you think that this would stop people howling about income inequality?
              It's a serious question.

              By the way, I would vote for this in a heartbeat.





              Yes. Although we are talking about a bigger picture...it seems that most people who are talking about income inequality, simply want employees to be paid more for what they are doing now. This is outside of what most of these discussions are here.

              Mostly but most of the howlers also believe in a progressive tax structure not a flat tax system - meaning the more you make the more we take - LOL.
              Signature

              "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. -- Mark Twain

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            • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              By the way, I would vote for this in a heartbeat.
              Me too!

              That would make life so much more simple and stop a lot of complaining, whining, and debating too.


              Terra
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              • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
                Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

                Me too!

                That would make life so much more simple and stop a lot of complaining, whining, and debating too.


                Terra
                IE is one of the defining issues of our time and how we deal with this issue will help determine the living conditions of the vast majority of the American people.

                So IMHO the complaining and whining is seriously warranted.
                Signature

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                • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                  Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

                  IE is one of the defining issues of our time and how we deal with this issue will help determine the living condition of the vast majority of the American people.

                  So IMHO the complaining and whining is seriously warranted.
                  Give me a break. There has ALWAYS been "income inequality". It exists EVERYWHERE! I wonder how you think incentive can ever work in your utopia. If ALL could buy a yacht,and tried, and they somehow found people to build them, can you imagine what the ocean would be like?

                  The UN ACTUALLY WANTS all, except their "elite", to be poor! It is actually a GOAL in Agenda 21! WHY? They claim the middle class uses too many resources. They feel the MC uses the bulk of resources, creates most waste, etc.... They EVEN want us to live in these tiny compartments that the average US citizen wuld consider not much better than those japanese capsule hotels:

                  Capsule hotel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                  Steve
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                  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
                    Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                    Give me a break. There has ALWAYS been "income inequality". It exists EVERYWHERE! I wonder how you think incentive can ever work in your utopia. If ALL could buy a yacht,and tried, and they somehow found people to build them, can you imagine what the ocean would be like?

                    The UN ACTUALLY WANTS all, except their "elite", to be poor! It is actually a GOAL in Agenda 21! WHY? They claim the middle class uses too many resources. They feel the MC uses the bulk of resources, creates most waste, etc.... They EVEN want us to live in these tiny compartments that the average US citizen wuld consider not much better than those japanese capsule hotels:

                    Capsule hotel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                    Steve

                    I guess I should have said "exacerbated or extreme" income inequality.
                    Signature

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                    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

                      I guess I should have said "exacerbated or extreme" income inequality.
                      You're RIGHT! THAT tends to be worse in many areas other than the US. Communist areas, many middle east areas, some Asian areas(Which WAS the reason for those Japanese pods), Africa, etc....

                      Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author Electrical
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Nope. Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate. Now, rich people are paying the majority of taxes, and poor people are paying very little.

              Would that make you happy? Do you think that this would stop people howling about income inequality? It's a serious question.

              By the way, I would vote for this in a heartbeat.
              I would vote for that too, but I don't think it would stop the complaining. It would probably increase it.

              What is the percentage, something like 48% of the citizens don't pay income tax at all? Some of those people don't have any income, however, many of them do. Some of them actually get money back via the Earned Income Credit. So now they would go from not paying taxes at all to paying 15%. That would be seen as an attack on the poor.

              On the flip side, now the rich would get a decrease, paying only 15%.

              I think the only way to make all the people complaining about income equality happy is to take 95% from the rich and hand out cash to the poor.
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              • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
                Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

                I think the only way to make all the people complaining about income equality happy is to take 95% from the rich and hand out cash to the poor.
                Surely, you jest!

                Doing that would kill the the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. As well as teach the lazy that their lifestyle is perfectly fine because the rich will do all of the hard work to support their lazy butts. You also would take away the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling of great accomplishment, self pride, the dream to achieve, and teach the hardworking that it's more beneficial for them to become lazy too.

                Men were designed to be the bread winners and support their families. It's in their genes.

                Heck, we'd turn into a bunch of baby birds with our mouths open waiting for papa bird (gov) to spoon feed us.

                That's some scary stuff right there!


                Terra
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                • Profile picture of the author Electrical
                  Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

                  Surely, you jest!
                  Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should do that, just that it is the only thing that would stop the complainers.

                  Doing that would kill the the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. As well as teach the lazy that their lifestyle is perfectly fine because the rich will do all of the hard work to support their lazy butts. You also would take away the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling of great accomplishment, self pride, the dream to achieve, and teach the hardworking that it's more beneficial for them to become lazy too.
                  I agree with you. But just to change the discussion a little bit, haven't we already done what you said above? Haven't we already made so many welfare programs that a large portion of our population no longer try?
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

                  Surely, you jest!
                  Doing that would kill the the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurship.
                  Terra
                  Dear Terra; I think much of the spirit of Entrepreneurship is already gone. How many people would risk a steady paycheck to strike out on their own?

                  Regardless of the taxes involved/saved, regardless of the potential benefits...

                  120 years ago, 90% of the population in the US was self employed. Now, it's about 6%

                  It's just not in our nature, as a culture, to embrace a pure capitalist system. For one, I wouldn't want Social Security, Medicare to go away......

                  Personally it won't affect my retirement all the much, but most people haven't invested well, saved enough, planned ahead enough...to weather it by themselves.

                  Me? I just see all of this; The laws, taxes, tax breaks, programs, benefits, and politics as just the rules of the game. If my taxes doubled, I'll adjust. If they go away completely, I'll adjust. If it becomes against the law to sell vacuum cleaners, I'll sell shoes.

                  Whatever way the wind blows in this country, that's the way I'll set my sails. It's really all the same to me.
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                  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    Dear Terra; I think much of the spirit of Entrepreneurship is already gone. How many people would risk a steady paycheck to strike out on their own?

                    Regardless of the taxes involved/saved, regardless of the potential benefits...

                    120 years ago, 90% of the population in the US was self employed. Now, it's about 6%

                    It's just not in our nature, as a culture, to embrace a pure capitalist system. For one, I wouldn't want to Social Security, Medicare go away......

                    Personally it won't affect my retirement all the much, but most people haven't invested well, saved enough, planned ahead enough...to weather it by themselves.

                    Me? I just see all of this; The laws, taxes, tax breaks, programs, benefits, and politics as just the rules of the game. If my taxes doubled, I'll adjust. If they go away completely, I'll adjust. If it becomes against the law to sell vacuum cleaners, I'll sell shoes.

                    Whatever way the wind blows in this country, that's the way I'll set my sails. It's really all the same to me.
                    Claude,

                    Free enterprise still exists within the elite, the wealthy. That's how they became wealthy. What I was saying was if that was taken from those men, pretty soon there would be no more wealthy. If the wealthy were supporting the poor, then what would would happen when those men lost that spirit and quit making those millions and billions?

                    As for selling shoes...

                    That's one way to make yourself popular with the ladies.


                    Terra
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                    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                      Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

                      Claude,

                      Free enterprise still exists within the elite, the wealthy. That's how they became wealthy. What I was saying was if that was taken from those men, pretty soon there would be no more wealthy. If the wealthy was supporting the poor, then what would would happen when those man lost that spirit and quit making those millions and billions?

                      As for selling shoes...

                      That's one way to make yourself popular with the ladies.


                      Terra
                      Oh. Well, at least you took the opportunity to look smarter than I am. You give people like Riffle...hope.
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                • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                  Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

                  Surely, you jest!

                  Doing that would kill the the spirit of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. As well as teach the lazy that their lifestyle is perfectly fine because the rich will do all of the hard work to support their lazy butts. You also would take away the satisfaction of a job well done, the feeling of great accomplishment, self pride, the dream to achieve, and teach the hardworking that it's more beneficial for them to become lazy too.

                  Men were designed to be the bread winners and support their families. It's in their genes.

                  Heck, we'd turn into a bunch of baby birds with our mouths open waiting for papa bird (gov) to spoon feed us.

                  That's some scary stuff right there!


                  Terra
                  He's NOT kidding! And he is RIGHT there!

                  To come up with the idea you did, you have to think TWO steps ahead! They CAN'T do that, or won't bother.....

                  THEM?

                  1. A raise means I get more!

                  YOU here?

                  1. A raise means they get more! THEY SHOULD BE HAPPY!
                  2. If others end up getting paid no more, they will stop.

                  ME?

                  1. A raise means they get more! THEY SHOULD BE HAPPY,BUT...
                  2. If others end up getting paid no more, they will stop, so they should get paid more, and on to the next level of workers that are now equal. INFLATION!
                  3. Inflation has happened, which now eats into savings
                  4. At some point, the people asking for the minimum wage raise will realize what has happened, see it as a nasty plot, and ask for ANOTHER raise!

                  HEY, it has been happening for DECADES! What makes TOMORROW any different? GEE, when I was working for minimum wage, I would have been ECSTATIC at making as much as they do now.

                  Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

                Some of them actually get money back via the Earned Income Credit. So now they would go from not paying taxes at all to paying 15%. That would be seen as an attack on the poor.
                And it most definitely would be. I'll have to wait for Claude to weigh in but I dunno that he meant to take away EIC which assist WORKING Families. You could argue that no one should get a check for EIC but to argue that every working family should find the money to pay up (or what I don't know) is right there tippy toeing on the line to "reverse" class warfare.
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                  And it most definitely would be. I'll have to wait for Claude to weigh in but I dunno that he meant to take away EIC which assist WORKING Families. You could argue that no one should get a check for EIC but to argue that every working family should find the money to pay up (or what I don't know) is right there tippy toeing on the line to "reverse" class warfare.
                  Frankly, I didn't figure the EIC in, one way or the other.

                  My statements were pretty much philosophical in nature. I see the value of the EIC, but it wasn't part of my consciousness, when I posted.
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                  • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                    Raising taxes on lower income workers won't help with income inequality. Cutting out loopholes for the rich and taxing investment income the same as other income would.

                    By the way, for 30 years, 1950 to 1980, the top tax rate in the US was over 70% with the rate being over 90% 12 of those years. People still prospered and created wealth and our debt was much lower.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                      Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                      Raising taxes on lower income workers won't help with income inequality. Cutting out loopholes for the rich and taxing investment income the same as other income would.

                      By the way, for 30 years, 1950 to 1980, the top tax rate in the US was over 70% with the rate being over 90% 12 of those years. People still prospered and created wealth and our debt was much lower.
                      Has someone actually suggested raising the taxes on poor people? I'd like to see it, just because it would be fun to watch.

                      The 70% and 90% was mostly a fantasy. There were still deductions enough that almost nobody paid those rates..

                      But you do have a point. If you have a top tax rate of 70%, you reinvest in your company..and don't take it as income. That's better for nearly everyone.

                      And the dept was lower, because it was years ago, and it takes time to amass an incredible debt like now.

                      I don't even know how the national debt works. I mean, do we actually owe someone that money? I'm only half kidding.


                      I can't believe I'm in this discussion. It isn't something I really think about.
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                      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                        The 70% and 90% was mostly a fantasy. There were still deductions enough that almost nobody paid those rates..

                        But you do have a point. If you have a top tax rate of 70%, you reinvest in your company..and don't take it as income. That's better for nearly everyone.

                        And the dept was lower, because it was years ago, and it takes time to amass an incredible debt like now.

                        I don't even know how the national debt works. I mean, do we actually owe someone that money? I'm only half kidding.
                        Yes.You generate debt via your treasury bonds. They're sold to anyone including individual citizens.

                        It works pretty much the same as private credit, except collecting payment on a recalcitrant nation is night impossible.
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                      • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                        Has someone actually suggested raising the taxes on poor people? I'd like to see it, just because it would be fun to watch.
                        You did. "Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate."

                        If half the population isn't paying income taxes and you start taxing them at 15% that would be a raise in taxes for half the population, including all the working poor.
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                        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                          Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                          You did. "Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate."

                          If half the population isn't paying income taxes and you start taxing them at 15% that would be a raise in taxes for half the population, including all the working poor.
                          So you ADMIT that at least almost all of those that don't pay taxes are the poor. That kind of defeats the argument that the rich don't pay any. And Warren Buffett donates money, has philanthropies, has helped out his kids, who also have donated, and has investments that have sent money who knows where. And HECK, he may sell stocks that lose money that lowers taxes from sales that have MADE money, and he may have tax free instruments, etc... There is a LOT to consider with the 17%. I ALSO happen to know enough about how he made some of his money to know that he likes taxes. NOT because it costs him money in taxes on money he has, but because it gets him deals on investments. So don't take all he says as gospel.

                          And one thing so many here claim to not get is that you HAVE to retire a multimillionare, or BETTER! If you don't, you will be forever working your entire life, or you will be virtually a PAUPER! Let's say you want to live off of 2% interest(probably the norm now), and trust one bond issue 100%, and only need $30,000/year. OK, you need about $1500000! That is with no real safety margin, you could lose everything, or the bond could be called, etc... It ALSO doesn't account for INFLATION! If you are SURE you will die by 81, and are 65, I guess you could cash out, and have $93750/year. Is that enough? WHO KNOWS? Look at C. Evert Coop or Jack Lalaine! THEY would have LESS than $15,000/year!(LESS than minimum wage!) AGAIN, if you are taxed.... Let's say you are taxed 90% with no "loopholes" as some suggest. OK, you NOW have $9375.0! That isn't even as much as minimum wage!

                          I don't think I have ******EVER****** seen a rich person advocate increased costs/taxes, unless it HELPED them, or wouldn't affect them! I knew one guy, he died several years ago, that was FILTHY RICH! He practically RAN one area! If you got hungry there, you probably went to one of HIS restaurants or one of HIS grocery stores. If you went to the beach, there was a good chance you parked in HIS parking lot! HE advocated high taxes ALSO! But you know what? He had primarily CASH businesses, and didn't report it all! OH, he COMPLAINED about theft, but there were some ways to limit that, and he didn't use them.

                          Steve
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                          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                            So you ADMIT that at least almost all of those that don't pay taxes are the poor. That kind of defeats the argument that the rich don't pay any.
                            I'm going to make a safe bet that Tim has never made a real argument that they don't pay any but regardless thats screwy logic because its assumes there are only two social economic groups

                            And Warren Buffett donates money, has philanthropies, has helped out his kids, who also have donated, and has investments that have sent money who knows where.
                            Philanthropy cannot come into a tax argument because it is not mandatory and not all "rich " do it

                            The UN, and allied countries, have setup some policies that are causing a LOT of money to flow into india, and there IS a cost to the other countries. So it is NOT independent! Although they are doing the SAME thing with china, china apparently isn't benefiting as much. STILL, China is getting a LOT of business from OTHER COUNTRIES that, AGAIN, are suffering because of it. One such country is the US!
                            Quid pro quo. Unfortunately the US is the last country that should complain too much because China saves many US jobs

                            U.S. Debt to China: How Much Debt Does China Own?


                            And one thing so many here claim to not get is that you HAVE to retire a multimillionare, or BETTER! If you don't, you will be forever working your entire life, or you will be virtually a PAUPER!
                            You've left off two essential facts that all but kill that argument

                            1) The lowering of living expenditures due to full home ownership (no mortgage)
                            2) social security (at least for now)and pensions.

                            You simply do not need to be a millionaire to retire which is why many retirees are not millionaires
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                            • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                              Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                              I'm going to make a safe bet that Tim has never made a real argument that they don't pay any but regardless thats screwy logic because its assumes there are only two social economic groups
                              NOT AT ALL!!!!
                              If very close to 50% are so poor they don't pay, and very close to 50% don't pay, then how many others could be left that don't pay?

                              Philanthropy cannot come into a tax argument because it is not mandatory and not all "rich " do it
                              YES IT CAN! TRADITIONALLY it has been a DEDUCTION!!!!! If you make 10 billion dollars, and give almost 10 billion dollars away, how much do you owe in tax? This became SUCH a big deal that the IRS now deducts the market value of any premium you get from whatever you donated.

                              Quid pro quo. Unfortunately the US is the last country that should complain too much because China saves many US jobs
                              #1, that has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING!
                              FURTHER, the money invested in bonds does NOT save jobs! IRONICALLY, some pays for unemployment that pelosi has actually used to SPECIFICALLY encourage people NOT to work!
                              FURTHER, it doesn't save jobs, unless you mean SOMEWHAT TECHNICALLY saves GOVERNMENT jobs. Frankly, those are jobs I would LOVE to see disappear!


                              You've left off two essential facts that all but kill that argument

                              1) The lowering of living expenditures due to full home ownership (no mortgage)
                              NOPE! #1, that is true ONLY IN PART and ONLY if you own a home! STILL, I have paid about $13,000 for maintenance on my home, SO FAR. That is about $1,300 a YEAR! ALSO, I pay taxes of like $6000/yr. So FORGET THAT!

                              2) social security (at least for now)and pensions.

                              WRONG!!!!!!! Social security NOW is a JOKE! On average, it is little better than minimum wage. ALSO, many say that people my age WON'T get it! And PENSIONS? MANY now DON'T get pensions!

                              I DID leave out one MAJOR thing though! I left out INFLATION and ROUTING! BOTH have happened before. INFLATION will wipe out a lot, and routing can wipe out 100% in a minute!

                              You simply do not need to be a millionaire to retire which is why many retirees are not millionaires
                              WRONG! Many aren't millionares, which is why they are BROKE!

                              Steve
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                              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                                Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                                NOT AT ALL!!!!
                                If very close to 50% are so poor they don't pay, and very close to 50% don't pay, then how many others could be left that don't pay?
                                My previous response was to a point of logic which without question was off no matter how you beg otherwise. You could have the poor paying nothing and the rich pay nothing because the middle could be paying all.


                                YES IT CAN! TRADITIONALLY it has been a DEDUCTION!!!!! If you make 10 billion dollars, and give almost 10 billion dollars away, how much do you owe in tax?
                                Totally irrelevant again because giving it away is not mandatory. No one said it was not a deduction but you cannot determine tax policy based on the premise the rich will give because many don't. Its simple. You can SCREAM about it but it doesn't change anything

                                #1, that has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING!
                                FURTHER, the money invested in bonds does NOT save jobs!
                                Then you have absolutely zero knowledge of economics and should consider withdrawing from discussions about it. To claim if we did not borrow to pay our national debt it would not affect US jobs is pretty silly. Undoubtedly it has much to do with it. We do borrow and China whether you like it or not has lent us the most.

                                NOPE! #1, that is true ONLY IN PART and ONLY if you own a home! STILL, I have paid about $13,000 for maintenance on my home, SO FAR. That is about $1,300 a YEAR! ALSO, I pay taxes of like $6000/yr. So FORGET THAT!
                                Thankfully no one is required to forget anything based on a singular bit of anecdotal evidence and a contrived strawman fallacy. Nowhere did I state that expenditures on homes vanished. I stated they decreased in the absence of a mortgage. Meanwhile not even your anecdotal evidence rebut s the point. $7300 a year on homes costs does not require $30,000 a year income on investment particularly with social security and pensions also available to many for other living expenses.

                                WRONG!!!!!!! Social security NOW is a JOKE! On average, it is little better than minimum wage
                                regardless it is continuing income from non investment which alters whether you like it or not your calculations. As they say in computing garbage in garbage out. Since minimum wage covers many peoples basic living expenses it cannot be left out of any financial calculation of necessary living expense funds. Sorry thats how maths works.

                                ALSO, many say that people my age WON'T get it! And PENSIONS? MANY now DON'T get pensions!
                                and many do which like it or not totally rebuts your claim that you HAVE to be a millionaire to retire. Its utterly false.


                                WRONG! Many aren't millionares, which is why they are BROKE!

                                Steve
                                Apparently you can't even keep up with your own argument which was that you HAVE to be a millionaire to retire or be broke . As long as there are people who are neither your argument is defeated. Screaming in caps as you so often do changes nothing.
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                          • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                            My quote: "If half the population isn't paying income taxes and you start taxing them at 15% that would be a raise in taxes for half the population, including all the working poor."

                            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                            So you ADMIT that at least almost all of those that don't pay taxes are the poor. That kind of defeats the argument that the rich don't pay any.
                            How you come to your conclusions is beyond me. I didn't say almost all of those who don't pay taxes are poor and also didn't ever say the rich don't pay any. SMH
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                        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                          Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                          You did. "Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate."

                          If half the population isn't paying income taxes and you start taxing them at 15% that would be a raise in taxes for half the population, including all the working poor.
                          Yup. I guess I did. Touche'

                          I was right, that was fun to watch.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                            Every proposal I've seen for a flat tax had a rate that began at a certain income - and no tax on low incomes.

                            We could save billions with a simple system - we could allow people with low incomes to avoid income tax without a ton of paperwork. A tax could be tiered rather than totally 'flat' - with a slightly higher percentage of tax for income from $250-one million - and an even higher rate for earnings that exceed one million. Just one idea that's been presented.

                            Yet every time someone in the public view brings up a flat tax or national sales tax or a tiered tax that eliminates all the writeoffs and loopholes.... some will defend the IRS as it exists. I don't understand why anyone would argue FOR the status quo of our tax system. It's crooked, it's broken, the cost to maintain and administer it is extremely expensive.

                            I think it's something we need to seriously look at. Right now calls for changes involve only the rich paying more and the poor getting more. That can only go so far become the system collapses. We've gone over 18 trillion in debt now - not a good trend.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Electrical
                              Get rid of the IRS and implement a flat sales tax!
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                            • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                              Every proposal I've seen for a flat tax had a rate that began at a certain income - and no tax on low incomes.

                              We could save billions with a simple system - we could allow people with low incomes to avoid income tax without a ton of paperwork. A tax could be tiered rather than totally 'flat' - with a slightly higher percentage of tax for income from $250-one million - and an even higher rate for earnings that exceed one million. Just one idea that's been presented.

                              Yet every time someone in the public view brings up a flat tax or national sales tax or a tiered tax that eliminates all the writeoffs and loopholes.... some will defend the IRS as it exists. I don't understand why anyone would argue FOR the status quo of our tax system. It's crooked, it's broken, the cost to maintain and administer it is extremely expensive.

                              I think it's something we need to seriously look at. Right now calls for changes involve only the rich paying more and the poor getting more. That can only go so far become the system collapses. We've gone over 18 trillion in debt now - not a good trend.
                              Frankly, I would be happy with this kind of flat tax, ESPECIALLY if they brought back ALL of the SANE AND REASONABLE DEDUCTIONS, but the flat tax is generally specified as a kind of VAT tax. This is desirable because we can get rid of the IRS, and millionares will have to pay for yachts, etc...

                              AND, if you think about it ********************EVERYONE HERE******************** is saying they want a deduction! EVEN if they won't admit it! WHAT is an exclusion of a basic income if not a deduction?

                              If the poor will get a deduction to live, then a corporate person should! So products bought to facilitate selling, learning, teaching, general business SHOULD be deductible, just as FOOD should be. HECK, I should have been able to deduct 100% of my operation, and drugs. TRAVEL for business, and costs for loans, should be excluded ALSO! They ARE reasonable! They USED to allow them. The yachts, and maybe non monetized real estate and home space over 1600sf(A decent middle class home) and 200sf per dependent(About what a decent bedroom USED to be. 100sf is about as small as an ok room can be.) could be taxed, maybe cars over 20% higher than a particular base value, etc... could be taxed ON PURCHASE.

                              BTW This WOULD still leave most middle class people paying a tax, and lower income people wouldn't. People like Gore would be taxed a LOT.

                              Steve
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                            • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                              Every proposal I've seen for a flat tax had a rate that began at a certain income - and no tax on low incomes.

                              We could save billions with a simple system - we could allow people with low incomes to avoid income tax without a ton of paperwork. A tax could be tiered rather than totally 'flat' - with a slightly higher percentage of tax for income from $250-one million - and an even higher rate for earnings that exceed one million. Just one idea that's been presented.

                              Yet every time someone in the public view brings up a flat tax or national sales tax or a tiered tax that eliminates all the writeoffs and loopholes.... some will defend the IRS as it exists. I don't understand why anyone would argue FOR the status quo of our tax system. It's crooked, it's broken, the cost to maintain and administer it is extremely expensive.

                              I think it's something we need to seriously look at. Right now calls for changes involve only the rich paying more and the poor getting more. That can only go so far become the system collapses. We've gone over 18 trillion in debt now - not a good trend.
                              Proposals maybe. But not all the comments in this particular thread. And a "tiered" tax is still a graduated tax system, just using a different word.

                              And I seriously doubt many Americans don't think our tax system and the IRS don't need a major overhaul. Maybe a combination of a lowered flat tax with no deductions along with a national sales tax would be best?

                              A sales tax taxes consumption and not production, which I believe is good, although in a consumer based economy I could be wrong. Wealthy people tend to buy more expensive things, so they would likely pay more in sales taxes. To counter this, having less income tax would likely create more spending power for everyone, which would contribute to a national sales tax.

                              But I'd also like to see some things exempt from a national sales tax, like basic heath care, food, utilities and housing up to a point, and education.

                              And no, the only changes proposed or enacted are NOT for the rich to pay more and the poor to get more. The rich are doing a pretty good job of doing all they can to get more. Record profits for the rich and a shrinking middle class and more in the low income class prove this to be incorrect. You really need to do a lot more research into corporate subsidies, tax loop holes, outsourcing, etc. Funny how the guy that lead the fight to lower food stamps payouts has received over $6 MILLION over the past 10 years in farm subsidies, but some only talk about entitlements for the poor and never the rich.
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                              • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                                But I'd also like to see some things exempt from a national sales tax, like basic heath care, food, utilities and housing up to a point, and education.
                                Hell I'd like to see those things exempt on a state level.
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                          • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                            I was right, that was fun to watch.
                            Yes, it was tons of fun.

                            Hey Claude, I think you meant public figures such as politicians, pundits, etc... I have seen many of these call for raising taxes on the poor by doing what they refer to as "broadening" or "expanding" the tax base, which in their particular definition is to make those who aren't paying federal income taxes, because they don't earn above a certain level, start paying taxes. The funny thing is that most of these people are the same ones who fight tooth and nail over raising taxes for the rich, and/or middle class, but have no problem whatsoever with suggesting we start taxing the poor and lower income workers. And nobody ever calls them out on this.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                              Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                              Yes, it was tons of fun.

                              Hey Claude, I think you meant public figures such as politicians, pundits, etc... I have seen many of these call for raising taxes on the poor by doing what they refer to as "broadening" or "expanding" the tax base, which in their particular definition is to make those who aren't paying federal income taxes, because they don't earn above a certain level, start paying taxes. They funny thing is that most of these people are the same ones who fight tooth and nail over raising taxes for the rich, and/or middle class, but have no problem whatsoever with suggesting we start taxing the poor and lower income workers. And nobody ever calls them out on this.
                              You already know this. Politicians say whatever their base wants. On both side. Very little real thought going on there.

                              I have a viewpoint, but I don't expect anyone to share it, and I wouldn't work for it to become law. It's just how I see the world.

                              My personal view is that; everyone is enjoying the benefits of a government..so everyone should pay their fair share. But it's just my view.

                              But then, I have no empathy or animosity for those with less. And no empathy or animosity for those with more.

                              I have a view of "What's fair". But it's just my view...for myself.

                              When I buy printing from my local printer, I pay for the printing. I don't want to pay more, because he has 4 kids, business is slow, and he has rent to pay. And I wouldn't want to pay less, because he's wealthy, and no longer needs the money. Those things are none of my business.

                              And it's how I see the world, and paying taxes.

                              For example, a 15% flat tax on all income, no matter how small...no matter how large..with no deductions or credits allowed, would fit my criteria of "Fair". Of course, it would really hurt the poorer, and help some of the richer (except the smarter ones that pay little in taxes now). I would think it was fair, even if it hurt me personally.


                              In fact, if it were the law that every family pay the first $5,000 they earn a year as taxes...and keep everything above that, to me...it would be fair, to me. It wouldn't be workable, and would dramatically hurt some people...but it would be fair, in that everyone would contribute the same.

                              It would also seem fair to me if there were no income tax at all, and everything we bought would have a flat 25% sales tax. Anything where it's the same for everyone.

                              By fair, I mean I personally would go along with it. Not that I think it should happen.

                              In other words, I'm not promoting the idea. And it isn't an idea that I would defend. It's just how I think. In fact, I don't personally know anyone who shares my view....on either side of the political spectrum.

                              .
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                              • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                You already know this. Politicians say whatever their base wants. On both side. Very little real thought going on there.

                                I have a viewpoint, but I don't expect anyone to share it, and I wouldn't work for it to become law. It's just how I see the world.

                                My personal view is that; everyone is enjoying the benefits of a government..so everyone should pay their fair share. But it's just my view.

                                But then, I have no empathy or animosity for those with less. And no empathy or animosity for those with more.

                                I have a view of "What's fair". But it's just my view...for myself.

                                When I buy printing from my local printer, I pay for the printing. I don't want to pay more, because he has 4 kids, business is slow, and he has rent to pay. And I wouldn't want to pay less, because he's wealthy, and no longer needs the money. Those things are none of my business.

                                And it's how I see the world, and paying taxes.

                                For example, a 15% flat tax on all income, no matter how small...no matter how large..with no deductions or credits allowed, would fit my criteria of "Fair". Of course, it would really hurt the poorer, and help some of the richer (except the smarter ones that pay little in taxes now)


                                In fact, if it were the law that every family pay the first $5,000 they earn a year as taxes...and keep everything above that, to me...it would be fair, to me. It wouldn't be workable, and would dramatically hurt some people...but it would be fair, in that everyone would contribute the same.

                                By fair, I mean I personally would go along with it. Not that I think it should happen.

                                In other words, I'm not promoting the idea. And it isn't an idea that I would defend. It's just how I think. In fact, I don't personally know anyone who shares my view....on either side of the political spectrum.

                                .
                                To repeat my earlier comment, if "fair" is only a number then a flat tax is "fair". However, if "fair" is decided by the burden it places on a person to pay for the bare essentials of living in our society, then a flat tax isn't "fair".

                                When discussing a flat tax, we're talking about the Gov taxing people, not prices for goods and services. I have no issue with both a poor person and a rich person paying the same price for a vacuum cleaner. Although, if I sold vacuums at a premium price I'd probably appreciate a tax system that gave the most people more disposable income.

                                However, it should also be noted that a poor person often pays more for things. For example, someone on a very tight budget can only afford to buy the 4 rolls of toilet paper package at (lets say) 50 cents a roll. Someone with a bigger weekly budget can easily afford the Super Whitacre 20 roll Megapack, where TP is only 25 cents a roll.

                                This isn't the fault of the wealthier person and the poor person also has the option of getting the Megapack. However, we should also appreciate that for the poor person to get the Megapack saving, he/she may have to sacrifice something else, since the Megapack cost more for the package even though it's less expensive per unit. But once they move into the weekly, they are pretty much stuck there, never being able to generate enough cash flow to save enough to move into a monthly.

                                A similar situation is someone that's homeless and worked to save to move into a weekly motel. They can get an one room apartment and basic utilities for $600 a month, but can't afford the first month's rent plus deposit. So they spend $250 a week on a weekly because they only have $250 right now. $250 x 4.3 weeks average in a month is $1075 per. The only real option for many may be to stay without a roof over their heads for another few weeks or months to save enough to move into a monthly apt.

                                I'm not sure what can be done about this, but it should at least be considered when discussing how hard the poor may have it.
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                                • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                                  Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

                                  However, it should also be noted that a poor person often pays more for things.
                                  This is true for taxes also. For example: a person making $25,000 will pay 100% of the social security tax at 7.65% for a total of $1912.50, while a person making $1,000,000 pays a total of $8950.50 which is less than less than 1% of their income. How is that fair?

                                  Also, in almost every state in the US low income workers pay a greater % of local and state taxes than those making much more. This is a regressive tax system.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                                    Banned
                                    Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                                    This is true for taxes also. For example: a person making $25,000 will pay 100% of the social security tax at 7.65% for a total of $1912.50, while a person making $1,000,000 pays a total of $8950.50 which is less than less than 1% of their income. How is that fair?
                                    The current Social Security tax rate is 6.2% --> the 7.65% figure includes Medicare.

                                    The reason a person making a ton of money does not have to pay on his entire earnings is because SS maxes the payout at $2,642 monthly (age 66). Right now the taxable income cap is $117,000 (2014 figures).

                                    Tax Topics - Topic 751 Social Security and Medicare Withholding Rates

                                    USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal

                                    Cheers

                                    -don
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                                  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                                    Banned
                                    Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                                    Also, in almost every state in the US low income workers pay a greater % of local and state taxes than those making much more. This is a regressive tax system.
                                    FYI...



                                    Iowa Income Tax Brackets 2014



                                    https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2014_Ca...emptions.shtml

                                    Several states don't even tax wage based income: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire & Tennesee

                                    In-fact most states have some sort of sliding scale...only 8 states have a single (flat rate) bracket.



                                    http://www.money-zine.com/financial-...ome-tax-rates/

                                    Cheers

                                    -don
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                                    • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                                      Don, you posted only state income tax rates. As one article points out, that is the one state and local tax that is progressive.

                                      Nearly every U.S. state taxes the poor more than the rich, according to a 2009 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Overall, the poorest 20 percent of households paid an average 10.9 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2007, while the top 1 percent on average paid just 5.2 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes, according to the study.

                                      Most state and local tax systems are regressive, the study found: that is, tax rates become higher as income becomes lower. This regressiveness hits the middle class, too: The middle 20 percent of families paid a 9.4 percent state and local tax rate in 2007, according to the study.

                                      State income taxes are the most progressive part of state and local tax systems, according to the study: that is, when it comes to state income taxes, richer people pay a higher tax rate than poor people. Sales and excise taxes, on the other hand, are very regressive, and property taxes are somewhat regressive. This combination forces poor people to pay a higher share of their income in state and local taxes than the rich.
                                      Poor Americans Pay Double The State, Local Tax Rates Of Top One Percent
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Kurt in Bold. Me not.

                                  To repeat my earlier comment, if "fair" is only a number then a flat tax is "fair". However, if "fair" is decided by the burden it places on a person to pay for the bare essentials of living in our society, then a flat tax isn't "fair".

                                  I didn't say my view should be adopted. It's just my view. And it's what fair to me..for myself. I have no interest in convincing anyone else. I'm not promoting it, just explaining it. And I think of it the same way, even when it's hurting me personally. So...if you think I'm proposing it, I'm not.

                                  However, it should also be noted that a poor person often pays more for things. For example, someone on a very tight budget can only afford to buy the 4 rolls of toilet paper package at (lets say) 50 cents a roll. Someone with a bigger weekly budget can easily afford the Super Whitacre 20 roll Megapack, where TP is only 25 cents a roll.

                                  This isn't the fault of the wealthier person and the poor person also has the option of getting the Megapack. However, we should also appreciate that for the poor person to get the Megapack saving, he/she may have to sacrifice something else, since the Megapack cost more for the package even though it's less expensive per unit. But once they move into the weekly, they are pretty much stuck there, never being able to generate enough cash flow to save enough to move into a monthly.

                                  A similar situation is someone that's homeless and worked to save to move into a weekly motel. They can get an one room apartment and basic utilities for $600 a month, but can't afford the first month's rent plus deposit. So they spend $250 a week on a weekly because they only have $250 right now. $250 x 4.3 weeks average in a month is $1075 per. The only real option for many may be to stay without a roof over their heads for another few weeks or months to save enough to move into a monthly apt.


                                  I actually think about that often. The poor do pay more. And it's even worse than your examples. They pay to have their checks cashed, they buy in much smaller quantities, and pay the highest prices. Paying rent by the week is the worst way. the most expensive. They pay much higher interest rates. (for multiple reasons). Sometimes, they have to shop at convenient stores, because they can't drive to Walmart. They end up paying far more in checking fees, utility late fees.........They have no negotiating power. I know. I wasn't always well off. And it's a hole that's hard to get out of. I'm with you on that. I don't know the answer either. I don't even know if there is an answer.

                                  I'm not sure what can be done about this, but it should at least be considered when discussing how hard the poor may have it.

                                  Yup. Being dirt poor is hell. My entire family (on my mother's side) was dirt poor. They still are. I was raised that way, and taught how to think like they do. We used to buy like they did. Always the worst options. I know the deal from the inside.


                                  Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                                  All of which they have done an extremely poor job at.
                                  As for national defense, how many trillions of dollars have we spent on the war on terror since 9/11? Are we any safer then we where?
                                  Thom;

                                  You are arguing something I care little about. These are just things you think about, and I don't.
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                              • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                                My personal view is that; everyone is enjoying the benefits of a government..so everyone should pay their fair share. But it's just my view.
                                Just curious, but what do you conceder those benefits to be?
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                                  Just curious, but what do you conceder those benefits to be?

                                  National defense
                                  Infrastructure upkeep.
                                  Medicare Madicaid
                                  Disaster relief
                                  Public education (although that's state, federal, local)


                                  I haven't given it much thought.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                    National defense
                                    Infrastructure upkeep.
                                    Medicare Madicaid
                                    Disaster relief
                                    Public education (although that's state, federal, local)


                                    I haven't given it much thought.
                                    All of which they have done an extremely poor job at.
                                    As for national defense, how many trillions of dollars have we spent on the war on terror since 9/11? Are we any safer then we where?
                                    Our infrastructure is falling apart, with most of the bridges in the country deemed unsafe (just one example).2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure | Bridges
                                    I have medicare and I can tell you what you pay for your entire life through payroll deductions doesn't cover anything.
                                    People in NY are still waiting for disaster relief from the hurricane two years ago. The most relief they have gotten was from people and businesses in the communities helping each other.
                                    Our public education is a joke.
                                    Almost all of the things you think government helps us with are problems they created.
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                              • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                You already know this. Politicians say whatever their base wants. On both side. Very little real thought going on there.
                                but what if the politician is Iosef stalin.

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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                                  but what if the politician is Iosef stalin.
                                  That's a fair question. The next time Stalin runs the US, I may give it more thought.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
                                    Look people, there is a really simple way to fix all inequality, and it's worked for ages.\

                                    Get people to save more money.

                                    For example, the less money people hand over to Apple, the less sales and profits they make.

                                    The less sales and profits Apple makes, the less salary Tim Cook can command.

                                    Why is that so hard for some to understand?
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                                    • Profile picture of the author Electrical
                                      Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

                                      Look people, there is a really simple way to fix all inequality, and it's worked for ages.

                                      Get people to save more money.

                                      For example, the less money people hand over to Apple, the less sales and profits they make.

                                      The less sales and profits Apple makes, the less salary Tim Cook can command.

                                      Why is that so hard for some to understand?
                                      That's an awesome idea.

                                      But just for sh*ts and giggles, what about the 50,000 Americans who work for Apple?

                                      What about the nearly 600,000 American jobs that only exist because of Apple?

                                      How are they going to save money if people stop buying those types of products?
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                                      • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
                                        Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

                                        That's an awesome idea.

                                        But just for sh*ts and giggles, what about the 50,000 Americans who work for Apple?

                                        What about the nearly 600,000 American jobs that only exist because of Apple?

                                        How are they going to save money if people stop buying those types of products?
                                        They can get jobs in other areas....like manufacturing and construction, which could benefit under such a plan.
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                                        • Profile picture of the author Electrical
                                          Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

                                          They can get jobs in other areas....like manufacturing and construction, which could benefit under such a plan.
                                          What other jobs? If everyone started saving like you said, there would be less jobs (including manufacturing and construction).
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                                          • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
                                            Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

                                            What other jobs? If everyone started saving like you said, there would be less jobs (including manufacturing and construction).
                                            Not true at all.

                                            Historical data shows high savings rate during economic recoveries periods, showing it does not affect economic growth at all. (source: Federal Reserve).

                                            This is because different parameters come into play, negating the potential drag saving money would have on the economy.

                                            An example just to show you how this works, let's put the money into the lowly bank.

                                            The bank now has money to lend....for things like cars and houses. This lending activity spurs demand for these items, leading to the creation of jobs in manufacturing and construction....a lot better than burning burgers at McDonalds, don't you think?

                                            This is where 'babylononomics' kicks Kenyes ass times 1,000.

                                            Your problem is you are way too tied into consumer spending....you need balance, or the only jobs you will create are McJobs.
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                                            • Profile picture of the author Electrical
                                              Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

                                              An example just to show you how this works, let's put the money into the lowly bank.

                                              The bank now has money to lend....for things like cars and houses.
                                              Why would people be buying cars and houses when you just told them to stop buying things and save their money??

                                              That negates everything else that you said in your post.
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                                              • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
                                                Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

                                                Why would people be buying cars and houses when you just told them to stop buying things and save their money??

                                                That negates everything else that you said in your post.
                                                A 10% savings rate does not mean zero spending. It's a balance between the two.

                                                As I said before, your problem is you are too tied into spending, with no regards to investment....you need both or the economy is lopsided like it currently is.
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                              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                                And it's how I see the world, and paying taxes.

                                For example, a 15% flat tax on all income, no matter how small...no matter how large..with no deductions or credits allowed, would fit my criteria of "Fair".
                                .

                                Even though you are not proposing it I'm curious from within your own viewpoint how you would consider that fair? In the paragraph before the quote above you talked about printing costs. Paying a percentage means i would pay more if I made more for the exact same printing job. hardly fair.

                                Further why should you pay the same taxes should you not own a car and I do? Not fair to pay for something you never use or use less of in terms of highways and streets. Or home ownership supporting Fannie Mae with no house to own?

                                Unfortunately we cannot itemize these costs. I Think you would be hard pressed if you could even itemize to argue against the fact that the more we consume the more government agencies (who oversee policies associated with each component) we are beholden to pay a share of - so in broad terms fairness would dictate a higher cash amount paid out if not a higher percentage anyway.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                                  Even though you are not proposing it I'm curious from within your own viewpoint how you would consider that fair? In the paragraph before the quote above you talked about printing costs. Paying a percentage means i would pay more if I made more for the exact same printing job. hardly fair.
                                  Apparently, I mixed a metaphor. In my printing metaphor, I would consider it unfair if I (or anyone) paid a different cost, based on my income, and ability to pay. This example is completely separate frrom the idea of paying a percentage of income as a tax. Sorry for the confusion.

                                  Added later; Yup, I see the problem, I didn't explain two examples as separate. Sorry.

                                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                                  Further why should you pay the same taxes should you not own a car and I do? Not fair to pay for something you never use or use less of in terms of highways and streets. Or home ownership supporting Fannie Mae with no house to own?
                                  You are complicating it beyond my intention. I was speaking in general terms. Every idea will have 1,000 questions, with specific examples. I was just giving an overview of an idea I thought of as fair to all. but again. It's just an idea, that I apply to myself. I'm not interested in promoting it.


                                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                                  Unfortunately we cannot itemize these costs. I Think you would be hard pressed if you could even itemize to argue against the fact that the more we consume the more government agencies (who oversee policies associated with each component) we are beholden to pay a share of - so in broad terms fairness would dictate a higher cash amount paid out if not a higher percentage anyway.
                                  You are giving this far more thought than I have. The fact that I posted my opinion, on my own personal view...may have given the idea that I have given this a lot of thought, and am truly interested in the subject. But I've already talked about it more than my interest would justify.

                                  By the way, my internal concept of "Fairness" has nothing to do with people's needs, including my own. And empathy for others isn't part of it. And neither is selfish advantage. My image of "Fairness" will be different from what others think. It's an internal barometer that is mine alone. Somehow, I got on the subject of explaining it. I had to go back to my first posts in this thread to see how that happened. Interesting thread. I'm kind of impressed with how civilized it's been.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                    You are giving this far more thought than I have. The fact that I posted my opinion, on my own personal view...may have given the idea that I have given this a lot of thought, and am truly interested in the subject. But I've already talked about it more than my interest would justify..
                                    Nah I was just asking for clarification in case you had it. You might think I am taking it more seriously than I am but I am not. Its not like tax policy is really going to be affected by this thread. Its all just throwing up stuff so I get that .

                                    I get the impression Tim and FG have clashed on this before but I don't get in too deep argument on it because these things are going to be set by politics not even whose right. or has the best idea.
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            • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Nope. Let's tax everyone at exactly the same rate. Lets say it's now 15% of everything you earn, from any source. Rich, poor, we all pay the same rate. Now, rich people are paying the majority of taxes, and poor people are paying very little.
              The problem with flat taxes is that they hit people on low incomes hardest.

              Using your rate of 15%, someone on $20,000 income would pay $3,000 in income tax. That leaves them $17,000 left to live on. Not much.

              Someone on $200,000 would pay $30,000 in taxes and be left with $170,000 to live on. Plenty.

              This is why we have progressive rates of tax.

              Money is like shit. Pile it up and it stinks. Spread it around and you can grow things. Richard Flanagan (who donated his prize money to a charity that provides literacy programs for indigenous children).
              One solution to reduce inequality suggested in Thomas Piketty's "Capital In The Twentieth Century", is to tax unearned income (capital gains, dividends, rents, etc.) at higher levels than earned income (wages and salaries).

              One thing I'd vote for is to tax all money located in offshore tax havens at a flat rate (the only example of a flat tax that actually makes sense) of 100%.

              Why 100%? Because, patriotism.

              ... it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism. Source: Billionaire J.K. Rowling: Here's Why I Didn't Leave The UK Even Though We Have High Taxes
              Watch how much money suddenly appears in the national economy as corporates repatriate their money after they become aware that the local tax rate is a bargain compared to a rate of 100%. I reckon there'd probably be enough to eliminate income tax (ie actual earned income) altogether.

              Imagine how much of a multiplier effect that would have on the economy.

              More money in the hands of consumers = more demand

              More demand = more jobs plus increased corporate profits
              (taxed at the local rate)

              More jobs plus increased profits
              (taxed at the local rate). = more money in the hands of consumers AND investors.

              More money in the hands of consumers AND investors = WIN /WIN /WIN

              Which brings us back to ...
              Money is like shit. Pile it up and it stinks. Spread it around and you can grow things. Richard Flanagan (who donated his prize money to a charity that provides literacy programs for indigenous children).
              Have a nice day.
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              Australia is an island surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water.
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

                One solution to reduce inequality suggested in Thomas Piketty's "Capital In The Twentieth Century", is to tax unearned income (capital gains, dividends, rents, etc.) at higher levels than earned income (wages and salaries).
                AGAIN, that is STUPID! It hurts retirees!

                One thing I'd vote for is to tax all money located in offshore tax havens at a flat rate (the only example of a flat tax that actually makes sense) of 100%.

                Why 100%? Because, patriotism.
                WHY should *****ANYONE***** be patriotic when we have a country run by a bunch of traitorous idiots! Seriously, how much longer will the US dollar last? I have a GREAT simple plan to get rid of the US debt, etc.....

                1. Tax the UNION pensions 100%! HEY, we can start with the GM one that shouldn't exist in the first place.
                2. Tax all the traitorous government workers, etc 100%
                3. Get rid of the supreme court judges that want to IGNORE the US constitution.
                4. Put all government and union employees solely on social security.
                5. Get them to follow the constitution.

                Just THAT could get the US TRILLIONS!

                These days, all this stuff is treated like a game. And THEN, when one has things just right, some spoiled brat comes by to change all the rules and move all the pieces.

                More money in the hands of consumers = more demand


                You want demand ONLY when you can supply it. TOO MUCH demand leads to shortages and inflation ESPECIALLY if you steal the producers money!

                More demand = more jobs plus increased corporate profits
                (taxed at the local rate)


                More jobs ONLY if it is consistant and they can be productive enough.

                More jobs plus increased profits
                [I](taxed at the local rate)[B]. = more money in the hands of consumers AND investors.
                WHAT profits? You want to TAX everything! What good is a consumer that doesn't produce? WHAT investors?

                Steve
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              • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                Whatever in Bold. Me not.

                The problem with flat taxes is that they hit people on low incomes hardest.

                Yes. The people at the lowest levels. EIC should take care of that. Or a minimum income before taxing. Think about this. You have found a "Flaw" in the flat tax idea. What does this mean. It means that there is no answer. Every answer is "unfair" to someone.

                Using your rate of 15%, someone on $20,000 income would pay $3,000 in income tax. That leaves them $17,000 left to live on. Not much.

                Yup. I agree, it's not much. I would never settle for it.

                Someone on $200,000 would pay $30,000 in taxes and be left with $170,000 to live on. Plenty.

                The word "Plenty" tells me a lot. You want people to have what they need. I want them to have what they have earned. Neither is right, it's just a different sensibility.

                This is why we have progressive rates of tax.

                You are thinking about what people need. I'm thinking about what is fair. And a progressive tax rate? Sure, we have it now, and I'm fine with it. Like I said before...just rules of the game.

                One thing I'd vote for is to tax all money located in offshore tax havens at a flat rate (the only example of a flat tax that actually makes sense) of 100%.

                Why 100%? Because, patriotism.


                I'll be honest with you, patriotism is a foreign concept to me. I may understand it intellectually, but never felt it myself. Patriotism is like Loyalty. The word is brought out to support any idea that we like. Or brought out to argue with any idea we don't like.

                If we were all really patriots, we could donate money to the Government on our IRS form.
                I don't. Do you? Does anyone you know? See, that would be patriotism in action.

                Whenever I hear the word patriotism, it's being used because of a lack of a logical reason for a position. So...Patriotism. Or Loyalty. Or "The Right Thing." Or "Because we should"

                If I actually felt these things, my perception would be different.


                When I started working for a wealthy businessman, as his sales manager, we worked out a deal. For the first two months, I earned no money. He repeatedly asked me what I needed. I would say "What I need is my own business. You pay me what I earn...what's agreed. Let me worry about what I need".

                A few months later, I was earning a very high 5 figure monthly income. It bothered him, that I was earning so much. He said "We need to renegotiate. How much money do you need?" I said "It isn't how much I need. It's how much you owe me...how much we agreed on".

                To me, asking for what you need is begging. Even when I needed the rent money. Even when I needed gas in my car. What I earned, was his responsibility to pay me. What I needed was my responsibility alone.
                I'm very hard on this point.

                But expecting anyone else to think like me, would be silly. Or wanting to change the country to fit my personal view...would also be silly. But that's what human nature is...trying to change the entire country to fit your own personal view.
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                • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                  Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                  Whatever in Bold. Me not.

                  The problem with flat taxes is that they hit people on low incomes hardest.

                  Yes. The people at the lowest levels. EIC should take care of that. Or a minimum income before taxing. Think about this. You have found a "Flaw" in the flat tax idea. What does this mean. It means that there is no answer. Every answer is "unfair" to someone.
                  Frankly, I think they shouldn't tax AT ALL until like 30K. Maybe they can give everyone a credit card, like the EBT card they ALREADY give out to some, that has a kind of prepaid tax. You can use that at stores in addition to whatever payment, to handle the flat tax while giving EVERYONE a 30K waiver.

                  Someone on $200,000 would pay $30,000 in taxes and be left with $170,000 to live on. Plenty.

                  The word "Plenty" tells me a lot. You want people to have what they need. I want them to have what they have earned. Neither is right, it's just a different sensibility.
                  YEAH, mike likes to double talk. EARLIER he said a retiree doesn't have to worry about money because:

                  1. They will(read MAYBE) have social security. As I said, it is little better than the minimum wage AT BEST! My mother got LESS than minimum wage! ALSO, many say people around my age, or younger, won't see a PENNY!!!!!

                  2. They will have their home, to lower costs. As I said, there are taxes, upkeep, and inflation, ALSO, today, the average home costs about $300K! That means approximately $3000/month, IF rates stay low! That is $36K/year. GOOD LUCK getting the loan, or having good credit, if you don't make at least $120,000/year, and that is ASSUMING you have no other debt. They want you to have less than 30% debt.

                  This is why we have progressive rates of tax.

                  You are thinking about what people need. I'm thinking about what is fair. And a progressive tax rate? Sure, we have it now, and I'm fine with it. Like I said before...just rules of the game.
                  EXACTLY, though I would like things to be more reasonable!!!!!! The country can't keep going like this.

                  One thing I'd vote for is to tax all money located in offshore tax havens at a flat rate (the only example of a flat tax that actually makes sense) of 100%.

                  Why 100%? Because, patriotism.


                  I'll be honest with you, patriotism is a foreign concept to me. I understand it intellectually, but never felt it myself. Patriotism is like Loyalty. The word is brought out to support any idea that we like. Or brought out to argue with any idea we don't like.

                  If we were all really patriots, we could donate money to the Government on our IRS form.
                  I don't. Do you? Does anyone you know? See, that would be patriotism in action.

                  Whenever I hear the word patriotism, it's being used because of a lack of a logical reason for a position. So...Patriotism. Or Loyalty.

                  if I actually felt these things, my perception would be different.
                  Helping out THIS government would be the OPPOSITE of patriotism. THEY are not patriotic. It is like a bunch of people patented and copyrighted football and changed the game a LOT. Let's say it has 3 goals, in a triangle configuration. The two current ones will be at angles, and 25yards for one another, and a magnet at a third goal post 10yards from center pulls the ball towards it. The ball is hooked to a tether that must remain attached but every 30 minutes pulls the ball towards the center.

                  Anyway, you get the idea. The big winners won't have as much to cheer about. Plans will constantly be changed by this third goal, that you may have guessed is the government, and things will heavily favor THEM. If you dislike this, are you saying you don't like football? NO WAY! As they said in romeo and juliet: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"!

                  BTW This is SUPPOSED to be "land of the free". Passports can be REVOKED on a WHIM by the IRS! That is NOT free! We are supposed to have Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness. Well, my liberty is being denied, which is affecting my life, and I am not happy!

                  I managed to get a little bit ahead BUT, with the bad economy, I am now living off that. Luckily I will likely end up OK but if I ran through this I could be one of the richest homeless people around! You have to think like a CPA to make sense out of that, but that is our government for you.

                  Anyway, a country that charges people a PENNY to move their OWN money out of the country is NOT one that is following the US constitution. HECK, think about it! Would a company like Apple even want to have dollars? They would probably store them as euros abroad. They would probably want twice as much in Dollars, or allow only Americans to buy in dollars, and only use dollars locally. If there is a glut, well. Money really only has value for as long as others accept it. It is SUPPOSED to be a common currency of barter. I work for A, so A will give me money that is valuable to me ONLY because B will accept it. B will accept it ONLY because C will and it ends up at a bank Z that accepts it ONLY because bank Y will accept it in exchange for what Z wants.

                  Steve
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                    YEAH, mike likes to double talk. EARLIER he said a retiree doesn't have to worry about money because:
                    Steve theres either another mike in this thread you are talking about or you have serious reading issues (along with a deplorable way of discussing things with screaming caps) and you are in love with employing strawmen. "Mike" at no time anywhere in this entire thread stated retirees never have to worry about money. He merely rebutted your polarized error laden claims that they have to be millionaires or be broke.

                    ALSO, many say people around my age, or younger, won't see a PENNY!!!!
                    Perhaps which is why if you read I specifically stated "for now" when I referenced social security - not sure whats going to happen with that. I suspect at some point we are going to rescue that if only for political expedience ( the politician not backing a save plan when its belly up is nearer the horizon will have a steep slope to overcome).

                    That is $36K/year. GOOD LUCK getting the loan, or having good credit,
                    Sorry Steve that criteria for retirees would be a failure in personal planning. Retirees should not be setting themselves in retirement to depend on credit. Not to worry I will not continue going back and forth with you. There are too many non Millionaires that retire that live a comfortable life due to a combination of savings, pensions and social security. I lived in South Florida with them as neighbors for too many years for the idea that they HAVE to be millionaires or be broke to stick. its just false but believe what you wish.
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                    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      Steve theres either another mike in this thread you are talking about or you have serious reading issues (along with a deplorable way of discussing things with screaming caps) and you are in love with employing strawmen. "Mike" at no time anywhere in this entire thread stated retirees never have to worry about money. He merely rebutted your polarized error laden claims that they have to be millionaires or be broke.
                      Sorry, You're right. I should specify the whole handle. I meant you though. YOU SAID:

                      You've left off two essential facts that all but kill that argument

                      1) The lowering of living expenditures due to full home ownership (no mortgage)
                      2) social security (at least for now)and pensions.
                      Or are you saying there are TWO "Mike Anthony"s? I mean it says YOU wrote it.
                      As for straw men, it IS paying out a LOT, as a total, and the government has ADMITTED that they PLAN to have it basically all borrowed! So the money I have put in there all my life for ME is GONE! So I have to hope that the government allows enough of a margin(YEAH RIGHT!) and gets enough in(YEAH RIGHT) that they can pay me however long I live. EXCUSE ME if I just want what I have worked for. YOU are saying that I am wrong because you can see the future and ignore the past, and that I should let them take everything and just depend on them to cover costs.

                      And you accuse ME of deception?

                      Perhaps which is why if you read I specifically stated "for now" when I referenced social security - not sure whats going to happen with that. I suspect at some point we are going to rescue that if only for political expedience ( the politician not backing a save plan when its belly up is nearer the horizon will have a steep slope to overcome).
                      Sorry, "FOR NOW" has NO meaning unless it applies to it covering a time when MINE starts and is then ETCHED IN STONE! But if you want to let the government know that it is OK in ****YOUR**** case, to not cover you, I am fine with that.

                      Sorry Steve that criteria for retirees would be a failure in personal planning. Retirees should not be setting themselves in retirement to depend on credit. Not to worry I will not continue going back and forth with you. There are too many non Millionaires that retire that live a comfortable life due to a combination of savings, pensions and social security. I lived in South Florida with them as neighbors for too many years for the idea that they HAVE to be millionaires or be broke to stick. its just false but believe what you wish.
                      OH, so NOW, you are saying I am RIGHT! AGAIN, not all have pensions! I DON'T! Social security is NOT thought to last that much longer. I was talking about PERSONAL SAVINGS! If you have a pension paying much of what you made when working, and can trust it, you DO have the millions I said you need! It is simply locked up in a REAL trust, to provide the pension! THAT is how pensions work.

                      And I have seen enough people living in bad conditions living only on social security.

                      Steve
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

                        Or are you saying there are TWO "Mike Anthony"s? I mean it says YOU wrote it.
                        I suggest you take up cattle raising . They would suffer from no shortage of straw. You quote me saying one thing to claim I said something else entirely - that retirees would never have to worry about money. HInt - many people live comfortable without being millionaires and yet still cannot say they never have to worry about money

                        In addition you have me saying you are right now which I never did and cannot stop with the caps screaming. You obviously have issues that I am not aware of.

                        Sorry, "FOR NOW" has NO meaning unless it applies to it covering a time when MINE starts
                        ummmm what???

                        And I have seen enough people living in bad conditions living only on social security.
                        NO doubt but you are totally oblivious that the fact that some are living comfortable destroys the notion that you HAVE TO be a millionaire to retire and not be broke. Your claim that because some people chose jobs that paid or will pay pensions they are in essence millionaires or have millions is silly - not all pensions/retirement benefits historically pay out all funds or any after the person (and/or spouse) dies so its not the same as a regular asset making you a millionaire.

                        best of luck to you . trying to follow your reasoning is too much torture so I'll just have to stop now. sorry
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                  Yes. The people at the lowest levels. EIC should take care of that. Or a minimum income before taxing.
                  I could live with that. The only issue is you might have to raise that minimum a bit and end up with tax income shortfall or maybe you make it a two peak flat (granted not flat anymore) tax (one or two percentage point at the verify high income levels).

                  So I guess I am in the middle. I see the concern and agree with it but I also agree that the idea that you get to take more and more and more of a cut based on my success is inherently unfair
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      • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        There is no nobility in being poor.
        And it sure as hell isn't romantic.

        Ken
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        .

        But being upset, because some people create wealth, and you don't? That's faulty thinking.
        .
        Great overall post. the only thing I would add is there is no way to mandate economic equality without messing with free markets and even if you do, you end up giving the people in charge of mandating it superiority so you still lose the concept in reality

        All you can do is remove unfair impediments (like access to education etc) and get out of the way. Some people will hit it really big for any variety of reasons and some won't. Its like anything else. Fairness is not in the outcome but whether fair principles were violated in the journey to the outcome. If they weren't as they very often are not ...live and let live
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        • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          ...there is no way to mandate economic equality...
          Mike, when people talk about income inequality they aren't saying there should be income equality. It's not an either/or type of issue. In an economic system like we have, there will always be those who prosper and grow wealth while others struggle. Those of us who bring up the growing gap between those who are wealthy and the shrinking middle class and the poor, aren't "blaming" the wealthy. They aren't saying being poor is noble. lol They aren't upset, angry or envious of those who have become wealthy.

          Those concerned about income inequality are concerned about the well being of this country. I think you will find most who are concerned about this have a historical perspective. Our country has dealt with this issue before in the past and have come up with solutions that worked. Look at the growth of the middle class during the middle of the last century for example. There were many reasons the middle class grew so much then, just as there are many reasons it's going in the opposite direction now. The OP's article is about how income inequality hurts the economy as a whole. Those who are wealthy would prosper even more if there is a growing and prosperous middle class.
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          • Profile picture of the author Electrical
            Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

            Mike, when people talk about income inequality they aren't saying there should be income equality. It's not an either/or type of issue. In an economic system like we have, there will always be those who prosper and grow wealth while others struggle. Those of us who bring up the growing gap between those who are wealthy and the shrinking middle class and the poor, aren't "blaming" the wealthy. They aren't saying being poor is noble. lol They aren't upset, angry or envious of those who have become wealthy.

            Those concerned about income inequality are concerned about the well being of this country. I think you will find most who are concerned about this have a historical perspective. Our country has dealt with this issue before in the past and have come up with solutions that worked. Look at the growth of the middle class during the middle of the last century for example. There were many reasons the middle class grew so much then, just as there are many reasons it's going in the opposite direction now. The OP's article is about how income inequality hurts the economy as a whole. Those who are wealthy would prosper even more if there is a growing and prosperous middle class.
            That might be your definition of the people who bring up income equality. But in my experience, most people who talk about it are saying how McDonald's workers should make a minimum of $15/hr and Walmart shelf stockers shouldn't make so little that they need welfare in order to support their family.
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            • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
              Originally Posted by Electrical View Post

              That might be your definition of the people who bring up income equality. But in my experience, most people who talk about it are saying how McDonald's workers should make and minimum of $15/hr and Walmart shelf stockers shouldn't make so little that they need welfare in order to support their family.
              I think that is part of it. Sure, those who see today's huge wealth gap think those bottom income earners should make enough to live on.
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                I think that is part of it. Sure, those who see today's huge wealth gap think those bottom income earners should make enough to live on.
                They *********HAVE**********! You just don't see it because raising the wage too high, and the CBO ITSELF says $15 is WAY too high, means many will have to be LAID OFF, and others have to work harder. If they don't, companies have to close. If THEY don't, others have to pay far higher prices. But HOW can THEY? Pay THEM more? SAME PROBLEM! This HAS happened MANY times before! It is called INFLATION! THAT is why this argument was started so many DECADES ago, and it is STILL going on even though a minimum wage earner now makes over 10 times what the average wage was when this started!

                Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Hey Tim

    I was not disagreeing with the concern. I didn't give a very long list of ways to address equal access and fairness but I would agree with TL on a fair tax system. Its just that so often when trickle down is criticized completely the alternatives are policies really made to mandate the taking away of wealth which I think is the other extreme

    I am not a complete hater of trickle down . I think it needs tweaks to encourage the trickle and is not as automatic as some trickle down proponents think it is.

    For example you don't give a tax break because you assume trickle down will take place in various situations. You should get tax breaks on the BASIS of how much you do trickle down
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  • Profile picture of the author NobleSavage
    Democrats have set the frame of the next major issue to be income inequality. It seems to be working.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by NobleSavage View Post

      Democrats have set the frame of the next major issue to be income inequality. It seems to be working.
      Step away from the politics...


      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's an interesting take by a very qualified person:

    But the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.
    Read more:
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/equal-opportunity-our-national-myth/?_r=0

    "Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, a professor at Columbia and a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and chief economist for the World Bank, is the author of “The Price of Inequality.”

    BTW, a flat tax is a joke. It's only "fair" in that the numbers are the same. However, there's more to it that just numbers. Taking 15% from a person that makes $1000 a month will mean that person will struggle to pay for the bare necessities. Take 15% from someone making $200,000 a year and it won't impact their lifestyle one bit.

    This is also offset to some degree by "fees" and usage taxes. A poor person and a wealthy person pay the same tax for a gallon of gas. They pay the same fees for their drivers license and car registration (assuming the value of the car is the same). $100 to register a car for a year for a poor person can be huge, while the same $100 is "nothing" to someone making $100,000+.

    Being "fair" isn't as simple as a number being the same. Being fair takes into account the real life burden a tax places on actual people. There's a difference in a fair tax system between someone missing a meal and another not being able to buy their 4th Mercedes.

    Being "fair" should also take into account the political and legal advantages the rich have that the poor don't.

    As far as the "I did it so everyone else can too" straw man fallacy is, that while "anyone" can start their own business, not EVERYONE can in a functional society. We still need employees to fill pot holes, put out fires, be teachers, be maids and janitors so Claude can sell more vacuums, etc. Everything shouldn't be about being as good as Claude. What about the people that simply aren't as good as he is? What about the folks that work hard, are honest and dependable but aren't business people? What place in society do they have?

    As far as a "free market", what EXACTLY is the market we're talking about? Does it include the entire World or is the "market" limited to just the US? Maybe just NAFTA? Should American workers compete with Chinese workers and not have a better standard of living? If you are truly for a "free market" then you can't be against immigration. For a truly "free" market our borders should be open to all so that businesses can pay the lowest possible wages. Is any American really for a "free" market and doesn't want to protect American workers? Then open the border 100%

    It's sad that Americans are more dependent on the wealth and education of their parents than any other developed country in order to get ahead. This isn't what we're supposed to be about.
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    • Profile picture of the author Electrical
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      But the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.
      It might work out like that, but maybe it has more to do with wealthy people pushing their kids harder while a lot of the poor people on welfare teach their kids to continue living on the dole. Too many "kids" (as in 25 years old) being allowed to live in their mom's basement and come home from their shelf stocking job to play video games instead of working towards a better life.

      Here in America poor people have endless opportunities. Poor people become rich people every day. Only in America could someone make a fart noise on a cell phone and make millions.

      Even though I was paying for college myself, I got no aid because my father made over $50K at the time. So I was stuck paying every cent myself, in which I busted my ass working full time while going to school full time. The people whose parents made less were able to get all kinds of assistance and were able to go to school without working. Today there is even more assistance available than ever. With the student loan opportunities available, anyone could get an education.


      As far as the "I did it so everyone else can too" straw man fallacy is, that while "anyone" can start their own business, not EVERYONE can in a functional society. We still need employees to fill pot holes, put out fires, be teachers, be maids and janitors so Claude can sell more vacuums, etc. Everything shouldn't be about being as good as Claude. What about the people that simply aren't as good as he is? What about the folks that work hard, are honest and dependable but aren't business people? What place in society do they have?
      There is plenty of room for those people to make good livings. Maybe they won't be lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills, but there is plenty of opportunities for a hard working person with ambition to live a decent life.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Actually, there is a STRONG history that goes back MILLENIA that kids tend to work towards more of what their parents do than other things, ESPECIALLY if it is a middle class or better job. Many thought that I took after my father and today I AM doing what my father did. To tell you the truth, I started in a SIMILAR path before I knew what my father did, and didn't switch to the same path until decades later.
    It HAS been the basis of many castes, and probably is in INDIA as well.

    I had a friend that one day taught the head of the math department, and a class of math hobbyist types, how to do a problem. He loved creating maze programs, working with APL, etc... It didn't surprise me ONE BIT when I found out his father was an engineer. Many jobs had the idea of an apprenticeship. Such things are discussed in the bible as I recall, and they were certainly done in Europe. TODAY, some blue collar trades, and doctors, do much the same thing. But if the senior guy happens to be a RELATIVE, they can practically bring you up into the trade.

    BTW this is INDEPENDENT of income! To say this is unique to the US is just SILLY!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    If money is so evil, feel free to redistribute yours to my back pocket.
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Facts are facts, Tim. I posted the state tax rate facts and I am not going to argue with you on facts that I already know. A large percentage of folks pay very little or almost nothing and/or they fall somewhere within the brackets that I have referred to. Local taxes are just that, local taxes --> and of course most of the time, water, sewer, sales, school tax etc. paid are going to be a smaller % of a high earner's income.

    I have little interest in engaging in a discussion about your war on the wealthy, the fortunate, the well-off, the upper-middle class, the rich, and the top 1%.

    Let's take a peek at the federal taxes paid and federal handouts distributed...



    The rich pay majority of U.S. income taxes - Mar. 12, 2013

    The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes




    The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes.

    According to the Journal, taxpayers with income over $100,000 a year earn 60 percent of the nation’s income and pay 95.2 percent of the income taxes in the United States. If we consider all federal taxes paid (income, payroll, and excise taxes), those making over $100,000 (a little over 20 percent of taxpayers) pay for 75.7 percent of total federal taxes (this excludes the burden on corporate and investment taxes).


    Do the Rich Pay Their Fair Share? | Tax Foundation

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      Meh.......... Impressive title to the piece and impressive numbers but if I am reading the actual report right (quickly so maybe wrong) it included "goverment transfers" (eg social security and medicare)

      That would greatly skew the results given lower taxable income among the retired. Its a nice sensational claim but it would be news to the middle class they paid no taxes.
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

    Meh.......... Impressive title to the piece and impressive numbers but if I am reading the actual report right (quickly so maybe wrong) it included "goverment transfers" (eg social security and medicare)
    I think you may have misread it. Government transfers are mentioned in the report, but they are not used to skew the individual income tax paid percentages. Below is the report....

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/fil...geTaxRates.pdf

    The fact is the poor pay almost nothing in federal taxes and the top two segments pay the vast majority of taxes. The poor do not pay much, and that is why we see the individual income taxes paid calculation --> the top 40% pay 106% and the bottom 40% pay -9%. The poor also receives much more in transfers than any other group

    Government transfers increase income in all groups,
    but those increases, both in dollars and as a percentage
    of market income, are larger for groups with
    lower market income. Social Security and Medicare
    are the two largest transfer programs. Combined benefits
    from those programs averaged $8,900 for all
    households in 2010, and other transfers averaged
    $4,100.1

    Social Security and Medicare go
    predominantly to elderly households, many of which
    have low market income. Households in the lowest
    quintile received 36.2 percent of the total benefits
    from Social Security and Medicare (averaging
    $14,200 per household), households in the middle
    quintile received 16.7 percent of those benefits,
    and those in the highest quintile received 11.4 percent.2

    Other transfers—including unemployment
    benefits, payments from the Supplemental Nutrition
    Assistance Program, and benefits from Medicaid and
    the Children’s Health Insurance Program—go even
    more disproportionately to households in the lower
    portion of the market income distribution. Households
    in the bottom quintile received 47.0 percent of
    benefits from other transfers (averaging $8,500 per
    household), households in the middle quintile
    received 13.3 percent of those benefits, and those in
    the highest quintile received 6.2 percent.
    You can break the numbers down any way you like but you can't change the numbers. Some people pay quite a bit, and others receive (take) quite a bit.

    Notice the lowest quintile gets a 22K+ boost, the 2nd quintile gets a 12K+ boost, the middle quintile gets a 2K+ boost, the fourth quintile is at an 8K+ deficit, and the richest quintile is at a 52K+ deficit. It does not take a master mathematician to see the 74K+ difference from top to bottom.

    +22K to -52K is a whole lot of money...so who is not paying their share?



    The actual tax rates.



    Who pays how much?



    Again, who pays how much?



    It's not a sensational headline...it's CBO numbers..even the 9% figure.



    How can I get more tax money refunded to me than what I paid in you might ask?





    One more time... Who pays how much?



    Looking for numbers without the transfers factored in?



    http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfo...docs/ff408.pdf

    Do we have income inequality? Sure. Do we have a tax burden inequality? The CBO and other reports speak for themselves. Is tax burden inequality a good thing? Probably so as long as it's not taken too far. Do the well off people contribute the vast majority of $$$$ to the pool. Damn skippy they do. Is a flat tax the answer? Hmmm... Could a value added tax work? Once you realize how much the well-off people are contributing to the system it makes answering these questions much more difficult.

    Cheers

    -don

    Note: Edited a couple of sentences early in the post to be more clear.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      The fact is the poor pay almost nothing in federal taxes and the top two segments pay the vast majority of taxes. Not only do the poor not pay much, they receive much more in transfers than any other group and that is why we see the calculation --> the top 40% pay 106% and the bottom 40% pay -9%.

      In broad terms I am not at all denying the poor pay little. I was just pointing out when you drop non taxables like SS and Medicare into the calculations it skews the numbers to be a bit more dramatic than they really are (because well.....they are not supposed to be taxable). Thats all.
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        In broad terms I am not at all denying the poor pay little. I was just pointing out when you drop non taxables like SS and Medicare into the calculations it skews the numbers to be a bit more dramatic than they really are (because well.....they are not supposed to be taxable). Thats all.
        Right, the poor pay very little federal tax.

        FTR --> I think you may have slightly misread the numbers as SS and Medicare are not being counted as taxable income in the CBO report, they are being counted as a transfer and part of the total after tax income. The negative individual income tax figures come from the individual's refundable tax credits exceeding the amount that they paid in. One of the most well known refundable tax credits is the EITC (numbers shown in my previous post).

        So no, the the SS and Medicare figures did not "skew" the numbers to make them appear more dramatic.

        Individual Income Taxes. Much of the progressivity of
        the federal tax system derives from the individual income
        tax. In 2010, the lowest quintile’s average rate for the
        individual income tax was -9.2 percent and the second
        income quintile’s rate was -2.3 percent (see Figure 6 and
        see Table 2 on page 9). (A group can have a negative
        income tax rate if its refundable tax credits exceed the
        income tax otherwise owed.)
        Below (also shown in my previous post) you can see where the 106% and 9% individual income tax percentages were derived from.



        Cheers

        -don
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

          Right, the poor pay very little federal tax.

          FTR --> I think you may have slightly misread the numbers as SS and Medicare are not being counted as taxable income in the CBO report, they are being counted as a transfer and part of the total after tax income.
          -don
          I did just read it quickly so anything is possible. I am sympathetic to Claude's intensity on the issue. Its not something I go all gunhho into every detail. However no I was not claiming it was counted as taxable income but as part of the total after tax income of which some of the percentages are derived. Its on that basis I felt it skewed the numbers. retirees the report indicates more often do fall into the lower 40% but then having paid a lifetime of taxes they should be paying less.
          Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author ConfusedJ
    Would any of you well-to-do "entrepreneurs" (or whatever you prefer to label yourselves) be willing to give up a majority of your income in order to promote income equality?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Tim -

      How is that fair?
      It is fair because the max income taxed by SS and Medicare keeps going up and up....will be over $118k next year. If the argument is that everyone should pay and thus the rich should pay the same amount no matter how much they earn....then you need to adjust SS payouts so they receive the same level of benefits for their contributions as the poor do.

      BUT - that's not all. The Earned Income Credit was added (first temporary - then made permanent) in the 1970's to OFFSET the deductions from the salaries of the poor.

      That's a problem we have in our tax system - so many additions were made for a good reason....but the reason gets lost and those benefits become "entitlements" instead.

      So, for the poor, not only do they not pay income taxes below a certain income limit - they get money BACK from other taxpayers to reimburse them for the other deductions (SS, etc) taken from their paycheck.
      Signature

      Saving one dog may not change the world - but forever changes the world of one dog.

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      • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
        What is "fair" regarding taxes is debatable. Just having a simple flat tax for all doesn't necessarily make it fair. Kurt made some good points regarding this. I added the point about the local and ss taxes to add to what he was saying. It's a very legit point to say the low income workers are already paying their "fair" shair of taxes.

        Yes, the poor don't pay much in income taxes. The reasoning for this is they don't have very much money. That's why they call them poor.

        Yes, the wealthy pay a large part of the income taxes. That's because they make so much money. The tax "burden" they carry doesn't seem to be hurting them too much, otherwise there wouldn't be this issue of such a huge widening wealth gap.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

          What is "fair" regarding taxes is debatable. Just having a simple flat tax for all doesn't necessarily make it fair. Kurt made some good points regarding this. I added the point about the local and ss taxes to add to what he was saying. It's a very legit point to say the low income workers are already paying their "fair" shair of taxes.

          Yes, the poor don't pay much in income taxes. The reasoning for this is they don't have very much money. That's why they call them poor.

          Yes, the wealthy pay a large part of the income taxes. That's because they make so much money. The tax "burden" they carry doesn't seem to be hurting them too much, otherwise there wouldn't be this issue of such a huge widening wealth gap.
          Maybe they should TRACK the POOR, and the childs health, and CAP The TOTAL of ALL assistance they get at 3/4 minimum wage, plus some amount for the basics for each child. And if the children don't get full benefit, they can be put in some kind of foster care.

          Because the poor are sometimes RICH by gaming the system, and some may think that is great, but it certainly isn't fair, NOT good for the country, and NOT sustainable! If any family treated their budget like the US does, they would be out on their keister. And YEAH, countries are LARGE! A lot can be hidden, etc... But as Obama ******HIMSELF****** said! THOSE BONDS MUST BE PAID! And SURE, you can pay the bonds with bonds(Increasing your debt by some logarithmic amount.), but eventually the whole thing will fall.

          And WHY 3/4 the minimum? Because if you pay them the minimum, they might NEVER get a job! Denmark tested that out, and found it to be TRUE! A noticeable number will try to find new work ONLY after their income is in danger! If on unemployment, the time to get a new job is related to when the unemployment is scheduled to run out.

          Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        It is fair because the max income taxed by SS and Medicare keeps going up and up....will be over $118k next year. If the argument is that everyone should pay and thus the rich should pay the same amount no matter how much they earn....then you need to adjust SS payouts so they receive the same level of benefits for their contributions as the poor do.
        Right now the cap taxes about 85% of all the income earned in the US. The taxed level was as high as 90% and this was after they indexed cap increases to the national average wage index starting in 1975.

        There have been different proposals regarding the SS Cap in recent years.

        * Raise the Cap to 90%.
        * Raise the Cap for incomes over $250,000 creating a donut hole of untaxed income.
        * Eliminate the Cap altogether and tax all income like Medicare is taxed.

        Any of these proposals can include or exclude increased benefits. There's no "need" to increase benefits. A cap could be placed on benefits in fact and that has been proposed also. Another proposal has been to make benefits means tested. SS benefits are already progressive.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by ConfusedJ View Post

      Would any of you well-to-do "entrepreneurs" (or whatever you prefer to label yourselves) be willing to give up a majority of your income in order to promote income equality?
      No. Not even a little. What I pay in taxes does as much as I would be willing to do.

      What I would be willing to do, is help any enterprising young person, who is already putting forth the effort, to get a good start in a business. Or even help a non business person learn how to make more money, and make better buying decisions. I would volunteer my time for that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        No. Not even a little. What I pay in taxes does as much as I would be willing to do.

        What I would be willing to do, is help any enterprising young person, who is already putting forth the effort, to get a good start in a business. Or even help a non business person learn how to make more money, and make better buying decisions. I would volunteer my time for that.
        How about just help people make better financial decisions and save money?

        Here's why I think this is huge. My take on world war 2 is as follows.

        During the war, raw materials were diverted to the war effort. This created an artificial shortage of consumer goods.

        With almost no consumer goods to buy, people were forced to save their money at a 26% rate, which is the exact reason why the war was a good thing for America.

        Want to recreate those times, rebuild the national savings rate to 10%, and watch what happens.....
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    BTW there is a nice article on linkedin!

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/one-b...t-list-large_0

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    What it really boils down to isn't "income inequality", it's really "opportunity inequality". As I posted before, a very qualified economist tells us of all the developed countries with statistics, Americans are more dependent on the wealth and education of their parents than any other developed country.

    THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE.

    "Income inequality" is really just a red-herring. Many of us aren't "for" spreading around the wealth. We're really for spreading around the opportunity to improve.

    India and China are creating between 20,000-50,000 more engineers per year than we are. Many of them educated in US colleges. How will we compete financially and militarily with them in 20 years at this rate? Why can they afford to send their students to US colleges, at a higher tuition expense as foreign students, but we can't?
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      India and China are creating between 20,000-50,000 more engineers per year than we are. Many of them educated in US colleges. How will we compete financially and militarily with them in 20 years at this rate? Why can they afford to send their students to US colleges, at a higher tuition expense as foreign students, but we can't?
      China is probably like India in that the best students go to college which is subsidized!

      The Cost of Higher Education in India

      ALSO MANY of those people are AUTOMATICALLY allowed to do things to make FAR more, like get on the fast track to citizenship in several countries, INCLUDING the US! They will then make FAR more than an average income even though the MINIMUM WAGE would make them rich in a lot of places in india.

      As for engineers, etc... Indians know they can write their own ticket as such, and a lot of Americans are less able to and/or don't seem to care. There ARE a lot of silly degrees that shouldn't even exist, and kids take them hearing they are easy, etc...

      And for CHINA?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/wo...exam.html?_r=0

      It seems that NEITHER is quite as easy as you think, though I doubt much of the difficulty is cost.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        China is probably like India in that the best students go to college which is subsidized!

        The Cost of Higher Education in India

        ALSO MANY of those people are AUTOMATICALLY allowed to do things to make FAR more, like get on the fast track to citizenship in several countries, INCLUDING the US! They will then make FAR more than an average income even though the MINIMUM WAGE would make them rich in a lot of places in india.

        As for engineers, etc... Indians know they can write their own ticket as such, and a lot of Americans are less able to and/or don't seem to care. There ARE a lot of silly degrees that shouldn't even exist, and kids take them hearing they are easy, etc...

        And for CHINA?


        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/wo...exam.html?_r=0

        It seems that NEITHER is quite as easy as you think, though I doubt much of the difficulty is cost.

        Steve

        I ***NEVER*** said it was EASY!!!! MANY ***WORTHWHILE*** things are NOT easy.

        And seasoned's post shows how hard it actually is. First you have to get people to agree it needs to be done. Then they need to agree on what to do.

        As a solutions orientated person, for a start I like Elizabeth Warren's idea of tying the student loan interest rate to the prime rate and lending money for education at the same low rate it's lent to business. The Fed make billions a year in profits from the interest they charge on student loans.

        I also believe that 20-25% of the classes needed for a 4 year degree could be cut without lowering the effectiveness of the degree one bit. How many of you with 4 year degrees needed every class you took to get to where you are?

        Also, this country needs people with "old-fashioned" skills like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. The younger generation just isn't interested in these occupations, despite them paying more than many white-color jobs. These are jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.We need a campaign to let people know that these occupations are "cool" and pay well. And as a society we need to appreciate the people that really build, create and repair real things. The people in these jobs should be "honored" and not looked down upon.

        Anyone that's had Claude use their bathroom after having him over for dinner knows exactly how important having access to a plumber with a high power, turbo charged roto-rooter is.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          I ***NEVER*** said it was EASY!!!! MANY ***WORTHWHILE*** things are NOT easy.

          And seasoned's post shows how hard it actually is. First you have to get people to agree it needs to be done. Then they need to agree on what to do.

          As a solutions orientated person, for a start I like Elizabeth Warren's idea of tying the student loan interest rate to the prime rate and lending money for education at the same low rate it's lent to business. The Fed make billions a year in profits from the interest they charge on student loans.

          I also believe that 20-25% of the classes needed for a 4 year degree could be cut without lowering the effectiveness of the degree one bit. How many of you with 4 year degrees needed every class you took to get to where you are?

          Also, this country needs people with "old-fashioned" skills like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. The younger generation just isn't interested in these occupations, despite them paying more than many white-color jobs. These are jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.We need a campaign to let people know that these occupations are "cool" and pay well. And as a society we need to appreciate the people that really build, create and repair real things. The people in these jobs should be "honored" and not looked down upon.

          Anyone that's had Claude use their bathroom after having him over for dinner knows exactly how important having access to a plumber with a high power, turbo charged roto-rooter is.

          I agree that the main answer is in education. Lower interest rates for student loans (even subsidized) would help. I'm not sure how to get kids interested in the more blue collar, high paying jobs.

          Once, when I was walking in a casino at night, with a speaker friend of mine, we saw the guy buffing the floor with one of those huge orbital buffers. My friend said something about "What an idiot. Working in a shit job for no money".

          I took offence to it. I said "No. He's doing an honorable job. He works harder than we do, and at a job I couldn't do". But it's a personal view, I don't know how we would make it more attractive. I just know I pay my HVAC guy $85 an hour, and he's booked solid. This morning he worked in my store for 4 hours...and I wrote him a check for $650. (some supplies included)

          He keeps acting like my employee, but I consider him an expert, and he gets paid like an expert.

          By the way, extra points for insulting me as a normal...eagerly anticipated.. part of your post. Nicely Rootered in.
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        • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post


          nuclear-powered roto-rooter is.
          Fixed that for you.

          Cheers. - Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          I ***NEVER*** said it was EASY!!!! MANY ***WORTHWHILE*** things are NOT easy.

          And seasoned's post shows how hard it actually is. First you have to get people to agree it needs to be done. Then they need to agree on what to do.

          As a solutions orientated person, for a start I like Elizabeth Warren's idea of tying the student loan interest rate to the prime rate and lending money for education at the same low rate it's lent to business. The Fed make billions a year in profits from the interest they charge on student loans.

          I also believe that 20-25% of the classes needed for a 4 year degree could be cut without lowering the effectiveness of the degree one bit. How many of you with 4 year degrees needed every class you took to get to where you are?

          Also, this country needs people with "old-fashioned" skills like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. The younger generation just isn't interested in these occupations, despite them paying more than many white-color jobs. These are jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.We need a campaign to let people know that these occupations are "cool" and pay well. And as a society we need to appreciate the people that really build, create and repair real things. The people in these jobs should be "honored" and not looked down upon.

          Anyone that's had Claude use their bathroom after having him over for dinner knows exactly how important having access to a plumber with a high power, turbo charged roto-rooter is.
          WOW! You posted something I agree with 100%!!!!!!!

          This will sound like I made it up, but I have a maintenance plan on my heater. HEY, it was DIRT CHEAP, a company I trust, and they check it twice a year. They checked it out TODAY. Anyway, I ALWAYS watch the guy, and ALWAYS talk to him.

          Today, he asked me what I did for a living, and we started talking about careers. He said his father was an engineer and did EVERYTHING for himself. He said his father only ever paid ****ONE**** person, and that was THE PLUMBER! SO, JIM(the guy at my house working on the heater) became a PLUMBER! He WAS successful, and probably made a lot of money. His father paid for the education and later for the work.

          EVENTUALLY, Jim went to work for a company that DOES do plumbing, but advertises as an HVAC company, so they trained him in HVAC, and he was at my home working.

          But YEAH, if I never got into electronics, or computers, I might well have done the same sort of thing, And it doesn't seem that H1Bs or whatever have gotten interested in that yet. And yeah, there ARE lots of other jobs that are needed just as much and ALSO pay well.

          Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomM
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          I ***NEVER*** said it was EASY!!!! MANY ***WORTHWHILE*** things are NOT easy.

          And seasoned's post shows how hard it actually is. First you have to get people to agree it needs to be done. Then they need to agree on what to do.

          As a solutions orientated person, for a start I like Elizabeth Warren's idea of tying the student loan interest rate to the prime rate and lending money for education at the same low rate it's lent to business. The Fed make billions a year in profits from the interest they charge on student loans.

          I also believe that 20-25% of the classes needed for a 4 year degree could be cut without lowering the effectiveness of the degree one bit. How many of you with 4 year degrees needed every class you took to get to where you are?

          Also, this country needs people with "old-fashioned" skills like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. The younger generation just isn't interested in these occupations, despite them paying more than many white-color jobs. These are jobs that can't be outsourced overseas.We need a campaign to let people know that these occupations are "cool" and pay well. And as a society we need to appreciate the people that really build, create and repair real things. The people in these jobs should be "honored" and not looked down upon.

          Anyone that's had Claude use their bathroom after having him over for dinner knows exactly how important having access to a plumber with a high power, turbo charged roto-rooter is.
          Got one. mikeroweWORKS
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      What it really boils down to isn't "income inequality", it's really "opportunity inequality". As I posted before, a very qualified economist tells us of all the developed countries with statistics, Americans are more dependent on the wealth and education of their parents than any other developed country.

      THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE.

      "Income inequality" is really just a red-herring. Many of us aren't "for" spreading around the wealth. We're really for spreading around the opportunity to improve.

      India and China are creating between 20,000-50,000 more engineers per year than we are. Many of them educated in US colleges. How will we compete financially and militarily with them in 20 years at this rate? Why can they afford to send their students to US colleges, at a higher tuition expense as foreign students, but we can't?
      Because nobody here wants to make the sacrifice, and actually save money towards it?

      Truth is, we have a spoiled rotten society....and now they want even more. Healthcare, college education, $100,000 at the age of 18 years old.....they now want all of that provided by the government. And what is next after that? Even more benefits and money no doubt.

      It's how democracies die....people get greedy vote themselves money from the treasury.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

        Because nobody here wants to make the sacrifice, and actually save money towards it?

        Truth is, we have a spoiled rotten society....and now they want even more. Healthcare, college education, $100,000 at the age of 18 years old.....they now want all of that provided by the government. And what is next after that? Even more benefits and money no doubt.

        It's how democracies die....people get greedy vote themselves money from the treasury.
        You ARE right about THAT! If the teachers *****TAUGHT*****, a 4 year college degree could EASILY be done in ONE YEAR! HOW? Well, 2 years SHOULD be taught in HIGHSCHOOL! And Kurt is right, a lot of the stuff they "teach" is GARBAGE, or propaganda! Get rid of that, and BANG, ONE YEAR! So now you have reduced the price of college by 75%, at least for MOST people. Doctors and the like may see only a 33% reduction, but it is STILL a help. HECK, if the teachers taught, and got rid of propaganda, highschool could end EARLIER! OH, and all this would get rid of dead weight reducing taxes and costs.

        As for healthcare, it is really funny. I mused about that just this morning. Middle class people are being denied healthcare so someone can CLAIM that poorer people have healthcare when all they have is an insurance POLICY! I mean it ISN'T healthcare since the insurance is simply to pay for PART of healthcare! And it ISN'T really insurance if you don't have the ability to pay for YOUR part. So it is REALLY just a POLICY! It is much like having a cell phone service plan without being able to afford a cell phone. WHAT do you REALLY have? *****NOTHING***** But you are STILL paying!

        Even if you have a free physical. What good is the knowledge if you can't act on it?

        Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      What it really boils down to isn't "income inequality", it's really "opportunity inequality". As I posted before, a very qualified economist tells us of all the developed countries with statistics, Americans are more dependent on the wealth and education of their parents than any other developed country.

      THIS IS THE REAL ISSUE.

      "Income inequality" is really just a red-herring. Many of us aren't "for" spreading around the wealth. We're really for spreading around the opportunity to improve.

      India and China are creating between 20,000-50,000 more engineers per year than we are. Many of them educated in US colleges. How will we compete financially and militarily with them in 20 years at this rate? Why can they afford to send their students to US colleges, at a higher tuition expense as foreign students, but we can't?

      IMHO, extreme IE is a phenomenon that springs up after national lawmakers have decided to not invest in the society at large... (at least that's the case with our latest round of extreme IE)

      and...

      IE leads to a whole host of negative conditions and the diminished lack of opportunity to improve oneself in a society is simply one of them so IMHO extreme IE is a major, major issue.

      For example...

      IMHO, our current economic woes began in earnest when the top tax rates were slashed from 70% to about 35% in the early 1980s.

      A crappy economy is another consequence of extreme IE and a crappy economy does not lend itself to an truly opportunistic type of society.

      BTW...

      As far a people being interested in spreading the wealth around I wouldn't be surprised if the % of millionaires that won't have a major problem with a tax increase is close to 50%.

      There are many millionaires who are extremely grateful for the ops provided by this country, understand the concept of giving back and are in favor of a more useful tax system which is one of the keys to a more robust economy.

      The Patriotic Millionaires
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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

        IMHO, our current economic woes began in earnest when the top tax rates were slashed from 70% to about 35% in the early 1980s.
        IMO you need to turn the clock back farther than that...at least to the 1970's.

        Inflation rates...



        http://www.usinflationcalculator.com...flation-rates/

        Individual income tax as a percentage of federal revenue has remained fairly steady for a very long time.



        A 70% top federal tax rate was and is UN-AMERICAN. Add to that state taxes, local taxes, excise taxes, county taxes, sales taxes, property taxes etc. etc. you are taking almost everything that has been earned and that is NOT the American way.

        We still have the highest corporate tax rate in the world...



        Could the wealthy afford a 5 or 10% bump, possibly so. It's probably time to cut spending, taxing people to death ain't the answer.



        Cheers

        -don
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        • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

          We still have the highest corporate tax rate in the world...
          One that not a single American corporation pays and everyone knows it.

          All the charts and graphs in the world won't change that fact.

          Where's the chart on what U.S. corporations actually pay???

          Cheers. - Frank
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        • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
          Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

          IMO you need to turn the clock back farther than that...at least to the 1970's.

          Inflation rates...



          Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2014 | US Inflation Calculator

          Individual income tax as a percentage of federal revenue has remained fairly steady for a very long time.



          A 70% top federal tax rate was and is UN-AMERICAN. Add to that state taxes, local taxes, excise taxes, county taxes, sales taxes, property taxes etc. etc. you are taking almost everything that has been earned and that is NOT the American way.

          We still have the highest corporate tax rate in the world...



          Could the wealthy afford a 5 or 10% bump, possibly so. It's probably time to cut spending, taxing people to death ain't the answer.



          Cheers

          -don
          Don, you are entitled to ignore the tax cuts of the early 1980s as an accelerator of IE along with all the negative consequences of IE for the average American.

          Cheers!

          TL
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Some of the arguments above strikes my as circular and perhaps anal.

            I am sick of EVERYTHING being tied to the latest buzzword - 'inequality'. What many who use that term want is for the govt to take from one group of people and give it to another group.

            Many Americans Renounce Citizenship, Hitting New Record - Forbes

            http://www.newsweek.com/why-american...zenship-256447
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            • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              What many who use that term want is for the govt to take from one group of people and give it to another group.
              You say that like it's a bad thing.
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              • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                You say that like it's a bad thing.
                How is it not?
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                • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                  Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                  How is it not?
                  For example: Let's say, some how, an infrastructure bill was passed in Congress. I know, that seems hard to believe but stay with me here.

                  So this bill to build bridges, roads, dams etc... will cost $1/2 Trillion and would be paid for by getting rid of loopholes and raising the highest taxable rate a bit. It would create tens of thousands of jobs and help thousands of construction companies.

                  That's not a bad thing IMO, and it is taking from one group and giving to another, the construction companies and workers.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                    You say that like it's a bad thing.
                    How is it not a bad thing to take from one to give to another - with no reason except one has EARNED more than the other? That's what I mean.

                    An infrastructure bill sounds good...it sounded good 6 years ago, too - when it was "talked about" - and 4 years ago and 2 years ago....and last spring such a bill was passed by Congress allocating 11 billion to infrastructure repair. There was nothing - absolutely NOTHING - to stop an infrastructure bill from being passed in 2009-2010....but what was proposed instead was huge spending on fast speed rail, etc.

                    Insfrastructure was also going to be part of the stimulus package - but didn't work out that way. I agree this is something that is needed - but it's only one of the many "needed" things that come with the proposal of "raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for it". How about reducing spending on other things to pay for it? How about using the taxes that were passed to maintain infrastructure to pay for it?
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                  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                    Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                    For example: Let's say, some how, an infrastructure bill was passed in Congress. I know, that seems hard to believe but stay with me here.

                    So this bill to build bridges, roads, dams etc... will cost $1/2 Trillion and would be paid for by getting rid of loopholes and raising the highest taxable rate a bit. It would create tens of thousands of jobs and help thousands of construction companies.

                    That's not a bad thing IMO, and it is taking from one group and giving to another, the construction companies and workers.
                    Well if your going to use a fantasy for an example, so will I.
                    Say the government decided everyone deserves a painting. But instead of supplying everyone with the means of producing a painting they contact you and tell you you have to produce 10 paintings a week and give them 9 to redistribute to those that don't have one. You still have to pay for your supplies and you still have to do all the work, but you can only sell 1 painting out of the 10. Does that sound like a good deal?
                    That's not a bad thing is it? After all you are taking from one and giving it to another (like your example).
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              • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                What many who use that term want is for the govt to take from one group of people and give it to another group.

                Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                You say that like it's a bad thing.
                I think I see the difference now between the two sides on this issue.

                When someone says ".....the govt takes from one group of people and give it to another group." it is meant one way, but interpreted another.

                Kay means; Take money away from those who earned it, and give it to those who didn't.

                Tim means: Take money from those who have a lot of it, and give it to those who need it.

                It's literally the same thing, seen through two different lenses. And there is a bell curve, on how you interpret the idea of wealth redistribution. I can see where someone would be so close to the middle, that their perception would flip one way, then the other. Just like the optical illusion of the dancing ballerina shown on a different thread.

                And people on the hard left only see it one way, and people on the hard right only see it the other way. But most see it as mostly one or the other.

                Just an observation. But it was interesting to me.
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                • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                  Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


                  It's literally the same thing, seen through two different lenses.
                  That was exactly my point Claude. Plus, if we are talking about income inequality, think it is a real and important issue as a majority of Americans do, then my example makes sense. It's just one example. BTW, in my example, who benefits from taking money from one group? The construction workers for sure, but also society as a whole. Did the construction workers "earn" it? I think so.

                  Sure, we could cut spending on defense to pay for an infrastructure bill. That doesn't address the income inequality issue though. We could also cut food stamps, Medicaid, day care assistance etc... to pay for something like an infra bill, but that doesn't help solve the income inequality problem.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                    Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                    That was exactly my point Claude. Plus, if we are talking about income inequality, think it is a real and important issue as a majority of Americans do, then my example makes sense. It's just one example.

                    Sure, we could cut spending on defense to pay for an infrastructure bill. That doesn't address the income inequality issue though. We could also cut food stamps, Medicaid, day care assistance etc... to pay for something like an infra bill, but that doesn't help solve the income inequality problem.
                    Tim the only people who think it's an issue are those people who are envious of the rich and don't want to put in the effort to become rich themselves.
                    I think most Americans would rather have the opportunity to work at becoming rich themselves (if that's what they want) rather then have the government penalize someone else that put in the effort to become rich.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
                      Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                      I think most Americans would rather have the opportunity to work at becoming rich themselves (if that's what they want) rather then have the government penalize someone else that put in the effort to become rich.
                      Unfortunately, Thom, I think that's where you're wrong.
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                      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                        Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                        Unfortunately, Thom, I think that's where you're wrong.
                        You're right Dan, I am wrong. We've become a nation where people would rather complain and have other people work to support them instead of taking responsibility for their own lives.
                        Our "can do" attitude has become a "do it for me" attitude.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                        Originally Posted by Dan Riffle View Post

                        Unfortunately, Thom, I think that's where you're wrong.
                        I agree.
                        When most people talk about income equality, the thought is that evil large corporations or wealthy people are unfairly making far more than the poorer person. In other words, "I should make more money, because you make too much more than I do"

                        At least, that's what I hear from customers (whether I want to hear it or not)....and the guys on MSNBC.

                        In other words, income disparity is inherently unfair.
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                    • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                      Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                      Tim the only people who think it's an issue are those people who are envious of the rich and don't want to put in the effort to become rich themselves.
                      Well, in most polls I have seen it's about 2/3rds of Americans that say it's an issue, including members of both parties:

                      Two out of three Americans are dissatisfied with the way income and wealth are currently distributed in the U.S. This includes three-fourths of Democrats and 54% of Republicans.
                      In U.S., 67% Dissatisfied With Income, Wealth Distribution

                      Heck, millionaires and billionaires have come out and said it is an important issue. Are they envious of themselves?

                      I think most Americans would rather have the opportunity to work at becoming rich themselves
                      This brings us back to what Kurt was saying about opportunities. Those construction workers in my example would be getting an opportunity to work and they will earn it once the work is done.
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                      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                        Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                        Well, in most polls I have seen it's about 2/3rds of Americans that say it's an issue, including members of both parties:



                        In U.S., 67% Dissatisfied With Income, Wealth Distribution

                        Heck, millionaires and billionaires have come out and said it is an important issue. Are they envious of themselves?

                        Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
                        This brings us back to what Kurt was saying about opportunities. Those construction workers in my example would be getting an opportunity to work and they will earn it once the work is done.
                        Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8, 2014, on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
                        Yep a survey of 1,018 people, I'm sure that's accurate
                        You realize that works out to 20 people per state including D.C., or less then 1% of the population.
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                        • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                          Banned
                          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                          You realize that works out to 20 people per state including D.C., or less then 1% of the population.
                          A lot less --> it's rougly .00000322% of the US population and .00000414% of the US adult popualtion.

                          Cheers

                          -don
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                          • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                            You guys do realize how polls/surveys work don't you? What do expect Gallop to do, contact all 300 million citizens and ask them their questions? lol
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                            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                              Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                              You guys do realize how polls/surveys work don't you? What do expect Gallop to do, contact all 300 million citizens and ask them their questions? lol

                              Yup. It's been proven that at about 1,000 polled people (diverse across the country) there is very little margin of error. It's the polls where only 100 were asked. Or only a select group were asked, that you get these real swings in results. But a random 1,000 responders? pretty accurate. A margin of error of about 3%. In fact, it's at 1067 that the margin of error is exactly at 3%.

                              Not accurate enough for close political races, but for what we are talking about, sure.

                              Added later; 1,000 mailings is where many mailing lists are tested for profitability. Even if you have 5,000 names. Test mailings of 1,000 are very common.
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                              • Profile picture of the author TimPhelan
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                Yup. It's been proven that at about 1,000 polled people (diverse across the country) there is very little margin of error. It's the polls where only 100 were asked. Or only a select group were asked, that you get these real swings in results. But a random 1,000 responders? pretty accurate. A margin of error of about 3%. In fact, it's at 1080 that the margin of error is exactly at 3%.

                                Not accurate enough for close political races, but for what we are talking about, sure.
                                I'll let you argue with Don on that one, Claude.
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                              • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                Yup. It's been proven that at about 1,000 polled people (diverse across the country) there is very little margin of error. It's the polls where only 100 were asked. Or only a select group were asked, that you get these real swings in results. But a random 1,000 responders? pretty accurate.
                                Yep. I think it's around 5-6% margin of error (?), which means it's 50/50 that even MORE people could agree with Tim's premise. This is the problem with using an ad hominem fallacy to try to discredit the poll results. Even if the poll is "off", we don't get to choose how it may be off simply to fit our own beliefs.

                                The better way to discredit the poll would be to supply a more comprehensive poll by a more credible polling service than Gallop and not just say the poll isn't valid with no supporting evidence.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

                                  Yep. I think it's around 5-6% margin of error (?), which means it's 50/50 that even MORE people could agree with Tim's premise. This is the problem with using an ad hominem fallacy to try to discredit the poll results. Even if the poll is "off", we don't get to choose how it may be off simply to fit our own beliefs.

                                  The better way to discredit the poll would be to supply a more comprehensive poll by a more credible polling service than Gallop and not just say the poll isn't valid with no supporting evidence.
                                  The bolded part is why I love you. The fact that your insults are hard to respond to, is why I hate you.
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                              • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                                Banned
                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                Yup. It's been proven that at about 1,000 polled people (diverse across the country) there is very little margin of error.
                                And we all know many polls and studies are so biased they are not worth the paper they are printed on... Not to mention the fact that the way the questions are presented can also be skewed to generate a desired result.

                                Cheers

                                -don
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

                                  And we all know many polls and studies are so biased they are not worth the paper they are printed on... Not to mention the fact that the way the questions are presented can also be skewed to generate a desired result.

                                  Cheers

                                  -don
                                  Yup. But polling companies like Gallop, have to be unbiased, or their results are meaningless. It's the polls be political organizations, that skew far one way or the other. So the source of the poll is very important.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                                    Banned
                                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                    Yup. But polling companies like Gallop, have to be unbiased, or their results are meaningless. It's the polls be political organizations, that skew far one way or the other. So the source of the poll is very important.
                                    Hahahahaha on your support of Gallup. Notice who was the least accurate in 2012 with a minimum of 5 polls conducted?



                                    Cheers

                                    -don
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                            • Profile picture of the author ThomM
                              Originally Posted by TimPhelan View Post

                              You guys do realize how polls/surveys work don't you? What do expect Gallop to do, contact all 300 million citizens and ask them their questions? lol
                              I've taken enough surveys and polls to know they don't work.
                              They are simply a tool used to brainwash the population into believing something that may or may not be true.
                              If a poll says the majority believes something, then people will say they believe it to, you know herd mentality.
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    I have a few charts and graphs for you...













    http://www.heritage.org/research/rep...e-numbers-2014

    According to the GAO corps paid an effective rate of 12.6% in 2013... Close the loopholes and/or revamp the IRS...or let certain areas of the country and the economy die. Apparently over the past 6 years's President Obama, the congress, and the IRS has had better things to do than closing the loopholes.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/01/news...rate-tax-rate/

    Yeah, gotta love the chicken poop credit.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/24/news...ex.html?iid=EL

    And I thought everyone loved Apple...

    Apple is hardly the only American company to minimize its offshore tax bite. But it has become a poster child for it. In Apple's case, the focal point is its subsidiaries in Ireland, where the company faces a maximum tax rate of just 2%. That's well below the 35% top rate in the United States and even well below Ireland's top statutory rate of 12.5%.
    http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/22/news...-taxes/?iid=EL

    The top 10 corporate tax breaks as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget:

    http://money.usnews.com/money/retire...ate-tax-breaks

    And last but not least...don't you all just love Facebook?

    Last year, the senator says, “one of America’s largest companies avoided paying federal or state income taxes, and is poised to do so again this year. In fact, they will likely receive a check from the federal government in the form of a tax refund.”

    “Despite bringing in more than $1 billion in US pretax profits last year, the social-media giant Facebook reported a combined $429 million refund from their federal and state tax filings,” he continues, including roughly $295 million from Uncle Sam.

    According to Coburn’s report, last year Facebook relied on an employee stock option tax deduction to lower the amount of owed income taxes by around $1.03 billion.
    http://rt.com/usa/coburn-wastebook-facebook-taxes-503/

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      I have some charts and graphs for you right here... -don
      Right - but not a one showing what corporations pay in actual taxes, unless I missed something. I wonder why that is? Thanks for lending credence to my observation. Much appreciated. :-)

      Cheers. - Frank

      ADDED:
      According to the GAO corps paid an effective rate of 12.6%...

      Not so bad. Probably less that you or I pay! Let's all shed a tear for American corporations. They have it so rough.
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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        Right - but not a one showing what corporations pay in actual taxes, unless I missed something. I wonder why that is? Thanks for lending credence to my observation. Much appreciated. :-)

        Cheers. - Frank
        You must have missed the raw number I posted...it's there. Allow me quote it for you again.

        Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

        According to the GAO corps paid an effective rate of 12.6% in 2013...

        GAO: U.S. corporations pay average effective tax rate of 12.6% - Jul. 1, 2013
        Next time you may want to read my reply more carefully.

        -don
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        • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

          You must have missed the raw number I posted...it's there. Allow me quote it for you again.



          Next time you may want to read my reply more carefully.

          Cheers

          -don
          Probably best if you reread my post more carefully. You added that number after the fact as I have the email with your original post, sans that line. I made my addition AFTER you added the line. lol

          I can send that to you, or post it, if you like.

          Cheers. - Frank
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          • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
            Banned
            @ Frank

            You failed read my entire post before you replied. The addition was made prior to your post.

            Cheers

            -don
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            • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
              Banned
              Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

              You failed read my entire post before you replied. The addition was made prior to your post.

              Nice try.

              Cheers

              -don
              I read the email. Little did I know you would have to add something after the fact to do what you should have done the first time, while leaving all that extraneous crap out of your post. All that was needed was that one line you added after the fact.

              Nice try!

              Cheers. - Frank

              P.S. You still proved my point and I still thank you for it. So, let's be clear, contrary to your original statement which you knew to be false, the US does NOT have the highest corporate tax in the world. On paper, perhaps. In the real world, not even close. lol
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              • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                Banned
                Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                I read the email. Little did I know you would have to add something after the fact to do what you should have done the first time, while leaving all that extraneous crap out of your post. All that was needed was that one line you added after the fact.
                It's a complex issue, Frank. Dealing only with the cooperate tax loopholes is not going to solve our economic problems. You had 8 years of Clinton, and now 6 years of Obama and I did not see them work towards closing many loopholes.

                Who did not close the loopholes, Frank?

                And let us not forget --> 1959-1981, 1987-1995 and again in 2009-2011 the Dems had control of both houses...

                P.S. You still proved my point and I still thank you for it. So, let's be clear, contrary to your original statement which you knew to be false, the US does NOT have the highest corporate tax in the world. On paper, perhaps. In the real world, not even close.
                I did not prove your point... And do you honestly think other countries do not offer tax breaks and have loopholes? Obviously you have not read about Facebook UK and you missed that Irish tax figure that Apple was paying. The top statutory rate is 12.5% and they pay 2% max.

                Cheers

                -don
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                • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

                  It's a complex issue, Frank. Dealing only with the cooperate tax loopholes is not going to solve our economic problems. You had 8 years of Clinton, and now 6 years of Obama and I did not see them work towards closing many loopholes.

                  Who did not close the loopholes, Frank?

                  And let us not forget --> 1959-1981, 1987-1995 and again in 2009-2011 the Dems had control of both houses...



                  I did not prove your point... And do you honestly think other countries do not offer tax breaks and have loopholes? Obviously you have not read about Facebook UK and you missed that Irish tax figure that Apple was paying. The statutory rate was 12.5% and they paid 2%.

                  Cheers

                  -don
                  Enjoying arguing with yourself, Don. No matter how many times you state something it will never turn into a fact, simply because you choose to so.

                  Ask Dick Cheney how that's working for him.

                  Cheers. - frank
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                  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

                    Enjoying arguing with yourself, Don. No matter how many times you state something it will never turn into a fact, simply because you choose to so.

                    Ask Dick Cheney how that's working for him.

                    Cheers. - frank
                    So you have attacked Coburn now you are moving on to Dick Cheney, eh? So do we get to keep our doctor, Frank?

                    Facts are facts and obviously sometimes you like to ignore the facts and pretend that you that have all the answers. The U.S. does currently have the highest statutory corporate tax rate in the free and/or industrialized world.

                    Cheers

                    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    The MINIMUM wage even goes back farther than 1950. HECK, the FED does! So you can't even state it goes back to 1950. BTW apparently the minimum wage was first instituted to limit child labor, and make things more reasonable.

    And for those that think what I say about the government and inflation is hogwash? LOOK AT THE GDP chart forumguru posted! As late as 1930, companies had a total tax of about 4% going to federal expenditures. TODAY, it is about 20%. That means the country has to make about 5 TIMES as much just for THAT! That may not include the cost of the government, and what if there is a WAR, like WWI, which caused that 25% spike, or WWII, which caused that 47% spike?

    One thing is for sure though, 20% is TOO much! The government cost is supposed to be spread to everyone, and they are supposed to take care of the COUNTRY'S basic needs! So it should be a LOW cost spread over MANY. 20% is OUTLANDISH! And I wonder about areas like denmark and germany. Do YOU guys have to pay a LOCAL tax ALSO? In the US, we have to pay a LOT of taxes, including a secondary income tax, to the STATE. AND, if you have a business, you likely have to pay a THIRD one to the city, and maybe a fourth one to the county!

    This of course EXCLUDES SIN taxes, real estate taxes, and sales taxes. A person here recently DIED, for example, because the police exhausted him, and he was asthmatic, but it started because he was selling cigarettes WITHOUT paying the SIN TAX! (They call it a cigarette tax, because cigarettes are one of the things they put a special SIN tax on, but it is a sin tax.) They also have it on alcohol, and probably on guns too.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Corporations DO pay that tax, but ONLY on non business related INCOME! SO, they are allowed up to like $50 per person at a dinner, and ONLY for business. If they pay over that, even for business, it is TAXED! There are limits to employee functions/gifts that work the same way. If they pay an empoyee, the tax is the EMPLOYEES problem. If they buy a building to house a private yacht, or buy a private yacht, they pay taxes. If they can show a just cause that a yacht was bought for, and used only for, business, they don't pay. They really do have the same rules as others.

    FUNNY though, you believed the 90% when deductions were pretty clear(And they probably STILL are outside of the US), and don't believe the lower amount now when they aren't.

    As for "effective", HOW did they calculate that? It was a 3rd party, so you know it is wrong. It is the GOVERNMENT, so if it is even CLOSE it would be a MIRACLE so great that they might as well declare themselves GODS(OK, OK, they basically HAVE declared themselves such, but you know what I mean).

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Want to know how stupidly some of your tax dollars are being spent:

    73 pages of stupid spending right here:

    http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/...3-57a2f7974ebb

    A few examples:

    Coast guard party patrols – $100,000
    Watching grass grow – $10,000
    State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million
    Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000
    Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million
    Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000
    Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000
    Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition -- $1 billion
    Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000
    Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million
    Studying “hangry” spouses stabbing voodoo dolls – $331,000
    Promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists – $90 million



    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post


      73 pages of stupid spending right here:

      http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/...3-57a2f7974ebb
      You left out the largest, single waste of taxpayer money in American history. Paying Tom Coburn's salary.

      The man solely responsible for preventing the Veteran's Suicide Prevention legislation from being passed. One man, all by his lonesome. A true profile in courage.

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        You left out the largest, single waste of taxpayer money in American history. Paying Tom Coburn's salary.

        Cheers. - Frank
        I am a veteran and I completely disagree.

        The V.A. needs to be fixed --> and according to Coburn (who is a doctor) the goals of the bill are already funded through programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

        Maybe you can get the 22 million from your boy George Soros...

        Cheers

        -don
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        • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

          I am a veteran and I completely disagree.
          OK. I take it back. Tom Coburn and you.

          Tell it to the 22 veterans that will commit suicide, today and everyday.

          Cheers. - Frank
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          • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
            Banned
            Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

            OK. I take it back. Tom Coburn and you.

            Tell it to the 22 veterans that will commit suicide, today and everyday.

            Cheers. - Frank
            I did not agree that Coburn's salary was the biggest waste of taxpayer dollars in American history. Get it straight. Let's not forget that the man was elected three times to the U.S. House and twice to the U.S Senate.

            Blame it on Coburn, Frank. We get your drift.

            Cheers

            -don
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

            OK. I take it back. Tom Coburn and you.

            Tell it to the 22 veterans that will commit suicide, today and everyday.

            Cheers. - Frank
            You DO know SU means "ones self". Frankly, The military has a LOT of things that might make someone more likely to kill themself, and you can't simply throw money at it. ALSO, if a person is there own enemy, things are just harder to prevent.

            But Coburn objected because he said the goals of the bill are already funded through programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

            “I’m going to be objecting to this bill because it actually throws money away,” Coburn said. “We’re the ones to blame for not holding the VA accountable.
            “I don’t think this bill is going to do one thing to change what is happening.”

            Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said suicide is a personal issue for him, as his father killed himself. He said 22 veterans kill themselves every day.

            “We shouldn’t delay a minute more to pass this legislation,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. “There is only one senator standing in the way.”

            The bipartisan bill passed in the House last week. But Coburn was the final hurdle to passing the legislation before the Senate adjourns for the year.

            H.R. 5059 would have required the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense to annually arrange for an independent evaluation of the VA and DOD mental health care and suicide prevention programs. It would also increase the number of psychiatrists at VA facilities.

            Coburn is retiring so it is possible Congress takes the issue up again in the new Congress.

            "If it fails this time, we will bring it back," Blumenthal said.
            SO, it would pay for MORE psychiatrists that generally do little, and probably won't be involved, and requires an ANNUAL audit to verify everything is being done wrong. WE ALREADY KNOW THAT! And shouldn't they have been doing things like that ALL ALONG!?!?!?

            Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

    One that not a single American corporation pays and everyone knows it.
    In one of the larger studies done; of 288 Fortune 500 companies --> 62 of those companies actually paid over 30%...their average rate was 33.6%. Not a great percentage, but some large companies do pay the 35% or very close to it.

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      In one of the larger studies done of 288 Fortune 500 companies --> 62 of those companies actually paid over 30%...their average rate was 33.6%. Not a great percentage, but some large companies do pay the 35% or very close to it.

      Cheers

      -don
      Yet, you posted another figure. Still trying to get that round peg into that square hole. C'mon, Don - you just want to argue. That's simply your nature.

      You need to be more like me and learn to let things go. :-)

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
        Banned
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        Yet, you posted another figure. Still trying to get that round peg into that square hole. C'mon, Don - you just want to argue. That's simply your nature.

        You need to be more like me and learn to let things go. :-)
        Wrong.

        You stated not one single corporation paid 35% and I merely stated that 62 of 288 Fortune 500 companies studied paid an average rate of 33.6%.

        Not all large companies are getting over as big as you like to insinuate.

        Cheers

        -don
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    And HOW did the swedish messagers know they were doing it right, etc....

    Did they ANALYZE how the rabbits move? Of course we KNOW they did NOT get any feedback from the rabbits!

    Still, rabbits muscles are DIFFERENT from human muscles, and their metabolism is different, so there is NO valid application.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Let's throw statutory tax rates out the window for a moment while we take a look at effective corporate tax rates.

    Sept. 2011 report:



    Taken as a whole, these studies indicate that the average effective tax rate for U.S.
    corporations—like the statutory rate—is one of the highest in the world. By every available
    measure, the U.S. imposes a very high tax burden on its corporate sector, in comparison
    to other nations, even after credits and deductions are considered.




    Conclusion

    Compared to the field of international business competition, it is incontrovertible that
    the U.S. imposes a highly burdensome effective tax rate on its corporate sector. The
    results of 13 unique studies of the effective tax rate on corporate investment across the
    globe are in remarkable accord. The resounding conclusion is that the average U.S.
    effective corporate tax rate, like the statutory rate, is nearly the highest in the world. This
    should not be too surprising, as it has been noted that “countries with high statutory
    rates tend to have high ETR.

    Investment that is shifted abroad boosts productivity and spurs job creation in foreign economies rather than in the U.S.; the high U.S. effective corporate tax rate is actively impeding current efforts at recovery.

    At seven to eight percentage points greater than the world average, the U.S. ETR
    represents a substantial competitive disadvantage for U.S. firms selling in international
    markets. Not only are U.S.-headquartered companies burdened with tax costs not
    imposed by the rest of the world, but the U.S. domestic economy is hemorrhaging
    potential capital investment to other tax jurisdictions where the tax penalties are not
    so onerous. Investment that is shifted abroad boosts productivity and spurs job creation in
    foreign economies rather than in the U.S.; the high U.S. effective corporate tax rate is
    actively impeding current efforts at recovery.

    The facts underlying the debate surrounding effective tax rates for U.S. corporations
    are unambiguous: the U.S. effective corporate tax rate is nearly the highest in the
    world. In light of the economic literature, these findings should alarm U.S. policymakers
    and provoke action.
    http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfo...docs/sr195.pdf

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    I was talking with a friend of mine, and he said with my skillset, etc... I should be asking for almost TWICE what I am! A person that ***I*** taught, that wasn't all that great, is getting about TWICE what I currently am. *****THAT***** is income inequality! The SAME, or more/better work, of the same type, for LESS pay.

    If a guy flipping burgers makes $20K, and a guy doing plumbing makes $80K, is THAT inequality? ****NO**** The plumber has to work harder in his job AND to find customers and has higher costs and a bigger risk. There is ALSO more skill involved, and fewer direct customers, of course! SORRY, but it is TRUE!

    And the guy flipping burgers can NEVER get paid as much because that causes inflation(because of the geometric effect), and THAT is why this ALWAYS comes up!

    QUICK! QUICK! *****QUICK*****!

    WHO gets paid more at WALMART? The CEO or the average employee!?!?!? You probably said CEO, RIGHT? Well one COULD argue that that is WRONG! You see, THEIR pay has LESS impact on walmart than the average employees! HOW?

    11000 retail units
    2.2 million associates

    WALMART(12/12/2013) SEVENTH biggest disparity!

    CEO: Mike Duke

    Average hourly worker wage: $8.86
    $1772 per store hour! $6.14 raise costs $1228 per store hour.

    CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,898 (779 times the average worker wage)
    $0.6271 per store hour! $6.14 raise costs .000558 per store hour.
    Overtime to CEO pay: 2.28 months
    As you can see, a $6.14/hour raise to the CEO is NOWHERE NEAR even a one cent cost to the store! The SAME raise to the average employees pay would be a cost of $1228 per store hour.
    That is NOT per store, but per store HOUR! THAT could really start to hurt a store. And this does NOT include rules that may kick in and increase costs MORE.

    Think about what you guys are REALLY saying! You are saying that a 2yo, that can't even read, should be able to go out and get a "living wage".

    I mean if you don't care about skill, effort, or work, or even a JOB, why should they even have to read? And frankly, a lot of illegals CAN'T read as far as most foreign countries are concerned. I can read a few languages, but would I be considered literate in an arabic country, or pakistan, or iran, or china, or japan? PROBABLY NOT! And WHY should we discriminate on age or relatives? HECK, NOW, you have teenagers suing their parents for college!

    OK, it has come around full circle! ADULTS decided to take kids jobs, and wanted to get paid adults wages, even if they did NOTHING. Why not have kids do the same? Yep, EVEN your 2 YO.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    1018 is a relatively small sample for a nationwide survey...

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Check Rasmussen on this one --> at least they polled 3500 on this question.

    Twenty-five percent (25%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending December 14.
    The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from December 8-14, 2014. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
    Right Direction or Wrong Track - Rasmussen Reports™

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    This Gallup poll was conducted from a random sample of 45,640 adults.

    Obama Averages 41.5% Job Approval in His 23rd Quarter
    Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 20-Oct. 19, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 45,640 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.
    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Let's throw a few more polling entities into the mix...



    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...ial-race/?_r=0

    Gallup is almost at the bottom of a very long list!

    Cheers

    -don
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by ForumGuru View Post

      Let's throw a few more polling entities into the mix...



      Gallup is almost at the bottom of a very long list!


      Cheers

      -don
      You take this far too personally, and you think we are somehow arguing.

      I picked Gallop out of a hat, because it's the first polling company I thought of. I should have said "Independent polling companies"

      But the margins of error are just math. Every math book has the same formulas.
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    According to a study done by Fordham Univeristy --> even the Daily Kos, Fox News and Newsmax were more accurate the Gallup, Rasmussen and NPR.



    Fordham Study: Public Policy Polling Deemed Most Accurate National Pollster In 2012

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Personally? Nope, not at all....I post here for fun.

    Arguing? Nope...you are the person that stated your opinion on Gallup and polls by "political organizations". I simply showed you how accurate Gallup has been lately, comparatively speaking.

    That said, I have little doubt that a percentage of the poor, and some of the people that pay little federal tax and take a lot from the government (taxpayers), want more wealth distributed to them. Those folks that don't want to work for minimum wage, those folks that think they are "above" working certain jobs, those folks that think they don't have to work their way up the wage scale, and those folks that make babies for a living etc. I see it, I hear it, I feel it in my community... Like Dan said, not all people want to earn their wages, and quite a few people feel they are entitled to a certain wage even if they are not skilled enough to command it in the workforce.

    Sure, some folks are underpaid, but a percentage of our unmotivated and/or undereducated society prefer taking handouts instead of working their way up the ladder. Of course many of those peeps would love it if those handouts were increased.

    Anyway, while many people may be "dissatisfied" with "income inequality" or "wealth distribution"...it does not automatically mean they want the government to step in and take the money from the wealthy and give it to the poor.

    Cheers

    -don
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  • Profile picture of the author ForumGuru
    Banned
    Since it appears that Fox News polling in the past has been more accurate then Gallup...let's take a look at a Fox News poll on a related subject. It meets the 1000 people polled standard that many are quite happy with.

    It looks like only 13% of the people say the government should get involved when the "wealth distribution" questions and available answers are posed in this manner...



    The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,010 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from January 19-21, 2014.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/inte...owden-secrets/

    Am I dissatisfied that I have not put $5,000,000 in the bank yet? Yes I am...

    Cheers

    -don
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