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Forum Post: Don't Tax The Rich. Motivate Them To Give (Generously!)

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 3, 2012, 6:11 p.m. EST by OccupyCapitolHill (197)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I've always considered increasing the progressive tax on the rich to be draconian, socialist, and un-American.Is there a large wealth gap between the top 1% and the bottom 1%? Absolutely. But reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator by funneling even more money into a federal government that is anything BUT fiscally responsible simply is not logical.

So how do we keep a capitalist system in play while attempting to bridge the divide and limit the schism? As a non-supporter, hear me out.

My father worked for every penny he ever made, and put a pint of sweat into every promotion, up until now, where his six-figure, upper-class salary stands as triple the money he made at the start of his career in a brokerage firm (he now works as the chief IT for the American Technion Society, a non-profit organization that funds the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel). To give you an idea of how honest a hard worker he was from his lower-class beginnings, his boss at the hardware store where he worked as a teen with my grandfather told him that "He needed to stop being 100% trustworthy. You need to cheat. People will take advantage of you!". My dad never took those words to heart. Just a while back, he made it clear that he would not accept ANY inheritance from his father because he "never earned it, and would feel sick taking money that wasn't his". My dad, whenever he finds his income at a surplus, makes donations to veterans organizations, World Vision, our church, and many other charitable outlets.

Back on my main point, this has me thinking of a possible resolution to the call for the rich to pay more taxes to support the poor...withOUT having them pay more taxes.

I believe it would be beneficial to ALL parties on ALL sides of the debate to pass law(s) that expand(s) tax deductibility for charitable donations, even so far as allowing the person to choose which outlet of federal taxes they wish to have deducted, including income, property, and other tax outlets. ALL donations to charitable organizations should be made tax-deductible across the board, without exceptions. In accordance with this, owners of charities should be given easier paths to having donations and gifts to their organizations approved for tax-deductible status.

I also think that it would be sensible, therefore, to create a system by which small businesses apply for federal loans and financial assistance therein with a reasonably low interest rate that starts accruing a certain number of years after the loan is approved and given. Small businesses, first, must prove that they are truly "small" businesses and, furthermore, prove that they are unable to balance their net profits with their overhead and other operating expenses to prevent fraud.

In conjunction with this system, a law should establish that donations to that system of federal financial aid for aiding the growth small businesses tax-deductible as well, with the same loose set of restrictions to those deductions applying as previously mentioned. If I were a billionaire, I'd much prefer to donate to a small business in need or charity than pay taxes. I would trust the poor and the entrepreneurs who create the jobs in this country with my money before I trust Washington with half my annual income.

With this system in place, the rich will pay more towards economic assistance for the poor, needy, and the bottom end of the American economy while directly creating jobs and economic wellbeing for others, all while not paying ANY additional taxes above what they already pay. The capitalists like me take pleasure in knowing that the American dream isn't limited, while those who align with OWS see more money go towards the lower-class and small business, thereby lessening the income gap.

Just a thought.

79 Comments

79 Comments


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

I have a problem with charity. I'd rather have unemployment and food stamps then take a hand out from a person who makes millions firing hard working Americans to pad his bottom line, then he goes and gives ten percent in charity, really. I'm glad such acts allow him to sleep well after firing others. but the accumulated effect has been the disintegration of the middle class. Which becomes a vicious cycle. Fire them, turn them into paupers and then give them charity. If the rich would pay their fair share then the middle would not have to pay so much and they could expand their businesses which would put people back to work. no?

[-] 0 points by OccupyCapitolHill (197) 2 years ago

When you're truly in need like the people I met in New Orleans doing Katrina relief work, I'm sure that pompous, begrudging attitude will wither away as your physiological needs take priority over your politics.

Besides, the person who made those millions of dollars CREATED the jobs in the first place. The current economy is brought to you by Washington's lavish spending, excessive taxation, and the Wall St. bailouts that THEY drafted and put forth, not the corporations that EMPLOY and CONTINUE to employ millions worldwide.

If every corporation in existence disintegrated right now, the world financial system would collapse into total chaos and anarchy. That's a fact.

TL;DR: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

What's the difference?

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

Because I earned the social safety net. I did not earn the blessings of a benevolent prince, and his gracious hand out, duh.

[-] 3 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

No there's no real difference. You accept handouts either way.

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

Now how da hell are you going to tell me I did not earn my social safety net when I have been working since i was sixteen years old. If my employer is too cheap to pay me a living wage, and I have to subsidize it with food stamps, then I earn those stamps because of my government's lack of regulation. If my government did not regulate the housing industry properly because of industry interference, and the unemployment rate shoots through the roof, I earn my unemployment through defunct management. If my employer down sizes my position so he can raise his bottom line, I EARN MY BENEFITS. A hand out is charity, a social safety net is a consolation prize for my hard work.

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

They are both charity. The same money, coming from the same place. You can call it whatever you want.

What you get paid has nothing to do with how cheap your employer is. It has to do with your skill set, what you are worth to your employer and, most importantly, how easy you are to replace. If I need someone to mop the floor, why would I pay Jim $15 if Bob will do the same job for $10? This is just common sense.

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

no, I pay taxes when I work and get their benefits when i don't. Gosh, Have I stumbled into a child's play room? And the reason You would pay him fifteen dollars is because you don't want to pay high taxes and subsidize him on the back side. The same logic--if there ever was a nation that should learn to utilize it, this is the one--dictates why we should have universal health care.

[-] 7 points by flip (6812) 2 years ago

i am with you all the way here. charity forces us to survive at the whim of one individual - and how did he get his wealth - most likely on our backs! when gov't provides support it is (hopefully) under some form of democratic control - so we can decide as a society how the wealth of the country should be spent

[-] 1 points by the99areLazy (14) from Benton, PA 2 years ago

I understand what you are saying, you pay taxes to have the safety net of food stamps, disability, unemployment, ect. and if you ever have to use one of the services you really payed for it through taxes. That is not a handout.

However do understand that there are poor people that pay virtually no taxes in the span of their adult life (not that there is a problem) that are on food stamps, government housing, ect. That is a handout because they never paid into that safety net. That is what most of the comments above I belive were refering too when saying its a handout even though you worked and paid taxes for years. Unfortunatly that is a big misconception in socitiy today.

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

I understand what they are getting at, but having lived the majority of my life in working class splendor, I believe they are focused on an outliar and making it seem like it is the norm. I'd love to work hard and climb the affluency ladder but when I see the middle class as a rickety step slowly eroding and ponder the insecurities that that would invoke, I'll pass and survive with a temp service job until my mom retires, and see if I can get a teacher's job when it is my turn to fully support her. See, we working class slobs have plans too. Maybe if the middle is more robust in the future, I'll aspire for more, write a book and make a real buck. Besides she enjoys having someone cook her dinner and clean her house, while she teaches. I had to throw that last sentence in there so I don't get pigeon holed as a moocher. You do know how people like to stereotype those they know nothing about?

[-] 0 points by smith123 (2) 2 years ago

another question, how do you define "rich?" is it just someone with more than you?

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

I read data and look at long term trends. You should try it then you would not be reduced to asking questions.

[-] -1 points by smith123 (2) 2 years ago

"if the rich would pay their fair share" what exactly is their fair share and why do you feel it is your place to decide?

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

I get to put my two thoughts into the discussion because I am an American, and I said so. But a fair share is a percentage of assets and hefty estate tax, after all for some chump to call it a death tax, while they smear and muddle the good logic of the Founders, is arrogancy of the highest level. Every form of investment should be taxed progressively. The wealthy of a bygone era would not need a pauper to explain this to them; they would have not been so greedy to have forgotten it was their patriotic duty to pay more than those who were not fortuitous enough to climb the ladder that logic should tell you there ain't enough room for all.

[-] -1 points by OccupyCapitolHill (197) 2 years ago

The founding fathers didn't feel it was ANYone's "patriotic duty" to surrender the fruits of their labors in lieu of the absence of someone ELSE's labor. Not everyone who is poor works hard. There are some that SETTLE for marginality. My aunt is a social worker in California. Do you know how many women she has encountered that have had MULTIPLE children out of wed-lock with the goal of receiving welfare payments and benefits?

There are MANY who will SETTLE for the bare minimum if it is guaranteed, rather than take a gamble and WORK for a better future and a better life, and those kinds of people will find no sympathy from me.

Are there honest poor that are truly the victims of rough times? Absolutely? Should they be aided by the government? No. I don't trust the government as a middleman. Should the rich give to the poor? Yes. Should the rich be FORCED to give to the poor? No.

If you think socialism and forced wealth redistribution is what the Founding Fathers had in mind, you have probably never read a US History textbook in school.

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

I love the hypocrisy in this argument. So It is ok for an upper middle class person and an affluent person to utilize the loopholes the federal gov't creates, but it is lazy when the working class do it? The welfare mamma line is old and is as demeaning as the anchor baby one. I believe the one percent pariahs probably exist in each of the different tax brackets. but it is chicken shit when society ostracizes the lower portion of the bracket and worships the rest by calling them entrepreneurial and Innovative. And as for never learning the Founders' intent, you are talking to a political science correspondent by training and a patriotic rabble rouser by choice. When the rich get to pass their wealth to their offspring that is called Aristocracy. Read it, weep at it and learn from it. And you are right that I did not go to high school; I went to college, boo-ya.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

And you are right I did not go to high school I went to collage, booyA

Collage is a French word derived from the French verb coller which means to glue in English. A collage literally means a bunch of stuff glued together. Usually, it is used to describe a type of art, not a type of school.

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

always there to make me sound better. thanks for the head's up. I type sloppy when I am mad.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I understand. OccupyCapitolHill makes me angry too, especially when he uses caps lock and insults to attack the people he is discussing issues with.

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

Oh la la, touché, mon frere. I guess I should work on my debating etiquette too. Also, I should probably stop using so many French words. ;o)

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I must second this opinion. I don't think it could be better explained.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20840) 2 years ago

Charity sucks. No human being, in this day and age, should need charity, but due to greedy elements in this country and around the world, they do.

[-] 3 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 2 years ago

The reason putting this idea into practice wouldn't help is because the issue is not that we need more wealthy Americans devoting more of their money to their own pet organizations and causes. The issue is that we need a greater commitment to the overall social contract, one that guarantees a basic safety net for every American. That is the purpose of taxation -- it binds us all in that commitment.

In other news, where was that hardware store? That story legitimately made me laugh -- it reminded me of the Anatolian/Mediterranean merchants my husband encountered when traveling through that area.

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

We do have safety nets. The New Deal, The Square Deal, The Great Society, The Fair Deal. Obamacare. Do we need more?

[-] 2 points by EricAndersonJr (51) from Bloomington, IN 2 years ago

Yes, the safety net is there. But it is constantly under attack from so-called "small government conservatives" who consider any sort of government assistance to be an unmitigated evil (unless, of course, it's government assistance for oil companies, the financial sector, or defense contractors).

And, frankly, as long as children in this country are going hungry, and do not have access to quality education in a safe environment, then I would say yes, we need to do more. Further, those are needs that I refuse to believe should be left to the mercy of charity. They are fundamental needs that, as far as I'm concerned, fall squarely under the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution.

[-] -1 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

These programs continually get increased funding. More money every year, in most cases. Most of the people I know have had to tighten up the family budget, but the government spending never stops growing, whether money is coming in to the coffers or not.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

When money flows through a charity it picks up contamination. That contamination is the agenda in the conduit for the stream. The idea of funneling it through a governmental agency is that the agenda there is to try to get the recipient to self sufficiency as soon as possible. Not always perfect, to be sure, but with proper oversight the corruption can be kept to acceptable levels. Private charities have that issue as well, plus that of the agenda of the sponsoring organization e.g. religion, political agenda etc.

Administrative efficiency can be attained (Medicare has an overhead of only 5%) by any entity.

Another issue is the compensation of management. Boards, handpicked by management who approve their compensation (the board's) set the compensation of the management, is a corrupt system and obviously isn't working as evidenced by the risks the management takes and the obscene ratios of executive/average workers. How are you proposing to fix that?

How do you define small business? The rigged government definition can and does include very large privately held (small number of owners) companies like Bechtel, hedge funds etc.

Room for a lot of devils in the details.

[-] 2 points by teddyg (13) 2 years ago

In a world where a billion lack enough food- there should not be any rich.

[-] 0 points by technoviking (484) 2 years ago

in a world where millions are born without eyes, legs, arms, there should not be any olympic sports

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20840) 2 years ago

Charity keeps people down. What the rich need to do is pay a living wage to the employees who create their profits. This would end the need for charity.

[-] 1 points by JamesS89118 (646) from Las Vegas, NV 2 years ago

Another Faith-Based Capitalist hoping you come to love your masters and that we continue this economic Dark-Age's extreme capitalism.

Sorry Propagandist, I've got student loans and an education. Selling hs here just won't fly.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

We've driven ourselves TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, in attempts at allegedly motivating the top 1%.

Even the majority of the 1% are aware that this myth is complete nonsense. It's only those that inherit their wealth that cling to these lies. And what qualifications do they have to create jobs?? None. They're only good at inheriting money. The estates tax needs to go up and loopholes need to be abolished. That's the first step towards making America great again.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

They got rich because they picked the right family or because of greed.
The first step to getting the balance our country needs is to do what 83% of Americans already "voted" that they wanted.


http://www.nycga.net/groups/restore-democracy


[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 2 years ago

Short term profits v long term growth

The rich need to be educated to the fact that their over-accumulation of wealth not only hurts the rest of society but is also bad for them in the long run because it prevents and stifles growth in the economy.

The short term profits motivations of Wall Street today inhibit long term growth. free market economies require a healthy consumer base. Keeping capital from consumers reduces their ability to participate in the economy. Eventually short term profits at companies are inevitably reduced by the lack of long term growth in the economy.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!!! Nobody wants a handout, they want a job - a real one, with meaningful objectives that improves the world. Guess what, we don't need bosses, managers, owners, slave holders, or whatever you call it. They just get in the way when we need to solve problems. So why not start looking for a real job?

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 2 years ago

bosses get in the way of me staying at home to play MW3.

just give me money and get out of my face!

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

I stopped reading when I got to this incredibly stupid half-wit dum-fuk phrase:

"reducing everyone to the lowest common denominator"

Anyone who thinks that phrase is worth taking seriously is beyond reach.

The rest of you consider this:

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 98 percent of Americans, saw their earnings fall by $4.5 billion collectively.

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, 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. The lower majority held the rest. And rightfully so. It was the best year ever for the middle and lower classes. 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 over 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. If there is no redistribution, there will be 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 effective rates for the rich probably never exceeded 39% and certainly never exceeded 45%. My belief is that if true, those effective rates for the rich were still considerably higher than previous lows of '29'. Also that such policies still would have contributed to a partial redistribution by forcing the rich to either share profits and potential income through mass 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 heavily subsidized. The benefits of corporate welfare are paid almost exclusively to the rich. Our Federal, State, and local leaders are sold out. Most of whom, are rich and trying to get even richer at our expense. They won't do anything about the obscene concentration of wealth. 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, use any portion, 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.

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 2 years ago

Hobson's choice?

[-] 1 points by OccupyCapitolHill (197) 2 years ago

Not the way I see it. There are two options. 1) Donate to a charity of your choice and pay less taxes in an area of your chosing. 2) Donate nothing and pay more taxes across the board to a government that 1 in 2 Americans believes to be a threat to the freedom and liberty of the people (proven by survey, link below).

http://www.gallup.com/poll/149678/americans-express-historic-negativity-toward-government.aspx

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

No. Charity leans towards "picking and choosing" who gets what and is based on whatever is determined either by the institution that it is given or by the giver and this is arbitrary. We cannot have that.

We cannot have a system that functions based on how so and so is feeling at this particular time period. Pay the taxes.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

We do pay taxes. Government should have the balls to raise taxes to pay for all the shit they think is important. This fair share cry we hear all the time is so off point. Everyone pays what the bureaucrats tell us to pay. If one doesn't, they are what is commonly known as a tax cheat.

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

You do a good job of discerning the problem, but you fail to recognize the factors that caused the problem. I could explain it to you, but It would be better if you learned it yourself.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Actually I understand the problems that have gotten us here quite well. Its called horseshit government. Its really quite simple. If the bureaucrats want to give the public programs, they should be responsible in managing the finances and figure out how to pay as we go.

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

And you don't want to pass any of that blame on to the voters? they are just victims of an evil government? No wonder the buck stops with the president ; all his people seem to pass it so well.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Unfortunately children are not taught the constitution in any depth, if at all. Media spins truth, or gives have truths. Politicians love power and control. Their is no shame in passing bills quickly that have not been studied or read. Perhaps we have gotten exactly what we deserve: tyranny.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

I doubt very seriously that you are in the income bracket that needs to have their taxes raised to the preReagan days.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Your point? Try to focus. The tax rates are what they are. Your hatred for rich people is immature, childish, and irrelevant.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

I don't hate the rich. Nor have I given anything in any of my posts that could be seen as such. In fact, I have brought up the petition that has been signed by millionaires and billionaires that support raising those taxes. :D

[-] 1 points by philosophersstoned (233) from Gypsum, CO 2 years ago

trickle down doesn't work

[-] 0 points by Anachronism (225) 2 years ago

If anything we need to be un-american. Americanness is a pathology

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

Seems like you're pathologically plastering this message all over the place. I've seen you say this numerous times now. Why not write an original post and just get it all out there. Tell us all how and why we should all be un-American. Or maybe you already have and I missed it. Please advise.

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

just a thought.

I have been noticing more and more , people are focusing on the overly wealthy and trying to find ways to distribute that wealth .. a little more evenly .. this is good thought. I believe there are many of the wealthy who do not know how to solve this inequality problem either. The simple solution is to place a cap on profits . this will limit the accumulation at the top. problem solved

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

The rich already give away "billions" in charities. Microsoft, Apple, Home Depot just to name a few already donate.

How much more will be "enough"?

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I guess they should give until it actually works.

'Cause it's not working now.

Or, they could just pay their taxes and stop trying to own my government.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Well, if you do a search on just how much the "billionaires and millionaries" give away, you will be greatly surprised. They can't be expected to carry the burden of the entire country on their shoulders.

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

Since the top 10% owns nearly 80% of the wealth, (and the bottom 50% own a scant 2.5% of it) since they carry the wealth of nearly the entire country in their wallets, the burden rightly falls on their shoulders.

But the issue, as has been pointed out by others (repeatedly, and yet you refuse to understand) is not individuals with wealth, but the inequitable system itself, one that creates the greatest disparity between rich and poor in the developed world, a system that has been redistributing money from the bottom to the top for the last 30 years.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

The bottom 50% has 2,5% of the wealth. How do you propose to deal with that, put your head back in the sand?

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Hey, I never had a problem making a good living, having what I want and if I wanted more go out and work for it.

How about you? Have you experienced what this country has to offer and have you devised a plan to go after what you want?

If you can answer yes to that question, then you wouldn't have a problem with others have.

If you answer no to that question then you are too young and/or inexperienced and have yet to figure out how to do it.

[-] 5 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

First, try getting a little hurt, or a little sick, or a little old, or a little black or a little under employed for about 9 months, or have a big company decide that they really want what you have.

I'm an old retired guy, worked in hi-tech, played entrepreneuring, Done everything from technician to CEO. I have experienced what this country has to offer. I have competed against, the big guys and won, and I have lost. I have written, got financing for (in the US, Europe and Asia), and implemented a number of business plans. Some of them failed, some succeeded and were bought by bigger firms, I am more comfortable than most. I have been in every state and 23 countries. I figured out how to do it. I exported jobs and I repatriated them. I am not a naive child.

I have worked side by side with F500 CEO's. I know those guys pretty well. Some I admire, some are the most despicable humans you could meet.

I have a lot of family way below the poverty line, who have always worked harder than I have. Some are smarter than I am. I remember where I came from. Generalizing has its issues. So does condescension.

"you wouldn't have a problem with (what?) others have." Sir, you presume too much. We aren't talking about avarice, here. Even the selfish rich have read the history of previous "civilizations" and they know that if you push the difference far enough, you will find barbarians at your gates. You may even be related to some of them. You may be your keeper's brother, so to speak.

The not-so-selfish rich, realize that there is actually such a thing as "enough." Buffet isn't a saint but he and his brother walk the walk.

When was the last time you were really hungry? A mile in someone else's shoes is a good treatment for arrogance. Your profile is also empty.

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

Thank you, Brightonsage, for your lucid and human response.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

You are welcome. Hang in there.

[-] -1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

I was never hungry and you want to know why - because I was taught at an early age that if I wanted to have something I had to "earn it".

Be it a $1.00, be it $100.00 be it $1,000.00. That's the difference between todays society and the society I was brought up in.

I lived in a tent travling the country looking for work and lived in a camper for 5 years looking for work when jobs in this country were scarce. I did what I needed to do to support my family and pay my bills.

I too am at the age of retirement and have worked all my life. And as such I learned early on that just being able to do "one job" isn't enough if you want to be successful.

It takes having "multiple job skills" starting out on the bottom and working your way up to the top

The people complaining today don't have a clue as to what it takes to get a job because they don't know how to.

All they hear from the news media and the Obimination is "the evil rich and wealthy".

Well sir, I don't care about the so called "evil rich and wealthy". If I focused on what others have I wouldn't have what I have today.

Ask the people you know who are complaining about not having anything if they have a 5 year plan to change their financial situation?

If they say they don't, 5 years from now they will be exactly where they are today.

You see successful people have the desire, the fortitude and the drive to be successful - and I am sure you very well understand that based upon your lifes experience.

Working a 40 hour week doesn't cut it and lots of times working a 80 hour week doesn't cut it.

Successful people have no family life to speak of and are "dedicated to their occupation" instead of being dedicated to their family.

Granted there are peopl in our society who need a helping hand but that's only a small percent compared to the vast majority of slackers in this country.

There are jobs out there but people don't want to leave their "cacoon" to go after them.

I have two friends where I live that have interviews - one with a corporation the other with the county - there are jobs out there and they aren't going to be handed to a person who thinks it's their right to have one.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Based on people I actually know, there are a lot more than a "small percent" who have been really trying hard but can't get a job that will feed their families.

I spent a career improving efficiency and saving labor. We succeeded. Most of what is gone is what we called middle management. And I/we built Computer Aided Design (CAD) and assembly lines, Computer Automated Manufacturing (CAM) and remote asset monitoring and control and management dashboards that replaced dozens of middle managers and analysts. And now there are no jobs for these people who are over qualified and people won't hire them for service jobs because they are overqualified and employers believe that they will quit as soon as they can find a job that will support their family.

Cocoon: They can't move to find a job because their unemployment won't follow them. The safety net traps them.

People used to leave kids alone while they worked, Can't do that now. Child abuse.

There are a lot of obstacles and problems that aren't the fault of the people out of work. I feel for them. But if the wage profile today was what it was in the 1950's when I started, the average worker would make $5500. more than they do today. $5500 on top of $36,000 is significant, when you look at the cost of food and gas.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

People complain about unions and as a result they complain about low wages. They would rather go out and buy a $300.00 television then pay a man a decent wage to fix their plumbing problem - they may pay it but they complain about it.

The people of this country need to get their heads screwed on right. Ther is no "loyalty" towards this country anymore and this is the result.

Look at what the NAFTA agreement has done to the GDP - it has fallen ever since it was signed into law.

It needs to be repealed. We need to change the way this country does business.

I have posted this on previous threads and I will post it again:

We need to put a "equilization tax" on all imports so that the price of an imported product will equal the price of a domestically made product.

The "equilization tax" then needs to be used to help companies who want to build manufacturing plants to produce goods made here in the United States.

We also need to impose a "export/import tax" on US companies who reside here in the United States,and use companies outside the United States to manufacturer goods to be imported here in the United States.

Revenues from these taxes can be used to "build our infrastructure" and put people to work who are collecting welfare - to be supervised and trained by businesses here in the United States.

We need to start being concerned about what's going on in this country instead of "buying chinese made products" that build the chinese economy.

[-] 3 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I concur on tariffs and investing in infrastucture, How about a tax on uninvested cash? Corporations are sitting on $ trillions. They want tax amnesty on repatriating their foreign profits. They say they want certainty.

The "certainty" is that there should be an incentive to invest rather than sit on it. And they should pay interest on the delay from when the profit was earned and their taxes are paid.

Banks borrow at 0-0.5 % and buy treasuries at $1.% and get $0.5 for doing absolutely nothing and taking no risk, or 29% on credit card financing.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Hey, if it is designed to "imporve the economy" then I'm all for it as long as it doesn't penalize them if they are productive towards the "economy"

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Locality has more to do with job availability than skill or experience or even willingness to work. No one can base a large geological area on the basis of one small one.

At a point in time not so far removed people moved from the southeast to the north Midwest simply because of the availability of jobs difference. Today on a national level for every job advertised there are four (4) applicants, take into consideration locality, the number of applicants can double or triple.

I witnessed the last 'migration for jobs' in the 80's. Families attempting to move from point A to point B with no guarantee of employment or housing. As recently as the 90's men would leave their families to secure work, yet once securing work found that housing was not available.

Basing perceptions on one's own life experiences only works when it is within a small sampling with a locality, basing perceptions on a wide base of information, including information outside one's life experiences changes those perceptions.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

I traveled around quite a bit during the 80's and found not only employment but housing.

There are jobs out - have you looked at Craigslist under "skilled craft/trades".

If I needed a job tomorrow, you can be sure I would make whatever effort necessary to get one and i guarentee you i will find one and it will be a good paying job.

I posted on another subject that todays generation places no value in what they own and as a result they could care less if they pay for it or not.

That's why there are so many foreclosures - I have been financing with banks for over 30 years and never once defaulted on a loan.

Why, because I stand behind my commitments to others - todays generation don't - they place no value on what they own including their mirrage.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

Your first sentence gives it away...thirty years ago it was a lot different than it is today.

It's evident you aren't fully informed on the foreclosure crisis. The majority of the homes that are being foreclosed upon aren't being foreclosed because of failure to pay, it's because the banks, in some cases promoted the ARM financing and in others took advantage of people unfamiliar with banks and interest rates to place them in an ARM loan even when the person requesting the loan qualified for a fixed rate. The ARM loans increased the interest rates exorbitantly to make the derivatives more attractive, and based the rating on previous performance of the homeowner who could no longer meet the new rate and payments.

The banks have not worked with the homeowners to adjust or refinance at a reasonable rate to allow the loans to be completed allowing them to default instead.

Just recently there was a report on a particular home, the people had lived there for 10 years. Ten years of regular payments with no late payments. The house was sold at auction for far less than the amount owed, purchased by the same bank that held the mortgage.

Once again you are basing your opinions and your answers on personal experience which is not reflected in the experiences of others.

I am sorry your view of the world and humanity is so narrow.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

No, my view of the world and humanity is not "so narrow" as you say.

The banks didn't twist the arms of people to get "ARM loans" they didn't twist the arms of people to get a 110% loan - they didn't twist the arms of people to get a "interest only loan".

Todays society has "no value" in what they own - there is "no ownership".

Look at how many people go to wally world to buy "cheap chinese made products" only to be thrown aside a few months from now for new ones.

People own cell phones, new cars, the latest greatest gadgets but yet when it comes to being "financially responsible" well you can for get it.

Todays society don't know how to surive - If the country was shut down tomorrow there would "rioting in the streets within a few days"

Katrina was a fine example of that.

Now that is not to say that a lot of people in this country know how to survive and pay their bills but you never hear about them because they know what they need to do.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

:Todays society don't know how to surive - If the country was shut down tomorrow there would "rioting in the streets within a few days""

A study done by the military (Joint Chiefs) in the Eisenhower Administration concluded that any city center when deprived of services (read deliveries) for three days, there would be rioting in the streets. Food would be hoarded, water in short supply, by day 7 'gangs' would be raiding homes for supplies.

Your example is 40 years late.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

See, what I said was right - todays society wouldn't know how to survive - especially those who live in the big cities.

[-] 2 points by PandoraK (1678) 2 years ago

They didn't know 50 years ago.

Doesn't have to be a 'big city', cease services, means no electric, no electric also means no water even in the country if there is no jack pump (hand pump).

The rivers and lakes are not in good shape so fresh water would be an issue.

Very few would adapt, many would die, anarchy would be complete.

Again, your premise 'today's society wouldn't know how to survive is actually incorrect. Society of 50-60 years ago wouldn't have known. The only difference is few have learned any survival skills. It's more important to have skills that earn cash.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

The society of 50 60 years ago lived in a different enviornment - they were more independent and there were less people.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

This is not a response to what I said, I just answered your question.

You come back with more misdirection.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

I am only providing you with an "alternative". You have options - you are the "captain of your fate and the master of your soul".

It is up to you to decide where you want to be in life - not me, not the guy next door nor your neighbour.

And your neighbour along with all others have the same opportunities.

Now, that is not to say that they may need a little help to get them motivated but other then that - they don't need a "handout" from someone who was successful and worked for what they have.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Out Of The Night That Covers Me by William Ernest Henley. He died at 53 after a very difficult life.

But, they don't all have the same opportunities, do they? Henley didn't. That is the trouble with fictions, they are nice to try to aspire to, but when you look at them closely, you find they are far from reality.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Misdirection, on top of misdirection, with a trite adage thrown in?

Who do you think I am?

I answered your question.

Keep in mind that it was corporations that shipped jobs overseas and lowered wages and benefits on much of what was left.

Not the small business man.

They did cause the situation.

I'm gonna go cook dinner.

You should do the same.