Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: What will happen if and/or when the 1% leave?

Posted 2 years ago on July 8, 2012, 11:06 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am a lifelong Dem and strong supporter of the 99% (that is why I am here). So I hope folks don't get the wrong idea when I point out that there is one thing about the 1% that I have had in the back of my mind for a long time, and is best highlighted from the link below (which is obviously pro-Repub biased). Nevertheless, I think it is something to think about, because we all know that the 1% are no respecters of borders, just like money is no respecter of borders.

So the question to be asked is "What will happen when they leave?" Is the guy in this link pointing to the truth or is it pure Repub propaganda? It is an interesting question to ponder.

http://actionamerica.org/taxecon/ticktick.shtml

34 Comments

34 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Where are they going that they don't go now? They all going to move to China because of the business friendly environment, lack of regulations and taxes? They have already been doing this.

Most of the ultra rich have homes all over the world as it is. So again, where are they going to go that they aren't already going to?

We have nothing to lose.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

The question isn't a matter of them merely traveling. It is the matter of renouncing American citizenship permanently and pulling all of their wealth and any other taxable resources out of the country. I'm just asking what would actually happen if they all did that.

I have to tell you plainly and honestly, if I had billions that might be in jeopardy of loss, whether from taxes or anything else, I would protect those assets any way I could. This is only logical from their point of view.

It's true the 99% have nothing to lose because we don't have much. But they have a lot to lose. Many, perhaps most, may not want to renounce American citizenship, but the world is a big place with many different countries and many different laws, some of which may be more favorable to the rich than our laws. If I felt I was given no choice, I would do what I felt I had to do.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

And my point is, whatever country has the most amenable laws to protect their assets, they are there already.

At one point it was Switzerland with hidden bank accounts, then the Caymen Islands with loose banking rules..... they have been playing the shell game and moving assets globally for decades now.

Look at entertainers, and they are not billionaires. The Rolling Stones became ex-pats since 1974, because they fell into the 90% tax bracket in England. Those with actual billions to protect here have already off-shored their wealth. They are always one step ahead of the game.

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

Nothing, and I do mean nothing belongs to them, nor you or anyone else for that matter. Are you sure the storms will even let them leave the country? How are they going to exist if all other countries are having earthquakes, floods, fires or other calamities? They will have to learn how to exist just like everyone else! Mother nature is not guaranteeing anyone shyt right about now!. If they leave here, then you will have to learn how to take care of yourselves like your ancestors did before dictators arrived on the scene. Now, go buy some vegetable seeds! You just might want to eat!!

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

That's odd....while reading it I could picture all the dictators standing before the masses, particularly Hitler, with his hand held high...while all the alleged government officials (those being paid off, of course) smiled, nodding in agreement with him as he sent his Armies to gather up the peoples and drag them to the incinerators. So, pray tell what's the difference? This has been the way of tyranny since man was able to murder mankind, their families and their children. Then it states, "write your Congressman"?

Why? To get a better feel for who is being paid to be a flunky? So we can pay for their flights outta here?

[-] 1 points by letsdomore (89) 2 years ago

This reporter is a hack. C'mon it's all a bunch of fluff. Does anyone really fall for this crap.

  • Let's go through this garbage.

  • FACT SPIN: The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers pay more than one third (38.02%) of all federal individual income taxes collected. (Source: IRS)

  • TRUTH The nonmenclature doesn't consider "payroll tax" as "income tax". Most income from lower earners are from payroll since they don't own corporations. Hence no "income tax" and other passive income.

  • FACT SPIN: The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers earn just over one fifth (20.0%) of all federally taxable individual income. (Source: IRS)

  • TRUTH, Yeah, but they are able to accumulate massive wealth over the years. The 1% own over 80% of the nation's total wealth.

  • Fact SPIN: The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers pay more than half again (50.6%) more of the total individual income tax load than they did when President Reagan left office (1989 tax year - 25.24% of tax load). (Source: IRS).

  • TRUTH, There has also been a huge gain in their wealth since that time to account for that much more tax.

  • Fact SPIN: The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers are facing frivolous lawsuits in phenomenal numbers, simply because our lax tort laws make them easy targets of opportunity.

  • TRUTH, "phenomenal numbers" what kind of fluff is that? Of course. A mogul owning a dozen large corporations would be sued by more people than a Walmart cashier making $25k a year.

  • Fact SPIN The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers are in more danger of government seizure (forfeiture*) of their private property than ever before in our history, due in part, to the Patriot Act.

  • TRUTH, Ridiculous. All of us are in more danger from the Patriot act. Ibet for every one of the 1% that has had their property seized by the patriot act, a 100,000 of the 99% have been forclosed on.

  • Fact SPIN The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers are Leaving the USA at the highest rate in history. (Source: INS/Census Bureau & Zogby International estimates)

  • TRUTH, The bottom earning 99% of US taxpayers are also leaving the USA at the highest rate in history.
[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5878) 2 years ago

Socialite Dumps US Passport and Most Taxes too

The move could save Denise Rich, 68, millions of dollars over the years

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48118502/ns/business-personal_finance/t/socialite-dumps-us-passport-most-taxes-too

Reuters

By Lynnley Browning

Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and former wife of pardoned billionaire trader Marc Rich, has given up her U.S. citizenship - and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill.

Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and glossy figure in Democratic and European royalty circles, renounced her American passport in November, according to her lawyer.

Her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg, appeared in the Federal Register on April 30 in a quarterly list of Americans who renounced their U.S. citizenship and permanent residents who handed in their green cards.

By dumping her U.S. passport, Rich likely will save tens of millions of dollars or more in U.S. taxes over the long haul, tax lawyers say.

Rich, who wrote songs recorded by Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Jessica Simpson, is the latest bold-faced name to join a wave of wealthy people renouncing their American citizenship. Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin gave up his U.S. passport to become a citizen of Singapore, an offshore tax haven, before the company's initial public offering in May.

Nearly 1,800 citizens and permanent residents, a record since data was first compiled in 1998, expatriated last year, according to government figures.

Rich, who was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, has Austrian citizenship through her deceased father, said Michael Heidt, a lawyer in Hollywood, Florida, who represented her in a recent lawsuit.

He said Rich had dumped her U.S. passport "so that she can be closer to her family and to Peter Cervinka, her long-time partner." Rich's two daughters live in London; Cervinka, a wealthy property developer, is an Austrian national. Rich plans to make London her main residence and does not intend to acquire other passports, Heidt said.

Marc Rich's pardon

Rich's ex-husband, commodities trader Marc Rich, fled the United States in 1983 when indicted on charges of tax evasion, fraud, racketeering and illegal trading of oil with Iran. They divorced in 1996.

Marc Rich received a presidential pardon in 2001 on President Bill Clinton's last day in office. Federal prosecutors and Congress investigated the pardon, and in 2002 a House of Representatives committee concluded Denise Rich had swayed the action through donations to the Clinton library and campaign.

Dubbed "Lady Gatsby" by Yachting magazine, Rich owns multiple properties, including a mansion in Aspen, Colorado. She is a frequent habitue of Cannes, Monte Carlo and St. Tropez with celebrities and singers aboard her 157-foot yacht, Lady Joy.

Rich will escape future U.S. taxes but possibly not all current ones. In 2008, Congress imposed an expatriation tax on persons with a net worth of more than $2 million who dump their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. Under the law, those people owe an "exit tax" on their worldwide property, computed at a fair market value the day before they leave. But tax lawyers say the tax can be reduced or avoided by structuring asset holdings through foreign annuities.

While Austria, like the United States, generally taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, it has generous tax breaks for citizens who spend half the year abroad.

In January, Rich put her 5th Avenue penthouse in New York on the market for $65 million, according to the listing agent, The Corcoran Group. New York property records show Rich acquired a 100 percent stake in the apartment, described by Corcoran as "the epitome of luxury and grandeur," for $200,000 in 2006. Bonnie Evans, the Corcoran broker for the property, declined to discuss details.

Cook Islands

The recent lawsuit against Rich was filed on behalf of Lee Goldberg, the former protector of a Cook Islands trust of which Rich is a beneficiary, in February. The case was dismissed in April, court records show.

The Cook Islands, a South Pacific tax haven, offers Swiss-style secrecy for wealthy investors.

The lawsuit accused Rich and Richard Kilstock, a British real estate entrepreneur who is married to Rich's daughter Daniella, of "transferring, moving or secreting trust assets, in violation of the trust's guidelines and without the knowledge or permission of Goldberg."

Rich and Kilstock denied the charges and accused Goldberg of altering trust documents, court filings show.

Both Goldberg and his attorney, Donald Thomas, declined to discuss the case. Rich recently dismissed Goldberg, one of her long-time lawyers, as protector of the trust.

Heidt, who also represents Kilstock in the case, declined to discuss the lawsuit. Kilstock did not return calls requesting comment.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thank you for providing that. That is an example of what I am talking about. Where could we get some official statistics on what % of the 1% are doing this? And at what rate are they doing it? Is it at a rate that would be a burden on the 99% if all of that concentrated wealth went offshore? Or would the US Government finally decide to reduce spending by cutting back on military expenditures (currently 20% of budget)? Can you imagine how much money could be saved if we reduced our military expenditures to, say, only 10% of budget?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5878) 2 years ago

They are already leaving, have been for years. There is already an exit tax for those who do so. But who are these 1%? Are they really the 1% that is often spoken of or are they merely the highest paying 1% who actually happen to be paying taxes? How successful are they if they're not among the 1% who are greatly reducing or eliminating their taxes?

And can they all leave? Will not others replace them upon reaching the same level of success? Is it truly the draining of a lake or is it a continually flowing stream?

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Well, I agree that anyone smart enough, lucky enough (through inheritance), or industrious enough to be in the 1% probably can afford to hire very smart tax accountants, advisers, lawyers, etc. and work the system to their best advantage. Any logical and intelligent person with great wealth would do that. So it really is the system that needs to be changed, because you're not going to change human nature -- not ever.

But what people hate is that the wealthy can buy influence to keep that system working to their advantage (Citizens United as one famous example). People want a system that is fair to all citizens. People can accept that. People form protest movements like Occupy when they know the system is rigged to their disadvantage.

Fix the system, the system, the system.

But how? The 99% can't compete for influence like the 1% can. The 99% are at the mercy of whatever their leaders are going to do. But every once in a while they realize that they're being beat up pretty bad by somebody or something, and then they get pissed enough to lash back. That's what we see happening now.

You may be right that it is a continually flowing stream, but what if that stream can't or won't keep flowing? What if the source of that stream dries up? What is the guarentee that for every 1%er that leaves there is another one to take his/her place?

And what if it is, in fact, a draining lake?

There needs to be some type of detailed analysis about this to determine exactly what is going on with the 1% exodus.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

They need us more than we need them. Capital does not create wealth, production does. The majority of businesses in the US are small ones, not large conglomerates. If they leave, the smaller businesses will have room to move up.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Well, a huge drop in Gov revenue is one possibility (see MD):

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48120446

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by SingleVoice (158) 2 years ago

Thank you for your post...very enlightening.

When we've run everyone out of the country that pays for most of our massive government programs thereby losing so much of our revenue that "austerity" will need to be worse than Greece while we face inevitable economic collapse, and the government decides that now the top 80% of the people are the new demons and should be taxed ALL of their income to make up for the loss of revenue, I'll remember with sadness the days when success in business was something to be proud of and aspire to and not something looked down on, penalized by the government and impossible to achieve in this country anymore because the government has decided to take ALL you earn and create. That's the direction we're heading. Isn't that socialism? When the government takes all you create and you no longer own anything or get to keep anything you earn? And in most socialist governments, isn't the bounty given to the elites and the rest of us fall farther into poverty?

The top 1% are not all corporations. The top 1% are defined by the Treasury as people earning over $350,000. These are mostly the job creators. We can fix the problems with corporations that have links to wall street and congress by outlawing lobbying, punishing the crooks on wall street and in congress and voting in citizens while voting out the crony crook incumbents. We don't need to screw up our whole way of life to fix things.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

What I have always struggled with is "Where is the happy balance point that fair and equitable tax for all should be?" If you follow me much on this forum, you know I am a big fan of the scandinavian model. Their taxes are high (anywhere from 35% to 60%) on a progressive tax system (more you make the more they take). But the BIG thing is they use all their taxes properly for social programs that benefits EVERYONE in their country. Because of this, everyone has a comfortable standard of living. In other words, everyone is sorta middle class. There are very few ultra rich, and the social programs see to it that there is NO poverty -- NONE. So what I have struggled with is why we can't have a society like that instead of this awful mess that we have now that has slowly built up over the last 30 years.

I think what pisses most people off is that we probably could have it that way if we did the right things, but this great wealth inequality is so glaring now that people have formed a perception of the rich as "greedy bastards" rigging the system for their advantage through lobbying and bribing politicians, good ol' boy network, etc.

To me the solution appears fairly simple (perhaps I'm just a simpleton). Fair taxation for ALL, elimination of loopholes, new approaches like national retail sales tax, etc. Tax reform has been discussed for decades, but never changed significantly.

Why?

The answer to that question reveals everything.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5878) 2 years ago

Some power that be, I don't currently know specifically who, benefits from the way things are. When that power no longer benefits from the way things are, there will be a change to their benefit.

[-] 1 points by meep (233) 2 years ago

I think that the "power that be" that you are referring to is essentially a meme. A thought, or body of thought that propagates itself through the medium of human discourse. This meme happens to be very effective because it is founded on a self-fulfilling prophecy, the idea that government is bad (though I think that's probably just part of the meme, maybe even just a small part). The more the meme spreads, the less people trust government, and therefore the less effective government is. Many people also base their sense of righteousness on this meme, it is tied into their sense of self, and therefore any attack on the meme is perceived as personal. Such people, even when confronted with obvious counter evidence have so much tied up in the meme that they will do everything in their power to argue it away or rationalize things.

Basically, this power that be will never stop benefiting from the way things are, because it is the cause of the way things are, and it's life as a meme depends on it. The only way to circumvent the power of this meme is through emotional reattachment. That is, one can never sway an audience with logic, one can only sway an audience with emotion. So the only way to resolve these issues is to find an emotional path from attachment from this meme to some other less destructive one. What this means is that attempting to counter the powers that be with an opposing force will never work, it will only entrench the offending meme. Furthermore, attempting to raise awareness for our own perspectives will never work because this meme is too distant. In order to move society and human thought away from this meme we need to be able to see it from the inside. Only then can we find the path that will lead the way out.

Anyway, I just made all that up, and I'm not sure how much of it is valid or how close it is to the truth, but it sounds kinda cool.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Are there any small communities in the U.S. who practice an economic system similar to the kind of government you admire in Scandinavia?

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I am not personally aware of any, although it may be the case that some might exist and I am unaware of them. I would LOVE to find that out.

However, I think the problem with that is that it would be difficult to operate a small community on those principles within the larger context of a society that operates on completely different principles. In the Scan countries, the well-being of people is put ahead of the profit motive. Of course, businesses still need to operate and people need to work in those businesses. But the focus is less on profit and more on people there.

Here it would be more difficult, even in small communities, because the mindset is so different. People would have to be committed to putting others first ahead of themselves, and this ultimately leads to more social programs that takes care of everyone. But people here are under the impression that they are being "taxed to death". They don't see where their tax money is going and how it is being used to their personal benefit. And people are VERY focused here on how THEY are being benefited or not benefited. We are a supremely selfish society. We like to think that we're not that way, but then all you have to do is look around and it becomes pretty obvious that we are.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

There are Occupy movements in Oslo, Helsinki, and Stockholm. I wonder if anyone here has lived in Scandinavia and can give us a glimpse of what living in a country that takes nearly 50% of your income is like compared to the U.S which takes about 28%.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I would be REALLY interested in knowing why they are protesting in those cities, because those countries have among the highest standards of living of anyplace in the entire world. Maybe it's just the case that they don't know how well they have it. It is human nature to always look at the negative aspects of your personal situation and not see/notice the positives. If those Occupy demonstrators did some world traveling to other democracies they might change their opinion about where they live because, statistically at least, they are doing much better than the rest of the world.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Just to clear things up: Income tax for an avarage worker's paycheck is about 30%. I've informed jrhirsch about this as well. I wrote an article about our system in Norway: http://occupywallst.org/forum/welfare-and-workers-rights-in-norway/ if anyone's interested.

There have been a few Occupy protests in Norway, but in no way in the same way as it is in the States. I think the main reason is that a lot of the things that many americans are struggling for now, like decent pay for workers, free health care, free education, have been, to a very large extent, achieved in Norway.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Thanks SFF for that info. I am always interested in getting correct information about the Scan countries from people who are living there. I take a lot of flak from people who say the Scan model could never work in the USA. To me, looking to your country as a model makes a lot more sense than anything else I've heard of. Hope to continue to hear from you for input as to reality of Scan life that could perhaps persuade the detractors that it really is a better way than what the USA has devolved into.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Thanks. What a lot of people tend to forget is that the tax system in Norway is more progressive than in the States, f.ex. The more you earn the more % you pay in taxes. So there are certainly many many people who pay a higher percentage than 30-35 in income tax in Norway, but that's the upper middle class and higher.

[-] 0 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

Struggleforfreedom80 is from Norway. I was talking to him today and he said that the Norwegian economy has been barely effected by the crisis. Later I looked it up and there unemployment rate is about 3.2%. As far as what they are protesting I'm not sure but I'll bet that Norway isnt a utopia and if there are elites in that country then I am sure there is something to complain about but they do do it from a different place than we do.

I'm sure there are some people that live in sub saharan Africa that wonder what the hell it is we are bitching about. Most of those people live on less than 2$ a day AIDS is rampant not to mention some warlord could declare war on you village and ethnically clense you, your family and friends. To them the U.S. probably seems like a utopia so I guess its all about perspective

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Re. Norway & Sweden :

ad iudicium ...

[-] -1 points by SingleVoice (158) 2 years ago

I don't care for big government social programs so I don't think I would be a fan of the scandinavian model. I want to choose my own health care based on my needs and not someone else's needs and I would have preferred to put my own social security away in my own pension plan instead of the government squandering my social security on stupid programs like turtle bridges, etc so that it probably won't be there when I need it.

I DO think there should always be safety nets for those that can't make it on their own but the government shouldn't be so bloated that they can't run it efficiently enough to notice and erase fraud from those programs. Our form of government has been one of incentive to achieve more and not to be penalized for success. That's why America has always been at the forefront of innovation and ideas. That's what makes us unique and has made us the country everyone wants to flock to. The problem we've had is that while we were sleeping, wall street bought congress and set the course in motion that we have today. In the late 90s when wall street lobbied congress to get rid of the Glass-Steagall Act which was enacted in the 1930s for the same reason we need it today...to separate depositor banks from investment banks, that is really at the heart of everything that went wrong. They not only corrupted our financial system but also the banks in Europe with the toxic derivatives they sold that has caused the collapse of the entire economy worldwide. The congress has gotten so corrupt and has made their own wealth on insider information. We need to get rid of everyone in congress and start with citizens who are not yet corrupted and then keep getting rid of them every 4 or 6 years so they don't have time to get corrupted. There's nothing wrong with our form of government. The problem is with the people we keep electing to run it.

I do agree with you on fair taxation for all but we may disagree on what that means. The 16th amendment was enacted to help pay for WW!! and was supposed to be a temporary tax on income. We are only supposed to be taxed once on our money but we are taxed multiple times on the same income. We're taxed when we earn it and again when we spend it. I don't think it's fair that almost 50% of the country pays no income tax at all while the rest of us pay for all the stupid bloated programs the congress enacts for votes and their favorite lobbies.

I think a fair tax would be to only tax what you buy, like you said, a national sales tax. Then you have a choice to buy or not. To do that you have to get rid of income tax (you can't have both or it would be totally unfair) which would in turn get rid of ALL loopholes. Of course, I think food and medicine should be exempt from tax. Taxes on these items purchased would be high but you can choose to buy or not. When the so-called "rich" buy a yacht, they would pay a sizable tax on that. And someone who wants a 50" TV would pay a sizable tax on that whether they're rich or not. The rich would still pay more because they will buy more but people will be taxed fairly and maybe when everyone is paying into the tax system and has skin in the game, maybe then they would pay more attention to what is going on in their government with their tax money and vote to keep the congress honest or get rid of them. They might also be more particular about the programs needed and hold the congress accountable for wasteful spending.

There are people discussing this. They just need to hear more people agree to make it happen.

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I can agree with your second paragraph; the part about Glass-Steagall. Your first paragraph disturbs me.

And here is why.

I don't...I want...my needs...I would have preferred...my own social security...my own pension plan...I need it.

Get the point? This is what is wrong with our society. We have become supremely selfish and focused on what we want. If we would all "forget" ourselves and our tiny insignificant nothingness in this vast universe, and instead focus on the other guy and his needs, things would take care of themselves because we would all be looking out for each other, instead of only looking out for #1.

This is actually the way it used to be to a much greater degree many years ago. Of course, there has always been selfishness and greed in human history...and there always will be. Masses of people cannot be transformed into sainthood. But the degree of it is much worse now than it used to be, and to know this you have to have been around for awhile (I'm a few days away from turning 57). We have become much more ultra-materialistic...much more focused on things than on people. People are what matter, not things. I know lots of people subscribe to the view of "he who dies with the most toys wins" philosophy. But they need to ask themselves exactly what it is that they are "winning". If they took the time to think about it, they might come to the conclusion that they are actually losing (although most would never admit this to themselves).

The really sad thing about all of this is that we have the technology to eradicate poverty...but we don't. This doesn't have anything to do with our capabilities, but our severe deficiencies as human beings. We can look around and see what needs to be done everywhere we look. But we continue to turn our minds back to ourselves, our desires, our comforts, our this, our that. Me, myself and I.

There is a great need for an awakening in this country and, indeed, all around the world. Materialism has become the focus.

People should be the focus. That's why the 99% will always have my vote, because they are the vast majority of people. The 1% are a minority of wealth=things=selfishness=greed. They are promoted as job creators, benevolent benefactors, creators of opportunity, something to look up to, etc. But it is very clear what they really are, to anyone with a clear mind and open eyes that can observe what they do, and the rhetoric they espouse. They are spin masters and liars, protectors of self-interest, "I got mine, go get yours, and leave me the hell alone". They are heartless beasts...worse than beasts actually. A wolf pack works together for the benefit of each member's survival. If they worked for their own self-interests they would collectively perish.

And that is exactly what is happening in this country and around the world (we are perishing collectively) as mankind continues its insanity based on selfishness and greed, rather than selflessness and charity.

[-] 2 points by SingleVoice (158) 2 years ago

Being self reliant is not the same as being selfish. That is what has been lost over the recent generations. I also am 57 years old and I grew up in a time and a family when self reliance was a character trait and not misconstrued as being selfish. We've raised a generation of I, me, mine kids that don't understand the idea that they can control their future and be self reliant. Many have been spoiled because everything was given to them by their parents who were only trying to make it easy for their children. But now, these young adults don't understand what self reliance is and that it's not the government's job to take care of their every need. The fact that I don't feel that government should have their hand in everything we do in our personal lives just says that I cherish liberty and self reliance over loss of liberty and more government control. That doesn't make me selfish or greedy or even materialistic. It makes me educated enough to know where we are headed if we continue on this path of giving government more and more control over our life and liberties.

The problem we have in our financial system today is a direct result of wall street and lobbyists owning congress. I think we can agree on that so let's solve that problem and leave our liberty alone.

The reason we haven't eradicated poverty is not because we don't give enough as a country or a people. It's because the money we do give is wasted in fraud and bureaucracy. That is why giving to local community charities and organizations is much more efficient and effective. The money actually goes to the people that need it. Most people, successful or not, do much for their communities, charities and neighbors by their own choice and out of their own wallets. We're not wolf packs, we're people helping people. What do you do for your community? Yes, we do need some government safety net programs but they need to be run efficiently so the people that need it, receive the benefits of it instead of the people that run them. The larger the government becomes, the more inefficient and the more the bureaucracy benefits rather than the people it is supposed to help.

The greedy, selfish ones that caused our mess are the ones we need to target. They are specifically the ones running congress that have been bought and paid for by Wall Street and lobby groups. Let's focus on that and fix that and quit insulting each other with stereotyped talking points.

[-] 1 points by flip (7123) 2 years ago

very good discussion - i have lots of friends in sweden and finland - been going there since 1982 - it is not quite as good as you imagine but close (there are still pleny of nazis there - the dragon tattoo books were based to some extent on the reality of sweden). they pay lots in tax but get it back in many ways. in 1988 my hockey team paid $5000 for a season of hockey and my friend's team in sweden paid $100 - government subsidized. the people i knew who didn't make lots of money got rent help etc. also sweden exited the great depression in 1934 using keynesian methods. they also solved their 1992 bank crisis by nationalizing the banks! i think anyone who is paying attention knows how to solve our problems but some do not want to. i heard jamie galbraith on bloomberg yesterday - he had a simple plan. for the next 3 yrs give full social security benefits to anyone over 62 and partial for those 59 - also give them medicare. that would let lots of older folks retire, making room for younger people in the job market. he said it would have tremendous benefits for the general population and he is correct. the problem is too many of those at the top - those who make the rules do not want to help the general population! keep at it!!

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Those are very good comments.

Regarding getting the Boomers to retire early, I think that would be great for all of these unemployed kids coming out of college that can't find work, or who are stuck in McJobs because they can't find anything that they should be able to work at with their Masters (or even Ph.D) degrees.

But realize that those poor kids are going to have to pay a LOT more in taxes to support all of those early-retiring Boomers he is talking about. Since I believe in the Scan model, I don't think high taxes is necessarily a bad thing if those taxes are spent on the right things. Our problem in this country is that so much of our tax money is spent on things that help the rich and powerful (like the MIC) instead of the people.

[-] 1 points by flip (7123) 2 years ago

agreed - as to social security all that is needed is to raise the cap - if the cap is 250k we are good for 70 yrs or so - why not raise it to the top! tiger woods should pay on every dime he makes - then we have no trouble. when you can print money there can be no problem funding what ever you like as long as you have the resources - check out mmt - modern monetary theory - look for michale hudson

[-] 0 points by john23 (-272) 2 years ago

Where is all of this money going to come from to pay for the SS? We are in ridiculous trouble right now:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-06-06-us-debt-chart-medicare-social-security_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

[-] 0 points by flip (7123) 2 years ago

raise the cap - then there is lots of money - check it out