I'll give you the ultimate reason. It's because wealth is a form of property. Property obtained through legally defined mechanisms belongs to its creator/owner.
It is not up to Mat (or anyone else) to determine how much constitutes "enough".
You indicate that you could live quite comfortably on $250,000 per year. I'll grant you that "huge" some of money, but I have some bad news for you. I can easily find nineteen homeless people who could live quite comfortably on $12,500 per year, and I think you have too much, so I'm going to confiscate that which is yours, and redistribute it to others who can manage to get by with less, for social justice, you see. Don't worry, though, because I'm going to let you keep $12,500 for yourself, because if those other folks can live on it, by god, you should be able to manage as well as they do.
We are without a doubt the most wealthy nation to have ever existed, and we didn't come by it through theft. We created it through innovation and productivity.
I agree that crony capitalism is a bad thing, and it is what currently perverts our political and economic systems, to everyone's peril. But I vehemently disagree that the solution is to chuck free market capitalism for socialism or communism. Those models have been tried and tried again, and they always end in utter failure.
We have no one to blame but ourselves for the current state of affairs. Corporate money cannot buy political influence when the politicians are either a: honorable, decent men, or b: thrown out of office at every election. The folks in the Tea Party get that, which explains their "throw the bums out" attitude.
The tide has turned. Last fall's "shellacking" is but the first in a series that will wash over the ruling classes in Washington like a tsunami. They still think that their corporate lobbyists, cronies in the media, and "newspeak" BS will keep Joe six pack bamboozled in perpetuity. Their vanity is a fatal flaw.
Joe six pack is awake and ready to put his public finances in order. Entitlement programs will remain the "third rail" in politics, except that now the electric shock will be delivered to those who do not embrace cutbacks and reform.
Financial equality is a myth. Someone will always have the most, and someone else will always have the least. The rest of us end up somewhere in between, trying to move in one direction, up.
The canary in the coal mine is incumbency. As incumbents fall like dominoes in the next few election cycles, we will see whether the American experiment will be renewed, or end up in the ash bin of history. Of this, I have no doubt.
Actually, I've been thinking a lot about Robert Reich's idea (I think it's his, it may be someone else's) about just doing away with the corporate tax rate entirely and laying down a pretty heavy progressive tax purely on individuals. Again, no one here can give any reason why someone who is making tens of millions of dollars a year should *not* be taxed at a 35-55 percent rate. Or, more accurately, why that would punish them by leaving them with only *half* of ten million dollars a year.
If you're that wealthy, does food really cost that much more?
Anyway, I have never stated that I am a capital-C Communist that would be willing to ever hold up the Soviet Union as a model of anything other than modernization in a single generation. Overall, they pretty well screwed up Marx's concepts and turned little-c communism into a big-C Clusterfuck.
Now, what you call useful idiots I would call the White Knights - people who are of the lower or middle classes who are willing to defend and ultra-rich elite who would never stoop so low as to ever even thank you for your work. Maybe that puts us all in the same boat, eh?
lol! I have actually understood everything you said probably better than you do. That is one thing that makes it so distressing that anyone would still believe the way that you apparently do and try and justify it with a straight face.
Have a great weekend and thanks for giving me a good laugh!
Glad I could encourage further debate.
no faith: You will never persuade Mat with common sense arguments about the FACT that corporate taxes always get passed on to consumers, or the counter-productivity of confiscatory tax rates on economic growth. He is a nice person, but still, a socialist/communist through and through. What he has yet to realize is that one of the first things those regimes do when they take power is to dismantle all the unions and worker's rights groups, because they are a threat to maintaining the new order.
Ask him to show you evidence of the Soviet era UAWs, IBEWs, NEAs, AFL-CIO's and SEIUs triumphs for "the workers" in the old Soviet Union.
Cue the crickets...........
The funny part is that these folks are so easily duped into "solidarity" with power structures that will ultimately enslave them when they finally do take power.
The communists had a good description of these folks with the term "useful idiots".
They will use them as long as it serves their purpose, and then violently oppress them when their angst is directed back at the new masters.
Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, and it is what blinds these folks to reality, until it is too late.
Healthy debate, though, and that's a good thing.
So what you're saying is that you haven't understood the first thing I've said, right?
You have not embarrassed me in the least, you have actually (and clearly unwittingly) done a good job of proving the columnists point which, were I you, would be thoroughly embarrassing.
Alas, I have made my point and anyone who is a fan of the politics of class warfare and a believer in socialism will never listen to, agree with or understand, as I will never be able believe their misguided point of view no matter how passionately they cling to it.
Farewell and best wishes in your quest to have rich people pay your way.
Are you trying to goad me into embarrassing you some more?
I agree, pointless to try and explain how your facts do little to validate your arguement as they are a snapshot of a tiny portion of the big picture. And if you don't think that MJ distorts their information to make their point just as plenty of other media outlets on either side you are either blind or crazy. Which would explain your (apparent) misguided socialist beliefs...
The basis is that s/he does not actually have any facts so he attacks the source of mine.
Which is exactly what I said s/he would do.
So, I am done with this one. It's pointless.
Anyways, are you thinking of going up to Columbia next weekend for the budget rally?
@factoryconnection - lol! MoJo does not distort truth or invent stories? That is one of the funniest things I have heard in a looooong time! Thanks!
@Nofaith: "It is also pointless on my part to try and debate common sense economics with someone who uses Mother Jones as the source of their facts."
What is the basis for this attack; the study in Mother Jones was taken from publicly-available data? MoJo isn't known for deliberately, systematically, and regularly distorting truth and inventing stories, unlike say News Corporation.
@mat - here's a fact for you that will make your head spin, corporations do not pay taxes. They might write the check but they do not pay them, their customers do. So when you sit back and scream that the big evil oil companies should pay more in taxes guess what happens? Wait...I know you can get it...gas prices go up! Why? Because when the expenses for a business go up they pass those costs on to their customers so that the company still makes the rate of return on their investment that the company feels is necessary. The only way to look at tax information honestly is to look at total revenue as a share of GDP and not just look at what the evil corporations pay. That way you also capture all of the other taxes that our Congressmen like to call fees that the government collects.
It is also pointless on my part to try and debate common sense economics with someone who uses Mother Jones as the source of their facts. But, to your credit, they do a good job of twisting the information to benefit your argument without having an honest representation of the causes and effects that generated those facts.
And where did I say that the earners should not pay their share? They pay far more than their share already. Penalizing success, as you would like to do, is not a really good incentive. I bet if your employer said to you the more you produce the less we are going to pay per widget it would go over really well and your work ethic would shine through. Wanna buy a bridge?
The point of Mr. Hunter's commentary is that liberals with numbers and facts beating them over the head still will hold on to their sacred cows in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are not correct. Continuing to spend more than we take in to government coffers will not benefit anyone, Bush tried it, Obama EXCELS at it, no matter which side is doing it it doesn't work, cutting taxes or at least keeping them stable increases tax revenue. Raising taxes to the point that you discourage growth does not work.
Jack should send you a thank you card, you are doing an exemplary job of proving his point for him.
So, you've got some of those facts you're talking about? Right? One or two? Maybe?
I've presented some facts. Facts about income, facts about corporate taxes, all sorts of facts. Facts are great. But I bet you don't like my facts because they don't agree with your opinions. That's often a problem, when someone encounters a fact that doesn't agree with their opinions. They often deride the source of the fact. Or dispute the fact itself. Sometimes, they just ignore the facts completely and say that the other side of an argument hasn't produced any facts.
All right, then. Let's hear some facts. Go ahead.
The point of all this is that liberals can't carry on an honest debate based on facts. They rely on class warfare, poverty, the downtrodden, and stirring up the less educated. In my opinion they lack substance and if they told the truth it would choke them. Letterman is an absolute moron that is totally classless and uses poor humor to hide his ignorance.
Oh, also, because you are confusing corporate taxes with personal taxes and still ignoring the facts:
So, there's "no way they could have built their fortunes singlehandedly" but you want them to singlehandedly take home all the money?
You must be one of those new right-wing bots that they just released into the wild.
There is no way they could have built their fortunes singlehandedly. They built them by taking risks, investing money in equipment, property (physical and intellectual) and people. They figured out the best way to get their resources working together for the best results possible. They paid gas taxes to use the roads. They paid property taxes for the sidewalks and for sign permits to put the sandwich board on the street. They paid local and state taxes which part of which were used to educate children and subsidize their college careers. They paid corporate and individual income taxes and numerous other fees to use the court system and have the protection of the military. They pay all of this and create wealth for themselves and others by building a business that is going to pay taxes and pay employees that will pay taxes.
Do they benefit from government services, sure. But they pay disproportionately more for them than anyone else and still they are asked to pay more? And then people want to bitch and moan that there is a bunch of money parked on the sidelines (in many cases in other countries) and wonder why the rich aren't spending and hiring more? Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure that one out.
Although it feels good to say 'hey those rich bastards should give me more of their money' it is wrong. They are already paying their fair share at 40+% of their income. Stop being jealous and go out there and make your own fortune. Not it's not easy but it also is not impossible.
Did all these visionaries build their fortunes single-handedly? Or perhaps, did these business ventures succeed due to the physical and mental capital of society in general. On whose roads did the delivery trucks drive to ship the products of entrepreneurs? On whose sidewalks did potential customers notice the sandwich board enticing them into the business? Who educated the people that showed up to the interviews? Who removed the trash at the end of the day? Who provided the courts in which contract disputes among original investors were disputed? Whose Navy provided Freedom of Navigation so that their international orders could ship regularly and reliably?
The list goes on. The rich, even the most boot-strapping of them, benefit significantly from government services, even if they aren't getting food stamps.
The bottom 80% of Americans own just 7% of the financial wealth. And the amount of wealth of the super-wealthy is increasing. They should pay more taxes -- much more. They can afford it and they owe it to the country because this country allowed them to accumulate so much wealth.
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