The Problem With Taxing the Rich

Agema

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Oh yeah, cause its not like he has sought a tax increase for the super rich or anything, oh wait.
The sheer ineffectuality of these calls speaks for itself.

Talk is cheap. At the point Gates and other billionaires have used some of their millions to fund a major tax reform lobbying group to persuade politicians to raise taxes on them, I feel they're really not that bothered.

It isn't about redistribution but about everyone accepting some efficiencies that big government could bring to certain sections of an economy (ie Medicaid for All) and paying for it.
It should be about redistribution. Or at least, constraining the ability of a few to earn stupendous amounts in the first place. There is no point complaining about billionaires and billionaires dominating politics without tackling billionaires. We can go all the way back to the earliest philosophers important to our liberal, democratic capitalist society such as John Locke and Adam Smith, and clearly discern their concern about wealth inequality as a threat to a fair, just society and democratic governance. But unsurprisingly, those parts of their writings are conveniently ignored.

We have these warnings about wealth inequality across the centuries, we can see the problem in front of very eyes here and now and so many people are concerned and outraged by it. But why does such a big chunk of them on the right have the sheer ideological incoherence that it froths with outrage at the prospect of measures that would tackle it?
 

tippy2k2

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In case you wonder what "charity" is for the rich...

They'll also be able to write all this shit off and they'll make sure to continue to fuck over small business restaurants with their cut (you know, the people their advertising is trying so hard to get you to support...using their app that slices into a good businesses already thin margins) and be sure to continue to steal tips from their drivers.

But yeah, the rich totally pay their fair share and shouldn't be taxed higher cause then they might stop doing business in America I guess? Even though they do plenty of business in places that actually do tax them.

With friends like these, I'd hate to see our enemy...
 
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gorfias

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The sheer ineffectuality of these calls speaks for itself.

Talk is cheap. At the point Gates and other billionaires have used some of their millions to fund a major tax reform lobbying group to persuade politicians to raise taxes on them, I feel they're really not that bothered.



It should be about redistribution. Or at least, constraining the ability of a few to earn stupendous amounts in the first place. There is no point complaining about billionaires and billionaires dominating politics without tackling billionaires. We can go all the way back to the earliest philosophers important to our liberal, democratic capitalist society such as John Locke and Adam Smith, and clearly discern their concern about wealth inequality as a threat to a fair, just society and democratic governance. But unsurprisingly, those parts of their writings are conveniently ignored.

We have these warnings about wealth inequality across the centuries, we can see the problem in front of very eyes here and now and so many people are concerned and outraged by it. But why does such a big chunk of them on the right have the sheer ideological incoherence that it froths with outrage at the prospect of measures that would tackle it?
A concern is, rich people do not want to share. And they control our government. So we're given bait and switch and come up with nothing. If the govt. focused on bringing us these efficiencies, maybe something would actually progress. In the USA anyway.
 

Houseman

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A concern is, rich people do not want to share. And they control our government. So we're given bait and switch and come up with nothing. If the govt. focused on bringing us these efficiencies, maybe something would actually progress. In the USA anyway.
And then we have that Time article in which it came out that a cabal of billionaires "fortified" the election and essentially won it for Biden, it seems unlikely that anything will change for this administration. Oh well, maybe next time?
 
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gorfias

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And then we have that Time article in which it came out that a cabal of billionaires "fortified" the election and essentially won it for Biden, it seems unlikely that anything will change for this administration. Oh well, maybe next time?
Jimmy Dore reported Biden promised his supporters that when he is in office, nothing will fundamentally change.
 

Lykosia

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I mean... most other Western countries have higher taxes on the wealthy. And that hasn't caused massive exoduses there.

I think this is overblown to begin with: a convenient myth for the wealthy to convince people to believe, to reduce the political pressure on themselves.
People are more happy to pay taxes when they actually see how taxes help themselves. Other countries have free healthcare, education etc all covered with taxes. Much easier to sell higher taxes when you can also show them how it benefits themselves.
 
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Trunkage

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People are more happy to pay taxes when they actually see how taxes help themselves. Other countries have free healthcare, education etc all covered with taxes. Much easier to sell higher taxes when you can also show them how it benefits themselves.
It's how it's been sold. Taxes are omly evil in the US. Elsewhere, where Hayek and Rand didn't become so prevelant, tax is only willing given if something happens in return like hospital or roads
 

Agema

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A concern is, rich people do not want to share. And they control our government.
Okay, let me suggest the names of some billionaires who have openly called on the government to tax the ultra-rich more: Warren Buffet, George Soros, Bill Gates. Why is it that the billionaires who most want to share are those most hated by the right wing, even as they complain that billionaires control them?

Why is the right still handing billionaires massive tax cuts, if they think billionaires feather their own nests and manipulate government to their own ends? (Why did they elect a billionaire who directed government business to his own companies so he could directly profit from taxpayer's money?)
 

Houseman

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Okay, let me suggest the names of some billionaires who have openly called on the government to tax the ultra-rich more: Warren Buffet, George Soros, Bill Gates. Why is it that the billionaires who most want to share are those most hated by the right wing, even as they complain that billionaires control them?

Why is the right still handing billionaires massive tax cuts, if they think billionaires feather their own nests and manipulate government to their own ends? (Why did they elect a billionaire who directed government business to his own companies so he could directly profit from taxpayer's money?)
Why did the billionaires like Zuckerberg get together to "fortify" the election to stop Trump from winning by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into urban centers and blue counties?
 
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Trunkage

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Why did the billionaires like Zuckerberg get together to "fortify" the election to stop Trump from winning by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into urban centers and blue counties?
Trump wasn’t good for the economy.

In particular for Zuck, Trump reneged on the TPP which was mainly about forcing China to police Intellectual Property in their country. Trump spent the whole last 5 years attacking social media. I don’t like social media but half of what Trump claimed was lies about them. How many times did he get up in front of inquisition... and what changes were actually made. Most of the GOP talking points weren’t even related to Facebook. And 230 may have devastated social media too.

He attacked social media the whole time. Why wouldn’t they band against him?
 

Agema

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Why did the billionaires like Zuckerberg get together to "fortify" the election to stop Trump from winning by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into urban centers and blue counties?
Because he threatened their companies, obviously.
 

stroopwafel

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The sheer ineffectuality of these calls speaks for itself.

Talk is cheap. At the point Gates and other billionaires have used some of their millions to fund a major tax reform lobbying group to persuade politicians to raise taxes on them, I feel they're really not that bothered.



It should be about redistribution. Or at least, constraining the ability of a few to earn stupendous amounts in the first place. There is no point complaining about billionaires and billionaires dominating politics without tackling billionaires. We can go all the way back to the earliest philosophers important to our liberal, democratic capitalist society such as John Locke and Adam Smith, and clearly discern their concern about wealth inequality as a threat to a fair, just society and democratic governance. But unsurprisingly, those parts of their writings are conveniently ignored.

We have these warnings about wealth inequality across the centuries, we can see the problem in front of very eyes here and now and so many people are concerned and outraged by it. But why does such a big chunk of them on the right have the sheer ideological incoherence that it froths with outrage at the prospect of measures that would tackle it?
Because it mostly hurts middle incomes(income from work) who always end up paying the bulk of the tax burden. It's counter productive to tax capital that isn't spent because it has an important function in the stock market(co-determines value and as such trust for collective funds) and as investment funds for companies.

Bezos has an official salary of like 100k a year, what point is there to tax his income higher? He seems to invest most of his capital in Blue Horizon, an innovative company that among other things occupies itself with off-planet heavy industry. You don't want to stifle this kind of innovation with high tax rates. You will never see a Google, Amazon or Tesla come out of Europe. These companies require financial space to perform.

Put higher taxes on dividend, equity, royalties. The kind of passive income that is taxed at marginal rates. Not the investment capital needed for innovation and growth.
 

Agema

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Because it mostly hurts middle incomes(income from work) who always end up paying the bulk of the tax burden.
The middle cops the flak of tax increases because governments will not tax the rich. If the point of the argument is to end this practice and tax the rich instead, it's absurd to argue that the burden keeps falling on the middle.

Bezos has an official salary of like 100k a year, what point is there to tax his income higher?
What on earth makes you think the answer was income tax in the first place?

He seems to invest most of his capital in Blue Horizon, an innovative company that among other things occupies itself with off-planet heavy industry. You don't want to stifle this kind of innovation with high tax rates. You will never see a Google, Amazon or Tesla come out of Europe. These companies require financial space to perform.
No, you don't see these companies come out of Europe because Europe doesn't have Silicon Valley. This is a "Centre of Excellence" that was created by massive government investment (defence funding) to be a world leader in probably the most important technological development since WW2. As the world leader - by a huge margin - it consequently has spent decades sucking in finance, global talent, etc. Most of these start-ups are formed by the ex-staff of existing tech companies, because they have the knowledge, skills and experience and access to the massive, local labour market; not just that of course but an specialised financial investment industry working in close association. China has built equivalents: it's built them by protectionism, insulating itself from Western competition and pump-priming with government capital to build them up.

Europe does not have that, no. It's trade agreements preclude China's raw protectionism, and the minute a European company builds something up, it gets bought out by one of the established US megacorps (e.g. Skype, bought by MS).
 

stroopwafel

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The middle cops the flak of tax increases because governments will not tax the rich. If the point of the argument is to end this practice and tax the rich instead, it's absurd to argue that the burden keeps falling on the middle.

What on earth makes you think the answer was income tax in the first place?
But it's true. 'Taxing the rich' usually tantamounts to a European progressive tax which only puts very high tax on work. That is why mostly the middle incomes carry the brunt of this since their income is almost solely from work. People who are more fortunate have a laundry list of deductibles(pensions, mortgage interest deductions, investment savings) and the real rich people are taxed at marginal rates(dividend, royalty etc). Taxes then usually falls on salary. Either have a flat tax or tax on passive income. Taxing salaries only hurt working people and taxing capital only hurts the economy.


No, you don't see these companies come out of Europe because Europe doesn't have Silicon Valley. This is a "Centre of Excellence" that was created by massive government investment (defence funding) to be a world leader in probably the most important technological development since WW2. As the world leader - by a huge margin - it consequently has spent decades sucking in finance, global talent, etc. Most of these start-ups are formed by the ex-staff of existing tech companies, because they have the knowledge, skills and experience and access to the massive, local labour market; not just that of course but an specialised financial investment industry working in close association. China has built equivalents: it's built them by protectionism, insulating itself from Western competition and pump-priming with government capital to build them up.

Europe does not have that, no. It's trade agreements preclude China's raw protectionism, and the minute a European company builds something up, it gets bought out by one of the established US megacorps (e.g. Skype, bought by MS).
I don't know if that's true. Europe has very prestiguous universities as well and arguably makes it way easier for people to enter due to the low cost. The continent also adopts new technologies very quickly. If European companies could attract the same kind of investment capital as their American counterparts I don't think the situation would be much different. There are simply too many rules and regulations that hinder their development by making access to capital difficult until some vulture scoops them up. I do agree having excessive regulations coupled to market forces without the benefit of protectionism is the worst of both worlds. The E.U. should do the same thing as South Korea did with Hyundai.
 

Seanchaidh

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But it's true. 'Taxing the rich' usually tantamounts to a European progressive tax which only puts very high tax on work.
So don't do that.

I don't know if that's true. Europe has very prestiguous universities as well and arguably makes it way easier for people to enter due to the low cost. The continent also adopts new technologies very quickly. If European companies could attract the same kind of investment capital as their American counterparts I don't think the situation would be much different.
Did you not see the part about massive, massive defense funding?
 

Silvanus

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Please provide an alternative then.
Calculate or adjust tax rates based on the value of assets.

I mean... when I say "taxing the rich", I'm clearly not envisaging a system in which someone who doesn't work because they have £100,000,000 in the bank doesn't get taxed. That would just be a bit silly.
 

stroopwafel

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Calculate or adjust tax rates based on the value of assets.

I mean... when I say "taxing the rich", I'm clearly not envisaging a system in which someone who doesn't work because they have £100,000,000 in the bank doesn't get taxed. That would just be a bit silly.
Why tax assets as income when they aren't spend? If Bezos owns 60% shares of Amazon which equals hundreds of billions of dollars but him not selling those shares to buy yachts, hookers and sports cars why tax those shares when they indirectly co-determine the stock price for other investors? Often with a public interest like pension funds? It makes no sense. Bezos would be much better off investing the value of those stocks in his other company, Blue Horizon. Instead of assets determining tax rates(which is counter productive) it would be much more effective to tax the dividend from those proceeds.