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We kick the ass of the ruling class

1% from the 1%

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 2, 2013, 4:14 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: 1%, #S17, Great Depression, robin hood tax

Don't believe this outrageous crap about the rich paying 37% of the taxes in America and the poor paying none. It's a trick. A spin on statistics to make it seem as if the rich are overtaxed. They aren't. But they damn well should be. We're in this mess because of them.

Be careful when you hear or read anything regarding the PERCENTAGE of OVERALL FEDERAL INCOME taxes paid by any particular group. It's a terribly misleading statistic. The rich pay a larger PERCENTAGE of OVERALL FEDERAL INCOME taxes now than 10 years ago because they have a larger PERCENTAGE of OVERALL INCOME in the United States now, than 10 years ago. That statistic regarding 37% of Federal Income Taxes is one of the most misleading in the history of propaganda.

When you account for all FEDERAL, STATE, and LOCAL taxes and fees, the middle class actually pay about the same rate (as a percentage of income) as the rich. The difference is within 5 percent. It shouldn't be that way. The rich should pay a MUCH higher rate simply because they are horribly over-paid. We aren't. They own 43% of all financial wealth in America. We share the rest. But it gets even more disgusting. The devil is in the details.

Corporate profits have been partially subsidized with federal, state, and local revenue. This benefit has been hoarded at the top. Business managers make up the largest group of one percent club pigs (followed by attorneys, doctors, and celebrities). Plus 40% of the market is owned by the top 1%. Their record territory dividends have been partially subsidized by federal, state, and local revenue. The benefits have not been shared proportionally with the little guy. The lopsided division of growth across quintiles proves it.

The income for richest one percent has grown more than 10 times faster than the middle percentile over the last 30 years. This is true EVEN AFTER taxes. When you account for inflation and the actual cost of living (tied to record high profits in energy, finance, and healthcare), the middle class have actually lost relative buying power while the top 1% have drastically increased their income and bottom line wealth.

In 1976 (when their tax rates were much higher), the top one percent reaped 9 percent of all private income and held less than 20 percent of all private wealth in America. Now, they reap 21 percent of all private income and hold 40 percent of all private wealth. Meanwhile, the lower majority (those who are still employed) are working more hours and have less to show for it.

Just to make it crystal clear: The rich do not pay 37% of all taxes. Not even close. They pay roughly 37% of all FEDERAL INCOME TAXES which account for less than 1/2 of total government revenue. The rest is drawn from a number of sources and across income levels. The rich harp on this 'Federal Income Tax' statistic because it leads people to believe that they pay 37% of ALL taxes. They don't. Not even close. Their share as a group represents about their share of income. The difference is within 5 percent. In fact, the 2nd percentile actually pays a slightly higher rate on average than the top percentile.

The richest 500 Americans hold more personal wealth than the lower 150 million Americans combined. These richest 500 Americans pay an effective rate of under 15%.

If the rich want to pay a lower share of the taxes in America, then they should get themselves a lower share of the income in America. In other words, don't be so rich to begin with. After all, this obscene concentration of wealth actually CAUSES economic instability. It CAUSES poverty. It will CAUSE the next Great Depression.

No more excuses.

RAISE THOSE GOD DAMN TAXES ON THE RICH!

There is a simple fix. It is called the Robin Hood Tax. Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars. That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get all of us back on our feet. It could help save the social safety net both here, and internationally. And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.

1% from the 1%?

Why not? Let's dream big for each other, let's do it on Wall Street on September 17th.

329 Comments

329 Comments


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[-] 15 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The ugly truth. America's wealth is STILL being concentrated. When the rich get too rich, the poor get poorer. These latest figures prove it. AGAIN.

According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of U.S. workers made less than $26,364 in 2010. In addition, those making less than $200,000, or 99 percent of Americans (actually more like 98%), saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively.

The sobering numbers were a far cry from what was going on for the richest one percent of Americans.

The incomes of the top one percent of the wage scale in the U.S. rose in 2010; and their collective wage earnings jumped by $120 billion. In addition, those earning at least $1 million a year in wages, which is roughly 93,000 Americans, reported payroll income jumped 22 percent from 2009. Overall, the economy has shed 5.2 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Another word about the first Great Depression. It really was a perfect storm. Caused almost entirely by greed. First, there was unprecedented economic growth. There was a massive building spree. There was a growing sense of optimism and materialism. There was a growing obsession for celebrities. The American people became spoiled, foolish, naive, brainwashed, and love-sick. They were bombarded with ads for one product or service after another. Encouraged to spend all of their money as if it were going out of style. Obscene profits were hoarded at the top. In 1928, the rich were already way ahead. Still, they were given huge tax breaks. All of this represented a MASSIVE transfer of wealth from poor to rich. Executives, entrepreneurs, developers, celebrities, and share holders. By 1929, America's wealthiest 1 percent had accumulated 44 percent of all United States wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes were left to share the rest. When the lower majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed.

Of course, the rich threw a fit and started cutting jobs. They would stop at nothing to maintain their disgusting profit margins and ill-gotten obscene levels of wealth as long as possible. The small business owners did what they felt necessary to survive. They cut more jobs. The losses were felt primarily by the little guy. This created a domino effect. The middle class shrunk drastically and the lower class expanded. With less wealth in reserve and active circulation, banks failed by the hundreds. More jobs were cut. Unemployment reached 25% in 1933. The worst year of the Great Depression. Those who were employed had to settle for much lower wages. Millions went cold and hungry. The recovery involved a massive infusion of new currency, a public works program, a World War, and higher taxes on the rich. With so many men in the service, so many women on the production line, more currency, and those higher taxes to help pay for it, some US wealth was gradually transferred back down to the majority. This redistribution of wealth continued until the mid seventies. By 1976, the richest 1 percent held less than 20 percent of America's private wealth. The lower majority held the rest. It was the best year ever for the American middle and lower classes. And rightfully so. This was the recovery. A partial redistribution of wealth.

Then it began to concentrate all over again. Here we are 35 years later. The richest one percent now own 40 percent of all US wealth. The upper, middle, and lower classes are sharing the rest. This is true even after taxes, welfare, financial aid, and charity. It is the underlying cause. No redistribution. No recovery.

Note: A knowledgable and trustworthy contributor has gone on record with a claim that effective tax rates for the rich were considerably lower than book rates during the years of redistribution that I have made reference to. His point was that the rich were able to avoid those very high marginal rates of 70-90% under the condition that they invested specifically in American jobs. His claim is that their effective tax rates probably never exceeded 39%. My belief is that if true, those rates were still considerably higher than the previous lows of '29' and the policies still would have contributed to a partial redistribution by forcing the rich to either share profits and potential income through job creation or share income through very high marginal tax rates. This knowledgable contributor and I agree that there was in effect, a redistribution but disagree on the use of the word.

One thing is clear from recent events. The government won't step in and do what's necessary. Not this time. Book rates for the rich remain at all time lows. Their corporate golden geese are subsidized. The benefits of corporate welfare are paid almost exclusively to the rich. It's up to us. Support small business more and big business less. Support the little guy more and the big guy less. It's tricky but not impossible.

For the good of society, stop giving so much of your money to rich people. Stop concentrating the wealth. This may be our last chance to prevent the worst economic depression in world history. No redistribution. No recovery.

Those of you who agree on these major issues are welcome to summarize this post, copy it, link to it, save it, show a friend, or spread the word in any fashion. Most major cities have daily call-in talk radio shows. You can reach thousands of people at once. They should know the ugly truth. Be sure to quote the figures which prove that America's wealth is still being concentrated. I don't care who takes the credit. We are up against a tiny but very powerful minority who have more influence on the masses than any other group in history. They have the means to reach millions at once with outrageous political and commercial propaganda. Those of us who speak the ugly truth must work incredibly hard just to be heard.

[-] 7 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

It amazes me that people still believe in trickle down economics. It's such a simple concept that the poor will spent any money they get their hands on. What do they spend it on? clothes, food, household products,energy all made by big corporations. They will spend it quickly, the more they get the more companies will make a profit. When the rich hoard money and invest it it chokes the demand side of the economy, the end result is inevitably the loss of value in the investments the rich put their hoarded money in. In short that money the rich try to hoard just goes away when the economy gets so imbalanced. It really should be called trickle away economics.

[-] 6 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I think what we have now is trickle up economics. The more strain put on the lower and middle classes, trickles up to an increase in the neccessity for more and more government programs to compensate.

Elizabeth Warren says it better. And has the facts to back it up. If you can block out an hour, this lecture is worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htX2usfqMEs

[-] 5 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

Without even watching yet that I agree.As we've given up manufacturing in America we've found these ways to cover for that lack of tax revenue and income. Starting with Reagan we used America's good credit to borrow more and more of our necessary funds. Greenspan's fed came up a bunch of clever financial manipulations to dump money into the economy. None of this is sustainable, we have an awful trade deficit and when that money leaves America it comes back as debt. Gonna watch it in the AM thanks April

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I agree with everything you say except for the belief that the rich end up losing money they try to hoard. They still end up with a net gain. $120 billion in 2010.

[-] -2 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

The last person to really drive Trickle down was Reagan, who inherited as terrible economy. With trickle down the rich got exponentially richer and the poor did better as well. Grant it not as well as the rich but anyone who thought that would happen is living in a fairy tale. Plus about 3 years after Reagan took office the economy boomed. We experience a time of great prosperity for 20 years which is quite incredible considering most booms only last 5-10 years. Same holds true to recessions which are also inevitable. What really concerns me is if the EU collapses the world will be pushed into a depression. If it does you have Greece to thank for that with their Socialism and ridiculous benefits.

God Bless America and all of you. Happy New Year.

[+] -6 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

So you ate saying that the rich didn't work for their mOney like you. I think that is a pretty far reach.

What do you want the government to do with this extra money just transfer it to othes? And you realize that if rates go up enough it moves the incentive to avoid taxes like happened back when the highest bracket was 90%.

I for one don't want that government intrusion on my life and I would vote against it.

[-] 7 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The most profitable industries in the world (energy, healthcare, finance) have been given billions in government handouts and tax breaks. Meanwhile, they keep raising charges causing hardship for millions. With all those massive handouts, tax breaks, and obscene charges, profits rise to record high levels. Millions in bonuses are paid to the executives. With record high profits, record high dividends are paid. 1/2 of all dividends in the United States are paid to the richest one percent. The bottom 95 percent of Americans share about 3 percent (that's three percent) of all dividends. The rest are paid to the top 5 percent and foreign investors. All of this causes a gradual concentration of wealth and income. This results in a net loss for the lower majority who find it more and more difficult to cover the record high cost of living, which again, is directly proportional to record high profits for the rich. As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, more and more financial aid becomes necessary. Most of which goes right back to the health care industry through Medicare, Medicaid, and a very expensive prescription drug plan. This increases government spending. This has been happening for 30 years now. During the same time, tax rates have been lowered drastically for the richest one percent. Especially those who profit from investments. These people pay only 15 percent on capital gains income. As even more wealth concentrates, the lower majority find it more difficult to sustain there share of the consumer driven economy. Demand drops as more and more people go broke. Layoffs results. Unemployment rises. This results in less revenue and more government debt.

Massive subsidies and tax breaks for Wall Street, massive tax breaks for the super rich, heavy concentration of wealth, record high charges along with record high profits and record high cost of living, more hardship for the lower majority, more government spending in the form of financial aid to compensate, more concentration of wealth, less demand, layoffs and unemployment. All of this results in slower economy and less tax revenue. At the same time more and more financial aid becomes necessary. It's a horrible downward cycle which gradually pushes the national debt higher and higher.

The other big factors are the wars in the Middle East. One of which was waged to protect the primary resource of the oil industry. This industry has not contributed one dime to the effort. Instead, they reap record high profits and lobby for continued tax breaks and subsidies.

This post is not intended to excuse those who sit on the couch collecting welfare, make no attempt to find work, or squease out kids they can't provide for.

[-] -2 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I agree with you regarding the tax breaks that certain corporations receive. The best way to eliminate favoritism is to take the government out of the equations. Flatten and simplify the tax code and all of those subsidies go away. Eliminate Federal bailouts- no more AIGs- and let the chips fall and I guarantee bad behavior will go away.

This issue is not political it is human nature. I might think that solar power is gear but I don't want somebody in WA deciding how to spend my money and give it to one of their friends.

It won't pass because it takes to much power away, but the flat tax where all forms of income are treated the same with the full elimination of deductions would solve a lot. It will never happen. People here are worried about other things than themselves.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Great points. I would be all for a flat business tax with zero subsidies. If they threatened to relocate, we could tell them to keep their over-priced crap out as well.

[-] 3 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

Where did you learn to read? I just said that that a capitalist economy that is dependent on the consumer. When the consumer has no money the capitalists also loose the money they have been working so hard to hoard. Do I need to find another way to say that for you ?

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I understood every word.

But this, "In short that money the rich try to hoard just goes away when the economy gets so imbalanced. It really should be called trickle away economics.", I can't agree with. Unless you're referring only to that portion of profits that are reinvested in a lost market. In which case, those funds are transferred to another entity. They don't just vanish. Unless, you're referring to stock values and the potential for further profits, in which case I agree with you. But with phrases like "that money the rich try to hoard just goes away" and "trickle away economics", you imply that the rich don't end up with a net gain. They have. $120 billion in a single year.

I'm pretty sure we agree on this. In which case, we're on the same team. Lets not screw that up over a simple communication gap.

[-] -2 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

You ate stuck on poor people vs rich people. The best form of handout that a person can receive is a job. People only hoard, which I am defining as not spending, when they are either concerned about the future or paying down debt. In those cases the money sits at the bank and there is decreased demand for those monies for the same reason- people don't want to incur the liability.

I'm not sure what the difference is between poor and rich people in these scenarios.

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 2 years ago

Studies haver shown that the best balance between incentive and revenue for the highest income bracket is at 74% -- so I would go a touch lower but 60% on every penny over a million would work!

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

That one policy alone would do wonders. Especially if it were implemented worldwide.

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 2 years ago

Do a simple 3 tiered system 1-100 K = 20%, 100K to 1 Million = 40% and 1 million + = 60%

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

So somebody is paying 60% of their income in Fed taxes. I don't think there is much incentive their to work.

[-] 1 points by jeivers (278) 2 years ago

On income over a million - and yeah you make 30 mill you are still going to work for the 12 million take home pay.

We had a 91% Top tax braket after WWII - how do you think we paid off the massive debt we had coming out of that war ???

[-] -2 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Because the tax rates are so high it raises the incentive to avoid taxes hence you get increased deductions and shelters. People react to tax policy, why do you think Di many rich people live in Incline Village.

[-] 2 points by jeivers (278) 2 years ago

Bull - no matter the tax rate the rich will try to cheat and avoid their taxes so your argument is Bull -- greed is greed is greed !!!

[-] -2 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

The facts don't support your argument. If you look at the effective tax rate paid by just the 1% over the past 50 years it had not moved much at all while the total percentage of tax that they pay goes up and down. When the rate is high they pay a smaller percentage while at a lower rate they pay a higher percentage do this tells you that when the top rate hits a certain point it is more advantageous for them to spend efforts in avoiding taxes.

[-] 2 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

There was no

"some US wealth was gradually transferred back down to the majority"

We created jobs, the working and middle classes worked all their lives to get what they had. Please don't denigrate working class people with this lie.

I wrote this, and now I offer it to you.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/12/1015409/-Taxing-the-rich-promotes-smart-investments,-not-class-warfare?via=blog_694100

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I thought I sensed an odd vibe from your previous replies. I even let a falsehood slide because I wasn't sure what to make of you (The entry level household income for the richest one percent is not $340,000. Its more like $370,000+.).

Mistakes happen. We all make them. Just yesterday, I referred to a newt as a reptile. I don't know what the hell I was thinking at the time but its an amphibian. The point is this: I'm still not sure what to make of you. Fellow protestor devoted to a similar cause? Or something else? Why the attitude if we're on the same team?

You're the first person out of dozens who have replied to my entries with an assumption that I was somehow denigrating the middle and working classes with my claim (damn true) that some wealth was gradually transferred back down to the majority. On top of that wild assumption, you called it a lie.

Damn right they worked for it. Those men and women were the backbone of our country. Especially during WWII. But with that massive infusion of new currency, inflation, and higher taxes, some of their pay was essentially drawn back down from the rich. The creation of net wealth is near impossible to measure accurately, but those figures I quoted are legit. There certainly was a partial redistribution of wealth. Of actual buying power. In fact, the lowest quintile ended up with the highest gain as a percentage of income. But I never even implied that they didn't earn every penny of it. Every damn penny.

I probably will read what you wrote. In fact, judging from the title, it may be very similar to views I hold about 'smart investments'. I won't know for sure unless I read it. But if we are on the same team, and I suspect that we are, lets take it easy with the attitude. I wasn't denigrating those middle and working classes. They never should have been raped to begin with.

[-] 2 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

"Damn right they worked for it."

Now you're talking.

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Great. We are on the same team. I wasn't sure there for a minute.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

I see a difference between redistribution of wealth, and Working for what you earn.

From a framing aspect, right wingers like the Robin Hood story, Libs just want to tax the rich and give to the poor.

No we dont, we believe a person should work for what they get. I want people to consider framing., maintain the narrative that working families worked for what they got, they earned.

[-] 3 points by lgarz (287) from New York, NY 2 years ago

So, you believe a person should work for what they get??? Really??? In my experience, the more money you make the less actual "Work" you do!

People who pick cotton 12 Hrs. a day aint making Millions. The Farmer who hires them and sits on his ass Watching them "Work" is the Millionaire!

What "Work:" did Trump do to get his money???

What "Work" Did the Koch Brothers do to make their money???

What "Work" did Madoff do to make his Millions???

What "Work" did Newt do to make his money???

Please! Working families work damn hard for the little bit of Cash they make. I don't consider being Born Rich, or sitting behind a desk giving orders, "Work!"

A Garbage man "Works!" A Teacher "Works!" Nurses "Work!" Cab Drivers Work! The Koch Boys??? They sit around all day counting their money and complaining about how "Lazy" Their employees are!

[-] 0 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

You might consider reading the comment thread in its entirety. I would suggest you start here

We created jobs, the working and middle classes worked all their lives to get what they had. Please don't denigrate working class people with this lie.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/12/1015409/-Taxing-the-rich-promotes-smart-investments,-not-class-warfare?via=blog_694100

Thoughts?

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Most working families have earned what they have. But when you have a tiny minority who reap obscene profits and outrageous income using the same two hands, and making all efforts physical and mental within the same limits of time, space, strength, and energy, and do so in part, from the benefit of corporate welfare, those obscene profits and outrageous incomes can not be justified. Therefore, they didn't 'earn' so much to begin with.

Then you have the relationship between distribution of wealth and economic and social stability to consider. Nearly every developed nation in the world is now riddled with fear, instability, and rising debt. Their financial wealth for the most part, is concentrated at record high levels. This concentration has put the prosperity of an entire world in jeopardy. I'm still convinced that every major economy in the world will be in recession by 2015. Almost entirely because of greed.

No redistribution. No recovery.

[-] 0 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Right. Except I would say before 2015. The EU contagion could take down the global economy in 2012.

My main point is I dont like to use the word redistribution.

I like the phrase incentivizing capital flow to create US Jobs.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

"When the lower majority finally ran low on money to spend, profits declined and the stock market crashed."

That is your reason for the 1929 stock market crash?

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Damn right. Albert Einstein and Mariner Eccles both felt the same way about it. I will not attribute the crash of an entire market to short term financial gimmicks. Virtually all returns on all investments are based ultimately on profits made from consumers. Therefore, when you concentrate too much wealth, you shrink the middle class and expand the lower class. Demand is reduced. Virtually all financial gimmicks regardless of their complexity are based on demand. The rare exceptions can not crash an entire market. So don't feed me some crap that one short term financial gimmick or another crashed the market or caused the Great Depression. That just won't wash with me.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/Bierman.crash

The above line is an informative detailed look at the events leading up the Crash of 1929 and the various causes.

I couldn't find anything on Einstein or Eccles' thoughts that the crash was caused by the lack of money to invest in the market. Do you have a source?

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Does the "detailed look" make one single reference to the record high concentration of wealth reached in 1929? If not, its diversionary hogwash.

John Kenneth Galbraith and Marriner Eccles Explained 50 Years Ago that Inequality Causes Crashes

Preface: If you think that only liberals are concerned about inequality, please read this.

In his definitive study of the Great Depression, The Great Crash, 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:

There seems little question that in 1929, modifying a famous cliche, the economy was fundamentally unsound. This is a circumstance of first-rate importance. Many things were wrong, but five weaknesses seem to have had an especially intimate bearing on the ensuing disaster. They are:

(1) The bad distribution of income. In 1929 the rich were indubitable rich. The figures are not entirely satisfactory, but it seems certain that the five per cent of the population with the highest incomes in that year received approximately one-third of all income. The proportion of personal income received in the form of interest, dividends, and rent – the income, broadly speaking, of the well-to-do – was about twice as great as in the years following the Second World War.

This highly unequal income distribution meant that the economy was dependent on a high level of investment or a high level of luxury consumer spending or both. The rich cannot buy great quantities of bread. If they are to dispose of what they receive it must be on luxuries or by way of investment in new plants and new projects. Both investment and luxury spending are subject, inevitably, to more erratic influences and to wider fluctuations than the bread and rent outlays of the $25-week workman. This high bracket spending and investment was especially susceptible, one may assume, to the crushing news from the stock market in October 1929.

Galbraith wrote that in 1954.

Marriner S. Eccles - Federal Reserve chairman from 1934 to 1948 - made a similar point in his 1951 book Beckoning Frontiers:

As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth -- not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced -- to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation's economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.

Numerous prominent economists in government and academia have since agreed that large inequalities can cause - or at least contribute to - financial crises, including:

Robert Shiller

Raghuram Rajan

Robert Reich

Mark Thoma

Emmanuel Saez

Thomas Piketty

David Moss

Kemal Dervi

Michael Kumhof

Romain Rancière

Robert Wade

David Ruccio

Paul Krugman and Simon Johnson are also open to the possibility..

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/02/john-kenneth-galbraith-explained-that.html

Some of Einsteins comments regarding the concentration of wealth and the relationship to economic instability were made in a long essay published in 1949. First, a quote, then a link.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

http://patrickmylund.com/blog/albert-einstein-on-capitalism-and-socialism/

Just for the record: I don't want socialism. I never have. I never will. I want modest capitalism.

[-] 8 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Check this out:

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. Note: This claim was made by Forbes.com in April of '10'. Shortly after, they published a followup article which included a rebuttal by Exxon Mobil. Forbes.com did acknowledge a mistake based on incorrect line items filed by Exxon Mobil. http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2010/04/07/exxon-says-it-does-pay-u-s-income-taxes

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

Those are just the top 10. There are dozens more on the list.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

what are you doing?

these stats need to be on their own Forum Post!

let me help ya with that . . .

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Thanks on behalf of all those fed up with corporate welfare.

[-] 2 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

here's the link

and hey,

just doin' my part man. Thanks for bringing them in.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Do you have citations for any of this, or are these just numbers that are getting forwarded around with no references? Just curious...

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I just went and dug it up for you. The link is to an article published by the Christian Science Monitor in April of this year. It makes reference to a study done by Citizens for tax Justice. First, the link and then, the most relevant quote.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0415/Taxes-and-the-rich-How-much-do-they-pay-now

Who pays how much

To put it in numbers, according to the analysis, the top 1 percent of earners account for 20.3 percent of total personal income in the United States and pay 21.5 percent of all federal and state taxes. The middle 20 percent of households earn 11.6 percent of US income and pay 10.3 percent of taxes. The lowest 20 percent account for just 3.5 percent of income, and pay 2 percent of all taxes.

The numbers were reported by Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group that supports progressive tax rates, and drawn from calculations by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Note that these numbers look at the broad mix of US taxes, not just income taxes. Federal gas taxes, payroll taxes, and state sales taxes offset the progressive tilts of the income tax and estate tax.

This isn't the only source to confirm the issue. Its one of many. Unfortunately, the web is flooded with the less informative statistics regarding Federal Income Taxes. The pundits on TV and radio are all sold out. They never tell the full story. So very few people are aware of these broad statistics which prove that the lower and middle classes pay about the same rate overall as a percentage of income.

Just one final note. This particular article was just the first that addressed the issue from the long list of search results. It almost certainly makes reference to a study which is several years old. It may not include capital gains, 40% of which go to the top one percent. It does not include city taxes, sales taxes, or fees. I have another study printed which indicates a 4 or 5 percent spread in total taxes paid by quintile as a percentage of income. There are dozens of charts and figures including some from the CBO which indicate that the richest one percent took 24% of the total income in 2007. It is frustrating to read conflicting statistics. But the most in depth and recent study I've seen was published by Richard Wolff earlier this year. It was based on 2007 fugures and indicated that the richest one percent took home 24% of total income in America in 2007. The most recent statistics regarding income, which I've posted several times here, show a huge gain of $120 billion in income for the richest one percent in 2010. Their tax rates remain at all time lows.

Because of conflicting statistics, inclusions, and report dates, I made my claims at the top of this page with a disclaimer stating that my comparisons between percentiles and quintiles were within 5 percent. I think thats safe to say.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Thank you, much appreciated. Very interesting.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

To put it in numbers, according to the analysis, the top 1 percent of earners account for 20.3 percent of total personal income in the United States and pay 21.5 percent of all federal and state taxes. The middle 20 percent of households earn 11.6 percent of US income and pay 10.3 percent of taxes. The lowest 20 percent account for just 3.5 percent of income, and pay 2 percent of all taxes.

If I am ready this correctly .. it seems the top1% actually pay the most personal tax ?

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I never disputed that. They also have the largest share of income. Far higher than the next percentile. They pay a slightly higher rate than the middle class. The 2nd percentile pays the highest rate of all. But none of these statistics take corporate tax breaks and subsidies into account. The benefits of corporate welfare are passed on primarily to the richest one percent.

[-] -1 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

well you did say " the lower and middle class pay about the same rate overall ", when in fact according to the statistics you presented ..all three classes pay about the same rate with the top class paying slightly higher.

the thing is comparing numbers can be very misleading when using percentages .. it is a technique used by many to reinforce their claim .. by out of context manipulation.

if you were too look at it on an individual basis .. and say the lower class pays on average $5000 in tax annually .. while the upper class pays on average $50 million annually .. per person .. than the stament would not support the argument of the rich paying less taxes .. and we also seem to unmention the millions of jobs created by the rich and the fact that each job not only supports a family but also contributes to the general tax revenue .. surely politicians see this .. a business employs 10, 000 people and each person pays $5000 in annual tax .. that is a huge contribution.. with a total 50 million additional tax revenue created by said employer .. where as none of these 10 000 jobs would payt ax at all if not for employment ..

so to just point out a sparkle of statistics here and there .. does not nearly paint the whole picture ..

my added thoughts for the day ..

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

We've been through this. Small businesses with total annual revenue under $500,000 create more jobs and share more wealth dollar for dollar. They do so with far fewer tax breaks and subsidies. Often with none at all. They are not owned by the rich. They are owned by the upper and middle classes. Thats not to say that I want the rich out of business. I only want them brought down a peg or two.

When its all said and done, the rich concentrate way too much wealth even after taxes and job creation. They cause the middle class to shrink and the lower class to expand. This results in more need for financial aid. This increases government spending. The model simply can not work any longer.

I don't post manipulated arguments. The statistics I post are hardly a 'sparkle'. Funny. You had nothing but positive things to say about me yesterday. Now, you're responding with opposing arguments on just about every issue.

I'm beginning to think that you're pissed off at me because of our disagreement earlier. I've even considered the remote possibility that you're a plant. You have called several times for an end to the very concept of private industry. I told you very politely that I will never support that idea. I think its going way too far. Its outright communism.

If you truly want communism, then pursue that goal. I don't see it as an evil system. I won't hold it against you personally. But as I said before, it will give OWS a bad name. Americans don't want communism.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

bring them down a notch or two..

well that is everyones dream.. quite frankly.

..I just feel raising taxes will expand the lower class even further, .. create added weight to the middleclass , and the rich will still be on top. ..somewhere..?

I certainly do not and have never advocated communism. What my plan entails has an hour coin .. something never before seen in history .. and with an hour coin there will be equal pay , and no more private enterprise .. plus no longer will the government collect taxes , because with an hour-coin system there is absolutely no limit how many coins can be printed .. everyone will have a job at what they most desire with consideration towards their abilities and the overall health of the world. It's a system never before considered or dreamed of by any tyrant capitalist , communist, or socialist.. it's the perfect system..

with an hour coin it gives us the freedom of unlimited currency ,, but the trade off is simply it will only work and function with the other components I mentioned . there has to be equal pay ..and no longer private enterprise.. so I've been tossing these ideas out individually ..not reallyknowing surely where/how to introduce such a "radical proposal.

"how could anyone not be interested in unlimited currency!"

here is something to leave you with to ponder over ..:

Money is just a number , and numbers have no limit .. our resources have limits , our workforce has limits , but numbers have no limits ... but yet we have a system where we put a limit on how much money we can print .. and this limit impedes everything .. including the full use of our workforce , and resources. it's is quite frankly an back assward system we are using ..

and just to add, the 2nd suggestion I've been making I call a "patch"

It leaves the current capitalist system in place but adds a CAP on profits . this will balance the ship and get us to dry land .. but doesn't perfect capitalism .. just buys us some time , to hopefully avoid a deep recession .

Peace.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You should create a page explaining your proposal in more detail.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

DO not send me the link to that page.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Never the less, diplomatic. With much left unsaid, discretion is the better part of Valor.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

The hour coin proposal will create an unlimited budget. His will have an enormous positive outcome. Also the hour-coin system removes/abolishes the tax collecting system.

Does communism collect tax? Does communism have an unlimited budget?

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

If you have equal pay then there is no incentive to work and achieve.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

Equal pay may infact improve incentive. As unfair inequalities create hoplessness amongst many and thus depletes incentive.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Not all workers are the same and produce the same. Some are better and some are worse. You need the goods ones to produce.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

true .. but some workers are good at somethings and others at something else .. its all about proper positioning the workforce .. and since all jobs are necessary .. and all people being equal .. we will have equal pay.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

I looked at the IRS website, I can't find a listing for "personal tax".

Is it possible that its something you made up, out of whole cloth?

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 2 years ago

Perhaps you should say something intelligent instead.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Yeah, I know. Instead just making stuff up... like "Personal tax" or Individual tax".

I've heard of Income tax and Corporate tax. SO has the IRS.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Wrong again. No you should have not said Individual tax. These are your choices:

Income tax

Corporate tax

Estate Tax

Capital Gains tax

Excise tax

And Payroll taxes.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

These are your choices: Income tax

Corporate tax

Estate Tax

Capital Gains tax

Excise tax

And Payroll taxes.

You cannot choose personal tax or individual tax, you have to use a factual item, you are not allowed to just make stuff up.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

IRS doesnt charge an equal tax. Maybe someday you'll learn to use the right words.

Maybe not.

[-] 2 points by Revolutionary (267) 1 year ago

Money is actually a tool of control which has taken the form of what could be called the token of trust though no body actually trusts their (contemporary type of) governments.The governments play games/tricks with the people.People know that governments print money arbitrarily which are actually presented before the people in the form of a so to say a good argument yet the governments tax people and do not use other good fiscal and financial methods to make the system fair.What is needed is that people must realise that when they complain against their governments they are actually complaining against a MONSTER organised systematically.Which only needs a systematic organisation to overthrow their governments.

[-] 2 points by bigdog187 (47) 1 year ago

Excellent information here, and a very well written article. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21079) 1 year ago

Raising taxes on the rich. That should still be part of our demands.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

a current system of ownership and payment both of money and property

creates a flow of money towards the owners and the banks

which is not returned to to the general populous

[-] 2 points by forOWS (161) 2 years ago

It's called a Regressive Tax. You spread the tax burden out over most of the people in this country. The less you make the higher your tax rate. And it may not seem like a lot when you are only making minimum wage so what they take out in taxes looks small because your paycheck is also small. A Progressive Tax would raise taxes on the rich.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Just to be crystal clear. Are you claiming that the poor and middle class actually pay a higher rate as a percentage of income than the rich?

[-] 2 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

It's just not true that the amount the rich pay is so overwhelmingly higher than the rest of us. If you add in sales taxes, property taxes, taxes that are called something else like license fees, Social Security and Medicare, the percentages that the rich pay shrink in comparison.

And of course, they pay those percentages of income tax because they have that much in taxable income. So let's add in non-taxed income, like that from municipal bonds and the much larger amounts they have in tax shelters like maxed-out 401(k)s, and the percent that the super-rich pay shrinks even more.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You may be right. But I havn't seen any studies to indicate that.

[-] 4 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

The "not true" referred to the claim that the rich pay 37% and the poor pay none. I see why my wording was not clear, and I've edited it.

The point I was making is that every time I've seen a claim of the rich paying a huge percentage of taxes, it was based on the income tax alone. That's misleading.

So basically, I'm agreeing with what you posted, but looking at the factors involved somewhat differently.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Start here for cap gains info

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=161

Then compare taxable net gain and taxable net loss left side of chart, Then further down on the right side. long term cap gains and loss, and then net gains and losses from sales of capital assets.

I think that might be HELPFUL

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=339

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Thanks for the links!

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Are you thinking of Excise taxes?

Or are just making stuff up?

[-] 0 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

No. And no.

The super rich like to claim that they pay an overwhelmingly large percentage of the taxes in this country. To make that claim, they ignore the many taxes paid by everyone, even the poorest.

In addition, they have access to income that isn't taxed. One example is when CEO's get what's called a gross up, which means that they not only get a huge amount of money from the corporation, but the corporation also pays their income tax for them.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

So what's the point and what do you want? Of course those who make more get taxed more and pay a higher amount of taxes. Why are you attacking those that are successful?

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Dysfunctional reader alert!

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Oh that's clever?

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Why do you support those corrupt and greedy people?

You think being born into 100 million dollars is being successful?

You really think that those 433,000 families with income over 1 million dollars a year actually worked for that Money?

Please tell me what drugs you're on, they must be really good.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I support treating everybody the same not putting people into classes. I do not care if most people have more money than me , I worry about myself and my family because i have to feed and take care of the. Why should I try to tear done Steve Jobs or Jamie Dimon just because they are more successful than me.

Isn't the ability to care for your family and have wealth for them the point of the US. That's what we were founded on, the freedom to pursue your dreams. Steve Jobs had a dream, Steve Wynn had a dream, Jamie Dimon had a dream and they worked for it and accomplished it. I admire them.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Amazing. Its like you can't even read.

[-] 2 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

All I know is that I make minimum wage and I do pay taxes. They are intentionally and willfully lying when claiming I pay no federal income taxes.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

Come April 15 you get it all back right?

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Nope. I've seen this before with my son. You do have to pay taxes. Period. The politicians are lying.

[-] 2 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

The stat that seems to never be reported is the one that tells us how much of a percent of a person's income goes to taxes. If I make 2 grand a month and have to pay sales tax on food and other necessities then I have nothing remaining but a wealthy person can buy something and it doesn't even effect them.

The wealthy want servants and slavery to return to better stroke their egos.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 1 year ago

Those pesky burger-flippers and grocery clerks created the derivative, hedge-fund, mortgage-backed security financial meltdown. It is now time for those Waskily Wabbits to pay.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

In order that the recourses reach the people

the people must have money to purchase the resources

entrepreneurs will work to get those people's money by filling that need

due to private ownership and central organized distribution

that money will end up in the hands of the clever and efficient few

but when the people stop having money the resources stop flowing.

A system that provided a continuous sources of money to the people

is healthy for both society and entrepreneurs.

Money to the people can be provided by taxing money from where money collects in pools.

Those pools should be allowed to exceed top total money in circulation so entrepreneurs can still work to become rich.

but those pools need to be taxed to keep the money in the system.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

well i dont see how raising taxes on the rich puts anything into my familys pockets, can we tax the rich and give the extra money to the poor and not the government?

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Here are the actual unemployment statistics:

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

We are currently at an actual unemployment rate of about 23%. Please note that this real unemployment number includes, "...long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994."

Currently, when unemployment benefits run out, or a person simply gives up looking because there are no jobs, the U.S. Government claimes that the people are to be literally disposed of like human trash. So, they are defined into oblivion.

Here is a record of the unemployment rate during the Great Depression:

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1528.html

Note that in 1933 the real unemployment rate peaked out at ~25% (now ~23%). In 1932 it was 23.5%.

Oh by golly look at that! Why it looks like we have a pattern match. The U.S. Government and MSM is telling a GIANT BIG LIE, and the majority of the public actually believes the lie.

On the big lie being told to us about inflation. It is currently at about 11.1%. Here is the source:

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

http://www.shadowstats.com/article/no-400-budget-deficit-reality-october-cpi-industrial-production?hldiv=cpi_3#cpi_3

So, not only are we at depression level unemployment, we are having wage deflation, and we are having inflation. Add this all up and you find there is a major catastrophy developing. This is not over by a long shot.

Hope this helps.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

It helps. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by AndyJ0hn (129) 2 years ago

dont raise taxes - make government smaller!

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

In 2007, the richest one percent reaped 24% of all US income. They owned 43% of all financial wealth in America. It's getting even worse. In 2010, the lower 98% lost $4.5 billion in collective income. That same year, the richest one percent reaped ANOTHER $120 BILLION. All in a single year.

This obscene, immoral, illogical, and unjust concentration of wealth will cause the next Great Depression.

That right. The rich will cause the next Great Depression simply by getting even richer.

[-] 1 points by AndyJ0hn (129) 2 years ago

the government makes the regulatory regime to allow this to happen!

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

what a waste of time.

[-] 1 points by 99time (90) 2 years ago

The Center for Budget Policies and Priorities does excellent work on tax analysis. Here is the main page for federal taxes. http://www.cbpp.org/research/index.cfm?fa=topic&id=30

The Center is probably most famous for this article:

Tax Rate for Richest 400 Taxpayers Plummeted in Recent Decades, Even as Their Pre-Tax Incomes Skyrocketed The top 400 households paid 16.6 percent of their income in federal individual income taxes in 2007, down from 30 percent in 1995... [Meanwhile,] The average pre-tax income of this group rose by over 400 percent between 1992 and 2007, equivalent to a $275 million increase per person, after adjusting for inflation. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3090

Misconceptions and Realities About Who Pays Taxes

A recent finding by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation that 51 percent of households owed no federal income tax in 2009 [1] is being used to advance the argument that low- and moderate-income families do not pay sufficient taxes...

The 51 percent figure covers only the federal income tax and ignores the substantial amounts of other federal taxes — especially the payroll tax — that many of these households pay ... When all federal, state, and local taxes are taken into account,the bottom fifth of households paid 16.3 percent of their incomes in taxes, on average, in 2010...

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

The Center also covers many other areas of economic activity.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Thanks for the latest info and the links. I will check them out. Especially, those figures for 2010.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

Taxes are taken regularly during the entire year and the IRS is earning interest on all that money so even if a person manages to get every dollar that was paid over that year back, the IRS still earned interest. FYI - just because you did get a refund does not mean you didn't pay any taxes.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

fuckin repelicans need a slap, that's for sure . . .

and speaking of slapping repelicans . ...

Action Alert: Stop the End Run On The KeyStone XL PipeLine

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I hate it when they refuse to let a proposition stand on it's own. They can't even pass an extension of the payroll tax cuts for ordinary people without mutating the bill with an entirely separate proposal. I don't have an opinion about the pipeline yet but I do know that it's a separate issue.

Chumps.

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

It is a separate issue. The fuckers are holding unemployed Americans hostage to passage of the Pipeline.

I've got links to resources if you want to look into it to develop an opinion - one is to the NYT, and that has several links on it's own, plus there are two contained in the Credo Action email I posted on the forum link:

Action Alert: Stop the End Run On The KeyStone XL PipeLine

[-] 1 points by TheTrollSlayer (347) from Kingsport, TN 2 years ago

Here is a list of 30 Big US Companies that paid LESS THAN ZERO, in other word's our government owes them at the end of the year, for the last 3 years. http://goo.gl/Jc3KO CEO's are rated on they're to write everything they can off their taxes. The rich you say, what all can they by theirselves write off. Thats not paying squate.

[-] 1 points by barb (835) 2 years ago

Who do you think paid for all those politicians to make tax laws that were entirely for the benefit of the rich so they didn't have to pay any money out of their pocket? The 1%!

[-] 1 points by TheTrollSlayer (347) from Kingsport, TN 2 years ago

They were doing that for the 20 or 30 years over time.

[-] 1 points by TheStop (53) 2 years ago

the rich do pay over 100,000 a year each. You can dislike this and yell at me all you want, but it is true.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The entry level household income for the richest one percent is $370,000+. It skyrockets all the way to 10 figures from there. So you have finally made a statement that is basically true. But its hardly an argument.

Next.

[-] 0 points by OLLAG (84) 2 years ago

yes an argument. I proved the rich do pay more taxes then the poor.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

In 2007, the richest one percent reaped 24% of all US income. They owned 43% of all financial wealth in America. It fluctuated slightly for a year or so because of the recession but now the trend is back in high gear. In 2010, the lower 98% lost $4.5 billion in collective income. That same year, the richest one percent reaped ANOTHER $120 BILLION. All in a single year.

This obscene, immoral, illogical, and unjust concentration of wealth will cause the next Great Depression.

That right. The rich will cause the next Great Depression simply by getting even richer.

[-] 1 points by OLLAG (84) 2 years ago

Last I checked the recession ended in April. So if the rich are getting richer...the economy is still getting better.

You shouldn't blame rich people for every problem. Money isn't what it is cracked up to be.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The recession technically ended in June of '09'. That's not a recovery.

I don't blame the rich for every problem. Just this year, a tree fell over in my yard. I don't think the rich had much to do with it.

But I do blame the rich primarily for the record high cost of living, the shrinking middle class, the expanding lower class, the debt crisis in the US and Europe, rising fear, social instability, and the coming global depression.

If money isn't what it's cracked up to be, then why are the rich so incredibly determined to get all of it?

[-] 1 points by OLLAG (84) 2 years ago

They made businesses. They went out and created a business by going door to door to get money. Years ago Bill Gates could have showed up to your door (he was lower middle class) and asked for money to help him buy a small shop (which he did) and program his first computer.

Many of the rich start out poor.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Yeah. And many killers start out as cute babies.

[-] 1 points by TheStop (53) 2 years ago

well all killers do i guess...

But that is beside the point. You are the poor. You could become the rich.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

That about says it all. You need to take your schtick on the road. I am sure Americans everywhere will listen to you. How about just not blaming the rich, let's make it even better, how about the rich Irish. Or the rich Irish Catholics. It's there fault.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Here is a list of the top ten companies that not only paid little or no taxes but got huge corporate welfare from we the people.

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings. Note: This claim was made by Forbes.com in April of '10'. Shortly after, they published a followup article which included a rebuttal by Exxon Mobil. Forbes.com did acknowledge a mistake based on incorrect line items filed by Exxon Mobil. http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2010/04/07/exxon-says-it-does-pay-u-s-income-taxes

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

You cut and pasted again, man your fast with your fingers. Your significant other must love you...or should I not even ask.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

The most profitable industries in the world (energy, healthcare, finance) have been given billions in government handouts and tax breaks. Meanwhile, they keep raising charges causing hardship for millions. With all those massive handouts, tax breaks, and obscene charges, profits rise to record high levels. Millions in bonuses are paid to the executives. With record high profits, record high dividends are paid. 40% of all dividends in the United States are paid to the richest one percent. All of this causes a gradual concentration of wealth and income. This results in a net loss for the lower majority who find it more and more difficult to cover the record high cost of living, which again, is directly proportional to record high profits for the rich. As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, more and more financial aid becomes necessary. Most of which goes right back to the health care industry through Medicare, Medicaid, and a very expensive prescription drug plan. This increases government spending. This has been happening for 30 years now. During the same time, tax rates have been lowered drastically for the richest one percent. Especially those who profit from investments. These people pay only 15 percent on capital gains income. As even more wealth concentrates, the lower majority find it more difficult to sustain there share of the consumer driven economy. Demand drops as more and more people go broke. Layoffs results. Unemployment rises. This results in less revenue and more government debt.

Massive subsidies and tax breaks for Wall Street, massive tax breaks for the super rich, heavy concentration of wealth, record high charges along with record high profits and record high cost of living, more hardship for the lower majority, more government spending in the form of financial aid to compensate, more concentration of wealth, less demand, layoffs and unemployment. All of this results in slower economy and less tax revenue. At the same time more and more financial aid becomes necessary. It's a horrible downward cycle which gradually pushes the national debt higher and higher.

The other big factors are the wars in the Middle East. One of which was waged to secure one of the largest oil reserves in the world. The oil industry has not contributed one dime to the effort. Instead, they reap record high profits and lobby congress for continued tax breaks and subsidies.

This post is not intended to excuse those who sit on the couch collecting welfare, make no attempt to find work, or squease out kids they can't provide for.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

You did again, come on disclose, do you get payed every time you post this. Let the rest of us in on this.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4759) 2 years ago

Hi ModestCapitalist, Wow! Thank you for post. Even with all this, the Republican answer to nations problems is to take our social security away, continue giving to the rich/corporations, and wreck the environment. Best Regards, Nevada

[-] 1 points by leavethecities (318) 2 years ago

Man says whose face on the dollar. Rich man says. George Washington. Man says give unto Washington what is Washington and give unto God what is Gods. Rich man exclaims George Washington is dead he doesnt need it..

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Income taxes amounted to 58.7% of federal revenue in 2010.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?DocID=203&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=21

SO the rich pay 37% of income taxes and own 43% of all the stuff... sounds like they need a tax increase to me.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

That may be true for 2010. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. I agree. It seems to me that they should at least pay a share relative to their share of financial wealth.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

No, they should pay at a level that creates stability. Otherwise arguements like whats fair, or what is a share relative to their share of financial wealth cloud the issue.

Whats important is a stable system that is egalitarian.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I already considered that. I still believe that every bracket should pay a rate relative to their share of financial wealth. Thats not to say proportional, but relative. The rich should pay a much higher rate when the financial wealth is heavily concentrated. Not quite as high when its not. That would help create stability.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Like I said, I probably will when I'm finished here for the night.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

I just saw that at your other comment. Sorry. Yes, we're on the same team, but I have strong opinions, and I'm a policy geek, been an advisor in a Congressional race. I have strong opinions, but am willing to back them up. And occasionally change them. After 4 years, I'm almost ready to endorse a carbon tax, which I prefer over feed in tariffs and cap & trade.

Peace.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Its cool. Glad to be on the same team. You seem like a knowledgeable guy. I will definitely read your article. Looking forward to it.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

I also know how to find stuff on the net, I know where things are. I have a feel for search engine algorithms. And I do a tremendous amount of research, and I'm better than most at connecting the dots.

In 2008 I made a list of banks, in order by how much in bad loans they had. Those banks failed in that order. I was working as an advisor in a Congressional race at the time, that list blew some minds.

Its been good.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Maybe you can help dig this up:

I would like to know how the collapse of the housing market broke down by income, credit score, mortgage debt, and equity levels. Basically, I'm sick of the poor and minorities being blamed for causing the collapse of the housing market. I know the market was deliberately and artificially inflated. I know that some irresponsible loans were made to lower income borrowers. But I also know that more than half of all foreclosures in 2007 were on homes sold for over $200,000. Those homes for the most part, were not sold to the poor and they were not sold to minorities.

I would like those statistics regarding income, credit score, mortgage debt, and equity levels. They probably aren't all in one place. They might not all be posted on the web. But I sure would like to check them out.

By the way, it would be very interesting to get some inside information from a former advisor in a Congressional race.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Hmm, some real detailed info. Thats a tuff one. I'd be interested too. In General terms the housing bubble comes down to two things, the 1999 repeal of the part of Glass Steagal II that separated banks is widely considered the main casue, see wiki Glass Steagal II. Secondly the 2000 Commodities and Futures Modernization Act created the financial instrument known as the credit default swap. This allowed banks to package the bad loans and move them to financial institutions outside the US.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

We might disagree on this one. I see those as top layers of a structure bound to fail regardless. Not the underlying cause. They don't explain why so many people, even those with traditional loans, failed to make their payments on time. They only explain how some used financial gimmicks to cash in or avoid losses. You can't drastically increase the cost of living, concentrate the wealth, shrink the middle class, and then expect the same percentage of borrowers to make their house payments on time. Its sort of like removing the fertile soil from 100 acres of farm land and then betting on which crops will fail first.

I'm not saying that irresponsible loan practices and financial gimmicks weren't a significant factor. They were. They artificially increased the market and encouraged insiders to act even more irresponsibly. I'm just saying that the market for traditional loans shrank along with the ability of traditional borrowers to pay as the cost of living rose and more income and bottom line wealth was concentrated. The housing market would have failed with or without sub-prime, the repeal of Glass Steagal, credit default swaps, or any other financial gimmick. Not as suddenly but it was bound to fail.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

We're not too far apart. I would add 2 major points/

I'll assume that policies that allowed the housing bubble to happen, if reversed, the housing bubble never happens. And in fact, those policies prevented any speculative bubbles to form from 1933 to the mid 80's.

Isnt the largest segment of failed mortgages in the ARM sector? 90% of sub prime mortgages in 2006 were ARM. By approximately 2003, the supply of mortgages originated at traditional lending standards had been exhausted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis

This why its known as the sub prime mortgage crisis,

That being said, stagnate wages, the housing bubble, easy credit 2000 to 2004 lending, securitization, leveraging, all contributed. But even the Cleveland Fed tells us the crisis starts in the sub prime arena.

As far as traditional mortgages failing, I think to a degree you answer your own question.

"You can't drastically increase the cost of living, concentrate the wealth, shrink the middle class, and then expect the same percentage of borrowers to make their house payments on time"

One the contagion gets started by the ARMs, it spreads. Once jobs start being shedded, those in the top 2% who bought McMansions based on income of 250k were screwed when they lost that job and had to take a job at 100k. But were talking about a nearly insignificant portion of homeowners, 1.5% make 250k or more.

Yes we have to go back at least-8-10-12 years and factor in many things, as you correctly state, into the overall picture of the crisis. If we look at declining wages we can look back 30+ years.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I don't have the statistics you refer to in the 2nd paragraph memorized but I'll take your word for it. I read the wikipedia article a while back. The bulk probably were ARM. I do know that the first sub-prime loans were made in 1994, they were incredibly profitable, and the market for sub-prime increased every year as the market for traditional home loans shrank.

If the Cleveland Fed tells us that the crisis starts in the sub-prime arena, then he should also tell us that the market for sub-prime starts in the shrinking the middle class arena. I just can't imagine the strong middle class of 1976 saying "Traditional home loan? No thank you. I'll take the sub-prime ARM loan that gives you the right to jack up the rate after 3 years, repossess when I can't pay on time, and leave me with virtually no equity to cash in on." I do imagine many relatively responsible people took those loans in the '90's and '00's because they wanted their share of the American Dream. Of all the decent middle class people I have known over the last 10 years or so, only one bought a McMansion.

I can hardly imagine what it must have been like for so many decent relatively responsible people to lose their only home and have virtually nothing or even a negative balance to show for it. It must have been gut wrenching for those with children.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

RE: 2nd paragraph

The 1986 Tax Reform Act removed something like 80% of deductions and exemption for emerging markets and technologies, to invest incountry, to create US Jobs. What resulted from the 86 TRA were incentives for overseas investments, and speculation.

Incentivizing the flow of capital to speculation increases capital flow into bubbles, the bubbles get bigger faster. See Dot com & Housing bubbles.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Ive been saying this for a while. Thank you for the great post.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You're welcome. Keep saying it. As you can see from the half-wit challenge I am about to respond to above, we are up against not only a powerful minority but also a very sensitive pen of spoiled brats.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I would just close the loopholes.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Back in the day we used loopholes to incentivize capital flow to create US jobs. Even though in 1980 the top rate on income tax was 70% none paid that, effective rates were about 30%. The 1986 Tax reform Act removed 80% of those incentives to create jobs. This is a major reason we know have a jobless recovery.

What I wrote here explains it in more detail.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/12/1015409/-Taxing-the-rich-promotes-smart-investments,-not-class-warfare?via=blog_694100

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

The Rich pay most of the taxes in this country. That's a fact.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The rich pay a significantly smaller percentage of their income on taxes than anyone else. 98% of their income is from capital gains, which are taxed at only 15%. They pay virtually nothing in income tax, as you and I do. They also pay virtually nothing on payroll taxes, and their contribution to SSRI is capped at 110 thousand dollars. You and I pay a FAR bigger chunk of our earnings on taxes than they do.

The total dollars going to the government may be more, but that's only because 15% of a million dollars is still more than 35% of 50 thousand.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Unfortunately, they nay sayers are too ignorant or dumbed down to do the math even when you lay it out for them.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Doesn't change the fact that they pay most of the taxes in this country. Do they use more of the country's resources? No. Do they get more than 1 vote per person? No.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

They don't need more than 1 vote per person: They buy whatever senator they want, and they write the legislation that is passed. They undermine the democratic process. They make YOUR vote meaningless.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Vote for the senator who won't fall for money then. It's still your vote. You got the same number of votes as the rich guy. Why should he have to pay more taxes?

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

There is no such thing as a Senator or Representative that isn't bought and paid for by the 1%. What planet are you from.

Those who keep voting, knowing that the candidates are bought-n-paid-for, are repeating the same mistake. Only the stupid people make the same mistake over-n-over.

It is like sticking a screwdriver into a wall socket. Once you get shocked the bright people stop. Only the stupid people keep sticking the screwdriver back into the socket.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

My vote doesn't matter. First, ALL candidates, before they even throw their hats in the ring, are vetted by the power/money elite. They then raise MORE money form that elite so that they can compete for office. Once in office, they owe favors to those that bankrolled them. And they are promised very lucrative investment opportunities by them and hundred thousand dollar speaking engagements and no-show jobs once they leave office.

They are bought and sold before, during and after their campaigns.

What do you think all the anger is all about is OWS and even the Tea Party? People have begun to realize that the entire system has been rigged.

Why would YOU say that a multi millionaire or billionaire should pay LESS a percentage of his income than YOU?

[-] 2 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

You should pay for what you use. Not for how successful you are. Everyone has the same right to profit off the same society.

Why should the poor not pay as much taxes as the rich? After all, the poor use more of the country's resources than the rich.

The rich don't use public schools, emergency rooms for routine checkups, unemployment benefits, welfare, foodstamps, public transit and more.

The poor use all of those resources. Looking at it this way, a flat tax would actually be unfair to the rich.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Your understanding of economics is on a par with your understanding of science: virtually zero.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I see I got you. No response to the substance of my post.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

That's because your post didn't address anything I said. You told me, essentially, to vote the bastards out. I responded that in the current system, that's impossible, because the infiltration of money into politics has been cemented and makes everyone's vote moot.

Your response? Consumption tax drivel. Its nothing more that a deflection, posing as a response.

What's more EVERY non-aligned, non-partisan economist in the whole fucking world knows that flat taxes are regressive, negatively impacting the poor disproportionately. It isn't even a question. And that's why I can confidently say that your knowledge of economics is zero. But maybe you can claim more expertise in economics than economists themselves have because you build and sell machines. It was a good enough argument for you about climatology, why not for economics, too?

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

A flat tax by definition is equal - every person pays the same amount.

Your regression theory is like Oprah giving a gift of a car to everyone attending her show, including a disabled person. It's an equal gift. It isn't Oprah's fault that the disabled person can't drive.

Here, it's the same. A flat tax is by definition equal. It's not my fault that you're poor.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The EFFECT of the flat tax is unequal. It also lowers the tax rate on the wealthy and raises it on the middle class. It also leads to greater income disparity.

It is regressive.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

EFFECT? Didn't understand my Oprah analogy huh? That's okay.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Reply to your post below.

You taught no one anything. You won't produce s your "scientific" studies because you don't have any to produce.

The inly think you have taught anyone is that you have unfounded contempt for those with less that you, and are therefore morally, ethically corrupt.

The reason most wealthy people are wealthy is inheritance. The reason most people are poor is that they were born poor. Intelligence and hard work have nothing to do with it. Born advantage or disadvantage does.

My degrees don;t prove anything one way or another. You are seeking to know about them only in order to create a straw man or an ad hominem argument. But in the interest of disclosure, I have a bachelor's degree, a masters degree, and stopped one class and a dissertation short of my PhD. I worked my way through school, sometimes with two jobs a full coarse lode. Being poor, school was very expensive despite my full tuition scholarship in undergraduate and 3/4 scholarship graduate school. I am currently in my fifties, and was awarded teacher of the year honors by the governor of my state.

You, on the other hand sound like you barely got you GED. If you went farther, you must have paid for your grades: you clearly never learned a thing.

You are a troll. I will not respond to your bile any further. And, oh, by the way. fuck you.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

What subjects were your bachelor and master degrees in? They are probably in joke subjects.

Because I doubt you are smart. People who are actually smart seldom claim that distinction and cite their IQ as proof. You probably made bad life decisions and are now just bitter that someone 20 years your junior is making a lot more than you with fewer hours.

No, most people make their own wealth. I paid my way through college 100%.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

This is a reply to your post below.

What studies? Post a link to them. I posted one to back up my claim. Have the guts to do the same.

I'm poor, have an IQ of 145 and work 12-16 hours a day.

FUCK YOU.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

I taught you something. If you want to learn more, use google. Don't be lazy. No one is going to spoonfeed you, or, for that matter, just give you money.

What job(s) do you have? And what degrees do you have?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

This is a reply to your post below.

It is what they are LEFT with that's the issue. Apparently you really CAN'T do the math.

As to poor people being lazier and dumber, fuck you.

[-] 0 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

It's not my fault they are poor. The percentage is still equal.

It's scientifically proven that the dumb and lazy make less money. Also in line with common sense.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I understood perfectly. You don't understand math.

Let's take you by the hand, since you like to make proclamations without actually thinking first.

If someone with an income of, say a million dollars a year pays a flat tax of 10%, he is left with $900,000.00 dollars.

If some makes $10,000.00 dollars a years, and is taxed 10%, he is left with $9,000.00 dollars. Math question: what does each person have at the end of 10 years?

The answer you get (if, that is, you can add) demonstrates a widening income gap. It provides further advantage to the already wealthy.

All studies have shown that flat taxes advantage the wealthy and deplete the middle class. And without subsidies, destroy the poor. Here's one (there are many others):

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/books.htm?chapterid=1758994

[-] -1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

The first guy pays 100k. The second guy only pays 1k. The first guy pays 100x more than the second guy, so that is unequal. The country provides the same services to both of them, so why should one pay 100x more than the other? Unfair.

Also, the guy making 10k is probably a lot lazier/dumber.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Hey, so what class do you teach?

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

He actually got you. His economics is correct but that seems to the phrase thrown around here- you don't know your economics. And you studied where?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You're right on about capital gains but its only a sliver of that 1% who reap 98% of their income from capital gains. I don't recall the size of that sliver but the majority of the 1% reap most of their income from salaries.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I don't believe that's true. I recently read an economics report that showed definitively that nearly 100% of the income for the top 1% come from capital gains, interest on investment, etc.

Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of the top tier became wealthy via inheritance, not work.

I would have to dig around for those reports,(and it would be a real pain) but will if you feel it necessary.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Actually, I would like to see those reports.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Not true. And most of them made their money themselves. Also, what's wrong with inheritance? If I work hard to make money, I should have the right to give it to my kids.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Absolutely true.

98% of all people in the top 1% were born in the top 1%. This reality is unprecedented in our nation's history. And they expanded their wealth through Wall Street and the Banks, real estate holdings and the like, not work. They employ hedge fund managers and accountants to increase their money. (Those hedge funds are, of course, off limits to the non-wealthy, often requiring a minimum of a million dollars to buy in.) We all hear about the Steve Jobs of the world, but they are the exceptions rather than the rule, by a HUGE margin.

The old possibility of raising oneself up by his own bootstraps has mostly become a quaint, nostalgic myth. We now live in a self-perpetuating plutocracy, determined to maintain their status at everyone else's expense. They will not give up their advantage without a fight. And that fight consists of crafting legislation to stifle competition, repress workers, and spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year in propaganda campaigns designed to divide the population with misinformation. Remember, they also own the media and control the legislative agenda. Politicians are not only "encouraged" to vote a particular way, but are even given their talking points by corporate interests when explaining their votes.

It is an utter perversion of democracy.

I never said there was anything wrong with inheritance. I merely explained that their income, because inherited and put into hedge funds and the like, is taxed at a significantly lower rate than than everyone else, since profit from capital gains is taxed at only 15%, while the rate for the middle class on actual EARNED income is closer to 27%.

They are not paying their fair share.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

epa1nter notes, "...The old possibility of raising oneself up by his own bootstraps has mostly become a quaint, nostalgic myth...."

I cannot believe that the public actually believes this deception. This despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Not true. Take a look at the Forbes 100. Gates, Other microsoft founder, Zuckerberg, 2 Google founders, Steve Jobs, Buffet. That's 7 I can name off the top of my head. 7% right there, and none of them were born to the 1%.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The top 1% consist oh a couple of hundred thousand people, not 100.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Epinio failed his basic math class. Go back to grade school please.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

It's illustrative and representative of the rest of the top 1%. You haven't given any facts or examples to show otherwise. Just your imagination.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

This post in in reply to your post below, (there is some sort of system malfunction happening)

Your first two sentences are quite a statement, and is wholly fabricated. The overwhelming majority of investors pay 15%. There are some special circumstances in which the rate is 25% or 28%, but they're rare.

As I said before, i can find the actual data, but it will take me some time to remember where it is, But I doubt you will ever read it, just as you didn’t read the climate science you were pointed to. You prefer the myth rather than the truth. You feel more obligated to defend the corruption of and by the wealthy than uphold the principles of democracy and fair play. The questions is, what fantasies are you harboring about become, miraculously, a member of that money/power elite? And are you seeing a professional about help with that delusion?

Simple math seems to elude you. If someone makes a million dollars a year and pays 15% in taxes, OF COURSE it is more than 27% of $60,000, the mean income in this country. But why should someone who has so much more be allowed to pay so much less than everyone else AS A PERCENTAGE of their income? Why that special advantage reserved for them? And why aren't you pissed as hell about the transparent unfairness of that?

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Most investors don't hold for over a year and pay regular income tax on short term capital gains. Also, you did not account for state capital gains tax, which can reach 10% in some states. So, many investors pay almost 45% as their rate for capital gains... not the 15% that you imagine.

I see you have given up on your story that 98% of all people in the top 1% were born in the top 1%.

Yes, find the actual data. Stop saying you will do it and do it.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Is there anything this guy actually references to back-up his claims?

Let me look..........

Just as I thought. Nothing. Not even a brain in this guys head.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Google.com

Useful website. If you don't believe my claims, take a look.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Some of us have jobs and have to work. When I have time, I will find it.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

That's why there should be the same rate for income, corporate and capital gains and this argument goes away.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Agreed, along with a steeply progressive income tax.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

No I would go flat across the board or slightly progressive that way the government would bring in enough to cover costs and the market can decide how to allocate resources.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The market has never ever been able to to decide allocation of resources that can be considered in one's wildest imagination to be fair or equitable. he market, without restraints, is exactly what got us into the mess we're in now.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I disagree, by definition the market is the people. They have a statistical advantage over a bureaucrat sitting somewhere else. Look at the benefits accrued by the deregulation of the airline industry; more people are flying at a cheaper price and much more safely than when the CAB ruled the day.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The market is not the people, but a mechanism. That mechanism created the Robber Barons of the 19th century and the corporate oligarchy today.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Yes a voting mechanism that the people participate in. A group that has a big number voting has a statistical advantage over a small number.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Reply to you post below:

Today has nothing to do with an economic cycle. this has to do with the shadiest practices of the market. Credit default swaps, bought and paid Aa ratings from Moodys et all for toxic paper sold on the margin, undercapitalized high risk derivatives, outright fraud of mortgage agreements on a colossal scale, and so much more, has nothing whatsoever to do with business cycles.

As to the 15.1% poverty rate reported by the census bureau, you didn't include the near poverty that I cited from that report. The combination of poverty and near poverty is higher than at any time since before the Great Depression. Prior to that there was often persistent poverty of as much as 40%, and the elderly had a rate of around 70-80% (I don;t remember the exact number, but it was in that range). That was during a time of much freer markets than even today. It was only due to the intervention, regulation of markets, new programs and real spending by the Federal government that those numbers shrank dramatically.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

There will always be fraud in markets. Just look at MF Global when there is extreme regulation right now. How come they didn't catch it.

I don't see a change in the poverty rate that I quoted you earlier so I don;t see the correlation between spending and the elimination of the poverty rate.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

reply to you post below:

Of course they go up during recessions, but:

1) the income gap existed before the recession, and made everyone more vulnerable and

2) the recession was caused by the very market forces you defend.

In those census numbers you cite, nowhere does it come CLOSE to the nearly 50% number today. Even before the recession, over 25% of this nation's children lived below the poverty line, and lived daily with food insecurity. So yes, the recession is mostly to blame, but the market already created obscene income disparity long before that.

Note, too, the the overall poverty level in 2007, a year before the recession hit, was at 12.5%. That was equal to or higher than during the recessions of 1970 and 2000, and nearly that of 1990. It didn't take a recession to cause that number. It only took the market working its unencumbered magic.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Straight from the Census Bureau:

Poverty is defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.[1] According to the U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday September 13th, 2011, the nation's poverty rate rose to 15.1% (46.2 million) in 2010,[2] up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. In 2008, 13.2% (39.8 million) Americans lived in relative poverty.[3]

Economic cycles happen, nobody can stop them. Even Keynes knew that.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

reply to your post below.

The public has little choice left. Factories have fled this country in droves in order to compete. Most of our products are now made overseas. Wages have, in fact, gone down. Nearly 50% of all Americans, according to the latest Census data, now live below or near the poverty line. Jeez! That's 150,000,000 people!

Of course, there are other reasons for this besides WalMart, notably the market ruled by banks and Wall Street (a shining example of market wisdom), but the mechanism is very well known. It even has a name: It's called "The Walmart Effect" in economics.

What's more, which public are you talking about? The ones who still have jobs, or the tens of millions who have lost so much?

I never said I was smarter or better than those who shopped at Wlalmart. I merely demonstrated how the market works and when left unfettered, destroys representative democracy and communities alike..

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I am nit as well read as you high brow economists from NJ so I had to look up the numbers regarding the poverty rate. From the Census bureau:

Poverty Rate:

1959 - 22% 1970 -12.5% 1980 - 13% 1990 - 14% 2000 - 11.5% 2009 - 14.3%

I didn't t run the correlation (since you attended such an esteemed school I presume you can do that ) but it appears to go up during recessions.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

THis is a reply to your post below.

The reason Walmart is so bad (ad such a good example of what's wrong with the market) is that the cheap goods it supplies comes at the cost of high paying jobs. Walmart is responsible, single-handedly, for the closure of hundreds, if not thousands of US factories.

What happens to the workers from those factories? They have to find other jobs, which are now scarcer. They must compete with each other, and in so doing, all of them become victims of wage deflation. Now they are earning less while doing the same thing (if they are lucy enough to find work at all), and unable to afford anything BUT Walmart products themselves, MAYBE. Many lose their homes, their health insurance, their pensions. Poverty increases, so the government has to provide more unemployment insurance, food stamps, medicaid, and so on. That leaves the government with less revenue, too, to fix roads, pay teachers, hire enough police, ensure safe drinking water, etc. So layoffs start happening in the schools, police departments, and so on.

It creates a downward spiral of unemployment, decreased consumer demand, more layoffs in unrelated industries, and on and on. The ripple effect is amazing. Now, Walmart is not the only culprit: they just got the ball rolling. But the economy has been damaged by the likes of them, hundreds of thousand of people's lives and livelihoods have been destroyed, all so that someone can save 50 bucks on a new TV. In the meantime the family that owns Walmart becomes fabulously wealthy, and uses that wealth to influence legislation in Washington to further increase their advantage over workers, The latter is to such an extent that the Supreme Court itself shows them undue deference when discrimination cases against them come up before the court (repeatedly). And THAT is how the market works. Although consumers vote their choice of where to shop, democracy and representation as a whole is utterly corrupted and the economy is weakened for everyone.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

So you are smarter and better than all those people who shop at Walmart?

You want everybody to pay more for goods so that smaller retailers can have their protected position. Since the advent of Walmart unemployment hit new lies and revenue to the government has stayed steady.

The problem with your control argument is that the public doesn't agree with you.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

THis is a reply to your post below. The suburbs were created by government policies and subsidies, not the free market.

The free market create Rockafeller, Carnegie, And all the hateful robber barons.. It also created the Great Depression.

The market is extremely valuable for creating things like consumer goods and services. But it took government to build the interstate highway system, engage in rural electrification, purchase and distribute flu vaccines, and a thousand other things only government can do, or can do well. Even the internet we are talking on was underwritten by the government when private business did even imagine its existence.

The market has its place. Controlled, that place is very positive. Unfettered, it inevitably leads to a complete undermining of democracy in favor of corporate oligarchy. It has happened time and time again. HIstory shows that the market has no conscience or ethical code. even your own example of people voting with their dollars has led to the WalMartification of America, in which cheap goods are made overseas and sold cheaply to people who have lost their jobs to the Chinese. The ultimate outcome is a race to the bottom economically for workers. Only the government could have prevented that, and it didn't, because at the time, it believed as you do. The result has been utter disaster and devastation.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I don't see how you can say that Walmart had been bad for America and frankly the world. We have received high quality goods at lower prices and it helps me feed my kids.

I'm not sure I want the government spending money on building the Internet. Would it come around on it's own, we will never know but defense spending is very large and as an efficient use of money, I'm not sure. Here in SF, the 49ers are micing to Santa Clara and the city is going to invest $40mm to help build the stadium. Well, why should the team receive that benefit. Why doesn't it go to the schools.

In 1999 San Diego said no money to the Chargers to build a stadium and they did just fine.

Some bureaucrat, the head of the DOE in DC is not better than the market in deciding who the winner should be. So we have the Internet, so more people can look at porn. That us really productive.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The people don't vote. Those that have the most money control the system. Not until anti-trust laws were enforced did even a little bit of that change. The system you describe existed before: it was called the era of the Robber Barons. That's how the market works. The rich get richer and more powerful, and everyone else is left to rot.

Steeply progressive income taxes and government regulation and investment, combined with growing union membership actually created the middle class after WWII. It simply didn't exist before that.

The market didn't allocate resources to create that middle class. Government policies did. And, at least then government really was the people. They were sent to Washington to debate what was right or wrong, representing the views of the people who elected them. That's not what the market does. That's what civil society and democracy does.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

In a market system, every person votes every day with their dollars. If you don't like the products or the people at Sears then you go somewhere else and Sears, once the most powerful retailer in the country, declines in power.

Soldiers returning after the war looked for affordable housing and the market reacted by creating the suburb. Many nations had been damaged by the war and American manufacturing was the only supplier of many products. Unions have done a great job representing their membership but in my opinion they have been slow to react to the increased competition. The smart ones are now like the UFCW is in the forefront of bringing higher quality organic products to those markets that want it.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Capital gains are taxed at close to 45% for holdings under a year. Most of them don't hold for over a year. They are paying a fair share because they pay most taxes in America.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

That would be pretty ugly if true. But I'll need the evidence. I havn't read that anywhere.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I'll try to dig it up. Might take a while, but I'll get back to you.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

There are 433,000 households that earn 1 million a year or more. Thats .35%. The top 1% earn 340,000 or more.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

"98% of their income is from capital gains"

You have a cite for that claim?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Yes, but I'm at work now and will have to find the sources later.

[-] 0 points by HarryPairatestes2 (380) from Barrow, AK 2 years ago

okay

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

So go start a company and stop being an employer. Get rid of W2 income and get capital gains income.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Straw man.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

I am not smart enough to know what that means.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

It means a type of argument that is a particular kind of fallacy. It substitutes an unrelated issue as an argument for or against the original point. It is a set-up using false equivalency. Google "straw man argument" or "straw man fallacy" to get a better idea.

Your saying "so start a business..." does not address the systemic problem of income inequity and that the system is rigged to favor the wealthy.

It also assumes that anyone can simply start a business without capital, and without the ability to take massive risk with his and his family's security. (9 out of 10 new businesses fail in their first year.)

Talking about an imaginary, completely unrealistic choice for most individuals as a response to an entire economic system that directly effects 350 million people is a straw man. It doesn't address - pro or con or in between - the corruption of the system..

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Thank you for the definition.

I don't think cap gains income should be treated differently than w2 or corp income that is why I am for a flat tax where everybody is treated the same. I don't care how much Bill Gates or The Zynga founders get I care about how much I pay. If I was as smart as the Facebook people I would have started it. The reality is I am not. That doesn't mean he should pay more to me. I want him paying the same rate as me with no deductions.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Flat taxes are regressive for the poor. Every single non-aligned economist in the world will tell you that. Only graduated, progressive taxes equalize the burden somewhat.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Yes they are by definition so you will have to have some progressivity to it. Everywhere a flat tax had been tried had experienced above average GDP growth which means lower inflation. Will there be a segment of the population-5%- that will never benefit from growth, yes I think we all know that. And it is those people who have other problems that the government and society must creat the safety net for.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Inflation is not the danger today. Deflation is. And GDP growth only indicates total growth, but it says nothing about it's distribution. Flat taxes redistribute money from the bottom to the top.

Really, this is basic Econ 101. Please, take a class or something. Your heart is on the right place, but you need some basic knowledge.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

I would disagree. What we are looking at is currently a 11.1% real inflation rate and a very high risk of hyperinflation mixed with a depression; the worst possible scenario imaginable. It is like stagflation only orders of magnitude worse. Here are some references where the lies the MSM and Government are exposed:

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

Here is a detailed analysis on the current scenario that we face:

http://www.shadowstats.com/article/hyperinflation-special-report-2011

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

This has been said for three years now, and inflation has not really happened. It has largely been a scare tactic from the right.

I recommend you read Paul Krugman's analysis in the NY Times. He goes into this topic often and in depth.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

Sorry. My wallet tells a different story. As for MSM I'll look to other more reliable non-manipulated sources.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Your wallet is not an indicator of the economy as a whole. Inflation has fluctuated, but, at the end of the day, consumer prices have risen just 4.5 percent, meaning an average annual inflation rate of only 1.5 percent for the last three years.

As to your so-called "non-manipulated" sources, shadowstats hardly qualifies.

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/12/james-hamilton-on-shadowstats-and-niall-fergusons-claim-that-true-inflation-is-more-than-10-per-year.html

http://traderscrucible.com/2011/04/13/shadow-stats-still-very-very-very-wrong/

http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2008/09/shadowstats_deb.html

Williams has been screaming his boogie-man "hyperinflation" demagoguery for a long time, and for a long time his dire predictions have not happened. Given how wrong he's been so far, I would look to another source for real economic information.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Why when somebody disagrees on this board do they say, go take a class.

Alright did you study economics in school and where did you study?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Ye I did: the college is unimportant.

The reason you may be told that is that you demonstrate a lack of knowledge about economics other than what you might have heard from Libertarians. Your posts do not show in depth knowledge of analytics, and proper methodology is simply absent. That's not an insult, but an observation.

When I was a salesman to a particular trade, I could always tell who was in that trade and got the trade discount, and those that learned a few phrases in order to try to get that discount with out actually practiced a day in their trade. I was not alone. It was always as plain as day to everyone who worked there.

Similarly (but for obviously different reasons) you use some terms of economic language but don't seem to have spent a great deal of time analyzing cause/effect relationships. The if/then scenarios fundamental to economics isn't demonstrated.

As I said, I think your heart is in the right place, and that counts for a lot. But if you water a plant with weed killer, no matter your intentions, you are not likely to get flowers in the spring.

The suggestion to take a class was not meant pejoratively, at least in this case. You seem genuinely interested, and I believe you could gain a lot by some formal study.

[-] 1 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

"....if you water a plant with weed killer, no matter your intentions, you are not likely to get flowers in the spring."

Just luv this phrase. LOL!

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

That is a very condescending view and is consistent with the idea that a control economy knows better

You believe that government Is good and that government should control the economy. I don't and I do have the facts on my side. Why didn't the control economy work in the early 60s or the 70s?

So should only people who go to Harvard make these decisions?

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Reply to you post below.

Where do I even begin.

Reagan intentionally created a recession and extremely high unemployment to reduce inflation. He even stated that he didn't want unemployment to go below 6-6.5%.

Yes Kennedy lowered taxes. At that time the top marginal rate was over 70%. (It was over 50% in Reagan's time.) Reagan's "prosperous" period , as I explained already, grew GDP, but ALL the gains went to the top quintile. The middle class saw virtually NONE of those gains. And the poor got even poorer.

The majority is beginning to change its mind about Laissez-Faire economics, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in propaganda they have been fed for 40 years by the plutocracy and their congressional shills.

They are beginning to realize that FDR, not Reagan, was right. It's not "my" brand of economics we are talking about, but standard economics. Keynesian economics has been proven to work. The right wing, Repub/liber aligned Chicago school has failed in every respect. That's not my personal opinion, it's history.

FDR's programs, followed for over 30 years after his death, ushered in the longest, largest, most sustained period of economic expansion, and the creation of the greatest number of jobs in this country's entire history. Reagan's "government is the problem" approach to economics began the steady decline of the middle class all those previous administrations worked so hard to create, and led to the largest income disparity, not only in our history, but of the entire developed world.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

The University of Chicago and the specifically the economics department has received more Noble Prizes than any other institution, so you might believe than many people are changing their minds about classical economics but other prestigious organizations are not.

Inflation was brought under control by Volcker's move to a price rule. Ask Manny Johnson or Wayne Angell about it as they all believed in sound money policy. They and Reagan did not believe in the Phillips Curve as it did not hold during the 70s.

Economic growth was slow in the 50s and early 60 hence Kennedy's tax reduction.

We will see how the public reacts to the choice in this next election. Most people don't believe in government control of their livelihood. We will just disagree on this.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Reply to your post below:

I won;t go point by point as it's really late, and I'm really tired.

Just one observation. "Most people don't believe in government control of their livelihood."

I wonder how they feel about the banks and Wall street having destroyed their livelihood.

Most people's livelihoods are not controlled by the government: except that we have to pay taxes; that's a straw man and I suspect you know it. Business restrictions that limit damage a Gpldman/Sachs can do to the economy is another matter. It is the market, not "government control of people's livelihoods", that has always done the greatest damage. And corporate capture of regulators and Senators and Presidents is not in the nation's best interest. I believe there is broad agreement on that.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

It did, but there was a great deal of debt from the Vietnam war, and an oil embargo that damaged the economy in the 70's. But even through that period, average wealth for the middle class continued to rise.

The same cannot be said for the period of and following Reagan's presidency, when Laissez-Faire economics became dominant. Starting then the middle class began to shrink, real wages stagnated, and, although GDP grew, all of the gains went exclusively to the top quintile.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Kennedy realized that GDP was too slow in the early 60s and reduced taxes in 62. Unemployent was very high in the 70s and Reagan began the prosperous period of growth and low unemployment.

Fortunately, the majority of the people don't believe in your brand of government controlled economics. They don't believe in this class warfare attack that you are pushing. They believe in working and striving to get ahead.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Do you even know what the word 'most' means? I'll give you a clue. The absolute minimum portion is considerably higher than 21.5%.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

You misread. My post wasn't about tax rates.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I didn't misread anything.

You said this "The Rich pay most of the taxes in this country. That's a fact."

Now, explain yourself.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

Right, and then you proceed with percentages, which is off topic. I'm talking about absolute numbers.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Do they pay 50.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of "the taxes in this country" in "absolute numbers"?

Hell no. Not even close.

[-] 1 points by elpinio (213) 2 years ago

And they don't use 50% of the resources either. In fact, the rich don't use public schools, emergency rooms for routine checkups, unemployment benefits, welfare, foodstamps, public transit and more. The poor do. Yet they don't pay for it.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Thats not entirely true. But they do drive up the cost of living with their obscene charges, lobby for and accept Federal, State, and Local subsidies, relocate, outsource, automate, lay off, often misrepresent their product, concentrate too much wealth, cause the middle class to shrink, the lower class to expand, thus increasing the need for financial aid, public transit, and more.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Cap gains is 15%, and if you invest in emerging markets/tech cap gains is zeroed out.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Another loophole. I wasn't aware of that one.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Very few can take advantage, makes the effective a bit lower, which is in one of the charts I linked to. Ahh yes, this one

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=161

i am a bit of a policy geek. I wrote this - you might enjoy it.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/12/1015409/-Taxing-the-rich-promotes-smart-investments,-not-class-warfare?via=blog_694100

13.8% and 14.2% effective rates in the year 2008.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28492) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Excellent post!!! Let us hope that it will get circulated far and wide. I'm gonna start by copying it and posting it on Twitter. Very well done!!!

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

Thank you! You have shown me the light. I have disseminated it to my friends and am grateful.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

When 1% of the people control over 30% of the resources in any economy, something is wrong with its socio-economic processes. If these errors are not fixed, things will only get worse for all involved. This fact is well understood. What is not well understood is what to do to fix the problem. Focussing taxes on the 1% for redistribution to the remaining 99% would not fix the underlying economic problems. The underlying problems are low productivity and the allocation of production profits among the principals (defined as those who do the work). America does produce a lot of food, but few Americans are involved in agriculture, and thus the profits from this industry are not broadly distributed. Other industries have been in decline for many years, resulting in reduced distributions from these segments. The banks, about which we complain, are international in investment scope, and earn their billions from activities that again involve only small numbers of Americans. That is why bank profits can be concentrated among so few people. (It was obscene in my opinion that Americans should be obligated by their government to underwrite the bad investments made by these banks, but that is an issue aside from the underlying problems of productivity and the allocation of production profits.) The solutions to our economic problems are simply to increase productivity and to make sure that the profits from that production are distributed to all who are involved. This was Henry Ford’s method, and it worked.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

We never redistributed money, thru taxes on the rich. You're sorely misinformed if you think thats true.

From the Depression in the 1930's thru the mid 1980's the middle and working classes got what they had thru hard work.

When the top income tax rate was 90+% the rich never paid more than maybe 40%. In 1980 when the to rate was 70%, effective rates were less than half, 24-32%,

Have you asked why yet?

Prior to the 1986 Tax reform Act we used to give huge deductions and exemptions to the rich if they invested incountry to create US jobs, 80% of those incentives were removed in the 86 TRA.

We used tax policy to create jobs stimulus.

Heres a primer I wrote:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/12/1015409/-Taxing-the-rich-promotes-smart-investments,-not-class-warfare?via=blog_694100

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

We'll have to disagree slightly on this issue. If the deductions were dependent in any way on US job creation, then that would have diverted a portion of their profits to US workers. If the alternative was a very high marginal rate, then that would have diverted a portion of their personal incomes to others through repeated war efforts and government programs. The purchase of equipment and supplies for the military would have supported jobs created by the rich trying to avoid the very high marginal tax rates. Either way, the policies would have caused a partial redistribution. It's difficult to prove with no absolute indisputable measurement of net wealth creation but that's the way I see it.

Are you sure that the rich were successful in avoiding those very high marginal rates? Were there exceptions? Are you absolutely certain that none of the info your position is based on was spun by right wingers in an attempt to discredit any proposal for higher taxes on the rich?

You and I do agree on a lot and I appreciate the information that you have brought to the table. But we may never agree on this one issue.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

In 1980 the effective top rate for income tax on the top 1% was 22.3%, the statutory rate was 70%.

Effective income tax rates http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=456

Buffet paid an effective rate of 11% if we include capital gains

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/10/27/355257/perry-buffett-low-tax-rates-forms/

I attended a forum with Paul Krugman last month, and I asked him about this. IIRC he said he thought effective rates for income were never higher than 39% back when we had 90% rates.

TO be fair information on effectives rates starts to get sketchy by the '70's, going further back info gets sketchier. I've never seen anything to suggest more than 45%.

Remember, I'm not saying there wasnt in effect redistribution. I think its a very poor choice of words though.

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Again, I appreciate the info and links. You are a good researcher. I do stand by my claim about that partial redistribution from the '40's to the mid '70's but I am going to update my essay with a reference to the circumstances under which the rich could avoid those very high marginal rates.

I've often wondered what caused the wealth to begin concentrating all over again starting in 1977. There is no doubt. That was the year. Our troops left Vietnam right around then. There was the oil crisis. Automation. Outsourcing. I'm sure those were contributing factors.

Why do you suppose the statistics on effective rates aren't as clear prior to the '80's? I've seen detailed charts on income and wealth distribution going all the way back to the '20's. My position is based on them. I do take what you say about those effective rates seriously. I heard a reference on talk radio once to support them. But it was in the mid '70's that Arthur Laffer whipped up his Laffer Curve. He convinced Reagan to run with a campaign on lowering tax rates. Which he did but to book rates that were considerably higher than the effective rates of 1980? I'm keeping the circumstances you brought to the table in mind. But why the push to lower book rates if effective rates were even lower? Didn't Krugman just say two weeks ago that top income rates should be raised back to 70%?

I have work to do but I would like to get more into this later.

By the way, I respect your view on the 'r' word. I don't want to offend you with it. But it's deep seeded with me.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

I think 70% is the minimum rate that will allow stabilization of the economic system.

"R" word, LOL

Re: 1977, include trade deficit. By 1965 we saw quarterly trade deficits, by the mid 70's annual trade deficits. These were purchases that did not support US jobs. The rest of it you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

The government’s role in taxation and spending is always one of redistribution. This occurs when the funds the government takes in from tax payers do not go back out proportionally to those same taxpayers. Most tax payers realize this and so attempt to pay as little in and try to get as much out as possible. Compounding this redistribution imbalance are the interest payments on the national debt. Tax revenue is used to pay interest on the debt, so those who must pay taxes are seeing a significant portion of their payments going to holders of the debt. The middle class, who mostly do not own the debt, are having their resources redistributed through taxation and debt interest payments to the wealthy. Similarly, low income citizens who pay little or no taxes, but who do receive government payments such as welfare are also net beneficiaries of redistribution. I do not agree that the government should use taxation as a means to promote economic or social programs, as appears to be your argument for tax deduction incentives in job creation, but that is a different debate.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Ok so now after the 85 TRA we have recession and something called a jobless recovery. Since you dont like what we used to do to prevent the jobless recovery, what are you going to put into place to replace that.?

Cause from 1938 to 1988 we used tax policy to create jobs stimulus. Recessions were shorter and shallower. IF youre going to take away 3-4% of GDP, how do you intend to create jobs?

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

The question of job creation is central to the welfare of many Americans and others around the world. I can only offer a few of what will sound like platitudes in this short paragraph, but you do deserve an attempt at an answer: 1) the government does create jobs when it goes to war against a foreign enemy. It does this by hiring soldiers and contracting for material and supplies. 2) private industries create jobs when labor is needed for product development and production, and when that expenditure of resources is cost effective. The determination of cost effectiveness is the end value of the product in the marketplace. Due to globalization, the value of products in the marketplace has changed. Labor would be hired here if it was cost-effective, but it is not. 3) the purpose of taxation should be the payment of the government’s debts (so stated in our Constitution). When industries are given the opportunity to take tax deductions or tax credits for hiring labor within the U.S., the government is essentially subsidizing the cost of labor. Our expanded National Debt, and shrinking labor demand show that this tax policy is not working. So how would I create jobs? 1) I would tax neither income nor profits, but rather would tax all transfers of money from one account to another. 2) I would use government revenue to protect the citizens and the ecology. Included in this protection would be the prosecution of fraud. 3) I would use government revenue to directly support high-risk, low profit ventures such as education, health-care research, infrastructure development and maintenance, and energy and space exploration and development. Only a small number of jobs would be created under these expenditures, but those would greatly reduce the costs of business for all other private ventures. Well educated and healthy people will create their own jobs when the resources, including skills, energy, and infrastructure, are available.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 2 years ago

Wrong. The government is the largest single employer in the US, some 2 million direct jobs. It is also the largest single creator of private sector jobs through government spending.

The post WWII period from 1945-1980 saw the largest growth in history, construction of a national infrastructure, a booming middle class and reduction in WWII debt from 120% GDP in 1945 to about 30% in 1980.

Then Reagan started to fuck everything up, tripling the national debt, cutting taxes on the rich and raising them on everyone else.

[-] 2 points by warbstar (210) 2 years ago

I would suggest it started with the traitor Nixon when he gave us profit oriented health care (i.e. HMO's).

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

RogerDee's question was "how do you intend to create jobs?" You, XaiverBuchsIV, were not specific about what you found "Wrong" in my answer, but we acknowledge that the federal Government is a large employer (about 2.8 million jobs in 2009 according to the Census Bureau). Do we want to argue however, that increasing the size of government is the way to create jobs for people who presently do not have them? How would you create jobs if given that responsibility?

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 2 years ago

I wasn't responding to RogerDee, I was responding to the inaccuracies of your post.

Money in politics, health care, war, etc. are pressing issues. Size of government should be determined by what needs to be accomplished. The historical example should suffice.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Can you be more specific about the inaccuracies in my comments to which you objected? Even at my age, it is possible to learn something. I mentioned RogerDee because his post defined the context for my comments, and because his question warrants consideration beyond any inaccuracies in details. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by XaiverBuchsIV (508) 2 years ago

"the government does create jobs when it goes to war", as if that were the only way government creates jobs.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Point taken.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Private Industry creates jobs when demand is high enough to warrant the investment.

[-] 1 points by zymergy (236) 2 years ago

Then we agree!

[-] -1 points by Jflynn64 (337) 2 years ago

Your correct that many used deductions to get away from paying taxes and that is the point of flattening the code. Eliminate all the incentives to avoid taxes and make people make economic decisions based on merit. Solar energy is a great example of an industry that is being propped up by government action but is not producing economic merit b

[-] 1 points by Stormcrow (11) 2 years ago

Hey, when you complain about the "evil rich and wealthy" you are talking about "todays society in America". What does that say about the "character" of todays society?

[-] 2 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Greed. No argument there. But greed is a relative form of evil. I won't make any excuses for a mechanic who charges $100 for 20 minutes of labor. But I'm more worried about the guy who charges $15,000,000 to to appear in one movie.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

70% have a negative view of Wall St, ABC poll, earlier this year.

What does that say about the "character" of todays society?

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[-] 0 points by nomorebanksters (2) 1 year ago

Latest news from the occupied Greece: troika dictates the closing of three state industries through an email! Neoliberal dictatorship in full action!

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2013/09/latest-news-from-occupied-greece-troika.html

[-] 0 points by seghet26 (0) 1 year ago

Taxing the rich at a higher rate is an idea that is long over-due.

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[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (28492) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Beautiful post 4 Labor Day.

TWEET

DKAtoday ‏@DKAtoday

1% from the 1% | http://OccupyWallSt.org : http://occupywallst.org/article/1-from-1/#.UiUJ6MdkyWs.twitter

Reality Check

Pls

Read

Consider

Share

Circulate

re-TWEET

Thanks

[-] 0 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

When people talk about raising taxes on the rich they are talking about Income tax not those other taxes and fees. So when they make that argument they are correct. Plus 40% of eligible Americans do not pay Taxes which is technically unconstitutional for it favors one group over another. So we have to fix that of course combined with fixing the outdated tax Brackets. Now you seem like a very angry person for what reason I do not know. But there is no need for anger in fact we must remove all emotions from politics so we can think logically for the greatest good.

Best of luck to and God Bless.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You said: "Plus 40% of eligible Americans do not pay Taxes which is technically unconstitutional for it favors one group over another."

You must be referring only to individual Federal Income tax.

All Americans with actual income and spending pay taxes. Most pay about the same effective rate. The rich do so more often with subsidized incomes (corporate) and those on the very low end do so with financial aid. Most of it necessary.

I've been angry for over 6 years about this. It didn't prevent me from predicting the springtime market instability of '07', the failed Bush stimulus (160 billion), the recession of '07' (I was off by one quarter), the bankruptcy of one or two of the big three (two went bankrupt), the limited success of the bailouts and second stimulus, the mixed signals, the never ending instability, the short and shallow recovery under Obama (still in shallow recovery), or the coming global depression (count on it).

The prosperity and civility of an entire world is being compromised because of greed. I have damn good reason to be angry.

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[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

You advocate equal taxes but you refute equal pay.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I want a reasonable scale of income opportunity for all and a progressive tax structure to prevent too much wealth from being concentrated.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

Would you consider an idea which pays every citizen a minimumsalary , say one third of the average wage , whether they work or not and than progress from there ? It's a gentle step for civilization. And the formula quite simple. Leaves no one without. And has no ceiling for those fueled by greed.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I'm all for a safety net but only for those with legitimate need. Those unable to work or find work. I'm still convinced that extreme personal wealth destroys moral character. It is a horrible influence on society. The desire for it spreads like wildfire and destroys moral character along the way. I will never support the concept of extreme personal wealth for anyone under any circumstances. I can't stop it but I will not support it or make any excuses for anyone who attains it.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

The discontent of not knowing what tomorrow will bring causes worry in mans heart. Greed may be " the love of money" but also pursuit of contentment; worried about weathering the future.

You could look at minimum salary as a safety net. I think we all agree the wealthy have way too much. So that safety net could also be profit sharing from the wealth of a nation. The more one makes above the average wage the more they pay into the safety net. With this , those at the bottom may in fact encourage wealth. As things stand now. It is every man for himself.

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

I thought America was about individual equality. Shouldn't we all bear an equal percentage of the tax burden?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Absolutely, the very moment we all bear an equal benefit of economic growth.

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

We have all "beared" the benefit without bearing the work involved in crating this prosperity.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Think again. The richest one percent own 43% of all financial wealth in America. Did they craft 43% of this prosperity?

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

What have you done to contribute to the food you have eaten today? Tilled a garden? Plowed a field, thrashed grain? Slaughtered a cow or pig and brought it to market?

What have you done to contribute to society that entitles you to take from the contribution of others without having to compensate those who have done the work?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I'm not telling you what do for a living. But it's not farming.

You're still missing the point. Which has been made 20 times on this page alone.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

The point is that you feel entitled to the proceeds of the labors of others without having to do anything to contribute to the needs of the collective..

My question stands, what have you done today to justify your allotment of food?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

You're making a stupid assumption. It's dead wrong. I'm still not telling you what I do for a living.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

I realize that those involved in the movement to give government more control over the property and life of its' citizens would be ashamed of what they do to further their goals of taking from those who produce.

I already know that a good portion of what I produced today is going to betaken from me by the government to be redistributed to those who do not work hard enough to support themselves.

Eat well, my friend. I enjoy working hard enough to support myself and those who choose to let the government support them... But for how long?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Next.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

ModestCrapitalist gives... Point to toonces

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Think again. Your points have been responded to many times. By myself and others.

Many many times.

Next.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

I will take it! A win is a win!

Next!

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Take this and reevaluate.

God damn it. You die hard winner take all bloodthirsty capitalists and filthy rich pigs absolutely refuse to understand the following: First, that record high charges in health care, energy, and finance also mean record high profits and record high dividends. 40% of which are paid to the richest one percent. This causes more hardship and more concentration of wealth. At the same time, more financial aid in the form of welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid becomes necessary. Especially with those record high charges and profits. As even more wealth is concentrated, the lower majority go into debt and lose their relative buying power. This results in less demand, layoffs, and higher unemployment. This results in even more legitimate need for financial aid, a slower economy, less revenue, and higher national debt. It's a downward cycle tied directly to the relentless concentration of wealth.

I'm not making excuses for those who sit on the couch, make no attempt to find work, and sponge off the government. I'm not calling for a welfare state. But God damn it. You die hard conservatives and filthy rich pigs need to stop being such cowards, open your god damn eyes, and finally admit that there is a downside as more and more wealth becomes concentrated.

The richest one percent in America now own 40 percent of its total wealth. The lower 99 percent are sharing the rest. This is true even after you account for all taxes, charity, and financial aid.

Mark my words: this equation will get worse.

THERE IS A DOWNSIDE AS YOU GET RICHER AND RICHER!

A word for my critics:   I'm no expert but I'm no fool. I predicted this socio-economic crisis in writing 6 years ago. I'm aware of all the conservative and liberal talking points. Of course, I hate politicians. But I don't hate liberals or conservatives. I agree with both on some issues. For example: I agree that we need an adequate safety net for those in need. Not for those who sit on the couch and watch TV.I  agree with tax cuts for small business. But not for Wall Street and not for those making $500,000 and up. A heavy concentration of wealth is what got us here. A gradual and partial redistribution of wealth is vital.

I don't want socialism, communism, or marxism. I want modest capitalism. A reasonable scale of income opportunity for all those willing and able to work. An adequate safety net for those in need. 

A word for the rich: I have received quite a bit of negative feedback from you one percent club pigs. I must be doing something right. After all, you took time away from your money bath just for me. You might want to check your ass crack for soggy bills. In the meantime, let me just say this for the record: 

You can't intimidate me. You can't embarrass me. You can't make me feel uneducated, unintelligent, or otherwise insignificant. You can't confuse me. You can't divert my attention. You can't exhaust me and you sure as hell can't break my will. I know I'm getting to you because you're here with another lame psychological trick. You're here in an attempt to shut me up. It won't work. I've had it with all of you.  

I won't break any laws. I would never discredit the cause with a criminal act. But I'm telling you right now that I'm virtually impossible to stop. It's a big world and I have a lot to say. If you want to break my will, you're going to have to break my neck first. 

If you pull a stunt like that, a lot of people will know what happened to me and why.

Like I said. Your points have been responded to. 

Now get out of my face. I have work to do.

But first, crack a dictionary. From your response below that I can't reply to because of thread limits, I can see that you don't understand the profound differences between capitalism, socialism, and communism.

Health care. Record profits. There goes your theory about regulation.

Check the stats I posted about incomes in 2010. There goes your theory about non-existent cause and effect.

The incomes of the rich. Record high. There goes your theory about government redistribution.

If the sweat from your ass spreads well on a Trisket, then remove the Trisket from your ass.

You damn well do want me to shut up. No chance in hell. I'm in this for life.

[-] -1 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago
  1. I am not rich (although, to the loafers in the park, I may appear so)

  2. Health care got "out of control" when gov't started regulating it. HMO's killed health care.

  3. Concentrating wealth takes nothing from your pocket. There is more wealth out there to get your hands on.

  4. Taking property from someone else does nothing to improve your lot.

  5. This crisis could have been predicted 100yrs ago when the state started making the case that they were justified in taking the property from those who had earned and redistributing it to those who had not.

  6. modest capitalism=socialism, communism. There is no way to throttle freedom.

  7. I checked my crack and found the remains of the sweat from my days work... You are welcome to all you would like... I hear it spreads well on a Trisket.

  8. Please, I don't want to shut you up. Having someone to actually speak the tings you say will clarify the difference for those who have not yet made up their mind.

  9. You are not so bad. For every freeloader, there are a neighborhood full of people who have worked for what they own and will stand together to protect it. You do not frighten me.

Should have predicted it 100 years ago when the government started taking from those who worked and redistributed it to those who didn't.

Communism and socialism fail every time they are tried.

[-] 0 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

yada yada yada - how does that excuse the bottom 47% paying zero federal tax? everyone needs to have skin in the game. Unless you are advocating an even more divisive society?

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

I think you mean Federal Income tax. If the lower 47% were suddenly burdened with another tax on their income, it would not only cut their already low after-tax income even lower, it would also increase their total tax burden as a percentage of income, to a rate even higher than the rich.

You should ask yourself this: Why should a multi-hundred millionaire be allowed to skate away with only a 15% tax burden on capital gains?

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

because that 15% is leaps & bounds more than a lot of other people. what rate will satisfy you to put the issue to rest?

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[-] -1 points by 2walterpenny2 (11) 1 year ago

Taxes no longer work.........!!! Taxes can no longer cover the needs and the demands that are placed upon on Society. The USA, Our Democracy or Communities and on Our Businesses. Failure to recognize we needed to Change Our Financial System started in the mid 1970s, post Vietnam, War Debt, stagnant economy, and we no longer controlled the Worlds Oil Supply. Why is our financial system in Failure ....Failed Wars, Vietnam, Afghanistan and soon Iraq will fall. Failed Economies George HW Bush 1988,89,90,91 and part of 92. To bring GW Bush Power the deliberate collapse of the Tech Boom 2000,2001,and part of 2002 by GoldmanSachs. George W. Bush Economic Failure 2008,09,10,11,12,13. In the mid 1970s the USA no longer controlled the Worlds Oil Supply, By 1982 Reaganomics was a Failure and Presidents began debt spending Reagan 3.4 trillion, GHWBush 1.4 trillion, GWBush 2.4 trillion and Obama trillions more. We failed because We did not change our financial system correctly. Our Gov. now barrows more then 40 cent of every dollar it spends. We educate less students through college, and Student Debt is now over a trillion dollars, add Consumer Debt, State and Local Government Debt. We are falling further and further behind simply because we have allowed the "Society of Chaos" to take place and have not changed Our Financial System. What can happen and should have happened is this, Our Financial System needs to eliminate Taxation. Starting with Personal and Corporate Income Tax. How you say, how can this be done, it is absolutely correct and absolutely simple. The Federal Reserve is doing it to some degree, right now. But that system is incomplete and is fueling slow to no growth for the middle class. IT will not expend the economy enough to cover the huge disparity in savings lost by the Baby Boomers in the 14 years of Recession out of the last 30 years, it will not begin to cover the national debt and or allow for proper growth. Which by the way needs to be at 5.5 % GDP and must stay there. That's a little more than 1/2 of what the Chinese have been able to do for 30 years straight. Through proper management they have grown without Our Style of deliberate Financial Failures. Its called controlling greed before the Country's economy collapses. To move the USA into the 21 st Century, taxation has to end as we now know it. Taxes funding Government Departments is far out of date. So Our Financial System which includes Income Taxes no longer works and should have been changed starting in the mid 1970s....Failure to do so has lead this country to be controlled by the "Society in Chaos". Chaos is all around us, Congress, Wars, the Economy, the National Debt, State, County and City Debt. It is all in Chaos in large part because we are using a failed financial system 30 years out of date. End the Chaos by ending Taxation! If you do nothing the failed system will fail again and again. How to do this with in a 6 month time frame? Will show you how later. But for now think about what I have just stated. Interested and for further details please contact jimevanhoe@gmail.com Seriously we can do this.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

blah blah

try paragraphs

though I doubt that will help

[-] -1 points by Farleymowat (415) 2 years ago

Propaganda. Libtards believe anything. Tell your damn congress to quit spending on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Truth. Free thinkers know the difference. Tell your damn rich to quit accepting corporate welfare, quit driving up the cost of living with their obscene charges, quit concentrating so much wealth, quit shrinking the middle class, quit increasing the need for financial aid, and quit driving up government spending on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

[-] 0 points by Farleymowat (415) 2 years ago

Okay I'll let Obama and Clinton know of your concerns.

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

They know. It won't make any difference.

[-] 0 points by Farleymowat (415) 2 years ago

You got that right.

[-] -3 points by mediaauditr (-88) 2 years ago

Raise the taxes how much? What % would be 'fair'? You just spat your baby batter all over your computer screen, so come with a fucking number. How much?

[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Our tax structure should be adjusted every year or two in response to levels of inequality, concentration of financial wealth, and other less significant variables. If it were up to me, I would raise marginal rates on incomes over $500,000 as high as necessary to prevent the richest one percent from reaping anymore than 10% of total household income in America.

By the way, I didn't spit any baby batter on my screen. I spit in your face. Figuratively speaking of course.

Next.

[-] 2 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

We want a stable system, an egalitarian system. Eff being fair. How about something that actually works, instead of a system that sheds 20 million jobs. Thats quite inefficient when you have to stop every 20 years for a depression. Like we did from 1800-1930.

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[-] 3 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Next.

[-] 2 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Ditto Next.

[+] -6 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

If you raise the tax on the rich , how do you prevent them from taking their ownership of the manufacturing sector to another country?

.. causing extreme national jobloss

[-] 8 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

By telling them to pay their taxes or sell their over-priced crap somewhere else. In which case, another American producer would take their place in the domestic market. Or by taxing their imports even higher. We are the largest consumer market in the world by far. The rich and their corporate golden geese need this market. I say we smack them in the face and tell them to pay their taxes or get out.

[-] -2 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

okay so we raise their taxes .. and they in turn raise their prices .. and still make the same profits .. than what ? the consumer carries the burden .. with higher prices ..

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

They can only pass a portion of their expenses onto the consumer. The rest would have to be absorbed in the profit margin. Otherwise, the consumer will be driven to a competitor with a less expensive product. There will always be competitors. The corporate pigs know this. This is why they want things to stay just the way they are.

Our tax structure should be adjusted annually in response to levels of inequality. 35 years ago, the rich paid much higher rates and there were fewer breaks and subsidies for big business. Our middle and lower classes were much better off 35 years ago. Our economic issues are the result of a culture of greed. If we allow the greed to go unchecked, things will only get worse.

[-] -3 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

well the competitors will have the same tax regulations .. so you have put yourself right back to where we are today .. where the consumer is at the mercy of the seller. and perhaps the seller will take a little out of the profit margin .. or he may take it out of his expenses .. ie employee wages .. which in the end when you look at the ratio comparison .. the product once being ten dollars and employee wage ten dollars .. now the product is eleven dollars with employee wages at nine dollars ..

I am kindly trying to point out the outcome of raising taxes on the majority of job suppliers .. I personally think we have stretched the tax system as far as we can go ..If for example we completely remove taxes from the poor say less than $55 000 annual income .. the government will have to generate tax revenue solely from the upperclass .. which statistics show the upper class to make their wealth off the lower class .. so again to maintain their status quo they will squeeze it out of the poor.. the tax system is an overall poor system .. in other areas also .. with a soverign nation we have work we could create and we have a labor force willing to work , but we do not have any money in the budget for this ? thats so wrong of a system and restricts the growth of mankind .. to have to collect tax and thean supply jobs from what is collected limits the amount of work that can be done ..

the only improvement the taxing government could make is to regulate how they spend the tax .. its not more that they need its limits .. ie. they pay contractors huge profits and employees huge salaries .. and the budget is gone quickly .. they need to reduce these salaries .. something perhaps equal to an average wage of their constuents.. to make the money go further ..

[-] 1 points by ModestCapitalist (2342) 2 years ago

Small business creates more jobs dollar for dollar than big business. They also share a greater portion of their revenue with their workers. Big business hoards profits at the top. Still, they get massive tax breaks and subsidies. They havn't shared the benefits of corporate welfare with their own workforce. Small businesses in general operate with far fewer subsidies and higher tax rates. Still, they share a greater portion of revenue with their workers.

Our corporate and income taxes are lower now than ever before. As a result, revenue is in record low territory as a percentage of GDP. Corporate profits are in record high territory and incomes for the richest one percent are at all time highs. The high cost of living is directly related. This imbalance has caused the middle class to shrink and the lower class to expand. Otherwise, those middle and lower classes would have a higher after-tax income and less need for financial aid which again, is directly related to the top heavy concentration of income and bottom line wealth.

I'm all for cutting wasteful government spending. But when its all said and done, corporate subsidies and tax breaks for the rich don't help the middle and lower classes. They only result in more concentrated wealth. You and I have agreed on a lot over the last few days. We may never agree on this one. But 35 years of statistics are hard to ignore.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

well, we certainly agree the wealth is concentrated heavily at the top.

it's how we remove that high concentration is where our ideas differ.

it's been a pleasure . for now

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverA (610) 2 years ago

yes... but isn't the American Dream available to all americans? .

the idea that there is so much wealth is not by mistake or by accident .. this was by intention .. from what I have been receiving for responses there is not an American out there that wants to put a CAP on wealth .. so reap what you sew .. is the attitude best suited for this imbalance .. and let it keep on sewing..

Greed seems to be the American Dream.. everyone wants it .. and everyone is going to hang onto it .. come hell or high water ..

the idea that the taxes favor the rich [ in your opinion, not mine] is simply because thats what Americans want .. and don't no one try to take it away from them..

[-] 6 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago

With import taxes.

[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

They already did.