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Thread: Do you have the right to say that a “rich” person isn’t paying enough taxes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reiver View Post
    A logical argument would be based on economic analysis, which will necessarily encompass both efficiency and equity criteria. There is no economics in your argument and therefore it is, without doubt, morality splurge that is quite alien to logic.
    It may be. But sometimes cultural moral values are stronger than pure number logic to a person. He showed you where, in his religion, that envy over another person's wealth is immoral. So what if it comes across as "unfair". Morality trumps your logic.

    Equality of treatment would have to take into account the marginal utility of income. There's none of that in your stance. You essentially want to see more harm on the poorer deciles purely out of a skewed sense of morality.
    So what? That is his right as a free person to judge people as he sees fit. We follow the Protestant Work Ethic in this nation as a strongly held cultural value. You may disagree that it works, we don't care.

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  3. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconMagician View Post
    It may be. But sometimes cultural moral values are stronger than pure number logic to a person.
    If its purely a morality rant then that should be made clear, perhaps with a "whilst this is completely inconsistent with sound economic comment, I insist..."

    We follow the Protestant Work Ethic in this nation...
    That Weber stuff really isn't up to the job when it comes to understanding economic outcome

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    Whether or not tu agree with the statement, wouldn't it fall under freedom of speech? A put a question mark at the end of that, but clearly it would constitute freedom of speech.
    Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; Socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality

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    Quote Originally Posted by youenjoyme420 View Post
    Whether or not tu agree with the statement, wouldn't it fall under freedom of speech? A put a question mark at the end of that, but clearly it would constitute freedom of speech.
    See posts #23 and #26. You need to learn to read more carefully.
    Last edited by drj90210; Feb 20 2012 at 04:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reiver View Post
    A logical argument would be based on economic analysis, which will necessarily encompass both efficiency and equity criteria. There is no economics in your argument and therefore it is, without doubt, morality splurge that is quite alien to logic.
    So I need to include a detailed economic analysis that nobody will understand in order for my argument to be logical? Hmmm, that doesn't sound very logical to me.

    Equality of treatment would have to take into account the marginal utility of income. There's none of that in your stance. You essentially want to see more harm on the poorer deciles purely out of a skewed sense of morality.
    My "sense of morality" is not skewed, since it is based on equal treatment for everyone, regardless of wealth. Marginal utility of income is based on a relative scale (and thus is a subjective measure), and has nothing do do with a discussion on equality, which is objective.
    Last edited by drj90210; Feb 21 2012 at 01:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
    1) Most earnings of rich people, such as Bill Gates, are probably invested rather than consumed. The opposite is true for poor people.
    Is Bill Gates an average rich person? No.
    Is Bill Gates' immense wealth thereby comparable to the wealth of an "average" rich person (e.g. a lawyer grossing $205,000 per year)? No.

    Thus, by using the world's richest man to illustrate average "rich people," you are making a hugely unfair comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meta777 View Post
    In all seriousness though, if its not OK to tax a surgeon more than a coal miner,
    why is it then OK to tax a coal miner more than an entrepreneur???
    How is the income from an entrepreneur taxed differently than the income of a coal miner? How is their property taxed differently? How is their capital gains taxed differently?

    How does a surgeon, who is defined by the POTUS as "rich," have the ability to "set his own income" if he is merely just an employee of a hospital? That makes absolutely no sense.
    He doesn't, unless he or she owns the hospital that he or she works in.
    DivineComedy is talking about the people at the top of the totem pole.
    Clearly he was indeed talking about those at the top of the totem pole. However, in a discussion of "rich people," it is disingenuous to only mention the small minority making more than $10 million per year when vast majority of "rich" are grossing closer to $200,000 per year. That's the point that I've been trying to get at all along. You seem to focus on the few billionaires out there, but according to the POTUS, the "rich" include any individual who grosses more than $200k or any married couple grossing more than $250k. This is a far cry from the Michael Bloombergs out there whose net worth is close to $10 billion. That's why when referencing the "rich," we need to be as specific as possible. We need to clarify if by "rich" we are referring to a general medicine physician with 3 children working 70 hours per week and grossing $250k per year or if we are referring to someone like Donald Trump.

    Not the people in the middle who just happen to make a lot of money.
    Ah, but these people are referred to as "rich" by the POTUS and a majority of the US population. I'm glad that you agree that they really aren't "rich."

    Those who own the means of production have a great amount of control over their income and over the income of others.
    The only thing that challenges their control is the government, and to a much smaller extent, unions.
    I disagree. Government and unions have a MUCH greater impact in all of our lives than the ultra-rich.

    I personally am not against individuals having some such control,
    but if these means of production are something of which every one of us will need in order to survive, do we really want complete control of these things to rest in the hands of a select number of individual's who's only goal is to increase their own wealth?
    But members of a free market have complete power over these ultra wealthy captains of industry. If you don't like Facebook, boycott it or try to develop a better society network. If you don't like Donald Trump, then boycott his hotels. If you don't like Bill Gates and Microsoft, then by an Apple product.

    I think you make these ultra-rich captains of industry and their companies out to be all-powerful, but the truth is, in a free market system, the consumer is the one with all of the power.

    At the same time, you appear to be willing to give the select few members of the government increased powers to control these wealthy individuals. Such logic contradicts everything that you had previously stated. If you were so wary of power lying in the hands of a "select few," then wouldn't you want the corrupt members of our government to have as little power as possible?
    Last edited by drj90210; Feb 21 2012 at 02:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meta777 View Post
    They are somewhat abstract, but I would not say they are impossible to measure. One just has to measure them abstractly.

    Take an intestate road for instance. Let's say we want to measure how much value there is in having it.

    With no road, let's say a person employes a transporter to transport $5 worth of corn an hour to a convenience store.
    Because of the convenience of having the corn where it is more easily accessible, people are willing to buy the corn for $7.
    So in this case, we can say the transporter adds $2 worth of value to $5 worth of corn simply by transporting it or $2 per hour.

    If we then build a road which for the same amount of effort enables the transporter to transport three times as much corn in an hour,
    that's $15 worth of corn an hour which people will buy at the store for $21.

    Since the transporter still contributes the same amount of effort, we can say that he is contributing $2 an hour.
    If $15 worth of corn is transported to the store every hour and marked up to $21,
    then the value added by the road is simply the final mark up value minus the value added by the transporter and the original value of the corn.
    $21 - $15 - $2 = $4. So in this abstract example, the road creates $4 worth of value each hour corn is being transported over it.
    I can agree, to some extent, with this explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meta777 View Post
    OK, and what about things like armed services, border protection, water purification systems, and interstate roads?
    Or state services such as police, firefighters, public schools and public roads and bridges?
    Like I said before, for things like the armed services, border protection, water purification systems, interstate roads, etc, it is much more difficult to measure the individualized value. After all, the value that we each get from these services is quite abstract and, in most cases, impossible to measure. We can't say that the soldier who gave his life defending this country benefited Person A more than Person B.

    Regarding water purification system, it is equally difficult to determine benefit. Do we base it on volume imbided? I guess we could look at it that way, but to me it seems more logical to say that since we all use water for sustenance, then it can be said that we each have an equal benefit regarding government funding towards water purifcation, even if Mr. Smith only drinks 3 cups a day and Ms. Jones drinks 1 gallon per day.

    If someone goes to school, gets an education, and becomes employed, does not some of the value of that education get passed on to the employer?
    This is very indirect.

    Same thing with health care. Do employers not benefit from having a healthy work force? That is what I mean by value being passed from one to another.
    But this is equally very indirect.
    Last edited by drj90210; Feb 21 2012 at 03:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drj90210 View Post
    Is Bill Gates an average rich person? No.
    Is Bill Gates' immense wealth thereby comparable to the wealth of an "average" rich person (e.g. a lawyer grossing $205,000 per year)? No.

    Thus, by using the world's richest man to illustrate average "rich people," you are making a hugely unfair comparison.
    A lawyer shouldn't be making $200,000 a year. All they do is screw one group of people out of their money so that another group makes a lot of money. They contribute nothing to society.

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