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Old 03-22-2011, 11:03 PM   #41
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After reading the NYT article I find it interesting the author suggests wealth "should" be redistributed - implying if you have money you're part of the problem and you should start giving it too those that don't have money.
No way that true wealth will ever be redistributed, other than through divorces and payment of hush money to bimbos and Argentine polo players. Some of our lower middle tier wealth may be expropriated, as we have no real power.

But the truly wealthy own the political process, at all levels. ( And by the truly wealthy I am not talking about those who add in their pensions and SS and count the toilet paper in their closets when they figure net worth.)

Ha
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
+1

But, cb7010, it's more sanctimonius to try to do it with other peoples money...

I find it interesting that no one on this board who advocates for higher taxes has voluntarily stepped up and sent the IRS a big fat goodwill check to salve their conscience. (AFAIK, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) If you really feel that way, what difference does it make what your neighbor is doing? Do you donate to your favorite charities because they do? Do you try to match what they put out for the Goodwill truck? Buy the same amount of Girl Scout cookies? When the rubber hits the road, talk is cheap.
If I did want to voluntarily redistribute my very modest amount of wealth, I would not be sending it to the local tax collectors - most of it would end up being wasted. I'd increase the amounts I give to selected charities.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #43
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If I did want to voluntarily redistribute my very modest amount of wealth, I would not be sending it to the local tax collectors - most of it would end up being wasted. I'd increase the amounts I give to selected charities.
You might have missed the point; there have been quite a few members clamoring for higher income taxes for everyone, but no one seems to want to lead by example...

I agree with you, BTW; with one caveat- check the operating expenses of your favorite charities; you may be shocked at how little actually trickles down to where it's really needed; some of them make the federal government and television ministries look like paragons of efficiency.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:39 AM   #44
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I have money because I w*rked and saved a lot of it.

Some humans did neither.

Any questions?
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #45
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This is one of those topics that always start to smell like fish. Red herrings abound. I read about those people who don't pay taxes, the failures of a few communist countries, the fact that anyone can be rich, and that there's nothing we can do about it anyway.
It seems logical to me concentration of wealth slows the velocity of money. Something we can ill afford at this time. We've been keeping this game going by printing money and pumping it into the bottom of the pyramid thru many gov't subsidies and jobs. We may lose that ability soon. We would all do well to prepare for that eventuality.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:05 AM   #46
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What they don't realized is that they're trying to fix human nature. Ain't gonna happen, it's failed everywhere it's been tried.
The "Public Works Trilogy" has a great subplot in it concerning a "bootstraps" character. This former "Master of the Universe" character is given a mandate to sell enough pencils to avoid, well, a personal tragedy. He's a big-time executive! Of course he can do it!

Well, he couldn't do it.

But, hey, that's human nature.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:10 AM   #47
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You might have missed the point; there have been quite a few members clamoring for higher income taxes for everyone, but no one seems to want to lead by example...

I agree with you, BTW; with one caveat- check the operating expenses of your favorite charities; you may be shocked at how little actually trickles down to where it's really needed; some of them make the federal government and television ministries look like paragons of efficiency.
I agree completely and understand the point - the burden should always fall on someone else.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:01 AM   #48
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Writing to your Congresscritter? Please. If voting really changed anything, they would make it illegal. That goes double for letters to Congress.

Now individual acts (or volunteering or donating) that offer a helping hand are another story. Yep, there are plenty of charities that are there to line insiders' pockets, but there are lots that are not.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:23 AM   #49
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I find it interesting that no one on this board who advocates for higher taxes has voluntarily stepped up and sent the IRS a big fat goodwill check to salve their conscience.
I find it equally interesting that nobody who's advocated for lower government spending and cutting entitlements has ever returned a social security check or withheld their medicare card when getting health care or given money to their parents so they could do those things.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:56 AM   #50
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I
2. I'd like to believe that if the less well off demographic segments of society are still (i) enjoying a reasonable and improving standard of living and (ii) are able to see at least the existence of reasonable opportunities for advancement, then our society is doing a better job of looking after its people than many (most?) other societies have done historically.
Well, they are not seeing a reasonable and improving standard of living and not seeing reasonable opportunities for advancement. Class mobility in the US is problematic and worse than many European countries. US-vs-Europe structural rigidities: A re-think | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/2/7/45002641.pdf

For increasing income of the next generation you are better off in Canada, Australia and much of Europe.

Our education system may be much of the problem.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:05 AM   #51
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+1

But, cb7010, it's more sanctimonius to try to do it with other peoples money...

I find it interesting that no one on this board who advocates for higher taxes has voluntarily stepped up and sent the IRS a big fat goodwill check to salve their conscience. (AFAIK, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) If you really feel that way, what difference does it make what your neighbor is doing? Do you donate to your favorite charities because they do? Do you try to match what they put out for the Goodwill truck? Buy the same amount of Girl Scout cookies? When the rubber hits the road, talk is cheap.
How is that interesting? If I don't like our tax policy and don't like our social policies how could my sending in more taxes than I owe help at all? It isn't an effective political statement. It doesn't establish programs, improve education, or improve health care access. Because society doesn't step up the best I can do is try to personally step up and do what I can on a small level.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #52
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Every time there's a recession, it tends to widen the gap between rich and poor, and stretch the middle class. There's really nothing political about it though; often it just depends on luck. If you're middle class, and managed to keep your job, then during the recession you were able to keep on investing, buying more shares at fire sale prices, so when the economy improved, your standing improved with it.

However, if you got laid off, you might have had to dip into savings or retirement, or borrow against your home. Or if it was bad enough, you might have even lost your home.

Or even if you still had your job, but were living beyond your means and had a low-interest mortgage that happened to reset, you might have had to cash in some savings/retirement, or lose the house, or just go further under water in some way.

An improving economy only benefits those who are lucky (or smart, in some cases) enough to take part in it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #53
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...the failures of a few all communist countries...


Martha, I don't know how easy it is to blame the education system. If someone feels they're lacking a worthwhile opportunity to learn in school, there are so many places to supplement that and learn something worthwhile. An unwillingness to learn and more rigidity in keeping someone unwilling in the classroom instead of dropping out of school doesn't help.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #54
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Writing to your Congresscritter? Please. If voting really changed anything, they would make it illegal. That goes double for letters to Congress.
It is depressing to send a very well thought out letter raising a particular issue and get a form letter back which entirely misses the point.

I think that if an issue is very important to you and you want to effect change the best thing to do is be active as an organizer or as part of an organization that lobbies. Even so, it is a long shot that you will make a difference. But doing nothing certainly won't make a difference.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:34 AM   #55
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Martha, I don't know how easy it is to blame the education system. If someone feels they're lacking a worthwhile opportunity to learn in school, there are so many places to supplement that and learn something worthwhile. An unwillingness to learn and more rigidity in keeping someone unwilling in the classroom instead of dropping out of school doesn't help.
So you want the kids to figure it out.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:04 AM   #56
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The rich keep doing the things that made them rich and the poor keep doing the things that made them poor.
I think this sums up the situation completely. 20 years ago I couldn't even afford to buy new clothes, or clothes from Goodwill for that matter. I had little more than a high school education and no hope for any type of advancement. I decided to change what I was doing and took several risks. Now is a much different story. It took me 20 years, but I have all of the things I want, and money on the side for enjoyment and savings for a rainy day and retirement. The wife no longer has to work if she doesn't want to, but she chooses to work. In four days I receive what will probably be my last promotion at work. If the next 20 are as good as the first 20, retirement is going to be awesome.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:05 AM   #57
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It is depressing to send a very well thought out letter raising a particular issue and get a form letter back which entirely misses the point.

I think that if an issue is very important to you and you want to effect change the best thing to do is be active as an organizer or as part of an organization that lobbies. Even so, it is a long shot that you will make a difference. But doing nothing certainly won't make a difference.
Agree on all points.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:08 AM   #58
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Martha, I don't know how easy it is to blame the education system. If someone feels they're lacking a worthwhile opportunity to learn in school, there are so many places to supplement that and learn something worthwhile. An unwillingness to learn and more rigidity in keeping someone unwilling in the classroom instead of dropping out of school doesn't help.
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So you want the kids to figure it out.
I don't think forcing a kid to stay in school is the answer. A person has to want to learn in order to learn. If the kid has the desire to be a plumber, auto mechanic, electrician, but not the desire to stay in school, I see no reason not to offer those particular classes for those particular students. I don't know how fesible it would be to implement, but having a vo-tech type high school would probably be better for those who don't want to stay in school. At least it would give them the education to perform some type of function in our society.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:08 AM   #59
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So you want the kids to figure it out.
So what does the wonderful world of perfect education look like in your mind then?
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:12 AM   #60
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No I am not talking about those who add in their pensions and SS and count the toilet paper in their closets when they figure net worth.)
Believe me, if you were sitting in a public toilet and suddenly realized there was no TP, you would probably pay a lot for a few sheets.

It has value .
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