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View Poll Results: Raise Taxes For Those Making More Than $200,000? (Thread Not About Wage Control!)
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:46 PM   #21
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Ok I do kind of remember the 70's.....and I wouldn't mind seeing what professionals rioting in the streets looks like....as far as earning 50 when costs are 75 - how about cutting operating costs like companies right sizing the working class do and then end-up give a $162 million going away present to the CEO who screws-up ...
Instead of price controls it would be easier to tax the heck out of the greedy bastards with progressive tax rates with no loopholes....so I amend my price-controls proposal to tax-controls
Tax-controls idea is so much better. And besides the slimy CEO's, I think musicians ought to be taxed the heck out of too. Always taking money under the table, not reporting it to IRS. Slimeballs, ought to be made to pay special privilege taxes every time they purchase something.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:16 PM   #22
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Not many of you remember the wage controls of the 70s but I do. Many of those from the Greatest Generation (my parents) experienced wage controls during WWII.

People will create end-runs around these rules. That is how our health care became insurance paid by employers... it wasn't counted as wages in the wage control system.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:07 AM   #23
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I think Dan is probably just seeing how much thunder he can stir up.

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I genuinely feel there is a growing disparity of the wealthy and the poor and near poor in our country, a shrinking middle-class an ever increasing greed and ostentatiousness- don't think its good for us - I really do feel that taxes need to be greatly increased on the wealthy including inheritance taxes and I would be willing to ante up my share...maybe we can start working on the deficit, the debt and paying for medical care and subsidize college education for those that do without and also increase the minimum wage every year
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:33 AM   #24
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I genuinely feel there is a growing disparity of the wealthy and the poor and near poor in our country, a shrinking middle-class an ever increasing greed and ostentatiousness- don't think its good for us - I really do feel that taxes need to be greatly increased on the wealthy including inheritance taxes and I would be willing to ante up my share...maybe we can start working on the deficit, the debt and paying for medical care and subsidize college education for those that do without and also increase the minimum wage every year

What should the minimum wage be? It's now $7.50/hour or so. That likely isn't enough, is it? maybe $25/hour?
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:00 AM   #25
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What should the minimum wage be? It's now $7.50/hour or so. That likely isn't enough, is it? maybe $25/hour?

remember when one person's wage could support a family?
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:28 AM   #26
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As for CEO going away packages.... I do not believe in what they get... BUT, these are not 'hey, you screwed up, go away for $100 million'....

The CEOs got a package WHEN THEY WERE HIRED or during their working career... they have a contract for a certain number of years with certain pay... and some have a severance package already negotiated.. and they get stock options along their career and also qualify for their retirement program...

So, if someone worked for a company for 30 years and their retirement program said they EARNED $1 mill a year for life it should be taken away because they are fired I don't think YOU would want that to happen to you... and if they had stock options on 1 million shares... do they lose it because they are fired I don't think YOU would want that to happen to you...

When they say the guy got a $100 mill package it is adding up all the stuff he already was due even if he quit... the better number would be what they paid him in addition to what he already had coming (if anything)...
I disagree. He made and took with him a $40,000,000 bonus last year alone. But wait, they have restated earnings- that bonus was based on phantom earnings. Take it back. He is lucky to avoid prison, and he is no worse than many others.

Christopher Dodd agrees with me.

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Old 11-05-2007, 03:14 AM   #27
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I agree CEO compensation in some cases are way out of wack.
Perhaps it would be easier to tax the heck out of these 'greedy bastards', but the system falls apart.
The doctor needs many years of schooling. You don't lower his/her cost of that school by taxing the heck out of him.
So the doctors can no longer support themselves, much less a family, thus the new world you create has virtually no doctors. Doesn't seem to be a much better world to me.
CEO compensation is a problem for a number of companies... because the fox is guarding the hen house. The CEOs are often members of other companies boards (not always but quite a bit). The approve huge compensation for each other. Remember If one sits on about 5 or 6 boards, they are getting some pretty fat compensation checks for meeting quarterly.

IMHO - the system is a bit broken. There are often too many shareholders which dilutes their power and allows Management to put their hand in the till legally.

However, I am not sure of how to fix it. They seem to figure out how to exploit loop-holes. Stronger shareholder rights and better governance is probably the key to solving the problem.

Just some random thoughts... Perhaps all compensation (and bonus increases should be put up for shareholder vote. Instead of putting an amount on proxy statement, put + and - % with some analysis data against the company and the current salary compared to other CEOs along the real $ amount. Plus, put all bonus (options) compensation in a pool that cannot be received until say 5-7 years after being awarded and it can be taken back if performance is poor.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:55 AM   #28
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remember when one person's wage could support a family?
Sure don't, because there have and will always be a poor working class people. I do recall a time when it was easier for a single income family to make a living. However they did not have the luxuries we currently enjoy, such as air conditioning, larger houses, two cars, early retirement, computers, etc.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:37 AM   #29
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remember when one person's wage could support a family?

13 of our 21 years of raising a family were done on a single income. No debt other than a mortgage.

Raised three kids in a very nice neighborhoods, and while we def LBYM no one was wanting. Still managed to FIRE by 50 YO. Wife is working now though, not pulling down much $$ but she enjoys the job. Income helps, but sure was not a factor in the ER decision.

I only made > $50/hour (based on 40 hour weeks) for a few of those years. Probably never made $50/hour over a year if you include the unpaid OT.

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I genuinely feel there is a growing disparity of the wealthy and the poor and near poor in our country, a shrinking middle-class an ever increasing greed and ostentatiousness-
I'm not saying that's not true, but do have any support for that statement? Seems I read something that those stats are twisted, and the trend either does not exist, or is not as great as it is reported. I don't know myself.


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Old 11-05-2007, 08:34 AM   #30
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13 of our 21 years of raising a family were done on a single income. No debt other than a mortgage.

Raised three kids in a very nice neighborhoods, and while we def LBYM no one was wanting. Still managed to FIRE by 50 YO. Wife is working now though, not pulling down much $$ but she enjoys the job. Income helps, but sure was not a factor in the ER decision.

I only made > $50/hour (based on 40 hour weeks) for a few of those years. Probably never made $50/hour over a year if you include the unpaid OT.

I'm not saying that's not true, but do have any support for that statement? Seems I read something that those stats are twisted, and the trend either does not exist, or is not as great as it is reported. I don't know myself.


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Hey ERD, this is my life
3 kids(will probably disagree about not wanting), 1 car, 1 wife, 1 paycheck 22 years - never made more than $40 an hour, less with all the OT, took bus/train/bike to work, LBMM, avoided debt except mortgage, cut coupons, kept heat low, took lunch to work, walked around turning off lights,good schools, 1400 sqft. house, still managed to ER in 2001 at 50 - wife started working then at $15 an hour loves it - Income helps, not a factor in the ER decision also -will ER soon.
I'm thiniking it will be very hard for my kids to manage a one paycheck family...

I don't have any stats to give you, I get all my info from the Liberal channel (I prefer the term Progressive) - Moyers and NOW on PBS.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:29 AM   #31
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Hmmm, interesting, I was going to post that everyone thinks a good salary cap is a little bit more than what they are making, then DanTien posts he made about $10 less than his proposed cap, too funny.

DW makes $65/hour as a consultant, but she has a lot more tax to pay as well, and takes more risk as she could get a call anytime and be told her services are no longer needed.

I think people hit it on the head when they mentioned incentives to excel, but your cap would directly affect my decision. I'm going for a management job (interview tomorrow), technical team lead type position. If that cap was in place, I'd be hesitant to go for this position, because in a couple years where I am I'd hit it anyway, so why bother taking the additional responsibility?

I suppose you'd have a department of the government decide when to adjust that cap for inflation, right? If a cap was ever put in place, you'd only put a huge burden on the economy as it works around it. CEO's would all get $50 an hour plus "free use" of a company owned mansion, or whatever. Members of the Politburo didn't have large official salaries either, but managed to have nice dachas in the forests around Moscow.

I have two Doctor friends with over $100k in student loans, they'll get through it because they are smart with their money, but this price cap would cripple them.

As far as CEO payouts, I honestly feel in most cases the large sums are worth it to get top talent in the position. These women and men are taking huge risks - you think the former CEO of Merril Lynch is going to be offered another position in the industry? - so they need to be attracted by a package that will set them for life, at a lifestyle they were striving for. Personally, I think they are crazy, because there is no way they are seeing their spouse and kids enough in those positions. But each of us makes a judgement on what is worth it.

What to change? Efficient markets thrive on perfect information, so I would support laws that increase transparency and work to eliminate conflicts of interest. Pro business is not perfectly equivalent to pro capitalist, just ask anyone who works to fight monopolies/oligopolies. Shady executives collaborating to fix markets can have just as much damage to the economy as commie pinkos populist politicians.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:37 AM   #32
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if we had wage controls in the US there would be a definite brain drain in the US. Today we hear about small towns where the population is dying off because any young person with half a brain moves to the city for better opportunities. The same thing would happen to the country as a whole. Smart young people would move to countries with no wage controls. Companies that require professional expertise would outsource to or base operations out of those more capitalistic countries. The US would rapidly become second rate place to produce and with a lower per capita income consume.

On the other hand the generation leaving the US might retire back in the US because of low cost goods and services due to the wage controls. Much like retirees are looking at places like Panama, Thailand, or the DR.

I would rather live in a first world capitalist country than a second/third world heavily socialist society. So I live in the US. If you like price controls I'm sure there is a country out there for you too.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:52 AM   #33
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Athletes, Rock Stars, Actors, lawyers, doctors and other professionals shouldn't get more than $50 an hour with just inflation adjustments thereafter. World would be a better place.
Why stop there? Assembly line workers, plumbers, farmer, electricians and auto mechanics shouldn't get more than $0.75 a day.

Happy now?
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:55 AM   #34
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Dear Larry,
That was $40 in year 2000 dollars
Think you didn't read all the posts - I saw the error of my argument for wage control and have now settled on taxing the hell out of the rich and closing the loopholes for them and corporations. My point which I will say again is that greed and disparity is a foul mix for america....I think we'll survive high taxes and I'm confident your doctor friends will get their loans paid off if they LBYM it. I think Med school should be deeply subsidized by BIG government so they don't have loans....but I think wanna be lawyers should pay full price to discourage as many of them as possible!
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:56 AM   #35
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As far as CEO payouts, I honestly feel in most cases the large sums are worth it to get top talent in the position. These women and men are taking huge risks - you think the former CEO of Merril Lynch is going to be offered another position in the industry? - so they need to be attracted by a package that will set them for life, at a lifestyle they were striving for.
Laurence, with all due respect, .

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Old 11-05-2007, 09:57 AM   #36
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Why stop there? Assembly line workers, plumbers, farmer, electricians and auto mechanics shouldn't get more than $0.75 a day.

Happy now?
Milton - I switched from wage control to higher taxes
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #37
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Hi Dan,

You might be interested in the book Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich [detailed review: http://yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/249.pdf]. No conclusive answers, but plenty of interesting discussion.

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Old 11-05-2007, 10:18 AM   #38
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A study was done a few years ago showing that physicians hourly wage was less than a unionized factory worker when the total hours were factored in. Docs used to have the opportunity to work 100+ hour weeks in med school(unreimbursed) and residency(below min wage). And then hit the real world where a cushy practice will work them 60 to 80 hours per week(frequently again over 100 if on call hours are factored in). As for other countries lower physician salaries, believe me you get what you pay for. Watching the anesthesiologist in Italy chainsmoke next to the flammable anesthetics is not for the faint of heart.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #39
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Hi Dan,

You might be interested in the book Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich [detailed review: http://yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/249.pdf]. No conclusive answers, but plenty of interesting discussion.

Milton
thanks Milton, that's a very interesting readable paper...I remember when the top tax rate was 70% and I was surprised to read the following:"The reduction of marginal tax rates in the Reagan years was driven by a new policy consensus that still persists today. That consensus is that high marginal tax rates on the rich come with an unaffordably high price for the U.S. economy in the form of reduced incentives for the rich to work and to save, and increased incentives to engage in socially wasteful tax planning. And yet 1957, when Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and the top income tax rate was 91%, falls in the middle of the period from 1951 through 1963. Those were the golden years of the U.S. economy, in which the average annual rate of productivity growth was 3.1% (compared with about 1.5% after 1981). Of course, the growth might have been even faster had the marginal tax rates been lower, but the coincidence of high rates and high productivity raises challenging questions for those who believe that high marginal tax rates carry an unacceptable cost." - flies in the face of commonly held belief we've had drilled into us by the Reagan/Rand believers...nice avatar by the way


"Another argument for taxing the rich can be summarized in department store mogul Edward Filene’s explanation of why he approved of the income tax: “Why shouldn’t the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them"
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #40
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Thousand dollar an hour lawyers are overpaid--they are selling a brand not a service at that point.

But the big money is the CEO money and it seems like shareholders should get a bit more power against self-perpetuating management.
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