General Question

MrGrimm888's avatar

Is the "redistribution of wealth," really just a "redistribution of abused power?"(details )

Asked by MrGrimm888 (8515points) December 20th, 2016

Money is essentially power.

People talk of higher taxes on the rich as being a rob the rich,give it to the poor type of thing.

But those wealthy elite Americans don’t benefit the country. They are greed driven, and only serve their own needs (getting more, and more wealthy.)They abuse their power.

If money is power, which it is, the powerful have not benefited the country. They have instead gravely wounded it.

Is it not time to give the poor more money /power to see if they can do a better job with the power?

The wealthy only hurt the economy, our country’s poor-middle class and basically everything but their personal wallet .

It’s quite transparent. And pathetic. When the people who currently have all the money are in charge, they just make things better for their rich friends. And TOTALLY FUCK the other 99%....
Which leads to economic problems.

When I make a mistake, in the real world, I pay for it.

There is NO benefit to the country from tax cuts on the uber wealthy. And those uber wealthy would be NOBODY in most other countries…

They’d be a thief ,or prostitute.

The poor are the roots of society. Without the poor, there is NO military, infrastructure, cops, firemen, EMS, or anything…

The uber wealthy have had all the power, and are now position to make themselves even richer.

Trickle down economics DOESN’T WORK. NEVER WILL.
It’s an oxymoron. The money trickles up. Always. Spending is what makes the economy thrive…

The wealthy apparently suck at running the country, unless it’s for their own benefit.

Time to give the power to the 99% ?

Give them a chance?.....

Let’s try trickle up. Everyone knows it would save our economy. When the poor get money (I’m poor…) they spend it. Spending is good for the economy. Duh…

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85 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Yes, I agree on all points. There’s much more to be said about it, as it is not that simple and many of our pervasive ideas about money and economy and industry and fairness and so on need to change, but yes.

JLeslie's avatar

First, from what I remember the top 1% make $380k on up. The width of this income bracket is ridiculously wide. People who make $380k are in the same 1% as people who make $380 million a year.

I mention the above, because a broad stroke of saying all wealthy people are horrible and greedy is not really accurate.

Keep in mind if you have $10 million in the bank, and you get the shitty interest rates out there, so let’s say .8%, you make $80k a year doing nothing! Money gets money. It’s like you can’t help but make money if you already have money.

I hate how extreme the pay scales are. Too low in many cases and too high in others.

Most people in the top 1% aren’t using or abusing their power. They simply live with the luxury of not worrying too much about money, and enjoy significant autonomy, because money is not just power, it’s freedom and independence.

I’d much rather people get paid better on the lower end and paid less on the higher end of pay scales, than the lower incomes receiving money from the government through tax money, i.e.: redistribution of funds. Higher wages help people feel good about themselves, it rewards people for hard work.

stanleybmanly's avatar

People decrying “redistribution schemes” always complain about the vile idea of “soaking the rich.” They get away with it because it has for some strange reason been inconvenient to explain to those on the short end of the stick that under what we call “normal” circumstances the wealth of the non rich is systemically and CONSTANTLY being redistributed upwards. That’s the way the game works, and of course it’s clearly unsustainable. So now everyone but you know who is scuffling because they have no money. No one bothers to ask “where did the money go?” Or “who has it all?” Instead the message is delivered from the mansions that “WE as a nation are all broke and the obvious solution is to cease the (imagined) harassment of those holding as well as raking in the money at ever accelerating momentum while closing the tap on the suffering yet clearly undeserving poor.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie don’t be fooled by the fact that “the width of this income bracket is ridiculously wide”. This is a clever distraction from the fact of 1% and what $380,000 a year really means. Your argument amounts to: ” the great bulk of the 1% are not billionaires. We have OUR poor people too”. And you are absolutely correct. There is nothing intrinsically malevolent about the rich. They are the same cross sections of personalities as the rest of us, and they act exactly as the rest of us in furthering their own self interests. So the question then becomes which group’s fiscal self interests are on the uptick by leaps and bounds while the other folks stagnate or decline? And then, to what extent are the 2 situations interdependent? Is it merely a coincidence that with an income of $380,000 annually you can live in a coma for 30 years and die a billionaire?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes. Wealth is power. The Golden Rule of Capitalism is, The Man With the Gold Makes the Rules. It is the same in all societies throughout history, not just those that are capitalist. What has been determined to be valuable has changed over time, but not that rule.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Let’s put it this way. If you are living in a land where the rich and the rich alone are fattening up while everyone else is losing ground, whose interests would you say the state had topmost in mind?

rojo's avatar

To put it bluntly, fuck the rich. They got that way by abuse of power and influence and deserve whatever punishment we can manage to administer.

cazzie's avatar

It doesn’t have to look like a government hand out. Not at all. A higher minimum wage is now essential. The wealthy don’t have to pay a whole lot more in taxes, but a small federal sales tax, a tax on Wallstreet transactions and a higher minimum wage would make university affordable and people who work full time off food stamps and able to live a decent life. It doesn’t have to be that radical.

rojo's avatar

@cazzie and impossible.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@rojo it’s pointless despising the rich for acting in their own interests. There are very rich people who give most of their money away, and collectively rich folks are but cross sections of the rest of us. If you or I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I doubt if either of us should be classified as evil. We shouldn’t hate or resent the rich, but we MUST understand how their money distorts the playing field to steer the nation’s wealth and assets in their direction and away from our own. It is essential to recognize that the ongoing concentration of wealth at the top is utterly dependent on impoverishment of the non rich and that neither the fattening of the rich nor the wasting away of the rest of us is possible minus the full throttle participation of OUR co-opted government toward their facilitation.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IS ABUSE OF POWER.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Redistribution is necessary and healthy to a functioning society. It is the unchecked concentration of wealth that is insidious and the indelible sign of wanton corruption.

flutherother's avatar

Wealth is power to those that have a lot but survival to those with little. If democracy worked properly you wouldnt get these huge disparities in wealth as the majority would press for a more equitable taxation system.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Umm….interesting how sour the grape juice gets when speaking of the rich. I am not rich materially, I could have been, some opportunities were missed because of ignorance, and others were missed because of fear or laziness; I can say my woes were more do to me than ”The Man” putting his foot on my throat. People need to own their funk and junk. What if there were no wealthy people? In these parts the ones wanting to dump on the homeless and truly poor is John Q citizen, if he cared so much about the downtrodden and the non-rich he would be trying to alleviate the plight of the poor and homeless yet it appears philanthropy and the charities they support are the ones trying to lift the poor up from the ashes. How many employees is Larry Lunchmeat going to employ at his corner sandwich shop? I guess a lot of people will have to form a lot more small businesses to put people to work if you take away large corporations like Apple, Tyco, IBM, etc. One can say the poor has harmed the nation just as much and one can toss a blanket on them as well that their lazy shiftlessness has put a burden on those trying to climb higher, but that would be if we want to toss a blanket on everyone who was not rich, but that would not be accurate no matter how sour the grape juice was. 

flutherother's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The grapes are sweet but the point is there are enough for everyone.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I doubt making $380k is coma material, nor do those people wind up with a billion. It’s said that the middle class, including the upper-middle class, have a tremendous amount of stress, because their very nice way of life can slip out from under them very fast during economic downturns, a loss of a job, basically any bump in their road.

Not that I’m defending the extremely high salaries when others are making $9 an hour. Like I said, I’m in favor of paying the people making less more, some of that being taken from the very top, and add in companies not pushing for such huge profits. High salaries at the top and the profit margin (having to do more with what owners are taking in) are two different things. I much prefer paying more to the bottom than taxing more at the top. Although, taxing the top is complicated because the tax laws are stacked in their favor to avoid taxes.

I do know a lot of people in the upper middle class who don’t take advantage of all the tax laws they could use. They tend to want to avoid red flags with the IRS even if they technically could use the tax code more, and many of them don’t invest like the very wealthy, but opt for the slower, steadier, less risky, more the miser route. This is why you hear that group annoyed when people don’t save (when they fairly easily could, obviously some people can’t) have bunches of kids they can’t afford, and tend to defend a better, flatter, distribution of money. I think the poor view these people as rich too, even though they don’t make near $380k.

Moreover, this coma you refer to—most people with money work very hard. People with old wealth don’t have to. Those born to new wealth also don’t have to. But, the people working for the high salaries, or owning successful businesses, who are creating their wealth, are not lazy, or in a coma, or necessarily horrible people. Like it was said, each part of the socio-economic strata has good people and bad people, etc. most “rich” people I know work or worked very hard and they were careful with their money.

None of that changes that things are stacked in the favor of people with money right now, which I believe hurts us as a country in the long run.

Part of it is a matter of integrity and valuing all work. There is a message out there in America that people who make minimum wage are only worth that. Meaning, if God forbid you have worked for minimum you have marked yourself as not trying hard enough, lazy, not ambitious enough, not competent to do more. It’s really an incredibly awful message out there. I hear people saying “they” don’t try hard enough and they use the “system.” It really makes me sick. It’s true, because of how the system is set up some people abuse it, but most people work hard, want to support themselves, and anyone working 40 hours a week and doing a good job should be able to live on their wage in a safe neighborhood, able to afford shelter, and food, and get good healthcare, and education for their children.

There is also a message out there that if you don’t have a college degree you don’t have enough education to be anything anymore. Bullshit! This message just helps to keep people down. They feel badly about themselves and those with degrees can feel like they themselves are more “deserving.” College does count at some level; people with degrees do spend time and effort, and depending on the degree learn important information for their profession, but it shouldn’t be that the person themselves is scene as less or more. It shouldn’t be society actually dismisses those without higher educations. It’s no different than treating a race as 3/5 of a man.

Judging the poor is as bad as judging the rich. We need to stop calling names and just work for the common good. The greater good. The good in general.

I wrote a Q years ago asking if people who made over a certain amount would be willing to be paid less if they knew the people at the bottom would be paid more. Like if you worked in a corporation making $200k, would you give up $20k so people making $30k could make $40k. Half the people on the thread talked about taxing the rich to redistribute funds. No matter how many times I tried to emphasize I wasn’t talking about taxing, but rather earnings, some people just saw it as the same. I don’t.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^It’s all circular though. The wealthy don’t want to pay workers higher wages… They don’t want to make less money, even if it benefits the majority of the people,and even themselves.
That’s why large companies outsource as much as possible. Using people in poorer countries means they can pay workers even less,and worker’s rights are less strict,or non existing. They only do that because slavery is illegal. Their only concern is maximizing their own income,by whatever means necessary.
Outsourcing hurts the country in SO many ways. Not only do people in this country lose employment opportunities, but the wages paid the the foreign workers is money leaving this country, and benefiting other countries. Our country then has less people employed, not paying taxes on their nonexistent wages,and usually also receiving financial aid of one or more forms.

We pay for the poor one way,or the other. If we give them jobs with reasonable salaries, and hours, they can support themselves,purchase goods/services,buy their own health care, educate their children, and pay taxes.

Treating the poor the way they currently are has no benefit. They can’t help the economy because they can barely afford rent. They have to get financial aid ,subsidised housing and health care. Their impoverishment leads to higher crime, so more money has to be spent on police. They bankrupt burn units, and burden emergency rooms. They suffer…The country suffers…

While the wealthy simply pass the money around, the poor are paying for their own misery when they pay taxes. Nobody is looking out for them. Nobody is treating them different from second class citizens.
Every time a service is provided to the poor,the rich cry about it,and try to stomp it out as soon as they can.

If the rich had to live a year in a poor person’s life,they would probably mostly kill themselves.

And @JLeslie , I get your point, but more taxes would essentially be the same as reduced salary. Either way, their income is reduced. Now their income will increase if Trump and his boys go through with their promises,and cut taxes on the rich in half. But the country will suffer.

Does anyone realistically believe that the wealthy will use this additional money to better the lives of their employees? That’s being willfully obtuse…It’s one thing to look after your own interests. It’s another to fuck the majority of the country’s citizens. Most of the wealthy got there by stepping on the heads of others, NOT working hard. I’m sorry, but I completely disagree that the rich “work hard.” The only reason most think they do, is because they have NO IDEA what working hard means…

The wealthy have had their turn with the power, and the only lives that are getting better are their’s. The rest of the country is in about as bad a shape as it’s ever been. Trump seems to have put the wealthy on the fast track of being even more wealthy. And the poor will get more poor. Please nobody talk about the stock markets. The poor don’t /can’t trade stocks…

When countries treat their poor this way, it often eventually leads to revolution.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 The tax vs cut in pay might feel the same to the person making $200k, but it is vastly differently to the guy making $30k, or living below the poverty line. The man or woman who goes from making a wage plus receiving social system help, to making $10k more and now can afford his own life is a huge psychological difference.

I think we would agree that once someone is accustomed to something they don’t want to give it up. Now that we allowed the super high salaries, it’s difficult to roll it back. It’s a snowball that will keep rolling towards the cold weather to make sure it doesn’t melt. Things are so out of control there is huge resistance. We let things go too far.

I have to ask what is rich to you? Are you only counting the top 1%? Are you counting people who “only” have a million in wealth and make $150k a year? That $150 guy most likely works hard. If he is at a desk I agree it’s not the same kind of hard as physical labor, I’ve done both, but plenty of people behind a desk work long hours with lots of pressure.

I think more than one jelly here thinks I’m rich, but I can assure you my household has never made $380k in a year. Right now we make about ⅓ of what we did a few years ago, and we are working more hours, and now we are business owners vs being employees.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^There’s a new thread that attempts to quantify, or qualify someone as rich. I’ll let you see my answer there…

Maybe this is painting with too broad a brush, but IMO most who work at a desk don’t work “hard.” Especially if they are making decent money. Pressure they feel is different from a poor person.

To me, a poor person lives paycheck to paycheck, or worse.
When that’s your reality, then you’re talking pressure. If your car breaks down, you have to try and fix/replace it. But you might have to choose between eating or having a car so you can keep your crappy job. Several times a year ,you will have to work sick, or injured. Your bank account is constantly getting overdrafted,leading to more overdrafts. You live in impoverished areas, so you might get all your stuff taken while your at work, or mugged on the way back. Your landlord can completely abuse you. Medical afflictions can completely wipe you out. You’re always on the edge of being homeless. At that point ,after you’re homeless for a few days,and haven’t had a bath in a week. Good luck in a job interview after that.

In some ways poverty is self inflicted as HC mentioned. But the system seems designed to make accenting out of that life VERY hard. Worse, that same system is designed to keep the rich , and powerful from ever faltering.

The infamous “bailout” was a prime example.

The rich always kick and scream about helping the poor,but when they have their hand out, they expect it to be filled.

When my judgement leads to mistakes on my job, I get fired. I have to pawn stuff to pay the bills until I get another job, or I lose everything. That’s how it is being poor.

The poor people of America watched in disbelief, as amazing sums of money were handed to the wealthy to keep them from laying in a bed they made with their own greed. Most of the people responsible for the calamity are still wealthy, and their lifestyles were unaffected. A couple are finding there way into Trump’s goon squad/cabinet.

The wealthy run the show,so they won’t allow themselves to be held accountable for their own actions.

It’s a double standard, and it’s not amusing.

Seeing Trump construct a cabinet that seems purpose built to further widen the gap between the poor and wealthy is adding insult to injury…

We’ve definitely gone too far in the wrong direction. Im worried that this could be the point of no return,were the only realistic move is revolution. I don’t want that. But I’m sick and tired of the wealthy people who run our government peeing in my pocket and telling me it’s raining. Trickle down economics? Pfft… The only thing that tricklesdown to the poor is bullshit….

JLeslie's avatar

^^A large portion of the middle class live check to check also, not just the poor. Granted, with the middle class, especially the upper middle class, if they live check to check it in some, maybe many, instances they are check to check becauses of choices they made in how they spend their money. Still, the pressure that their world as they know it can fall apart as they know it is very real.

My husband worked for a company that was having him and others in his department work from 8:00am to 11:00pm for weeks in a row. It was so incredibly abusive in my opinion. He doesn’t get OT. He doesn’t even get straight time for hours over 40. it wasn’t this bad in most companies, this was the worst, but my only point is there are plenty of directors, VP, C-level people, and business owners working their ass off.

I’m not saying it doesn’t suck to be poor. I’m saying you might be idealizing the lives of people in other social classes. I have no idea how much money you make or how you live, I’m not assuming anything, but it sound like you might not understand what life is like for people outside of your own social class, which is what you are saying about people not understanding what it’s like to be poor, or to work low paying jobs. I think you are right, but it goes both ways. My husband had never really worked full time in a very physical job dealing directly with customers. I tried to tell him what it would be like when he was considering buying this business, but he really didn’t understand it until he was doing it. He didn’t take what I said seriously, or maybe thought how I spoke about it was my personality vs his. I’m not sure what he thought. Now he knows. Now, he really knows, only because he’s doing it now. I think it’s harder than he imagined.

It’s still not near as bad as that desk job I described above. Working that many hours was physically exhausting, and sucked for family life, and dangerous driving on the road! Not enough sleep! Deadlines were impossible. They needed more people doing the job. He made a lot of money, but that company was making a fortune in profit. Even executives making high salaries get abused. Like I said, most companies it was not this extreme, I’m just saying this is going on out there.

I don’t understand why you bring up the poor getting fired for bad judgment on the job? Do you think people with high salaries don’t get fired for the same thing?

I’ll try to find the other Q about the rich to see your answer.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t understand how this is even a question. Nobody needs 400k+ a year to survive. The one thing that is universal to every religion and value system since the dawn of time is that those who are not needy should help those who are. Yet it is the religious right that is opposed to having their precious rich pay higher taxes to help the poor and homeless and ill. Fuck these selfish cunts.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well , I’ve admittedly never been a rich CEO. My parents are/were middle class, when I was growing up. I’ve been pretty much “the working poor” or so as an adult. In no small part due to two medical issues that had me owing a combined $220,000 to various hospitals in my 20’s.

I currently work mainly at a large music venue that is frequented by lots of rich people from nearby resort islands. I interact with the rich and wealthy, haven’t walked in there shoes.

Perhaps you’re right @JLeslie . My knowledge of the details of a rich person’s life is limited. Perhaps I have grown to resent the rich… You also make valid points about paycheck to paycheck.

I brought up the bad judgement thing because it parallels my issues with money. The wealthy seem to not have to play by the rules,in almost any way.They set up the system so they will stay wealthy, regardless of their actions. Trump himself declared bankruptcy several times. The wealthy take advantage of countless loopholes to both increase and ensure their wealth. Loopholes that the poor cannot use.

I have a rich uncle. He lives in Michigan and has a manufacturing plant that makes a rare piece for machinery.

I stayed with his family one Christmas about 15 years ago.Great guy,great family. But he had two cars that were tax deductible, so he leased a brand new car every year. He paid for at least one meal with a corporate card. This is what I mean by “abuse of power.” Privileges such as those are big reasons why the rich get richer.

If I didn’t have to pay for my vehicles, gas and food I’d be doing much better too…I’m not his accountant, but I’m sure he took full advantage of many other tax breaks.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I absolutely agree that the tax code helps entrepreneurs in many ways. Your example of the new car is a perfect one. I’ll be taking advantage of paying half my leased car through my business this year. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to do such a thing since it’s the first time I’ve owned a business where I could. I think a lot of business owners would just pay the whole bill with company money, but I do use my car for personal driving too, so I’m erring on the side of trying to be truthful, but that does not change that now I can use that tax law when previously as an employee I couldn’t. I understand why it seems unfair. Especially people who buy or lease very expensive cars and put it in the business.

However, as an owner the responsibilities are much more intense. I understand why owners bitch about the government, because all thecshit to be in compliance is overwhelming. I’m not only talking about paying the government, I mean the forms and just knowing what you’re required to do.

I also more or less agree with @Mariah, although my cut off might be a little higher than $400k. I definitely am not happy with salary packages of $10million. But, her point about the religious now suddenly believing God wants us to be greedy is a bazaar twist to me.

Cruiser's avatar

I am utterly blown away by the small minded thinking here especially the rich are inherently evil diatribes.

I have 2 really simple suggestions for you.

1) Stop voting for the idiots who do nothing to provide opportunity for you to better your life. Look at what 8 years of a Socialist minded President and Liberal controlled Senate did for the low income and middle class….absolutely NOTHING!! Shitty low paying jobs and stagnant wages is all you got.

2) Stop feeding these evil rich bastards! Stop it! Stop doing it NOW! Stop buying your shit on Amazon, instead buy from a local mom and pop store. Cancel your FaceBook account. Instead of buying anything from Microsoft pay a college kid to build your next computer. Don’t buy anything Apple especially. Stay the hell out of Walmart too…they are the worst of the worst evil rich people.

A lot of people will lose their factory jobs, tech people will lose their good paying jobs but that is the price that will have to be paid to fuck those evil rich people in the ass. Vote with the dollars you spend and help make a hard working middle class purveyor a little richer instead. You won’t do any of this because you like to bitch instead of doing something about it.

Mariah's avatar

@Cruiser Poor people don’t have the luxury of being able to choose to spend their money “ethically;” sometimes they have to shop at Walmart because Walmart has the cheapest prices. Your privilege is showing.

8 years of Obama did a lot of good for some of us! You don’t speak for me.

cazzie's avatar

I don’t like the ‘rich are evil’ diatribes either and I’m a Socialist. I think, if you can do well for yourself by following the rules and not cheating, you deserve some perks, but don’t be an asshole. Nobody earns the right to be an asshole. Nobody earns the right for special treatment because of how much they own. THAT is what Socialism is. We don’t hate people who do well. We hate people who are assholes, and we will hate a poor asshole as well as a rich one. It’s how Socialism works. We are equal opportunity asshole-haters.

cazzie's avatar

Also, there is constantly a redistribution of wealth. It happens organically or with some meddling. Vices rack up a great deal of money. Alcohol. Gambling. Drugs. That’s some interesting redistribution. Retail and restaurant trade in the US is another interesting ‘redistribution’. Retail where they can pay you less than you can live on for 40 hours a week while they mark up their products 300%.... that is an interesting redistribution. ‘Working for tips’ is another very interesting one. They don’t have to pay you. End of story on that one. See, redistribution isn’t and has never been and should NEVER been seen as exclusively a ‘government to citizens’ issue. If that is your mindset, you need to read more books and go back to school.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I never said that the rich were evil. But they (collectively ) routinely fuck those who aren’t. Or don’t give a fuck about others. Which is their right….

It’s also my right to notice and get mad.

This is a tax issue. Plus whatever else the elite ram up the American people’s ass in the upcoming years.

@Cruiser . You don’t seem to understand that capitalism is unsustainable. It grows too top heavy and falls over. The roots are most important.

The greedy will use this time of year to really go after smaller businesses. And because consumers have less money to spread farther, they will make their final purchase at the cheapest place. Usually that’s a company that is ruthless, and cares the least about its employees,or its country.

It’s all about maximizing profit. Outsourcing, buying cheaper parts, cutting corners is how companies rise. The result is higher profits, but lower product quality, death of quality small business competition, and loss of employment and wage taxes.

Capitalism rewards the greediest. Our current government is run by greedy capitalists now that Trump’s in.

They don’t even seem to be hiding the fact they are about to start a war on the 99%....

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

MrGrimm888 That’s why large companies outsource as much as possible.
They outsource because if they did not, Larry Lunchmeat will have to pay $2,100 for that 52” flat screen than the $850 he pays now, and he will bitch, cry and moan that it cost so much and blame the rich for being greedy anyhow when the high cost of that would be so his fellow American can have a union job at $25 an hour. People are in support of keeping jobs state side so long as it doesn’t have him spending more; Larry Lunchmeat wants to live a champagne life but get it on a Mad Dog 211 budget.

@Mariah I don’t understand how this is even a question. Nobody needs 400k+ a year to survive.
People do not need $40,000 a year to survive either, it comes to what priorities, and sacrifices one is willing to make. If you can get by without having a 4G Smartphone, cable, a new car or car in general, or designer labels, one can live much less. People want too many ”toys” and they want it now, so they go into debt they don’t need to go into in order to get it, then want to blame someone for their bad money management.

Mariah's avatar

Depends on where you live; housing is expensive here and it would be hard to be housed and fed on a tiny income. Medical bills also make the playing field uneven. Anyway, I’m not saying that everyone has to live a Spartan life, I’m just saying that huge ridiculous incomes are not necessary for ANYBODY.

Cruiser's avatar

@Mariah I very acutely understand peoples limitations in and around the lower income strata I lived at the very bottom for the first 6 years out of college and made lower income wages for the next 10 years. I will never forget what it is like to not know how you are going to buy groceries or put gas in the car. If I needed more money I worked other jobs. I was even a Democrat back then, but not once did it ever cross my mind that someone else should help me out. Never did it cross my mind that the super rich guys I caddied for at the local country club for 7 years should be taxed more so I would get more money. If you can’t or won’t do anything about it then you really have no right to complain.

Mariah's avatar

@Cruiser Good for you?? Do you think I want to take other people’s money? I don’t, but I’m also not a millionaire at age 24, so I need assistance to pay my medical bills. I’m sorry if you think that makes me a freeloader but I need financial assistance from others. My alternative is to die. Plenty of other people are in similarly dire situations. They deserve help.

Again, where is this assumption that I’m not doing anything coming from? I have been donating a lot of money to causes I believe in. I have been writing to my senators. I have been voting for the people who represent my best interests. What else do I have to do to earn my right to complain? Who am I harming by complaining?

Cruiser's avatar

@Mariah With a due respect, you are getting the assistance you need as you should. That is how that system works. This notion that people have that the rich should do more is so wrong, shortsighted and narrow minded and uninformed about how the tax system as of today operates. The problem is our government is run by arrogant idiots who blatantly eschew their responsibility to manage our taxes and spending in a fiscally responsible way. THOSE are the people we need to be mad at Clean house at the IRS. I felt like I was the only one hopping mad in America that Obama never passed a single budget in 8 years. Successful have worked hard to get their wealth…of course there is the silver spoon crowd. but even they invest their money. Without this backbone of great wealth this country would struggle to move forward. Take away their wealth and you strip them of any incentive to work harder even worse they take their wealth to a more supportive country that is friendly to wealthy people. Taxing the wealthy more is not the answer…even Obama knew this or otherwise he of all people would have but he knew the negative consequences that would ensue if he did. Yes be mad get mad but not at the wealthy…be mad get mad at the boobs in Congress and tell them to start doing their jobs better.

Mariah's avatar

Yes, @Cruiser, I am currently getting the assistance I need, because of Obama and the ACA that you, Trump, and the Republicans in Congress all oppose. The rich and healthy should continue to subsidize healthcare costs for the less fortunate, but that is not the direction we are moving in.

I am angry that the wealthy vote as though lower taxes are the only thing in the world that matters. That is short-sighted and selfish of them. Social programs are desperately needed by people like me.

JLeslie's avatar

Medical bills should not be part of the equation. It’s awful that they are in America.

Coloma's avatar

While what you posit can be true and is true in SOME cases, you cannot make a blanket statement claiming that all elite wealthy are greedy, self serving and abusive.
Making a claim such as this is nothing more than reverse discrimination.
There are many, many, examples of great philanthropical contributions from the elite wealthy.
Ted Turner has bought up millions of acres of wild lands and historic ranch properties that are in a conservation to preserve these lands. Something dear to my heart and what I would do were I part of the elite wealthy.

Here’s the short list of current mega wealthy that are giving back in generous proportions, which includes rock stars, actors and actresses, politicians, tech wizards, on & on. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List/_of_philanthropists

Fuck..this link is not working but…just do a search of “Greatest Philanthropists of all time” and you will be quite surprised to see the generosity out there amongst the mega wealthy.

Cruiser's avatar

@Mariah Just because I have made it for myself don’t put words in my mouth. I am a conservative who does side with the Republicans in that there are way better solutions to Obamacare that will not leave you hanging out to struggle or die from your illness and not cost this country of billions of purely wasted dollars that could be put to better use.

Mariah's avatar

Someone’s gotta pay for it, it’s gonna either be the taxpayer or the government, can’t have it both ways. I hope this dream-world solution that is somehow cheap without fucking the ill exists but I have my doubts. We’ll see, I suppose!

flutherother's avatar

It’s a mistake to personalise this issue. The rich aren’t all greedy and heartless and the poor aren’t all envious and wanting something for nothing. The problem is an unfair system that allows the rich to become ever richer while the poor become ever poorer. It isn’t a question of how hard you work either, there are many people working multiple low income jobs just to make ends meet. A child could see that this system is unfair and requires straightening out before it becomes completely untenable.

flutherother's avatar

@Cruiser Unfortunately medical care is not cheap but I wouldn’t consider money spent on it a waste. The healthy many can help support the few who are ill and I think most of us feel that is fair. There but for the grace of God go I.

Cruiser's avatar

@flutherother I am very sensitive to the “value” of healthcare. I am more sensitive to the wasteful spending and bassackward policies that have caused healthcare costs to spiral out of control. Healthcare reform in the form of getting Government out of the healthcare business and tax reform will be the best things the next administration could do for all of our citizens. Ask any Doctor and the will tell you the Dems botched this one big time.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Cruiser You have your GOP “glasses” on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Cruiser has made some valid points. He’s looking after his own interests. That’s fair…

Many see helping the poor as hand outs,or redistribution of wealth. The same who oppose helping the less fortunate though,won’t blink an eye when we spend trillions on our military. Either through research and development, building, maintaining and arming things like fighter jets, aircraft carriers and also by giving aid to countries we would use for airstrips, or to use their airspace.

It’s insulting to the poor that they (US citizens ) aren’t as important as parking unusable aircraft in the desert, or making stealth destroyers, or giving millions to the countries in which we are involved in conflict.

If we make the wealthy pay their share, and cut military spending, there’s plenty of money to help everyone.

Even Trump has recently put pressure on the F-35 project. He wants the US dollar to go farther in the future, when it comes to military spending. One if the only things that I agree with Trump on….

Cruiser's avatar

—No @Tropical_Willie I never wore GOP glasses and my asshole is sore anyway… You can save your energy…this bullshit parade ended on Nov 9th…time to roll up our sleeves and git to work…together for once.

LostInParadise's avatar

On the subject of health care, the U.S. is one of the few (only?) countries that does not have socialized medicine. The case for government run medicine is the same as the case for government run education and government construction of highways. The health of workers and consumers is in everybody’s best interest. It is a shared benefit. Large companies understand this concept, which is why they subsidize health insurance for their workers.

cazzie's avatar

I got one verb for you Americans. UNIONIZE!

MrGrimm888's avatar

^The Republican party is quite opposed to unions. And they now run the country…..

stanleybmanly's avatar

Step back and look at it. Wealth redistribution is necessary and actually what taxes are all about. Taxes may be onerous, but they are the price we pay for civilization. The IRS takes a bite out of me, and the blind woman next door gets a trained dog, free rides in a van and Medicare. But if you look at what’s going on in our country, you quickly understand why things come to be so obtuse. The union thing is a perfect example. Just keep in mind the maxim that “the rich get richer” then ask yourself :do the rich get richer more assuredly with or without the existence of unions?

cazzie's avatar

Our form of employment and government only works because everyone is Unionised here. Unions aren’t ‘get rich schemes’ for the organisers.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well here the narrative is spun by those who stand to gain considerably through the suppression of unions as well as anything else mitigating the maxim. Universal healthcare? No no. That smacks of socialism.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Unions are important. Maybe not as important as they used to be, but still important for promoting, and securing worker’s rights.

Unions exists to check and balance corporate greed. They represent the best interests of the workers in their respective professions.

Unfortunately, according to what I’ve read, many union workers voted Trump, or just all republican.

Many will feel the sting of their ignorant, or selfish choice to vote for Trump…

But most won’t be able to see a correlation…

Trump voters. I want you to remember this…

Obama didn’t push the button for you. You pushed it.

Cruiser's avatar

Unions are important for promoting, and securing worker’s rights as you pointed out @MrGrimm888 but they are also a large part of the reason the Big #3 Government bailout. They rally had no choice but to wise up and agree to sizeable wage and benefit reductions to bring labor cost more inline with their foreign competitors. Unions also destroyed the steel industry because of their wage and legacy costs that made US steel producers noncompetitive with China.

Now that Trump has been elected it should be music to the unions ears that we are reading stuff in the news such as…

” US Steel CEO Mario Longhi announced this week that he wants to bring 10,000 jobs back to the states now that Trump has been elected. Longhi told CNBC on Wednesday that United States Steel would like to accelerate its investments and hire back laid-off employees now that Trump has won.”

This is because Trump is proposing tax cuts for corporate income and reduction in costly regulations that will enable the steel companies to be competitive again. This will be the foundation of Trump’s pledge to bring good paying jobs back to the US.

My biggest concern about Trump is not about him getting things done but more of “how” he will get these pledges done. The devil will be in the details of these “deals” he will do to make America great again.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^As you quote. They ”want to bring 10,000 jobs back.” They would ”like to accelerate it’s investments. ”

Trump made many grand claims. The Chinese steel industry is struggling mightily. Good luck avoiding their hurdles here. Sounds like just more unrealistic rhetoric to me. If you said Trump would allow industrial sites ,such as steel mills,to be more dangerous for the environment that I would believe….

So far he’s back pedaled on lots of his promises. He’s given me no reason to believe that he won’t continue this behavior as his advisors reveal to him the feasibility of his plans…That is, most aren’t realistic…

Cruiser's avatar

Yep @MrGrimm888 the only thing standing in the way to make this happen are loathing Democrats who are chewing on the bark of Hillary’s defeat to exact some sort of revenge….but they are stonewalled knowing that any attempt to discredit Trump’s affect to bring these jobs back to life, will only highlight the hand-waving phoney protests you and the liberal left will do their very best to undermine Trumps successes…can you answer me why you think this tactic will work now when it was an abject failure during the election campaign?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Sorry. The only party that I know of doing any undermining is/was the Republican party. Every step Obama took was uphill through a hail of arrows. The dems usually play ball when a republican is president.

There was was a lot of attempted undermining during the election. By both parties, and that’s normal.

Personally, I would LOVE to be wrong about Trump. I would take little pleasure in watching the country go down the path I see it headed. At this point undermining Trump would, for the most part,be undermining the country. Why cut of your nose to spite your face.

I don’t think you’re reading the liberal, democratic unrest the right way. They’re upset because they think Trump is going to be a terrible president, in a time when we need a great one. They don’t want “revenge.” They want peace, and prosperity…

The main person undermining Trump is Trump… Almost every time he opens his mouth, it futher astonishes me that he has any position of power, anywhere.

Doesn’t matter. The majority of his claims are not possible. It’s highly unlikely he’ll accomplish any of his goals, other than lowering taxes on the rich,and wealthy. Leaving a massive void in tax money….

Cruiser's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “The majority of his claims are not possible.” 8 years ago I said the same thing about Obamas lofty promises. Again I expect you will lay blame on the obstructionist Republicans and then justify that Dems are entitled to return the favor.

If it makes you feel any better, your pitchfork and torch is bigger than mine but many will tell you size does not matter…it is how you use it that matters~ We won…you lost :P

MrGrimm888's avatar

Of course it’s the obstructionist Republicans fault. But I don’t want, or expect the dems to return the favor.

As I’ve explained before, I don’t vote, out of protest. I didn’t have a dog in that fight. Wag you’re forked tongue elsewhere….

Again, I hope you’re right.

cazzie's avatar

Nobody won. You just haven’t realised it yet.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Yeah. We all lost…

Cruiser's avatar

@MrGrimm888 I offer this with all sincerity…we all won, butt 52% of the country and 98% of the media has yet to realize this basic reality. Fasten your seatbelt and try to enjoy the ride….it will be bumpy for sure!

rojo's avatar

^^^ As Momma likes to say: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

I expect it to be a smooth ride all the way down…

cazzie's avatar

@Cruiser Time travel back to the 1950’s, I imagine it will be bumpy.

flutherother's avatar

@Cruiser I’m already not enjoying the ride and I want to get off and I’m not even in the states. How the hell did this even happen!!

rojo's avatar

@flutherother No simple answer to that. A whole shitpot (stirred) full of reasons.

Cruiser's avatar

I will never understand how any of you can say things are better today than they will be tomorrow. There is nowhere else to go but up. Give me just 3 examples of how things are any better today than the shithole Bush left us 8 years ago? I can give you a myriad of examples of why things are actually worse today than they were 8 years ago.

The only thing good about the last 8 years it that they are finally over…thank God!

Mariah's avatar

There are 15 million fewer uninsured people.
There are 614,000 fewer unemployed people.
There 9,265,000 more jobs.
Wind and solar production have almost tripled.
There are 57% fewer prisoners at Gitmo.
Violent crime is down 16%.

Source

Not everything is better, but lots of things are. Whether you view the “overall” state of the country as better depends on which things you value more. Clearly many of us value different things than what you do, but that doesn’t make us wrong.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The stock market has risen 12,000 points since Obama took office in 08. Ben Laden is only a memory. And bravo Mariah!

MrGrimm888's avatar

Don’t forget many Americans will have their sons and daughters home for Christmas because they were pulled from Iraq. 8 years without a major war. That’s an accomplishment with all the war mongers in D.C.

I’m sure the level headed Trump will keep us out of trouble….

The FACT is that the country is far better off,and if the Republican congress weren’t such pathetic, greedy, losers, Obama would have got a lot done. As I said, I don’t want the dems to be obstructionist, like the assholes were. How would America ever advance if the loosing party acted the way the Republicans did for 8 years?
Can you imagine a world where GW’s administration didn’t almost destroy the world before Obama took office? Has any other president had to inherit such a colossal cluster fuck?

@Cruiser . I have no idea why you keep pushing this in a “we won, you lost direction. ”

Everyone is concerned about Trump taking us from the frying pan to the fire. It wasn’t a sporting event, it was an election for the most important job in the world, and a crooked, narcissistic, reality TV star,with no mouth control,and NO experience won…

If you have children, I hope you will be man enough to admit your role in why their future sucks. Or will you blame it on Obama? ....

50–100 years from now, many coastal cities will be underwater. Because your boy doesn’t care about climate change, or how to stop it. Sounds like a great place to live. I hope lining your pockets today is worth no future for tomorrow. Your children will have unique challenges, and many of them. Tell them why…

rojo's avatar

@MrGrimm888 So what is your advice? Voice your opinion and disapproval but don’t obstruct and don’t support? Just sit back and watch so we can say “I told you so”?

That will be difficult after having watched the Republicans obstruct everything, and anything (even recycled Republican Health Plans) and having to listen to them chanting ‘How’s that ‘Change’ thing going for ya?”.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^It’s too late for advice… Now we can only hope.

The most recent shit pot Trump decided to stir was the nuclear one. He seems incapable of understanding that his thoughtless twitter ravings will now be taken as a voice of a nation. His recent comments have the world scratching their heads as to what his rhetoric means. Many have taken it to mean he is trying to exacerbate the nuclear arms race with Russia.

He needs to learn to shut his stupid mouth. Or at least try and communicate with the world in more than 140 characters…

@Cruiser said that his idiotic rhetoric was some genius manipulation to get himself elected. Well, now he’s elected, and he’s still talking as if he has no idea what he’s doing. Still inflammatory, and still stirring the shit. He doesn’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation he is in. He’s too used to being able to drop his obligations when he makes the wrong move. He no longer has that luxury. He’s constantly making things harder for himself. If he doesn’t straighten up, he’s going to to fuck everything up before he even takes office.

If any of the good things people think will happen are to come to fruition, he needs to THINK before he talks or acts.

I hope the dems don’t obstruct him, and I hope they give him as much support as possible. He’s going to need it.

My advice is irrelevant. I’m hopefully just an ignorant pessimist.

Back to the thread, I wish the most recent thing Trump will back pedal on will be the tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s highly unlikely though.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I think I’ll start selling bomb shelters, cause we going back to the “my A-Bomb is bigger than yours”, that will make me rich. I remember bomb drills in Los Angeles in the 1950’s.
Scary shit is coming back.

Oh, but “trickle down” will fix that ! ~ ~ ~

Reganomics in the 21st century will make the top 2 percent richer, may not help anyone else but that is Trump’s intent. Make the rich richer.

Maybe Kim Jong-un in North Korea is really afraid of Trump—NOT! I think I know who is crazier but and I think I know who has a bigger male part.

Back to building bomb shelters.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Will you accept payment plans for the shelters?

Hopefully Putin and Trump really are buddies.

It’s stunning how time seems to have turned back. We were making so much progress in civil rights, nuclear proliferation reduction, race relations, religious coexistence etc.

WTF happened?...

If you’re a US citizen that isn’t straight embarrassed right now ,or an inhabitant of another country that isn’t feeling a sense of unease, I can’t understand why….

Cruiser's avatar

@stanleybmanly Look at how much better things are in Middle East since we took out “Ben” Laden. Things are going swimmingly in Iraq since we killed Saddam Hussein…Syria is far from a spring break destination since Obama drew 3 red lines in the sand there and did squat about it. And neither is Libya since rioters dragged Muammar Gaddafi’s sorry dead ass through the streets. Russia now has the upper hand in the Middle East because Barry “kick the can down the road” Obama is such weak tit coward. Yeppers things are sooooo much better.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^So. How will Trump change things?... (in regards to the middle east)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nuke ‘em back to stone age comes to mind @MrGrimm888

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Oh god. I hope no nukes ever go off again.

This is why I feel like an alien on my own planet. The very thought of using such weapons is appalling, and sadistic. How they are tolerated by the world is beyond my understanding….

Cruiser's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Anything Trump will do will be light years better than what Barry has fumbled in the Middle East. Honestly…I expect Trump has already fleshed this out behind the scenes with Putin. This will be gamesmanship of saving face for both Trump and Putin. The road show these 2 will put on is going to be epic and culminate when Trump FINALLY exposes the Saudi’s for the rat bastards the really are.

Russia will get more control of the Middle East oil pipeline as a concession gift…Iran will be boxed into a corner over their nuclear deal and Israel will resurface as strong as ever because of the support of Trump.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I think Trump has been behind the scenes talking to Putin too. It reminds of when Reagan became president and the next day our hostages in Iran were released. That Iran hostage situation made me a little queasy that our hostages had to wait for Reagan to be president. Why? So, Reagan got credit? I’m not comparing in the sense that Trump is waiting to get credit for something with Russia, I only mean the talks that must have been going on prior to Reagan actually getting into the White House.

My head swirls around. Russia and America have been allies in the past. We are both such power houses that if we decide to work together rather than against each other, we have a tremendous amount of power combined. But, I don’t really like or trust everything Putin is doing. I don’t like to go to war. I don’t want to control the world. Trying to control the work and taking over territories hasn’t worked well for anyone the last 100 years I don’t think.

Trump has always been critical of the Saudis. That will be interesting to see what happened with that.

Cruiser's avatar

You and I are on the same page @JLeslie. But to imagine a scenario where in a meeting Trump leans over and tell Putin…you know if you were less of a douche bag in Syrian…people might respect you more…would be like the pot calling the kettle black.

Truth be told I have no idea or clue how Trump will play out in the big leagues….but I expect to be more impressed more often than disappointed.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If there is any behind the scenes communication between Trump and Putin, I would think Putin is playing Trump like a fiddle.

I’m not in the conspiracy camp. But anythings possible.

As others bring up other countries in the middle east ,I started thinking Trump should have walls built there. The walls Israel built kind of worked…

Good walls make good neighbors.

The Mexican wall idea,not so much.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Cruiser you and others continue to miss the obvious when it comes to the Middle East. Faulting Obama for the dismal situation is both disingenuous and neglecting what should be obvious. Once W popped the cork, there could be no avoiding the disruption and assured destabilization of the region. Initially, when Bush handed off the steaming turd to Obama, the President was compelled to face what amounted to optimizing a torrent of water rushing down a mountain.

cazzie's avatar

President Obama and his State Department have been the epitome of rational minds in the chaos that has gone on in the Middle East. I don’t know what @Cruiser has been medicated with, but he has a delusional view. I don’t LIVE in the US, so I actually get news from REAL news sources, not your made up bullshit.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I think I’m more pessimistic than you, I just am open to looking and hoping for a positive result.

Strauss's avatar

It’s not a redistribution of wealth as much as it is asking everyone to pay their fair share.

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