02-19-2012, 11:55 AM
The Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 70 Percent of Federal Income Taxes
Top earners are the target for new tax increases, but the U.S. tax system is already highly progressive. The top 1 percent of income earners paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes in 2008, while the bottom 50 percent paid only 3 percent. Forty-nine percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax at all.
Liberalism is just communism sold by the drink.
02-19-2012, 05:45 PM
If we take a scientific look at what works and what doesn't, focus on efficiency and effectiveness rather than profit, we can have robust social programs that work for not much more than we are paying now. Adam Smith, in his foundational text on free market economics, The Wealth of Nations, explained that the wealthy should pay more than their proportional share of their wealth in taxes to sustain the social needs of the society within which they come upon their wealth.
You state that the wealthy pay the lions share of certain taxes, which is true, but that's because they also own the vast majority of the nation's wealth. This would be like a guy going to dinner with five friends, and being outraged that he has to pay a larger percentage of the bill, because he ordered $80 worth of steak and lobster with a $300 bottle of wine, while the five friends ate $10 appetizers and water. Of course he has to pay more back.
If the system were modestly different, resulting in a more equitable distribution of wealth (and no this does not mean everyone is paid the exact same), then the taxation would also be different. If working people had a larger share of the pie, they would be expected to pay a larger share of the taxes.
These are fairly modest ideas that most nations consider rather conservative in nature. It's only within an extremely desperate far-right ideological framework that these ideas appear radical.
Nationalizing all property in the country and executing the wealthy to permanently change the very coordinates of the system as we know it is an extreme radical proposal. Adjusting tax rates and expanding social programs so that the system that currently exists can continue to function is actually conservative in nature.Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
02-19-2012, 05:53 PMOriginally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
02-19-2012, 05:53 PM
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We pay income tax, not wealth tax. Florida tried to tax people on net worth. Didn't get anywhere.
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02-19-2012, 06:01 PM
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
02-19-2012, 06:33 PM
However, there needs to be a reasonable concession that revenue is part of this too. The last decade has been a period of tax cut economics, to ignore the effects of this is to be deliberately obtuse. If you want a sustainable system you need to fund it through taxes, which after periods of large scale tax cutting may need to be raised. It's really not the end of the world to raise some taxes and make some spending cuts.
Yes, but if they went to dinner and the waiter presented him with the only check and the others informed him that he was on the hook for their dinners, regardless of what they ate, then he'd have a right to complain, wouldn't he? And after the first meal, they'd have no constraints on what they ordered, because they know that they aren't paying for it. So, once again, what is their claim on his purse?
You talk about an equitable distribution of wealth as if wealth is just sitting there, waiting to be distributed. It isn't. It must be created, first. The factory that employs a worker wouldn't exist without the risks undergone by the owners. Why are they obligated to share that with their workers?
However, the fact that they both are worth $60 says something about them. It says there is something that is quantitatively equivalent between the two items. This equivalency is the equivalency of another form of value, exchange-value. This means that exchange value has nothing to do with their physical, qualitative use-values.
What this means, effectively, is that instead of giving someone $60, you could give them the jacket, which they exchange for the blu-ray disks, which they sell for $60. Each of these interactions are equal exchanges, because when you are trading the jacket or the disks as commodities, you are exchanging them for their exchange-values, not their use-values. It means that getting $60 worth of tradeable commodities is the same as getting $60, at the level of exchange value.
Some people might say a thing is worth only what someone will pay for it, as if value arises out of the exchange itself, but this isn't true , as can be seen in cases where it cost more to make a product that you get from selling it. If it takes $90 to produce a jacket that only sells for $60, this process doesn't work and no wealth is generated. There is actually a loss of wealth in this process. This is because a certain amount of wealth goes into the creation of the product, via the labor of the production process.
Suppose there is a city that desires 2 plants for trade which grow in equal volume. One of these plants grows plentifully just a mile away from town, while the other grows 40 miles away. If these plants were to be exchanged, the plant that grows further away would have a higher exchange value because it takes more labor and time to acquire it. More labor goes into the commodity, so it is worth more.
Of course it is far more complex than these simple examples, but this is a very basic skeletal picture of where value comes from. When the process gets larger, you get more and more interesting and complex examples that are grounded in this picture but require even greater analysis.
Profit comes from paying workers less than the exchange value of the commodity, meaning that profit and therefore wealth comes directly from workers.
It is absolutely true that the owners play a very important role, and without the owners there are no workers (in this system), but without the workers, there can be no wealth generation.
I'm going to guess you are going to try to point out some inane example to counter one sentence of this post while ignoring the vast majority of it so I'll give you the condensed version here: Owners owe a share of their wealth to their workers because it is the workers who produce the goods or services which generate profit during the process of exchange. No workers, no goods or service, no profit. Simple as that.
No, they are radical ideas that have been presented so often, in such moderate language, that they no longer seem radical, but in fact, they fail whenever they are implemented, as the Greeks are currently finding out the hard way.
How about we look at Germany, which has even more robust social programs, stronger labor laws, and the best economy in Europe?
Hardly. Nationalizing all property and executing the wealthy is one end of the radical spectrum (or used to be, before the Khmer Rouge expanded the definition of who was to be executed to anyone who'd lived in a city, wore glasses, was moderately well-read, or had never pushed a plow), but using the tax code to meet the same ends is not less radical, it's simply a less obviously extreme version of the radical position that the wealthy must pay their "fair share", a nebulous term that radicals never seem able or willing to define. Well, here's where you get to define it. What is the "fair share" of taxation that we ought to demand of a Bill Gates, or me, for that matter? I'm in the process of preparing my tax papers for our accountant, and I want to know whether you think that I'm contributing my "fair share" or not. Give me a number.Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
02-19-2012, 06:35 PM
Source your previous post #54 and don't ignore me Wei.The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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