Skip to main content

View Diary: Federal taxes lowest since 1950 (196 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  yeah, they will (0+ / 0-)

    Because greedy people will try to make every dollar they can, and if someone takes his marbles and goes home crying because he can't make ten bucks, someone else will happily come along and do it for six bucks.

    The oddest thing of all is that the super-rich don't even do it for the money--they already have more cash in the bank than they could possibly spend in ten lifetimes. They do it for the power. The money is just peacock feathers for them--just a way to show off to everyone else.

    Tax them at 95%, and their lifestyle won't change a shred. They'll just be less able to strut their peacock feathers.

    •  You don't just "come along" and do these things. (0+ / 0-)

      Starting, running and building a succesful business takes lotsa work, sacrifice and risk. You state that when a man risks his life savings, and mortages his home to get a business up and running, you'll just shrug your shoulders if it fails, because someone else will "come along" and start another.

      Now of course there are those who become "greedy bastards" as they accumulate wealth. But there also those who become "lazy bastards" expecting a living to be given to them. I'm not gonna condem everybody on any sort of relief.. why would you condem every wealthy person ?

      •  alas, though (0+ / 0-)

        A large portion of the idle rich didn't get their money by working hard. They got it the old-fashioned way----they inherited it.

        As for the ones who did work hard--their workforce worked even harder.  And gets a lot less for it.

        But in any case, your entire "I worked hard and started my own business" thingie is just a fantasy, since the economy is dominated by huge global megacorporations who were not founded by any person who worked hard--they were founded by megamergers and buyouts. That Adam-smithian world you are so in love with, no longer exists. The corporados killed it over a hundred years ago.

        •  Ummmm... (0+ / 0-)

          .. the guy who struggled getting one shop up and running, eventually owning 5 (and employing dozens) is me...  (sigh)

          •  alas, you are just a krill (0+ / 0-)

            Nearly all small businesses are dead in five years anyway. Your piddley little business (and mine too) survives only because the Big Boys haven't bothered yet to buy us out or drive us under. WalMart has put lots more small business out of business than the tax code or minimum wage ever did.

            In the scheme of things, we simply don't matter---we live short ephemeral lives, and our only purpose is to feed the bigger fish when we die.

            Like I said, that whole Adam-smithian fantasy world you live in, no longer exists.  The corporados killed it over 100 years ago. And the corporados are not Adam-smithin.  There is no such thing as a "free market" when 1% of all corporations own 83% of all corporate wealth. They are richer, bigger and have more power over people's lives than any government does.

            •  It might surprise you.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpamNunn

              .. but I don't disagree with most of that post..

              However, I'm not that jaded. I'll still tell a person.. if they want to take a chance, and work like demon for a few years.. they make a good, secure living. I'm gonna sell this business soon (at a very reasonable price to one of my long-term employees), and then buy a bar in upper Michigan.. bust my butt for a few years and retire comfortably and securely...

              The Americn dream is still there.. ya just gotta want it badly enough to work for it.

              •  how CAN you disagree? it's reality. (0+ / 0-)

                I'll simply say again that your success did not come because you worked hard----it came because other people worked hard for you, and you got all the money instead of them.

                The only good thing about small business owners (and again, I am one) is that they must, by necessity, perform their own management, and so at least do something to earn their keep. The Big Boys, on the other hand, the super-rich at the top, don't do anything at all whatsoever to earn their keep. They perform no management function--they hire managers to do that for them. They are parasites, nothing more. If we took away their stock shares, divided them up equally among every employee or even every US citizen, and elected corporate managers ourselves, nothing would change--except that the idle rich would now have to get a real job somewhere.

                •  I'm sure how to respond.. (0+ / 0-)

                  .. when you assume,and outright accuse me of abusing my employees. I'd have GLADLY offered them a fair profit-sharing based salary, but only if it was TRUE profit sharing.

                  Aside from the fact that the majority of them came and went in less than 2 years (as with any entry level job).. would they be willing to work for nothing when we had an un-profitable week/month/year ?  Would they accept negaive pay if when we went throug a time of loss ?

                  Geez..

                  •  I am simply stating a fact (0+ / 0-)

                    Wages and profits are a zero-sum game. The only way one goes up, is if the other goes down. The only way you make money, is if your employees don't. And vice versa.

                    would they be willing to work for nothing when we had an un-profitable week/month/year ?  Would they accept negaive pay if when we went throug a time of loss ?

                    I'm quite sure they would---if they were part-owners. After all, stockholders do. And unlike most stockholders, employees actually do most of the company's work.

                    But I'm curious--when you have an extra-profitable week/month/year----do you give it to your employees?

                    •  Of course I don't give it to them.. (0+ / 0-)

                      .. any more than I'd expect them to pay ME when the company loses money.

                      As for ownership stake for employees.. you can't just GIVE that to them. If they want to buy into the company .. that's fine (and is how I'm puting my long-term employee into a position to eventully own the company)

                      •  of COURSE not (0+ / 0-)

                        Of course I don't give it to them

                        Why the heck should you--it's not like they did nearly all the work for it or anything . . . .

                        Remember what I said before about the zero-sum game? There you go.  They want the money--you want the money. One of us will get it, one of us won't. And since the workplace can't run without the workers but CAN run without the owners, there is only one way that argument can end.

                        As for ownership stake for employees.. you can't just GIVE that to them.

                        Sure we can. We outnumber the owners by a few hundred thousand to one. We also already control the entire company--nothing gets done anywhere unless one of us does it. It is a mere legal fiction that the owner actually owns the company---the employees do. Always have.  If you doubt who really runs a factory, then perform a simple experiment----have the owner go on vacation for a month, and see how much work gets done. Then have all the employees go on vacation for a month, and see how much work gets done. That will demonstrate pretty clearly who is necessary, and who is not.

                        Of course I don't expect any corporado to GIVE the company to us.  I expect we'll simply TAKE it.

                        Then the owner can find a job like everyone else.

                        •  Just TAKE the company assets.. (0+ / 0-)

                          .. be intersting to see how you go about doing that..

                          As for employee compensation: Paying them exaclty what their labor earns for the company, would be as pointless as charging only total cost of the ingredients for a pizza. No profit.. no company, and NONE of us has a job..

                          •  it's been done before (0+ / 0-)

                            Sometimes politely (as when the British nationalized lots of industries) and sometimes not nicely (as when oil nations nationalized all the foreign oil company assets). It was also done radically (as when revolutions in various countries nationalized the land and gave it to the landless, or nationalized the factories and gave them to the employees).

                            As for employee compensation: Paying them exaclty what their labor earns for the company, would be as pointless as charging only total cost of the ingredients for a pizza. No profit.. no company, and NONE of us has a job..

                            I have no intention of paying them "exactly what their labor earns".  After all, stock shareholders don't get paid according to the share of labor they did---since they do no labor at all.

                            Employees, of course, DO all the labor, and each of them is as important to running the company as anyone else (if you doubt that, then send a few workers home for a month and see how the work goes).  So they'd all get equal shares in their company. (And it is "theirs" just as much as it is yours, by virtue of the fact that it was their work that built it.)

                          •  I've never discounted employee importance.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. you're becoming non-sensical..

                          •  I'm quite sure you do (0+ / 0-)

                            After all, you can't make a single dime without them. I',m also sure you view your machinery and equipment as equally as important, since you can't make a single dime without them either.

                            People, of course, are not equipment--but that's how they are viewed by owners anyway.  They're just an expense, just another thing the owner has to cost out if he wants to make a profit, no different than a computer terminal or a tow-motor or a conveyor belt. For an owner, giving his employees more money makes no more sense than giving his pizza ovens more money.

                            Please note that this is not a morality argument--it simply is the way it is.  It is how every owner MUST treat his employees--because if he doesn't, he loses out to those who do.

                            The difference between equipment and workers, of course, is that workers can organize and fight back.

                          •  I'll respectfully disagree... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. a happy employee is more valuable than training a new one. I'd do anything within reason to retain good, reliable employees.. above and beyond the fact that many were friends bordering on family..

                          •  you are self-deluded if (0+ / 0-)

                            you think that friendship or duty or loyalty win out over economics or livelihoods.

                            As I said, I used to be a union organizer.  I've surprised many a boss who thought his employers were his friends.

                            The economic interests of the employer and the employees are simply not the same, and cannot ever be made to be the same. The only way one gets money is if the other one doesn't.

                            That is the reality.

                          •  They're the same in that.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. without good employees, there is no company... and with no company, there are no employees.

                          •  which is exactly why they should be (0+ / 0-)

                            equal partners.

                          •  Even if one has no personal wealth.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. at risk.. or is less skilled at running a business..

                            You punch a time card for a wage proportionate to your skill/training/seniority.. Just being there does not equate to equal say in the company, nor equal claim to its assets. You have to understand that.

                            Who in their right mind would put their life's savings, and life's work into a comapany, when hiring employees means surrendering it.

                          •  To make sure I'm getting this straight.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. when you hire someone to paint your house.. you're expecting him to tell YOU how the work will be done; tell you what to pay him.. and are prepared for him to take ownership of your house if you disagree ?

                          •  straw man (0+ / 0-)

                            When I hire someone to paint the house, I am not hiring him to make profits for me.

                            Now if I own a painting compnay and hire someone to paint houses to make money for me, then yes, I expect him to have an equal share with me and all the other people in the company as to how the work is done (though I'd be inclined to give the painter more say in that than the secretary or the owner, since the painter is the guy actually doing the work who knows how best to do it), and I expect every share holder to get an equal share of the income or losses. And I fully expect them to take ownership of the company if the employer doesn't agree.

                          •  Sooo... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. let's say you're the painter.. and have saved up enough money to buy a truck, ladders, painting equipment, and want to expand your horizons. You hire two young painters, and put YOUR money (possibly the truck too as collaterall) to bond these young painters, so you can big on large painting contracts. YOU do all the legwork securing a contract; YOU pay these guys out of YOUR pocket until there's adequate cash-flow. You spend lotsa time dealing with potential customers, and negotiating lines of credit at paint suppliers; and making sure perfect records are kept.

                            The painters say... "hmmm, we're doing all the painting".. knock on your door and say, "we out vote you two-to-one" .. "this comany is ours, truck, credit-lines, contracts and all... Go find yourself a job".

                            Is that how it works ?

                        •  And a curious question.. (0+ / 0-)

                          How does the company come into existance at all.. without owners/investors ?

                          •  the companies are already there (0+ / 0-)

                            The only way new ones form now is by budding off of old ones, or through mergers or joint ventures of old ones.

                            After all, nobody can decide one day to go out and borrow a trillion bucks from investors to start their own megacorporate company to compete with Ford or British Petroleum.

                            You are still locked into that whole small-business Adam-smithian world. It no longer exists.

                          •  Budding, merging, joint ventures.. (0+ / 0-)

                            ,, are all based around net-worth and assets.. the stuff the owners OWN. They sell out.. the stock goes worthless, and you taker-overs are standing in a factory with no working capital (they aint comin' back).. no way to keep an inventory.. no lines of credit.. and very soon.. no customers.

                          •  as I said before (0+ / 0-)

                            I have no intention of BUYING their stock shares from them. I intend to TAKE them. So it won't be me who is standing there without any money or assets--it'll be the former stockholders.  I and my fellow employees will have the entire factory and all its assets.  They'll have nothing.

                            They'll have to get a job like a mere mortal.

                          •  If you TAKE them.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. what do you suppose becomes of their value..

                            The ability for a company to secure suppiers, and lines of credit, is based on what the company is worth.

                            And lets not forget the importan life-line of being able to sell corporate bonds... who in their right mind would by bonds in a company whose stock is worthless ?

                          •  the value stays the same (0+ / 0-)

                            The factory still produces shoes or cars or widgets, and they still have the very same value to people that they always had.

                            Oh, you mean its stock value to people who want to buy shares?  Who cares---if they're not in the company and don't do any of the work, they don't deserve any share.

                          •  It does not produce a THING.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. without CASH in hand.. (lemme guess.. at the same time you find a way to claim ownership of shares..you have friends at the bank who will just turn the cash over to you)... it can't insure, or bond, or do ANYthing withoud being financially sound.. including stock the warehouse with raw materials..

                            This conversation is turning bizarre..

                          •  it's only bizarre because (0+ / 0-)

                            you are continuing to view it in a social framework which would then no longer apply.  It's sort of like the deposed King of France looking at the French Republic and asking "but how the heck will you communicate the King's decisions to the people?"

                            Surprise.

                            Sadly, I expect you absolutely will not like anything at all that I would like to do.  Just as the King of France absolutely did not like anything the French Republic did.

                            But, like the French Republic, I have the advantage of not needing your permission.

                          •  and with that, I bid adieu (0+ / 0-)

                            This is a topic that we cannot discuss--we can only talk past each other, because we are literally in different worlds with different interests and goals. There is no resolution to it but to duke it out within the workplace--one of us will win, the other one won't. (shrug)

                            And now I must log off.  Unlike some people, I do all my own work, and have no employees to do my work for me.

                          •  Fare welll... (0+ / 0-)

                            aside from contention, it's been entertaining..

                            I'll just finally ask how one just takes shares of stock?

                            Do you got to every brokerage and force them to print documentaion of ownership that will have any legal standing ? Do you then just send notes to all the small stockholders whose 401Ks caontain that stock and demand that they surrender it ?

                            I mean.. seriously..

                          •  Oh wait... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. I think I get it now..

                            Your world requires a revolution that would wipe-out the stock market, yet still leave enough of the economy intact to support the factory.. and that the engineers, sales reps and accountants wouldn't jump ship... and you'd all go about your maerry way making better livings. Am I close ?

                            That's a string of 'ifs' each of which is more than unlikley,, with a pardox or ten thrown in.

                          •  Just try it. (0+ / 0-)

                            If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

                            by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 07:18:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  I run a business, not a commune. (0+ / 0-)

                          If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

                          by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 07:18:06 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

            I'm willing to bet that your employees worked pretty hard too.  Or did you do all the work by yourself?

            The way to get rich isn't to work hard--the way to get rich is to have lots of other people work hard for you--and pay them shit.

          •  part of the reason why you can't conceive of (0+ / 0-)

            the point of view I am describing (and I mean that literally--it is a complete and utter mystery to you) is that you assume I am talking about you and your fellow small businesses. I'm not.  The small business are just minnows who are barely above mud in the food chain.  They're too piddley to bother with.

            It's the sharks at the top that I want.  They are the only ones who matter. And your Adam-smithian free-market fantasy simply does not apply to them.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site