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Michael Moore says Money of the Rich isn't theirs

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by NOG (No Other Gods), Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Take them off welfare? I don't think anyone sensible could be against the concept of welfare IF it was policed properly. And yes, by policed I do mean quite literally employ private detectives if/when there is suspicion that anybody is abusing their right to welfare. If they determine that that they are indeed spending the money on say drugs or going bungee jumping while on the disability dole, take them off immediately. I'm sure plenty more money would be saved than the detective work would cost. Because as far as I can see, the majority of the opposition to welfare in general is due to the people abusing it. But if they are, it should be easy enough to prove, right? So why the hell isn't anyone doing it? You've got plenty of employers hiring private detectives to spy on their workers to see whether they're faking illnesses and taking unwarranted time off from work.
     
  2. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I think T2 has touched on the most important contradiction involved with the administration of welfare. Just as corruption is inevitable in electoral politics, abuse is inevitable in welfare. In response, we shouldn't stop holding elections and appoint a despot or end welfare, but we also should not resign ourselves to corruption and abuse. The solution is to design a system that anticipates that politicians will often try to abuse their power and that the recipients of welfare will often not voluntarily give it up once they no longer need it.

    On balance, we do pretty well ferreting out both corruption and abuse, but we could do better. It's hard to stay on disability forever if you aren't permanently disabled and the government actually does a pretty good job of tracking down people who are legitimately gaming the system. After all, most of the headlines about people gaming the system wouldn't be headlines at all were it not for government efforts to ferret them out in the first place. I would personally throw myself behind any sensible welfare reform put forth in good faith aimed at reducing abuse. Unfortunately, most critics of the welfare system do not advocate reform, and I simply can't get behind dismantling a system that actually works pretty well. I'm all for streamlining and simplifying, too, but care must be taken to ensure that individuals with a specific need to be on the welfare rolls are not kicked off. We need to be kicking gamma off the rolls after she no longer needs the help -- not before.

    So, there we have it. We all (OK, not all of us, but most of us) agree that many [most] people on government assistance need to be on government assistance. We all can also agree that welfare abuse is real, and that we could do a better job of ferreting it out. More robust monthly, quarterly, annual, or bi-annual reviews for individuals suffering from non-permanent conditions would probably be a good start. Unfortunately, state governments all over the country have been laying off the very workers tasked with reviewing welfare cases, meaning that more people who should be taken off the rolls are falling through the cracks. Just as cutting the IRS agents tasked with catching cheaters actually costs the government money, cutting case workers tasked with reviewing cases inevitably leads to more abuse of the system. Of course, we haven't run the numbers on welfare case workers. It could be that they didn't catch enough cheaters to justify the cost of keeping them on the payroll, but I firmly doubt that. People are more likely to commit a crime when they are less likely to get caught, so the deterrent alone could justify the cost.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  3. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Well, I'd say there's a bit more to socialism that what Moore says, and a lot of what he said are not limited to socialist thought. Sure, there is some OtT stuff, but there are some things there I agree somewhat with, such as:

    - there is a lot of money "kept" that is not invested in the economy, where it would produce jobs: quite possible. He talked about the banks, and I think there is something to that - the US bailed out a lot of banks and guaranteed their business with taxpayer money. This was done to insure the banks from risk somewhat so they can stop hoarding the money and start giving out loans to jump-start the economy. It seems like the banks haven't been all that eager to keep their end of the bargain. There should be incentives to invest - and perhaps not all of them positive.

    - the US needs to tax rich people at "proper" rates. I can get behind that to a point The US has had a deficit problem for a while, and you needn't solve it all by cutting spending. It needs more revenue, and if you don't collect it from the top of the pyramid, you will just have to take it off somewhere else. Somewhat higher tax rate at the higher income brackets (I'd say 100K +, more for 250K+) may be the lesser evil here. The economic recoveries of the mid-80s and mid-90s iirc happened under higher income taxes, so that needn't endanger economic recovery here either.

    - People shouldn't be able to just close business in the US and take it somewhere else - now, capital mobility is a big thing in today's economy, but I think a lot of people are unhappy at how easy capital flight can be. Right now most governments are combatting it mostly with carrots - perhaps we need some sticks? As I see it, if you have been using the infrastructure and resources of a country to amass your business' starting capital, it might be justified for the country to have measures that make it harder to take that capital away and use it somewhere else. At some point, it is a moral issue: if you've spent two decades working for a company and helping it build its name, resources and funds, is it truly ok for the boss to ditch you and the rest of the guys who busted their asses and start off somewhere else just so s/he has to pay less for wages? I'm not saying this should be completely impossible, but perhaps it would be good to make sure there are extra costs to moving away.

    I do not think this makes me a socialist: I do not want to abolish private ownership over resources or give government control in all spheres. However, I do want it to keep some emergency safeguards, and believe that in some cases those restrictions can provide a net benefit for society. There are more options between pure libertarian economy and pure communism, and I think there are cases where it might be beneficial to turn the dial a little to the left. Remember, the last 20-30 years have seen a lot of income concentration at the top - I think that it would be better overall if this trend were reversed and the situation taken back to what it was, say, in the mid-80s.

    At some point, some entrepreneurs sadly cross the line between ambitious businessmen and being "leeches" in their own right, gaming the system to maximize the amount they get. Just because they are "leeching" from private citizens and not public institutions doesn't make them better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  4. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    So, Snook you are a socialist then? Even the most die hard communist would balk at helping those who need no help. "From each according their ability, to each according their need". After that rant where you claim government handouts are destroying society into claiming that it is ok to get government hand outs if you really need it. Apparently you are not nearly so rough as you let on. Underneath it all we find a beating solidarical heart :)
     
  5. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Moore wasn't talking of Mr. Snooks, who work their asses off and who through that effort have become well off, and not of their salaries.

    He is probably talking of the folks for whom the last thirty years were a boom. The rich he talks about have fortunes starting with triple digit millions. If they have money to invest, they can invest it in China, in India, in other places, they can move heir corporate HQ to Dubai, or have a letterbox on the Caiman Islands. Mr.Snooks can't do that. Mr.Snooks work in places like Detroit, Boston, Milwaukee or Topeka.

    For Mr. Snook, a tax break means he'll have an easier time sending his kids to college, or to buy that new car. For the people Moore talks about it means a crunch in their dividends, if they pay taxes at all. That is to say, America's Mr. Snooks play in a different league entirely.

    It means that applying the same standard to both is a folly. Despite this, we see just that happening. Take the Republican jihad against (evil, evil, I tell you) government oversight - to Mr. Snook it may mean a fire inspector checking for the safety of his house, the IRS looking into his taxes, or to get a permit for this or that. All hassle some, I know, and nobody likes it. To equate that with corporate oversight* and use it - and Republicans do that regularly by not making a distinction there - as an argument to oppose regulation and oversight proper is ridiculous.

    By giving tax cuts to the really rich, not the Mr. Snooks, the US citizen is basically subsidising the really rich at their own expense. It's not just that these people don't really 'need' that money, relatively speaking, it is also structurally unfair, because it increases proportionally the share the less affluent contribute to the tax revenues, of which then everybody, including the really rich, benefit (or are supposed to). I think, without claiming any knowledge of what goes on in Mr. Moore's mind, that this is what he was talking about.
    Oversight as in: Hey Bank of America, Bear Stearns - are you solvent by the way? What's these derivatives that you're trading? Mr. Madoff, may we have a look in your books please? Mr. Blankenship, all these accidents and safety violations in your mines, do something about it, or else ... make no mistake, this is law enforcement. It's without guns, and uniforms, and it's boring but it's still law enforcement.
    ~*~​

    Actually, what Michael Moore is hinting at is something serious, and it is the same thing that has gotten lost here and that is much better emphasised in this thread: Cut this, cut that - America has a budget crisis - excuse me??!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  6. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Actually, the headlines are generally about people the government missed and some 'concerned citizen' (or reporter's investigation) brings it to the attention of the news. That being said, for every one like that, who knows how many the government uncovers and kicks off the books without making a big splash in the front page.

    Oddly, I agree with you 100%. Sadly, no one in the political spectrum seems particularly interested in this. The Reps, as you pointed out, mostly seem intent on dismantling the system entirely. The Dems either don't care about the waste or are so concerned with looking critical on welfare that they won't care about it. Like so many political hot potatoes, the topic has become so contentious that the middle ground has been eviscerated.

    I don't agree with that, for the simple reason that most welfare isn't disability. There are still a vastly disproportionate number of blacks on welfare programs. Since I don't believe blacks have a vastly disproportionate number of the disabled, I can't believe they all belong there. Unfortunately, there are still welfare programs that essentially pay black women to be single mothers. There are still whole families that have lived off of welfare for a generation or two. Thankfully, it seems the hispanic and asian minorities have mostly avoided that trap (the % of them on welfare is about the same as the % in the population). On top of all that, there are still unreasonable laws on the books. It was only a year or two ago that Nevada banned the use of their welfare debit cards at the ATMs in casinos!

    This is the dangerous territory where you move toward socialism. You're talking about punishing people for using their resources wisely (for themselves, admittedly, but they are their resources). Let's look at this another way. You, living in the city you do, have helped make the city what it is. What's more, the city has helped make you what you are. Your success is, at least in part, due to your city. Now, imagine if your city passed a law that said you had to pay money to move out of the city. Let's say a $500 moving penalty. This isn't to pay for anything, it isn't upkeep of any kind, it's just that they don't want you leaving with 'their' resources. What if it were $1,000? What if you had to file paperwork first? What if you had to justify the move? What if you couldn't just say 'I want to retire in the country'? What if getting a better job offer in another town wasn't good enough? What if you weren't allowed to take your car or TV (capital) with you? Half your bank account (money)?

    Again, I take a whole different stance on this. The worker that helped build the company did so for a wage. The company is no more his than his wages are the company's. Yes, there is a debt there, but the price was agreed upon and it's been paid. It's called wages. The idea that the company now owes the worker anything else is bogus. Maybe some loyalty, but that goes both ways and is regularly ignored by both sides (unless you want the workers to give up a better job offer).

    Here, I agree but, like with welfare, that should mean the removal of carrots, not the employment of sticks.

    That's part of it, yes, but not the part I'm objecting to. My objection is to his out-and-out claim that the public owns and has a right to the resources of private individuals.
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Good job living up to your "tag line". That really made me chuckle.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 51 minutes and 41 seconds later... ----------

    I reject that argument. Just because someone didn't have to wipe the sweat off their brow is not a rationale for saying they don't deserve the money. If everything works out, when I die I would love to be able to leave a couple of million to Teen Snook.

    As to the tax burden. according to taxfoundation.org which uses the numbers provided by the IRS in 2008 the top 10% of taxpaying families had income over $113,799 and accounted for 69.94% of all of the taxes. The top 1% had income over $380,354 and paid 38.02% of all of the taxes.

    I personally believe the top ten percent paying basically 70% of the tax is not "overburdening" the middle class. I think a better argument may actually be that the middle class isn't paying enough in taxes based on their numbers and the resources they use. I assume we all agree that is the case with the poor, but there isn't anything they can do about it.

    I also personally believe that attitudes like yours and Moore's are basically just "class warfare" and attempts to tax away their wealth just because they have it is no different then stealing.
     
  8. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Snook, briefly:
    (a) The 70% number provided by the Tax foundation provides is not necessarily reliable. The foundation has been criticised for problematic methodology. Then there is ideology: The director of the Tax Foundation, Wayne Gable, is Managing Director of Federal Affairs at Koch Industries. Giving the inclinations of the Kochs I take their numbers with a grain of salt. So should you.

    (b) Don't throw me in with Moore. I simply think that the sort of supply side or trickle down economics and starve the beast policies as pontificated as gospel from the right in the US are more than just a hoax, they are a dangerous and destructive delusion that hurts your country. As one of the guys who were present at the creation of these policies wrote:
    But hey, where creationism passes as science there is also place for alchemy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  9. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    How so? I strive to live up to it as best as I can but fail to see how I do so in this specific case? First you rant about the evils of socialism and that it only leads to leeches. Then you claim that well, if you really need the help then of course the government should step in. Well, who do you think the "socialistic" welfare systems are designed for? Why do you think they are there, why do you think there are people who think they are a good thing? You included apparently. I am not sure you get who the confused one is here.
     
  10. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    OK, I thought you were just teasing. If what I posted in this thread led you to that conclusion, I'm not sure how to respond for you clearly do not process my posts properly. However, I'm a fool so I'll give it a shot.

    I do believe that socialism is a foolish economic philosophy. I believe in the truism that if you give a man a fish you feed him once, if you teach him how to fish he is never hungry. Socialism and government entitlement programs just give people fish. Where there are people who due to actual physical or mental disabilities do not have the ability to fish then I understand the need for government intervention as it would be cruel to let them starve to death.

    I can also get behind temporary intervention for people who need it. However, I believe the government should get something back in return for their assistance. I think the welfare rolls would plummet if after a certain period if you were unable to find work you would be drafted into the army. :D
     
  11. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    So basically you are ok with and even support the intention of basically every kind of "socialist" goverment program in the world? They are aimed for those who *can't* support themselves, they are aimed at people in a rough spot. You think it is cruel to let people starve to death. I really do not see what we are disagreeing about or why you first claimed to hate these things so vehemently?

    It is funny this, when you really sit down and talk and analyse what people think even the strongest welfare critics tend to turn out to be welfare supporters. Do you really think anyone wants welfare money going to someone scamming the system? I work at an adult education center and many of those are or have been on one kind of welfare or another and they are hounded and tossed around into different activities trying to teach them how to fish. True there are quite a lot of the people that get you so riled up against but ponder this, who would hire them? It is not like they get a lot to subsist on, they can't basically own anything. It is the stupid, the lazy, the slightly disturbed, the unpleasant, the ugly they are just not very productive people. Would you hire one of them when you can get someone else? Look at the woman you brought up as an example earlier, 60 years old you said? How easy do you think it is for a 60 year old woman to get a job? She might have given up but how good do you think her chances would be if she tried? My point is that at least around here, in socialist Sweden the only whip left to use on the "leeches" is to let them starve and freeze and you concluded earlier that it would be cruel to do so.

    Nice to see that in the end we pretty much agree after all. :)
     
  12. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    True, I just believe in doing it in a very limited capacity. I do not believe that people should have the option to make it a lifestyle.

    I have often used this same argument for abortion. Only the most rabid pro-life supporter believes that life begins immediately after copulation. By the same token only the most rabid pro-choice supporter believes life begins upon exit from the birth canal.

    The problem is finding the correct spot to draw the line in the sand.
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Agreed here as well.

    Snook, if you and I keep this up, it may trigger an early apocalypse. :)
     
  14. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I call shenanigans. Most headlines fail to name names, and the records of welfare recipients are usually sealed. When names get named and real, verifiable abuse is found, it is usually due to the fact that someone got arrested. Otherwise, the "headlines" are just the pronouncements of politicians seeking to raise their profile or they aren't headlines at all -- they're from the editorial page.

    You may want to re-phrase this. Welfare programs do not see race, and a program that helps a single mother helps any single mother in a specific socio-economic group. Unless you wish to argue that some races are more deserving of government assistance than others (and I know you are not), you shouldn't bring race up at all. It simply isn't relevant. Incidentally, why do you believe that the only welfare that is "needed" by it's recipients is disability? People lose their jobs once in a while; poor children deserve a roof over their heads, food, and basic medical care even if their parents can't afford to provide it. You need to make more specific arguments about the programs you don't support. We've all heard the (often race-based) general anti-welfare arguments, but just saying something doesn't make it so. Even if the government is paying out assistance to single mothers, why would you argue that the children are not in need of such government assistance?

    Programs like subsidized day-care, subsidized housing, TANF, food stamps, and medicaid don't exist solely for the good of the parents. They exist because society has decided that a child should not go without food or shelter because of the accident of his birth or his deadbeat father. Beyond that, most of these programs also require that the recipient works or actively seeks work (and unemployment recipients are required to document their job searches) unless he/she is drawing disability. If you don't want to see single mothers drawing such benefits, then you should get behind raising the minimum wage. A single mother drawing food stamps, medicaid, subsidized housing, and subsidized daycare wouldn't need these programs if her wages were high enough.

    By working, we all pay into unemployment insurance -- people who have never worked don't qualify. Begrudging the recipient of unemployment his (paltry and wholly insufficient) check doesn't really make sense. Do people abuse unemployment? Sure, but it's rare, and the penalties for it are severe. Unemployment pays only a fraction of what you earned at your job -- and it doesn't last very long.

    Education begets education, poverty begets poverty, and no one lives off welfare. They benefit from it, sure, but you don't get food stamps without working or actively seeking work. Food stamps, the medicaid program, and even subsidized housing don't pay rent. Welfare recipients that aren't drawing disability still have to work, and if their earnings improve enough, they start to receive less and less benefits. By enabling poor kids to worry about school instead of food and shelter, we offer impoverished families the opportunity* to pull themselves out of poverty. If all it takes is a few generations, we're doing pretty well.

    *... but just an opportunity. Some people have what it takes to rise from poverty, and some simply can't do it. It is going to be damn hard to pull an unskilled high school dropout with below average intelligence out of poverty, but we may be able to spare his children the same fate by ensuring that they finish school and learn a marketable skill. While we can't pull everyone out of poverty, it is also next to impossible to lift oneself from poverty without help. The goal is to help those who can be helped and also to ensure that our working poor aren't living on the streets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  15. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    When you see about ending all those subsidies your government pours into the Agricultural sector (and others), then we can discuss such freedoms. The USA is currently seen as one of the biggest barriers to preventing the current WTO Doha round from reaching a conclusion. Your government already currently punishes people from moving - don't kid yourself there.

    Not to mention what Shaman was discussing dealt with free movement of goods whereas your example deals with people. Apples and oranges.
     
  16. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    When life gives you a slope, what can you do? Make terraces: say up to here it is ok, from here on it is not. It's not perfect, but this is how things are. Yes, past a certain point it might be excessive. The thing is, under a certain point it can be too little. What if you have taken advantage of a scheme aiming to promote incoming businesses (say x years at lower taxes), and at x+1 day you leave? What if you find a tax loophole that allows you to pay a third of what other companies fare supposed to? If welfare recipients do that, it's gaming the system, reprehensible and should be removed - is what makes it wrong that they can't afford decent lawyers?

    We may speak of "wise" or "optimal" use of resources, but that is often subjective; something that benefits individual X may be collective loss for group Y - thus, imposing added costs to the group. Let's say that my moving my firm would cause a loss of 10 jobs and thus costs equal to, say, social security payments for 10 people for 6 months. Someone will have to pay for that. The question is who (me, the taxpayers, or another group) picks up that bill - that might be incidental to the decision to move away, who was doing the job and getting paid how much, but it involves money that will have to come from someone. If you are a non-related tax-paying business, is it ok if it comes from you? This isn't a simple A) or B) question, but rather a matter of degrees: who picks up what part of the bill. Are 700$ too much? If no, what about 500? If yes, what about 900?

    This is part of the true question: how much does your salary pay for? Does it pay for your loyalty in doing acts that are illegal? Simply immoral? Questionable or controversial? If the act of the company would harm you or your community, is it ok to support it just because you are paid? Are you paid to cooperate in another's venture, and is it enough to act against what would otherwise be your interests or beliefs?

    Remember, this is not a "Your opinion is wrong, Michael Moore's is right, and I'm the rightest" question, or at least I did not intend it as such. This is a matter of personal choice, essentially how much are you willing to give your employer for the money you get. Would you be willing to do everything, do a token show of work from 9 to 5, religiously keeping every minute of cigarette break, or something in between? There isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer - just a point that you or I choose as correct for one of us.


    I see it as somewhat of a continuum. 100% sticks isn't going to cut it; 100% carrots is too expensive. Should we draw the line at 65 or 50%? At some point, I think we are most effective when we use a bit of both - the promise of a carrot and the threat of a stick.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Regarding welfare, disability, unemployment, etc. I think we can all agree that there is abuse, and that there are people who genuinely need it.

    I don't know anyone personally on welfare, so I won't comment specifically about it. I do, however, have friends and neighbors on disability and unemployment (with many more in the latter than the former). Of the people on unemployment, none of them would prefer to stay on unemployment than find a job. In Maryland, unemployment benefits are capped at half of your salary at your previous place of employment, or $2,000 per month - whichever is less. So no matter how much you were making while you had a job, you're guaranteed to be getting half - or less - in unemployment.

    This is why I don't know anyone who would rather be unemployed. That said, if I did lose my job, I wouldn't feel any great shame in collecting while I found another job. Your employer pays into unemployment. By paying into it, that's less money that could go to employees' salaries. So in essence, everyone, by working, pays into unemployment. After years and years of paying into the system, I should feel bad that I am getting some back when I need it most?
     
  18. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    This is a dicey topic. It's one where just one poorly chosen word can send some people flying into paroxysms of rage. But it's important enough to discuss regardless of the dangers.

    My first thought is, what is the purpose of taxation? Often the term "re-distribution of wealth" is thrown around, with many people talking about how the wealthy should pay "their fair share". This sort of talk makes me antsy. As was mentioned earlier, most middle class people work quite hard, and the idea that they "owe" the poor something is odd -- usually you "owe" someone something because they have given something to you in the past, as in "My father lent me $5 last week, so I owe him $10 next week - -the bastard charges big time interest!" In terms of the wages that a middle class person earns, the poor had sweet <snip> all to do with it -- they weren't there when those wages were earned, they had nothing to do with it, so in that sense, they are owed nothing.

    Then there are some who seem to treat taxes as a levelling tool -- "we need to bring the wealthy low, so as to make everyone equal" -- basically, punishing the rich for being rich. Now I use the term rich loosely here. Again, the difference between those who have money and those who don't is often that those who have money worked for it, and those who don't didn't. If equal labour was not performed, why should there be an equal distribution of funds? It is not a crime to have wealth, and we shouldn't look at the wealth of others in terms of how much we can take away just to bring them to the same level as others.

    Next comes the "rights" issue. Now as humans, I believe that everyone has some basic rights -- the US Constitution sets out some of them that the Americans believe in. But some of the stuff that people these days consider "rights" are in fact choices that they make. IMHO, you don't have a right to have a big house, or 2 cars, or a Playstation, or more children than you can afford -- all of these things are choices that you make, and if you make them, you are responsible to pay for them. If you can't, that's the choice that you have made and you need to suffer the consequences.

    None of this is addressing the plight of the sick or disabled. I believe that basic human dignity is a right, and that as a society we should make reasonable efforts toward giving these people basic needs. But that doesn't extend to having the government come in and just take away tons of my property / resources for re-distribution. There has to be balance and fairness.

    No one would appreciate the government coming in and picking up your TV (that you paid for) and saying "sorry, dude, we have decided that someone else needs this TV more than you do. Even though you worked for 200 hours to pay for it, that labour and the accompanying compensation is now gone, and someone else will benefit from it. You, on the other hand, will get nothing at all for it." That's how I see excessive taxes. Taxes should go towards things like roads, health care, police / fire services, and other things that EVERYONE uses -- not for Robin Hood level crap that simply assumes that the wealthy are "bad" and the poor are "victims" -- that's crap. Michael Moore can shove it directly up his tan track. I'm sure he'd be calling the police right quick if I wandered into his house and took his stuff, telling him that "I need it more than you do, so it's mine now." What an idiot.
     
  19. pplr Gems: 18/31
    Latest gem: Horn Coral


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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't the amount of money the average worker makes for a company increased over the past couple of decades (I should know it but the term has slipped my mind).

    If productivity is up per worker then why not pay?

    If workers are working harder or smarter then why/how is it that the salaries they receive have seemed to stagnate?

    I've read the comment about how unfair it would appear the government to punish the rich just for being rich.

    How about companies they work for punishing their employees for doing a good job?

    If the wealth is getting concentrated that may imply that at least a good portion of these people are getting money from others' work and choosing not to repay them for their effort.
     
  20. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    It shouldn't be relevant, but sadly it is. Many welfare programs were started with the specific intention of helping blacks (who were and continue to be the most common poor). In line with that, blacks are significantly over-represented in welfare statistics. Race is an unarguable factor in the equation. The question is: why?

    Let me answer your quesiton this way. I fully support the complete elimination of all non-disability-based welfare and replacing it with a Government Works program (sure to be Oxymoron of the Year for a decade, but still). The US infrastructure is in drastic need of massive maintenance, most of which is non-skilled or on-the-job-training kind of work. If you loose your job and can'd find another one, you should go to the government not for a handout, but for a job. On top of that, I would reform the disability system so that it only takes referrals through the Works program. If you genuinely can't work, or if you can't work enough to earn a decent wage, the Works program would refer you to the Disability program, with either a finite referral (i.e. you're expected to get better, and need to be re-reviewed when you do) or a permanent referral (i.e. recovery isn't an option).

    The argument isn't that. The argument is that, in the name of giving children a good home, you are effectively giving young women an incentive to become single mothers. It's not a 'bad intentions' argument, but a 'good intentions, bad results' argument.

    Hey, I'll sign that petition. And the one to cut subsidies to oil companies, and many others.

    I'm confused. What does that have to do with people moving out of the country?

    But I'm not talking about people so much as the goods they want to take with them. I just usedused individuals to make it a more personal example, given that so many people would cheer at the idea of a corporation somehow being drawn and quartered. And Moore seems to be talking about anyone with a lot of money, which includes a number of private business owners as well as publicly traded corporations.

    I cound that difference as the difference between offering something and threatening something. Between the carrot and the stick. Between reward and punishment. You're asking how much punishment is right for people using their own resources.

    No, and in both cases I advocate reform of the system so that they are harder to abuse. Something like those tax breaks covering the cost of moving in and then some, but not nearly the cost of moving out again. It's then more profitable to stay in the area if you're getting decent business than to try to move out.

    And let's say that, by murdering one innocent person, we can save the lives of a dozen others through transplants. That logic doesn't work with people and it shouldn't work with resources. There is a huge difference between what you actually own and what you are projected to be able to get from someone else. If someone tries to take what you own, you should fight back. If someone decides not to give you their business any more, you can't go beating them about the head for it. You have to try to make your business more attractive. You entice them back, not threaten or punish them for leaving.

    And that is up to the business and the employee (and potentially any legal bodies for illegal acts). Some people are willing to sell their consciences to he highest bidder. Others aren't. I don't see what that has to do with this. My point is that obligations don't go beyond that agreement. If you sold your conscience once, the business may be able to expect you'll do it again, but they have no right to require it, and no right to insist that you must. Likewise, just because they bought it once doesn't mean you have a right to require them to do so again.

    I only think the stick should be employed for societally-deemed illegal acts. You punish people (and groups) for doing Wrong. That's capital-W Wrong. Not 'mean' or 'unkind' or 'cold hearted' or 'self-centered'. If they poison the water, you punish them. If they kill people, you punish them. If they cover up crimes, you punish them. If they automate to increase profits, and cut jobs in the process, you shouldn't punish them for that. Ever.

    The purpose of taxation is to fund the government. The purpose of government is what's really up for debate. Some people think the government should take care of the people. Others that it should merely provide a climate where people can take care of themselves. Those that actually want wealth distribution (either way) seem to be a rarity. I'm not even sure Moore qualifies for that. From there on, I think I agree with you, with some dicey terminology dance around the topic of the disabled, but ultimately the same conclusion.
     
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