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View Diary: Adam Smith favored progressive taxation (60 comments)

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  •  If to much taxes (0+ / 0-)

    are levied against the wealthy they will either leave the country (seeking citizenship in countries that would appreciate their entrepreneurialism) or the will just stop making money and live off of what they have.  It will be the middle class that will suffer.  Is the elimination of the bourgeoisie class part of the plan?

    •  That is a total farce... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Praxxus

      The upper marginal rates used to be 91%... was there a mass exodus???  No...  the idea that the insanely rich will take there ball and go home is really pathetic.

      This notion that they will just stop making money is very unimaginative.  They live for acquiring wealth.  It is what they do (like some people play softball or go fishing).  They play the market, invest, sell, etc.  That is not going away.  What is going away is the rules by which they play their favorite past-time.

      And even if they did just "stop"... you may be aware that someone else would fill in right behind them to make things happen.  The idea that we are just so lucky as a country to have the wealthy being all "entrepeneurail" for us, is just silly.  This nation does not rise on the whims of the wealthy... but it most certainly falls by them (see the S&L crisis of the 80s, the recession of 2008, the debacle of Supply-Side economics, the market crash of '29, and the Great Depression).

      And you presume being born into a wealthy situation, or making shrewd investments, or putting your money into tax havens somehow makes you an entrepeneur.  It s bogus.

      "If Bill-O collapsed into his own sphincter, like an imploding dark star, and disappeared forever...would we care?..." - Liberal AND Proud, Crooks and Liars

      by Rich Santoro on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 01:17:20 PM PDT

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      •  They are in the UK (0+ / 0-)

        "The upper marginal rates used to be 91%"  Yea, I would work hard so I could pay a huge tax rate when others get paid to do nothing...NOT.  What you are saying is contrary to simple economic theory, think about it!  

        You should read up on the communities that are developing in the South Pacific and smaller countries in South America.  Why do you think that Obama is so set on closing offshore banking?  If I had money I would be out of here.  However, you need to have substantial money to get citizenship in these places.

        •  the reality is (0+ / 0-)

          there was no mass migration out of the US when the top marginal rates were at 91%.  Historical experience suggests it doesn't happen.  Past performance is a strong predictor though its not a guarantee.

          If all you care about is pocketing the most money that you can, that you will go wherever you get to keep the most of your income, why are you at this blog?   Did you get lost somewhere and mistake your left for your right?

        •  rich people would pay the same as their peers (0+ / 0-)

          Yea, I would work hard so I could pay a huge tax rate when others get paid to do nothing...NOT.

          Rich people would be paying the same tax rate as their peers (who they compete with for status), and most rich people don't even notice us poor slobs in the lower tax brackets.

          "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve." -Benjamin Franklin

          by AdamR on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 05:40:22 PM PDT

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          •  who gets paid to do nothing? (0+ / 0-)

            Nobody gets paid for doing nothing--except those who live off of interest.

            "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve." -Benjamin Franklin

            by AdamR on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 05:41:46 PM PDT

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        •  Theory??? (0+ / 0-)

          You may be aware that "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."

          Meaning your texts books are nice and all, but the real world is quite a different animal.

          And you make my point entirely with this little nugget:  "If I had money I would be out of here.  However, you need to have substantial money to get citizenship in these places."

          So do you not have the money to do so, because you are lazy???

          No... it is because the rules of the game enable those with resources to apply them in ways to gain more, and protect the resources they have...  Those without, can eat cake while they struggle to break even.  You need to grow up...  Maybe after you get out of school you will have some sense.

          Now good day to you sir...

          "If Bill-O collapsed into his own sphincter, like an imploding dark star, and disappeared forever...would we care?..." - Liberal AND Proud, Crooks and Liars

          by Rich Santoro on Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 09:47:55 AM PDT

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    •  Oh please... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      If they pack up their entrepreneurial ball and go somewhere else, someone else will step in to offer the service they have removed.

      Likewise if they "stop working" and live off of their wealth.  

      If they just sit on their wealth, it is doing very little for the greater good, which is what Smith seems to be all about anyway.  So they and their hoarded wealth can take a hike.

      Next question!

      Well shit, Obama won! Now I need to think of a new sig line.

      by Praxxus on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 01:19:08 PM PDT

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      •  That’s quit an answer! (0+ / 0-)

        What you need to remember about economic theory is that it is based on simple economic models.  In reality the economic models has so many variables that most analysis prove to be wrong.  This is why so many economists can explain the past  (basically they’re Historians), but can't predict the economic future (a true Economist).  When you cite the "greater good" you are citing a simple economic model that leave leaving as a non-option.  That is not a realistic variable!

        •  Speaking of simple.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AdamR

          I refuse to let someone who not too long ago put forth the ridiculous "poor = lazy, rich = hard working" argument criticize me or anyone else about grossly oversimplifying anything, let alone economics.

          Yeesh!

          Well shit, Obama won! Now I need to think of a new sig line.

          by Praxxus on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 03:00:16 PM PDT

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        •  So what have you right-wingers predicted? (0+ / 0-)

          The collapse of 1929 under your rule?
          The subsequent half-century of prosperity under the New Deal consensus?
          The conversion of America into an outsourcing, union-busting, debt-driven rentier state by Ronald Reagan?
          The collapse of 2008 under your rule?

          Yes, SOAL, the rich can leave for other countries that cut taxes or treat their poor like dirt.  Ireland and much of southern and eastern Europe, under the influence of neoliberalism, tried those tax schemes, but ended up with rich idiots building up real estate and stock bubbles which collapsed along with our last year.  The rich refuse to move to the 3rd World countries where they sent our jobs, because those are horrible and dangerous places to live for the hated rich.  Even the jobs didn't stay in Mexico, and Latin America's poor are voting in socialists because of neoliberal failures.  The 3rd World countries that are scooping up all the jobs are the ones that spend money on education and public infrastructure: China and southeast Asia. Tax rates will not be going down in those countries, because there's nowhere else for the capitalists to flee to.

          So which right-wingers predicted that Communist China was going to become the engine of the global economy?

          •  Embrace big government! (0+ / 0-)

            The concept of "taking" is almost the definition of liberalism.  This is why you all embrace big government.  If you are rich – take your money,  if you are a bad parent take your kids, if you don’t pay your tax take your land, break the law – take years of your life!  Your shortsightedness is feeding the Government that will lead to your demise.  You fear big business and religion but are unable to give notable accounts of ultimate human exploitation made by these entities.  Yet, governments continue to take lives even today.  Big Governments are evil plain and simple.  Here are a few numbers people you might consider when you feel the need to give your Government more power.

            Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) - 49,000,000

            Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) - 23,000,000 (the purges plus Ukraine's famine)

            Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945) - 12,000,000 (concentration camps and civilians WWII)

            Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79) - 1,700,000

            Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94) - 1.6 million (purges and concentration camps)

            Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78) - 1,500,000

            Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994) – 800,000

            Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1987) - 570,000

            You can say "oh, not here!  We have a good Government." In reality your debt addicted government is setting us for economic collapse that may lead to...who knows what?

    •  why are the rich different than anyone else? (0+ / 0-)

      The issue here is how taxes are apportioned--if they aren't loaded onto the rich then they will be loaded on someone else and provide the same disincentives towards (legal) work.

      If the tax revenue is being spent wisely, then the rich will get their money's worth. If it is being wasted, then THAT is the problem, not who pays taxes.

      "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve." -Benjamin Franklin

      by AdamR on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 05:37:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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