The fairest tax system

Discussion in 'Budget & Taxes' started by Santos Halper, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Santos Halper

    Santos Halper New Member

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    I hear a lot people say nowadays that it's time for the rich to "pay their fair share," or some variation on that statement. I find that statement extremely ironic since rich people pay not only a higher dollar amount in taxes on earned income, but also a higher percentage. Many people say that because rich people have more, they should have to pay more, and they demand this in the name of "fairness."

    Since we all have equal claim on government services, it seems to me that the absolute fairest system would be one where everyone contributes the same dollar amount. Or alternately, one where we are taxed proportional to how much we use in government services. Although either of these models is undoubtedly the fairest tax system, neither are practical since the poor would be unable to pair their fair share in either scenario.

    So, the next fairest system is one where people are linearly taxed according to their income instead of consumption level of government services. Instead of paying an absolute dollar amount (which again, would be the most fair), everyone pays the same percentage of their income. That way, those who have more pay more. This is called a flat tax. Even a flat tax is a compromise on fairness since those who consume the most in government services are likely those who are contributing the least, but it's a practical compromise on fairness.

    I am amazed that despite the fact that the rich pay a vastly disproportionately higher amount in taxes than everyone else (talking earned income here, not capital gains), many of those who benefit from this vilify the rich for not paying even more. Much more needs to be done to help the poor in this country, but our country has a severe problem of ingratitude. How about we pause for a moment to thank the rich for shouldering much of the tax burden that we all benefit from.

    Taxing the rich at a higher rate has nothing to do with making the system more fair. Yes, such a tax structure benefits those at lower income levels, and there is certainly some merit to that. But call it for what it is: compassion, charity, or even welfare. Don't distort the issue by calling it a matter of "fairness."
     
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  2. Political Ed

    Political Ed New Member

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    "I hear people say..." "Studies say...." W/o a citation, save the anonymous rhetoric. I say it's about adopting a workable system over fair, worry about fair once things get fixed. The Census Bureau started tracking poverty in 1959 and we are now at peak poverty, the top 20% hold 93% of all wealth and we have enormous disparity is wealth, so who cares about fair, let's focus on what works and low taxes as we now have quite obviously do not.

    That's right, so practical = workable; YOU'RE THE ONE BRINGING IN 'FAIR' AND TRYING TO PROJECT THAT ONTO THE POOR, SO QUIT BEING DISHONEST. I'm for a practical system that works, as in keeps people off of welfare, grows the economy, balances teh budget, allows for reasonable creation of wealth and promotes ingenuity. What we now have with the lowest taxes in 60 years is a system that creates poverty and multi-millionaires/billioniares and yet YOU bring in the fair word to projecct into everyone else.

    Flat taxes would require that teh rich pay even less, so social care would be cut even further and more people would be in poverty, not that you care. Then the rich would become even more rich, which makes you happy.

    I villify the government for keeping taxes low, but don't let that stop you from continually speaking for me.

    Define, "much more." Does that mean......nothing? I assume so since there was no enumerated list of things to fix. Gratitude? So the working stiff makes this money for the rich who pass it along to theur usually worthless kids and we shoudl feel grateful? Welcome to planet Earth.

    And yet everything to do to make it more workable, more practical, yet you use the word, "practical" once and the word, "fair" or a version of that, 12 times. Look who really wants their version of a fair system.

    Really? The botom 50% of all filers collecctively pay 2.25% of all fed income tax and yet a flat tax would have them pay even less? Better recheck your fuzzy math.

    How about humanity, to use a word foreign to Republicans.

    We're not, you are, you did so 12 times to one of a practical system. Is that a 'note-to-self?'
     
  3. stonehorse

    stonehorse New Member

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    1. The rich pay a lower percentage of their income in tax than do the lower paid tax payers.

    2. The rich, including corporations, enjoy more government services than the non-rich. The defense budget is mostly for the benefit of corporations. The police are there to protect the haves from the have nots.

    When you take the false statements out of your post there isn't much left.
     
  4. Political Ed

    Political Ed New Member

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    +1 aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
     
  5. drj90210

    drj90210 New Member

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    I see that you are new to this forum and that this was your first post. Your post was very well thought-out (logical) and relayed a message that is difficult to disagree with.

    Don't be discouraged by the trolls and their knee-jerk responses: They have nothing constructive to say, and it's usually best to ignore them.
     
  6. Santos Halper

    Santos Halper New Member

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    On capital gains, yes, and I'm all for raising the capital gains tax rate. On earned income, no way. The rich pay the lion's share of tax revenue in this country.

    We all benefit equally from defense spending.

    Even if police services were exclusively for the benefit of the rich (which is a laughable statement), how much do you think our country spends on police department budgets compared to medicare?
     
  7. drj90210

    drj90210 New Member

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    Absolutely false.

    It is quite unfair to lump individual "rich" people with corporations, which are taxed entirely differently than individuals. How about comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, okay?

    Absurd. The defense budget is for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

    Also absolutely false: The police protect society as a whole, not merely certain classes of wealth.

    I agree with this. Your post was filled with untruths and absurdities, and once you remove these there is really nothing of substance left at all.
     
  8. stonehorse

    stonehorse New Member

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    Yes, the rich pay more income tax than the non-rich. But they take in a hell of a lot more money.

    But when all taxes are counted the less you make (as long as you are above the poverty line) the greater percentage of your income goes for taxes.

    We do not all benefit equally from defense spending.

    The war in Iraq is a good example. When you take all the BS out of our reasons for invading it comes down to economic advantage for the oil industry and connected corporations.

    Compare the cost of our military operations in Latin America since 1900 to the benefit of cheaper bananas for the masses.

    Most of our military actions have been to enforce favorable trade deals, even though the public is quick to buy the fiction from the government that we are protecting the homeland.

    Much of our government, including regulatory agencies is devoted to the well being of corporate America. And it is the rich who mostly benefit from corporations.

    They should pay their fair share. But I see their advantage in making the general population subsidize their profits.
     
  9. geofree

    geofree Active Member

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    The rich should pay more because they invariably own government-issued privileges.

    In economic speak, privilege is a special right. A privilege allows you to do what others or forbidden to do. Privileges are monopolistic, they discourage or eliminate competition; some privileges allow the holder to shift risks/costs to third parties (society). The unearned income from privilege is given a special name (rent) to help economists differentiate that type of income from earned incomes. Rent is by definition never earned, it is simply the result of having special rights (privileges). Because the bulk of the rich individuals income comes from this unearned monopolistic rent, it is indisputable that the rich should pay more taxes.

    We don’t all have equal claim on government services…who told you that? That is a lie. The overwhelming beneficiary of government spending is the land title owner (land titles are special rights issued by government - aka, privileges). When government builds new infrastructure, such as a new highway, it is the nearby landowners who pocket the value of that spending. The efficiencies created by the new highway do not result in the minimum wage being increased, no, wage earners are no better off… but the nearby landowner very well could see his wealth increased a hundred fold, making him an instant millionaire…all thanks to that government spending.

    There is no next fairest system…the only fair system is to make the privileged pay for their special monopolistic rights they receive from government. Only the privileged benefit from government spending, they pocket all of the income generated by government infrastructure and services, they alone should pay taxes…they should pay for what they get from government.

    Although the rich pay the bulk of income taxes, they have mechanisms by which they shift the burden of those taxes to those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Google “tax burden shifting” and start reading.

    In a sense this is right. Even if privilege is abolished through the taxation of unearned rent income, there would still be those who would have more wealth, they would still be referred to as rich. That is why I don’t support taxing the “rich”. I only support taxing the privileged…it just so happens that under the current system, where privilege is so prevalent, it is only the privileged who are rich.

    You can learn more about the benefits of taxing privilege here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoist

    :sun:
     
  10. Someone

    Someone New Member

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    Their percentage is lower than many middle class taxpayers. Most of the wealthy folks in this country pay at a rate of ~20%. Remember; no one actually pays at the top marginal rates, and capital gains rates are criminally low. This isn't even factoring in payroll taxes, which the very wealthy contribute almost nothing through.

    In theory, in practice government services are skewed in favor of the wealthy. Welfare for the very poor does not even remotely compensate for the massive, massive wealthfare in this country.

    Even Adam Smith, father of the neoclassical school of economics, understood that wasn't fair at all. $5000 means a lot more to someone making $20,000 a year than it does to someone making $200,000 a year. Not only is it a larger portion of that person's income, it might also be the difference between eating three meals every day and going hungry sometimes. No such burden would be placed on the person making $200,000 a year.

    Actually they would probably be able to manage in the latter scenario, since the wealthy receive far more in government services than the poor. The problem with this is that there is no good way to do that. What's the point in charging the recipient of welfare for the welfare? It's as absurd as the present practice of taxing social security benefits.

    Again, it becomes a regressive tax because 15% of a person making very little may well prevent them from paying for the very essentials of life, while someone making huge amounts of money would merely have to delay additional luxuries.

    It is unfair in practice, because of differences in impact.

    Why not talk capital gains? They receive a disproportionately larger portion of their income as capital gains. Are you proposing that people receive no benefit from income from capital gains? That they cannot spend that money as freely as any other sort of income? Why do you not make mention of payroll taxes?

    In practice, the rich pay comparatively little as a percentage of their actual income; payroll taxes are an insignificant portion of their total income, capital gains rates are criminally low, and they get a whole pile of deductions that apply to most of them but to comparatively few people in the poorest of brackets. After all, if you're having trouble making ends meet on $20,000 a year, you probably aren't paying a mortgage on a house, buying energy efficient appliances, installing solar panels on the house, or making very many donations to charity, or any of a number of other easily exploitable deductions or credits. The person making $150,000 a year is in much worse shape for taxes than the person making $350,000 a year, who is in an even worse position than the person making $1.5 million a year. The person pulling in $100,000 a year in salary, for example, pays payroll taxes on almost all of that, has a relatively high top marginal rate, and probably isn't receiving most of that as long-term capital gains. He's got comparatively few tax shelters, and while he may be getting the mortgage deduction, he can't make best use of many other easily exploitable deductions.

    Remember; no one pays the top marginal rate as their effective tax rate.

    A fair tax code would have the people who own 40% of the nation's wealth paying 40% of the nation's taxes. Anything other than that is unfair to either the rich or the poor. Right now, the wealthy do not even come close to paying their share.

    Why should anyone thank them for shoving the tax burden down the ladder onto the middle class?
     
  11. geofree

    geofree Active Member

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    I agree that would be more fair than the current system, but I still wouldn’t call that fair.

    Are you familiar with the Henry George Theorem? If you are, then you know that all beneficial government spending is pocketed by landowners, because they are privileged to charge everyone else for access to those benefits. The land value tax is the only fair tax system, because it lands directly on those who benefit from government spending, and in direct proportion to how much benefit they receive.

    There are undeniably other privileges and barrier building regulations which help the rich build and maintain extraordinary monopolistic incomes. These other privileges are not so much related to government spending but rather just act to increase consumer prices or lower wages…these privileges should just be straight up abolished.

    ...
     
  12. unrealist42

    unrealist42 New Member

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    If you consider that the great majorityof tax schemes were enacted as an expedient measure so the government could gain income from economic activity, in other words taxing that which is easiest to tax, it is inevitable that taxes would fall unequally in economic activities.

    There is no longer any need for such expedient measures, the technology now exists and can be easily implemented to tax economic activity directly through a transaction tax and so remove inequity in the government's quest to gain revenue from economic activity.

    A fair tax would tax all economic activity the same. Only a transaction tax can do that.
     
  13. drj90210

    drj90210 New Member

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    Actually, according to your definition of "ownership of government-issuesd privileges," the rich technically own much less, since programs like Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and welfare were designed specifically to benefit only the poor.

    According to this definition, it is the poor that hold the federal "monopolies" on these privileges, not the rich, since it is the taxpayer that subsidizes these entitlement programs.

    Are you saying that someone who bought a property (wise investment) and manages a property (hard work and responsibility) who charges rent somehow doesn't deserve it, hence leading to "unearned income?" Who died and made you king to make such a judgment? What if others deemed your job to be useless, leading to "unearned income"? How would you feel about that? You have no justification making such a baseless and judgmental statement.

    Any facts to back this up?.......Of course not. The truth is that most "rich" people have sacrificed, work extremely hard, and have huge responsibilities. Please at least try to remove the huge chip from your shoulder.

    Pure nonsense. The overwhelming majority of land/home owners receive no government assistance.

    Actually, living next to a highway almost always DECREASES the value of homes in the immediate area, often drastically.

    Yeah, just look at all of those “millionaires” living in homes by the highway. :roll:

    The OP was logically correct: The fairest system is indeed a fair tax, where there is no tax on income and we all pay an amount according to what we spend. The next best system is a flat tax, which eliminates the progressively higher tax for higher wage earners. Although the rich will still pay much more with a flat tax, at least the percentage that they pay relative to their income would be equal to everyone else.

    I agree 100%. All these “poor” people that think that they are entitled to my money should indeed be labeled as “privileged” or “fortunate” because only in America are these leeches fortunate enough to be GIVEN money that they did not earn. Thank you for acquiescing on this point.

    I did. Perhaps you should do the same.

    More nonsense, and again you have no data to support your contention that the “rich” are “privileged” and do not earn their money like everyone else.

    Perhaps you should read this first, inasmuch as your link was unrelated to the OP. Instead, it was a link to Georgist philosophy, which is the a system based on the writing of economist Henry George. This system advocates a single tax based on the value of land. This proposal, which was developed in the mid-late 19th century, has little to do with our discussion on the modern tax code and feasible alternatives.
     
  14. Someone

    Someone New Member

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    Ok, that accounts for... 13% of the federal budget. What's the rest of the budget going towards? The rich get most of that, one way or another. Every time the government contracts with a private company to fill some demand it has, that's some rich person collecting on it. That's a much, much larger portion of the federal budget than all the welfare given to the poor. That's not even coming close to accounting for the sort of privilege geofree was talking about.

    Only if you're insane enough to think that welfare accounts for most of the government's spending. Or that all of the favors and privilege that the government grants shows up in the federal budget.

    What, exactly, does a landlord do to earn the rent he is paid? I'll grant that some of them do have to perform some tasks, like maintaining a building, conducting repairs of their property, and so on, but that's just maintaining their own assets. Fundamentally they are collecting a check for doing exactly nothing, except owning the 'right' to control the usage of a piece of property.

    If geofree works for a living, he is earning income through labor. Someone who collects rent--or collects income from investments generally--is not actually performing labor. They're charging other people for the right to perform labor.

    I don't know of anyone who has forgone three square meals a day to invest in some property. People invest when they have disposable income, not when they have to sacrifice essentials for it. The only real exception to that that I can think of are people who start and manage their own businesses, but those are usually small businesses. Real wealth is usually a generational exercise, not something one earns for themselves.

    That's certainly not true. Consider the average piece of property in a city. There's a road near it, paid for by the government, there's water service delivered, paid for by the government, there's utilities delivered, the expansion of which is often paid for with government assistance. There are schools nearby, usually built with government money. There are often other businesses nearby, many of whom got favorable treatment by governments (excessively low tax rates, $1 leases, credit at municipal borrowing rates, and so on), especially if they are anchor businesses. There are community services, parks, greenspace, etc. Often paid for by government money.

    There are other people nearby, the density of which increases property values. These people can only be there because there are government services available to allow them to settle disputes, protect themselves, enforce the law, organize ownership of property, etc. The actual right of ownership itself is based on the government being there for enforce it--all property owners basically get a huge subsidy from the state in the form of property protection. If someone else tries to take property you own, the government will spend money to remove them and prosecute them for the attempt.

    To say that most land owners receive no benefits from the government is ludicrous.

    Unless it's an interstate exit, or a junction between two major highways, or the land previously had no way to access it... I assure you, land near a highway in a rural area is worth far, far more than land truly out in the middle of nowhere. If there's not even a road leading there, it's basically useful for forestry, farming, or mining, if the environment is suitable.

    Sure. Someone who owns property at the intersection of two major highways can charge at least a million dollars an acre in any reasonably well populated area. Either way, the property is worth far, far more than it would be worth if there had been no road there at all. Geofree is certainly correct about that. All infrastructure development in an area benefits the landowners in the area.

    How is that more fair? That's just a regressive flat tax. Income and consumption are two sides of the same thing. Arguing that a consumption tax is "more fair" than an income tax is exactly the same as saying that you use less water if you ladle out of the left side of a bucket rather than the right side. The metaphor isn't quite exact, because a flat consumption tax is quite a bit harsher to the poor than to the rich, but that's really beside the point.

    How on earth would you characterize it as fair to have a tax on consumption when some people are forced to spend 90% of their income on consumption while others have enough to spend only 10% and invest the rest? Even a prebate doesn't solve that, even if it shifts the most burdensome point higher than absolute poverty.

    You might say that you're "Free" to pay only how much you want, because you can always choose to spend less... but I would say that you're equally "free" to control how much income tax you pay... by opting to work less.

    Except it wouldn't really be fair in terms of the actual practical burden it places on people.

    The US is not the only country that has a welfare system. Our welfare system is actually rather poor as developed countries go. We pay more but help less for it. Other countries have far more cost-effective welfare programs.

    How are they not? They have privileges that others do not. They have rights to shares of companies, ownership of bonds, right of ownership over property, etc. These are privileges that the wealthy have in abundance.

    It's at least an alternative that deserves some consideration. It has problems, but you have not explored them in your post.
     
  15. Someone

    Someone New Member

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    I'm honestly not particularly concerned with the exact method of collection. I'm concerned with the results of that collection. If we want to structure an income tax to do that, we could. If we wanted to structure a land value tax to do the same, that's also possible. As long as people are paying in proportion to the benefits they have received from society, I am not concerned with the details of how we go about doing it.
     
  16. SiliconMagician

    SiliconMagician Banned

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    It's quite simple.

    Progressive tax marginal rates with ZERO deductions for any American:

    10%/15%/20%/25%


    Corporate Tax Rate: 25%

    Capital Gains Tax Rate: 25%


    Any deficits left over are made up with drastic cuts.

    When are you liberals going to get it in your heads that Americans are not willingly going to pay your crazy 1950's tax rates and since they aren't, then that is going to require austerity.

    Austerity is coming to America, it either comes voluntarily, or it is shoved down our throats undemocratically by the bond vigilantes like in Europe.

    So which is it? We keep control of our own nation? or do we hand it over to our creditors?

    We are not going to allow Bernake and the Fed to just constantly inflate away our dollars to allow for more debt. We want that (*)(*)(*)(*) stopped.

    We are not going to allow 1950's level taxation.

    So given the political reality libs are going to have to accept severe austerity.
     
  17. geofree

    geofree Active Member

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    Bankers are privileged to create money from thin air, anyone else trying that would be jailed for counterfeiting. This is a special right given to bankers. This one privilege entitles bankers to capture about as much GDP as is given to the all the poor through welfare. If you include the periodic bail-outs which bankers receive, the bankers alone receive much more from government-issued privilege than all the poor combined. Landowners get no less than 20% of GDP…just charging others to use what nature and government provide without contributing anything for that income they receive.

    BTW, Medicaid is more of a privilege for the medical professions than it is for the poor…food stamps keep the poor alive between doctor visits.
    You don’t understand the economic meaning of the word rent. Adam Smith broke income into three categories:

    1) wages = income from labor of mind or body
    2) interest = income from capital (buildings, machinery, stocks of goods, etc.)
    3) rent = income from ownership of government-issued privilege

    The income stemming from property management falls under the category of wages (that income is earned). The income stemming from capital improvements such as buildings is classified as interest (also earned). The income stemming from ownership of land is classified as rent and it is never earned…at least not by the lands owner. Rent is what a plot of land would sell or lease for if all the improvements were cleared away; it is the value that nature, government and community add to a specific location. Rent is always unearned… don’t like it? Take it up with Adam Smith.

    Name one rich person who doesn’t have interest in at lease one form of government-issued privilege (land title, bank charter, corporate charter, patent/copyright, taxi medallion, etc.)

    Wrong. They get to use for themselves or charge others to use nearby government infrastructure and services, the unimproved value of their land is a measure how much benefit they are getting for free.


    Now you are using the classic lie…changing the topic from land to homes. I have never supported the taxing of homes or other improvements.

    Major retail stores are almost always situated near highways…have you ever wondered why?

    No. Those tax systems just transfer income from producers to the privileged.

    See the Henry George theorem:

    "…aggregate spending by government will be equal to aggregate rent based on land value (land rent). Although these conditions never obtain in reality, actual conditions are often close enough to the theoretical ideals that the great majority of government spending does indeed appear as increased land value…" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_George_Theorem

    That theorem stands as mathematical proof that landowners are pocketing the entire value created by government spending…instead of a cash giveaway it is a infrastructure and services giveaway.

    The mega-rich are all beneficiaries of privilege…you can’t name even one that isn’t.

    The land value tax is supported by many Nobel laureates for reducing income and/or sales taxes, if not a complete replacement for them:http://www.wealthandwant.com/themes/quotable_nobels.htm

    :sun:
     
  18. drj90210

    drj90210 New Member

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    Totally false. Unfunded healthcare liabilities (Medicare and Medicaid) alone cost 21%. Social security (another unfunded liability) alone is 20%. Welfare alone is 14%. Thus, 55% of federal spending goes towards social programs that benefit the poor, and are mostly not funded by the poor. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258

    Absolutely ridiculous. The rest of the budget goes towards roads, defense, education, research, and pensions/benefits for veterans and public retirees.

    Are most "rich people" owners or CEOs of massive companies that get government contracts? Nope.

    I never said that (Strawman alert). What I said that that the poor benefit from government programs like welfare, social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They put in little to no money into the system, and yet receive benefits, while the top earners pay a massively disproportionate amount into the system. That was my argument, which you are purposely misrepresenting.

    The top 25% of income earners pays 87% of taxes http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html
    The bottom 33% receive $8.21 in federal benefits for each $1.00 that they pay in taxes, while the top 33% receive $0.41 for each $1.00 that they pay in federal taxes. http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr151.pdf Thus, it is obvious that the rich pay much more into the system, and that the poor are benefiting the most.

    [quoteThat's not even coming close to accounting for the sort of privilege geofree was talking about.[/quote]

    Rich people do not receive any benefit: Your example was an absurd fallacy. You state that since most or all CEOs of massive companies who receive government contracts are rich, then most or all rich people benefit from the goverment. That's the equivalent of saying, "Most members of the NBA are Black, thus most Black people are members of the NBA."


    Same strawman argument. I never stated that welfare accounts for most of the government spending.

    Well, he paid for the initial investment on the property, is responsible for the property and all issues that arise with his tenants, is responsible for adhering to local laws (e.g. proper garbage pickup and building code), and is responsible for taxes on the property. Essentially, he is the owner of the property and ultimate responsible party.

    If it were that easy, then every "rich" person would quit their day job, sell their stocks, and become landlords. It's clearly not that easy, and is a 24/7 type of job, since issues on the property may arise at any time.

    LOL! Doing "nothing"? Their job is clearly not nothing, as I explained above.

    But maybe his job is so easy, that some may consider it "doing nothing." Again, it is not my judgment call to make (if the free market determined the price of his salary). Similarly, you do not have justification in saying that being a landlord is "doing nothing."

    So then anyone involved in sales is not performing labor. For example, let’s say that I own a business renting tuxedos. Besides hiring salespeople and sending the tuxedos to the dry cleaners, what labor do I perform? The same can be said with anyone who owns ANY type of sales/rental business. You are essentially belittling the function every business-owner involved in retail. There are obviously PLENTY of responsibilities of ownership of a business or rental property, and just because no physical labor is involved does not mean that it is not real labor.

    I doubt that you know anyone who has forgone three square meals in a day; a large percentage of “poor” people own their own http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty

    Right. And from what the CBO data shows us (from the above link) is that many of the “poor” are able to afford many luxuries, along with home ownership.
     
  19. drj90210

    drj90210 New Member

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    And where does the government get it’s money?!! As the facts have stated, the vast majority of this “government money” comes from rich people paying taxes.

    *Sigh* There is no such thing as “government money.” There is money that comes from taxpayers (rich people pay a disproportionately greater amount than others), or runaway government spending without funding (a.k.a. unfunded liabilities) that depends on “future money.”

    Actualy, it’s the truth.

    So you contradict Geofree's previous argument here. Geofree previously said that MOST rich people benefit from a highway, and now you state that they will only benefit if they live in the “rural area.” Thus, since most rich people live in suburban areas or cities, rather than “rural areas,” your argument is made false by your own words. Also, of the rich people who live in rural areas, only a tiny amount of them are land speculators. Hence, you are making the same fallacy mistake as you did above. Lastly, interstate highways are built by public money, which comes from taxes, which disproportionately comes from rich people. Hence, the rich people are paying for the highways anyways.

    And how do these benefit the average “rich" person?

    You are talking about specifically above land speculators, who buy large sums of land. Such people make up only a tiny percentage of “rich” people, and they can lose money just as easily as they can make it. In my prior post where I responded to Geofree, the subject matter of discussion was “land ownership.” Hence, I was talking about the majority of “land owners,” who merely own a home, rather than land speculators.

    No. It will benefit land speculators, not most land owners.

    Of course a Fair Tax is the most fair. Instead of creating classes of wealth, where the rich pay a disproportionate amount more for the same federal programs than the poor, a fair tax eliminates income as a means of taxation, and instead taxes lifestyle choices (e.g. national sales tax). This way, ALL OF US, regardless of our income, pay the same for federal services.

    You example does not hold up in reality, since the poor are clearly able to buy tons of luxuries under the current system http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty . If the poor are spending 90% of their income on consumption, then they should curtail their consumption.

    Ridiculous analogy. By working, I am contributing to society and supporting myself and family, and yet you advocate increasing penalties for doing so. By buying an XBOX or other superfluous items, you are not benefiting yourself and family. Hence, the analogy does not hold up.

    No. It would be perfectly fair: It would force the poor not to buy luxury items.

    And other countries are going bankrupt because of their welfare states. Are you advocating that we become more like Greece, Italy, Spain, or Portugal?

    From http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty , it is clear that poor people have little difficultly buying luxury items, just like the rich. Saying that one is “privileged,” to me, means that you are saying that one has not earned his station in life, and that an outside force assisted him in his success. The truth is that the rich, for the most part, are smart, worked hard, and sacrificed, and THAT’S why they are rich.

    Anyone can own stocks, bonds, and property if they safe up money. In fact, most people in society own stocks and bonds, and signficant portion even own property.
     
  20. DeathStar

    DeathStar Banned

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    I think the only reason why the government should intervene with economics in any situation, is to break up the kinds of monopolies where a group of company(ies) hypothetically owned almost all or all of the world's supply of a certain physical resource(s), such as if, hypothetically, one company owned 99-100% of Earth's copper.
     

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