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View Diary: Taxing The Rich The Only Solution To Our Systemic Inequality (44 comments)

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  •  Wrong (4+ / 0-)

    Yes,tax the rich more; tax capital gains the same as income from labor and put payroll taxes on all income.  Cut deductions for second homes and mansions.  But this is dealing with the numerator of the equation.

    Look to the denominator.  We need to raise the incomes of the millions of ordinary working Americans.  There is no single magic bullet to do this.  Some ways are described above, and it'll take many methods and many years to get incomes up...we've got to start now.

    •  I repeat: not income but WEALTH (4+ / 0-)

      The problem is less that the wealthy are increasing their wealth annually but that they have accumulated 50 or 100 years of unjustified and unjustifiable excess income.

      As in countries which have implemented land reform, as in the UK where wealth was - but is no more - grotesquely concentrated, the need in the U.S. now is for redistribution of wealth more than of income.

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:25:41 AM PST

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      •  Clem - most legal experts believe it would take (5+ / 0-)

        a constitutional amendment, like the 16th for the income tax, for the federal government to have a wealth tax. Several European countries have them, more had them but dropped them. The results have been mixed. Those countries who dropped them did so because of capital flight, lower GDP growth and surprisingly lower overall tax revenues.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:45:21 AM PST

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      •  Some countries have a"wealth tax"... (4+ / 0-)

        ...to combat large pools of money sitting unproductively in individual hands by making it financially competitive to invest that wealth where it will have a greater return than the tax on it.

        With our current near zero interest rates and no tax at all on accumulated wealth, there is simply no incentive to take any risk and put those trillions of dollars into productive use, where their multiplier effect would increase the size of the economic pie for everyone.

        With an annual 2% wealth tax for individuals and corporations, there would be incentive to invest in activities that would bring a greater rate of return, especially if income earned through speculation and financial gamesmanship was not exempt.

        "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain

        by wonkydonkey on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:46:44 AM PST

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        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonkydonkey
          With our current near zero interest rates and no tax at all on accumulated wealth, there is simply no incentive to take any risk and put those trillions of dollars into productive use, where their multiplier effect would increase the size of the economic pie for everyone.
          There would be very little of an incentive to do that, it would probably just blow up in our faces in some unexpected way.

          For example, people become livid at the purportedly reckless risks taken during the dot.com era. Do you want more of that kind of risk taking? That's what you're encouraging. There's no guarantee that the 'incentive' is to create productive business.

          Remember, money out of circulation just causes deflation anyway, then it's as if the money doesn't exist.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:24:09 PM PST

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          •  The so-called dot.com era... (0+ / 0-)

            ...just so happened to be the longest post-WWII economic expansion, creating over 20 million jobs, and was the one period since the late 1970's when the middle class's share of the national income actually grew.  In the last election even the Republicans referred to it approvingly as the "Ciinton Boom years."

            Yes, it did spectacularly crash, but that was due to the lack of realistic underlying value to the investments made in ventures like Pets.com.  The problem wasn't having lots of capital being put to use in the economy.  Investing more wisely, in infrastructure, new energy projects, research and development, that will actually have a reasonable chance of offering recouping their capital and yielding some profit might turn out differently.

            "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." ~ Mark Twain

            by wonkydonkey on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:53:00 PM PST

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          •  What about using (0+ / 0-)

            it for public works?

            You know, the things like the highway system, infrastructure maintenance, etc.

            It's just amazing to me that what was possible in the past has now become impossible.  

            I don't get that--maybe you can explain why we could build great schools, highway systems, etc., etc., in the past, but, somehow, we just became completely devoid of any ability to do such things again.  

            And posters like you want to make the rest of us believe that no change or improvement is possible. You just keep shoving it down our throats, 'this is your lot, STFU and accept it!'

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:08:16 AM PST

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      •  Income and wealth. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes, cynndara, NoMoreLies

        It doesn't have to be one or the other.

        There is no justifiable reason for taxing capital less than labor.  Or not taxing transactions in capital, just like other transactions are taxed.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:44:15 AM PST

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    •  Simple enough really. (0+ / 0-)

      Raise the minimum wage.  Technically,  you could raise it to anything you wanted.  Add in a few controls on exporting entire businesses offshore, like heavy repatriation taxes and taxes on foreign profits, or applying American labor laws to workers for any goods imported to America.  (Yes, somebody will take it to court in the WTO, but frankly, the US OWNS the WTO, and can piss on it.  It's Will is only enforceable if we make it so).

      Mainly, though, most minimum-wage jobs are things that can't be easily exported, like flipping burgers and raising your kids.  So every dollar you raise the minimum wage goes directly OUT of corporate profits (CEO salaries, investor dividends) and into the pockets of workers, by way of Social Security.  And there's a snowball effect as other low-wage jobs also have to increase wages so that they are still better than minimum.

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