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I think people are confusing making the top 1% pay more just because they have more with making them pay more so that they can be paying an equal amount in proportion to the rest of us. It's about advocating the closing of loopholes which let some of them get away with only paying like 14% income tax.

@_Jojo_ I think people are confusing making the top 1% pay more just because they have more with making them pay more so...

Just FYI, the wealthy do pay a higher rate on income tax. The popular Warren Buffet story (and most stories you hear about the wealthy paying low rates) deals with capital gains tax, which are low and should remain low so as to encourage investment in the economy

@WinniethePooh Just FYI, the wealthy do pay a higher rate on income tax. The popular Warren Buffet story (and most stories you...

I disagree. Income is income and should all be taxed. I'm for moving towards a completely flat tax with zero exemptions. This is exactly the problem. This is why Romney wouldn't share how much he paid in taxes. The wealthy are the only ones to benefit from this differentiation in tax rates.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are -1Reply
@PhilboydStudge I disagree. Income is income and should all be taxed. I'm for moving towards a completely flat tax with zero...

He actually did release his tax returns for the past several years. Just sayin...and the basis for all economic theory is this: People respond to incentives.

The trick is finding an incentive model that encourages the correct behavior. For example, I believe that all wealth groups should be taxed on the same rate, but that doesn't mean than all types of income need to be taxed the same. That way if I make $50,000 and you make $100,000 in regular income we both pay the same amount. But if I make $50,000 and you make $100,000 in addition to another $25,000 in capital gains, we still pay the same amount on our income, but you get a lower rate on the capital gains because that money came from an investment in the economy and not just your own personal usage.

Capital gains sounds like something that only benefits the wealthy, but it absolutely is not. All it is is money made on the stock market which anybody has the ability to do. Sell any thing laying around the house and you can get started in the game

@WinniethePooh He actually did release his tax returns for the past several years. Just sayin...and the basis for all economic...

My bad. Romney did release his tax returns... and what did they show? That he paid an effective income tax rate of 20%. That's a lot lower than what I ended up paying. Why should we incent investment over production? Could it be because the weathly benefit more from investment? This argument is being used to keep people down.

Poor people tend to have less things at their disposal to convert into investments. I'm almost certain someone making $50k would never be able to invest as much, percentage-wise, as someone in the top 10%. That is why the wealthy benefit more from this tax structure.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are -1Reply
@PhilboydStudge My bad. Romney did release his tax returns... and what did they show? That he paid an effective income tax rate...

Sure they benefit more, but that doesn't hurt anyone at all. Explain to me how rich people making money off of investments hurts the poor. This idea, that if something helps one person more than another it should be detested, is ridiculous!

Oh, and you can't have production (or any kind of industry) without investors. That's where the idea of the stimulus package originated from, and that's why in should be incentivized with a low tax rate

@WinniethePooh Sure they benefit more, but that doesn't hurt anyone at all. Explain to me how rich people making money off of...

To answer your question, I believe it hurts the poor because there are only so many resources to go around. I was taught that Economics is the study of the allocation of limited resources. Therefore it seems necessary that in order for some to gain, others must lose. Perhaps this disparity will be partially addressed by increased productivity, but not as much as I feel would be necessary.

Well, not when you put it like that. wink smilie I suspect though that are some huge things built into our tax codes that generally favor the wealthy. You know... wealth begets power, and in turn powe begets wealth, and so on. I detest it because I doubt it's based on sound principal. Why? For two reasons. One, because it's impossible to prove anything in economics - it's too complex, and two, because it conveniently helps those in power.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are -1Reply
@PhilboydStudge To answer your question, I believe it hurts the poor because there are only so many resources to go around. I was...

Exactly. Your entire argument is based on one single flawed assumption. You assume that all resources are limited. For one, the largest portion of the world's economy consists of services, not goods. And as long as there are people, "resources" will be unlimited. Also most natural resources are also renewable. Trees are planted, minerals are chemically created, even oil regenerates after billions of years. Everything works in a cycle, which means that every single thing you've based your ideology on is wrong.

Also you make false assumptions when you claim that systems that favor the wealthy. One, it definitely is possible to prove things in economics; it happens frequently by trial and error and looking at history. For example, the largest periods of economic and innovative growth in America's history have been during times of low regulation and low taxes. Think McKinley and Reagan. It's not even up for debate; GDP, consumer confidence, innovation, etc all statistically grew during those eras and similar ones.

And I still don't think you can convince me that just because something favors one group over another that it's a bad thing

@WinniethePooh Exactly. Your entire argument is based on one single flawed assumption. You assume that all resources are limited...

Don't forget that the vast majority of capital gains are from derivative investments that do nothing to stimulate the economy. Those gains are nothing more than winnings at a casino and should be taxed the same way. True industrial investments that yield gains may deserve a break but the kind of investments berkshire hathaway makes do not stimulate GDP.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are +1Reply
@WinniethePooh Exactly. Your entire argument is based on one single flawed assumption. You assume that all resources are limited...

I need to learn more about this "stop thinking of resources as being limited" concept. I'll admit the facts supporting that part of my argument are of an intuitive nature. wink smilie Perhaps I am thinking about it wrong. I'll read up on this.

I'm using the word "prove" in a stricter sense. I don't believe anyone can prove two variables alone - low regulation and low taxes in this case - predict economic and innovative growth (however you define them). For instance, what about wars, or famine? There must to be hundreds of things that can impact the GDP and consumer confidence.

What I find convenient about your last statement is that I'm not trying to convince you anything of that sort. I don't believe the universe is fair. However, I am morally against a system or scheme used to take advantage of others. So things like slavery, ponzi schemes, etc.. are wrong in my book.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply

Quick fact check: the top 1% does not own 40% of the nation's wealth. It owns approximately 26%. However, they do pay 40% of the nation's income tax (which leads to to believe that this video used IRS information and misrepresented it). They truly are paying more than their fair share.

Then there's the whole ideology of why should they even have to pay more than everyone else. It's plain old unfair. But let's not get into that.

Do some reading on economic theory. If you know Adam Smith (economist), then you'll undoubtedly know about the Invisible Hand Theorem. It states that sure, the rich become wealthier faster and greater than the working class, however, that doesn't mean that the working class are being stolen from. Notice how people say the wealth gap is at its highest point (which isn't even true considering the whole industrial revolution issue) but the poor are still living in nicer houses than they were ten years ago. They have more opportunities, more accessible food supplies, cheaper necessities, etc. People act like there is a finite amount of wealth and material items in the world but that's the whole fallacy of the wealth gap argument.

@WinniethePooh Quick fact check: the top 1% does not own 40% of the nation's wealth. It owns approximately 26%. However, they do...

The poor are getting richer, not poorer. Just not at as large a rate as the top 1%. And that's just fine with me.

The author of the video made a grand statement that we don't need to revert to socialism in order to fix this, but every step towards it is a step away from the Invisible Hand Theorem which also says that when every man in a society works for his own gain, it creates a better society for everybody to inhabit, through no intended aims. Once we deincentivize people, rich or poor, to better secure their own bread, the driver of the economy will collapse.

And that is why this video presents not only an incorrect depiction of the economy, but a dangerous one

@WinniethePooh The poor are getting richer, not poorer. Just not at as large a rate as the top 1%. And that's just fine with me...

You saying that the poor are getting richer shows that you have no clue what you are talking about.

Anonymous -1Reply
@You saying that the poor are getting richer shows that you have no clue what you are talking about.

How come the poor have cars, cell phones, heating, etc? 15 years ago, I, as a middle class American couldn't even afford most of those luxuries. The fact the absolute bottom of the totem pole can now afford these things proves it.

And you simply saying that I don't know anything without making any refutation probably says more about your knowledge on the subject than it does about mine.

@WinniethePooh How come the poor have cars, cell phones, heating, etc? 15 years ago, I, as a middle class American couldn't even...

I wish there was enough space in your bubble for me, it sounds

And no shit cell phones were expensive 15 years ago. You that dense?

You could still afford a car and heating a lot more than the poor of today could.

Again, you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. But if you could, please keep trying.

Anonymous -3Reply
@I wish there was enough space in your bubble for me, it sounds And no shit cell phones were expensive 15 years...

Exactly. Notice how this awful form of an economic system where the poor get poorer had the power to make something once only attainable by the highest of the high, now attainable by the lowest of the low.

You're just wrong.

And I love how you still think that I'm the clueless one when you still haven't refuted anything that I've said

@WinniethePooh The poor are getting richer, not poorer. Just not at as large a rate as the top 1%. And that's just fine with me...

Making more means you should pay more when you're taxed. If I make $100 dollars and you make $200 and taxes are at 20% you should be paying twice as much as I am. We both worked just as hard for our money so why do have more of a right to yours than I have to mine?
Let's say there's a cap on how much you're taxed on. I'm going to say it's $100 because it's too early for me to work with big numbers (doing math before I've had my coffee is never a good idea). Since I made $100 I am taxed on 100% of my income while you're only taxed on 50% of your income. When tax time rolls around we each have to pay $20.
Now let's say someone made $1,000. That person only has to pay $20 just like us. It's fair, right? I mean we're all paying the same amount. But what about the man who only made $50? He pays $10 in taxes. Why shouldn't he pay $20 just like everybody else?
Because taxes are capped the top 1% are only taxed on a fraction of a percent of what they make. Even if your numbers are correct (I'm not saying they're not, it's just too early to look into it) and the top 1% own 26% of the nation's wealth that means that 1/4 of the nation's wealth isn't being taxed. Imagine cutting the debt

@pikabeau Making more means you should pay more when you're taxed. If I make $100 dollars and you make $200 and taxes are at...

by taking in a quarter more taxes a year. Sure, it may not help everything, but it will definitely make a dent in things.
Some people say you can't tax the wealthy the way you tax the middle class because that takes away the incentive to work hard. But I ask you: Would you rather make $1,000 and get to keep $800 or would you rather make $100 and get to keep $80? You'll be working just as hard either way. The incentive to work hard in this case is making money. Knowing you'll be taxed less doesn't make a person work harder.

@pikabeau by taking in a quarter more taxes a year. Sure, it may not help everything, but it will definitely make a dent in...

No no no no no no no

You're first example and second example are completely disconnected. The second one involving tax caps is horrid, but thankfully that's not the way it works.

The first example is also horrid simply because (and excuse my bluntness) you're just plain wrong. First off, you make a sweeping generalization by saying that we both worked as hard for our money. That is, in almost every case, not true. Second, even if I slacked off all day and still made twice as much as you, that's still my money. I have the right to it because it was exchanged for my service. Not yours, not the homeless guy's, not the government's...mine.

Wages are not payed based on how much effort it took to do the work, they are based on how valueable you, as a person, are to your employer. Apparently I can simply do things that you can't. If that were not the case, my wage would be lower. Supply and Demand

I absolutely am in favor of one solid tax rate but what people don't seem to realize is that the top 1% pay a higher tax rate than everybody else already (see first comment)

@WinniethePooh No no no no no no no You're first example and second example are completely disconnected. The second one involving...

They pay a higher rate for the extra money they make, in america its 35% is the highest tax bracket
Which means from x amount - x amount they get taxed x%
Then from x amount - x amount they get taxed x+1%
Then from x amount - infinite they get taxed x+2%

@Naggs They pay a higher rate for the extra money they make, in america its 35% is the highest tax bracket Which means...

I believe the wealthy pay a higher rate on income, but not on capital gains. I'm not positive, but I believe that capital gains are taxed a max of 20%, and you only pay that amount if you earn over $400,000 per year. Since the wealthy are in a better position to invest (and thus pay capital gains tax rates), they are the ones who benefit the most. This is why I suspect they pay a lower percentage than what people think they do.

I just read that the reason some things are public record so that you know you are being treated fairly. Why not make everyone's effective tax rate published? Otherwise, how do we really know?

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge I believe the wealthy pay a higher rate on income, but not on capital gains. I'm not positive, but I believe that...

I think that would be a huge invasion of privacy if we made everyone's taxes made available

I wiki'ed it and yeah 20% seems to be the highest number, I think it should be treated the same as an income, because it is an income
I honestly don't think wealthier people will mind, we kind of have this image that all rich people are greedy little bastards but they understand a good investment helps everyone (i.e. taxes)

@Naggs I think that would be a huge invasion of privacy if we made everyone's taxes made available I wiki'ed it and yeah...

I'm just talking the bottom line number. For instance, I paid 33% (I'm making that up because I don't typically figure it out) of my income in taxes in 2012. Nothing overly personal about that. If you're concerned about privacy, you should be concerned with the Patriot Act, but that's a different subject.

I don't believe all the wealthy are greedy. However, they are very good at making and keeping their wealth. That's how they got there. They will not give it up easily. An informed electorate would go along way. At least we wouldn't have as many lower and middle-class people arguing for the top 1%.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge I'm just talking the bottom line number. For instance, I paid 33% (I'm making that up because I don't typically...

Well let's say you pay 33 or 35 or whatever, so now people can go figure out how much money you are making
Maybe it's just me, but I find asking people their income is rude and no one's business?

well the thing is wealth makes wealth because when you have more you can invest more and spread it out to more ventures. I also think wealth comes from the value that we've placed on people who have accumulated their wealth.
i.e. any victoria's secret model is useless to society but we've placed a very high value on them because we pay them a lot.

So I'd say wealth is a combination of collection and of the value of the individual

@Naggs Well let's say you pay 33 or 35 or whatever, so now people can go figure out how much money you are making Maybe...

Yes, my income is private. My tax rate (%) should not be.

I like your analogy. Our society certainly does put a lot of value in financial success. However, I would take your analogy one step further. We've placed such a high value on the looks of Victoria Secret models that their childrens' children are still considered beautiful. That is, there are families wealthy with "old money". We often look up to those people too.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge Yes, my income is private. My tax rate (%) should not be. I like your analogy. Our society certainly does put...

What I mean to say is that people can derive your income from your tax bracket (i.e in Canada highest tax bracket is 44% and that's for people who make over 100 grand)

I think that we've given a $ amount of the importance we place for people.
For example social workers are one of the lowest paid professions even though everyone uses social programs, we as a society have deemed social workers to be less important than models.

and once people have acquired wealth much like what you said, then we've placed an even higher value on them ( like Donald trump)

@Naggs They pay a higher rate for the extra money they make, in america its 35% is the highest tax bracket Which means...

As the son of a CPA, I have a pretty good knowledge on taxes and tax brackets...but I don't understand the argument you're trying to make, if you're trying to make one at all

@WinniethePooh As the son of a CPA, I have a pretty good knowledge on taxes and tax brackets...but I don't understand the argument...

my dads a geotechnical engineer doesn't mean I have a good understanding of that...
Your father went to school not you...
Regardless I think I posted to the wrong comment

@PhilboydStudge Now we're just getting personal...

My dad lays asphalt. I know a lot about asphalt... probably more than the average 24 year old.

@WinniethePooh No no no no no no no You're first example and second example are completely disconnected. The second one involving...

I was wrong in using the term "income tax" when it's really payroll tax and is on the state level, not the federal level. Either way, there is a tax cap taxes and that is not right. I probably should't type at six in the morning.
I didn't make a generalization about everyone. I made an example using you and me saying we worked the same but you still made more. Some of the poorest Americans are called the "working class." Why? They work for a living. Some work two jobs, some work overtime, some do odd jobs, either way: working class. You can't possibly believe that the CEO works harder than the truck driver just because he makes more money. The amount of money you make doesn't determine how much you work.
You have the same right to your money as I have to mine. My taxes go to help others and your taxes go to help others. You pay more simply because you have more to give. You're not more entitled than everyone else just because you have more money.

@pikabeau I was wrong in using the term "income tax" when it's really payroll tax and is on the state level, not the federal...

So apparently, based on what you chose to carry through, the argument comes down to who works harder and who deserves more.

And like I said earlier, wages are based on the value of an employee to the company, not who's work is the hardest manual labor. You think a laborer works just as hard if not harder than a CEO. Then I dare you to put a laborer in charge of a company and see how it goes. While the working class laborer my exert more energy doing his job, the CEO provides something to the company that no other person can: the expertise and ability to run the company. Supply and demand is one of, if not the most prominent law of economics and it applies to employees just as much as oil. Laborers are easily found, replaced, and trained while a CEO takes years of school, years of experience, and superior intuition; something the laborer doesn't have.

And lastly, you contradict yourself so much when talking about who deserves what. If I make $200 while you make $100 and we are taxed at 10%, you pay $10 and I pay $20. I AM paying more than you. I am paying back the percent of the economy that I impact. There is no selfless logic whatsoever than justifies a higher rate on the wealth

@WinniethePooh So apparently, based on what you chose to carry through, the argument comes down to who works harder and who...

I've never once said people should get paid based on how hard their work is. I don't know where you're getting that from. I'm just saying both the CEO and the truck driver work equally hard so they should be taxed equally as hard on the local level, which they're not.
If you make $200 and I make $100 and there is a cap saying you only pay state taxes on the first $100 you earned then we would both be paying $10. That's how state taxes work. Woop-dee-doo, I was wrong about a federal tax cap. Big freaking deal.
We worked equally hard but you're only paying state taxes on 50% of what you earned while I pay taxes on 100% of what I earned, making you more entitled to your income than I am to mine. That's the part I'm complaining about. I'm not saying hard workers should be paid more. I'm not saying the wealthy should be taxed harder. I'm saying the state should have everyone pay taxes on 100% of their income regardless on if they made $1 or $1,000,000.

@pikabeau I've never once said people should get paid based on how hard their work is. I don't know where you're getting that...

Well sure that's an unfair way to run a tax system, but that varies in every area. Deal with that locally (which local taxes are almost always very small anyways, so it doesn't matter too much), but speaking about the nation as a whole, like this video is, the wealthy are still paying more than their fair share

@pikabeau by taking in a quarter more taxes a year. Sure, it may not help everything, but it will definitely make a dent in...

Are you sure there is a cap on taxes? I believe you only have to contribute to social security up to a certain point, but I was not aware of any other cap.

It is likely, however, that the wealthy pay a lower overall lower percentage on their income to taxes, once you include capital gains in the equation. One problem is that capital gains is taxed at a much lower rate, and this disproportionally favors the wealthy.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@WinniethePooh Quick fact check: the top 1% does not own 40% of the nation's wealth. It owns approximately 26%. However, they do...

I was hoping someone would have counter facts. Where did you get this information (that the top 1% owns 26% of the wealth)? I truly want a better understanding of the situation.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge I was hoping someone would have counter facts. Where did you get this information (that the top 1% owns 26% of the...

2009 IRS tax reports. To my knowledge, that's the latest year they've released their books to the public

@PhilboydStudge I was hoping someone would have counter facts. Where did you get this information (that the top 1% owns 26% of the...

In total they own 40% of the wealth however, of their yearly income it contributes to 26% is what I understood from it

Those politicians (and their backers (monopoly capitalists)) who place this idea in peoples' minds ARE the 1%. - "The open-minded reader should bear two clues in mind: monopoly capitalists are the bitter enemies of laissez-faire entrepreneurs; and, given the weaknesses of socialist central planning, the totalitarian socialist state is a perfect captive market for monopoly capitalists..."

In the context of taxes, all people should pay the same percentage, so it's fair. Except this only works if people stop getting out of paying them.

And really, for anybody in the US to say it's "unfair" for the 1% to not pay their "fair share" is hypocritical ... because the US has long consumed a disproportionate amount of the planet's resources.

Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even close to significant in the grand scheme of the economy. Second, why should they have to give more just because they have more? That's basically saying that if someone has an abundance of anything, it's okay to take some away from them and give it away. You might have more shoes than your neighbor. I'm going to take some of your shoes and give them to your neighbor without your consent. Since you have so many and they don't have that many shoes, it only makes sense, right? Oh, you worked hard for those shoes, earned em fair and square? Well, your neighbor is still more entitled to them than you, sorry. Fork em over.

@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

It's not even just having more shoes than your neighbor. It's 1% of the people owning 40% of the wealth, which is acquired from exploiting the working class. The wealthy does not earn this "fair and square," because the workers work much harder than the ruling class and are barely getting paid.

@MusicIsAGift It's not even just having more shoes than your neighbor. It's 1% of the people owning 40% of the wealth, which is...

Stop. How can you say the workers work much harder than the 'ruling class'? There's no way to properly gauge who works harder than who because the difficulty of a job is subjective. One person might think manual labor is easy while another might think it's hard. On the flip side, one person might not enjoy mentally challenging labor at all while another might love it. Then of course there are lazy asses who complain about any work no matter what it is and there are people who enjoy any job they have.

Of course you could argue that the "working class" works long hours. Well so do the "ruling class". They often take their work home with them. If there's ever a problem, they're the ones who are called upon at any given time of day. The people at the head of companies put just as many work hours in, if not more, not including work they take home. They also hold a ton of responsibility for keeping the company successful. One mistake can send their company into the ground. These kind of variables create risk; the higher the risk, the higher the reward.

@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

The problem is that there is a cap on how much you can be taxed on. I'm not 100% sure of the current numbers, but I know in 2012 people were only taxed on the first $110,000 of their total income. That means if a person A makes $50,000 they are taxed on 100% of their income while if person B makes $1,100,000 they are only taxed on 10% of their income. If taxes are at 20% then person A is paying $10,000 and person B is paying $22,000. Sure, person B is paying more money, but he's only being taxed on part of what he earned. In total, person B is only paying taxes at 2% of his entire income while person A is paying 20% of their income.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sit right with me. What makes person B deserve to be taxed less? I get he's got money and had to work hard for it, but everyone else works hard too. He is not more entitled to his income than anyone else is entitled to theirs.

My neighbor is not more entitled to his shoes. He has 10 pairs and I have 20 pairs. We both donate 10% of our shoes. He only donates half as many as me, but that's fine. I have more to give so I will give my fair share.

@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

If we're all being forced to give away some of our shoes (i.e. taxes) then doesn't it seem fair that since they own more shoes they should have to give away more of them?

I wouldn't say it's always earned fair and square either.

@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

I don't disagree with some of your sentiment. We have a huge spending problem, and no amount of taxing the top earners alone will solve the problem. Still, I hope you force yourself to watch the video. It may not change your mind, but it's always good to try to learn as much as possible about these things.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are +1Reply
@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

ple who are richer than everyone else can't exploit those with less money than them to make even more money for themselves, and in that way, it's going back to everyone else.

Frank_n_Furters avatar Frank_n_Furter Yeah You Are +1Reply
@Frank_n_Furter ple who are richer than everyone else can't exploit those with less money than them to make even more money for...

That's a nice story and all, but those practices were outlawed during the industrial revolution, beginning with the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887

@WinniethePooh That's a nice story and all, but those practices were outlawed during the industrial revolution, beginning with the...

I'm not exactly sure which practices you mean. I mentioned a lot of theoretical stuff meant to demonstrate some real stuff and maybe a couple of real life things. I'm curious to know which practices you're referring to, but which ever they are I feel the need to express that just because something is outlawed does not mean it doesn't happen, even amongst the government.

Frank_n_Furters avatar Frank_n_Furter Yeah You Are 0Reply
@WinniethePooh That's a nice story and all, but those practices were outlawed during the industrial revolution, beginning with the...

I just realized I could probably Goggle Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and possibly figure out what practices you were referring to. Ima go do that and I will probably get back to you.

Frank_n_Furters avatar Frank_n_Furter Yeah You Are 0Reply
@WinniethePooh That's a nice story and all, but those practices were outlawed during the industrial revolution, beginning with the...

Okie dokie, I've Googled the act. And I need you to explain more in depth about it and the way it connects to this because I'm having a hard time understanding. Which may be because I've been drinking whisky.

Frank_n_Furters avatar Frank_n_Furter Yeah You Are 0Reply
@Frank_n_Furter Okie dokie, I've Googled the act. And I need you to explain more in depth about it and the way it connects to this...

So essentially, during the Industrial revolution, big-businesses (namely oil and railroads) gave rebates to larger consumers in order to secure their business. This forced smaller consumers out of business because they couldn't afford to make up the difference.

This is essentially a real world example of what you were talking about. The Interstate Commerce Act (and later the Hepburn Act) made these practices illegal along with many other unfair industry practices.

Obviously we can say that it might still happen, but the only thing left to do is enforce the law that already exists...that is a flaw of society, not capitalism

@WinniethePooh To enforce laws? Please elaborate

If capitalism was flawless then there would be no need for antitrust legislation. If the invisible hand was self regulating (Smith never said it was, he predicted the need for antitrust) if it was, then there would not be so many examples of failed capitalistic states (US in the 1930s, France 1800, Pre war Germany, etc etc) when class divide gets too large (and governments don't redistribute) there is certain failure.

Smith knew there would be these problems. Command style socialism is not the answer either. I suspect that regulated private ownership with voluntary redistribution would be best, but alas if the disparity continues to grow I fear for the worst.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are +2Reply
@VicZinc If capitalism was flawless then there would be no need for antitrust legislation. If the invisible hand was...

Of course it's not flawless...no system is flawless. However, it is the best system we have. No other system has taken a country so far, no other system has inspired as much innovation, and no other system has endured as long.

Of course there is always need for some moderate regulation such as antitrust legislation, but an important concept to remember about such legislation is that the purpose of it is to preserve the competitive aspect of the system; which is true capitalism.

Every socialist advocate dreams of a state where everybody is completely selfless and gives their own substance to those with less--and I completely agree that this system is ideal, but the world is not an idealist's paradise. People are selfish, people are greedy, people are lazy, and so on. There's no way to institute a successful socialist system in these demographics

@WinniethePooh Of course it's not flawless...no system is flawless. However, it is the best system we have. No other system has...

OK, so why don't you agree that if you took "profits" out of the equation prices should go down?

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc OK, so why don't you agree that if you took "profits" out of the equation prices should go down?

Profits are good. First, they drive for profits drives innovation and competitive industry. Also, the world runs on consumption. You eat, you drink, you use gas, you use soap, etc. Guess where all that comes from? Profits. If there are no profits, we limit the world to a finite amount of wealth, and when there is a finite amount of wealth, consumption becomes impossible. If wealth doesn't multiply somewhere along the lines, then people will eat all the wealth up until there isn't anything left.

So sure, if companies price things so that there are no profits, prices will be lower, but so will your wages. Then, once everyone can afford the same things, the law of supply and demand will kick in and drive prices back up. No prices are exactly where they were before, only now, nobody is benefiting. And then there's that issue of laziness. Nobody will take up a venture that they don't benefit from, in one way or another.

And that's the problem with socialism. It required people to risk something for nothing in return, and simply not the way the human mind functions

@WinniethePooh Profits are good. First, they drive for profits drives innovation and competitive industry. Also, the world runs on...

"If there are no profits, we limit the world to a finite amount of wealth..". I have never heard that point stated so clearly before.

A friend and I occassionally argue over economics, and in hindsight,I think he tries to make this point a lot. I never quite understood what he was talking about. So, thanks.

Havind said that, I agree that profit incentives drive us to more efficiently utilize our resources, we still need to realize there in not an infinite resources on this planet.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are +1Reply
@WinniethePooh Profits are good. First, they drive for profits drives innovation and competitive industry. Also, the world runs on...

Um, no. Wealth comes from raw materials, it does not come from profits. Profits make people "wealthy" but the system will not run out of wealth until all the raw materials are used up. So I don't buy that argument. I agree that profits do motivate most people.

Plenty of capitalistic system have failed, run out of food, fuel, etc.

Strict laissez faire capitalism is as flawed as socialism. The latter fails from lack of motivation, the former from greed.

I don't have the answers. I suspect no one does because there is no utopia.

I have read both The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and I can assure you that Adam Smith did not think the invisible hand was infallible. He referred to unbridled profits a "unproductive labor" he predicted the fall of the French aristocracy because of their gluttony and greed.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc Um, no. Wealth comes from raw materials, it does not come from profits. Profits make people "wealthy" but the...

Absolutely. I think the key rests in fact that no one truly does have all the answers and that no system is flawless. However, I do prefer one where everyone makes their own keep, whether greedy or not

@WinniethePooh Absolutely. I think the key rests in fact that no one truly does have all the answers and that no system is...

One more question, if I can be so bold. How do you reconcile ownership with Christianity? My understanding was that Jesus eschewed ownership of worldly goods, instructed his followers to pay taxes and lived of the kindness of others.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc One more question, if I can be so bold. How do you reconcile ownership with Christianity? My understanding was...

Well, Christ taught that it was overly more important to live a spiritually focused life than one that revolved around worldly goods. However, I, along with those of my faith, believe that we were put here on this Earth, not only to follow rules, but to enjoy our time here with a mortal body and the feelings and experiences that come with it.

Also, we do believe in what we call "The Law of Consecration" or essentially, socialism. However, it is instituted through and by the people involved and not a government forcing you to give up what you've worked for...or as you say, "a voluntary form of redistribution". The problem is that nearly no one will blindly and voluntarily redistribute their income when there are those who will take advantage of the system and not contribute to it.

@WinniethePooh Well, Christ taught that it was overly more important to live a spiritually focused life than one that revolved...

Thanks. One more thought...there are people who will not voluntarily redistribute, even to those that do contribute to their fullest capability but happen to lack the entrepreneurial wherewithal and are therefore destined to perform manual labor at minimum wage. Do you agree?

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc Thanks. One more thought...there are people who will not voluntarily redistribute, even to those that do...

Definitely. I personally think that service and charity to those less fortunate are two primary responsibilities of those of us who are well-off (although I still believe that it is an individual choice to make). And there will always be douchebags who keep every penny they make. And that's their choice. My only thoughts are that if they separate themselves from a charitable system, they won't have any support or sympathy from me when they inevitably struggle

@VicZinc Um, no. Wealth comes from raw materials, it does not come from profits. Profits make people "wealthy" but the...

"If there are no profits, we limit the world to a finite amount of wealth".

I interpreted this to mean that a profit incentive is required for us to utilize raw materials to the best of our abilities, thus producing more wealth.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge "If there are no profits, we limit the world to a finite amount of wealth". I interpreted this to mean that a...

Nope. The profit motive is one way to incent people to work. It is not the only way. If it were the world would have had a finite amount of resources before 600BC when the concept of profit first came into being.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc Nope. The profit motive is one way to incent people to work. It is not the only way. If it were the world would...

Profit is not the only motive for sure. It's just the one that's so far been the best at "optimizing" our use of resources... thus creating more wealth.

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@VicZinc agreed.

and lack of profit "sharing" is a major cause of class rebellion.

However I do not agree that removing profit from the equation would put a "cap" on the amount of resources available for production or wealth.

VicZincs avatar VicZinc Yeah You Are +1Reply
@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

Well, if my neighbor used their higher wealth status and bribed the shoe company into giving them discounts and the 1 neighbor owned 40% of the only shoe store's shoes and some of those shoes we earned unfairly because the shoe store got something by giving them something and the other 98 neighbors had to pay more for shoes because of this person and the other person got shoes of a better quality, then yes, I would feel entitled to some of their shoes.

The problem is not every neighbor with a lot of shoes got them unfairly and is fucking over everyone else. Some of those neighbors with a lot of shoes got them fair and square. Not everyone who is rich uses government and exploits lower classes and wants to use trickle down economics, and it's unfair to take more from them. I'm reminded of Robin Hood. It's not OK to simply steal from the rich and give to the poor like the simplified story. But it is OK to steal from the tyrannical and give the people back what they're well deserved.

You probably couldn't weed out which of the rich have been fair and which ones haven't to only impose this idea on those who have gained unfairly. Something should happen to make it where pe

Frank_n_Furters avatar Frank_n_Furter Yeah You Are 0Reply
@AtheisticMystic Without having watched the video, no. First off, no matter how much you take from the top 1%, it won't be even...

They are not wanted to pay more just because they have more. That would be an entirely elementary/unfair way to look at things. It's about making them pay up to proportion.

I'd beg to differ that the top 1% doesn't consist of CEOs, but it consists of Hollywood stars and the like.

I don't think we should be demanding more from the top1%. I think we should raise the wages of everybody else, and tie it back to productivity as it was before 1975.

@Walt_OReagun I don't think we should be demanding more from the top1%. I think we should raise the wages of everybody else, and...

The problem is that we now live in a global economy. Raising our wages would necessarily lead to a rise in the price of the goods we produce, and companies which produce things abroad would eat our lunch (like they haven't been already).

PhilboydStudges avatar PhilboydStudge Yeah You Are 0Reply
@PhilboydStudge The problem is that we now live in a global economy. Raising our wages would necessarily lead to a rise in the...

That doesn't necessarily follow.

In the 1970's, the top management made about 4-5 times what the average worker made. Now, top management makes over 300% what the average worker makes.

From working in Accounting and Payroll, I can say that it isn't the top management that makes or breaks a company's bottom line. It is middle management and average workers finding savings and efficiencies.

I feel like what's happening is the top 1% are basically hording money. They go through life by keeping as much as possible and giving as little as possible (not saying they need to give more to everyone but the people who they owe it to) the people just below that one percent are more fair in what they give to the deserving. In the end there will always be the greedy at the top if they are not forced to distribute more. I don't think forcing them to do this is the answer but i don't know what the answer would be.

The only problem I have with this video is that the narrator is not fair to socialism at all. He doesn't even consider the possibility that socialism would work, just dismisses it in 1 or 2 sentences. Apparently people won't be motivated to work to benefit their community if the quality and quantity of resources in the community was a limiting factor proportional to the quality of their own lives. In addition, such severe inequality as is discussed in the video is the inevitable result of capitalism. The rich will only continue to get richer while the middle class disappears and the poor sinks deeper and deeper into poverty, because capitalism is based on continuously increasing profit, which dooms it to failure. The only reason it's still around is the state protects it with entitlements given to major corporations.

Also, small detail, but the narrator confuses socialism with communism. Equal distribution of the wealth is communism, and the means to achieve pure communism is known as socialism (which involves a proletarian state controlling the means of production.) When all remnants of class structure have disappeared, it becomes communism. The two terms are not interchangeable.

@MusicIsAGift The only problem I have with this video is that the narrator is not fair to socialism at all. He doesn't even...

It hasn't. It doesn't. It won't.

Look at North Korea -- 99% of the population is starving
Look at France, Greece, etc -- economies in shambles with lots of violence (and these were supposed to be prime examples of socialism in action)
And look at the condition of our own country as we head further down that road -- things aren't exactly looking up for us right now

@WinniethePooh It hasn't. It doesn't. It won't. Look at North Korea -- 99% of the population is starving Look at France, Greece...

Our country is neither socialist nor becoming socialist. I also do not consider North Korea to be socialist - it used the failed Stalinist model, which itself was a betrayal to the Communist Party of Russia.

As for France and Greece I will admit I don't know much about them.

Some attempts at socialism have been more successful than others and have led to significant reduction of poverty and unemployment, increased availability and better quality of health care, and higher literacy rates. While it has not been perfected yet, it should be given more of a chance than it has been given. Of course, this necessitates a struggle, since the ruling class will not give up their position in society easily, but until the current system is replaced with socialism (real socialism), the poor will continue to be exploited and environmental degradation will make this planet more and more uninhabitable.

@MusicIsAGift Our country is neither socialist nor becoming socialist. I also do not consider North Korea to be socialist - it...

Then what do you call the gradual increase of control over the economy, personal lives, human rights, and arms? What do you call the increase of taxes, class warfare, government intervention, social programs, welfare, etc? I'm pretty sure that's the exact definition of socialism. We aren't quite there but there's no way you can deny that we are headed that way.

"The problem with socialism is, eventually you run out of other peoples' money" - Margaret Thatcher

It really is true. So sure you can point out examples of how it's reduced poverty (even though a "poverty line" is a completely arbitrary measure created by man that is different in every country; in other words we could pass a law that says the poverty line will be an income of $1 per year and we will become poverty-free), but sooner or later, they collapse.

Greece is a prime example. For decades they were said to be the ones who "are doing socialism right". They essentially gave people whatever they asked for. Then they defaulted on debt because it costs so much, their economy is in the gutter and there are deadly riots almost daily.

I'll stick with America on this one

@WinniethePooh Then what do you call the gradual increase of control over the economy, personal lives, human rights, and arms?...

Control over the economy: The types of control being exercised more resemble fascism, since they benefit corporations rather than the poor.

Personal lives: Actually, freedom of expression is a necessary part of socialism.

Arms: This one is more controversial and debated among socialists, but I personally think that weapons need to be in the hands of the working class.

Increase of taxes: The country's most wealthy get tax breaks while the middle and working classes are stuck funding the military, the war on drugs, corporate bail-outs, etc.

Class warfare: I see only an illusion of class warfare while tax breaks for the very wealthy continue to take place.

Government intervention: All has underlying imperialist objectives.

Social programs and Welfare: There is actually something described by Marx as conservative socialism, in which some policies which appear to be socialist are designed to keep the bourgeoisie in power and high economic status. Not to be confused with actual socialism (a proletarian state), this is all you are seeing today, and it is the same thing that led to the defeat of socialism and communism in Western Europe and the isolation of Russia.

@MusicIsAGift Control over the economy: The types of control being exercised more resemble fascism, since they benefit...

You're advocating a completely Utopian society where everyone is free of greed, self-interest, etc...an economic model that has never, and most likely will never happen. The only way we can judge socialism is by how it has been instituted to this day, of which there are no successful examples

@WinniethePooh It hasn't. It doesn't. It won't. Look at North Korea -- 99% of the population is starving Look at France, Greece...

We discussed this in our Poli Sci class, and according to the Communist Manifesto one must go through feudalism, capitalism, then socialism and communism.

Why countries fail is because they decide to skip the middle man and socialism needs money to have it work successfully.

And North Korea is a dictatorship not a socialist country.

And I laugh when people think that America is becoming socialist even in the slightest

@Naggs We discussed this in our Poli Sci class, and according to the Communist Manifesto one must go through feudalism...

You're right. They're communist. And I don't find their system of government credible, and by extension, I don't find the Communist Manifesto a source of true information. I find it a source of flawed logic based on idealist principles that don't translate into the real world

@WinniethePooh You're right. They're communist. And I don't find their system of government credible, and by extension, I don't...

North Korea is not a communist country, a true communist country actually has no government...
They are fascist not communist

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