Should it be illegal to own a billion dollars?

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Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:25 am

First topic message reminder :

I doubt many people will read this with an open mind, but I think everyone should. So many of our problems are caused by people who aren't affected by our problems and don't give a shit about us.

Some ideas about how to make the world better require careful, nuanced thinking about how best to balance competing interests. Others don’t: Billionaires are bad. We should presumptively get rid of billionaires. All of them.

Does this sound like an incitement to the most dreaded kind of revolution, when people are struck down by the mob simply on the basis of some crude simple standard? It is not. The people who have a billion dollars are fine; they may go on living. It is just that, for the sake of everyone else (and, honestly, for their own sake) they must not be allowed to possess a billion dollars.

No one needs a billion dollars. No one deserves a billion dollars. There is a widespread moral and conceptual error, in a society saturated in the ideology of competition and monetary success, that the property a person has gotten does not simply belong to that person but is, somehow, itself an embodiment of their personhood—that to separate a person from property is to attack their human existence.

This is true to an extent—to the extent that property secures a person food, and shelter, and physical security, and health and futurity. Even, despite the inequities and injustices that have emerged by this level, a person’s opportunities to have leisure, to make art, etc.

None of this comes anywhere near adding up to a billion dollars.

Another error is the belief that billionaires have made their money by adding value to society, of which they take a minor share. One pictures some great industrialist inventing and manufacturing a useful item, which makes every single person’s life better, and in return receiving a small share of the price of the item.

A kindergarten teacher, teaching 25 new people a year not to bite each other and to work in occasional harmony with strangers, produces far more social good in a lifetime than an industrialist does. Even to picture the billionaire as a productive industrialist is too optimistic—read up and down the Forbes list, larded with monopolists, retailers, retail monopolists, the heirs of retail monopolies, real estate magnates, Mark Zuckerberg.

What do they do with all their extra money? They buy atrocious houses. They shut down publications. They buy politicians, over and under the table. Now a whole batch of them have moved directly into government—and we have the most corrupt and incompetent executive branch in memory to show for it.

https://hmmdaily.com/2018/10/16/no-billionaires/
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Post by Raggamuffin on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:18 pm

Eilzel wrote:
Raggamuffin wrote:What nobody is taking into account here is the effort which has to be put in to earn more money. Cruel to tax people even a tiny bit? Perhaps they could work more hours then.

People can work 40+ hours a week and still be relatively poor.

People can also word less than 20 hours a week and still be relatively well-off.

It isn't as clear cut as you imply.

Of course - if they're on very good rates of pay.

The point is that those who work 40 hours do actually make more effort than those who work 20 hours if they're doing the same job, and if they're on the same rate of pay, those who work part time have much more leisure time and pay nothing towards those who are working much harder. Those who work hard have to pay for those who don't!

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Post by phildidge on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:23 pm

>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:
Thor wrote:

So in reality you should be thankful, for the huge proportion of money that the rich provide to society then?

But no billionaire is taxed even close  to that much, while working people are still  having to pay their fair share. https://money.cnn.com/2013/03/04/news/economy/buffett-secretary-taxes/index.html

The top 20% of Americans pay 87% of income tax

That is staggering and you are not thankful for what they provide to society?

Why should they pay more, simple because you think so?

What you ask is based on greed on your part, as why should they pay more, when they pay plenty?

You see this is what is wrong economically with leftist thinking. They expect a minor few, to help out the rest of society. Whilst those proposing this do very little themselves.

Sorry but they are the biggest hypocrites

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Post by Raggamuffin on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:46 pm

Ben, does it make a difference to you if they actually put a lot of effort into making that money, or if they took a lot of risks? You mentioned earlier that a lot of rich people didn't do much, if anything, to earn it.

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Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:22 pm

Thor wrote:
>THE Ben Reilly< wrote:

But no billionaire is taxed even close  to that much, while working people are still  having to pay their fair share. https://money.cnn.com/2013/03/04/news/economy/buffett-secretary-taxes/index.html

The top 20% of Americans pay 87% of income tax

That is staggering and you are not thankful for what they provide to society?

Why should they pay more, simple because you think so?

What you ask is based on greed on your part, as why should they pay more, when they pay plenty?

You see this is what is wrong economically with leftist thinking. They expect a minor few, to help out the rest of society. Whilst those proposing this do very little themselves.

Sorry but they are the biggest hypocrites

Rolling Eyes

Trust Dodge to mislead his audience here, as per usual...

With "income tax" in the US only representing around 30-odd % of the total tax revenue/intake, that "87% of " 'income' tax" only represents about a quarter (!) of the total tax receipts..

With the lions' share of total taxes in the USA coming from other sources, especially sales taxes..

A larger proportion of Americans are in minimum wage and part-time jobs, on one side;  while the income disparity is also wider, with so many millionaires in that top 20%.

Than factor in that some 15% or more of those American workers can't even afford adequate healthcare..  With over 30 million American citizens living in poverty, that's greater than the population of Canada  !!!

The easiest answer to the Dodger's question as to why his corporatist rich-list heroes should pay a higher rate of income taxes than those common idle Marxist "envy fuelled" ingrates ? How about the simple fact that they generally have a much greater negative impact on their country, and the world-at-large, and usually have much more "disposable" income, whereas many poor people can't even afford basic accommodation (as demonstrated by much higher %s of homeless persons, when compared to other Western countries..).


Last edited by WhoseYourWolfie on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:31 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by phildidge on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:24 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
Thor wrote:

The top 20% of Americans pay 87% of income tax

That is staggering and you are not thankful for what they provide to society?

Why should they pay more, simple because you think so?

What you ask is based on greed on your part, as why should they pay more, when they pay plenty?

You see this is what is wrong economically with leftist thinking. They expect a minor few, to help out the rest of society. Whilst those proposing this do very little themselves.

Sorry but they are the biggest hypocrites

Trust Dodge to mislead his audience here, as per usual...

With "income tax" in the US only representing around 30-odd % of the total tax revenue/intake, that "80% of " 'income' tax" only represents about a quarter (!) of the total tax receipts..

With the lions' share of total taxes in the USA coming from other sources, especially sales taxes..

A larger proportion of Americans are in minimum wage and part-time jobs, on one side;  while the income disparity is also wider, with so many millionaires in that top 20%.

Than factor in that some 15% or more of those American workers can't even afford adequate healthcare..  With over 30 million American citizens living in poverty, that's greater than the population of Canada  !!!

Not misleading anyone

https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-20-of-americans-will-pay-87-of-income-tax-1523007001

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Post by phildidge on Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:32 pm

Despite recently passed tax reform, America’s income tax system remains progressive, with top earners expected to pay a higher share of income taxes in 2018. Lower-earning Americans will pay a smaller share of income tax next year.

According to estimates from Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, the 2018 individual income tax is expected to raise 50 percent of total federal revenue, up from approximately 48 percent in 2017.

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group, divided approximately 175 million American households into five income tiers of about 65 million people each. The group considered people’s earnings from wages and investments plus untaxed amounts, such as from health coverage. Such additions nearly double the income of people in the lowest tier and add about 20 percent for those in the highest tier.

The results of the research revealed the remaining steep progressive nature of the U.S. income tax system. The Wall Street Journal reported, “For 2018, households in the top 20% will have income of about $150,000 or more and 52% of total income, about the same as in 2017. But they will pay about 87% of income taxes, up from about 84% last year.”

Conversely, the lower 60 percent of households, who have income up to approximately $86,000, receive about 27 percent of income. This group will pay no net federal income tax in 2018, and were only responsible for paying 2 percent of it in 2017.

The Tax Policy Center also confirmed that the earners in the top quintile of taxpayers make $150,000 to $100 million and up. Approximately one million households in the top one percent — those who earn over approximately $730,000 — will pay 43 percent of income taxes, up from 38 percent last year

https://dmlnews.com/report-top-20-percent-americans-will-pay-87-income-tax-2018/

I shall await your apology Wolf


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Post by Maddog on Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:19 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
Thor wrote:

The top 20% of Americans pay 87% of income tax

That is staggering and you are not thankful for what they provide to society?

Why should they pay more, simple because you think so?

What you ask is based on greed on your part, as why should they pay more, when they pay plenty?

You see this is what is wrong economically with leftist thinking. They expect a minor few, to help out the rest of society. Whilst those proposing this do very little themselves.

Sorry but they are the biggest hypocrites

Rolling Eyes

Trust Dodge to mislead his audience here, as per usual...

With "income tax" in the US only representing around 30-odd % of the total tax revenue/intake, that "87% of " 'income' tax" only represents about a quarter (!) of the total tax receipts..

With the lions' share of total taxes in the USA coming from other sources, especially sales taxes..

A larger proportion of Americans are in minimum wage and part-time jobs, on one side;  while the income disparity is also wider, with so many millionaires in that top 20%.

Than factor in that some 15% or more of those American workers can't even afford adequate healthcare..  With over 30 million American citizens living in poverty, that's greater than the population of Canada  !!!

The easiest answer to the Dodger's question as to why his corporatist rich-list heroes should pay a higher rate of income taxes than those common idle Marxist "envy fuelled" ingrates ?   How about the simple fact that they generally have a much greater negative impact on their country, and the world-at-large, and usually have much more "disposable" income, whereas many poor people can't even afford basic accommodation (as demonstrated by much higher %s of homeless persons, when compared to other Western countries..).
There is no national sale tax. Most of the federal governments money comes from income taxes, corporate taxes and what we call social security and Medicare taxes.  

Only a tiny percentage of Americans over the age of 21 work for minimum wage.

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Post by Maddog on Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:24 pm

eddie wrote:
Maddog wrote:

Mao had ideas.

What were they? Nutshell please, I don’t do long boring articles and lectures.

That wealth is bad and peasants should wage war against those that have it.

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Post by eddie on Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:27 pm

Maddog wrote:
eddie wrote:
Maddog wrote:

Mao had ideas.

What were they? Nutshell please, I don’t do long boring articles and lectures.

That wealth is bad and peasants should wage war against those that have it.

I am not comfortable with this preconception that wealth is bad or that wealthy people are necessarily evil, or right wing or greedy.

It’s like saying that poor people must be lazy.

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Post by Maddog on Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:32 pm

eddie wrote:
Maddog wrote:

That wealth is bad and peasants should wage war against those that have it.

I am not comfortable with this preconception that wealth is bad or that wealthy people are necessarily evil, or right wing or greedy.

It’s like saying that poor people must be lazy.


Excellent.   Twisted Evil

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:53 am

the cycle of wealth consolidation and redistribution has been happening for as long as there has been money.

and yes periodically societies move into a 'redistribution phase' .... a.k.a. revolution
Or they become so weakened by corruption and naval gazing that another external power rises and takes it.

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Post by phildidge on Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:58 am

veya_victaous wrote:the cycle of wealth consolidation and redistribution has been happening for as long as there has been money.

and yes periodically societies move into a 'redistribution phase' .... a.k.a. revolution
Or they become so weakened by corruption and naval gazing that another external power rises and takes it.

Or in reality become strenghen by such corruption, that they embrace the same corruption

Power and control

So when people seek and take control, I have yet to see any example where that taking of this power, has not been corrupted

If people today, have no faith in democracy or free thinking, then humanity is clearly lost

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:25 am

Thor wrote:
veya_victaous wrote:the cycle of wealth consolidation and redistribution has been happening for as long as there has been money.

and yes periodically societies move into a 'redistribution phase' .... a.k.a. revolution
Or they become so weakened by corruption and naval gazing that another external power rises and takes it.

Or in reality become strenghen by such corruption, that they embrace the same corruption

Power and control

So when people seek and take control,  I have yet to see any example where that taking of this power, has not been corrupted

If people today, have no faith in democracy or free thinking, then humanity is clearly lost

like Rome or the Han Dynasty
Once the beacon of humanity, they still eventually succumbed to the forces of consolidation and redistribution.
Are we just waiting for this times Attila or Genghis Khan?  Should it be illegal to own a billion dollars? - Page 3 202592697


democracy and/or free thinking have also risen and fallen in various times and places for as long as history records.
Humanity progresses along a wave(peaks and troughs) not a linear path, it is not lost just moving into a trough Neutral

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:28 am

Thor wrote:So when people seek and take control, I have yet to see any example where that taking of this power, has not been corrupted

I agree People are inherently flawed
So....
Vote 1 skynet Cool

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Post by Eilzel on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:43 am

eddie wrote:
Maddog wrote:
eddie wrote:
Maddog wrote:

Mao had ideas.

What were they? Nutshell please, I don’t do long boring articles and lectures.

That wealth is bad and peasants should wage war against those that have it.

I am not comfortable with this preconception that wealth is bad or that wealthy people are necessarily evil, or right wing or greedy.

It’s like saying that poor people must be lazy.

Nobody should be, because they are grossly lazy simplifications of reality.

Yet the some on the hard Right will insist that the rich work hard and the poor don't work hard enough. While some on the Left will insist the rich are selfish and greedy.

None of that is healthy or helpful.

Let the rich get rich, and only tax as much as is needed to give the not-rich an equal chance in life and provide basic rights and services.

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Post by Jules on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:35 pm

Owning/earning billions in a straightforward honest way is nigh-on impossible.  Suspect

Somewhere along the line - not necessarily in the recent past - some nefarious activity must have occured - be it sharp practices, seizure of property,  aggressive takeovers of bankrupt companies  …..  or good old fashioned theft.

The backstories behind such phenomenal riches  - inherited wealth in particular - seldom stand up to scrutiny.  Suspect  Suspect

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Post by Jules on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:49 pm

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Fonda & a few others got their fellow billionaires to pledge a one off donation of 10% of their wealth - to good causes.

Which was very nice of them all. A benevolent act of kindness. Well done, guys. cheers

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Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:59 am

Jules wrote:Bill Gates, Warren Buffet,  Fonda & a few others got their fellow billionaires to pledge a one off donation of 10% of their wealth - to good causes.

Which was very nice of them all. A benevolent act of kindness. Well done, guys. cheers

Cool

Warren Buffett  has also promised that 90% of his accumulated personal wealth will be going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation when he dies...

https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-giving-away-their-money-2015-10

(Some money-obsessed people, adverse to the whole concept of philanthropy, will whine that this isn't right, and that those billionaires should be leaving everything to their families -- happily ignoring the fact that the children, and probably even grandchildren, will most likely all be billionaires in their own right, by then..).

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Post by Eilzel on Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:19 am

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
Jules wrote:Bill Gates, Warren Buffet,  Fonda & a few others got their fellow billionaires to pledge a one off donation of 10% of their wealth - to good causes.

Which was very nice of them all. A benevolent act of kindness. Well done, guys. cheers

Cool

Warren Buffett  has also promised that 90% of his accumulated personal wealth will be going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation when he dies...

https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-giving-away-their-money-2015-10

(Some money-obsessed people, adverse to the whole concept of philanthropy, will whine that this isn't right, and that those billionaires should be leaving everything to their families --  happily ignoring the fact that the children, and probably even grandchildren, will most likely all be billionaires in their own right, by then..).

Green given alien

The actions of Buffet, Gates and others makes it absolutely clear the megarich understand how their wealth can help others and that having it just sat there through generations is a waste.

I mentioned the other day, when discussing inheritance tax, that the children would already be made for life. I'd also add that all billionaire business made will have made their money thanks to the hardwork and custom of others, and sometimes thanks to the economic situations of the countries they operate it. So why shouldn't they be expected to give something back at the end of their time?

It is a weird assertion by RWers that it is some kind of right that everything goes to their kids, who likely don't even need it. I'd also specify that I'm talking exclusively millionaires where inheritance tax is concerned.

If society is built on helping each other, this isn't a wildly radical idea.

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