Social Question

saint's avatar

Why are people unhappy that a political figure pays only 6 million dollars in taxes?

Asked by saint (3972points) January 24th, 2012

I am no fan of Mitt Romney.
But my grandfather, my father (both deceased), and me, all together, may not even earn 6 million dollars in our lifetime (I am working on it however), much less pay it to the government.
Six million seems like a lot to give to a greedy, corrupt, wasteful and generally dumb government.
And yet, there are those who think Romney is holding back, even though it seems he is obeying the law.
Are there that many people who are so petty, and so jealous?
People seem to be critical of Americans for being overly self interested, hegemonic, racist, povincial, etc.
But very few seem to be critical of Americans for being petty and jealous over somebody else’s income.
I think that is a bigger problem than the former category of bitching about Americans.
How much is enough?

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58 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is not the amount he pays, but the percentage of his income, which is far less than middle income Americans pay.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I figure the wealthy leverage public investments in schools, roads, military protection, fire protection, and other social services to make a lot of money.

I find it absurd that they think they earn money without those investments having already been made by the government. I would imagine a rational self assessment would leave them grateful to the government, which is, after all, just other people, for providing them a stable environment in which to thrive.

Some rich folks, Warren Buffett for example, beg the government to take more from them in order to ensure continued domestic tranquility in order for them to continue to thrive.

jerv's avatar

This begs the question of whether people who don’t complain know anything about percentages. That said, he does pay a higher percentage than many of the truly rich… though still less than many of those in the middle-class.

bkcunningham's avatar

Good question, @saint. I already know the answers you are going to get to this question. It’s like deja vu all over again.

FutureMemory's avatar

It’s like deja vu all over again.

It certainly is.

zenvelo's avatar

I think if people knew he was a for-sure job creator, like Warren Buffett, they wouldn’t begrudge it. But he is a job destroyer, who has only used the money he inherited (not earned) to manipulate the investments to make an obscene amount of money.

He is a pin-up star as to what is broken in the financial system.

ETpro's avatar

The question starts with a false premise. People are concerned that a guy who made $42,500,000 over two years poaid just 13l9% in taxes. @saint if you or I make $50,000 a year we will pay around 25 to 30% in taxes. This guy makes $50,000 a day. We’d have to work 365 years to make what he earns in one year. And he pays a tax rate less than half what we do. And he’s running for president so he can reduce his tax rate even more. He want those making the lower incomes to pay a little more, but people like him to pay less. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t good for America.

saint's avatar

@ETpro
I don’t care what the rate is. I am talking about the amount.
6 million is a lot for one person to have to throw down the rat hole that is the government’s expense account. If we want to bother to get pissed off about somebody’s tax rate, then why not do it for those who pay 0%, and who then bitch that those who pay millions just aren’t giving up enough.

fluxflow's avatar

46+ million Americans pay no taxes, and the country complains about a guy who doesn’t pay enough taxes, when it is his taxes that are supporting the 46+ million who don’t pay any.

I’m sure the next initial response will be the poor became poor because of the rich, so its only fair to be tax exempt and have the rich take care of them.

jerv's avatar

@saint If that it’s your complaint then you have worse math skills than my cat. You also come across as a tyrant who doesn’t care how many people suffer or die so long as you have your way. Maybe you never had to worry about bills. Maybe you never had to make the choice between rent or food.

However, you raise a good point about those who pay 0% in that Bank of America and other large multi-nationals don’t pay a penny while the small businesses that actually create most of the jobs wind up paying more to pick up the slack. That it’s worth bitching about.

@fluxflow If the rich did their job by investing and creating jobs that paid enough to live on then they would not be making their tax problem worse. Think about it; by not allowing a rising tide to lift all boats and taking all of the economic gains over the last few years, they created an imbalance that only they have the ability to right. To think otherwise is to laud feudalism and serfdom.
You want the rich to have all the money? Then they will pay ask the bills. Want to share the bills? Share the prosperity.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow That 46 million number is false. The true number of American’s paying no taxes at all is in the 10 million range. I suspect you got the 46 number from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

Here’s the simple fact of the matter. Do you want to be impressed by the fact that Mitt Romney’s total dollar amount was huge ”WOW look at that, 6 million dollars, that’s nuts!!” Or do you want to realize that if he were making as much money as you or I, his tax rate would let him pay half the taxes that you did?

Not to mention how he made his money. Mitt Romney’s probably never worked a day in his damn life. As CEO of that financial group he cost the country arguably hundreds of thousands of jobs by helping to crash the companies they were invested into, and driving the group itself into ruin. Today he makes his money on investments… aka he puts money he didn’t earn by working and moves it around the stock market to make it grow off interest. It’s the epitome of what is wrong with this country. Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest men in America.. he didn’t get there by hard work, or by some awesome invention, or by being the CEO of a company….. He got there by inheriting money, and by gambling it in the stock market… gambled against the rest of our nations life savings and the very companies that pay us.

fluxflow's avatar

@jerv,
You blame the rich, I blame the government. I blame welfare moms who breed 3x amount more then those who are not on welfare. I blame it on the innate abilities of the people. I blame it on fractional reserve banking, and I blame it on the 70,000 or more regulations that we have. Not to mention the highest corporate tax bracket in the world.

@tedd,

As of 2010, 46 million people are living below the poverty line. Number of poor hit record 46 million in 2010 At that level, you’re exempt from federal income taxes. You qualify for sitting on your ass all day and receive welfare at the expense of the guy who paid 6 million in taxes.

Well, I personally would like to see a flat tax. Everyone pays an equal share despite what one earns. That would end any class warfare. If you start to argue that the poor shouldn’t pay anything, then that is class warfare. They would collect welfare and expect government protection without paying in anything.

The rest about what you said on Romney is a nice big lie. FactCheck.org: Facts strained in anti-Romney ad

Gingrich calls for withdrawal of anti-Romney ads

The rest of your argument is that he made smart investments, so he’s an ass. Great argument, truly.

Why Ron Paul Does Not Attack Romney on Bain Capital

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow Personally I do not agree with a flat tax rate. But, even if you do, Romney isn’t even paying a fair amount by that standard. He is paying a significantly lower rate than the vast majority of Americans. And to top that off, he hasn’t done any work to earn that money. It boggles my mind that you can defend a man like that. He “earned” some 40 odd million dollars… on interest from investments. In other words, he sat on his ass and did nothing all day, and he got paid… off the backs of hard working Americans who did their jobs and fueled his stocks. He didn’t even manage for christ’s sake.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow This brings an incredible irony to my attention. You are apparently of the belief that 46 million Americans (who you claim are below poverty level and pay no taxes… a number I dispute, especially since people who are below that line still pay taxes)... But anyways you are apparently of the belief that some huge percentage of the population is sitting on their ass, not working, waiting for a welfare check… a welfare check paid for by the hard working American’s who pay their taxes.

The irony to me is you’re defending the rich, the likes of Mitt Romney, who make the vast majority of their money on stock trading… which requires them to do no work whatsoever (in many cases they don’t even manage their own stocks, they hire someone to do that).. so they’re sitting on their ass, doing nothing, and waiting for dividends and interest checks… paid for off the backs of the hard working Americans that are employed by those very companies they invested in.

Do you not see the gigantic irony?

jerv's avatar

@fluxflow You are mostly wrong there. The rich do not set their own tax rates; the government does. Granted, many in the government were rich before they took office and/or are heavily lobbied to tilt the system in favor of wealthy donors, but at the end of the day, the real problem is not rich people, it’s the system.
Also now that many of the poor actually have jobs, and that living costs money, sometimes more than working people make. Taking taxes from them will increase government spending, requiring more taxes from all, which will increase government spending, which… well, you should get the point. The alternatives are an elitist system where life is a privilege, or exemptions, which means low-income people will pay nothing in taxes.
Lastly, our effective corporate tax rate is far from the highest. It just seems that way partly because only small companies pay and have to pick up the slack.

fluxflow's avatar

@tedd,

There is no flat tax rate, so there is no reason for him to pay that fair amount. I would be critical of him if and when we ever implement a flat tax.

You don’t just sit on your ass all day and do nothing when it comes to investing. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever witnessed. I experienced it for a year in my school. We day traded using fake money. You spend 3+ hours just preparing to day trade, and then you have 15 different things to do while you’re day trading, only to follow up with another 3+ hours of more research. It’s a 90–100 hour work week. You stand to lose everything within 5 minutes of trading, if you don’t make the right decisions.

Romney never forced anyone into anything, and he is not dependent on anyone. That is one of the perks of being a boss. You have people make you money, but you take all the responsibility and risk though of your business. And it was the will of the American people to fuel his stocks and it may be the will of the American people to devalue the stocks if they choose to do so.

Basically, there is no irony here. There is a difference between an independent man who makes money without lifting a finger (this is called a smart man), and a man who does not work for a living, and collects the rewards of the smart man.

What gives a person with no money, who doesn’t work for a living, the right to discuss money that doesn’t belong to him? The right to talk about someone else’s money and at what level it should be taxed? You have to have some nerve to be on welfare and compare yourself to man who works 90+ hours a week.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow You’re correct, day traders, actual traders.. what have you… they do do a lot of work, investigating their choices, the percentages.. etc… I would never call it hard work, but I would call it work that requires a lot of thought and brains. In fact I have a cousin who is currently a multi-millionaire, working as a trader for a financial firm out of New York. I’m an amateur investor so I picked his brain a bit… and the things going on in there astounded me. I can say without hesitation he’s a genius (though we knew that already, he taught himself Russian and Computer coding languages before middle school). But despite all of his genius, he works from home and spends the majority of his day playing video games (Starcraft in particular) and watching/making youtube videos. In a given week he probably does a solid 20 hours of “work.”

But what you’re forgetting about Mitt Romney, is that he doesn’t invest his own money. He pays someone else to do it for him. Romney is not a trader. He gave financial firms, like the one my cousin works at, his money and had them invest it for him. He didn’t do one bit of the work and research that comes along with that investing. The most work he’s done (aside from speeches and campaigning) in the last decade was to manage Bain Financial.. and as pointed out already, he did a crappy job at that.. and his firm was responsible for the closing of multiple companies that actually did work rather than just move numbers around in the stock market like they were playing baccarat.

So I resubmit to you the irony that you are calling out supposed welfare queens (who do not exist nearly in the quantity [46 million] you seem to believe)... whilst men like Mitt Romney get rich off the backs of the hard working Americans working in factories and firms and stores, etc…. by paying someone else to bet their money on the baccarat table that is the stock market.

fluxflow's avatar

@tedd

So that makes him all the more smarter then most. He knows how to make a lot of money without using his brain, or doing any physical work. The point here is that he makes money, and he doesn’t depend on someone to feed him. The welfare guy makes no money, and waits for Romney to pay for his food.

And fact check already debunked the lie about Romney and Bain capital practices, so don’t even bother.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow He doesn’t make money. The very money he started his life, career, marriage, etc with was money from his fathers fortune. All the money he made thus after that was off investments, that he didn’t even manage on his own.

You are applauding Romney for “making a lot of money without using his brain, or doing any physical work” ... whilst deriding the exact same model in the supposed welfare queen.

Romney has never worked a day in his damned life, he has been given every dime he’s ever “earned” or spent by the very life he was born into. He is the epitome of what is wrong with our country. And you are eating up every line the right is feeding you about him. Simply astounding.

fluxflow's avatar

Prove that he doesn’t work, or didn’t earn his money on his own. Prove that it’s only through those he invests in?

In order to make proper investments, you have to give your money to investors who will give you an earning surplus. So that already shows Romney has the brains to pick the right investors who make him money. Considering 90% of investors are failures and only 10% are successful.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Is it appropriate at this point that I just watched a video of Bill Gates, someone who did get rich through his own effort, and not his dad, saying that the rich should be paying more in taxes?

I honestly don’t understand why those born rich, and those who listen to a lot of conservative talk shows, don’t seem to understand our interdependence.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow He just released his taxes for the last two years. The only “work” income he got was for doing speeches, which totaled something like 350,000 dollars. Almost the entirety of the 46 million dollars he made (which is roughly 57,000 dollars a day btw) came from his investments. The investments that he paid someone else to do!

Prove to me that he did do any work to make his fortune.

fluxflow's avatar

He had to choose the investors. If you have a 90% failure rate, and he managed to find the type of investors who continue making him money, then he used his own intelligence for that. He knows how to manage his money. Where to put in.

And show me that it was only the investors who made him money, and nothing on his own investing?

fluxflow's avatar

You know, you guys should check out the new documentary out on Ayn Rand. Perhaps you will rethink this whole collective interdependence.

Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged In theaters: January 17th, 2012

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

^read it. 20 Years ago.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow He had to choose his investors… That’s your defense? Friend you could invest money in the DOW 30 and sit back and wait. You will make money no matter what, because the country is always improving (despite the rhetoric you probably believe). All you have to decide is which guy will make you more money. With that much money, being as undoubtedly diversely invested as he is.. you literally cannot lose.

And you need me to look up his individual financial investors? No one, not even Warren Buffet, manages that much of his own investments. Get real man.

And good god you believe Ayn Rand’s philosophies. No wonder you have no idea what you’re talking about. That lady was a nut job… and that damned book is frankly a blight on the face of the Earth.

fluxflow's avatar

You’re trying to equate a multi-millionare to a welfare guy, and you telling me to get real? Hah.

Have you ever read the book? Almost everything she prophesied came true and is in effect today.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

FluxFlow, the book was about a man who invented things of great value to society. Like Bill Gates. Who is saying raise my taxes.

Mitt Romney has never invented anything, but move money around. I am not sure you understand the book.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow Yes I have read the book, had to for a college course. I wouldn’t use that drivel to wipe myself.

And I think it’s a pretty easy comparison. Your supposed welfare queen (which again, I don’t think people abusing welfare like that exist nearly to the level you do [46 million as you put it])... sitting at home, not working, and waiting for the money of the hard working middle class to pay them off….......... and a filthy rich multi-millionaire.. who’s never worked a day in his life… sitting at home, not working, and waiting for the money of the hard working middle class to pay him off.

Am I missing something? What is the difference between the welfare queen and Mitt Romney? Romney was born into a fortune? That’s it?

fluxflow's avatar

Wow, i’m done.

You guys are just too much.

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow Yah typically people run away when faced with facts they can’t defeat. :)

fluxflow's avatar

Yes, I love your hard facts. “Mitt Romney’s probably never worked a day in his damn life”

fluxflow's avatar

Hey how about this. The welfare guy receives money through the tax payers who are forced to pay for him. As oppose to Romney, who receives his money from people who willing give it to him because they want to trade with him through his workers (the investors).

Do you see the difference now? Welfare is coercion, Romney is free trade.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@fluxflow not being argumentative at all, I enjoy talking about this stuff on occasion.

Do you see how, moving money from places it is concentrated (Romney) to places where it is not (welfare person) provides creative people who are making things (Bill Gates) more opportunity to sell things that add value? With the added benefit people are not hungry?

tedd's avatar

@fluxflow Romney makes money on his investments because the companies he’s invested in are doing well. The companies could be doing well based on several factors. The workers may be working hard and doing a great job, someone at the company may have had an awesome and marketable idea… it could be that the company has just laid off half 5% of it’s staff which makes it more lean and a better investment idea (tough luck for those 5%)... Or he could just be getting buy outs from companies that have gone under and are being sold for scrap to bigger companies (goodbye all workers).

Hence, the money from his investments, comes very much from the hard work of the middle class and the American people. They’re not willing to give it to him, they just happen to work for one of the countless corporations that are publicly traded. Hence I see no difference between Romney, not working and waiting for his money to come from the hard work or at the cost of the American people…. and the welfare queen who sits at home and waits for her money to come, at the hard work and cost of the American people.

You seriously have no clue what you’re talking about on the investment front man.

fluxflow's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought

You don’t see how messed up that is? Let alone immoral? You take a guy’s hard earned rewards (through force which in essence is stealing) and redistribute it to everyone so it creates more demand (which really doesn’t and only causes more harm).

Actually, this study here confirms that it actually doesn’t end real income inequality.

Does Progressive Taxation Redistribute Income

Furthermore, don’t you see how it will shift the total economic production of society away from capital investments (tools, infrastructure, training research) toward consumption goods? Romney would pay for investment towards capital goods (through investment activities) while the lower class purchases consumables. Also, spending more on consumption goods and less on capital goods will slow and even reduce the standard of living since capital goods increase future production possibilities.

Don’t you see what it will do to the saving rates of the rich? It lowers it. Romney will have a lower average inclination to consume, so shifting the tax-burden away from him will increase the aggregate savings rate, which will increase steady state growth.

Don’t you see the emigration of high earners? Romney relocated his wealth to pay fewer taxes or use it as a tax haven. Or simply here, in the U.S, with all the creation of tax loopholes, like income splitting. Not to mention the brain drain it creates. Most importantly, tax avoidance create no net wealth, so the work that accountants and lawyers do is unproductive, which make taxes on the rich less efficient than on the middle class, who have less motivation to exploit tax.

Don’t you see how it disincentives the creation of work? You raise Romney’s taxes, and he is just going to start firing people, or not hiring them, and just go on vacation for a while. It only harms the worker because the boss isn’t going to take the hit.

jerv's avatar

I like a good argument as much as the next guy, but this had degenerated to a flame war. Can y’all dial it back a notch?

fluxflow's avatar

@tedd wrote “They’re not willing to give it to him, they just happen to work for one of the countless corporations that are publicly traded.”

Before they apply for the job, they’re aware that the company is publicly traded. If they have such a problem with the company, or Romney, they wouldn’t work for the company. So by being aware that company trades, and by accepting the contract for the job, they agree to the terms. Romney and the company is providing them with work, products and services, so I don’t think they’re in any position to open their mouths on anything.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@jerv I hope It hasn’t.
@fluxflow, I will look this over.

I don’t see it as immoral. I see inheritance of large wealth as immoral. I see feeding the hungry as moral.

Let me review the rest prior to further comment as Jerv has suggested.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

fluxflow's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought,

Alright, so if you find feeding the hungry a moral thing to do, then why don’t you just go do it? Or donate to charity organizations to do it for you? Why do you need the government to do it for you, or force the masses to oblige?

In other words, i don’t think it is any of your business if someones goal in life is not to help feed someone, but rather spend the money on their own personal luxuries (which by the way greatly helps society which in turn helps those who are hungry) ?

You wouldn’t like it if someone told you what to do in your own home, or how to live your life, so why would you want to do that to strangers you don’t even know?

There is that golden rule concept. Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself. You don’t want religious views forced down upon your life, so why would you force down your economic views upon someone’s life?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@fluxflow I should save my money.

Mitt Romey can at any time buy my employer and suck the value out to enrich himself. And it would be immoral of me, I presume, to request that a society that allows him to do that to enrich himself, require him also to compensate the victims of his greed.

fluxflow's avatar

They’re not victims though. You’re not a victim if you willingly put yourself into a given position of which you knew about. A person is aware of the possibility of being fired for X reasons prior to signing up for the job. If it wasn’t Romney, it could be due to low sales, or a boss taking a hit off of regulations and taxes, or the market, or competition, so he takes it out on the worker.

It’s like buying a house you cannot afford, and then claiming to be a victim of a scam created by the seller when it is your own damn fault.

It’s private property. It’s copyright. It’s no different then owning a private home. If Romney doesn’t want you in his home, then you don’t belong there.

Perhaps someone else will invite you into their home (another Corporation will hire you, or a different industry).

jerv's avatar

@fluxflow Are you arguing that anybody who has ever lost a job is to blame for their unemployment? Or are you saying that you don’t need a job because starving on the streets is an option? Like many, many, many Conservatives, you seem to have strange definitions of “choice” and “willingly”.
As for your analogy about buying a house, you are correct to a point, but you forget the intentionally predatory practices of some in the financial sector, plus the fact that the average person is not financially savvy enough to understand all the small print and thus must rely on the lender operating in good faith; something that doesn’t always happen. Recent events have proven that scams happen often enough that dismissing the possibility is naive at best.

Now, for your previous comment about feeding the hungry, tell me this; what is your position on human rights? Is life a luxury? Personally, I go by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a component of the International Bill of Human Rights, which gives it the weight of international law.

Article 23
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

The government is “other means of social protection”. Sure, charities help, but only so much; their means are limited. Therefore, government involvement is required. Like it or not (and personally I don’t since I feel the job could be done more efficiently by non-government entities, but that is a separate discussion), that is the way it is.
It also means that we cannot tax people in such a way that the taxation would prevent them from being able to support themselves without assistance. While I am fortunate enough to be able to pay about 6% of my unadjusted gross income in Federal income tax and still pay rent and eat, I am also more fortunate than many millions of Americans. That means that there will always be a certain portion of the population that must remain tax-exempt…. unless we do something about the rapidly growing income disparity in such a way that everybody is able to earn enough to live self-sufficiently.

Article 25
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Believe it or not, sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. I know you will likely refute that, but it’s true. And while I have control over whether or not I take on a mortgage that I cannot support on my income, I do not have control over whether my company shuts down due to lack of sales… or decides to lay me off merely as a cost-cutting measure in order to put what they used to pay me into the pockets of the owners, as has happened quite a bit in recent years.
The average person is now less able to afford to give. And since somebody has to, the tax burden is also moving up… but only to a point. The irony is that people like you who complain about how it’s unfair to make the rich pay more and advocate spreading the burden are the very ones that are causing the burden to be forced upwards as more people slide downwards. It’s like heading towards a brick wall at 90mph and instead of swerving or hitting the brakes, you support kicking in the nitrous.

But back to Romney, the truth is that it’s actually less about his income than it is about illustrating the flaws in our way of doing things. Is it jealousy to be working your ass off and barely making ends meet while someone who hardly does anything gets life handed to them on a silver platter? In this case, I think it’s warranted.
Is it petty to be mad that we are required to work harder without any increase in real income while all of the increased profits from our labors go to our bosses? Or to be angry that our system rewards that sort of thing? If so then it is also petty to be pissed off about being taxed. Us non-rich people get money taken from us too. It’s just that we get ours taken by greed instead of by the government.

fluxflow's avatar

No, people might not always be at fault for their unemployment, such as someone getting hit by a car, or as the case was made if Romney bought the company and fired the people, but you’re still responsible to dig yourself out of the mess. It’s not some stranger’s problem, it’s your problem. You’re responsible for finding employment elsewhere. Also, for example, why didn’t you cut your spending habits and live a minimum lifestyle for a few years in order to save money for a rainy day (like when unforeseen consequences occur). This way, when you lose your job, or something bad happens, you’re not left with bills and no job. Do not live on credit in hopes that you will always have your job, or your health. You have to live for the future, not now. You have only yourself to blame for living now, and not planning for the future. If you couldn’t, then go to your friends, your family, relatives, your church, and finally a charity organization which is designed to help people who are victims of unforeseen circumstances.

When I say willingly, I refer to how our capitalist system works. There is no coercion. People trade because they both want something from each other. Someone wants a job, and someone is looking for a employee, hence they both want something from each other and so they negotiate with each other until they agree on the terms. Now when something happens that was written up in the terms you agree and signed to, you have no right to put blame on anyone or anything but yourself. You knew what you signed. This is the difference between forcing someone to buy or work for someone, or doing it out of free will.

Here is the thing with predatory practices. In an environment with no government intervention, such as the gilded era 1865–1893 (in the U.S), predatory practices would be non-existent. Why? Well if the sole purpose of a business is to make maximum profits, why would they poison the customer who keeps them in business? It’s illogical, counter-intuitive, and they would be rapidly find themselves out of business because the market would be upset, they would boycott, and the competition would chew them up over this mistake. In fact, if would be a good thing if predatory practices occur in a free market because the market would learn from the mistakes and thus fix the issues which makes the market more efficient. It would be understood as a bankrupt policy.

Now, since we don’t live in a free market capitalist society, too big to fail banks can do whatever unethical business practices they want because when it all blows over like it did (the market got upset), the government bails them out, and they reap all the reward. Normally, they should be bankrupt by now, but since the government has a history of bail-outs, it is understood that they cannot allow too big to fail banks, to fail. This is Keynesian economics at work. However, there is other evidence that shows governments threatening banks with massive fines and regulations, and even jail time for discriminatory practices if they refuse loans to monitories despite their financial standings. Basically, the government told them to conduct predatory practices, or face the wrath. So in the interest of the banks, they handed out mortgages to all the minorities even though they were not financial fit. Keep in mind, it was the government who sold the garbage mortgages to the banks (Fannie mae and Freddie mac sold it which are government sponsored enterprises).

Now here is where the blame goes to the consumer. If they’re not financially savvy to understand the fine print, why didn’t they hire a professional who is savvy? When you’re sick, do you diagnose yourself, or you go to a professional (doctor)? Same concept. If they have no money, why are they even bothering to look at houses? This is called living beyond your means. They’re just as guilty of greed.

I believe there are no human rights, but only property rights. This is a long winded topic, so I’ll give you an article here. Human rights as property rights This is basically what I hold to, word for word. I also subscribe to Ayn Rand, where the individual comes first before the collective. There is no sacrifice of the individual for the greater collective. There is no collective, there is no statism. All forms of force are immoral. Contracts and well defined property rights, that is it.

Charities are limited because the government limits them. For example, if you didn’t have to pay taxes you would be able to afford more things which in-turn puts people to work while at the same time have enough to give to charity. Another example, if the government wouldn’t intervene with the market with the tens of thousands of regulations, competition would rapidly increase since it would be a lot easier to open up a business (minus the tax burden), and so all this competition within the given industry would push prices to extremely low levels, hence more people would buy, and more people would be put to work, so less people on the charity line.

It’s not the system that rewards boss’s, it’s the consumers. They want the job, they want the product, and they want the service. They like the product and service so much, that they cannot get enough of it, so they keep buying more of it. The system does not stop anyone from being a boss like the millionaire boss’s we have now, nor is it stopping one from making smart investments (money makes money). It’s just the lack of confidence, and insecurity that bothers most people to stomach that risk tolerance, hence they stay as ordinary people in secured ordinary jobs. As I said before, it boils down to innate abilities. No one forced the janitor to be a janitor. He could have been a doctor if he was strong willed. No excuses here, and no one owes him any more money because he couldn’t be a doctor. Janitors are not going to make doctor salaries. It’s never going to happen, and doctors are not going to make business men salaries or financial investors. If you don’t like the salary, then strive for better careers that are more rewarding, or be the business man yourself, or learn to manage money better and use investment tools.

Why don’t you flip it in reverse? Why the hell should a guy who works 90+ hour work weeks support a guy who does not work at all, pays nothing in, and collects the rewards of the guy who works, and not only that, but the guy who doesn’t work opens his mouth and talks about how much the working guy should earn, and how much he should be making. You can see a nice example of this with the Occupy Wall Street crowd. And you expect no one to be angry over this nonsense? Actually, that is why the 53% was born. It was a response to this. Tea Party was another response to this. The popularity of Ayn Rand philosophy is another response.

Governments have existed for thousands of years and yet millions of people continue to suffer under governments. People tried to change governments, they tried to reinforce governments, yet millions and millions continue to suffer. So why do you think reinforcing our government again and again with more regulations or different policies would suddenly solve the millions who suffer? I’m not saying the world is perfect with free market capitalism, but at least you don’t have to pay taxes in addition to experiencing the same suffering. At least in a free market society, suffering is free of charge and there is a lot less suffering in comparison to large governments.

jerv's avatar

”....people might not always be at fault for their unemployment…You’re responsible for finding employment elsewhere.”

The last time I was laid off, I searched high and low, applying for anything I was capable of doing. I had no pride, just bills to pay, and I was willing to take whatever I could get. It took me thirteen months to land a job that paid not much over WA state minimum wage. What money we had saved “for a rainy day” was long gone, and only lasted as long as it did because I avoid credit as much as possible.

Sorry, not buying that. While you may have theory and rhetoric, I have observation and first-hand experience. I live for the future when I can afford to, and fortunately I am now in a position where I can actually make small contributions to my retirement, but I already said that I am one of the lucky ones.

“There is no coercion.”

Well, I suppose that being called a lazy Communist for not taking the first thing that comes along in an attempt to get off the dole isn’t coercion. You have the right to be homeless and starving. In fact, it’s a small price to pay to avoid being exploited by an employer.

“If they’re not financially savvy to understand the fine print, why didn’t they hire a professional who is savvy?”

Because they would rather eat and pay their bills? Because those professionals are not cheap? I can think of a few reasons, but none that could be understood by a person who has never lived a life of hardship and is used to throwing money at problems. My attitude is that any document that cannot be understood by a person with an eighth-grade level of English comprehension is probably a trap anyways; if you need a hired professional to understand it then it’s probably nothing you want to be involved in anyways.

“I believe there are no human rights, but only property rights”

I believe in both. I also believe in “sweat equity”. I believe that everybody deserves to reap the rewards of their labors, and not a bit more. Where we differ is the collective; the greater good. If nothing else, I am not naive enough to think for a moment that you could think otherwise without degenerating into utter anarchy… and by that, I mean a world ruled (to the extent that that word applies) by people who feel that that any and all forms of force are perfectly acceptable.
Also, failing to consider the collective means that everyone suffers in the long run. How much of our economic mess is the result of some people doing things that were dubious at best for the sake of short-term personal gain at the expense of long-term growth and the collective? But you want to accelerate teh decay until our crumbling economy turns to dust…
You are far more idealistic than I ever was even as a small child. I have always been a realist. You trust ideals, I trust facts. You think people are benevolent; I think they are human.

“As I said before, it boils down to innate abilities. No one forced the janitor to be a janitor. He could have been a doctor if he was strong willed.”

First off, you contradicted yourself right there. You say it boils down to innate abilities then imply that one is able to surpass innate abilities.
Second, it takes more than strong will to be a doctor. It also takes lots of money (or a willingness to rack up huge debt) and certain academic aptitudes. Similarly, being a business person also takes certain aptitudes beyond just a willingness to take risks. Not everybody has those aptitudes, and while there is nothing wrong with that limiting their ability to afford luxuries, I don’t feel that that should deprive them of the means to live period. You seem to think that it should.

“Why the hell should a guy who works 90+ hour work weeks support a guy who does not work at all, pays nothing in…”

Two wrongs don’t make a right. The 53% was even more ludicrous though, since at least some (though by no means all) of the OWS people made sense whereas that was extremely rare amongst the 53%. The irony there is that I am actually one of the 53% (as I said earlier, I pay taxes; my AGI is high enough that Uncle Sam keeps a fair chunk of what I pay in throughout the year) but I never identified with the 53% movement simply because I have a grasp on reality.

As for your final paragraph, what is wrong with seeking a middle ground? Just as there is a point where lowering tax rates can increase revenue, there is a certain level of government where suffering is least. While I think we have too much government in some ways, I also consider it preferable to an actual free market economy since I know the difference between theoretical and ideal. I would like them to be a little more intrusive in some areas, a lot less intrusive in others, but overall I would rather have the sort of government we had fifty years ago than the sort of “government” where some people would slit my throat in my sleep for a dollar and other would be wiling to pay just because they are bored and have an extra buck in their pocket. As for the government we have now… the only good thing is that it is better than the alternative… barely

ETpro's avatar

@saint Are you arguing that hose who benefit most from what our taxes go to do should bear less of a load than people like you and I, who only benefit a little? Why would you feel that’s fair?

I ask you to listen with an open mind to this exchange between Jon Stewart and Elizabeth Warren on the Daily Show, and tell me if you still feel the Middle Class should bear most of the burden, pay for most of the infrastructure, basic research,m public education, and such that lets guys like Mitt Romney even exist in this country.

fluxflow's avatar

@jerv,

Alright, so let’s take your position. It took you thirteen months to find work and your savings account got tapped out. This is where your friends, family, relatives, church, or charity organization comes in. It’s specifically designed for the worst case scenarios (the guy who made and is making a genuine effort but had/has no results quite yet. That is what welfare was for too, these kinds of situations.

Do you know the difference between a charity organization and welfare? The charity organization has an incentive to do efficient work because if they don’t, they don’t receive any more charity. Hence, when they hand out money, they make sure it’s going to a genuine guy like you rather then some charlatan. With governments, there is no incentive. They’re not looking to please the people, or make profits. They rely on force, and when you have force, you don’t need anything else. When you have no incentive, then you have no quality service. The government doesn’t have to worry about how efficient the service or program is because the government cannot go bankrupt. It just prints more money, or taxes the people more. That’s how it sustains unsustainable programs and services. Eventually, in the long, long run, the government collapses and that will be the fall of America. This is why you will see, for example, public union workers (1 guy riding a tractor to clean the snow, and 13 other guys watching him do it). Post office, DMV, constant fraud with welfare. All shit services. Slow and nothing but problems, and constantly rises in costs because union workers want higher wages, benefits. Workers are protected by the union, so they don’t have to worry about getting fired, or worry about working by the hour. They get full benefits, pension plans. Hence, they have no incentive to work hard, and produce quality. You just need to do the bare minimum to not get fired. I experience this every day with union workers. At the train station, with my cable company who just recently unionized. What you end up having is the cost of the service goes up, and the quality of the service goes down. That is exactly what happened the minute my cable company unionized. This is also very unusual since you barely see any unions in private Corporations. They usually fire them the minute they threaten the Corporation.

If you barely have any money to eat and pay bills, then you shouldn’t be looking at buying a house, right? Same goes for paying a professional. If you cannot afford something don’t buy it. If you do, then you’re a greedy and living beyond your mean, which is what people did, and bought mortgages they couldn’t afford because they want to live now, and want to enjoy it now instead of living for the future, and buying it when you can actually afford it, and afford a professional to read it. Also, you don’t need a professional to read it, you can learn it on your, at spare time. A customer is responsible to learn about the product before buying it. That goes with everything, cars, food. You cannot keep saying I have no time, or play ignorant. It’s like committing theft and then saying I didn’t know there was such a law. Also, professionals are not as expensive as you would think, especially to read a contract for you. It’s not rocket science.

I don’t agree with your assumed premise. That ignoring collectivism leads to suffering or that objectivism leads to anarchy. This is simply untrue. This is just where we philosophically disagree. I blame the government for any instability of the market.

If they’re human, and you’re implying that they’re flawed, then why would you put a few humans to rule over 300+ million people? Are we to believe that everyone in the government is a perfect human, the exception to humans? All the more reason not to put flawed humans to watch over flawed humans, hence why governments never work well. Also, I would say looking for that middle ground is idealism on your part. Yet you seem to love paying bureaucrats (flawed humans), to screw up your life and everyone else’s, while they defraud the entire system since they’re on top of it all with no one to really watch them.
No, I don’t believe there is such a thing as surpassing one’s abilities. I think what you call surpass is part of the abilities. In other words, he better understood his innate abilities. Strong will leads to money. If you really want something, you will work and study your ass off. You will work hard enough to pay for school, and then you will work hard enough to finish school, and so on. You will use all the mental and physical strength you can muster.

If you think the OWS makes sense, then you’re far from having a grasp on reality. There are many clear distinction between the 99% (really 48%) and the 53%. You just pointed it out yourself (taxes, working, and not being on welfare). I don’t see why you would think the OWS makes any sense then, and 53% doesn’t. 53% is supporting the 48%’s welfare checks. Where the heck do you think financial aid money comes from? You guessed it, the 53%.

Again, you have to have some nerve to discuss someone else’s financial earning and how much it should be taxed, and where those taxes should go, when they clearly have none, don’t work for any, and don’t pay anything in.

Here is more or less “ideal” for you. Gilded age, look it up. In 1865–1893, the United States economy grew at the fastest rate in its history. You actually had real wages, wealth, GDP and capital formation which increased quick and at the same time. By 1901, per capita income and industrial production in the United States led the world, with per capital incomes double that of Germany or France, and 50% higher than Britain. Taxes, regulations, and welfare were nearly non-existent (was a pure market). Even the progressive era didn’t attempt to mess with the system. What you would call “poor” lived better then kings lived 50 years before them, and even better then royalty living across the world at that time frame. They lived the maximum lifestyle available at that time frame. No one was complaining. Countries are still to this very day trying to catch up to what we accomplished in that time frame. America went straight into shit after that era, starting in 1932, with FDR’s new deal and regulations, which by the way was found to be unconstitutional, but because all the judges who denied it died, he filled the courtrooms with pro new-deal judges and made a second attempt with the new deal to finally get it approved.

You can look at Singapore and Hong Kong right now. They adopted the gilded era style, and they have been the most powerful economies in the world for the last 11years.

Much better then your preferred middle ground idealism.

fluxflow's avatar

Correction, Hong Kong and Singapore had the best economy for the past 17 years.

jerv's avatar

“This is where your friends, family, relatives, church, or charity organization comes in.”

Friends? Only have one in the area; we split rent. Of course, he was unemployed for most of that year as well.

Family/relatives? Mostly dead, and the living ones got hit by the economy on their own way and were in no position to help much. I got what they could give, but, that wasn’t much.

Church and charity? Tapped out by people worse off than I was. Unemployment here was notably above the national average, so there were a lot of needy folks; many more needy than I was since at least I had a roof over my head and an address to collect food stamps at.

“The government doesn’t have to worry about how efficient the service or program is because the government cannot go bankrupt.”

Sadly true. However, I think the ideal would be if some private entity stepped up and did the job bigger, better, and more efficiently and made government assistance disappear through sheer market pressure; let the better product/service win. The startup costs would be a bitch, but if you did it right, it would more than pay for itself over time.

“If you barely have any money to eat and pay bills, then you shouldn’t be looking at buying a house, right? ”

That depends. I know people whose mortgage payments are the same as or less than what they used to pay for rent before they bought. Now, if you buy a house that costs more than your old apartment, then that is another thing.

“Are we to believe that everyone in the government is a perfect human, the exception to humans?”

Nope. However I believe that some things are greater than the sum of their parts, especially if there is any interdependency involved.

“No, I don’t believe there is such a thing as surpassing one’s abilities.”

When I see Stephen Hawking dunk a basketball, I might agree. Until then…

“If you think the OWS makes sense,...”

I said some of them do. Both sides have crackpots, wingnuts, and just plain ignorant people, but I saw nothing but in the 53% side; that means that even a single OWS person making a remotely valid point based on facts tilts the scaled to the OWS side. Of course, that may be because the 53% were more interested in denouncing OWS than in being lucid, rational, or factual. Or maybe it’s just because the smarter people in that demographic had better things to do than counter-protest a movement that was doomed to fall apart anyways.

“Again, you have to have some nerve to discuss someone else’s financial earning and how much it should be taxed, and where those taxes should go, when they clearly have none, don’t work for any, and don’t pay anything in.”

With that bolded statement, it may take a while before I can take you seriously again. You were doing so well and seeming so coherent up until that point, then you threw it all away in a blaze of ignorant falsehood. Good night.

fluxflow's avatar

I find extremely hard to believe that you have no way to find a job or find help. You could have washed dishes, cleaned toilets, flipped burgers, anything. You could have moved out of the state if it was so bad. In any case, are you implying that because you had some bad luck, some stranger should support you until your luck improves? Ask the stranger if that is fair for him, and think about the millions of people of similar situations as yours. Do they expect some strangers to support them until their luck improves?

The OWS crowd were sitting in tents for more then a few months. What work were they doing during that time? What efforts were they making to employ themselves? What efforts were they making to educate themselves in a skill? Prove me wrong.

Good Night.

ETpro's avatar

@fluxflow When new Repugs show up, it takes some time to sort out what kind there are. They seem to be divided into three camps. There are Dupes, Shills and Overlords. My strong suspicion is you are a Shill. There aren’t many Dupes smart enough to put up a decent fight in the face of overwhelming evidence they are wrong. Dupes either beat a hasty retreat or keep changing the topic in hopes of eventually dredging up a talking point that can’t be shot full of holes. Shills, on the other hand, keep repeating the same Big Lie talking points and adding right-wing circular references in hopes of winning the day. Overlords couldn’t be bothered to talk to the serf rabble, so you aren’t an Overlord.

If you are a Shill, it’s your well-paid job to sell the “Conservative [read radical regressionist] Message” your Overlord masters want sold to the American electorate. Those overlords include the Koch Brothers, the Walton family, the Kay family, Rupert Murdoch and a few other members of the wealthiest 0.00001%, along with a few corporate CEOs of some of the largest multinational corporations, whose only interest is to always maximize this quarters profits no matter whom they hurt doing so.

So I’d like to apologize for mistaking you for a Dupe and thinking you could easily be dismissed. And I’d like to turn to some of the points you have raised in defending Randian Objectivism, and why those are actually Big Lies the Overlordss want sold.

1—46% of Americans pay no taxes. That is utterly false. The truth is that the bottom 46% do not earn enough to need to pay one very specific tax called Federal Income Tax. The bottom 46% pay enough in Payroll Withholding Tax to cover their income tax obligation, so they don’t have to pay that specific tax. They do pay Payroll Withholding Taxes. They pay gasoline taxes, excise taxes on beer and wine and distilled spirits. If they smoke, they pay excise tax on tobacco products. They pay state and local taxes. They pay licensing taxes for their cars. If they can’t afford a car, they pay to support public transportation every time they ride on it. They pay property taxes whether directly as home owners or indirectly as renters who pay that tax to their landlord, who then forwards it to the government.

2—Unemployment insurance equals welfare. Wrong. Everyone who works pays into that insurance fund just for a rainy day like your economic theories produced starting in late 2007. Unemployment checks are no more welfare thant the check you receive from your insurance company if some uninsured Yahoo totals your parked car and you had the foresight to buy uninsured motorist coverage. The difference is that without having to pay its CEO 475 times as much as the workers earn and its shareholders an ever bigger dividend, unemployment insurance is incredibly inexpensive insurance for the coverage it gives. When Bush drove the economy onto a deep ditch in 2007, we lost 4.5 million jobs in 2008 alone. We lost another 4.7 million before President Obama could get his policies in place and stop the hemorrhaging. If your dream of an every-man-for-himself society had been in place, what would the foreclosure crisis have looked like with over 9 million people relying suddenly on charity and friends to stay in their homes? How many more small businesses would have failed with the loss of how many millions more jobs? Your brilliant plan is a road-map to another Great Depression.

3—Don’t blame Wall Street, blame yourself—the famous Herman Caine Talking Point you paraphrase here about @jerv‘s unemployment. “I find extremely hard to believe that you have no way to find a job or find help. You could have washed dishes, cleaned toilets, flipped burgers, anything.” In total, 13.7 million Americans lost their jobs because of Republican deregulation and governance strictly for their Overlords. All 13.7 million could flip burgers, clean toilets? Somehow the Wall Street collapse had nothing to do with it, 13.7 million people just simultaneously got lazy and fired themselves? Where were all these help wanted signs? Get real. Are you so well paid by your Overlords that you are totally out of touch with the world most of us live in?

There are many more Big Lie talking points you have used herein that I can pick apart, but I don’t want to belabor this unless you wish me to. In the hopes we might find some common ground, I do appreciate your concern about holding government accountable. That is a legitimate concern. But destroying the necessary functions of government because they aren’t working as well as we like doesn’t make them work better. That’s a bit like fixing a car with a engine out of tune by removing the engine. Yes, it no longer has a engine that is misfiring, but it used to at least get you from point A to B and now it’s useless. A much better strategy is to figure out how to fix it so it works efficiently again. And when we find parts of government we no longer need, I totally agree with eliminating them. I don’t like paying high taxes any more than you do. But I recognize that government has an essential role to pay in maintaining a healthy, growing society full of opportunity for all. We decidedly did NOT have that in the Gilded Age you refer to as America’s high point. America then worked only for the Overlords. And the abuses of that led to the Great Depression.

I want government to work for us all, like it did from 1933 to 1980. And I understand that I have to pay what it costs to get that done.

fluxflow's avatar

1. No, that is a lie. The 46 million living under poverty are tax exempt for payroll as well because the income they earn is far too low to deduct from, or in majority of cases, no income at all. They’re only subject to a sales tax. The property tax is drastically reduced in price, if not liable to pay at all, and the other half (if there is one) is covered by welfare along with housing utilities. Those living below the poverty line are not collecting from the payroll tax which they contributed to (social security/medicare). They’re living of the welfare provided by the taxpayer. Food stamps, section 8 housing, utilities, etc…

2. Another lie. Ah yes, the unsupported argument, that if we didn’t bail out wall-street, it would be the end of the world. Nice assumption, but without support. Obama policies actually prolonged the crisis. What would have it been like with 9 million people relying on charity, churches, friends, family, and relatives? It would have been just fine. People would help each other out, just like they did in the days before welfare. It worked fine. Go read up on welfare before the welfare state. It was quite efficient.

3. No, people lost their jobs because of fractional reserve banking tampering with the interest rate of the market, and because Freddie mac and Frannie mae (government sponsored enterprises) sold garbage mortgages to bankers, and threatened bankers with more regulations and jail time if they didn’t hand out mortgages to minorities who were not qualified to receive them. Without government force, minorities were always denied mortgages; hence the government threatened them with discrimination charges. The thousands of regulations that were supposedly supposed to watch out for this stuff, didn’t. It failed as usual. The greedy customers buying houses they cannot afford, and signing contracts that they are unable to read.

Yes, all 13.7 can find jobs if they really wanted to. Again, what are you implying that some stranger should support them because they were unlucky? Ask the strangers if it’s fair to them. Furthermore, putting such a burden on complete strangers over time reduces the strangers into poverty as well. Who says the objective of life is to take care of other people all the time without any consideration for your own goals in life? Who says an individuals life is expendable? That’s some narrow view of the world you have. That’s quite selfish to say the least.

4. The facts are against your lies. The gilded age remains the highest point in American and world history. The standard of living surpassed everyone around the world. People from around the world came to work\live here because it was so bad there. The “poorest of the poor” lived better then royalty did all across the world. No one envied the rich “overlords”. And most importantly, there were no welfare states, no regulations, no official taxes, just a small percent to uphold the military, police, and court.

Actually, the gilded age had nothing to do with the great depression. The great depression was caused by the Fed and its tampering of the easy credit policy. The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it himself, and I quote “Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna Schwartz, Friedman’s coauthor Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

Guess what? They tampered with the interest rate again, setting the rate to an all-time low after the 9/11 attack which started the beginning of the financial crisis.

It’s not a coincidence that when Hong Kong and Singapore adapted the laissez-faire system of the gilded age, it had the same economic prosperity as the gilded age, and continues to be the leader of economic prosperity for the past 17 years now. It’s also no coincidence, that ever since we adopted FDR’s welfare state and now more with more then 70,000+ regulations, and high tax brackets, we never experienced such economic prosperity ever again.

fluxflow's avatar

Also, there will always be ups and downs in a capitalist system. Nothing goes up forever. There are always some problem will arise and it will need correction. However, the market is far more efficient in resolving the issue without any consequences in some section of the market.

You can see this in financial markets. When one day the indices drop 500 points. They call this a correction. Prices were far too inflated, ahead of the actual value of the economy, so the market finally caught on to these inflated prices, and corrected itself. So the arrow didn’t always climb up, it had to go back down to fix the problem. Same concept would work in a free market.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Yeah, Saint, I get it. The only people I’ve heard really complaining about this are people who do receive government assistance. I have the opportunity in my work to interact with very low to no income folks.

jerv's avatar

@fluxflow If you find that hard to believe then you are clinically schizophrenic; detached from reality and off in your own little world. Those were amongst the jobs i applied for, yet with them receiving hundreds of applicants per hour, the odds were that things were going to go the way they did. Moving isn’t free, and is doubly hard when you don’t have a car. I also know many others like me; well-qualified, decent work history, clean background, and can’t get a job for months.
Many in the OWS crowd were college educated. Some were retired. Many were merely sympathizers. But you’re elitism and detachment from reality won’t let you believe that. All you see are lazy bums looking for handouts.

@MollyMcGuire I had the same complaints before I had my own issues, and i have heard the same complaints from people with six-figure incomes. Then again, when most of the people you deal with are either poor or people who think like @fluxflow… well, either you already know where that’s going, or you wouldn’t understand even if I spelled it out.

ETpro's avatar

@fluxflow I must apologize about the no-tax issue.

1—I misread your original claim. I thought you were repeating the right wing trope that 46% pay no taxes, which is a misstatement of the link I gave. You instead said not 46 million. The fact remains that the poor are subject to all the taxes I mentioned however they come by any money they do get their hands on.

So you are upset that those who have no income pay no taxes. What would you propose, a return to debtors’ prisons for them?

2—Your statement is equally unsupported, and flys in the face of the facts regarding recovery. We do have the model of 1929 to show what just might happen if all the big banks are just allowed to fail. And let me remind you it was Bush, not Obama who bailed out the banks.

3—The Party of No Personal Responsibility floated that lie. Fanny and Freddie held a total fo $5 trillion in mortgage debt when the collapse came. Only 15% of it was subprime. And not even all of that defaulted. The collapse came because Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Bush deregulation allowed the big Wall Street banks to massively leverage that mortgage debt into a $72 trillion a year derivatives market. You may hate Barney Frank because he’s gay, but the notion that him becoming chairman of the Finance Committee 7 years into the growth of the real estate bubble caused the bubble is laughable. Try a better lie.

As to the flight of fantasy about sudden laziness causing people to not work, What @jerv said. He’s been there. He walked the walk. Your handlers paid you well to spout this cover story for their larceny. So you would have no idea what the unemployed faced.

4—Sorry, you lose on the facts on that one too. The economy grew more rapidly between 1935 and 1970 than between 1865 and 1900. I posted the facts about the Gilded Age here. I would note that the Gilded age worked just like what the Greedy Oligarch Pigs want. The economy grew, and only a few cashed in. The growth from the turn of the Great Depression to when Reagan ended the Post War Boom lifted everyone, not just the top 0.00001% your policies are designed to help.

Look, I don’t begrudge the top 0.,00001% their success. I own a small business and I am trying to get there too. I just don’t think it’s them that need all the help, and the bottom 99,99999% of us who should have to sacrifice to lift them further up.

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