How should we stop the rich from cheating?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by vilk, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    I wish more people understood what "income" tax is. If you're ever bored, look up the senate report of 1954 code and ponder the real question, why did congress change the forthright explanation of "non-resident aliens and foreign corporations" to "taxpayers"? And then clarified that they made no changes to their ability to tax? Are you a non resident alien? Are you a foreign corporation? No? Then youre not obligated to pay income tax, except you filled out a 1040 or w2, which they say is voluntary consent to be considered a "taxpayer". Then you can discover that the IRS operates under some title called "Department of Treasury" which in no way states that it has anything to do whatso ever with the united states of America. It is not to be confused with the "United States Treasury Department". There is valid documentation on an internal revenue commissioner, but nothing written on a valid usA agency called the IRS.
    How can anyone say in one breath they own their house, but if they don't pay a property tax, it can be taken away? How did you ever own it? It sounds like you pay a price for the privilege of usage. When you buy a guitar, how much tax do you have to pay yearly to "maintain ownership"? None? That sounds like something that belongs to you then. The big illusion is that income tax funds roads and schools. Total bull..... The IRS is a private company out of Puerto Rico and is a for profit criminal organization. Stop worrying about the tax breaks of big companies, and start asking why you are presumed to be a foreign corporation yourself. Hint, look up the definition of "person" in Black's law dictionary. Then learn the difference between an American and a US Citizen, the difference between your name and YOUR NAME, and brush up on the District of Columbia Act of 1871. You'll be far more upset than you are today, but at least you'll start to understand how corruption and deception built this "country"
     
  2. asher

    asher So Did We

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    :eyeroll:
     
  3. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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  4. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    Well, according to the constitution, congress and state governments have a right to levy taxes, and it doesn't really put many restrictions on how. So... There isn't really a debate over whether or not "property taxes" are legal.

    Once again, I beseech those who believe that taxation is theft to actually think a little deeper about the issue. Income inequality isn't the problem, its how much income inequality. A little income inequality does provide a work incentive. However, too much income inequality is toxic. The battle between rich and poor is also as old as the country itself. Inequality peaked right before the first successful American revolution, our founding fathers, who themselves were part of an established colonial elite, realized that they could redirect a general sense of class resentment against the British, if they gave some concessions of rights to the underclasses. Note, that most of the rights extended only applied to white male property owners. Still a small fraction of the population. Back to my point. When income inequality becomes to great, it becomes destructive to the greater good. [That is, if you believe in a greater good.] A letter to the editor published in the New York Gazette in 1765 sums up the problem quite nicely:
    (Source, A people's history of the united states, by Howard Zinn) Income inequality becomes a problem when the upper class start to suck so much wealth and resources of the economy that it starts to hurt upward mobility. The minimum wage debate is a great example of this. Its not like walmart couldn't afford to pay their employees a living wage (also, before anyone dings me, a basic living wage is NOT an inflationary wage). But with the current system, Walmart has a legal obligation to their share holders, to make higher and higher profits, and they, essentially, chose not to pay their employees a living wage in order to boost stock prices. Those who work at walmart full time, and can't quite make it by, then may pickup food stamps or medicaid. So we, the people, with our tax money, subsidize Walmarts low wages.

    Another problem that comes with too much inequality are speculative bubbles. When you have a lot of people with more money than they know what to do with, they will often invest that money in speculative instruments. These are essentially bets on what commodity price will go where, when. For example, the housing bubble that burst in 2008. A lot of people made a lot of money, but at the peak of the bubble, housing prices were no where near a realistic market value. Meaning that lots of middle to low income families were now stuck with mortgages they could never hope to repay, and when the bubble burst, they lost all the equity in their homes. So even if they sold their home, they would still be stuck with a giant mortgage to pay off. So what did people do? They did the rational thing, which was to walk away from the mortgages. 2008 saw a historical record of home foreclosures and bank repossessions, and bankruptcy filings. With all these people no longer servicing their debts, the derivatives like mortgage backed securities, and subprime mortgage backed CDO's, all collapsed. This posed not just a problem for the rich who had invested in them, but millions of middle class people who had their retirement and pension funds invested in these assets (which were rated AAA by credit rating agencies).

    And this leads me into another issue that develops with extreme wealth inequality, corruption. Now, rich and powerful people will always be corrupt to some degree. but as the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think it could be argued that the more wealth and power you have concentrated at the top, the further removed those people become from the reality of working people, and the more likely they are to take more drastic measures to maintain their hegemony. It also becomes more of a problem, when, like we have seen throughout history and are once again seeing today, the ruling business class (IE the billionaires) and the political class, become one in the same. Their interests merge when a mutually beneficial relationship develops. In this case, the business elite fund political campaigns, and in exchange they promote legislation on behalf of the businesses. Not to mention the revolving door between the business elites and the regulatory agencies tasked with controlling them. Like Jamie Diamon serving on the board of the NY Fed when the bailouts were approved. This is a side effect of too much wealth concentration, because with high concentrations of wealth come high concentrations of political power. And the incentives of the business elites and the political class become one in the same. And especially when you have high levels of voter apathy like we are seeing today, the ruling class realizes that they can exploit the working class freely, because they will not be held accountable on election day, because they know you'll just blame immigrants. Again, historically this is nothing new.

    The reality is that not everybody can be a billionaire. When to much wealth gets concentrated in the hands to too few people, it means that there are less opportunities and less resources available to the rest of the people. Like Grindspine said, for the past 30 years the private debt bubble fueled by student loans, mortgages, car loans, and credit cards, has provided somewhat of a buffer for what's left of the middle class so that they can get their slice of the 'American dream'. Like Grindspine, many Americans are today no longer able to take on any more debt, and with most of the new income and wealth having gone to the top 1%, average people are less and less able to service the debts that they have been left with. Its also worth noting that under Obama's second term, 95% of the new wealth generated went directly to the top 1%. He is not, and was never a friend of the working class. The big banks are bigger than ever, after having looted the US treasury with the bailout and with the fed more then willing to pump them full of essentially free money, with no major structural reforms having been made, with no hedge fund managers or CEO's having been held criminally liable for their fraud, and with them investing in the same kinds of speculative instruments that lead to the crash of 2008, its setting up the perfect storm for another complete meltdown of the system. I think it could even happen as soon as this summer.

    I think we can all agree that wall street speculation doesn't really produce any social utility outside of enriching the rich. The argument made by the neoliberals at the start of the right wing take over with Reagan, was that with fewer tax burdens on the wealthy classes, they would have more money to invest back into their companies and their workers. What happened instead was that the upper class took their fortunes, and just kept growing them, and making themselves richer. The problem became that they weren't spending enough money. This leads to my next point, which is that a single person can only efficiently allocate so much wealth in a way that produces the kind of economic activity that we need to grow the middle class. If you've ever taken a basic macro economics course before, you might have heard the term "the wealth multiplier effect". If not, let me refresh your memory.
    . That is to say, in simple terms, 20,000 people with an income of 50k each, would generate more demand for goods then a single billionaire could. And it doesn't have to do with how intelligent they are, or anything. its just the fact that the billionare will spend proportionally much less of their income then the average middle class worker. 20,000 people making 50k each, will end up spending much more of that one billion dollars in a year then one person with a billion dollars would. How we have historically delt with the problem of to much inequality in our society, has been taxation. When the government is working well, we can actually put that tax money to good use, like infrastructure projects, and a robust social safety net. Things that can help the working class. The whole point of wealth redistribution via taxation is to try and negate the corrosive effects of unfettered capitalism.


    So fine, stay up on your high horse named Ayn Rand. Proudly boast that taxation is theft and that the rich have a natural right to get as rich as they possibly can, and that anyone who disagrees with you just doesn't understand life or is a commie, or something but just understand that the kinds of dogmatic philosophy you are advocating for has demonstrably toxic effects on human society.


    Edit: also, happy new year folks! Also edited for clarity.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I think that video (if you can stomach the ad hominem attacks against the left) is a good demonstration of the actual spending crisis, that I'm not saying doesn't exist. However he didn't address how government debt markets (and investments by say, retirement funds and pensions of working people into those debt markets) are or aren't sustainable in the long run. He does demonstrate how taxation alone cannot sustain our current spending rates, however what he doesn't mention is that it is possible to sustain a debt, as long as we bring in enough tax money to service that debt when the payments are due, which the US government has never failed to do. People buy US government debt because its a safe investment, because there is always enough taxable assets to service the debt as well as pay for a decent chunk of discretionary spending. If we had a %40 asset to debt ratio, and worked on closing that gap by cleaning up wasteful spending and closing tax loopholes, the US government would continue to be viable for the foreseeable future. Because they would continue to bring in enough income to service the debt, paying back bond holders. Conservatives tend to treat public debt in much the same way as private debt, when in reality public debt works in a completely different way then private debt. If we had zero public debt, there would be an enormous whole in the market where people have historically placed their money as a safe place to make investments for things like retirement funds. It also does not provide an argument against taxation, but it does provide some interesting facts about public spending.

    I think John Greens video on public debt fills in a lot of the gaps in perspective in Mr. Whittle's video.

     
  6. lelandbowman3

    lelandbowman3 SS.org Regular

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    I appreciate this post a lot.
     

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  7. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed SS.org Regular

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    100% applicable. If one does not have the justification to take the property of another without consent, then how may such a right be transferred to a group.?


    You are referring to implied or tacit consent, and I disagree with the concept. It is the basis Rousseau's social contract, but no contract can be entered into unless under explicit consent, and that is why taxation is unjust under current modern definitions.
     
  8. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed SS.org Regular

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    It is simply not an argument to simply claim a statement is fallacious without making the argument of how it is fallacious.

    Ignoratio elenchi :metal:
     
  9. will_shred

    will_shred not that good.

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    I have a feeling that Tedintheshed will be reluctant to address the points I've made on taxation and income inequality. If he can't, he really can't justify his position outside of dogma. Not like that's never happened before though. Unless you straight up don't believe in the principal of trying to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. But then we get into philosophy, and the only philosophers who would disagree with that (that I can think of) are Hobbes and Rand. I think that Roseau's social contract still applies in this situation, unless you would like to stop driving on public roads, never apply for a public scholarship or grant, never call the police or fire department or ambulance, or utilize any other services that tax dollars pay for.
     

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