What is your opinion of 'Re-distribution of Wealth' being applied in America ?
Like, rich people paying a higher tax bill than poor people? Sure, I'm for that, I think most sane people are. Even conservatives :) Fact is, poor people don't save money - rich people do. Eg, if you make millions per year, it's awefully hard to spend...but, if you're living pay check to pay check, it's a lot easier to spend it all & very hard to save anything.
As a result, if the two people - rich & poor person - paid the exact same % on their income, who loses? The poor person, and it makes for an awefully tough time trying to get ahead, if they can't afford to save money.
However, if you tax the rich person, say, 20% more than the poor person, they still make more money than they can spend, AND, they can still save money...society wins as result of everybody paying a burden relative to what they take from society, instead of everybody shouldering an equal burden.
Which isn't really fair for the poor OR middle class. The idea, in my mind, is to move society, as a whole, forward, and improve the human condition for all people, not just some...I'd love a private jet, but I can't buy one. So...shouldn't those who buy private jets pay more taxes?
Specifically: at the last company I worked at, the executives made millions and FIRED a bunch of employees, while that company was still turning a massive profit. That's not fair, that's evil.
Yahoo :) is the name of that company. Now, if we had a more fair & just system...well, that kind of thing wouldn't be tolerated, and part of the reason they did it is to protect their wealth (the executives & institutional shareholders) at the direct expense of the employees, who didn't make very much by comparison.
For conservatives, "re-distribution of wealth" is code for socialism. They don't understand that if you keep allowing wealth to be amassed into the hands of a smaller and smaller number of people, it actually hurts the economy, because there is less money in the economy because the wealthy save the majority of their income, and that money is unavailable for normal conmmerce. This is exactly what caused the great depression, and there has not been this kind of disparity between the wealthy and the poor since the 1920's, just prior to the depression. We have had our best economies when the middle class was strong. Right now it is shrinking. Coporate America is out of control. CEO's salaries have gone through the roof, while worker's salaries have been flat or shrinking. One factor is the ability of workers to collectively bargain. Union membersip has been shrinking ever since reagan, and this is one of the key reasons for the woes of the middle class. When union membership is high, the middle class grows. That is a fact. Union jobs make all salaries higher for everyone, not just union members. But of course conservatives think that the ability of labor to collectively bargain is somehow anti-capitalism, or dare I say, socialism. But the facts don't lie. Reagan began busting unions in the 80's, and as membership has dwindled, so has the middle class.
Call it what you want, but taxing the rich at much higher rates is not only fair, but neccessary to grow our economy. Trickle down economics is a myth and lie being spread by the rich, who are only trying to prevent from having to pay their fair share.
Contrary to what we have been asked to believe by those who worship at the altar of the Market, the middle class (albeit it's shrinking at present) in the US is largely the result of social engineering by the government, e.g. starting wiht the land ordinance of 1785, the Homestead act of 1862, preventing the establishment of "aristocratic" land owners and a nation of tenant farmers.
There have been three successive middle classes in America: the yeoman farmer; the industrial worker, created by tax benefits for fringe benefits to workers; and today's middle class, created by the "social wage" of the New Deal and the Great Society.
We now face the very real prospect of a new feudalism, in which most Americans provide personal services for the super-rich few.
There are provisions of law that we could make to help guarantee that we don't hurt each other through abuses of wealth and ownership. No, I'm not talking socialism. I'm talking about how to ensure the continuation of the middle class and allow for it's expansion by reducing the "lower" class.
amblessed, I'm sure you are familiar with the Biblical principal of the Jubilee Year (the return of property to its original owners every 49 or 50 years. It seems that one function of that regulation was the redistribution of wealth to maintain God's division of the land among the Tribes. I raise that as an example of how "laws" can rightfully be used to protect us from our abuse of each other.
It's a balancing act...Leaving the rich some money "to spend" also keeps the economy rolling...ie the stock market, new business, the opening of old businesses in new places (Home Depot, Lowes, OfficeMax), which offers emplyment and opportunities. To level the distribution of wealth among all the people would wreck the economy...
The cluster of top exec's...those who suck in massive amounts of "personal money" in bonuses, and salary...well, they should be taxed at the appropriate income tax bracket. That's the top exec's...NOT the company as a whole.
To batter people's stock accounts (a HUGE amount of money in the stock market is just Joe Blow on the street's retirement account...IRA's, 401K's) with huge capital gains taxes, will ensure a whole lot of VERY poor old people in the near future...or they will simply have to pull it out, and roll it over into a bank IRA. Getting taxed at income level only.
It's too bad the government (be it Dem's or Rep's) is the one who wants to do this redistribution...LOL...I can hear it, now...one for you, and one for you...two for me...one for you, and one for you...four for me...Other people's money has never meant diddley squat to the goverment or any of it's employees.
I think some redistribution of wealth is necessary in a capitalist society. The goal of a capitalist economy is to create wealth, and that system has to be based on merit. This means you will inevitably have some people who are richer than others. This isn't a bad thing, because those with talent, skill, and good ideas should be rewarded. However, to keep an economy working and generating wealth, you need a diverse work force with a variety of skills. This can't happen unless you offer people basic resources, education, and the means to care for themselves. Also, any reasonable definition of morality would compel society to offer this. Since those with all the money are unlikely to provide these (human nature), we rely on redistributing some of their wealth to the general population for that infrastructure, with the understanding that it will pay dividends in the longrun.
Anyway, that's all in theory. I think the US systems for redistributing wealth, I.e. Social Security and the federal income tax, are badly outdated and in need of reform or outright replacement.
What do you mean, specifically? Every society decides what are considered basic human rights. Ours settled on public education, libraries, food for the poor, etc. so we all donate a percentage of our income to them.
"Poor people do not pay taxes."
Could you tell that to the IRS for me? :)