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Since this is now a new and improved news room, I thought I would bring up something that I have been thinking about. Try and keep politics out of it, this is simply a thought exercise about our society.

So the question is are the supper rich good for the country? I do not mean the people making $250,000. I mean the people making 30-40 million a year, and worth billions.

The way I see it these people hurt our society. They hurt our society because with that much money you cannot possibly spend it, which helps the economy, so all that money ends up getting taken out of the economy, which hurts it. The other problem that I see with that kind of money is that these people can invest in ways that hurt the economy. They can corner markets and drive up prices for all of us, think gas prices in 2007, they can buy companies and rip them appart for the profit. They can destabalize the economy with bad moves.

These people become kings, in a country founded on principles against royalty. They become untouchable and above the law in a land of laws, think OJ Simpson, could he have walked away form a murder that he obviously committed if he didn't have the money it took to get him off. Our society is riddled by the supper rich and powerfull that can thumb there nose at society. Is this good for this country?

In the late 1920s we also had a group of supper rich. They were the Fords and the Carnegies and the Rockafelers, etc. They did as they pleased and they hurt many. You may recall the Johns Town Flood which to this day is being paid for by a special tax in Pensylvania, which was caused by a giant dam that was cheaply built and paid for by a group of those supper wealthy who wanted a lake to summer at without all the riff raff that other lakes would expose them to. They were told the day before it burst that the dam was dangerous and needed emergency work to continue to stand, but they ignored the advise as they had from the very begining. Thousands died and the owners of that private dam disapeared and were never brought to face their responsability.

To be sure the supper rich do some good. They contribute to charities and to hospitals and universities and opera houses and museums, etc. But does this really cover the economic damadge that they do to society?

Again this is a thought exercise so please no flaming, and no politics. :thumbsup:

PS: I am leaving for the lake house so I won't get to defend my position until Monday. But this may make for an even better conversation since it won't devolve into bickering. I will be curious to see what others say. :thumbsup:
 

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Since this is now a new and improved news room, I thought I would bring up something that I have been thinking about. Try and keep politics out of it, this is simply a thought exercise about our society.

So the question is are the supper rich good for the country? I do not mean the people making $250,000. I mean the people making 30-40 million a year, and worth billions.

The way I see it these people hurt our society. They hurt our society because with that much money you cannot possibly spend it, which helps the economy, so all that money ends up getting taken out of the economy, which hurts it. The other problem that I see with that kind of money is that these people can invest in ways that hurt the economy. They can corner markets and drive up prices for all of us, think gas prices in 2007, they can buy companies and rip them appart for the profit. They can destabalize the economy with bad moves.

These people become kings, in a country founded on principles against royalty. They become untouchable and above the law in a land of laws, think OJ Simpson, could he have walked away form a murder that he obviously committed if he didn't have the money it took to get him off. Our society is riddled by the supper rich and powerfull that can thumb there nose at society. Is this good for this country?

In the late 1920s we also had a group of supper rich. They were the Fords and the Carnegies and the Rockafelers, etc. They did as they pleased and they hurt many. You may recall the Johns Town Flood which to this day is being paid for by a special tax in Pensylvania, which was caused by a giant dam that was cheaply built and paid for by a group of those supper wealthy who wanted a lake to summer at without all the riff raff that other lakes would expose them to. They were told the day before it burst that the dam was dangerous and needed emergency work to continue to stand, but they ignored the advise as they had from the very begining. Thousands died and the owners of that private dam disapeared and were never brought to face their responsability.

To be sure the supper rich do some good. They contribute to charities and to hospitals and universities and opera houses and museums, etc. But does this really cover the economic damadge that they do to society?

Again this is a thought exercise so please no flaming, and no politics. :thumbsup:
Off the top of my head I think you can include most sports luminaries including A-Rod, LeBron James, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, the Facebook dude, John Huntsman, etc.

I don't see the economic damage the above people do, because they ultimatley create many, many jobs, that go way beyond thier sphere of direct influence, and that is all good for the economy.

As far as those individuals who use thier power, influence and money without regard to our economy, or use it to further thier own agenda, I can think of George Soros, and Jeff Imelt, Madoff, and the wall street bankers that 'legally' gambled with other peoples money with impunity in overseas markets.

These people have brought an unbelieveable amount of pain to our economic system and have done so at our economies expense only for personal enrichment.

If we could somehow have perfect foresight and determine ahead of time which super-rich were beneficial and who were detrimental would be a good thing, but I believe that would go against the principals of free trade.

A possible 'fix' would be better enforcement of certain regulations and a rewrite of some of the more onerous ones. The SEC was asleep at the wheel. I also believe public companies should be subject to a different set of rules than a private company.

For instance, a banker like Fuld for instance made his fortune with other people's money. I have no probelem with that, except the 'other people' should have the option of 'licenseing' their investments with him. They should now ahead of time what part of thier investment will be handled by who, what his track record is, and what his rate of compensation should be, ahead of time.

This is a very complex subjectand really needs ore discussion.

Bottom line for me is, if Oprah makes $2 billion and can hire hundreds of people and create thousands of jobs, that's a good thing.

If somebody like Soros uses his fortune to bring down economic systems for his personal gain and causes thousands of jobs to be lost, that's a bad thing.
 

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I believe you could make the very same claim (few tweaks in wording) of the super poor... or any class -for that matter.

Every society -be it Capitalism or Communism... has it's super rich. It's the individual... not the money.
 

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The problem is not so much the super-rich, as the super-corrupt that those people buy and pay for. Integrity and honesty should be demanded from our government, and it's not.
 

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The problem is not so much the super-rich, as the super-corrupt that those people buy and pay for. Integrity and honesty should be demanded from our government, and it's not.
EXACTLY :thumbsup:
 

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Before the people in England without property or equity were allowed to vote, the economy was nil and there were only masses of poor and the few rich that controlled the country.
The wealth was horded by the rich.
So no commerce existed worth anything.
 

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Before the people in England without property or equity were allowed to vote, the economy was nil and there were only masses of poor and the few rich that controlled the country.
The wealth was horded by the rich.
So no commerce existed worth anything.
Point??? :huh:
 

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Before the people in England without property or equity were allowed to vote, the economy was nil and there were only masses of poor and the few rich that controlled the country.
The wealth was horded by the rich.
So no commerce existed worth anything.
I suppose that's because they had a monarchy, with everything and everyone owned by the king, with the government, which was the king, responsible for the well-being of all his subjects.

The primary purpose for emmigration from England of all our predecessors to this country.

Not sure what the point is in relating to the OP, except as possibly a means to tie in anti-colonialism to today's super-rich?
 

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So the question is are the supper rich good for the country? I do not mean the people making $250,000. I mean the people making 30-40 million a year, and worth billions.
in many cases the people making that much money got it by building a successful business and employing thousands of people in the process,or by inventing and producing a successful service or process
well you could always do what the communists did, in Russia, china , etc, and nationalize all their wealth, and execute them, the result is clear, you have a bunch of unskilled people who can,t manage things running the county thru a political organization and for the next 15-20 years they gain experience at the cost of huge segments of the population in poverty or starving..theres a huge black market for goods and services and almost everyone's living in poverty,..because almost everyone works just hard enough to prevent being penalized and no harder because theres no advantage to working harder or producing more as the government just confiscates any additional surplus and gives it to the less skilled....or you could tax them enough that leaving the county becomes their only option with a similar result.


or you could do as much to allow each and every other member of your society to copy and duplicate their success by running a business or working for the more skilled managers up to their own ability's, and give the wealthy both a tax incentive to invest in further job creation and more business expansion,and greater employment and, a consistent 20% income tax on EVERY MEMBER of the society so everyone shares an equal percentage of their income ,if there were NO tax advantages or areas to hide income and everyone paid an equal share of their income and has an EQUAL percentage of that income going to support the country, and where no one is penalized for working harder or becoming more successful, you would have a far more successful economy


http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-december-magazine-contents/guess-who-really-pays-the-taxes

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/092110/opi_710505477.shtml

http://taxesandgrowth.ncpa.org/news/do-the-rich-and-businesses-pay-their-fair-share
 

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in many cases the people making that much money got it by building a successful business and employing thousands of people in the process,or by inventing and producing a successful service or process
well you could always do what the communists did, in Russia, china , etc, and nationalize all their wealth, and execute them, the result is clear, you have a bunch of unskilled people who can,t manage things running the county thru a political organization and for the next 15-20 years they gain experience at the cost of huge segments of the population in poverty or starving....everyone works just hard enough to prevent being penalized and no harder because theres no advantage to working harder or producing more as the government just confiscates any additional surplus and gives it to the less skilled....or you could tax them enough that leaving the county becomes their only option with a similar result.


or you could do as much to allow each and every other member of your society to copy and duplicate their success by running a business or working for the more skilled managers up to their own ability's, and give the wealthy both a tax incentive to invest in further job creation and more business expansion,and greater employment and, a consistent 20% income tax on EVERY MEMBER of the society so everyone shares an equal percentage of their income ,if there were NO tax advantages or areas to hide income and everyone paid an equal share of their income and has an EQUAL percentage of that income going to support the country,you would have a far more successful economy
:agree:

I would also add that sometimes you need the super well off person/company to invest in next. The next that often fails and nothing is left but former employees. If it wasn't for the research and development side of huge complexes we'd never overcome many problems-- and everything would be "good enough". Thinking about things like new batteries for computers/cars and the like. How much money was "wasted" on failed attempts? would that be available to "waste" if someone/thing didn't have some disposable income?
 

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I don't see the economic damage the above people do, because they ultimatley create many, many jobs, that go way beyond thier sphere of direct influence, and that is all good for the economy.

Bottom line for me is, if Oprah makes $2 billion and can hire hundreds of people and create thousands of jobs, that's a good thing.
I agree completely.

Extremely wealthy people living in the US usually have deep roots and their income can affect a large number of businesses and communities.
 

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Since this is now a new and improved news room, I thought I would bring up something that I have been thinking about. Try and keep politics out of it, this is simply a thought exercise about our society.

So the question is are the supper rich good for the country? I do not mean the people making $250,000. I mean the people making 30-40 million a year, and worth billions.

The way I see it these people hurt our society. They hurt our society because with that much money you cannot possibly spend it, which helps the economy, so all that money ends up getting taken out of the economy, which hurts it. The other problem that I see with that kind of money is that these people can invest in ways that hurt the economy. They can corner markets and drive up prices for all of us, think gas prices in 2007, they can buy companies and rip them appart for the profit. They can destabalize the economy with bad moves.

These people become kings, in a country founded on principles against royalty. They become untouchable and above the law in a land of laws, think OJ Simpson, could he have walked away form a murder that he obviously committed if he didn't have the money it took to get him off. Our society is riddled by the supper rich and powerfull that can thumb there nose at society. Is this good for this country?

In the late 1920s we also had a group of supper rich. They were the Fords and the Carnegies and the Rockafelers, etc. They did as they pleased and they hurt many. You may recall the Johns Town Flood which to this day is being paid for by a special tax in Pensylvania, which was caused by a giant dam that was cheaply built and paid for by a group of those supper wealthy who wanted a lake to summer at without all the riff raff that other lakes would expose them to. They were told the day before it burst that the dam was dangerous and needed emergency work to continue to stand, but they ignored the advise as they had from the very begining. Thousands died and the owners of that private dam disapeared and were never brought to face their responsability.

To be sure the supper rich do some good. They contribute to charities and to hospitals and universities and opera houses and museums, etc. But does this really cover the economic damadge that they do to society?

Again this is a thought exercise so please no flaming, and no politics. :thumbsup:

PS: I am leaving for the lake house so I won't get to defend my position until Monday. But this may make for an even better conversation since it won't devolve into bickering. I will be curious to see what others say. :thumbsup:
For one thing, the people who are worht billions are not just sitting on a pile of cash. None of them have a Money Bin like Scrooge McDuck. They are invested. Example Bill Gates worth next to nothing if Microsoft goes under. Microsoft employs thousands direcrly and indirectly.

As for the old time super rich, it seems like you do not care for union labor, like the UAW(Ford Motor Co)or steel workers (Carnagie made his fortune in steel mills).
 

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Well I am back and glad to see very civilized discusion. Alot of very good points made.

I guess I should talk about what I see as the main problem with the supper wealthy today. In 1929 the wealthiest 1% of the country owned 26% of the wealth. Shortly after we had the Great depresion. I have heard some economists talk about why the Great depresion happened and they talk about how the wealthy controled so much wealth that the middle class could only survive by going into debt. When they ran out of sources for debt the economy came to a sudden and painfull crash. In 2007 the percentage of wealth held by the top 1% again reached 26%. I see a lot of similarities between those days and today. I also see that the middle class has done many good things other than borrowing to try and stay ahead, but they still seem to fall behind. One thing that has changed is the number of women in the workforce. In the sixtys less than 10% of mothers worked out of the home. Today that number is more like 90%. Yet the average family is not better off due to the two earners, they have just about kept up. Is this a good thing or are we destined to lose our middle class? Could this country survive losing it's middle class?

Grumpy...Are the only choices totaly out of control capitalism or communism? I think those are the extremes and something closer to the middle but still capitalism would be a better answere. The way that the country adjusted the percentage of wealth held by the top 1% after the great depresion, was to inact an income tax. That took some of the wealth away from the supper rich to pay for much needed improvements in our highway systems and infrastructure. That investment helped the country leap ahead of the rest of the world in it's ability to produce, and that ability to produce won world war II. Couldn't we use that again today. I know of a lot of bridges that need fixing and lots of highways that could be greatly improved and we could certainly use a better more efficient electrical grid and so on.

I guess I am saying that capitalism alone works very well to make some very bright and lucky people very wealthy, while it keeps many other people just employed, but it seems that without some control it can run out of control. I think that without some mechanism for control, eventualy all wealth could end up under control of just one person after years of economic battle and many generations of passed on wealth. That person would then be a king owning everything and the rest of us would be his subjects, or employees. I don't think that is what any of us would consider the ultimate best that our country can become.

Perhaps I am wrong and there is some kind of check and balance that is inherint in capitalism. Perhaps it is just the fact that the children of the supper wealthy tend to be not as hungry as the originators of the wealth, so they start to lose some of it and it then becomes more diluted through loses and larger numbers of family members getting the shares of the original wealth creator. But there are still families out there that we still call the supper rich after generations, and they are getting richer.

Someone also brought up some athletes as some of the supper rich. I cannot think of a way that they help our economy in the sense of true capitalism. It seems that these althlete billionares are the worst as far as bad social beahvior. OJ Simpson comes to mind again and so does Vick, and the guy who shot himself in the leg Plexico Berus (I think was his name). These guys are just out of control because all they realy know is how to play a game extremely well but the way that they are rewarded just gives them a license to run roughshod over all of us. God forbid we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time like the chauffer of Jason Williams, a basketball star who lives right near me.

What do you all think???
 

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For one thing, the people who are worht billions are not just sitting on a pile of cash. None of them have a Money Bin like Scrooge McDuck. They are invested. Example Bill Gates worth next to nothing if Microsoft goes under. Microsoft employs thousands direcrly and indirectly.

As for the old time super rich, it seems like you do not care for union labor, like the UAW(Ford Motor Co)or steel workers (Carnagie made his fortune in steel mills).
I agree with you about them not sitting on piles of cash...I like the Scrooge McDuck image. :laughing::laughing:

As for your point about unions... I am not sure I understand. I for one do not like unions. I think they are the closest thing we have here to communism. They reward for time at a job not for skill at their job. I always stayed away from union shops for that reason as I came up through my trade, and I have found that former union workers make bad employees. I prefer a team work sort of company to an adversarial type of company and former union people just don't have a team spirit, they have an adversarial spirit when it comes to management.

I think that unions had their place at one time but the Government has codified labor to such an extent that unions now are simply redundant.
 

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I agree with you about them not sitting on piles of cash...I like the Scrooge McDuck image. :laughing::laughing:

As for your point about unions... I am not sure I understand. I for one do not like unions. I think they are the closest thing we have here to communism. They reward for time at a job not for skill at their job. I always stayed away from union shops for that reason as I came up through my trade, and I have found that former union workers make bad employees. I prefer a team work sort of company to an adversarial type of company and former union people just don't have a team spirit, they have an adversarial spirit when it comes to management.

I think that unions had their place at one time but the Government has codified labor to such an extent that unions now are simply redundant.
This was well put.
 

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you might want to keep in mind that any time the income tax rate exceeds about 20%-25% the wealthy tend to find ways to avoid paying more than that 20%-25% regardless, of the tax rate in excess of that level, that TRUE 20%-25% payment rate on true income has remained constant regardless of the tax rates, since day one!
all raising the tax rates does is cause the wealthy to hire tax lawyers, and find ways to hide or remove taxable income from calculations


that's the fallacy in raising the rates to increase revenues, lowering the tax rate always increased revenues
 

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you might want to keep in mind that any time the income tax rate exceeds about 20%-25% the wealthy tend to find ways to avoid paying more than that 20%-25% regardless, of the tax rate in excess of that level, that TRUE 20%-25% payment rate on true income has remained constant regardless of the tax rates, since day one!
all raising the tax rates does is cause the wealthy to hire tax lawyers, and find ways to hide or remove taxable income from calculations


that's the fallacy in raising the rates to increase revenues, lowering the tax rate always increased revenues
So couldn't we find ways to stop this sort of thing? Do we realy need to have loop holes? There were obviously no loop holes when the income tax was first put in place because it reduced the amount of wealth held by the top 1% from 26% to 9%. The problem with our tax system is that it is designed to be played. For the sake of this discusion lets say that taxes are not avoidable. Would it be a good thing to tax the supper wealthy so that this country could get back to fighting weight, or to reduce or eliminate the deficit, or any other public good?
 

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So couldn't we find ways to stop this sort of thing? Do we realy need to have loop holes? There were obviously no loop holes when the income tax was first put in place because it reduced the amount of wealth held by the top 1% from 26% to 9%. The problem with our tax system is that it is designed to be played. For the sake of this discusion lets say that taxes are not avoidable. Would it be a good thing to tax the supper wealthy so that this country could get back to fighting weight, or to reduce or eliminate the deficit, or any other public good?
Grumpy is right about the super rich avoiding taxes. But, like you, I think there would be a way to fix the tax system, if the people who game it, didn't own people like Charlie Rangel (Or anyone else who attains that position). The problem is corruption, not lack of taxation. It's much easier to tax me and you, simply because we don't have teams of lawyers and accountants working 7 days a week on tax avoidance. An income tax is a horrible way to try and generate revenue anyway, and ours is the worst system in the history of man.. :laughing:

You gotta remember why income taxes were brought into being, it wasn't for revenue generation it was control and redistribution. Income taxes account for a slim amount of revenue anyway, and once you factor in the cost of income taxes to both the taxpayer and government, it gets even slimmer. I think the government could ditch the income tax system, make some adjustments in other areas, and generate just as much revenue while also reducing the percentage of wealth owned by a small minority of people. Income taxes do keep a lot of people from attaining wealth beyond lower middle class.

Part 2 would be repealing the federal reserve act. The federal reserve was sold as a fix for bust or boom economics, and has been a massive failure that is completely corrupt, does not answer to a higher power (taxpayers) and basically controls the country. It puts all the important power in the hands of a few elitist bankers.

We really need to attack the disease (fed/income tax) instead of the symptom (super rich). The founding fathers knew this, and took steps to prevent it (no direct taxation and no central banking), but it was rammed through by progressives, and changed the make-up of the country.

:cheers:
 

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There is a significant amount of additional tax revenue that could be generated from a consumption tax collected at point of sale.

Level the playing field for foreign companies subsidizing workers on US soil. Rich consume more than the poor and would pay their fair share as well.

It is too simple not to fix the current Tax Code.:huh:
 

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sure its simple to fix but too many lawyers and accountants make too much money under the current system, but theres too many congress men,IRS agents and ATF guys that depend on the tax system to validate their jobs

we could EASILY do away with all other taxes and implement , no taxes on investments,a 20% national SALES tax on all retail transactions ON EVERYTHING except food,medicine and FUEL, and give 5% to the states and 15% to the feds, and the economy would flourish

you don,t want to tax the RICH,that only reduces investment and jobs, you want a FAIR AND EQUAL TAX CODE where EVERYONE pays EXACTLY the SAME percentage of their DISPOSABLE income, and EVERYONE HAS AN EQUAL.OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A GOOD LIVING.
THUS every one has INCENTIVE to MAXIMIZE there time, skill and invest and save without PENALTY'S and TAXES RIGGING THE PLAYING FIELD , BASED ON WHAT THEY CAN AFFORD
 
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