Rich Americans Need Your Help

Special Guest Blog/ Exclusive to The Big Picture Report

A Plea For Your Help, From People for the Ethical Treatment of Rich Americans

by List of X/ December 30, 2012

 

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Every day, the nation is creeping closer and closer toward the so-called fiscal cliff.  Going over the cliff will mean, among other things, that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will expire and marginal tax rates will rise for everyone, including the top 1% of earners.  Since keeping the low tax rates on the top 1% isn’t very popular with most Americans but favored among the Republican Party leadership, the GOP had recently formed PETRA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Rich Americans), to help advance their case for protecting the tax cuts for the top 1%.  Today, PETRA has released the following statement:

We realize that our name may appear similar to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), but our organizations are very different.  Unlike PETA, which  tries to protect all kinds of useless vermin, our organization’s mission consists of protecting just one very important and highly unique species, known to all of us as ‘Rich Americans.”

People sometimes think of Rich Americans as predators and parasites who only hurt others, but this is a misguided perception.  Rich Americans (Latin name Affluentis Americanis Jobcreatorius) serve a crucial role in a society by ridding it of its weaker and less useful members, and thus make the society stronger.  They accumulate excessive wealth from the rest of the nation, thus preventing inflation, and their wealth discharges (also known as “trickle-down”) provide rich nutrients to everyone near the bottom of the food chain. These trickle-downs help support millions of Regular Americans (Latin: Lazyus Moocherus Vulgaris). Finally, Rich Americans provide evolutionary inspiration to all other American species, and their flamboyant mating rituals (think Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian) are among the most awe-inspiring wonders of Nature.

Bush-era environmental and economic policies saw the population of Rich Americans increase to healthy levels.  President George W. Bush signed multiple laws aimed at protection of Rich Americans, preserving and expanding their natural habitats such as offshore tax havens, capital gains taxes, and carried interest loopholes.  However, several natural disasters, such as the housing crisis and financial collapse (for which Rich Americans were absolutely not responsible) resulted in the drop of their population to dangerously low levels. In the last couple of years their population had started to rebound again, but the improvement had been markedly slow.

Today, their way of life is under serious threat from the thoughtless actions of the Obama administration. As our nation approaches the fiscal cliff, all the conservation efforts instituted by the Bush administration will be reversed. Even if the nation’s tax collectors harvest just 4% more in taxes from the Rich Americans than they do now, it will have on profound effect on the behavior of Rich Americans.  They will become less active and their wealth discharges will become less frequent. And worst of all, they may migrate to more hospitable climates, and that will throw the entire American econ-system off-balance.

Please write, call, and e-mail your Congress representative and demand that they do everything in their power to keep the laws protecting the Rich Americans.  Act now!  Remember, destruction of natural habitats of Rich Americans is harmful to all of us.

List of X specializes in, well…lists of 10. His entertaining website is on the BPR blogroll.
This entry was posted in Economics, environment, finance, government, inequality, political humor, politics, Republican Party, taxes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

820 Responses to Rich Americans Need Your Help

  1. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, any form of income-based taxation is a violation of property rights. What one labors for and all ensuing fruits belongs to its creator(s,) not to the government. Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keSgRgnCYww There is no morality in a system where government or people who are on welfare programs have a greater claim to one’s wealth than one’s family members.

  2. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are a few questions I would like to get your thoughts on: 1: If you were willing to debate the issue of wealth disparities with any economists, past or present, Left, Right or both, who would you choose? 2: If someone handled his or her finances responsibly and accumulated significant savings, say $4, 000, 000.00, why should that person be obligated to pay anymore taxes on that already taxed wealth via a wealth tax? 3: Outside of a Constitutional Amendment to ratify it, would this wealth tax proposal not be Unconstitutional and get overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court?

  3. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, while we have gone back and forth on the issue of the estate tax, both of us having different opinions on the matter, my objection to it is based solely on a distrust of the government to manage the revenue very well, not a desire to benefit the rich. Something that is also convoluted to me is this redistribute the wealth rhetoric from politicians. When politicians who are worth millions whose only job is to enact legislation are willing to engage in redistribution of their own wealth, I will take their position seriously. Other than that, they should just shut up and stop picking our pockets in order to buy votes.

  4. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, part of the reason some people have money problems is due to bad pay while on the job and part of it is due to mismanagement of money that people do have. Here are 3 questions for you: 1: Did the possibility not occur to you that wealth taxes as being talked about by politicians is only meant as a tool to pander to those who have limited resources and stir up envy against the rich? 2: Even though it technically involves welfare either way, what is the gripe that some people have with other people inheriting money if they themselves are not being stolen from in the long run and yet it is acceptable to insist that taxpayers subsidize government programs that they may not benefit from if they feel no need for them? 3: Since politicians will always say stuff to get votes, who is it better to vote for: Politicians who promise free stuff to us if we don’t work or politicians who won’t tax and regulate us to death and impose restrictions that make finding work impossible because of regulatory b.s.that many businesses are subjected to?

    • Just wanted to let you know, Ragnar, I live a fairly busy life and sometimes do not have time to answer all your comments, so I may not respond to all of them. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the back-and-forth “debates” and discussions that we have. I guess it’s stimulating to my brain and it is good to hear other views different from mine. I know you understand that because you do that yourself.  So feel free to say your piece. Just understand that I may not have time to respond to every one. Best wishes,–Arlen

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I will govern my comments accordingly and limit the number of them, maybe a few comments here and there. However, I am enjoying your blog.

        • I appreciate your kind words, Ragnar. You have always been polite and respectful in your comments, which is different than the angry, rude political postings I find on other left or rightwing media, which is a real turnoff to me.

          My blog has been inactive for a while due to changes in format at WordPress.com (way past my meager knowledge of computer technology). But I am getting some assistance and expect to resume new material soon.

          Feel free to post comments in any way you want. I’m just letting you know I don’t have the time to answer them all.

  5. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, this may sound extreme, even based in hyperbole, however, whose situation would you be inclined to take seriously: Any person who claimed that his or her family was trying to put the kid(s) through college despite the kid(s) obtaining the legal status of adulthood or a person who said that his or her family is starving and they actually are?

  6. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if politicians like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, et cetera all believe in wealth redistribution, they should start redistributing their own wealth, not taxing the rich to redistribute that wealth to the non-rich in order to get the non-rich to vote for them. Where is the pride in hard work if handouts will be given to us? We live in a screwed up world when people who contribute nothing are rewarded for that and we punish people who work productively to subsidize those who are not producing anything of value to society.

    I am not in favor of screwing over the poor to benefit the rich or taxing the rich and redistributing that wealth to the poor. My belief is that people should just keep their hands out of other people’s pockets and people should leave each other alone. What is yours is yours, what is mine is mine. Simple as that.

    The reason for the federal income tax and the welfare state is to buy the votes of people who are poor and stir up division and envy against people who are rich. As it was sold to the people, the income tax was supposedly only to be applicable to rich people and leave the rest of us alone. Some middle class families and upper middle class families are subject to the income tax.

    Redistribution-based systems of economics are the root of class warfare. If some redistribution of wealth must take place, let it be done via voluntary financial transactions, not have the government being the middleman in order to redistribute wealth from people who created it to people who have done nothing to have any right to it.

    People who do want to work and contribute to society but have handicaps that make certain lines of work impractical, even impossible due to safety and health hazards, are those who I am very sympathetic to. On the matter of disability benefits, I don’t view people who receive those as getting handouts. They paid into the system so they should reap the benefits. I honestly think the disability benefits system needs to be fixed. Every dollar paid into the system should be paid back to the people who pay into the system when a claim has been made. No caps because of income should be a determining factor for eligibility.

    Better budgeting habits will help people with money problems, not asking for handouts. Rather than buy the newest Iphone every few months, to pick an example, just use the one that a person may have until it breaks down and then buy another one or just buy another phone from another company. Cutting costs will be more beneficial to the people with money problems, not asking for handouts.

    I know of your disdain for John Stossel, so I will cease and desist sharing his videos with you. To be fair, he does make valid points about factors other than some people having more money than other people being the culprits for the homelessness problem.

    • You are, it seems to me, expounding on libertarian philosophy. While there are some libertarian ideas I do like, like victimless crimes should not be prosecuted, and the hands-off foreign policy, I am not a fan of the libertarian philosophy. Many billionaires are libertarians because they don’t want the government interfering with their wealth creation.

      As you can imagine, I have a philosophy totally different than libertarians. I believe government should do all it can to benefit the whole of society. To take a hypothetical example (though not too far off the mark) If our country was made up of a handful of multi-billionaires, but all other Americans were mired in crushing poverty, I do not consider that to be a desirable situation for a country. Only the federal government could step in to alleviate this terrible situation and do what it can to help the average citizen. Yes, that would require some redistribution of wealth, but I think it worthwhile because it would benefit society as a whole, and make the country a happier and better place to live.

      This different philosophy explains why our political views are not compatible. In fact, it explains a lot why Democrats and Republicans are stuck in virtual gridlock.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if you will indulge these curiosities, I have 3 questions for you: 1: Why is it morally defensible to tax and redistribute wealth from people who created it to give handouts to other people? 2: Since there are politicians who are worth millions of dollars without doing any actual work to earn those millions, why should they be able to pay themselves bonuses and yet complain that the Trump tax cuts, which put more money in people’s pockets, amounted to crumbs? 3: Given the fact that it involves “free” stuff in any event, that neither group did nothing to earn either, what entitles someone to go to college for free on the taxpayers’ dimes and someone has a limited entitlement to a significant inheritance?

  7. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I believe in helping people who need it, not enabling people to live the way they live if that causes harm to themselves or other people by just giving them handouts. Some of the people, as indicated in the Stossel videos I linked, are just scam artists. “I don’t make anybody give me money,” one woman said in the Freeloaders: Panhandling segment. Either people who are on the street asking for money are truly desperate or they are not. Faking their situations to con us out of our money is wrong on so many levels.

  8. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, taxes may be the price we pay for living in a civilized society, however, after all taxes have been paid to the satisfaction of the government, why should the government go to rich people and demand more money from them? People who believe that they are not being taxed fairly can either ask Congress to raise their taxes or write a bigger check to the government. Problem solved.

    When people who are on government assistance claim that there are people who are contributing to society, they are basically speaking of themselves without even realizing it. They use the word society in order to deflect from the fact that they feel like they are entitled to handouts at the taxpayers’ expense, something that is morally unjustifiable. Before the welfare/nanny state, people had to do things to earn a living and be able to survive. That was also something that is/was encouraged. Nowadays, the welfare state is inhibiting that possibility.

    Outside of the taxes owed, people who want to take wealth from the rich otherwise under the notion that the rich are hoarding the wealth, which is disingenuous, are just being lazy. People who want to work but have medical conditions that make certain types of work impractical, even impossible, is one thing. Aside from that, people who whine about wealth hoarding are just making excuses in order to avoid getting their hands dirty and doing things that are useful.

    Libertarians make the argument that taxation is theft. I would argue that imposition of personal income-based taxes would also be a violation of property rights. Since what one labors for becomes one’s property by definition when earned, I would argue that income tax is theft, regardless of what the 16th Amendment says.

    The proposed wealth tax also involves theft of accumulated assets. Rather than asking for handouts from the rich, people should manage their money better and just cut nonessential expenditures from the family budget. Instead of asking the rich to pay for our education, our health care, et cetera, we should pay for our own stuff.

    • I’ll give you this much, Ragnar, you are consistent. You always defend the rich and disrespect the poor. That has never changed. I’d like you to look at the top marginal tax rates over time. Just before the Great Depression the top rate had dropped to 25%. Then the economy fell apart. As the economy recovered that rates soared as high as 94% and never lower than 70% until Reagan became president. Since then, rates have ranged from 28 to 50%. What jumps out at me is that when the wealthy had low rates the economy generally struggled. When rates were highest the economy did relatively well. I don’t believe that to be a coincidence. Now that we need to rebuild our economy and the rich are paying low rates, it seems reasonable for the wealthy to give back a little to help ordinary people that are struggling.
      We have the highest wealth inequality among all the developed nations of the world.
      The rich who have benefited most should be helping their fellow citizens, many who are homeless, hungry and in poverty. Whether from income tax or sales tax or whatever is less important than that tax be progressive with the rich paying a higher rate to help their fellow citizens get the services they need to get back on their feet. Pulling themselves up by their bootstraps sounds nice but is very difficult in our capitalist economy. It’s not too much to ask our nation’s billionaires to give a little back to help our country thrive.

  9. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, in your opinion, what probably hits the poor people the hardest regarding taxes and fees? I would argue that state sales taxes, payroll taxes and property taxes are the worst offenders.

  10. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I am not in favor of the rich being able to rig the system to their benefit. I just believe that they are equally as entitled to the fruits of their labor as the rest of us are to the fruits of our labor. Outside of the taxes they are required to pay, we have no right to their money otherwise. Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNplnXu2fk Ben Shapiro has the facts in his favor.

    • Ben Shapiro is very articulate and persuasive but I’ll take Cenk Uygur’s argument as truer. Yes, I agree the rich should pay their taxes (if progressive and fair) and we shouldn’t gouge them. But as Cenk noted, when top marginal tax rates are highest, the economy does better. When top marginal tax rates are lowest, the opposite is true. That is what we call a fact.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I know on a fundamental level what the difference is between the tax rate and the taxable income a person my have. For people who confuse the issue and have the notion that a 50% tax rate affects all income and not just that above a specific threshold, how should the distinction be made?

  11. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, redistribution of wealth via voluntary financial transactions I have no problem with on a fundamental level. The problem with Progressives is that they seem to believe that just because someone has more wealth than another that the person with less wealth is entitled to the wealth of a person who has more. Outside of whatever taxes are owed, what right does one person have to the money earned by other people outside of the family members of the person who worked for that money? What right do you or I have to take the other person’s money and redistribute that money to people who have done nothing to earn it?

    One thing that indicates a disconnect from reality in Left-leaning political types is that they are all to happy to see people on government (taxpayer-funded) programs, which costs the taxpayers a lot of money, however, they complain that people who inherit wealth are getting welfare that they don’t need. What does it cost the taxpayers when someone inherits money from other people? Nothing. Even if it is considered welfare either way, can you not see the double-standard in the thinking that people who inherit wealth get welfare that they don’t need, which is odd due to the promotion of the general welfare in the U.S. Constitution and yet politicians are all to happy to keep people in perpetual dependence upon the government with promises of free stuff if they don’t work?

    Wealth taxes are talked about by Progressives. That only would result in capital flight. Politicians who even go down that path are risking their political careers. When politicians who are worth millions of dollars, which is odd due to their money being made at the taxpayers’ expense talk about a wealth tax, they are likely to find ways to avoid paying it.

  12. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I was thinking back on that video I shared with you about college students wanting top earners to pay the tuition costs for the students. Here are 3 questions for you related to that matter: 1: If taxpayers are asked to pick up the tab for people to go to college, as is the case with K-12 education, are the taxpayers not going to be making a bad investment if the degree pursuits of the students render them as being unemployable? 2: Who is more deserving of a free college education in the USA: People who risk literal life and limb in the defense of our country or people with an attitude of entitlement who say, “We can’t afford the costs and should get to go for free on that basis”? 3: If arguments for free college are being made, whose arguments for it would you take seriously: Economists who do math and look at the costs, people who are of the belief that they are entitled to free college on-demand because they allegedly can’t afford the price tag or politicians who promise free stuff to us in order to get votes?

    • You seem to be looking for reasons not to help students get two years of a college education. Of course, you always go back to people who “demand” help don’t deserve it. I don’t believe there are many students who “demand’ anything. My feeling is that everybody deserves a chance to get a college education and should not be turned away if they don’t have the money. An educated population is a good thing and I think it is worth investing in our youth.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, there is no Constitutional right to education, to health care, to fair wages as being enacted by law. Beyond K-12, nobody has any right to impose financial burdens on taxpayers in the attempt to pay for higher education.

        • The preamble to the Constitution states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
          On this basis, Congress has some say in what kind of laws help provide for the common welfare of its citizens.
          By the way, education, health care and fair wages are supported by the American people in poll after poll.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, while the last part of your comment has truth to it, if the Constitution does not grant the government any authority on certain matters, government encroachment would be Unconstitutional.

  13. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, why is it greed to want to keep the money one has earned but not greed to want to steal from those that have money? I really don’t get that logic. Walter Williams said, “Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do — redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.” To use Biblical arguments against taxation and wealth redistribution, we are commanded by the Bible not to steal from people or covet thy neighbors goods. For people who have no religious affiliation, such sentiments are invalid. To levy taxes to pay for things that benefit society is one thing. Giving people free stuff on the taxpayers’ dime is of no benefit to society.

    • “To levy taxes to pay for things that benefit society is one thing.” There is your key sentence, Ragnar. Interpreting that is the problem.
      By the way, I wish you wouldn’t use terms like steal, cheat, greed and sin. Those words indicate to me your unwillingness to be open to other ideas and opinions.
      I am not religious, but it am aware that Jesus paid and approved of taxes. And of course he believed in helping the poor and unfortunate.I can’t imagine him being against progressive taxation.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, outside of whatever taxes one legally owes, neither the government or people who try to con us out of our money would have any right to our money, period.

        • We all pay taxes. I have no clue what you mean here: “neither the government or people who try to con us out of our money would have any right to our money, period.” Besides your tax obligation, who is trying to go after your money?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, people who whine about wealth hoarding and indirectly people who hold signs advertising states of hardship and yet claim not to make people give them any money.

          • Ragnar, I’m sure you are aware you are under no obligation to give such people any money. They can go through the channels that everybody else does to receive tax-supported government assistance. So I’m still not sure what your complaint is.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, people who complain about those who contribute nothing are the people who contribute nothing. At least people who are willing to work are contributing to society.

  14. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, self-made wealthy people don’t owe the rest of us anything. People who talk about wealth hoarding are only interested in receiving handouts. Politicians who talk about redistribution of wealth are only interested in getting votes.

    • I believe you are wrong on all counts. The income inequality in this country is unprecedented and bad for our society. There is no excuse or benefit to having a few people owning most of the country’s wealth. Can you think of any benefit?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, Steve Jobs owes the rest of us nothing. He made the Iphone possible, so he should reap the rewards of his creation.

        • So you’re saying the late Steve Jobs shouldn’t pay taxes to help run the government like the rest of us do? Hard for me to understand.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, Steve Jobs had the idea for the Iphone. The product he created and patented was by his design. He did not owe it to people to create the Iphone.

          • Yes, Steve Jobs invented the iPhone. And therefore….what? I don’t understand your point. He still needs to pay income taxes like everyone else, doesn’t he? (Of course, many big corporations end up not paying income tax at all, if they have good accountants).

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, he made the product and he should reap the rewards.

          • I understand and agree with you, Ragnar. Just answer this question: should he have been paying taxes like everybody else?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, he should, yes. To be fair, if he wants to pay more, just write a bigger tax payment.

          • Okay with me. I’m glad we have that clarified.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, you have posted about many things where I agree with you on a fundamental level. I just believe that people who want to give away their money on a whim should be free to do so of their own volition. What I don’t get is when people who are on government assistance complain about people contributing nothing to society. I also don’t get the logic as to why people should be entitled to free stuff just because they cannot afford said stuff. Even “free” college is not technically free. People who want it to be free just want us to pick up the tab. Beyond K-12, which is already taxpayer-funded, no person should have any right to demand that other people pay for their education otherwise.

          • Unfortunately, your opinions are heavily influenced by assumptions, which are not always true, about people who receive government assistance. I doubt very many of them “complain about people contributing nothing to society.”  Yes, you can see many on John Stosel videos but they are not necessarily typical of all participants.  Then you say you don’t understand why people should be “entitled to free stuff just because they cannot afford said stuff.” I don’t think that “entitled” is the right word. Society (or government) chooses to help those who need it. I don’t believe recipients “demand” it. They just take advantage of the chance to improve their lives. Some of them might be lazy or have substance abuse problems. Others have run into a string of bad luck but desire to get their lives together, and government assistance can help them toward that goal. You next say “I also don’t get the logic as to why people should be entitled to free stuff just because they cannot afford said stuff.” A better way of saying that is that people can be helped by free stuff because they may have been laid off at work, they may be struggling with horrendous medical bills, as well as serious medical conditions, or they have run into a string of bad luck.  You say “Even “free” college is not technically free. People who want it to be free just want us to pick up the tab.”  You are not thinking about the many families who can’t afford to send a student to college. Should the student be denied that opportunity because of family financial difficulties? Or can society give the student the opportunity to make something of himself? There are so many families in our wealthy society who struggle to make ends meet. Then there is the word you use so frequently in such situations: people “demand.” Very few “demand” help, but they are happy to receive it.

            All of this shows to me that you have many preconceived notions about people who use government assistance that often are not accurate or true, and color your thinking. By the way, I’ve never seen you complain about corporate welfare. A lot of big corporations and rich people are recipients of government aid and get many tax advantages that most of us do not receive. Actually quite a bit do. I also predict, as in the past, you will not put much thought into my observations, and continue to use words like “complain,” “demand,” and “free stuff” which colors your preconceived thoughts on this topic.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, a lot of people use the General Welfare Clause as justification to imply that there are rights when such rights had not been specified.

          • I’m curious, Ragnar, why you don’t seem concerned about government tax advantages for rich people. Here is an example: https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Secret-Tax-Loophole-Ma-by-Robert-Reich-Rich-People_Rich-Tax-Cuts_Taxes-210523-317.html Is it because the wealthy are better people and deserve more?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, every person deserves the opportunity to live life to the fullest extent possible. Outside of the taxes owed, nobody has the right to demand that the rich pay more.

          • As long as the taxes required are progressive and the rich pay a higher and fair rate (we may have to quibble about how much) then we’re okay.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, we disagree about the tax issue, however, I have 3 questions for you: 1: Given the choice, what rate of tax would you like to see for regular income, capital gains and estate taxes respectively? 2: Even though corporate taxes are technically paid by the consumer, what are your thoughts on corporate taxes? 3: If we went with free college, what cuts in spending would you advocate for in the attempt to cover the cost of it?

  15. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I would be less skeptical of the idea for free college if there were proven benefits of it for society. You may disagree with this, which is fine, however, I personally believe that the taxpayers should be able to have some influence over the degrees people should be allowed to get. Example: A person who wants to go to college has a talent for computers and wants to be a computer programmer/salesperson. I would see that as a legitimate investment of taxpayer dollars to pay for someone to go to college in that scenario. What I find to be absurd is the lack of rational argument for free college, either from politicians or young people.

    • It seems to me a well educated population benefits society. Better to have more educated people doing jobs here rathe than ignorant dummies. One way to do that is by subsidizing a college education. The truth is that college is very expensive and has gone much higher in recent years and school loans keep people in debt for years if not decades .

      Many other countries in Europe recognize this and help students get higher education. Are you really okay with young people unable to go to college because of financial hardship? I’m not.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the issue boils down to degree choice(s) in my opinion. Medical degrees would be more likely to facilitate the ability to earn a living than a degree in the arts.

        Maybe the free part could apply to useful things like degrees in science technology, engineering and math. So that would actually be useful.

        • If you believe that degrees in science technology, engineering and math are more valuable than degrees in art, theater, literature, etc. than I understand your thinking. I personally don’t feel that way. I think society needs the arts as much as it needs the sciences. The ability to make money is not the criteria I would use to decide the value of a career choice.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, without a degree in a specialized field, finding a job after one graduates would be difficult.

          • True, Ragnar, but I don’t believe that we should discriminate on the basis of job availability or income prospects. In my opinion, everyone who wishes to go to community college should be treated equally.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, some jobs don’t even require college degrees to be performed adequately. I am for college being inexpensive, however, for people who want to study online, why should they pay for people to attend universities in person?

          • We disagree on that point. People should have that choice, in my opinion.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, this “I want free stuff” mentality from some people is laughable. Nobody is owed anything in life.

          • Ragnar, I recently came upon an anecdote from Thom Hartmann that pretty much captures our philosophical differences: Years ago I was up late one night watching, as I recall, Bloomberg News on a hotel TV. The American host was interviewing a very wealthy German businessman at a conference in Singapore.Amidst questions about the business climate and the conference, the host asked the German businessman what tax rate he was “suffering under” in his home country. As I recall, the businessman said, “A bit over 60 percent, when everything is included.”“How can you handle that?” asked the host, incredulous.The German shrugged his shoulders and moved the conversation to another topic.A few minutes later, the American reporter, still all wound up by the tax question, again asked the businessman how he could possibly live in a country with such a high tax rate on very wealthy and successful people. Again, the German deferred and changed the subject.The reporter went for a third try. “Why don’t you lead a revolt against those high taxes?” he asked, his tone implying the businessman was badly in need of some good old American rebellion-making.The German businessman paused for a long moment and then leaned forward, putting his elbows on his knees, his clasped hands in front of him pointing at the reporter as if in prayer. He stared at the man for another long moment and then, in the tone of voice an adult uses to correct a spoiled child, said simply, “I don’t want to be a rich man in a poor country.”

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I recall sharing some stuff related to Milton Friedman with you. My memory escapes me as to how many videos of his I shared. Having said that, I liked what I heard.

          • You did share some Milton Friedman clips with me. He is interesting and confident in what he says. Nevertheless, I usually don’t agree with him.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if you had 2 economists on both sides of the political aisle that you would like to see engage in a discussion on economic matters, past or present if given the chance, who would you select as 2 options?

          • Paul Krugman and Thomas Piketty on the left, Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell on the right.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I know of Thomas Piketty and Paul Krugman. I will look into them further.

          • Good, Ragnar. I appreciate your willingness to explore other points of view.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, in one comment I said, “politicians like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, et cetera who talk about redistributing wealth are worth millions of dollars, so why don’t they give away 40% or more of their wealth if they are so concerned about this issue? It is hypocritical to preach about helping poor people and yet not leading by example.” You claimed to disagree with that, however, some context had been missed. Why should rich people have to pay 40% or more in taxes and yet politicians are not held to the same standard regarding what they should pay in taxes?

  16. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, politicians like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, et cetera who talk about redistributing wealth are worth millions of dollars, so why don’t they give away 40% or more of their wealth if they are so concerned about this issue? It is hypocritical to preach about helping poor people and yet not leading by example.

    • Nonsensical idea, in my opinion. Will make no difference in anything. The people you mention see serious problems in this country that need fixing. I see so reason to add to the excessive income and wealth disparities we have now. They are right to try to solve these problems (health care, poverty, homelessness, gun violence, etc.), which require using tax money to solve.
      Republicans and conservatives and libertarians appear to have no interest in helping people. They seem to be mostly about ensuring that the wealthy keep doing well. Unless you know of any solution any of them propose. I haven’t seen one in years.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the only “help” from the democrats comes in the form of government programs. Who pays for those? The taxpayers. Are the taxpayers benefiting from those programs? Not unless it is Social Security and Medicare.

        • We only have two choices, Ragnar. One is to ignore our society’s numerous problems (the Republican way) and let everyone keep all their money. The other choice is to use government resources (taxes) to solve these problems. It appears President Biden is leaning toward the latter choice, which is popular with most voters and has started the economy to pick up speed. I think Biden is on the right path.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the only “solution” that the democrats seem to offer to us is putting us on the welfare rolls.

          • The Democrats are putting out a number of policies to jump start the economy and help the disadvantaged.Republicans have no agenda or ideas, except tax cuts for the rich which can trickle down to the middle class. Unfortunately, that never works.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I was reviewing that video I linked about the matter of college students wanting top earners to pay the tuition fees for the students. Here are a few questions for you: 1: While it is true that an educated population is of more benefit than an uneducated population, would it not be considered a ripoff for one person to pay for other people to go to college if the people who go to college pursue degrees that will render them as being unemployable? 2: Even though student loan debt is a problem, why should someone who either never took on that debt in order to go to college or just took online courses be required to pick up the tab for people who refused to plan ahead? 3: When will people realize that nothing is ever truly 100% free? 4: Outside of a voluntary exchange where a good and/or service is provided at no charge to the recipient(s,) is it not theft to want something without paying for it?

  17. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, up until 1913, Americans kept 100% of their earnings. Despite this, America still had: Schools, colleges, roads, railroads, streets, subways, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps (who managed to win 8 wars and fight one-the war of 1812-to a draw.) Politicians who talk about the redistribution of wealth who are multimillionaires should lead by example and share a good percentage of their own wealth or just shut up and do the jobs we elected them to do.

  18. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I have never understood why it is greed for people who work hard to want to keep money that they worked for and yet it is not greed to take and redistribute that money to other people. If wealth redistribution is to occur, let that be through voluntary financial transactions. No person has any right to take away another person’s money.

    If a family decides to cut all nonessential expenditures from the budget, that would lead to significant savings overtime. Rather than just complain about the rich hoarding wealth, people should learn a skill set that will facilitate the ability to earn a living. Short of falling on difficult times due to no fault of one’s own or being unable to work because certain medical situations make it impossible, many people who want free stuff on-demand are looking for handouts.

  19. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5odA8Gsmzs “Free” stuff sounds good in theory. The problem is that its long-term costs may be incalculable. We would need more millionaires and billionaires in order to pay for all of this stuff.

  20. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHUhNn7SI-4 Rather than arbitrarily tax and redistribute wealth from people who created it to the rest of us, we should keep our hands out of other people’s pockets. Outside of that which is necessary to fund the government, why does the government deserve anymore money from us?

    • I don’t think you read or at least think about my responses, Ragnar. I know this because you keep asking me the same questions I’ve already answered. But I can’t help myself, I guess, so I will answer once again.

      You think government should keep its hands out of other people’s pockets. But how else is government to be funded? Americans are taxed in order to allow government to provide services.

      What services to provide is the sticking point. I personally like seeing the government helping people and investing money in areas like education, health care, job training, etc
      Over time, these kind of services (or investments) improve living conditions and the popular ones like Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, etc ) Of course my priorities are
      going to be different than yours, and that is why we have elections to decide these matters.

      The government deserves more money from us when it is needed. That is the job of government: to set priorities and take care of the one needed most. Since we have the wealthiest country in the world, yet people are homeless, hungry, and need medical care.
      That is the job of government. That is why taxes are collected. The weal/thy should pay more because they have benefited the most from our economic system.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, outside of that which the government needs to function, the government should not put its hands into our pockets. Self-made wealthy people owe the rest of us nothing. The video I linked is separate from the other videos I shared. There are Stossel videos I shared, yes, however, I am trying to make a point. Here it is in simple terms: If you want to give away any of your money, be it to a person on the street or whoever, that is your prerogative and your right. When people who have never worked a day in their life talk about wealth hoarding, they are just looking to line their own pockets.

        • Your distrust of government and people who need help is clear. But I’m not clear how you expect government to provide services if not by collecting taxes. How much depends on who we elect to make those choices. Everybody has different ideas, but our elected officials decide that. By the way, self-made wealthy people use government services and accept tax breaks. They don’t do it without help. I believe they do owe society their share of taxes.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, outside of the taxes legally owed, nothing stops a wealthy person from writing a bigger check to the government. Bill Gates could write a bigger check in the form of a tax payment to the government if he so chooses to, to name one example.

          • True. So can you and me. And your point is…..?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the point is that people who believe they should contribute more can do so if they want to. Nothing stops George Soros from paying more in taxes, to name one example.

          • This is not exactly news, Ragnar. It has always been the case. I suspect you are partial to individualism (or libertarianism), letting people do their own thing, with minimal government interference. I prefer a more community-minded approach, with everybody working toward a better society. I suspect that is the reason we’ll be always in disagreement.  I believe everybody should pitch in according to their ability (does that sound Marxist?), in order to have a more secure and equitable society, a society that guarantees basic needs for its citizens, like education, health care, and housing. That would no doubt mean less billionaires, but I think the tradeoff is worth it.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, why not throw out the current tax system and all of the various federal agencies and just let people keep more of their hard-earned money? If people like Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, et cetera, are so concerned about the quality of life for the poor, why don’t they take a 40% reduction in their salaries and give that money to the poor? Also, what about spending cuts-across-the-board?

  21. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, unless people who are on the streets holding signs advertising states of distress are truly desperate, I would be inclined to think that a good share of them are con/scam artists. They are also 2 faced, at least in the sense that they beg for money and have their hands out and yet claim not to make other people give them money. Either people are truly desperate or they are just looking for an excuse to con us out of our money.

    • If you feel that way, it’s no wonder you are not a fan of public assistance/welfare. I would not deprive those who do need it because of those who don’t deserve it. Unfortunately, the effort and cost to find out is probably too prohibitive. Sadly, this will always be the case, because some people are honest and others are greedy.That applies to wealthy people too. I don’t spend time worrying about this. It will always be this way. Human nature.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the problem is with people who convey the message “I’m on welfare (government assistance,) so I deserve free stuff.”

        • Other than on John Stosel and Fox News, where do you find welfare recipients who demand “free stuff.”

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, people who want free college are an example. If someone wants free college, the GI Bill will be a good way of getting to that goal. I would rather pay for the free educations of veterans who risk life and limb, even if there is loss of neither, than someone whose argument for free college is “I can’t afford the costs, so I deserve to go for free.”

          • Fair enough, Ragnar. I see accessibility to college a good thing for individuals and for the country, so I’m for help doing it.  There are options to doing this, like free community college for two years, and no more. Some help for student debt is good, too, so people won’t be in debt forever. We disagree on this issue.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, we agree to some extent. The area of disagreement is in who should pay.

  22. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCEXlUodUwU, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AfI7o8lpHU, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwzswcRgLjs, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPqlby7M9Xk Nobody has to be poor. The problem is that our welfare system rewards it.

  23. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, a redistribution-based system of economics doesn’t really work in the long-term. If someone works his or her tail off during a 40/hr or more workweek, why is that person and that person’s family by extension less deserving of that wealth than people who did nothing to earn any of it? The fact of the matter is that Cuba, Venezuela, as well as other pure Socialist countries, not Social Democracies, are going broke and have many impoverished people. Redistributing wealth from the people who worked hard, saved after-tax money and made good investments to people who have had no part in creating any of it devalues the hardworking people’s efforts and for what? To ensure votes for the democrats.

    Here are 3 questions for you: 1: If we went with the Universal Basic Income idea or the idea of a Negative Income Tax, what would be more practical in your opinion? 2: What would be a good way to reform the welfare system so people who need help can get it but not be kept from working because of a loss of benefits? 3: If something like stock is being taxed, should that be taxed as regular income or as a capital gain?

  24. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are 2 videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd-MP6pXzuc, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5n2HZcox2E Are you aware of the fact that the only way countries that provide free college can do it is because of the tax rates on the rich? I have no objection to student loan debt relief to some extent. The issue as I see it is that there would be little, if any, accountability to the taxpayers if colleges become taxpayer-funded. Here is another issue: If some people elect not to attend a traditional college and take online courses or purchase lectures on certain subjects, would the tax dollars not be wasted in some cases from that standpoint?

    • I don’t know why you are aways so resistant to subsidizing a college education. Well-educated citizens are good for a country and I see
      no problem assisting those who need help paying for college. Many countries do that. That the rich pay much of it is not a problem with me. If not the rich, who should? Poor people?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, people who want to go to college should be the people who pay for it. No person outside of that person’s family should be obligated to pick up the tab.

    • I don’t know why you are so resistant to helping sludents obtain higher education, Ragnar. A college education is something worthwhile, and students should not have to forego college for lack of money. Of course much of the money would come from the rich. Who else, the poor?

  25. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, one of the reasons some people lack monetary assets is due to our tax code not encouraging people to save money. The idea of a wealth tax is not meant to help society. It is only meant to stir envy and division.

  26. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I would not mind replacing the current welfare system with Milton Friedman’s negative income tax or Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income proposal. In economics, a negative income tax is a system which reverses the direction in which tax is paid for incomes below a certain level; in other words, earners above that level pay money to the state while earners below it receive money, as shown by the blue arrows in the diagram. ‘Negative Income Tax’ (NIT) was proposed by Juliet Rhys-Williams while working on the Beveridge Report in the early 1940s and popularized by Milton Friedman in the 1960s as a system in which the state makes payments to the poor when their income falls below a threshold, while taxing them on income above that threshold. The view that the state should supplement the income of the poor has a long history. Such payments are seen as benefits if they are limited to those who lack other income, or are conditional on specific needs (such as number of children), but are seen as negative taxes if they continue to be received as a supplement by workers who have income from other sources. The withdrawal of benefits when the recipient ceases to satisfy a firm eligibility criterion is often seen as giving rise to the welfare trap. The level of support provided to the poor by a negative tax is thought of as parametrically adjustable according to the opposing claims of economic efficiency and distributional justice. Friedman’s NIT lacks this adjustability owing to the constraint that other benefits would be largely discontinued; hence a wage subsidy is more representative of generic negative income tax than is Friedman’s specific Negative Income Tax.

    During hard economic times, times that impact everyone to some extent, a lot of people have to do what they can to survive. One of the problems is that our tax code discourages savings. This proposed wealth tax being talked about would only cause capital flight or encourage people to spend all of their money in order to avoid the tax.

    What rubs me the wrong way is when I hear people who are on government assistance whining about people contributing nothing to society. Do these people not look in the mirror? Are they too oblivious to the fact that they are speaking of themselves? It seems to me that people who whine about people contributing nothing to society are using the word society as a deflection against the fact that these people are actually not contributing. On the matter of people who use wealth hoarding as a talking point, that is completely baseless. If people are so concerned about a lack of money, they should look for areas of waste and cut them from the family budget, not ask for handouts from people who actually work a 40/hr or more workweek to earn a living.

    The welfare state was created to legally re-enslave the black community, as well as the rest of the people who either fell on hard times due to no fault of their own or just have medical conditions that make certain lines of work impractical. What really perplexes me is why some people wear the “I’m on government assistance and deserve free stuff because of that” idea as a badge of honor.

    We also have a problem with people that have an entitlement mentality and feel like they are owed stuff. Nobody owes anybody anything in life, period. Rich people don’t owe us anything, nor do they owe any of their money to people who want to pursue higher education. Many wealthy people either never went to college or are college dropouts. They don’t owe a penny of their money to pay for people’s choice to take on massive student loan debt.

    • I like the first half of your comment and agree with much of it, Ragnar. The second half is basically your usual rant about ungrateful, greedy recipients of government assistance, and your belief that rich people don’t owe anything to poor people.

      • Do you read Robert Reich? I know you wouldn’t be a fan, but he is somebody I usually agree with. https://robertreich.org/post/648829036104204288

        • ragnarsbhut says:

          Arlen Grossman, I am happy to read people’s writing, regardless of political persuasion and then draw my own conclusions.

          • I wish more people felt that way.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u00ED8i5MWg I believe personally that having some degree of a 1% is not a bad thing. Even though my comments seem to advocate in favor of the wealthy, I just believe that people should leave each other alone. Just my thoughts.

          • And that is where we differ, Ragnar. You say “I just believe that people should leave each other alone.” With the massive inequality, it seems to me that we need to examine the reasons 6 individuals own more than the bottom 50%. Something is wrong and clearly unfair.We should find out why, and consider fixing it.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if you have more money than I do, however, I am not hurting financially, why should I have more right to your money than you do?

          • It’s a little more complicated than that, Ragnar. It’s not like you should have all of my money if you want it. The issue is whether some wealthy person has a moral and legal responsibility to share some of their money, through taxes, to help less fortunate people in our society. Especially when society has gone out of its way to help rich people (with subsidies and tax breaks) make their fortunes, and does little to help the less fortunate, leading to poor education, poor health care, and more poverty. 

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, thismay be simplistic, however, your money belongs to you and my money belongs to me.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, this may be simplistic, however, your money belongs to you and my money belongs to me. Outside of the taxes owed, government has no legitimate claim to our money otherwise.

          • I don’t understand your point. Of course the government collects taxes. In what other way is the government claiming your money?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the multitude of taxes being levied, some being necessary, some being unnecessary.

          • I’m sure we can all agree that many things our taxes go toward are unnecessary. The tricky part is there are always different views on what is necessary and what isn’t. That’s why we have representative government and elections.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here are a few questions for you: 1: Even though the 16th Amendment’s taxing authority extends to income from any source, would the capital gains tax be considered double-taxation? 2: Would it be hypocritical in your opinion for politicians to promise free stuff to us and yet they would not be likely to work for free? 3: Without an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to authorize it, would a wealth tax not be Unconstitutional? 4: Even though you favor tax rates being progressive and I don’t, how would you design the tax system in such a way that kept its progressive component but was perfectly easy to understand?

          • I don’t understand why you think politicians should work for free.  I don’t think they promise free things for us. They promise to get things done, but I don’t know of anyone who thinks these things are free. Everyone knows that government services come from taxes. The capital gains tax may be considered double-taxation, but the rate is far lower than for ordinary income. It’s complicated. Is a wealth tax constitutional or not? It depends on who you talk to. There are reasonable arguments for both sides.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if we implemented a wealth tax, I would not object to using the revenue for infrastructure, paying for k-12 education, even tuition-free college. What I have a problem with is when people who have not worked a day in their lives complain about the fact that some people have more money than they do.

            Are you familiar with Suze Orman? Jim Kramer? Dave Ramsey? Clark Howard? Peter Schiff?

          • Ragnar, you kind of lose me when you say “What I have a problem with is when people who have not worked a day in their lives complain about the fact that some people have more money than they do.” I think that is extremely rare, although if John Stosel or Fox News finds such a person, they will play it up and try to make you think it is typical.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, you make a good point.

          • By the way, Ragnar, I am familiar with all the people you reference, with the exception of Peter Schiff.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, with the exception of Peter Schiff, what are your thoughts on the rest of the people I name?

          • Sorry, I just don’t know them well enough to give an informed opinion.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if you invented a software system, you would not owe me the product.

  27. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao9QhR4mkx4 I tend to agree more with Jesse Ventura on political matters than Kyle Kulinski. Having said that, Jesse Ventura does make a good point in this presentation.

    • I sometimes like Jesse Ventura. He wrote a very interesting book I like called American Conspiracies. I never heard of Kyle Kulinsky. I thought I was watching David Pakman. Nevertheless, I am surprised that you like what you heard. Usually you side with the wealthy folks. But Jesse thinks they have too much money. For some reason, we have some mutual agreement, which is nice.

  28. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the savings and loan crisis and the subprime mortgage crisis were not the fault of the rich respectively. Bad government policies enabled those events.

    • I don’t know about the savings and loan crisis, Ragnar, but the subprime mortgage crisis was mostly caused by hedge funds, banks and insurance companies investing in risky loans, but I’m sure government policies didn’t help.

  29. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, some people argue that money is the root of all evil. Since the U.S. dollar is legal tender, basically backed by nothing, it does not matter how many are in circulation. Valueless currency is by its nature and definition completely and utterly worthless. Here are 2 videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvNzi7tmkx0

  30. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, for people who fall on hard times due to absolutely no fault of their own, those would be people I would be sympathetic to. People who work 2 or 3 jobs and are doing everything possible to survive are those I would be sympathetic to. Where my sympathy ends is when it comes to people whose message says, “My family is on government assistance and we deserve free stuff on that basis.” Here are videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34HCTbJDAs, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSy71-DtB4A, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AfI7o8lpHU, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCEXlUodUwU Hunger and homelessness are the end result of bad choices in many cases, not just because some people have more money than other people.

    Here are videos that talk about how to save money: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u12J8GQRwc, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMwW46V3s5s, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q-PJrw8sQc, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbOtLU-o710, 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHye0v5Obwo, 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcCnD464YCE, 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxGDCfob40c, 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CU3g0X4yF0 These videos talk about how to save money. Why do we punish people for being responsible with their money and reward people who are irresponsible with their money?

    • Yes, Ragnar, you have told me this a million times already and I have responded a million times. There is no need to beat a dead horse, and no need to send me videos that confirm your views. It is time to change the subject.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if politicians like Bernie Sanders, a multimillionaire, by the way, are so concerned about the plight of people, he should give away 50% or more of his money. The same is true for the rest of the politicians in government, regardless of political persuasion. Before you label what I share with you as Right-wing propaganda, watch each of the videos I have shared with you to completion. People who advocate for wealth taxes will always find ways to weasel their way out of paying it.

  31. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, politicians will say and do anything to get votes. K-12 education is already free for kids. One of the problems that is involved in the free college vs. inheritable wealth debate is the double-standard. If it involves free stuff either way, why are people who inherit wealth seen as getting handouts and yet people who want to go to college on the taxpayers’ dime are not getting handouts? What about these politicians who rake in millions of dollars while in office for doing nothing but enacting various forms of legislation that costs the taxpayers a lot of money to finance? Short of people who have legitimate medical disabilities that make certain lines of work impractical, even impossible due to health risks, people who don’t want to work and who claim to be on government assistance that accuse people of contributing nothing are either speaking of themselves but are too disconnected from reality to notice this or are just wanting license to be lazy.

    If politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, et cetera, believe in free stuff, they should forfeit all benefits they get after leaving elected office. It is hypocritical for these people to champion free stuff and yet not abide by that themselves.

    Our $20, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+ level of debt and the issue of unfunded and underfunded liabilities concern me more than the demands of people for free stuff on the taxpayers’ dime. If people cannot afford the price tag for certain things, they should look for items of similar quality that are cheaper.

    • You call it “free stuff or “handouts” Ragnar. I call it “government services.” I am very pleased that President Biden is trying to expand government services that have been starved for years by stingy Republicans. We need an investment of money to advance this country. The poverty, health care, inequality etc is unacceptable in our rich nation, and needs to be changed.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, this stuff is coming at the expense of the taxpayers. I find it to be rather absurd when Leftists claim that people who inherit wealth are being leeches and moochers when the inheritance comes voluntarily and yet people who make demands for free stuff, stuff that costs the taxpayers thousands, if not millions, of dollars to subsidize are not held to that standard. What about people who feign states of hardship to con us out of our money? Falling on hard times due to no fault of one’s own is one thing. Using that situation as license to act like one is deserving of free stuff is another.

  32. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are questions for you: 1: Do you think the gold standard is worth going back to? 2: Despite their admittedly conservative inclinations, what are your thoughts on Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman? 3: If free college was a doable thing in the USA, should that be determined at the federal level or should each state and/or university make that determination? 4: Do you think that bloated professors’ salaries are part of the reason tuition costs are so high or are they totally unrelated matters? 5: Despite his many flaws, do you think that Donald Trump was correct to want to secure the southern border? 6: If savings and investment were encouraged under our tax code, do you think it would be reasonable to believe that there would be less poverty in our society? 7: Even though you favor a progressive tax structure, what are your thoughts on the double-taxation argument that is used relating to the Capital Gains Tax?

  33. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, there is the expression that says people who shall not work shall not eat. Want to know some of the root causes of poverty? Look at the breakdown of the family unit. Look at the policies enacted by the government that gave us the welfare state. Who enacted those policies that encourage poor people to keep being poor? The democrats. Why work for what one wants if the government is going to supposedly provide free stuff to us anyway?

  34. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the 4th Amendment protects our rights against unreasonable search and seizure of property. If all after-tax income is subjected to a wealth tax, which is a double-tax, that involves a seizing of assets on an Unconstitutional basis. Per the 5th Amendment, no person is to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. Outside of what the government needs to function, our money is our property otherwise. This proposed wealth tax is an affront to the idea of private property rights.

    • Collecting a wealth tax enables this country to fix things that are critically needed, e.g. infrastructure, health care, ending poverty, fixing schools. Governments use taxes to fix such things. So that means you collect taxes from people who have money, or you refuse based on ideological concerns. Polls indicate that most Americans want to fix these problems and make this country better and fairer for everyone.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, it is admittedly perplexing to me why Leftists defend free college and claim that people have the right to a free education on-demand and yet whine that people who inherit wealth free of tax are being leeches and moochers. I would argue that people who want free stuff on-demand who don’t consider the costs incurred by other people are the true leeches and moochers. People who truly need help are those who deserve our support. When people say that their states of hardship entitles them to free stuff, that is just an excuse to justify being lazy. At least people who are doing things to indicate that they are trying to find work are willing to make an effort instead of just begging for money.

  35. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are questions for you: 1: Why is it greed to want to keep the money one has earned but not greed to want to take money that belongs to other people? 2: If a family works hard, saves and invests wisely and is just being responsible with their money, why should they be punished for it and people who are financially irresponsible with their assets be rewarded for that? 3: If over many years a family has saved up a significant amount of after-tax income that amounts to a few million dollars in retirement, why should that be subjected to this proposed wealth tax and redistributed in the form of handouts to people who have actually not done anything to earn it? 4: Even though it is free stuff either way, even if neither is technically earned, why do some people feel like they are deserving of free college on the taxpayers’ dimes and yet people who inherit wealth from their predecessor(s,) something that costs neither the taxpayers or the government a dime, are seen as being lazy and being moochers? 5: Given the fact that the government has shown a questionable track record with how it handles our taxpayer dollars, what rationale is being used for this proposed wealth tax other than an attempt to foster division and class warfare?

    Regarding the idea of free college, I would take arguments for that more seriously if those arguments came from economists who looked at the financial costs and crunched the numbers than I would arguments for it from people who feel as if they are entitled to free college on the basis that they cannot afford it.

    On the matter of free stuff, free stuff does not technically exist. The people who want stuff for free just want other people to pick up the tab. Unless a good or service is provided free of charge to the recipient(s) of said good or service voluntarily, wanting anything without paying for it, directly out-of-pocket or indirectly through the taxes we pay, is theft.

    • I’m sorry, Ragnar, but I won’t bother to answer your questions. You essentially say the same thing in all your comments: Poor people who take government money are lazy, demanding, substance abusers who feel entitled to free stuff and a free college education, and make poor choices in their lives. But wealthy billionaires are wonderful, earned their billions by hard work and brains, love their families, and should have infinite wealth without being taxed.

      You’ve said basically the same thing in dozens of your comments. I get it. I understand how you feel. I think we can still have beneficial debates, but with new subjects, not the same tired ones. If you are willing, I’d like to see that and continue our conversation.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I never made blanket statements about poor people. Government money belongs to the taxpayers, if one wants to be literal, so the taxpayers should get to decide what to do with it. I never said poor people are lazy and demanding. What rubs me the wrong way is how some people feel like they are entitled to things that don’t belong to them.

        Free college is only pushed by politicians to buy votes. Other than that, it won’t be even remotely realistic to implement it because of the cost.

        Stop reading the NY Times and Washington Post. They are as much fools as Alex Jones is.

        Watch and read the Stossel videos that speak to the issue of panhandling and bad laws causing the homelessness crisis again and read the comments in the comments sections for each video.

        • That is different than what I see from you. You always find a way to criticize people needing government help. You mostly use the words lazy, demanding free stuff, make bad life style decisions. I can’t think of anything nice or compassionate you have said about welfare recipients.
          At the same time, I don’t remember you having anything but sympathy and positive thoughts about rich people. You most often say they don’t deserve wealth taxes or estate taxes and always use their wealth for good things.
          Politicians may or may not use free college to get votes. Mostly they realize that the more the population is educated is good for society. And it is no secret that young people are finding it difficult to attend college, because the cost of education is rising faster than inflation. Their only other choice is to borrow money, which sets them back and in debt
          for many years (especially because they are just starting to find careers). Many countries in Europe understand this and give free college educations to their young people.

          • The New York Times and Washington Post are excellent newspapers, and more truthful than any right-wing media. If they are wrong, they print corrections. It is true they don’t parrot right-wing talking points, but a good newspaper is not for propaganda.
            I have been familiar with John Stossel for many years. He has strong conservative and libertarian views. I notice all his videos show only his point of view, and never show examples from other viewpoints. In other words, everything fits his world view. No doubt he has his fans and they agree with him in their comments, which proves nothing. He also has a reputation as a climate change denier, and takes big contributions from the fossil fuel industry. https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/john-stossels-transformation-from-skeptical-libertarian-to-polluter-apologist/

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the difference between me and you it seems is that I believe that people should be free to decide to give away their own wealth voluntarily, regardless of it being given to the government or to someone on the street. Heck, it can even be from a wealthy person who voluntarily decides to pay out of his or her own pocket for someone to go to college. What I find distasteful is when people say out of one side of their mouth that they are stranded and need help and out of the other side say that they hold signs advertising distress and then say that they don’t make other people give them money. Either they need help or they are looking for handouts. That was one thing that was talked about in the Stossel Freeloaders: Panhandling segment.

            Here are a few questions for you: 1: How much wealth should be allowed to be inherited before any of it is taxable? 2: What if it is not money being inherited but a family business?

          • To me, Ragnar, it sounds like you are most comfortable in a class-based society in which the privileged elites decide if the unfortunate should get anything. “Please sir, may I have a second serving of food?”  “Let me think about it. Come back later.” As for your questions: 1) About $1 million, 2) A business should be allowed to remain in the family. But at some point a reasonable estate tax should be levied. 

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if someone inherited $15, 000, 000.00, I would let them keep 50% of it. Just my thoughts

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, many politicians want to enact laws against bribery. If that is the case, they should disavow associations with major corporate entities and not take contributions from them if bribery is to be banned.

          • Of course. We are in total agreement about that.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the job of the government is to protect the citizens, not run the lives of its citizens. On the matter of what may seem to be excess wealth, I believe personally that money cannot buy true happiness. Having said that, if someone having more money than I do is not damaging me financially, it is of no concern to me.

          • Ragnar, when nearly all the money goes to the rich and everyone else loses money and falls further behind, I consider that a problem.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, what is the point of working if 50% or more of one person’s hard-earned money is going to be taxed and redistributed to other people? Wealth redistribution as a talking point is meant to buy votes.

          • The highest tax rate used to be much higher, Ragnar, even up to a 90% marginal rate. Yet wealthy people didn’t stop working. As a matter of fact, the economy did quite well. As tax rates on the rich came down,the economy for everyone else got worse.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, on another post I offered the idea that we could have a tax rate of 65% on any income in excess of $3, 000, 000.00. While it is true that $3, 000, 000.00 is a lot of money, what did you find yourself agreeing with: The proposed tax-free threshold before the rate is applied, the rate itself, both?

          • The 65% sounds good, but tax-free under $3 million? I don’t understand that.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, it would involve a bracketed system to some degree. However, the 65% applies to anything that exceeds the $3, 000, 000.00 threshold.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, free just means taxpayer-funded.

          • I think that is obvious to everyone. Your point?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the point is that one person’s free stuff incurs costs to other people. Keely Mullen’s idea of tuition-free public college is an example. Nothing is free.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, nothing is ever 100% free. I know that politicians make promises of free stuff to the rest of us. The problem is that they refuse to lead by example. If they want to give us free stuff, they should also be required to work for free.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the reason for my disdain about welfare recipients is due to people who fraudulently claim states of hardship to get those benefits. People who can work but only on a limited basis because of disqualification of benefits if they make more than a certain threshold are at least trying to do something useful. Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJmOusBxr7g I would technically be considered a millennial based on my age, however, I have no interest in getting free stuff on-demand. Being offered a good or service free of charge voluntarily is one thing. The problem with many (not all) young people is that they seem to believe that the world owes them stuff. Not that I am a fan of Bill Maher, however, he is 100% correct in his sentiments.

          • I usually like Bill Maher, but not always, including his time re; his rant on “socialism” and millennials. In this instance I agree with David Pakman more than Maher.You have made it pretty clear you don’t like needy people who “demand free stuff.” In fact, you write about it all the time.I would like to point out to you, Ragnar, that you are able to find plenty to criticize about people who don’t have much money. Did it ever occur to you that people with lots of money might be taking advantage of our crony capitalism and hurting our country even more? I rarely, if ever, see criticism from you of people with most of the money in our society: CEOs, banksters, the military-industrial complex, big pharma, Wall Street, billionaires, etc. Bottom line: the groups I just mentioned are taking advantage of their wealth and political power at the expense of the rest of us. Instead of going after people with little money, I suggest, that you, as the movie line goes “Follow the Money!”

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, there is a difference between needy people and people who use their situations as license to act as if they are entitled to and deserving of free stuff. My disdain is for people in the second category, not the first. People who look like they are starving are those who truly need help. If some people are so concerned about the prospects of going to college because of a lack of money, that should be an incentive to look for a job that does not require a college degree. Google jobs that don’t require college degrees. What I have the most disdain for is the message “my family is on welfare and that entitles us to more free stuff” that comes from people like Keely Mullen.

  36. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are questions for you: 1: If people who work hard and pay taxes on the money that they earn as required by law put after-tax money into a savings account for retirement purposes, should they be taxed on that money again if they withdraw it for personal use under the proposed wealth tax that a lot of politicians seem to advocate for? 2: Even if the rich have, in your words, “more than enough money,” what entitles the rest of society to any of it? 3: Did the possibility not occur to you that people who complain about wealth hoarding, which is a made-up term by people who want to take what other people have by force, are very likely to become wealth hoarders themselves? 4: If at retirement age some people have accumulated $7, 000, 000.00 in after-tax savings, to pick a number, why should that after-tax money be taxed again under a wealth tax and arbitrarily redistributed to people who have had no part in that wealth being created when it was created?

  37. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people who want free stuff on-demand are lazy and demanding. People who want stuff without working for it are lazy and demanding. People who use their status as being on government (taxpayer-funded) programs and act as if that entitles them to more free stuff are lazy and demanding. People who are on the streets asking for handouts in order to satisfy their addictions to drugs and alcohol are those who are lazy and demanding. People who are doing things that indicate a sincere effort to try to find work are neither being lazy or demanding of anything.

    We seem to have gone from a society of people that values hard work to a society of people who feel like they are entitled to things that they have no right to. Nobody has the right to free stuff on-demand, nor does anybody have the right, either morally or practically, to anything that they don’t pay for.

    • In almost all your posts, Ragnar, you complain about people needing help in our society. You make it sound like nearly all of them are lazy, shiftless, addicted and demanding.

      I would like to remind you that our capitalist system has made our relatively wealthy country into two very different societies. A few of them are obscenely rich–the top 1% own 43% of America’s wealth, while the bottom 80% own about 7% of the nation’s wealth. We’ve never had this much inequality in the U.S. and our wealth inequality leads all other developed countries. Some of the wealthy surely had great talent and ability, but much of this inequality came about because of advantages delivered by the politicians who gratefully accept their contributions.

      Any compassion or caring that you express seems to go toward those at the top rung of American society. I haven’t seen compassion or caring from you for the disadvantaged in our society.

      That is why our political views often differ so widely. I worry about the disadvantaged in our society. while you seem more inclined to favor the well off. If I am wrong, show me where.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if I wanted to pay for someone to go to college, that should be my prerogative. You claimed that there should be a high estate tax on the basis that people who inherit money did nothing to earn it. If it is considered free stuff either way, why should one person have a right to a free (taxpayer-funded) college education on-demand and people who inherit wealth, even if they see a good amount after the estate tax bill is paid have limited right to it? Neither has been earned, however, society has not been stolen from by someone inheriting wealth from other people. If someone has a right to a free education, another person should have a right to tax-free inheritance.

  38. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, Elizabeth Warren claimed that no person got rich on his or her own. What about people like Steve Jobs who created the Iphone? He did not have to create the product for the consumer(s) if he did not want to but he did. Here are videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aNplnXu2fk, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GjqdP6KSOE Watch these at your convenience and then give me feedback as you feel so inclined.

  39. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, phone plans are a good way to save money. Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) plans are less costly than the individual counterparts. An MVNO can be a great choice for an operator if you’re looking to save some cash. MVNO’s can offer cheaper prices on plans because they aren’t paying to keep up a network. What happens here is that the MVNO pays the network a certain amount to basically lease their towers and allow their customers to use that network. This is why they can offer cheaper plans, and ultimately the same coverage. It’s called an MVNO — mobile virtual network operator. The basic arrangement of an MVNO works like this: a big carrier sells its unused network capacity at wholesale prices to a smaller company that can capture a part of the market that is less profitable or more difficult to reach with its existing plans.

    Rather than having their hands out and asking for other people to give them money, more people should be taught the virtue of money management. Some people who are on the streets holding signs that indicate significant distress are probably trying to con us out of our money and pocket it for their own purposes. In that Stossel segment about freeloaders who panhandle, one woman who was telling a sob story was pocketing the money that she conned other people out of for her own purposes.

    On the matter of taxing the rich to pay for free college, why should the rich be required to pay for our education? What about people who are college dropouts who become wildly wealthy? It may sound egotistical, however, if I am not benefiting from someone getting a free education, I see no reason my pocket should be picked to pay for it. Despite his fall from grace regarding his 47% comment, one thing that Mitt Romney had implied that is technically true is that we have a segment of the population who believe they are entitled to something at no cost to themselves.

    Not that I am a fan of his politics, however, why should Bill Gates pay for the wants of other people? What about George Soros? Warren Buffett? I could go on. Even if they could afford the loss of money, they should not be obligated to pay for other people’s bad choices.

  40. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, rich people don’t hoard wealth. The claim that they do is a bunch of claptrap and b.s. spewed by people who seem to believe that wealth comes out of thin air. Hoarding of wealth does not actually happen, despite what some people would have us believe. Wealth is used to create and finance business operations. Why is it greed to want to keep the money one has earned but not greed to want to steal from those that have more money? It is a sign of laziness and entitlement for people who refuse to work for what they want to have their hands out and expect that other people will pick up the tab for them. When some people talk about other people contributing nothing to society, the word society is used as a means of deflecting against their not contributing anything. Nobody is owed anything in life and people should drop this entitlement mentality where they seem to operate under the delusion that the world owes them stuff. Some people decry the rich as hoarding wealth out of one side of their mouth and out of the other side they claim that the wealthy invest their money in the production of goods and services that society benefits from. Which one is it? It can’t be had both ways.

  41. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, while I found myself admittedly experiencing a significant level of disdain for his expressed sentiments about 47% of the population that pay no federal income tax as being moochers at the time he made his comments, one thing that Mitt Romney said that was true is that there is a group of people who feel like they are entitled to stuff without any financial strings attached. There is a difference between people who fall on hard times that truly and sincerely need help and people who use their alleged states of hardship as justification for wanting free stuff. Whose situation would you be inclined to take seriously: The situation of a person who claimed that the person’s family was trying to put that person through college despite the person being an adult or a person who said that his or her family is starving and they actually are?

    • I will grant you that some people, as you’ve often pointed out, don’t deserve government money. My question is: what would you do about it?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I would make sure that people who need help go through a vetting process. If there is a legitimate case of financial hardship, the family in that situation is deserving of that support. If someone who is on government assistance (welfare) uses that as license to not work, those benefits would be eliminated after a certain period of time. People who have disabilities that make certain types of work impossible but can do other things and pay into the system should be entitled to those benefits dollar for dollar.

        You had asked me to not send you any further Stossel videos. To his credit, he has been trying to illustrate the fact that some people fraudulently claim states of hardship to con us out of our money.

        • I have no problem with any of that, Ragnar. I doubt any reasonable person would.
          As for Stossel, I’m sure he would find people who abuse the system. We already know there are, so what is his point in showing that? No doubt to stir up people who think like him.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, giving people fish will feed people for a day. Teaching people how to fish will feed people for a lifetime. What is wrong with the welfare system we have is that it has become nothing more than a career opportunity for some people in order for them to get money for doing nothing.

            Regarding disability benefits, for every dollar paid into the system those dollars should be repaid back to the people who contributed into the system. Just my thoughts.

  42. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wx5PYZIWcQ It may seem to be moral to implement redistribution-based economic policies that take wealth from the rich to give to the rest of us. What is the problem with that idea? It will only make people lazy and ask for handouts. Why work for what one wants if it becomes easy to demand that things be given to us instead of doing things to earn it?

    • You would be correct, Ragnar, if all recipients thought like you say they do. In real life, some people ask for handouts which encourages them to become lazy. But, of course, there are others who genuinely need a hand up to get back on track in their lives. In other words, THERE IS NO ONE ANSWER to the benefits and costs of government distribution. I believe hose who rely on ideology and don’t want to see the other side need to keep their mind open.Here is a balanced article on the pros and cons of assistance to the disadvantaged: https://environmental-conscience.com/welfare-pros-cons/

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, there is a distinction to be made between giving someone a hand up vs a handout. I would like to see a world that is free of poverty and hardship. The problem is that nobody is taught the virtue of money management. If more people studied economics and learned how to manage their financial assets, fewer people would be in a perpetual state of financial hardship. Now, if some people have legitimate medical disabilities that make certain types of work-related activity impractical, other options can be found.

        I know that we will never agree on this issue, but I have 3 questions regarding the issue of the estate tax: 1: If an estate as defined under tax law is sold and people who are still living want to downsize to smaller residences, should the income from the sale be seen as regular earned income or a realized capital gain and subjected to the capital gains tax rate? 2: Given the fact that nobody is being stolen from in the process, why do some people who see that other people have inherited massive wealth believe that they are more entitled to that wealth than the intended recipient(s) of said wealth? 3: Did it not occur to you that the people who advocate the forceful redistribution of wealth from the rich to the rest of us would very likely not be inclined to want that wealth taken from them either if they accumulated massive wealth themselves?

        Income and wealth inequality would be a nonissue for people who are willing to work for what they want. The only reason this is discussed by politicians is in order to get votes.

        • For some reason, Ragnar, you continually sympathize with the top 1/10th of one percent of richest taxpayers in this country, but don’t seem as concerned about the 99.9% of Americans who aren’t at the very top. Is your ideology that much more important than your humanity? Okay, that sounds a bit harsh, but I truly am baffled by your concern for people who have more money than they could possibly ever use, while millions of Americans live in poverty.

          From one source: “About 4,100 estate tax returns will be filed for people who die in 2020, of which only about 1,900 will be taxable—less than 0.1 percent of the 2.8 million people expected to die in that year.” The reasons you give for defending your views might have some validity, but in the real world are less important to me than the fact that these 4,100 tax payers own more than the bottom 90% of Americans. That kind of wealth inequality should be unacceptable in this, the richest nation on Earth.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, substance abuse and the breakdown of the family unit would be the primary culprits for poverty issues. Re-watch those John Stossel videos and also read the comments section in each one.

          • Ragnar, I understand all the many reasons why some people don’t do well (breakdown of families, poor financial judgement, substance abuse, and so on), and some take advantage of the system.Yes, none of this is good. The thing is, there will always be those kind of people who are lazy and make poor choices. If there was a good way to change those behaviors, I would be all for that. I suspect though, it would require a great many government services to fix these problems and help those kind of people. But that would require more government funding (not a favorite of conservatives and libertarians), and some people still wouldn’t change.l’m not sure how you would fix it, because human nature is tough to fix. Not everyone will always do the right thing. Still, I believe, and you might agree with this, we should help those who would benefit from government help. I’m not sure what you can do with all this, but if you have an idea, I’d like to hear it.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I would cut government spending across-the-board by 70%. I would advocate that we redirect that money to the people on the lower end of the economic scale.

          • That sounds drastic to me, Ragnar. I would need to know what is being cut, and hope much of it is from the military budget. I’m not a fan of huge spending cuts, especially across-the-board. I feel the government can have an important and positive role to play, as Biden is proving with his big stimulus package.I have a feeling you won’t agree.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I would start with the bloated salaries of politicians. I would also support eliminating all of the federal departments except for the State, Treasury and War department. Military spending would be drastically reduced. On the matter of how college would be funded, I would not necessarily object to funding that via a transaction tax.

  43. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, in my one comment, I talked about a wealth tax being Unconstitutional unless the Constitution was amended to allow it. I meant to say being talked about. This was posted on March 14, so yesterday. Can you edit that for me to read what it should have said and then remove this comment? By the way, I don’t require a response directly, however, I would appreciate it if you could look into it at your convenience.

  44. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the commonality between the video where college students want top earners to pay their tuition and the Stossel segments about the homeless crisis and freeloaders who engage in panhandling is that they all feel as if they are entitled to things that they did nothing to deserve. Just my general observation.

    The proposed wealth tax being would be Unconstitutional unless the Constitution was amended to allow it. Of course, such ideas are suggested to incite envy. Why do we punish people who work hard with punitive tax rates and have that wealth being redistributed to people who ask for handouts?

    You claimed that rich people have more than enough money. If people who had significant wealth that came to them as a result of hard work, sensible investments and reducing across-the-board expenditures and just plain old-fashioned money management were rewarded for the behavior that facilitated the creation of that wealth, they would keep engaging in that behavior. While this is a subjective thing, while what may seem to be nonessential, even frivolous expenditures to you and I may be things that other people will want to spend their money on. It is absurd that savings and investment is not being encouraged.

    • Ragnar, you consistently defend and praise the wealthy for how they earn and save their money. but I haven’t noticed any compassion from you for the 38 million Americans and the nearly 1 in 6 children who live in poverty, as well as the 14 million families with food insecurity.

      I don’t understand why you worry so much about the rich people more than the poor. I don’t see any reason to worry about them. The rich have gotten considerably more wealthy during the pandemic, while the majority of Americans have lost money. Is this the direction our country should be going?

      I don’t..

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I believe in being charitable with my own resources. I do not believe in taking money from one group of people to redistribute it to another group of people.

        • That is one big area we disagree about. I believe taxes are important in order to maintain a fair and equitable society. How else do we pay for roads, defense, public safety, health care, education, etc? All advanced societies collect taxes to run the government. I don’t know why you would object to rich people shouldering much of those costs. They gain benefits from government services, too. That’s one we will likely never agree on.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, back to that video with Keely Mullen, she said that she saw a segment of the population doing nothing to contribute to society. The word society is just used as a deflection when the true meaning of expressed sentiments is that the rich are not giving these people handouts.

            Here are 3 questions for you: 1: If politicians are willing to enact legislation to make college and health care free, why are they not willing to work for free? That which is good for the goose should be for the gander. 2: Since it involves free stuff either way, where is the logic in the double-standard/hypocrisy of saying it is perfectly acceptable to tax people’s inherited wealth on the basis that they did nothing to earn it and yet advocate for free college? 3: Assuming that ownership of an estate is transferred from one party to another, even if both parties still live during the transfer, would the estate tax be applicable in that context or would that transfer be taxed under the capital gains tax?

            Regarding rich people having more than enough money, if some people amass a significant amount of savings by reducing extraneous expenditures from their budgets and looked for all possible areas to save money on various things, why punish them for it? If someone amassed $7, 000, 000.00 in savings, why tax that money again in the form of a wealth tax so that money can be taken from people who worked hard and saved up all after-tax income in order to arbitrarily redistribute to people who have done nothing to deserve any of it?

          • You may think Jeff Bezos ($194 ($192 billion) as well as Elan Musk, Bill Gates and the Walton family appreciate your support, Ragnar. But they don’t need it. The hungry and homeless and poor Americans could better use your help. But you seem to like the rich guys better.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, re-watch the Stossel videos I linked. Nobody has to be homeless. They just choose to be on the streets.

  45. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if done via voluntary financial transactions, I do not necessarily object to redistributing wealth on that basis. Calling for the redistribution of wealth from the rich who are assumed to have more than enough money to the poor who have very limited monetary assets under the guise of fairness has no real basis in fairness. To employ some hyperbole, I would argue that the people who want to take money from the rich under the guise of fairness because they view the rich as being wealth hoarders are not really any different than people who wanted to forcibly remove Native American tribes from land that was theirs to begin with or steal the labor of African-Americans via slavery. Trickle down economics was not even proposed by people on the Right. That is just Leftist revision of what economic actually is.

    • Here is where we differ, Ragnar: I believe that for the betterment of society our government needs to collect taxes in order to provide needed services (like health care and safety), make investments in the future (education), and provide help to those who need it. While nobody enjoys paying taxes, it is necessary to do so for the overall benefit of society. Yes, the rich need to pay a higher share because they can afford it and have benefited from government services, tax breaks, and corporate welfare. But in the long run, they too benefit from a healthy, happy, functioning society.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, you will get no argument from me.

        • That’s good to hear, Ragnar. We seem to be in agreement on a lot of things lately.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here are a few questions for you: 1: What is more justifiable from a purely moral standpoint: Allowing people to be charitable with their own financial assets if they feel so inclined to or taking those by force and redistributing that wealth to people who have done nothing to deserve any of it? 2: Whose arguments for free college, if any, would you be inclined to take seriously: Economists who crunch the numbers and study the long-term costs associated with the idea of free college or politicians who just talk about that as a means to get our votes? 3: Has the possibility not occurred to you that the people who advocate forced redistribution of wealth from the people who created it to the rest of us are probably the same people who advocated theft of land from Indian tribes and by extension their forced relocation from the land that rightfully belonged to them, as well as theft of the labor of African-Americans via their enslavement?

  46. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, even if the proposed wealth tax is relatively low, a wealth tax would constitute double-taxation. What perplexes me is why people who are irresponsible and frivolous with their money seem to be rewarded for that behavior and people who work 40 hours or more each week to earn a living are taxed into oblivion.

    If all nonessential expenditures were limited or eliminated as part of the family budget, the family would probably have greater disposable income even after taxes to use for other things. That disposable income could be put into a bank account and savings could be accumulated for retirement or put aside for a hefty financial expenditure that would not be affordable otherwise.

    Phone plans are an area where a lot of people can cut costs. Why do families have to spend money on multiple plans instead of one uniform plan for everyone? Phone companies are in business to make money, something that is true for other companies, however, if people voted with their money, they would be more likely to force companies to compete for their business.

    • First, Ragnar, as I’ve said before, nobody is “taxed into oblivion.” Despite your worries about them, I haven’t heard of any billionaire struggling to get food on the table or otherwise get what he needs or wants.

      You’re right in all your suggestions about using money wisely. l certainly follow them as I’m sure you do. However, many people are not like you and me, and don’t use their money wisely. But most people are not as educated and aware as you and me. I think the word for that is human nature. Not everyone is going to do the right thing. That is the way it always is. Still, I don’t want to see poverty and suffering.

      Are you aware that one in six children in this country live in poverty. Many don’t have enough to eat. This being the United States of America, the richest country on Earth, those facts are intolerable. We can show them better ways to use their money. But those stats are not going to get better without more help from the government (which mainly works to help the wealthy). I’m in favor of them getting more assistance than they get now. Aren’t you?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, part of the problem is that early money management is not taught to the younger generation. Why does everyone have to get a new car every few months? New phones just because various phone companies keep coming out with new products?

        Poverty as a problem stems from the breakdown of the family. Rick Santorum wrote and narrated a book titled It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good and also Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works. Yes, democrats seem to be talking about the problems impacting the poor than republicans do, however, neither side seems to have a correct solution. Republicans seem to have a pull oneself up by one’s own bootstraps way of thinking where one should improve one’s situation or succeed through one’s own efforts, without outside help.

        Broken family situations, out-of-wedlock birth rates, to name 2 examples are responsible for the breakdown of the family.

        Re-watch those John Stossel videos I linked. Addictions to drugs and being unable to break the cycle is one of the problems we have as a society.

        If people put their techno gadgets away and actually learned how to grow food, fewer people, if any, would be starving. The problem is that people who have signs that advertise a need or want for food in one hand and holding a tobacco product or an alcoholic product in the other is that they are using this as an excuse to get what they really want.

        You claim that rich people have more than enough money. That money does not sit in a big vault or in a bank account being unused. Banks lend out money for the purpose of building businesses. You also talk about wealth hoarding. Wealth is not hoarded.

        Related to that Keely Mullen video I linked, I would have been more inclined to take her seriously if she came to the discussion about the idea of free college with better answers prepared to justify her position.

  47. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTLwANVtnkA The woman that Milton Friedman was talking to about why we have so many millionaires in the USA and also so many impoverished people. The woman Milton Friedman was discussing the matter of too many millionaires with used the same wealth hoarding talking point as Keely Mullen had in that video I also posted about college students wanting top earners to pick up the tab for the students.

    • Friedman is talking about a different era, in which working people were doing better. Since then the disparity between rich and poor has grown and continues to do so.

    • ragnarsbhut says:

      Arlen Grossman, in the one comment in which I posted this Milton Friedman video above had a slight error. I meant to say was that the woman that Milton Friedman was talking to about why we have so many millionaires in the USA and also so many impoverished people should have read that some of them have not been taught to manage money very well. If you can edit that comment to provide that revision when you have time, that would be appreciated. You don’t have to respond to this comment, however, if you can look into that point and make the appropriate editing, that would be appreciated. You can then delete this comment if you want to..

  48. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are 4 questions for you: 1: What is more unjustifiable from a moral standpoint: Taking 50% or more in taxes from the rich to subsidize welfare benefits for people who come here from other countries illegally and birth their children, if they have any, which gives the children citizenship in violation of our laws or telling these people to get in line and come in through the proper channels? 2: If we had free college, what would happen if the people who made demands for it engaged in truancy and decided to skip classes? 3: If the rationale being employed by Donald Trump for building a wall along the southern border was to protect our citizens from potentially violent drug cartels and to prevent abuses of our welfare system, would that be a legitimate argument for that position in your way of thinking? 4: Since no person would probably give away his or her money to the government willingly, is taxation not theft by default, regardless of what tax laws claim?

    • Here are my answers, Ragnar: 1) immigrants coming from other countries should, of course, come in through the proper channels. That would be best. President Biden is working on a comprehensive immigration bill. If the Republicans allow him to do that (that will be hard), then maybe we can revisit this topic in the future. 2) If students don’t make the effort to stay in college, they should be kicked out. Problem solved. 3) There are better and less costly ways of protecting our borders (often with technology), but if Mexico pays for it, I would be okay with a wall (yes, that’s a joke, but Trump did promise that). 4) Taxes are an agreement that most Americans are okay with, because it gives government the funds to make our society better, as in defense, roads, education, police, firefighters, etc, and yes, to help disadvantaged people). Of course we can all fault how the government uses the tax money (any huge institution, public or private, will not do it as efficiently as they could,) but without taxes our country would fall into disrepair and anarchy, and not function well at all. I don’t see it as theft, nor do most Americans who care about the common good of all its citizens.
      Let me know specifically if you see anything wrong with my answers (which I expect you will),

  49. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, while it is true that a lot of rich people get that way by screwing other people over financially, a lot of rich people get rich the old-fashioned way via hard work, sensible investments and eliminating nonessential expenditures from their and their family’s budgets. Why should they be taxed into oblivion in order to pay for things that don’t benefit them at all? One of the problems with millennial types, not all of them, however, a good percentage of them, is that they have gotten too used to getting free stuff. What really rubs me the wrong way is the a**-backwards logic of people who want free stuff on-demand that gripe about people who inherit wealth as having done nothing to earn or deserve it. While the part about them having done nothing to earn it may be true, if the parent(s) may have the belief that the family heir(s) would be deserving of that money, that is none of the government’s business.

    Wealth hoarding is not even a thing. People who complain about it who have done nothing to earn their own wealth are just lazy and looking for handouts. At least people who work but may not make a lot of money are trying.

    Regarding the John Stossel videos I linked, I can understand why you may be skeptical of the information that is revealed in them. Having said that, the information in them should not be dismissed out of hand.

    • There’s really no point in answering your comment, Ragnar. You certainly don’t take my replies seriously. You’ve written the same thing dozens of times. Nonetheless, I will reply. Your first sentence is fine, and no doubt true. But from then on you rehash your same talking points. Sentence 2: Rich people are definitely not taxed into oblivion. 37% is the top marginal rate in the U.S. tax code. I believe Elizabeth Warren is talking about a 2% wealth tax. That is hardly “taxed into oblivion.” And taxes do benefit even rich people. Roads, military, police, firemen, are what comes to my mind first. And do the rich even want a desperate poverty level that threatens everyone’s security and safety.

      Your next few sentences use you usual buzz words: “free” and “demand.” There may be a few who demand free stuff, but most who get government assistance do not. And of course “lazy” and “handouts” are other buzzwords.

      I’d like to request you not send any more of your usual frequent comments about rich (good) and poor people (lazy). I can almost memorize them by now. I would, however, very much welcome your responses to my comments here.

      • Sorry to be so blunt, Ragnar. I don’t mean to be harsh, but rather to get you to think outside of your idealogical box. I hope you understand.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, not all poor people are lazy, nor are people who are on the streets because of bad situations turning to drugs and alcohol. The problem, as I correctly noted, is that it is not always easy to know who is faking his or her situation to con us out of our money.

        Wealth taxes have been implemented and ultimately abandoned by countries that tried them. If they don’t raise revenue, at least not much revenue, why are they being advocated for? If a wealth tax resulted in capital flight, how will all of these programs be funded? They won’t be funded for very long.

        Personally, I would not have a problem redirecting money from truly nonessential things in other directions. The issue is what one thinks as being nonessential.

        • Yes, not all poor people are lazy and substance abusers, but your comments always make mention of those characteristics. Yes, we can’t always tell who is abusing the system, but that is not a reason to not help those who truly need help.

          Look at Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax. It only affects the richest of the rich, but raises a lot of revenue. Yes, other countries have abandoned it, but there are ways to do it right and make it effective.

          You are correct with your final paragraph

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, even though I tend to gravitate toward the libertarian persuasion, I agree with you on more things than you may realize. Medicare For All is an example of an area that I agree with you on.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, people who are experiencing legitimate states of financial hardship and need help are those I would be very sympathetic to. People who work 2 or 3 jobs and are trying to make ends meet are those who I would be more sympathetic to than I would be sympathetic to people who whine about how unfair life is because we don’t give them everything that they want because they adopt a victim mentality.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, during hard economic times, times that affect a lot of people, many people are forced to reevaluate what their financial priorities should be. Even during times of economic and financial stability, why should people be punished for deciding to be responsible with their money and people who are not so responsible not being punished? When I sent you those John Stossel videos, here is the basic reasoning: I was attempting to point out the fact that some people try to scam us for their own benefit, as well as the fact that bad laws cause homelessness.

        Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CU3g0X4yF0 If people are concerned about the pricey phone plans, they can look for cheaper options or decrease the cost by getting a uniform plan instead of multiple phone plans for one household. A uniform plan would probably lead to greater money savings.

  50. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem with people who may not make a lot of money that use talking points about the hoarding of wealth is that they would engage in the exact same behavior if they came across the same level of wealth. The message encouraging the sharing of wealth may seem moral, however, why anyone who builds a significant fortune with his or her hands, brain and hard work should be obligated to give it to other people by force is absurd.

    The rationale for wealth redistribution being done by force under the pretense of fairness is disingenuous. Not that I am a fan of his politics, however, by what mechanism did Bill Gates make his money: By sitting on his butt and doing nothing or producing a good and service that people wanted to spend money on? His having billions of dollars is the end result of producing goods and products that people want to buy. Nobody had to purchase Microsoft products.

    Wealth taxes are far more destructive to the economy than the income tax. However, politicians on the Left don’t want people back in the workforce. They want more people to be dependent upon the government.

  51. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgu8YKqL6M8 Government is not supposed to be our nanny. You once claimed that the rich have more than enough money. None of that money is stored in mattresses insofar as I know. That money is invested in businesses or in the stock market. Wealth hoarding is just a made-up term.

    • Ragnar, I wish you wouldn’t keep sending me John Stossel videos. Stossel is a very predictable libertarian who likes to cherry-picks his examples to prove his points.

      You say wealth hoarding is a made-up term. You should take a look at this article in Fortune Magazine https://fortune.com/2020/07/14/billionaires-philanthropy-coronavirus-crisis/

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, people who build their businesses from the ground up and earn millions, maybe billions of dollars, know what was required to make those businesses flourish. People who whine about wealth hoarding are not interested in making their own situations better. They just want to take money from the rest of us without doing any actual work.

        • You write often about this subject, Ragnar. The problem I have with your beliefs is how you seem convinced that rich people are all hard-working entrepreneurs, and that all people who get help from the government are lazy moochers demanding money from rich people.

          If those stereotypes color your views, then we have a problem.

          In reality, rich people are not always so wonderful. Some inherited their money and often
          amass massive wealth often by taking subsidies and tax breaks from the government (sometimes called corporate welfare). Some use their money for trivial playthings while millions of Americans are homeless or hungry.

          There are no absolutes here, Ragnar, despite what John Stossel and Fox News say.
          Each case is different. Many rich people are good and generous people, In addition,
          some welfare recipients are good people who have run into tough times, often through no fault of their own, and need some help to get back on their feet.

          Try not to be so absolute and sure of yourself, Ragnar. It would be good if you were more flexible in your thinking.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, not all people who are on government assistance are lazy. The lazy people I speak of are those who claim that their being on government assistance magically entitles them to more free stuff. The problem with welfare is not that it exists. What is at the heart of the matter it seems to me would be that long-term dependence on these programs would be a disincentive to productivity.

          • Yes, long-term dependence on welfare is not a good thing. But it can be very helpful for those with bad luck who need some help. I suspect we can agree on that.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I know we have a different view regarding the estate tax, however, related to to the point you just mentioned, I have 3 questions for you: 1: Given the fact that people who leave money to loved ones when they die are thinking about their family members when money is left to them, why are they in the wrong to want to keep that money and yet it is perfectly acceptable to redistribute that wealth to other people? 2: Since free stuff is involved either way, why do people who make demands for free stuff accuse other people who get free stuff via an inheritance of being moochers? 3: Who can handle family money better: The family who earned it or a bunch of bureaucrats?

  52. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the 2 things I mentioned liking are the Negative Income Tax that was proposed by Milton Friedman and the Universal Basic Income proposed by Andrew Yang. If we did not have the massive level of national debt and the issue of unfunded liabilities to contend with, we could replace our current welfare system with the Universal Basic Income idea that was proposed by Andrew Yang or Milton Friedman’s negative income tax proposal.

    Your claim about the rich having more than enough money is disingenuous. They don’t keep their money in mattresses. It is invested in the stock market, used to build and/or expand businesses or put into long-term savings and once an adequate level of savings has been accumulated, that money gets recirculated through the economy by way of various financial transactions. When people who are on government assistance, essentially taxpayer-funded programs who whine about people contributing nothing to society, the word society is used as a deflection against these people who are actually contributing nothing. The common theme for most of the people in the Stossel video I linked and the video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition is an entitlement mentality. Nothing is free and life is not fair. People who fall on truly hard times and really need help are those I would be sympathetic to. Those who hold signs advertising situations of distress and yet go home at the end of the day after conning us out of our money probably go home and laugh about having mooched off of people who are generous based on feelings of sympathy. For the record, I do not believe that all poor people are moochers or that all people who are on government assistance are lazy takers. What galls me is hearing people whine about wanting free college on-demand who have done nothing to work toward the goal of wanting to get there and yet whine that people who inherit wealth have done nothing to earn it.

    Redistributing wealth from people who created it and want to leave that wealth to family members when these people are deceased to people who have done nothing to deserve it is morally indefensible. What is also profoundly hypocritical is defending people who make demands for free college, free health care, et cetera, however, also whining that people who inherit wealth did nothing to deserve it. People on the outside of the family may think that the person who inherits money is undeserving of it, however, that is only an opinion. If the individual(s) at death’s doorstep feel that the family member(s) that money has been left to is more deserving of that money than anyone else, the government has no right to any of it. Forcibly redistributing wealth from people who created it to the rest of us is no different than theft of land that was owned by Indian tribes and theft of labor of African-Americans as a result of slavery.

    The homelessness crisis is probably partly due to hard economic times. It could be due to mental health problem or it could be related to substance abuse issues. Some of these people who claim to be homeless and yet claim not to make people give them money are probably engaging in acts of manipulation.

  53. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, between the Negative Income Tax and the Universal Basic Income as ideas, what do you think is more practical?

    • For some reason, I am unable to post my response. What I want to say is:  Good question, Ragnar. I’ll have to examine that and get back to you.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, here are 3 questions I would like to get your thoughts on: 1: Related to that video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition, who is more deserving of a free college education: People who make demands for it on the basis that they cannot afford the tuition costs or people who risk literal life and limb to protect our country and get their free college as a result of the GI Bill? 2: Between politicians who promise tuition-free college in order to pander to us and gain our votes and economists who look at the actual costs of free college, who could make better arguments for free college? 3: If given the opportunity, who would you be willing to discuss economic issues with: Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams if he was still alive, Milton Friedman if he was still alive or F.A. Hayek if he was still among the living?

        • I wish, Ragnar, you wouldn’t keep using the word “demand.” That clearly shows a bias in your thinking..”Want” or “ask” would be better and more realistic.(not withstanding John Stossel’s “cherry-picked” interviews). Also you keep using the phrase “free college.” There are many variations of helping students get into college (a good thing for society) from low-cost loans to free tuition. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The G.I. Bill, by the way, is a good thing, in my opinion,.
          I don’t pretend to be a student of economics. But Milton Friedman would be interesting to talk to. However, as economists go, Paul Krugman is my favorite.

  54. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, it is undeniable that all economic systems have some degree of exploitation. One idea proposed by Milton Friedman was a Negative Income Tax. An idea proposed by Andrew Yang was implementing a Universal Basic Income. Both ideas should be nonpartisan. They each help people on the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

  55. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, you claimed that the rich have more than enough money. You claim that millions of people are hungry and homeless. Here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9pgh5EO6lw This should tell a greater story of the homelessness epidemic. Rich people are not responsible for the problems plaguing these people.

    • Typical John Stossel video, Ragnar. Lots of cherry-picked examples, and a one-sided point of view. Yes, he highlights the problem, which is real and terrible, but doesn’t offer any practical solutions.

      So I will. Conservatives and libertarians like Stossel, like to send criminals to prison for a long time, where they languish and eventually get out to commit more crimes and return to prison. Meanwhile, private prison owners make big profits and have no incentive to do anything other house (and lobby for) more prisoners.

      I would like to see more rehabilitation, education, and job training. That could turn life around for many, and homeless people would benefit from the same solution. We need to focus on helping people and investing for the future.

      Of course, there is a problem with my ideas. They require tax dollars to implement, and Republicans, Libertarians like Stossel, (and yes, the wealthy, too) don’t like to help people, not if it requires more taxes. Or increases the deficit.

      I’m hoping President Biden is on the same page as I am, and will focus on rehabilitating, rather than punishing people who need it.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I agree with you on point #3.

        • I’m just saying Stossel is a libertarian, and mostly follows that philosophy. I like the libertarian viewpoint on victimless crimes and anti-war philosophy, but that’s about it.
          By the way, what is the point #3 you agree on? And where do you stand on rehabilitation vs. punishment?
          Here is one view on Stossel re: climate issues: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/john-stossels-transformation-from-skeptical-libertarian-to-polluter-apologist/

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, in point #3, you said, “I would like to see more rehabilitation, education, and job training. That could turn life around for many, and homeless people would benefit from the same solution. We need to focus on helping people and investing for the future.” That is one area we seem to agree on.

          • I’m glad to hear we agree on that. The next question would be: how much tax money would you be willing to spend to make it happen? If we’d agree on that, it would be a good thing, although I’m not sure we can get past the spending part. Very interesting.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here are questions I would like to get your thoughts on: 1: Would a wealth tax be considered double-taxation under tax law if the after-tax income was subjected to a wealth tax? 2: Even though both groups of people, people who inherit wealth free of tax and people who want free college on-demand are in a sense getting free stuff, why is it seen as a giving handout to one’s heirs if the transaction is voluntary and not a handout for people who claim to be on government assistance to get their benefits subsidized by the taxpayers? 3: Who would you be inclined to take more seriously regarding those who make arguments for free college: Economists who study the monetary costs and crunch the numbers, politicians who promise free college to get our votes or people who just issue demands for it because of a misguided perception of an injustice inflicted upon them that they cook up in their own minds? 4: Given the fact that government has shown a serious lack of money management, why should we give them more money through a tax policy like the proposed wealth tax?

          • Ragnar, you don’t seem happy about “free” college. My view is that going to college is good for the individual and for society as a whole. I believe we should do as much as we can to offer a college education (most European countries subsidize a college education), and help students from being stuck with a huge debt. You may want to gum up the works by throwing words like “free” and “demand” about, but I believe college education is a good investment and taxpayer dollars should help make it easier for Americans to obtain it, and not  be saddled with a hug debt.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, free college is available for people who meet the criteria for the GI Bill and its accompanying benefits. That video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition is indicative of people who feel like they are entitled to something for nothing. Nowhere in any of our Founding Documents does it expressly state that we have these rights that those on the Left talk about.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I don’t know if he participates in them himself, however, he advocates legalization of gambling, prostitution and drugs. Not once have I heard or read John Stossel going as far as to imply wanting to do the things you accuse him of advocating for.

  56. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmqoCHR14n8 All things cost money, even this free s**t that people want on-demand. You claim that rich people have more than enough money. What difference does it make? The very people who whine about other people hoarding wealth display an entitlement mentality. Self-made wealthy people owe the rest of us nothing.

    • I wonder sometimes: Why does Ragnar go out of his way to defend the wealthy class, and demonize those who accept government help? By the way, the wealthy class receives tons of free government money. Should they give it back?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the people who want to steal money from the rich and redistribute it to the rest of us under the guise of fairness don’t care about fairness. These are the same people who advocated theft of land from Native Americans, land that was rightfully their land to begin with, as well as theft from African-Americans via slavery. Back to that video about college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition, this victim mentality that people who want free stuff on-demand have who want the rich to pay for all of these people’s wants is absurd. I have no problem or moral objection to helping people who need it. What I object to is hearing people feign states of being victims because they are not allowed to get things their way. Wealth hoarding is just a made-up term invented by people who are too lazy to work for what they want. Regarding catastrophic student loan debt, if people are so concerned about that, they should have had the forethought to pursue useful degrees that will facilitate the ability to earn a living after they graduate.

        • Ragnar, It’s all about what you think government is for. I think government should invest in policies that benefit its citizens. Government can solve a lot of problems. President Biden is working to help people and overcome policies of Trump and the Republicans, who only seemed to want to help mostly the rich (and ignore the poverty and inequality of so many others). My guess is that you feel much differently, and believe, like Reagan, that government is the problem.
          You mention student loan debt. It is so high because the cost of education in America is rising faster than inflation, leaving millions with high debt that they can’t afford. In Europe, they recognize the value of college education to society, and charge little or nothing for higher education. That makes sense to me, and beneficial to students and society. I consider that to be a good use of government resources, but I expect you disagree.
          It all comes down to different political and moral philosophies.
          By the way, some poor people are decent human beings, and some are not. Likewise, some rich people are decent human beings, and some are not. I wish you would recognize this more. Your opinions indicate you favor the advantaged much more than the disadvantaged. Or so it appears to me.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, re-watch those 2 videos I sent you. Student loan debt liabilities are not forced upon people who take them on.

            Regarding the people you talk about being hungry and homeless, some of them are probably faking their situations to dupe us into giving them money. Guilt tripping us into giving them money is absurd.

          • You are correct, Ragnar. Some people abuse the welfare system. This is inevitable, human nature being what it is. Yes, some people are going to cheat. That does not change the fact that many people are hurting and need government help. Shall we stop giving people the ability to get help from the government because of the cheaters?A college education is a good thing and helps many to improve their lives. It is also a fact that paying for a college education is out of reach for millions of Americans. For many, taking a student loan is their only way to get a college ssss ducation. It would be nice if our government would invest in its citizens like a lot of other countries do. Ragnar, what would you want people to do?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I believe in looking after the welfare of all people. The difference is in strategy. I am not interested in putting a gun (figuratively) to someone’s head who has more money than I do in order to line my own pockets. This tax cuts for the rich b.s. from the Left indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of how money works.

  57. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, while I did not take his message very well at the time, one thing about Mitt Romney’s 47% comment that has some truth to it is that people who refuse to work for what they want in life and expect other people to provide it for them seem to have an entitlement mentality. When people who are on government assistance complain about people contributing nothing to society, they are speaking of themselves without seeming to realize it. The rich should not be able to possess all of the nation’s wealth, however, they should not be punished for being financially responsible either. Just my thoughts.

    • Ragnar, you always go back to your old theme. Those who take government assistance are mostly lazy bums, while wealthy people are hard workers and deserve everything they get. In truth, many people need help in this awful economy, and with a little help can improve their lives immensely. Many rich people have taken advantage of greedy politicians who give them tax cuts and subsidies. And there are people like Publix Super Marker heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli, who subsidized the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, go back to the video I shared with you regarding college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition. Wealth hoarding is not even a thing. Money does not sit under a mattress. Either it is in the banks where banks can loan out money for business creation or invested in products that make our lives better. Not all people who are on government assistance are lazy, nor did I ever say as much. Some people who fall on hard times do need help. Go back to that video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pay their tuition. Why is this economy awful? Mainly because the democrats keep enacting policies that keep it that way. Donald Trump was trying to clean up a big mess made by Barack Obama and the democrats, as well as establishment republicans.

        Here is another video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHoiVnID8vY None of these people have to be homeless. They just choose to be in that state in order to satisfy their addictions to drugs and alcohol. The rich have nothing to do with other people being homeless.

  58. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, when I read or hear stories, real or fake, that speak to people who claim to be homeless and hungry and act like they have a hard time finding employment, the situations with the fakers makes me angry because they are falsely claiming their alleged states of hardship and people with real problems are looked down upon and also assumed to be faking their situations. What also rubs me the wrong way is when some people claim that they don’t make other people give them money. Some people really are homeless and need help, however, the truly needy get looked down upon because of the fakers. So people who fake their situations to get handouts should be disregarded completely and people whose states of hardship are legitimate should get as much help as is possible. You claim that millions of people are hungry and homeless? Where does that statistic come from? Some of these people may just be liars who feign a state of being victims to rip us off and they are hurting those who are truly in need because of their lying about their situations. Self-made wealthy people should not be forced to fork over 50% or more of their money in taxes to support people who turn welfare into a career opportunity. People who have real problems do need help. Those whose situations are faked should be told to get a life. A 40/hr work week with bad pay is just as bad as being homeless, however, the people who are willing to work are at least contributing to society.

  59. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if some people are seen on the streets that are smoking cigarettes, cigars, doing drugs and become homeless due to their own choices, that is on them. Herman Cain said to people protesting on Wall Street, “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” If people are trying to find work, even if the economy is bad, those people do need our help and deserve our support. People who assign blame to other people for the choices that they themselves have made are just looking for excuses to start blame-shifting. It is easy to look at someone who lives on the street and assume that they are homeless, however, are they really homeless or are they scam artists who try to con hardworking people out of their money so they can satisfy their addictions that landed them on the street in the first place? Some people who claim to be stranded and in need of help can turn to homeless shelters or friends and family for the help that they need. What aggravates me is the fact that the people who are faking the situations they have cause the truly needy to be frowned upon. People who claim to be in a state of hardship may not make people give them money, however, the fact that they lie about their situations make truly needy people look bad. What really rubs me the wrong way is that people who get money for doing nothing are rewarded and people who are productive and contribute to society get penalized for it. Every big city has a food kitchen, so people don’t have to go hungry. The reason people are on the streets asking for change is overwhelmingly to satisfy their addictions to drugs and alcohol. It is easy to see people on the streets and assume that they are all homeless. Are they really or are many of them just scam artists who want to con the rest of us out of our hard earned money to satisfy their addictions? Some of these people may have homes, however, they fake their situations to con the rest of us out of our money. If enough of the fakers were called out on the carpet for their deceiving the rest of us, then truly needy people would get the help that they require in order to get back on their feet. Some people may just hold up signs and claim to be homeless and cold. Personally, I would like to see these people get filmed on video camera and see where they go.

  60. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the difference between people who want free stuff on-demand and people who are disabled but can still work and pay into Social Security and receive SSI and SSDI as long as they don’t exceed a specified income threshold that disqualifies them from receiving benefits is that people who issue demands for free stuff don’t want to work and people who work but don’t exceed a specific income threshold in order to maintain eligibility for disability is that they contribute to the programs with their tax dollars and earn the benefits while people who complain that some people having more money than they do is negatively affecting them just want to maintain the status of victimhood and mooch off of the rest of us. People who are willing to work hard but have a hard time because of economic and financial insecurity are those who I would be sympathetic to. People who want free stuff on-demand, the key phrase being on-demand, just want stuff to be given to them without consideration to the costs of other people.

    We have a $20, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+ national debt and people who want free stuff on-demand just assume that it can be provided without adding even more debt? Related to student loan debt, that should not be blamed on the rich and people who take out student loans should not be able to shift blame for that onto the rest of us. At the very least people who want to argue for free college should come up with better arguments that do not consist of the “we breathe, therefore we are deserving of free stuff” line.

    Wealth hoarding is not even a thing. People who complain about the 1% hoarding the wealth are just looking for handouts. People who are willing to work hard and yet have a hard time making ends meet financially are trying to improve their situations, so they are vastly different than people who gripe about some people being better off financially. Self-made wealthy people don’t owe the rest of us anything.

  61. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I was thinking back on that video I shared with you about college students wanting top earners to pay for the tuition of the students. When some people talk about the 1% hoarding the wealth, that is a disingenuous talking point. What people mean when they talk like that is that they are owed things that do not belong to them. Educating oneself is a right. Demanding that other people teach us things for free is not a right, nor is it a right to take money from people by force to pay for all of the things we want.

    They may have made many mistakes along the way, however, I would not be surprised if many rich people who accumulate significant wealth have learned effective strategies for money management over the long-term. Debt-free lifestyles would do us all a lot of good.

    Some politicians have actively advocated for a wealth tax. Why should someone who has accumulated significant savings be required to fork over any of that since it has already been taxed before it went into a bank account?

  62. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, part of the lack of financial security for lower income people is a lack of decent paying jobs. Part of it is due to degree choice when they go to college. Pursuing a degree in the arts will never guarantee a good paying jobs. This is the problem with people who graduate from college with massive student debt who cannot find jobs. It is not necessarily the lack of jobs, just the choice of people to pursue useless degrees that will be a hindrance to the pursuit of meaningful employment. Some people having more money than other people is irrelevant.

  63. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are 4 questions for you: 1: Given the occasionally demonstrated irresponsible management of our tax dollars, why does our government deserve anymore from any of us? 2: Since all countries that have implemented a wealth tax ultimately abandoned it in some cases, why do some of our politicians seem to want that tax if the ultimate result would be capital flight? 3: Why should politicians have greater influence in how tax policy is crafted than economists who actually understand the long-term impact of the effect that tax rates at certain levels would be a hindrance to economic growth? 4: Given the choice and opportunity, would you be willing to discuss economic issues with F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell if given the opportunity?

  64. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, you implied that I seem to want to tell people what they can and cannot do with their money. Since government assistance for people who have difficult situations is funded by our tax dollars, we should be able to dictate what they do with that money. The exceptions are for people who pay into Social Security and Medicare, as well as disability.Since their tax dollars contributed to those programs, the people who contribute deserve the benefits that they are entitled to.

    Going back to that video I shared with you, that is an example of a person who feels entitled to free stuff on-demand. Why the heck do some people feel like they have the right to free stuff on-demand and yet label people who inherit massive wealth tax-free as being moochers? The only difference between people who want free stuff on-demand and people who inherit wealth free of tax is that people who inherit wealth get that voluntarily and people who want free stuff on-demand don’t seem to care about the costs incurred by other people.

    The people who want to take money from the rich and redistribute it to the rest of us under the false pretense of fairness don’t care about fairness. What they just want is power and the opportunity to buy votes. People who end up on on government assistance and claim that it will only be a temporary situation are those I would be sympathetic to. People who claim to end up on on government assistance and use that as an excuse to act like victims and make demands for free stuff are just scamming the system for their own benefit.

  65. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, in that video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pick up the tab for the students, the interviewee was saying that the 1% was hoarding the wealth and causing a catastrophe for the students. Really? Some of the 1% either never went to college or are college dropouts. Why should their successes be punished to reward other people’s irresponsible choices or lack of foresight as far as thinking about the future? If there are people who truly need help because of hard economic times, they should be helped. People who use their alleged states of financial hardship as an excuse to demand handouts cause people who truly need help to be frowned upon. Substance abuse is an influencing factor as to why some people end up on the streets and cannot hold stable employment. Panhandling is not a solution, as I stated. Some people who panhandle may do it in order to buy food and some may do it to buy drugs or alcohol. People who panhandle may not make other people give them money. The problem is that panhandling is ultimately degrading and a disincentive to work. The reason that people are on the streets asking for change is overwhelmingly for drugs or alcohol. People being hungry and homeless and unable to hold stable employment is probably due to drug addiction issues, not just because the rich have too much money. The same goes for people who inherit money. Nobody is being stolen from in that regard. People who call for taxing the rich under the deluded idea of fairness don’t care about fairness at all. The people who want to take money from the rich by force and make the rich pay for the free stuff that these people want don’t think about the costs that are incurred. Welfare programs are not meant to help anybody. All they are meant to do is buy votes.

    Even if we taxed millionaires and billionaires at a 100% tax rate, none of these various entitlement programs would be able to be fully funded for 3 years. We have a $20, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+ level of debt and people who want free stuff on-demand can’t comprehend the fact that it will cause a greater level of debt that we may not recover from? Free college is another crackpot idea. All things incur costs in one way or another.

  66. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I will not deny the fact that there are many people who need help. Panhandling is not the solution. One of the problems with the welfare state is that it encourages greater dependency. Poor people are not poor because the wealthy are wealthy.

    • I agree with your first two sentences, but not the last two. The wealthy do affect the poor, hoarding all their money and leaving little for the middle or lower classes.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, not true. That is just propaganda that has been sold to you. There are multiple ways that people can learn to save money. Examples: 1: Buying a house. If a family has the capital to buy a $500, 000.00 house but decides to purchase a $250, 000.00 house, that family has $250, 000.00 that has been saved for other things. 2: Phone plans. If a family has multiple phone plans instead of just one that everyone shares, the different monthly fees could take bites out of the family budget.

        • Seriously, do you think the average family has the capital to buy a $500,000 house? What about the many families struggling to pay their rent. Meanwhile the rich continue to see their wealth grow.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the people who advocate taxing the rich more in the name of fairness don’t care about fairness. They just want handouts. Having to bust one’s butt during a 40/hour work week to provide for one’s family only to fork over 50% of that money in taxes to the government so politicians can buy votes of welfare recipients with promises of free stuff is absurd. If the wealth of the rich is growing, maybe examination should be done.

          • You never change your tune, Ragnar: handouts, welfare recipients, free stuff, the rich work hard, welfare recipients are lazy. I would challenge you to think that these things are not that simple, everyone’s case is different, stereotypes aren’t always accurate. Rich people aren’t always hard workers, disadvantaged people are not always lazy. Many people change their lives for the better with government help.Something to think about.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, welfare programs are taxpayer-funded. If it continues to be that way, the taxpayers should have a say in what the beneficiaries do with the welfare money.

          • I see, Ragnar, you want the government to tell citizens how to spend their money. How about drug testing them?  Some states like that idea.

            And how about corporate welfare? Shouldn’t taxpayers tell these corporations they help how to spend their money? Or do you hold them by a different standard. I think it is more likely you just have a negative stereotype for welfare recipients (e.g.lazy, black, don’t want to work, etc.). You might prefer corporate executives over welfare recipients, so you have a different standard for them.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if these people are on government assistance, we should be able to tell them what they can do with the money that they get. Now, if these people have disabilities and pay into social security and qualify for SSI or SSDI, they have earned and have every right to those benefits. What people have no right to do is start demanding free stuff at our expense.

  67. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, you claimed that rich people have more than enough money. You claim that millions of people are hungry and homeless. Have you seen these people up close and personally? If you have, your sentiments would be valid. The problem is that there is no way to know if all homeless people are actually homeless or are just looking for handouts.

    • People who need help are usually helped by these programs, Ragnar. I have the feeling you think most recipients of such benefits don’t really need it. You seem to focus on the latter and want to restrict such “handouts” because of the cheating. I don’t believe you can assist people without there being some cheaters. I don’t think there are many, but I’m guessing you do. I think it is worthwhile to help those who truly need it, and if some people game the system, they need to be investigated..

      I find it a shame that you never complain about the enormous amount of corporate welfare. There’s a lot more of that than welfare for the disadvantaged. Why does it seem that you are always on the side of the wealthy, and not on the side of those who truly need help?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, it is exceedingly hypocritical when people whine about wanting free college and other freebies and yet whine about people getting things that they did not earn. If people want free college, those who inherit wealth should be able to keep it all. If people who inherit wealth have to pay taxes on it, people who want to go to college should pay the tuition as required.

  68. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, we do not have too many rich people. We have too few of them.

  69. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are 3 questions I would like to get your thoughts on: 1: Why should the 1%, even the 0.01% be required to pay for other people’s “free” stuff by their demand without their doing anything to deserve said stuff? 2: Since even the “free” stuff incurs costs to other people and not the person demanding it, is it not essentially slavery to expect people to provide services by means of compulsion against their will with no compensation? 3: Can you not see the hypocrisy in the thinking of people who argue that they deserve free stuff on demand and yet decry people who inherit wealth as being undeserving of it?

  70. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I know that there is a difference between people who may inherit a certain level of money, however, they want to earn as much of their wealth as possible as a result of their hard work and people whose wealth is based solely on inheritance instead of wanting to work for what they earn. Here are 3 questions for you: 1: What if someone inherits a family business, regardless of its size, without any physical money going to that person? 2: Even if what he said may have had merit to it to some extent when he said it, would it not be reasonable to believe that Barack Obama’s statement about people not building their businesses is incorrect in other regards? 3: Even though you said that the rich have more than enough money, that some people have obscene amounts, what if someone’s wealth was accumulated through hard work and sensible investments, not just inheritance?

  71. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, a lot of people want things both ways. Many people want free college without doing anything to earn it and yet decry people whose wealth as being inherited as having done nothing to earn it. If one family does have to pay an estate tax, any people who want to go to college should pay for the college. If someone wants free college, then the people who inherit wealth should get it all tax-free. You said I can’t have it both ways, however, a lot of people want things both ways.

  72. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people should vote with their money. Cutting all nonessential expenditures from the family budget would definitely go a long way. Phone plans are a good example. There are multiple options to save money. If a family has an inexpensive cellphone plan, assuming that they are in an area where the coverage is good, they could ditch the landlines altogether. You claim that the people on the Right want to blame poor people for our problems. That is unfair. While it is true that poor people do benefit from welfare programs intended to help them, there is the double-edged sword factor. It helps them but it also ensnares them into a state of perpetual dependency. We also have people who engage in welfare fraud, such as the family of Keely Mullen. She was not going on live TV to make points about how expensive college tuition is, just using that as an excuse to demand free stuff. Based on what I read, she comes from a wealthy family, so she was just looking for a handout, using the “injustice” of a system that requires one to be accountable for one’s own path in life as an excuse to be lazy. Her family was never on welfare, so she lied. This is the problem with people who want free stuff. All they want is to party and want stuff given to them. Leftists can’t even see their own double-standards and/or hypocrisy when they decry people who inherit wealth free of tax as being leeches or moochers and essentially look the other way when some people actually want free stuff.

  73. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, things like savings should be encouraged. If some people would just plan accordingly, they could find numerous ways to save money. First and foremost, cutting nonessential spending from the family budget. People could save a lot of money on food over the long-term by having a garden with a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Get all of the seeds one wants and then a garden could be developed. They could save money on phone bills by ditching landlines and having a cellphone that they could renew on an as needed basis. Just because some people refuse to plan accordingly does not automatically entitle them to the right to take money from other people to pay for the wants and needs of these people. in order to satisfy the demands of people for a handout. People who issue demands for free stuff are the perfect example of people want to get a handout and they act like they are victims when the rich do not bow to their demands. Personally, while I did not take too well the 47% comment that Mitt Romney made at the time he made it, one thing he did speak to was the entitlement mentality that some people seem to have to things that they did nothing to deserve. Self-made multimillionaires don’t owe anybody anything. They worked for their wealth, so they should reap the rewards of their labor, as well as their family members by extension. What entitles someone to go to college and have them not pick up the tab?

  74. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I will not deny the fact that some people got rich due to the help of other people along the way. Having said that, if someone starts out with an idea that leads to the creation of a business that earns millions of dollars, that person should be able to reap the rewards, as well as the people who the business owner(s) would employ. Barack Obama had implied that people who have businesses did not build them, that somebody else made that happen. The only way that statement would be credible is if one branch of a family built a business and passed it down to the next. Otherwise, it is a b.s. statement that essentially devalues the time and effort that people put in to create a business.

  75. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the difference between someone giving money to another person based on a voluntary financial transaction or as a gift and someone who wants free stuff is that the person who wants free stuff always wants other people to pick up the tab and the person who gifts money to other people does it at the giver’s own expense. One thing that Leftists do is confuse voluntary exchanges with that which is taken by force. To employ hyperbole, they put guns to people’s heads, figuratively or literally, to get people to pay for the stuff that they want, such as the wants of some people to go to college and not pick up the tab themselves and whine and complain when they don’t get things their way. Leftists are like children who beat their hands on the floor when they don’t get their way and when they finally do get their way, they use the same tactics. No person has any right to demand that other people pay for that person’s stuff, period.

  76. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, even if people who inherit wealth are getting welfare, that welfare is being provided by the giver(s,) not the government. The foundation of a strong country begins with strong families and America is founded on parents who love their children and work hard for them. I don’t care how much money someone has, so I cannot support stealing money from dead people. They earned it, so their descendants should be able to keep it. “But wait, the descendants did nothing to earn it,” will be a claim that some people make. People who want free college did nothing to earn it either. The only difference and the distinction to be made is that people who are at death’s doorstep are thinking about wanting to provide for their family members, while people who issue demands for free college have done nothing to deserve it and are just thinking about themselves and not considering the ultimate costs that other people incur in the attempt to satisfy their demands for free stuff. If some people turn down inheritance and insist on becoming wealthy due to their own merits, that is on them. There are people who work hard and do have a hard time making ends meet, so they should be paid attention to. People who become rich and their family members who benefit from that wealth should be left alone. The best people to tax are the rich, however, subjecting a grieving family to a tax burden just rubs me the wrong way. Deceased people have already paid their taxes, so they should not have to go to their graves with the knowledge that the money that they leave to people will be taken and redistributed to people who do nothing useful with their lives.

    If some people are concerned about money issues, something that could be done is negotiating the prices of certain things or taking one’s business to other companies. This victim mentality that some people have because other people will not bow to their demands is absurd. When Mitt Romney made his 47% comment, that did rub me the wrong way, however, the part about some people having an entitlement mentality did hold true. If someone accumulated $7, 000, 000.00 in after-tax savings, that wealth had already been taxed, so why tax it again and redistribute it to other people? The promises of free college are just empty talking points designed to dupe people into voting for the politicians who make all of these promises.

  77. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, some politicians have proposed a wealth tax on the mega rich. I am admittedly inclined to view that as double taxation. State, local and federal taxes take a bite out of a lot of people’s checks at tax time. The problem ultimately boils down to a lack of accountability. Had Barack Obama said that he would make our government open and transparent and kept that promise, I probably would still have vehement disagreements with his perspective on the tax issue, however, his honesty would not have been questioned if there was greater transparency. Here is an example of what I mean: If he had said that he and some members of Congress were going to advocate raising taxes on the rich, however, he would also fight to make sure that there was more fiscal responsibility along the way and there would be controlled spending, as well as greater accountability, all being backed up by deeds, I would have believed that personally if it was proven to be true. Just my thoughts.

  78. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is an Ayn Rand quote for you: 1: “Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.” No person has any right to wealth that was created by another, nor does one person have any right to democratically vote away the wealth of another person.

    • Just to clarify, Ragnar, you don’t believe a government should collect taxes?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if taxes are collected for the benefit of society at large, I have no problem with that. If that money is used to buy the votes of people, then I do object to that. Paying a price to live in a civilized society is one thing. Just taking money from one group of people by force to redistribute to other people is something I do object to. Even if some people have, in your words, “more than enough money,” that does not make it morally right to arbitrarily decide how much of that money they deserve to keep.

        • You can’t have it both ways, Ragnar. Taxes are necessary for the benefit of society. And those who have the most money should pay the most taxes. How can you object to that?
          Those taxes are not arbitrariliy taken from the wealthiest in our society.. Our elected representatives determine how much each bracket must pay. Taxes are not stolen from the rich. It is their obligation for living in a society to pay taxes for those less fortunate.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, taxing people to pay for things that benefit society is one thing. 47% of our population pay no federal income taxes. If we all benefit, we should pay something, even if it amounts to a few pennies. Reread the part about politicians trying to buy votes. This is the problem with politicians who promise free stuff. They have no plans to make it a reality, just using that as a tactic to get people to vote for them during the various election cycles.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, let me put it to you in another way: You have people who claim that we should have free college just based on their demand for it who have done nothing to earn it. We have people who get free college who got that as a reward for service to their country. Who should get the free education-someone who issues demands for free college or someone who risks literal life and limb and get the free college as a reward for service to one’s country? Why not get rid of all taxes and replace them with a simple sales tax?

  79. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the point I made about giving to Caesar that which belonged to Caesar and giving to God which belonged to God was that each thing that belonged to either ultimately belonged to them. You claim that selfishness is not a desirable trait? Why is it selfish for people who work hard to provide for their family members to want to keep the money they earn and it is not selfish for some people to demand that other people pay for all of their stuff?

  80. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are a few videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w8jF7IKZvs, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmWyJxnIjho, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-5CCDZU9aE, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ4Bw50gUlk I do not begrudge people’s pursuits of wealth. Having said that, I believe that there are more important things in life than money.

  81. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, one of the problems we have in society is that we have people who issue demands for free stuff. Demanding that something be given to someone for free is absurd. Millennial types should wake up and accept the fact that the world does not owe them anything. Of course, people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to name 2 examples, are perfectly happy to promise these people free stuff in order to garner their votes. When will some people realize that just because other people are intelligent and rich that they aren’t entitled to taking hard earned money or inherited money from other people? Somebody has to pay for all of the things that these people want, so why can’t the people who want these things pay for it? When people who go to college sign a paper saying they will pay money back, they are obligated to pay what they owe. It’s their responsibility. We seem to have people living in a dream world and want everything handed to them. They should wake up and accept the fact that they are not owed anything in life. Why should hard working people give away their earnings to people who aren’t willing to work as hard? Where do these people get the idea that people that earned their money should give it to them on the basis that they are hoarding the wealth? The fact that Leftists label people who inherit wealth as being moochers and not people who demand free stuff on our dime is absurd. Welfare should only be for people who fall on hard times, not used by some as a career opportunity where they get money for doing nothing. Self-made multimillionaires don’t owe anybody anything. The wealthy owe us nothing. They didn’t rip us off to get their money.

  82. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the Bible dictates that we should give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar and give to God that which belongs to God. If one’s wealth is not the property of either, that wealth belongs to the individual who worked for it and the family members of that individual.

    • I don’t believe the Bible is any more than an outdated book of fairy tales, Ragnar. It’s too bad you don’t believe in helping out society. Selfishness is not a desirable trait.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the people who demand that the rich pay for their stuff are the selfish ones, not people who bust their butts working a 9:00 to 5:00 job to feed their family members. The gimme gimme crowd should wake up and not act like they are entitled to stuff on our dime.

  83. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, regarding the talking point that some people use regarding wealth hoarders, that talking point is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous. What the people who speak of wealth hoarders mean is that the so-called hoarders are denying the right of other people to the money of these so-called hoarders. No person has any right to another person’s wealth. Since when is wanting to keep the money you earned “hoarding”? Money that someone earned belongs to that person by definition.People who act like they can get away with issuing demands for free stuff come about as a result of their parent(s) never telling their kid(s) no. No matter how rich some people are, we have no right to their money. They earned their own wealth, so they should get to decide what they do with it. Rich people who earn, invest and save their money are not hoarding it. Some may have inherited wealth, as well as having worked for a lot of it. These silly Leftists are always so generous with other peoples money. They should show some initiative and create their own wealth, not demand that wealth be taken from other people. The top 1% do not hoard wealth. They invest their wealth in the economy. Just because it does not go directly into the pockets of the people who complain about wealth hoarders and/or wealth hoarding does not mean that it is going to remain unused.

  84. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if money management was encouraged from day one in the education of people, we would probably have fewer poor people. When the collapse of 2008 happened, that was more the fault of the banks and the government. The fact that we had a war in the Middle east happening did not help the matter. To assign all blame to the rich is absurd.

  85. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if someone who falls on hard times legitimately needs help, that is one thing. The thing that irritates me is when we have people who claim that they are on numerous forms of government assistance and yet out of the other side of their mouth are talking about some people contributing nothing to society. What they really mean is that the people who they speak of as not contributing to society are not catering to their demands and giving them stuff according to what they are demanding.

  86. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the earned vs. unearned argument about wealth essentially qualifies as a slippery slope. We have people who have worked hard for what they earned through the creation of goods and services that benefit society as a whole. In my opinion, they should be able to reap the fruits of their labor, not have that taken from them and redistributed to people who want free stuff. This is the confusing thing about Leftists. While they decry people who inherit wealth free of tax as being leeches and moochers, which is odd due to the inherited wealth coming to them voluntarily, they refuse to apply that to people who actually want free stuff. Someone being given something voluntarily that is unearned makes the recipient a moocher in the eyes of Leftists and someone who wants to use compulsion to get what he or she wants is not a moocher in their eyes? People who issue demands for free things for themselves and do not consider the financial costs to other people are the real leeches and moochers, not people who want to hold on to what their family has already earned. When Leftists complain that people who inherit wealth are receiving welfare, the “welfare” is being provided by family members. People who inherit wealth are not getting government subsidized welfare. If Leftists want to make the argument that giving people money makes them lazy, apply that argument to people who collect welfare and do nothing. Those people who were/are raised in hardworking families seem to appreciate the fact that time and effort was required to earn the money they receive and that the heirs ultimately inherit, while people who issue demands for free stuff just want other people to cater to them.

    • The problem you have is your stereotypes,Ragnar. It seems to me you consider all wealthy people and their families to be wonderful and deserving more. At the same time, you indicate that those who receive government help are all “leeches and moochers” and are “demanding…free things.” I maintain those are overexaggerated stereotypes and don’t apply to everyone, or even most people, in those categories. But it certainly explains your passionate views on this subject. I wonder where you get these ideas…I doubt from an unbiased source..

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the demand for “free” public college devalues the time, effort and money that people who worked hard to get through required to get there. When someone whines that the 1% is causing catastrophic student loan crises that other people face, that is fundamentally dishonest. If I elect to not go to college, that is on me, not the responsibility of other people.

  87. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people can make the argument that just because a certain tax like the estate tax impacts only 1%-3% of the population that it should not matter to the rest of us. Someone who receives disability benefits has paid into the system, so that person deserves to get those benefits. People who sit and ask for handouts are contributing nothing, so they deserve nothing. It is very hypocritical to defend people who issue demands for free college while claiming that the recipient(s) of inherited wealth would be undeserving of that wealth. Just because one tax affects 1%-3% of the population does not make it a moral tax. 1 tax that does not affect 47% of the population is the income tax. Why should the rich pay for our wants? Why should the rich be required to pay for people to go to college that these people may not be related to? Why does the government have the right to tax already taxed wealth that one person wants to leave to his or her living family members when that person is at death’s doorstep? People who bust their butts during their working lives to make money for themselves and their children should have more right to that wealth than someone who wants rich people to pay for that person’s stuff. Here are 3 questions for you: 1: How would you feel if you had a net worth of $11, 000, 000.00 and the government came to you and said that you have too much money and took $10, 000, 000.00 of your money and redistributed that money to 10 people that you did not know? 2: Even if a college education is important, why should someone be required to pay for another person to go to college that the person may not be related to? 3: Why can people who go to college not accept the fact that the debts that they take on in order to go are their responsibility instead of demanding that other people pay for it?

    • Answers: 1) Not realistic or likely to happen, so why worry about it?
      2) More people with a college education is good for our society and economy. Rich people should want to help our country by helping young people through their taxes.
      3) College costs are astronomical today. Student debt is even more than credit card debt. Rich people with empathy would want to help young people get out of their enormous debt. Conversely, Ideologues are too rigid to help students get out of their mountain of debt.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, your answers make perfect sense. I do agree with you on point #2.

        • Glad to hear it, Ragnar. Thank you.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, on points #1 and #3, I have a slightly different perspective than you do. Having said that, I am glad that we agree on #2. While I disagree with you on the tax matter, I do want to see a better quality of life for people on the bottom rung of the economic ladder. The problem is when wealth is redistributed from one group of people to another via government instituted force.

          • If you want to improve the life of those on the bottom rung, taxes can help that. We all pay taxes. What’s the problem?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the problem is the lack of accountability on the part of the government to the people. We had this problem that was pervasive during Barack Obama’s administration. He promised to “make our government open and transparent,” those being his words. The only thing that was transparent was the corruption.

          • Some people differ. https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2017/11/obama-transparency/In my opinion (and in the opinion of many others) the Trump Administration is the least open and transparent in American history.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, expecting honesty from any politicians nowadays seems to be asking too much.

  88. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people who issue demands for things are the end result of their parent(s) never saying no to some of the things that these people want. I believe that people who demand free stuff should be sat down and showed on paper the actual costs of the things they want. I college is free, what will happen if people sign up and just decide not to attend? Making people pay the tuition costs will cause them to pay attention.

  89. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, self-made multimillionaires who built their businesses with their own hands should be able to reap the rewards of that which they produced. These people who talk about wealth hoarders should figure out how the wealthy got that way before they start yapping and regurgitating talking points that they hear from their professors and talking heads about wealth hoarding. Part of the problem with many people is that they get programmed into thinking the way other people want them to and show no indication of independent thinking capacity. For all of this talk about people who are hoarding wealth, if these people actually earned that wealth, that wealth belongs to them by definition, so these people who talk about wealth hoarders are just sitting and looking for handouts because they are unwilling to get their own hands dirty. When someone signs up for student loans in order to go to school, that person is obligated to payoff those student loans. The catastrophe of student loan debt is not the responsibility of the wealthy, just the responsibility of people who signed the admission papers. You said that people on the Right want to blame poor people for our problems. If they were educated about how to manage money better, there would be fewer people in poverty. Personally, I would find it to be much easier to take someone seriously who said his or her family was struggling financially and was having a hard time putting food on the table than I would an able-bodied adult who is just looking for a handout, such as Keely Mullen. People like Keely Mullen are the reason that people make fun of millennials. The entitlement attitude is also absurd. Keely Mullen literally said her family is already on federal assistance and right after that said there’s a population that is not contributing to society. She literally explained herself and her family with her words. When people like that say that there are some people who are not contributing to society, do they really mean society or is the word society just used as a cop-out in order to actually say that these people are not contributing to the ability of other people to live a carefree lifestyle? Where is the line supposed to be drawn between people who actually do need help and people just looking to scam the system for their own benefit?

  90. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, taxation is a necessity to pay for things that benefit society. While it is true that the rich and affluent should bear a higher percentage of the nation’s tax burden than the rest of us, the Progressives’ tax schemes are bordering on confiscation. Their endgame is to buy votes of people by promising them all free stuff if these people vote for politicians who will promise or enact those ideas.

  91. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I will not deny the fact that people who have great wealth have a greater advantage economically than those who have little. The problem we come across is assuming in absolute terms that wealth is ill-gotten, not just acquired through some people creating products that are satisfying the wants and needs of other people. Here are 2 quotes by Walter Williams for you: 1: “How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people.” 2: “But let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you – and why”? Being concerned with the welfare of people on the lower rung on the economic ladder is one thing. Taking wealth from people who just happen to have more is not the solution.

    • It’s called taxation, Ragnar, not confiscating wealth from rich people. Taxation is tried and true, effective in balancing the huge disparity of wealth in capitalism, and is common in advanced nations. Third-world countries have a few wealthy oligarchs while the rest of the country wallows in poverty. We are heading in that direction and I don’t like it. Progressive taxation is fine with me.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Outside of what is necessary to fund government, government does not deserve anymore money from us. When some people start whining about wealth hoarding, those people are just too lazy to learn how to create their own. Few people become rich off of inheritance, however, family money should stay in the family. It is exceedingly hypocritical to whine that people who inherit wealth free of tax are undeserving of it, however, it is fine to advocate for college that is tuition free.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the progressive income tax is a Communist originated concept. Progressives are closet Communists.

        • Really Ragnar, is that what you think? How would you feel if I said conservatives are closet fascists? Same thing.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, read the Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx called for the idea of a graduated (progressive) income tax.

          • You are right, Ragnar, Marx did promote a progressive income tax. But so did Abraham Lincoln, Maynard Keynes, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. I suspect your sources forgot to mention them.

            “Taxation is what we pay for civilized society.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, there is a difference between taxation and excessive taxation. I know what a marginal tax rate is. That rate applies to a certain dollar amount above a specified threshold. An example: The top tax rate is 70%. If someone earned $3, 000, 000.00+ before the tax applied, that person would not be hurting financially. Heck, if I earned that much money and had to pay a 70% tax on income above that, I could care less because I made a lot of money before the tax was paid. My problem is with the lack of fiscal responsibility on the part of our government, as well as no accountability among some of our leaders to the people.

  92. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I will not deny the fact that many people got rich due to inheritance. I will not deny the fact that many people who got wealthy got that way due to assistance along the way from other people. The problem is in how people who built the business with their own hands and brain before employing more people do not seem to be given much credit, if any, for it.

  93. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, Elizabeth Warren claimed that no rich person got rich on his or her own. While that may be true in some ways, how does that explain the fact that many people who started out with ideas to make money made that money in the first place? Take Henry Ford, the man who founded the Ford motor company. He started the company, so was he undeserving of any credit for that?

    • Ragnar, this may help you understand her point: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

  94. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I was speaking of one person who was either trying to vote away money which was earned by another or just taking money by force.

  95. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, no person has the right to democratically vote to take money from other people or to just walk up and take money from other people by force. Redistribution of wealth is theft if force is used to redistribute it. Of course, Progressives are thieves. What they can’t get by doing work to get what they want they will just take from other people at the point of a gun.

    • Ragnar, taxation has been declared constitutional and is practiced in every other country. Without it, we would become a third-world country, with a handful of wealthy oligarchs while everybody else lives in squalor (that’s just human nature, greed is powerful).

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, if someone walked up to you and said, “Give me your money,” why should it be wrong if it is an average person and not if it is a taxing authority?

  96. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem we have is not that we have enough rich people. The problem is that we have too few rich people. Wealth can be earned and stay stagnant and unused. Wealth can be created and invested in products that improve everyone’s quality of life Wealth can be created and spent extravagantly and the expenditures could do nothing useful. Walter Williams said, “Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do — redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.” Taking the fruits of what one labors for to provide for that person and that person’s family by force to redistribute to another family on the basis that the family has enough wealth as it is may sound moral, however, it is a contradiction to subscribe to the idea that an immoral act would lead to a moral good. Progressives who make arguments for wealth redistribution don’t care about morality. They spew talking points about the redistribution of wealth to make themselves feel good. When people start issuing what they call demands, they should be sat down and told that their behavior is unacceptable. This is the problem with many of the millennial type people. Discipline was never instilled in some of them. Walking around with a “you owe me” mindset will only hold these people back. No person is owed anything in life, nor should one be obligated to bow to the demands of another. It is all just a bunch of claptrap when college aged people, who are also adults by definition, claim that other people who they claim are hoarding wealth and causing a catastrophe that students are facing with the tuition costs and student loan debt talk about this stuff. Newsflash: You signed the admission papers, so it is your responsibility. Not all people abuse welfare, nor are all people who collect welfare lazy. The problem is when people try to spin a story that is laced with emotional appeal that their families may face hardship, which may be true and it also may not be true. If people who are demanding free stuff could actually do math, they would know that things would not go in their favor. For people who are so concerned about the costs of things like college tuition, these people show little consideration regarding how their demands will incur financial costs to other people. There is also the issue of financial illiteracy among some people who have never been properly educated about managing money. When some people complain that a certain segment of the population is doing nothing to contribute to society, what it seems to me is that they are saying that these people are not contributing to their abilities to live a carefree lifestyle and have no sense of responsibility as an end result. Precluding legitimate disabilities that keep people from pursuing certain types of work, nothing stops them from looking for other means of employment. Being self-employed is an option. They may be very conservative politically, however, I think everyone could benefit from the knowledge that Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have regarding economics. One thing I also find to be laughable is when Leftists claim that people who inherit wealth will become lazy, however, they have no qualms about demanding that other people pay for their stuff so they can get it free for themselves. How can that double-standard/hypocrisy not be obvious to anybody? Why should hard working people give away their earnings to people who aren’t willing to work as hard so they can party all night long and live a carefree lifestyle?

  97. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, no person needs billions of dollars. Having said that, without some degree of a 1%, the 99% may not have adequate employment opportunities. What are your thoughts on entitlement reform? Will making the rich pay for them cause them to be sustainable? Do you think some of the programs should face spending cuts or be eliminated? If so, which would you like to see face spending cuts or be eliminated? Which programs would you like to see remain intact?

    • Ragnar, I can’t think of any services that benefit the disadvantaged that should be eliminated. However, I’m sure many can be improved. The place that needs the most cuts is the military.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I will not argue with you on that. The specific question was if there were certain things that you would like to see spending cuts or have them be eliminated altogether. Personally, I would like to see the war on drugs come to an end, to name one example.

  98. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the Keely Mullen type people who feel like they can issue demands and operate under the delusion that people will accede to those demands should wake the hell up and get a life. Nobody owes these people who issue demands for certain things these things. When someone is wanting to go to college, that person knows what is expected of them regarding class attendance and the costs of tuition, as well as food, room and board, et cetera. Wealth hoarding is a nonexistent thing. Either wealth is created or it is not. When someone speaks to people hoarding the wealth and causing a catastrophe that students face, that person is either a liar or is delusional. Yeah, being forced to pay for that which you want is a catastrophe. Not. Outside of a degree of inherited wealth, I would not be surprised if much of the wealth that a rich person has is due to being smart with his or her money.

  99. Ragner, I’m not sure what you want but I deleted the email below. If you’d like you can rewrite the previous comment, and I can delete the first one.

  100. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the wealth of the 1%, even the 0.01% is not being unused. That wealth is invested in multiple areas. We may not see what the people who have it are doing with it, however, we see the end result of it. People like Keely Mullen and other people like her are the end result of having parents who never tell their kids no when their kids want certain things and will whine and pout when they don’t get things their way. Keely Mullen literally said her family is already on federal assistance and right after that said there’s a population that is not contributing to society. She literally explained herself and her family. They are the ones that are not contributing to society. Of course, when people like that accuse other people of contributing nothing to society, what that translates to is this: People are not contributing to our ability to live a lifestyle that is free of any responsibility. Leftists label people who inherit massive wealth free of tax, even if that wealth is unearned, as spoiled brats, however, they don’t gripe about people who actually demand free things? How the heck is that logic supposed to work? Keely Mullen is actually from a wealthy upper class family. She went to a private university paid in full by her parents. They were never on welfare or public assistance. She just lied the entire time and was exposed right after this. This is the problem with welfare fraud. Welfare programs should be for people who actually need help, not used by people who want to sit on their butts and be lazy. Welfare should also only be a temporary thing for people who fall on hard times, not used as a career opportunity that allows people to get something for nothing via taxpayer funded benefits. Most people who incredibly work do not meet the requirements to receive government assistance unless they lie to the system.

  101. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, one of the problems that we have is that we have gone in the direction of a society that is based on entitlement, where people feel like they are entitled to various things without factoring in the costs to other people. These people also seem to have an entitlement mentality where they think they are entitled in absolute terms to that which belongs to other people. Regarding the notion of wealth hoarding,that is disingenuous. People who make that argument are just too damn lazy to learn the skills to create their own. When someone says, “I look around and I see a segment of the population that is contributing to the wellness of society,” they are speaking of themselves without realizing it. No person hoards wealth and no person caused college aged people to sign up for student loan debts. The idea of wealth hoarding is only a figment in the imagination of people who make that argument. Why is someone who inherits wealth and/or estates due to a voluntary transaction castigated as being a leech and a moocher and yet someone who whines about college being too expensive and essentially asking for a handout is not? You made the point that people who inherit wealth did nothing to earn it. That point is stipulated, however, it is very hypocritical when people say that those who demand free college deserve it and people who inherit wealth are undeserving of it. Neither is earned, however, this cannot and should not be had both ways. Keely Mullen is actually from a wealthy upper class family. She went to a private university paid in full by her parents. They were never on welfare or public assistance. She just lied the entire time while she was being interviewed. So she and her family should be investigated for welfare fraud.

  102. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, outside of the taxes they owe as dictated by law and their tax bracket, we have no right to the money of the wealthy otherwise, not to take it by force and not to vote on how much of it they do or do not deserve to keep. For all of these people who are so concerned about their lack of money, here is some advice: Look for areas of nonessential spending and eliminate it or find cheaper alternatives for what you want. We have a bunch of people who seem to believe that everything is owed to them in life.

  103. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, for every person who is issuing demands for free college, I think that the tuition should go up. That way, if people actually had the good judgement to budget effectively, they could actually afford to go to college. Displaying an entitlement mentality is absurd.

  104. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I do not have an issue with people who truly and sincerely need help. The problem is that these people also should be willing to help improve their own situations. You once said that college is important. Really? Maybe you can explain why some of the most successful people in life are college dropouts. Here is a list of them: 1: Howard Hughes, a man with a net worth of $1.5, 000, 000, 000.00, 2: Marc Rich, a man whose net worth amounts to $2, 000, 000, 000.00, 3: Ted Turner, whose net worth is $2, 000, 000, 000.00, 4: Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth is $17.5, 000, 000, 000.00, 5: Bill Gates, whose net worth is $61, 000, 000, 000.00, all who dropped out of college to pursue more ideal endavors. You can say all you want that a college education and a college degree would do some good, which may possible be true, however, that also sounds like an insult to people who become successful without ever going to college. Self-made multimillionaires should be able to keep the lion’s share of their wealth, only paying taxes to fund any and all necessary government functions. Otherwise, what they bust their butts for should be theirs to enjoy. Rather than whine about people who are supposedly hoarding wealth, the people who gripe about that should learn the skills to create their own. A lot of people who are wealthy worked for that wealth. They can give it away by building new businesses or whatever they want with their money. Regarding the people who bitch and complain about the catastrophic student loan debts that people face, if they took out the student loans, they should be responsible for their repayment only, not try to get out of paying for something that they should take responsibility for. Why should people who work a 9:00 to 5:00 job to provide for their family members be required to fork over any of their hard-earned money to subsidize a family who collects welfare? Nobody gets to establish a monopoly on what amounts to an obscene amount of wealth that other people can have. No person owes another person anything in life. Why is a person who inherits money seen as being lazy when the transaction of wealth is done on a voluntary basis and yet someone who demands free college is not seen as being lazy? When some people say, “The 1% are not contributing to society,” which is false, they are really saying, “The rich are not catering to our demands that they pay for all of our “free” stuff.” To be technical, a college aged person is also an adult, so that person should be responsible for his or her own choices in life. If people who pursue a higher education come out less educated than they were when they went in, they were ripped off. Regarding the language that Keely Mullen used, the word being demands, that automatically implies that you want to force someone to give you something without the person having any vote in the matter.

  105. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problems afflicting the poor are not entirely the fault of the rich. The poor are given an incentive to stay poor because of the welfare benefits they will receive from the government if they stay in a state of financial destitution. Not every person who is receiving welfare benefits is doing so fraudulently. On the matter of disability benefits, to name one example, if people pay into the system who are disabled but do work to some degree, I believe that they should be able to collect the benefits. The wealth hoarding issue, if it is an issue, would only be resolved by abolishing all currency. For people who are so concerned about the costs of college tuition, either apply for a scholarship, get student loans and repay them with time, just save up the money and pay for it out of pocket or just don’t go. Why should someone who works a 9:00 to 5:00 job to earn a living be required to pay 30%, 40%, even 50% of that person’s income in taxes and have that money go to pay for another person’s stuff? An easy option that could help in the long-term is for people to cut nonessential spending and use the savings to pay for what they want or need. There are numerous ways in which people could learn to save money. People who are so worried about the cost of things should budget better, not ask for other people to bail them out of their situations. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg are college dropouts, however, they became wildly wealthy. So a college degree is not an indicator in absolute terms that one will become a success story in life.

  106. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I find it to be rather absurd when some people claim that people who inherit wealth are getting welfare that they don’t need. The Dictionary describes welfare as promoting the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person or people. Proponents of the estate tax argue that its repeal will lead to welfare for people who don’t need it. That argument disregards the desire of people to provide financial security to loved ones when the person or people doing it are no longer working or are deceased. Since inherited money comes from one branch of a family to the next voluntarily, it is disingenuous to claim that people who inherit wealth are receiving welfare, at least if it is government subsidized welfare. Even if the inherited wealth is unearned, the only people who seem to have a problem with that are people who feel like the money of deceased people should go into their pockets, maybe the government, not to the family that should have every right to it. Just because some people are financially irresponsible does not mean that we should have to bail them out. No matter how rich anyone is, the only people who should have any rights to it are the person who created that wealth and that person’s family. The family members may not have earned that wealth, however, the person who did should have every right to it and to do with it whatever he or she wants, to give it to whoever he or she wants to. Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Taking money from people who work for it and giving it to people who have done nothing to deserve it via the forced redistribution of wealth devalues the effort that the person who created that wealth to earn it and makes the undeserving people have an entitlement mentality.

  107. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, there are numerous ways in which people can learn to create wealth. The problem is that we have people who want to take wealth from other people on the basis that some people have, in your words, “more than enough money.” No person hoards wealth and no person has the right to wealth that other people created, nor are these so-called wealth hoarders responsible for other people’s student loan debts. Someone who complains about catastrophic student loan debt already knew what they were getting into when they signed the papers, so people who whine about this should wake up. There is a severe disconnect from reality when Leftists claim to advocate giving some people free stuff and yet they all whine and complain about any parent(s) giving money to kid(s) and claim that the kid(s) did nothing to deserve it. If the parent(s) decide that the kid(s) should get all of the wealth that was created by the parent(s) at the time of the death of the parent(s,) that is between the parent(s) and the kid(s) only. No matter how rich anyone is, that person should not be obligated to pay for anything that another person demands. Demanding things automatically implies that the person feels like he or she is deserving of certain things. Maybe these people should go to military school and hope that they never go into live combat and then they will become more disciplined and not act like they are entitled to everything. Why is everything a catastrophe for some people? People should just grow up. People who are whining about other people having money that these people actually worked for to provide for family are looking for excuses to be lazy. 20, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+ in debt and these people who are demanding free stuff just want more? The message that is conveyed by people who are on welfare and do not try to get out of it is that these people view welfare as a career opportunity where they get money for doing nothing. Here is another problem: Unlike inherited wealth, welfare money is subsidized by the taxpayers. Do these people who demand free stuff get drunk at a local bar and then when some of the effects wear off probably realize how stupid they sound when they make their various demands on live television? Instead of worrying about other people’s money, people should just manage their own. Look for areas of either nonessential spending or find ways to save money. When someone says that some people are not contributing to society, they are actually speaking of themselves and not realizing it. As far as hoarding the wealth is concerned, why can’t some people just keep their hands out of other people’s pockets?

  108. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people should learn to manage their own money and not be fixated on how much money other people have. If someone has enough money to be financially secure and comfortable, why does it matter if someone else just happens to have more?

  109. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the rich pay the lion’s share of the nation’s taxes. Why should those who pay the most not reap the most benefits? Progressive income tax as a concept is antithetical to the notion of equality and equal treatment. People who argue for the estate tax seem to operate under the delusion that they are more deserving of a deceased person’s money than the family members of that person. Earned wealth vs. inherited wealth-before one is passed on, it has to be earned. Why should people who bust their butts to earn a living, as well as their family members by extension, have less right to that money than people who actively embarrass themselves on live TV by saying that they are on numerous forms of government assistance and use that as license to be lazy? Not all people who land on welfare are lazy, however, any person who is on welfare and uses that as an excuse to act like that person is entitled to free stuff should just wake up. Ben Carson is an example of a person who had a family that experienced hard times, however, he did not turn welfare into a career opportunity, unlike people who use their statuses as welfare recipients to indicate the idea that they are entitled to more free stuff. The Keely Mullen types give people who really need help a bad rap, mainly because those who need help may not be able to get it because some people fraudulently apply for welfare. Progressive income tax=punishing the hardworking and rewarding people who are lazy.

  110. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Why should hard working people give away their earnings to people who aren’t willing to work as hard? Why should people who work a 9:00 to 5:00 job have money that they worked for to provide for family members taken from them and given to other people who refuse to get their hands dirty? These people who work hard don’t owe people who sit on their butts and collect taxpayer-funded welfare anything, period. If people just get hand outs then there will be no motivation to work hard and society will collapse. Yes, there are rich people who were born into that wealth but their families before them worked hard to give them that. It’s not right to take their money simply because they have more of it and give it to other people by force. One of the problems that is so obvious is that some people have been living sheltered lives and have no clue as to the fact that life is never easy, nor should it be. Self-made multimillionaires who work, save and invest their money should be able to reap the rewards of their being financially responsible. If money management was explained to people early on, we would have fewer people whining about wealth hoarding. Wealth hoarding is not even a legitimate talking point. Either wealth is created or it is not. Dave Ramsey, Jim Kramer, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, et al, should sit down with people like this and explain economic theory and basic money management. You said that the people on the right want to blame poor people for our problems? What is the solution that the people on the Left have? Just create more of them. One of the problems we have regarding people living in poverty is that proper money management has not been effectively explained or encouraged. Why are people living in perpetual debt? Why are people being encouraged to consume more and save less?

  111. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, some politicians have advocated a wealth tax on the top 1%, even the top 0.01%, however, that would do 1 of 2 things: 1: Cause the people who are liable for it to falsely report the amount of wealth they have and 2: It would result in capital flight or people spending themselves into financial ruin. Proponents of a wealth tax also overlook the fact that the rich have greater economic mobility than the rest of the population, so they can stash all of their wealth in overseas bank accounts to avoid the tax altogether. Why is it so difficult for some people to want to work and make their own money and it is easy for them to demand that things be provided for them on the dime of the taxpayers? I trust billionaires with money more than the government, seeing as they are likely to do more useful things with it than the government.

    • Yes, Ragnar, you have told me your views on this subject probably more than 100 times.
      I just don’t agree with you, and have told you many times why. I don’t know what more you expect of me.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, to use the Keely Mullen example, she lied about her family’s situation. If she wanted free college, she could serve in the armed forces, even if she did not go into active combat and gotten the free college as a reward. When a rich person says he or she feels like he or she is not contributing to society, that person can write a bigger check. A person who collects welfare and complains about people not contributing are basically saying that the rich are not paying for their stuff.

  112. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, many people seem to believe that the level of wealth inequality in the USA is staggering. There is the idea of a wealth tax being promoted. Rather than display an obsessive fixation with the amount of wealth other people have, the people who gripe about that should mind their own business. Instead of worrying about some people having more money than other people, we should be concerned with helping people with less money have a higher standard of living. When some people say that there are people who are contributing to society, they are speaking of themselves, as well as people who are on welfare without realizing it. Here is another thing people who accuse other people of not contributing to society are doing: These people are asking for handouts and not willing to do anything to help their situations along the way. Another thing that these people who accuse other people of contributing nothing would be saying is this: Those people are not contributing to the ability of some welfare recipients to continue living in a perpetual state of dependency. Why own one’s own choices when other people can be scapegoats?

  113. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, any person who makes an argument that we have wealth hoarders in society would be using a false talking point. What is the solution-just abolish all currency?

  114. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the arguments that are made in favor of the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the rest of us in the name of fairness may sound moral, however, it is impossible to justify the end result of an action as being moral if the action itself is immoral. On the U.S. dollar, it says it is legal tender, so its value is based on the number of dollars in circulation only. Otherwise, it is just worthless paper with numbers and faces on it.

  115. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I will apologize for some of my seemingly harsh criticisms and rhetoric. The problem I see is that it may not always be obvious as to which people fall into the category of really and sincerely needing our help and people who are essentially telling fabricated stories to garner sympathy from the rest of us.

  116. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I would like to see a society where everyone can experience financial freedom. I would like for there to be no poverty at all in our country, even our world. Unless some people have too much pride or are too stubborn to admit that they need or want help, I believe in helping everyone insofar as I can as long as I do not experience any harm myself in the process. Some people, Ben Carson is an example, may have been on welfare, however, it was only a temporary thing. When people who run for elected office make these promises of providing free stuff to all of us, that devalues the idea of personal responsibility and accountability. We seem to be on the same page regarding our desires to see a better future for people who have fallen on hard times. The issue is how we get there.

    • It’s interesting you say ” I believe in helping everyone insofar as I can as long as I do not experience any harm myself in the process.” To me, that sounds selfish. If you are going to help people it requires some sacrifice.
      Welfare is supposed to be temporary and is designed for that. You may want to look at the welfare act under Bill Clinton 1996 that set time limits for welfare and promoted work.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, when I was speaking of wanting no harm to come to myself, I was speaking to not wanting my desire to be helping people in need resulting in them taking advantage of me in the process. Hence the no harm coming to myself.

  117. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I would rather see an emotionally devastated and grieving family keep all of the wealth that was left to them by a dying family member than I would want for that wealth to go to subsidize the lifestyle of people who demand free stuff on the dime of the taxpayers. When people who make arguments for free public college can’t articulate any valid justification for it, I would find it to be perfectly understandable why people would laugh at them. Here are 3 questions for you: 1: Why is an emotionally devastated family who is contending with the loss of a loved one less entitled the wealth that was left to them by their loved one than a person who collects welfare and does not do anything but issue demands for free stuff? 2: Since the money was earned by the person who is at death’s doorstep, why should that person not have the right to decide who gets to inherit and keep that money? 3: Given the government’s questionable track record with how it has handled our money, why should it get more from us? I also find it to be humorous when language like demand is being used, as if these people like they are deserving of all of these things. When people say that some people have more than enough money, that sounds to me like the people who make that argument are just inviting themselves to take what other people have.

    • I don’t know what to say, Ragnar. You have told me a thousand times that the family of a billionaire should get his or her money, not poor people seeking help. There is no point in saying the same thing over and over again. You are not going to sway me to your point of view, and Ithere is no evidence that your read my rebuttals to your comments anyway..

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the problem with people who are demanding free things is that they mean that they want other people to pay for all of it. Basically, it is a “free for me but not for thee” mentality.

        • Ragnar, why do you keep using “demanding free things.” Other than a Fox News plant, I don’t see anybody “demanding.” People collect government help because they are entitled to it based on what the government decides. People see if they qualify and if they do, they wait in line and collect it. “Demanding” is merely an inaccurate term used to incite the right-wing base.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, unless Keely Mullen has lived in a bubble her whole life, a place where she is protected from everything, she would probably realize how clueless she is sounding. Just my thoughts.

          • As I’ve said before, Keely Martin is one person and represents only herself. She is also a phony, having come from a wealthy family. Fox News loves her because she represents a stereotype they can use any time to get their right-wing viewers incited.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I can understand the desire that some people have for wanting to have the opportunity to go to college. I could buy into the argument that college tuition could be cheaper. Having said that, people should vote with their money.

          • One big problem in this country is people voting with their money. With the help of Citizens United, there is no limit for rich people buying elections. Poor people not so much.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, what are your thoughts on campaign finance reform?

          • Campaign finance reform is the number one issue needed to fix our political system.Money is way too important  and has too much influence in our  system of government. Especially after the Citizens United ruling.                                       s

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, who do you think has the most practical ideas regarding campaign finance reform? I will look into this in further detail, however, I would like to get your perspective.

          • I have no problem with the ideas of all the Democratic Party presidential candidates. Joe Biden has been advocating public financing since 1973. He worked for campaign finance reform throughout his senate career, advocating contribution limits and overturning Citizens United. Let me know what you find out and what you think is the best solution.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I agree with you.

  118. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx5t9hy3LUw Why should the money of the 1%, even the 0.01% be required to support people who turn welfare into a career opportunity via taxes and wealth redistribution? You had claimed that people who inherit wealth did nothing to earn it. People who collect welfare benefits and demand free stuff did nothing to earn that either, so it is exceedingly hypocritical for people to say that free college and other free things should be available to people and that people who inherit wealth should have little, if any, right to it. Why should people who get tax-free welfare benefits have more right to that and a family that has inherited wealth has very little right to it?

    • I looked at the video you recommended. It was totally worthless for me. Is this an example of where you get your ideas? Explain to me why this video had any value. Do you base your ideas on religion?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I have my personal religious beliefs, however, I am not interested in making those beliefs law. Welfare fraud would not be an issue if we did not have the welfare state.

        • I don’t consider the U.S. a welfare state. There are many other countries that help out their citizens more. We give just enough for people to survive. I don’t know of anybody that has gotten rich off of social assistance. Wait, I take that back, many wealthy people have taken advantage of subsidies and tax breaks and have greatly improved their wealth.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, who has more right to the wealth of people who work hard-people who have no involvement in its creation or the family members of these people?

  119. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, to use Biblical arguments, as well as moral arguments, the estate tax, as well as the demands that people issue for free college, are in violation of the 7th and 10th Commandments. Wanting to have someone pay for something that another person wants via force is stealing from one person and obligating that person against that person’s will to pay for something that will not benefit that person at all. Stealing wealth that one has inherited constitutes coveting the good of another person.

  120. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, just because some people can be financially irresponsible does not mean that other people should be required to bail them out. You speak to the issue of inequality. I also noted that you claim that the rich have more than enough money. Here is a hypothetical scenario for you: A person busts his butt to provide for his or her family, depending on who the breadwinner in this case would be and only keeps half of what was earned and the rest of that money is taxed and redistributed to people who get money for doing nothing at the expense of the breadwinner and the family of the breadwinner. Why are people who are getting free stuff via welfare benefits, which is technically subsidized by the taxpayers and not doing anything useful more entitled to the money that a family worked for and not their own children?

    • To you Ragnar, welfare recipients are lazy moochers. That is your preferred stereotype, but not always accurate. People are getting free stuff to better their terrible economic situation. Now, some will abuse it but I have yet to see evidence from you of how many.
      Others will get a second chance to improve the lives of them and their family.
      What do Kelly Clarkson, Scarlett Johansson, J.K. Rowling, Bruce Springsteen, Senator Patty Murray, Dr. Ben Carson and Rep. Barbara Lee have in common? They all collected welfare or food stamps at one time in their life. Are they lazy moochers?

  121. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if I saw someone who was starving and homeless, I would help that person in any way possible insofar as it did no harm to me in the process. I have no sympathy for people who use the “my family is on numerous forms of government assistance and is scraping by to get me through college” line as an excuse to demand free stuff. Rich people should not be required to bail these people out of their situations. Just manage your money better. Problem solved. When people are given the message that they don’t have to work, that government will be their benevolent caretaker and provide for all of their wants and needs, that sounds enticing until the money to pay for all of this stuff runs out.

    • Ragnar, what is so wrong about taxpayers helping out those in need? It’s called assistance, not “free stuff.” In your world, people should just pick themselves up by their bootstraps. The real world is one of limited opportunity, with a government that doesn’t want to help the disadvantaged. Which is why we don’t provide universal health care, have underfunded schools, and have a national minimum wage of $7.25! The ability to improve your status today is the lowest it has ever been. You worry about poor people getting a limited handout, while rich people keep getting richer than they have ever been with income inequality the widest it has ever been.

  122. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, billionaires don’t have a big vault in their bedrooms holding all of their money. It is largely invested in the economy. Just because it does not get immediately redistributed to people who have less money does not mean that the wealth is stagnant and will be unused. No one owes anybody else anything in life. Even if we went with a wealth tax, that would lead to capital flight and no wealth would be here to tax. People should learn to manage their money better and not worry about other people having more. There is nothing fair when money is taken arbitrarily from people who have more and redistributing it to people who have less. Taxing the rich to pay for things that benefit everyone is one thing. People who say, “We want the rich to pay for our stuff” is a separate issue. If someone has parents who are scraping by to put him or her through college, the tuition must be really cheap or the person in question is lying about his or her family’s situation.

    • You say “Taxing the rich to pay for things that benefit everyone is one thing.” Really? Are you thinking of universal health care, decent public education, and a minimum wage that real people can live on? Those things benefit our country.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I did say that. What I find distasteful is when some people demand that other people pay for their stuff. If I wanted a mansion, which I have no real desire for, I would save up the money and build one with my own hands, not ask other people to do it for me.

        • I don’t know who is “demanding” anything. Requesting or accepting are more accurate terms. And I’m sure nobody has requested a mansion. Unless you know something I don’t.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, the language Keely Mullen used was 3 core demands.

          • I suspect Keely Mullen is someone Fox News uses to stir up their viewers (they love to do that). She is extreme, but represents only Keely Mullen.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, to issue demands indicates the belief that someone is automatically entitled to something without working for it or earning it. Do you deny that?

          • Ragnar: That sounds like a belief, not a demand.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if someone demands something, that indicates the notion that the person is deserving of said thing. Example: I demand that my coffee be free of charge. Just demanding that my coffee be free of charge will not make it actually happen. 3 core demands indicates that the person wants something but wants other people to pay for it.

          • Again, Ragnar, somebody believing they are entitled to something is not a demand. It is a desire or belief in something. A demand requires someone to forcibly ask for something. I think you would be hard-pressed to find somebody demanding welfare or public assistance. Someone’s desire or wish for something is different than a demand.Check the dictionary.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, review that video I linked. Keely Mullen’s word was demands. Demanding something makes it seem like someone believes that they are deserving of something. Example: I demand that Starbucks sell me a $15.00 cup of coffee for $6.00. Why should that demand be invalid and not a demand for free public college?

          • As I said before, Ragnar, Keely Mullen is one person representing herself. I don’t know of any others she speaks for. She is the kind of person Fox News likes to put on to stir up their base (they put on AOC a lot, for example). If she makes a demand, it hardly matters to anyone.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here is an example of a demand for you: I demand that someone makes me a cup of coffee and that it be free of charge. Why should I not have that right and yet someone who demands free college should have that as a right?

          • Apparently you haven’t read my previous responses, Ragnar. To demand is to forcibly command something from someone. I maintain that mostwelfare recipients request help and fill out forms, and hope they qualify.That is not a demand. Other than Keely Mullen, do you have any evidence of such demands? Or are those stereotypes from right-wing media?

  123. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem that poor people have is not that there are too many rich people. The problem is that they are essentially rewarded with welfare benefits if they keep being poor. I would also like to make note of the fact that the welfare state originated with the creation of the Great Society, as envisioned by the democrats. Poor people are not poor because wealthy people are wealthy. Being poor is more of a mindset than anything. Democrats are the problem. If more people got off of their butts and worked, either in places with now hiring signs or pursued self-employment, they would actually make money and be able to provide for themselves and their families and not need welfare. Welfare should be for people who fall on hard times only, not used as a career opportunity where people get money for doing nothing that is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets. Even if there is an argument that people who inherit wealth are also getting money for doing nothing, the transaction between the person(s) at death’s doorstep and any living family member(s) was done voluntarily. People who use their statuses as welfare beneficiaries are leeching off of the system and mooching off of the taxpayers and people who inherit wealth just want to hold on to what their family created. Outside of the taxes that are owed and all other financial transactions that are purely voluntary, no person has any right to another person’s wealth, period. When people are receiving welfare benefits, unless they contributed to a degree to these programs with their tax dollars, they are essentially getting free money from the government via our tax dollars. Welfare recipients are already getting free things and now they want more? Before the welfare state was created, people had the choice to want to help each other in time of need. With the welfare state, the government took over that job.

  124. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem is not that some people have too much money, what you say is more than enough money. The problem is that some people are too lazy to work for what they want. If someone falls on hard times, that person and his or her family will need help, yes, however, the issue is where the line is to be drawn between helping people who fall on hard times and enabling them to continue in a downward spiral. Despite the indoctrination that college aged people get subjected to that they are owed things in life, that they are entitled to various things because their teachers have drilled this notion into them, as well as politicians who promise them free stuff to gain their votes, the only things people have rights to are their right to life, their right to liberty, their right to the pursuit of happiness, as well as those spelled out in our U.S. Constitution. What I find truly absurd is when Leftists say that a family on welfare is more deserving of other people’s money than the family members of these people. Hoarding wealth? Even if some people do that, that is just too bad. These people should learn the skills to create their own. These idiots who demand free college can’t even articulate an effective argument to validate their position. Instead of complaining about wealth hoarders, these people should get off of their butts and learn how to create their own. You claimed that the rich have more than enough money. Even if someone has more money than another person, that should not stop the person with less money from wanting to make more. The 1% earned their money, so they shouldn’t have to be required to hand over that money to someone that didn’t work for it. If people cannot comprehend the costs associated with their demands, they should go back to school and retake courses in math. What does it matter if people who created wealth decide to hoard it?

    • Okay, Ragnar, you’ve told me hundreds of times your views on wealthy people and needy people.It’s pretty much the same message every time. We will never agree. Perhaps we need to move on to another topic.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, watch Mad Money with Jim Kramer. Look into Dave Ramsey. Read about how people have learned to save their money and who have made their mistakes along the way. Nobody owes anybody else anything in life, so issuing demands for things and not being able to articulate how one is deserving of these things is absurd. Helping people who need it is one thing. Enabling peopleto continue to stay in perpetual dependency does not do anybody any good.

        • Again, I don’t know of anybody demanding for things. That is your perception, but you don’t know it to be true. And Ragnar, you say you are in favor of helping people who need it, but don’t want to enable dependency. I agree with you. But how exactly do you differentiate?

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if I had a significant amount of land with a sizable garden and lived in an area that consisted of low and middle income families, the people could get all of the food that they needed until their situations improved. Basically, I would be charitable with my own money in a manner of speaking because I would have enough produce to supply grocery outlets and also benefit people who would not have the money to buy food during times of financial distress. The welfare state is the ultimate enabler of dependency.

          • I’m glad to hear of your generous intentions, Ragnar. Good for you. The government  also takes that responsibility in a democratic society. In fact, all other developed countries do that. Whether you consider that a “welfare state” is a matter of interpretation. I do not believe we are a welfare state, except maybe for billionaires and corporations.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if I ever had more money than I ever wanted, had so much that I could not spend it all in my lifetime, I would have no issue in giving it away. That is just my personal opinion.

          • Ragnar: I consider that basic human decency and commend you for it. However, I don’t understand why you don’t like that idea on a larger scale, which would help more people.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if the government does that, it does it via force. Where is the morality in the use of force to get someone to do something against his or her will?

          • No, Ragnar, a government collecting taxes is not considered force. Do you consider the taxes you pay for fire, police, military, infrastructure, etc. to be forced? Somebody has to pay for these services, and that is accepted by Americans (except for some ideologues). Sure, I don’t like paying so much for the military, but I accept that the job of determining that has to be done by duly elected representatives. We can’t all pick and choose which taxes we want to pay.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if the government took money from me via means of force and redistributed that wealth that I busted my butt for to someone who did nothing to deserve any right to it, it is theft. If that money was used to pay for infrastructure, to name one example, that is a separate issue.

          • The government takes money from you by force? I think that is called collecting taxes. Sure, I would like to change the way it is distributed, as we all would, but taxes are needed to fund the government.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, there is a difference between collecting taxes and arbitrarily taking money from people who work hard and redistributing that to other people. Government needs money to function. People also need money to live, however, welfare recipients are the beneficiaries of our money despite not doing any actual hard work.

          • Ragnar, you will have to explain to me the difference between the government collecting taxes, and arbitrarily taking money. I don’t see the difference. 

  125. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, we have people who bust their butts to earn a living and provide for the family members of these people and we have people who collect welfare and contributing nothing useful to society. When people on welfare claim that they see a segment of the population that is contributing nothing to society, they are speaking of themselves without realizing it. Essentially, they are also indirectly saying that the people who they claim are not contributing anything to society that these people are not contributing anything to support the lifestyles of people who make welfare a career opportunity instead of doing meaningful work.

    • Gosh, Ragnar, do you have any compassion in your heart? Sometimes unlucky people go through bad times and need help. Our society recognizes the need to help destitute, disabled, hungry children and other struggling citizens.
      All you seem to care about is not burdening well off people with taxes to help fellow citizens.

      By the way, are you aware the 1996 Welfare reform act limits welfare to five years? That makes it hard to make a career out of welfare.

      I would like to see you open your heart and recognize that some people, because they can’t make the rent and buy food as a result of illness or not being able to pay medical bills or being laid off the job or other unfortunate circumstance..

      Of course some people will abuse the system. Isn’t that true in any program anywhere But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you have any evidence that most people on public assistance are lazy moochers I would certainly like to see that evidence.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, between someone who uses the “my family is on numerous forms of government assistance” line as justification for the view that he or she is deserving of free stuff and a grieving family that keeps every penny of the wealth of a deceased loved one, the family members should have more right to that wealth, period. I would be far more sympathetic to the pain of a family that is contending with the loss of a loved one than I am with satisfying the demands of people who want their stuff to be financially supported by other people. Keely Mullen did not even look like she was starving, so she should go away and do something productive with her life. If someone is so concerned about what is happening regarding his or her family’s financial situation, that person should be willing to do something to help. Volunteer at an animal shelter. See if there is a job that does not even require a college degree to be able to work at it. Be sure to watch those videos that I shared with you.

  126. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I am more concerned with the national debt, people being hungry and homeless and the pain of a grieving family who is subjected to a tax bill during a time of emotional hardship and distress and not so concerned about people who claim that their family is on numerous forms of government assistance and is scraping by to put their kids through college as an excuse to demand that college be free. Someone who is hungry and homeless is more deserving of our help and sympathy than a person who uses a sob story to get the things that he or she wants. People who complain about wealth hoarders would have a point if they busted their butts at the workplace that employed them and they were not compensated fairly according to their efforts. Other than that, most of the people who make that argument are being brainwashed by their professors and politicians who make promises of free stuff and give these people the message that they are owed everything in life. Instead of decrying the 1% as being wealth hoarders, go back to school and retake courses in math and economics. What about getting a part-time job at an animal shelter or as an assistant to a veterinarian? These people who want something for nothing deserve nothing. For all of the demands that are issued for free public college, I would say that the tuition keep going up, that way people who want it will actually have to work for it. Student loan debt is a problem, however, it is not a catastrophe for people who are willing to pay for their own stuff. The people who are demanding free stuff are being egotistical, just thinking about only themselves, all while not factoring in the costs to other people. The deer in headlights look that Keely Mullen provided in response to Neil Cavuto’s question as to how all of the stuff that Keely Mullen wanted was to be paid was also quite revealing. College tuition can be expensive, yes, so that point is stipulated, however, people should vote with their dollars. Why is it called greed to keep your money to yourself but not if you want someone else’s money? Why is someone who is given something voluntarily via an inheritance seen as being a moocher and yet someone who wants something for nothing is not? Why should the wealthy (many of whom did work their way up from the bottom) have to pay your college fee, something that doesn’t benefit them and doesn’t even involve them. The only reason people want socialism is because their too lazy to get a job or actually work. It also devalues the achievements of those who actually worked for it. You said that the rich have more than enough money. Who gets to decide if someone has too much money and who does not have enough?

  127. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, it seems to me that people who are issuing demands for free stuff have never been taught the value of hard work. They just parrot the talking points they pick up and assume that there is going to be an endless money flow to pay for all of the stuff they want. When Leftists gripe about people getting money that they did not earn via significant inheritance free of tax, that inheriting that much money will make them lazy and they will become leeches and moochers, there is not even any inclination to look at the people who are actually wanting something and finding every possible excuse to get out of paying for it. Progressive income tax is= punishing the hardworking and rewarding laziness. Why is there any incentive to work if other people are going to pick up the tab for you? Why should what one labors for in the hopes of being able to provide for that person and that person’s family be stolen from that person and that person’s family and arbitrarily redistributed to people who collect welfare and gripe about how unfair life is for them? The people demanding the freebies are a bunch of egotistical, whiny, entitled dopes who have never been taught the value of responsibility, nor the fact that they are not owed a damn thing in life. Why take responsibility for anything if all of your wants and needs are satisfied at the expense of, even the detriment to, other people?

  128. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, we have people who refuse to take any sort of responsibility for some of the financial hardship they experience. Just because some people are supposedly hoarding wealth is not going to stop other people from learning to create their own. Student loan debts come about due to people taking out those student loans in order to go to college. We also have people who are either financially illiterate because nobody took the time to educate them about how to manage money or are just looking for handouts because they are absolutely unwilling to do their part in solving their problems. Just because some people may have more money than other people does not mean that those with less will always be worse off.

    • I would say public assistance can sometimes lead a person out of poverty. In that way it is a good investment, as is having more people able to get a college education without going into enormous debt. Both good investments for our country and worth the cost.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, you make valid points.

        • We are in agreement so often, Ragnar, I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve caught the Covid-19 virus.😊

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, I agree with you on some things on principle. Here is an example: Wanting a better life for people living on a limited income and the poor. They need our help, yes, however, where should the line be drawn regarding helping them and keeping them in a state of dependency? This is the problem with the welfare state. That was supposed to be for people who fall on hard times only. What has come about as a result? It has been turned into a career opportunity that allows people to get something for nothing. Welfare benefits are also a disincentive to work, mainly due to the fact that if you earn money, you face a loss of benefits.

  129. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people who work hard do so with the incentive to make money for themselves and their children, something that any person who has children would fully understand. Those who collect welfare and contribute nothing of any value should wake up and stop demanding that we cater to their every whim. You claimed that the girl in the video I linked was working to change an awful system. Why is it so awful when people are required to be responsible for their own paths in life and to not blame other people for their problems.

  130. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people should learn to be more responsible with their financial resources, not going to the 1%, even the 0.01% and asking them to bail the rest of us out of financial risks that we take with our money. If someone got rich due to his or her own merits, why is that person and the family of that person less deserving of that wealth than people who receive government subsidized welfare benefits and refuse to work because of the lost benefits as an end result? Outside of any form of voluntary financial transactions, no person has any right in absolute terms to the wealth of other people outside of the family members of these people. Personally, I would not be surprised if people who inherit wealth were more appreciative of it and responsible with that wealth than people whose money comes from government funded welfare programs. Why is it that some people argue that you getting wealth from someone makes you a leech and a moocher if it is done voluntarily, however, that accusation is not made against people who turn welfare into a career opportunity where these people get money for doing nothing to contribute to society? If you have a wealthy couple and that couple has no children, the wealthy couple would have no children to leave any assets to. If a person who is at death’s doorstep leaves all financial assets to living relatives of that person’s own volition, that is one thing. Why should that money be taken to support people who land on welfare because of bad, even harmful choices, that he or she has made? Progressives’ arguments that redistribution of wealth is done in the name of the greater good is laughable. What good does it do to take something that does not belong to you and redistribute that to a select group of other people? It makes the person who takes that wealth by force a thief and the recipients have a sense of entitlement to something that they do not deserve. Rather than grabbing money from people because the people doing the grabbing feel like the people they take money from have more than enough, these people should just mind their own business. Helping people who need it is one thing. Just saying that someone has more money than he or she needs and could ever spend, which may be true, is indicative of an entitlement mentality, where some people feel like they are entitled to what other people have.

  131. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, even if some people got wealth via an inheritance, the inherited wealth was received via a voluntary financial transaction with after tax wealth. Even if someone does inherit money, somebody had to work hard for it and if they want to leave their hard earned money/wealth to someone else, that’s their prerogative. How much wealth someone has should be nobody’s business outside of that person’s family. Our government punishes wise people and rewards fools. We punish people who work hard with high taxes and reward people who produce nothing with tax-free welfare benefits. There is no such thing as hoarding of wealth and people who make the argument that there is are just too lazy to learn the skills to create their own. progressive income tax=punishing the hardworking and rewarding laziness. Many people argue that inheriting wealth will make people lazy. Really? That wealth will have to be spent eventually. Why should it be given to the government?

  132. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, who is more deserving of being the recipient(s) of the fruits of someone’s labor-the person who gets compensated for the service provided and that person’s family or people who demand handouts and feel like they are entitled to that which they have no right to? Progressives are lazy and want to live off the backs of others, as is being indicated by their demanding that things be provided to them at the expense of other people and displaying a disingenuous sense of moral outrage when things don’t go the way they want. I find it to be rather absurd that Leftists can’t tell the difference between someone who earned his or her riches with hard work and good choices and someone who cheated the system to gain unfair advantages over everyone else. Progressive tax is not used to fund the government, just used to redistribute wealth from the people who created it in order to give it to people under the false and disingenuous notion of fairness. People who make the accusation that other people are hoarding wealth and causing a catastrophic student loan debt debacle for people should stop blaming the rich for their problems. I am more concerned with people being hungry and homeless than I am with satisfying the demands of people who want free stuff. No matter how rich anyone is, they should not be obligated to pay for another person’s stuff, period.

    • This country, Ragnar, has real problems which will not be solved unless we all work to fix them. Rigid idealogical rules are of no help. The wealthy keep adding to their wealth while most Americans are struggling to Make a living. Today the richest one percent in the U.S. own more wealth than the bottom 90%. This is unsustainable and the wealthy in this country need to pitch in with a couple of percent more taxes. I don’t think they’ll starve.
      Sure, some poor people will take advantage of this system but that goes on everywhere. Many rich people take advantages by using tax loopholes and holding their money offshore.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the tax code is what is encouraging this behavior that you speak of, however, that would be lost on many people. Here are 3 questions for you: 1: Who should have more rights to the money of deceased people-people who collect welfare and demand free stuff and handouts and produce nothing or the family members of these people? 2: Even though they both are not earned, can you not see the blatant double-standard between decrying people who inherit wealth as getting something that they have not earned and yet advocating for free public college and people not doing anything to earn that? 3: Since all inherited wealth comes to people on a voluntary basis, how are the recipients considered as being leeches and moochers since that wealth was voluntarily transacted and yet people who demand that we pay for all of their stuff are not seen as leeches or moochers?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, the tax code is a contributing factor.

  133. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” If someone has more money than I do, it is not going to negatively impact me if I have enough money for basic things. What I find to be absurd is how we have people who pay 0% in federal income tax and yet they say that high income earners don’t pay their fair share. Progressives are lazy and want to live off the backs of others, something that is clearly indicated when they call for forced redistribution of wealth from one group of people to another. Even if someone inherits money, somebody had to work hard for it and if they want to leave their hard earned money/wealth to someone else, that’s their prerogative. The progressive income tax was conceived by Karl Marx, a Communist, which has made its way to our shores despite the fact that we are a Constitutional Republic, not a Communist dictatorship. Why is some spoiled brat who whines about wanting free things more deserving of the money of people who worked hard and not the family members of these people? You claim to favor the estate tax and argue that people who inherit wealth/estates did nothing to earn that, however, you also advocate free college. Your thinking is profoundly inconsistent, as is that of every person who wants something both ways. What is hurting the poor more than anything is the government programs that are intended to help them because these people are on those programs are not given an incentive to want to get out. Poor people are not poor because the wealthy are wealthy. Being poor is more a mindset than anything. Any person can provide moral arguments for the redistribution of wealth, however, if it is done via immoral acts like taking that wealth by force from one group of people and redistributing it to other people, it is theft, with theft being a criminal offense. Progressives are closet Communists who decided to re-brand themselves in a more appealing light to dupe a lot of people into buying into their b.s. arguments about fairness. The people on welfare want progressive tax, and the people who actually work to make money want a fair tax system. That’s all there is to it.

  134. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I find it to be rather humorous when Leftists say that people who inherit massive wealth will become lazy and do nothing useful with their lives and not contribute anything to society. Without rich people, how are the rest of us going to be employed? What about people who collect welfare and demand handouts? They contribute absolutely nothing to society, so by what right do they get to complain about some people contributing nothing? I don’t get why people want to always tax the wealthy. Do I think it is unfair that 1/2 dozen people control 90% of the world’s wealth? Perhaps, however, it is more unfair to demand that they pay for all of the stuff that we want because some people are just too damn lazy to do anything to help themselves. You said that students take out college loan because they have no choice. Actually, yes, they do have a choice. They have the choice to wait until they can make enough money to pay for their own stuff. Rather than assign blame to other people for the woes that one has and use that as an excuse to act like he or she is deserving of free stuff, these people should have all of it taken away from them and actually be sat down and shown the numbers and what the final price tag is going to be as a result of their demands. When will these people wake up? How long will it be before they actually understand that they are not always going to get things their way? There is free college in this world, even Harvard or MIT is free. It’s called US military 4 years contract. Serve your country and your country will pay for your college. Of course, that is going to be asking too much of these snowflakes when they get told that they will have to work their way to their desired goals, not expect other people to take care of them. Quite honestly, I would prefer that family heirs get tax-free wealth than people get to go to college on the taxpayers’ dime. When you sign a paper saying you will pay money back, you are obligated to pay what you owe. It’s your responsibility. No person in his or her right mind would demand that his or her stuff be financially subsidized by other people.

  135. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I find it to be rather humorous when Leftists say that people who inherit massive wealth will become lazy and do nothing useful with their lives and not contribute anything to society. Without rich people, how are the rest of us going to be employed? What about people who collect welfare and demand handouts? They contribute absolutely nothing to society, so by what right do they get to complain about some people contributing nothing? I don’t get why people want to always tax the wealthy. Do I think it is unfair that 1/2 dozen people control 90% of the world’s wealth? Perhaps, however, it is more unfair to demand that they pay for all of the stuff that we want because some people are just too damn lazy to do anything to help themselves. You said that students take out college loan because they have no choice. Actually, yes, they do have a choice. They have the choice to wait until they can make enough money to pay for their own stuff. Rather than assign blame to other people for the woes that one has and use that as an excuse to act like he or she is deserving of free stuff, these people should have all of it taken away from them and actually be sat down and shown the numbers and what the final price tag is going to be as a result of their demands.
    college education has risen well past inflation and is unaffordable for many

  136. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I would not object to the idea of Medicare For All due to my tax dollars paying for that. However, I find it to be objectionable that I would have to pay for someone else’s kid(s) to go to college. People who promote a wealth tax are advocating double taxation, as are the people who advocate estate taxes.We should stop worrying about the rich having more money and actually help the poor have a better quality of life.

  137. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I believe in being generous and charitable with my own resources. Those who speak to and advocate for forced wealth redistribution believe in being generous and charitable with the money of other people. You claim that the rich have more than enough money, as well as some people having obscene amounts. Did it never occur to you that this wealth came about through hard work, sensible investments and overall cutting of costs and not just due to inheritance? It makes no sense to me why we penalize savings and investment via the tax code. With these proposals for a wealth tax, that would break the economy. Hemorrhaging debt is of more concern to me personally than satisfying the demands of people for free things. This is why people make fun of millennials. They have this entitlement mentality where they feel like they are owed something in life. If a person is intelligent enough to become a multimillionaire, that person should not have his or her wealth redistributed to people who collect welfare and don’t do a damn thing but complain about how unfair life is.

  138. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, given the track record our government has with managing our tax dollars, which has not always been good, I am of the belief that the government does not deserve anymore. The problem with the mindset of Leftists is that they see someone with great wealth and someone with little wealth and assume that the circumstances for the person with less has been as a result of the person who just happens to have more. If we went with a wealth tax, a proposal supported by many people, what would happen if the people who are the intended targets of that tax just spent themselves into a state of financial ruin? Instead of worrying about some people having more money, we should help the people who have less. People who advocate for a wealth tax are the same people who bought or perpetuated the lie that the income tax when it came into being was going to target only the rich. On what grounds is a person who demands free stuff more deserving of the wealth that was created of another person? Instead of grabbing torches and pitchforks and beating down the doors of rich people, those who do that should learn a skill set that will make them money in the long run. Of course, if someone is a welfare recipient, that person will probably elect to stay on welfare because of the loss of benefits if they make money. Welfare should be for people who legitimately fall on hard times, not used by its recipients as a career opportunity where they can make money by doing nothing. If one family is making a decent living and is not hurting financially, why should that family have any right to demand that a family with more money give it to the family with less? If people actually paid attention during math class and economic class, they would probably learn more about how money actually works. We do not have too many millionaires and billionaires, just too few of them, as well as the burdensome national debt. You claim that the rich have more than enough money? Attitudes like that stem from people who want to take things that don’t belong to them and do it at the expense of other people. Most of these idiots who whine about the 1% hoarding the wealth are just looking for excuses to take that money because they are too damn lazy to get ahead in life. Leftists say that people who inherit wealth will just let it sit in their bank accounts and never work a day in their lives. Just because someone will have money in a bank account does not mean that it will sit there and not be used.

  139. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if someone knowingly makes bad monetary decisions that results in financial ruin for that person and that person’s family despite being told repeatedly what would be the end result of said decisions, I would not have much sympathy for said person. Nor would I have sympathy for a person who uses the line about how his or her family is on numerous forms of of government assistance line as justification for wanting free public college. Someone who falls on hard times economically due to factors beyond his or her control is a separate matter. Tuition-free college should be provided as a reward for service to one’s country, not by the demands of a person for free public college who is unwilling to do the bare minimum to make that opportunity possible. Our national debt is of greater concern to me than satisfying the demands of some dopes who act like they are entitled to free stuff and bitch and complain when they don’t get things their way. Medicare For All is something I can support because that is what my tax dollars pay for. Being required to support people financially who use their status as welfare recipients to demand free stuff is something I find distasteful. Regarding people who are contributing nothing to society, welfare recipients fit that category.

  140. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, this idea of evening out wealth in the name of fairness is absurd. The rich pay the lion’s share of the nation’s tax burden. I am not unsympathetic to people who fall on hard times economically. Having said that, my sympathy ends when people use the “my family is on numerous forms of government assistance and is scraping by to get me through college” line in an attempt to manipulate the rest of us into paying for what these people want. Rather than gripe about your family’s situation on live television, maybe these people should put their gadgets away and do something to help make their family’s situation better. Most wealth is created by entrepreneurs. They create companies that hire most of us. They also provide goods like the i phone, word processor, and even cancer drugs. Would we prefer a world where everyone was more equal but we were trying to fight cancer with 1960s medicine? Taxing wealth encourages people not to become wealthy and thus not to invest or start companies.

  141. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I know that a billionaire who is taken from $10, 000, 000, 000.00 to 1, 000, 000, 000 is still going to have a monumental amount of wealth after taxes. Having said that, if a rich person’s wealth came to him or her by satisfying the wants and needs of other people, the person should be able to keep a good percentage of that wealth. At the risk of invoking Biblical arguments against wealth redistribution, we are told not to covet anything that belongs to our neighbor(s). That can be land, food, money, whatever.

  142. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I find it to be humorous when Leftists say that people being given something makes the recipients leeches and moochers when they get something that they did not earn via an inheritance free of tax and yet these very people defend giving away free college? If the hypocrisy in their thinking was explained to them, they still would not get it. Outside of the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to pursue happiness, as well as those spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and our U.S. Constitution, all other rights are just man-made and not actually legitimate. How are the 1% not contributing to society?

  143. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, as long as people keep voting for democrats who will promise them free stuff, they will always be living in poverty. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society was not meant to help anybody. The goal was essentially to legally enslave people by making them dependent upon the government through welfare programs. This was further expanded to encompass people of other ethnic backgrounds.

  144. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, we have people who pay a greater percentage of the tax burden than the rest of us do. However, we also have people who contribute nothing. If someone who falls on hard times really needs help, that is one thing. Someone who claims to be on numerous forms of government assistance and is still capable of working a physical job is just looking for a handout and makes excuses as to why he or she cannot get ahead in life. We also have people who are financially illiterate.

  145. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, it is absurd to my why some people feel like they are entitled to the money of other people. Life is not fair and these people who sit and demand free stuff should be required to look at the accumulated expenses that come as a result of all of their demands. People who are on numerous forms of government assistance are already getting free stuff. Now they want even more? The rich, even if they have the money to afford it, should not be required to fork over any money that they have to pay for some brat that has a me, me, me mentality and is unwilling to do the bare minimum to help themselves along the way toward their desired goals. Maybe getting a job could be a solution to deal with the costs of tuition, books, food, room and board for these people.

    • Your use of stereotyping, Ragnar, is incredible. No wonder you believe so strongly in these matters: you see all rich people as wonderful and deserving of as much money as they can accumulate, and all poor people as lazy moochers who don’t deserve help . In the real world, it’s not that simple.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, it is more simple than you think. Keely Mullen was telling a sob story in the video I linked in order to get the things that she wanted-that being free college, student loan debt cancellation, as well as a $15.00 an hour minimum wage. When she spoke of people contributing nothing to society, she was speaking of herself and her family without even realizing it, as well as people who are on government funded welfare programs. If someone has a legitimate medical disability that is an impediment to certain activities like driving, that person can pay for a taxi service to get that person to the place he or she needs or wants to be, can take a community bus, can take a train, even walk to that place. Sitting on one’s butt and demanding that things be given to that person would not bode well in the minds of people who actually bust their butts. This tax the rich scheme is not about doing things to benefit society. Just used in an attempt to buy the votes of certain people. Keely Mullen looked to well dressed to be able to receive welfare benefits that the rest of us are paying for. We have people who turn welfare into a career opportunity where people get money for doing nothing and get their money at the expense of the taxpayers. At least Medicare, Medicaid, as well as Social Security are being paid for and that is something I have no issue with. For the record, I have no problem helping any person who falls on hard times financially. Where that ends is if the person is either telling a sob story to garner sympathy or is just looking for an excuse to get something that is undeserved.

        • ragnarsbhut says:

          Arlen Grossman, I said my when I meant to put me. Can you edit that word to read me and then delete this comment?

        • Interesting you say ” I have no problem helping any person who falls on hard times financially.” How can you tell the difference? It would require a lot of work to investigate.Of course, nobody wants to help people who abuse the system. I don’t think as many people do that, while you mostly imply everyone is doing it (because they highlight such things in the right-wing media machine e.g.. Keely Mullin, who represents only herself).
          No, not that many people are sitting on their butt and demanding things, despite what you have heard (unless you have evidence that I haven’t seen). Most people have just run into bad luck, and a little compassion is called for, not just criticism.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, if I saw someone who was starving and looked like he or she had eaten very little because of monetary restrictions, I would be perfectly willing to give that person food. If someone implies that his or her family is scraping by to put him or her through college, why is that person so unwilling to do something to help the cause? Just whining about the fact that college is too expensive is absurd. Vote with your money. Just don’t act like you are entitled to take money from other people. What if you have someone who loves animals? That person could volunteer his or her time at an animal shelter or a vet to take care of the animals for a negotiated fee for the time being contributed.

  146. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem is not that we have too many rich people, just that we have too few. If we have more rich people, then we would have more people to tax, which results in more money for the government.

  147. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, why should self-made multimillionaires be obligated to redistribute their wealth to people who collect welfare and do not produce anything of any benefit to society? Wanting to help people who fall on hard times is one thing. Enabling them to continue on a downward spiral by catering to them and giving into all of their demands is another. Not all wealth is inherited. Some people work their butts of for the wealth that they have. If I did not make millions, however, I was not hurting financially either, I would not envy the person who has more. Progressives are not interested in fairness. Just because some people are financially irresponsible should not mean that other people should be required to bail them out. Why do you think people who work hard to provide for their families are less entitled to that money than people who make welfare a career opportunity where they get money for doing nothing. To be generous and charitable with one’s own resources is one thing. Being generous and charitable with resources that belong to other people is different. Why do you think a family that collects welfare and wants free stuff deserve something that another family has earned? People who whine that other people are hoarding wealth, which is absurd due to the fact that a lot of wealthy people bust their butts to earn that wealth, are just looking for an excuse to justify living a lifestyle where they can be irresponsible and demand that other people satisfy all of their wants and needs. Rich people are rich because they are smart with their money and vote for people who will enact policies that help them to become wealthier. Poor people vote for democrats and they are still poor.

  148. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the problem we have is politicians on the Left who make these promises of free stuff. If poor people stopped being poor and worked their way out of poverty, they would no longer be dependent on welfare for their survival. Democrats want more poor people. Republicans want fewer or no poor people. When you asked why the rich keep getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, your question is laced with falsehoods.

  149. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I believe in rewarding people who work hard, not subsidizing the lifestyles of people who collect welfare and make that a career opportunity. Talk about getting money for doing nothing.

    • That is okay, but I don’t believe it’s that simple, Ragnar. Not all rich people have worked hard for their money. Not all people who take welfare are lazy and shiftless. Fairness depends on the individual circumstances. Stereotyping is not helpful.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I am not necessarily opposed to the estate tax if done on a state by state basis. However, at the federal level, I would like to see it eliminated.

  150. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people who work hard do so to make money for themselves and their family members. I would prefer that the kids reap the benefits of their parents’ hard work, even if the kids did nothing to earn that money themselves. Here is the hypocrisy that many Leftists engage in. They say that it is wrong for the children of people who work hard to reap the rewards of their parents’ labor, however, they are all too happy to provide freebies to people who sit on their butts and do nothing. Wanting to help people in need is commendable, however, it is not always easy to know if someone actually needs help or if that person is feigning a state of hardship to get someone to cater to that person’s demands. You had asked why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The answer is simple: People who get rich will vote for the candidates that enact policies that help these people become wealthy and poor people will vote for the candidates who will provide them with free stuff and keep them in a state of perpetual dependence upon the government. Why take responsibility for one’s own path in life if the government is going to provide for all of our wants and needs? This is the problem with people who talk about free public college. If someone wants free public college, serve time in any branch of the armed forces and the country will pay for your college. Just demanding it without providing any rational argument to validate your position makes the person issuing the demands look stupid.

    • Ragnar, the rich get rich because they own most politicians. Do you really believe that poor people can contribute to candidates in anywhere near the amount the 1% can. Why do you think we keep getting laws favorable to the rich? They always get their way because they control the political system. Surely you must see this.

  151. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if one person has a stagnant income, however, that person has accumulated a lot in long-term savings and another person has a significant income and no savings to speak of, why should the person who has more in savings be required to give that money away? If someone has more financial assets than I do, however, I am not hurting financially, then it is of no relevance to me. If someone has millions, however, I have $350, 000.00, that person has more than I do, however, I am not hurting financially. This is the problem with Leftists. They want to build up some people and tear down other people in the process.

    • The way I see it, Ragnar,, You are the one building up a group (the wealthy) and tearing down another (the dissdvantaged).

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, instead of worrying about how much money other people have, live your own life and make the best of it. No person has any right to the wealth that other people have worked for, however, that person’s family should have all rights to it.

        • What if they accumulated much of their money by inheritance, favorable laws and tax cuts given them by their bought-and-paid-for politicians? The rich keep getting richer, while the rest of us are trying to tread water. Is that good for our country? Of course not.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, what if someone does not inherit physical assets? What if it is a family business? Should the person be required to sell the business in order to satisfy the tax liability?

  152. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, even if I never earned millions of dollars, I do not begrudge or envy people who do. There is no such thing as wealth hoarding. Regarding catastrophic student loan debts that some people complain about, if they are college students that signed up for the student loans, they should deal with them. Bill Gates and George Soros having a lot of money is not causing me any financial hardship, nor would it cause other people financial hardship who are actually willing to work, not sit and collect welfare and contributing nothing. Destroying the wealthy will not elevate the poor. Everyone will end up being poor. The only way out of poverty is through education and the development of marketable skills. Is redistributing wealth so that a billionaire has only a few million destroying him or her? Not likely. The problem is that we have people are all too happy to demand that the rich pay for all of the stuff that they want. As for all of the demands that people who want free stuff want to make, they should be shown on paper what all of the costs amount to in order to pay for their “free” stuff. I am not unsympathetic to the suffering and hardship that people who fall on hard times endure generally speaking. However, I have little sympathy for a person who uses the “my family is on numerous forms of government assistance and is scraping by to put me through college.” People should learn to take some initiative to get where they want in life. Why is it that someone being given something, even if it is unearned, labeled as a moocher and any person who wants other people to pay for his or her stuff not seen as a moocher? What is it with these people who decry the 1% hoarding wealth and causing catastrophic student loan debt that is incurred by other people? Seems to me that people who make that argument are just too damn lazy to solve their own problems. There is the likely possibility that at least inherited wealth will be put to some use, not sit and go unspent.

    • I don’t know why you spend so much time on this subject, Ragner. Why are you so interested in protecting the wealth of the one percent? Millions of Americans go hungry every day, and about 1 in 5 children. That’s a bad reflection of a rich country of ours. I never seem to hear much compassion or sympathy from you, But you don’t spare any sympathy for the rich.
      You constantly criticize young people with college debts. I believe more American should go to college. That would be good for our society and should be encouraged and made affordable for those who want it. My sympathies extend to the disadvantaged rather than billionaires who never like paying taxes.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, it is not the college debts in and of themselves that I am critical of, just the fact that the people who take them on refuse to be accountable for them. There is a difference between them.

        • Students take out college loan Because use they have no choice. The cost of a
          college education has risen well past inflation and is unaffordable for many.. what a sad commentary on our nation’s priorities. Other countries are smarter by subsidizing or making college free.. We have much to learn.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here is an example of a double-standard for you: We have people who demand free college for themselves even though they have done nothing to deserve any right to it and yet these people would complain that those who inherit millions of dollars did nothing to earn that either. Apply some common sense here. 2 different situations are in this example, however, the same principle applies. If college should be free, then inheritance should also be free.

  153. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, regardless of what some collectivist thinking people may believe, wealth that is created privately belongs to its creator(s) and no person has any right to arbitrarily take it and decide that the creator(s) of that wealth are undeserving of any right to it. Walter Williams said, “Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do-redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.” Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” The problem with Leftist thinking is in the notion that all wealth is ill-gotten. Why is this the case?

  154. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, here are videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sd-ElKMbPI, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGuNpqYBkZk, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBGo2nojiek, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CKbRIo-DTA People should stop this obsessive fixation with how much money other people have.

    • I think Americans should pay attention to how much money others have. That is because in our wealthy country about 40% of Americans
      Ilive in poverty while a handful have billions. The wealth is being transferred to the rich. This is wrong.You seem to think that the wealthy earned their money and the poor are greedy moochers. In reality many of the 1% inherited their wealth. And most of those in poverty never had the advantages you have and society has the means to help them. I don’t want to live in a Darwinian capitalist society where many are impoverished and others have more money than they know what to do with.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I do not think the poor are greedy moochers. The problem is in the hypocrisy of people who decry the issue of other people inheriting wealth free of tax and yet these very people demand free public college. If I have enough money to be in a state of financial security, however, someone has more than I do, I have no moral right to take any of that money at all.

        • Clearly your concern is not the benefit of society but rather an ideological defense of having the rich keep their money. That is where we differ.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, here are questions for you: 1: Who is more deserving of free college-someone who served in the armed forces and got that as a reward or someone who complains about the cost associated with it and uses that as justification for getting it? 2: Who is more responsible for catastrophic student loan debts associated with college education-the rich or the people who signed the admission papers?

  155. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if all of the people who claim that the rich have more than enough money came across millions of dollars themselves, they would argue against government taking their fortunes away. Redistribution of wealth is theft unless it is done due to a voluntary exchange.

    • When all the rules and laws favor the wealthy, because they have money and lobbyists and they can buy the votes of politicians, and the result is they keep getting richer while working people are barely scraping by (if they are lucky), then you have a rigged political system. In your world, Ragnar, everything is simple. But in the real world, it isn’t that simple, which is why our inequality is the highest of any developed country and the highest in our history.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, like I said, rich people don’t get rich by being stupid with their money. While it is true that some people get rich due to a ripoff of other people, it is also true that people who become rich work their butts off for that wealth. Can you explain, even justify the hypocrisy of people who claim that someone getting money due to inheritance, which may be true, is less deserving of that than someone who wants free public college? You can’t have it both ways.

        • I’m sure this will be immediately rejected by you, but government is instituted for the greater good of society. Free (or not free) collaged is a benefit for our society..The extra money for the rich does not help society.

  156. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, you asked why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The reason poor people stay poor is because of the welfare benefits they receive if they elect not to find any meaningful work. Financial illiteracy is another problem. People should be paying attention to Jim Kramer, Dave Ramsey, Walter Williams, F.A. Hayek, Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman if they want to learn about money, economics and debt-related things. What I find to be amusing is how Leftists believe that someone getting something that he or she has not earned via an inheritance makes the recipients moochers and yet people who demand that their “free” stuff be paid for by other people. No person has the right to vote on how much money other people have. Envy is the motivating factor behind the arguments that Progressives make for extracting wealth from one group of people and redistributing it to another. The top 1% do not hoard wealth. They invest their wealth in the economy. Just because neither you or I or any other person are not the recipients of the wealth that the 1% created does not mean that they hoard it. Rather than sit and receive handouts because they are too lazy to do anything, people should get off of their butts and try to find some meaningful employment, either part-time or full-time in an area that suits their talents or interests. Heck, if you have someone who has a great love of animals, that person can volunteer at a vet or an animal shelter and earn some money that way. Computer sales and repairs are also an option or anything that is mechanical. Here is a question for you: Why is someone who wants free college more deserving of that than people who inherit already taxed wealth from any deceased family member(s) from whom that money was transacted voluntarily? Even if that money was not earned, it is indicative of a profound hypocrisy when people who demand free things label someone who inherits money free of tax as being a leech and a moocher. People who collect welfare and contribute nothing and demand free college are the true leeches and moochers, not people who inherit money. If I went flat broke because of a bad business plan that was of my own design, I would not lay any blame for my financial issues on anybody else. Wanting to help people who fall on hard times due to no fault of their own is one thing. Someone who uses a sob story about alleged financial hardship and using that as an excuse to demand free stuff is just a tactic of manipulation. Keely Mullen looked too well dressed to be to claim a state of financial hardship. If we did not have the welfare state, there would be no welfare fraud.

  157. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, the money that a multimillionaire has is not wreaking havoc in my life, nor would it impair the ability of people who work hard to earn a living and keep them from earning any money. Billionaires don’t have a big vault in their bedrooms holding all of their money. It is largely invested in the economy. We need to fix how the government uses money, not give them more. We are supposed to have equal opportunity, not equal outcome. No one owes another person anything in absolute terms. Who even said wealth inequality is bad? I mean as long as you have the money to live a decent life, why would some people obsess about other people having more money than they do? That just makes them greedy. Why are some people so concerned about the wealth that other people own? Why do some people think they are more deserving of the money that other people work for than the family members of that person? Why should we penalize people for making more responsible choices with their financial assets and reward people who are financially irresponsible? Why would you possibly think you have a right to take anyone else’s money just because they have it? Let’s go to a straight consumption based tax. The more you buy, the more you pay. Simple.

  158. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, people who go on live TV and issue demands for various things have no clue as to the costs of their “free” stuff. Someone who wants free college should serve 4 years in any branch of the armed forces and get the free college as a reward. Otherwise, just demanding it be free because one cannot afford the tuition is a sign of someone who is too damn lazy to work for what he or she wants. People who come across great wealth, be it earned or inherited, are not hoarding anything. Nor are they responsible for the student loan debt crisis by people who attend a university. 1% of the population may hold more wealth than the 99% combined, however, if that wealth came about as a result of satisfying the demands of people who purchase products that the 1% contributed to creating, why are some people envious of that? You say that fairness is what motivates the arguments that the rich should pay more in taxes. Progressives have a convoluted notion of fairness. Regarding the people who complain about the fact that there are people who do nothing to contribute to society, are these people too clueless to not realize that they are speaking of themselves? Want to know why so many countries go to hell in a hand basket financially? It is a combination of Socialist policies and meeting the demands of their citizens for free stuff.

    • Your response would sound better if there were fairness in our capitalist system. But there isn’t. It is more a Darwinian system where the rich have all the advantages.
      I have no problem with the government leveling the field. Isn’t that what government is supposed to do: provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Happiness is hard to find when one is hungry, sick, and lacking money. The wealthy won’t provide it, so all of us acting together (government) can make a happier, fairer America. Is that so bad? In my view, democratic socialism is a better system than unbridled capitalism. I’m sure you will feel differently.

  159. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, I fail to see why it is indefensible for people who inherit money from their parents tax-free and yet democrats have no problem giving free stuff to people at the expense of the rest of us. To take money from people who worked hard to earn it and redistribute it to people who have done nothing to deserve it is convoluted. “But wait, people who inherit wealth have done nothing to earn it,” will be the claim that some people make. Those who want free public college have not done anything to earn that either. Where a distinction is to be made is that those who actually want free stuff for themselves do not give any thought to the costs incurred by other people to satisfy the demands of the people who want free stuff. So people who are demanding free stuff want to use compulsion to get that and people who are gifted any monetary assets get those through a consensual financial transaction. Why is someone who works hard to earn a living and to provide for that person’s family and that person’s family less entitled to the fruits that are produced and people who collect welfare are more entitled to it? Personally, I would be more sympathetic to the plight of a starving person than I would be to a person who uses that person’s status as a welfare beneficiary as justification for wanting free things, as well as being more sympathetic to the pain of a grieving family who loses a loved family member. Griping about other people having more money than oneself and wanting to take it away is a sign of someone who is too lazy to do anything but sit and collect welfare and uses a sob story to get people to pay for that person’s stuff.

    • Ragnar, ou seem to believe rich people deserve as much money as they can get, and disadvantaged people all want free money and are all lazy moochers. That is a narrow view of the world, not true, and sounds prejudiced.

  160. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, several studies indicate that the rich work very hard for their wealth. The rich are not sitting by the pool, sipping their cocktails; they are sitting in their offices, working their behinds off. The way I see it, if someone got wealthy due to his or her own merits, that person should reap the rewards. Unlike welfare recipients who sit and demand free stuff, the rich actually provide a great deal of benefits to society with the work that they do. When all taxes have been paid to the satisfaction of the government, neither the government or people who whine about wealth hoarders and use their positions as welfare recipients to indicate that they deserve the money of the rich more than the rich do would have any right to it.

  161. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, if someone has a talent for working with technological things, however, that person has some medical disabilities that would make driving not an option, that person could very easily find a place of residence that is in walking distance to that person’s job. We have a segment of people who have never been taught the value of working hard to get what they want in life. If someone has earned more money than another and earned it honestly, why should that person have less right to that wealth than a person who sits and does nothing useful with his or her life? Walter Williams said, “Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do-redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.” Thomas Sowell said, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” Why are people who work a 9:00 to 5:00 job considered as being greedy for wanting to keep that which they earn and want to use to provide for their families and people who sit and ask for handouts and demand free stuff not seen as being greedy? Who even said wealth inequality is bad? As long as someone has the money to live a decent life, why should it matter if someone else has more? The government spends too much money as it is, so why are we trying to give them more?

    • You say: “As long as someone has the money to live a decent life, why should it matter if someone else has more?” Since about 12% of the country is in poverty (about 40 million Americans). It probably matters to them. Jeff Bezos is close to being a trillionaire. Couldn’t that be spread about more with a higher tax rate on the wealthy?

  162. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, we have $20, 000, 000, 000, 000+ in debt and yet we have people who think that we can still pay for all of the free stuff that some people want? How much more debt do we have to acquire before these people wake up? $40, 000, 000, 000, 000.00? $50, 000, 000, 000, 000.00? We should be more concerned with the national debt than satisfying the demands of people for free stuff. Billionaires don’t have a big vault in their bedrooms holding all of their money. It is largely invested in the economy.

    • Republicans decried Obama for running a deficit. But now that they are in charge, they.have no problem with running up the debt. And Ragnar, if you look at where the relief money is going, you’ll find that big corporations are the major benefactors, not the greedy, lazy underclass you are always talking about.

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, I never said the underclass itself was lazy. Just the people who want the rest of us to pay for their stuff. Keely Mullen is the perfect example of this. She and the rest of the people like her just want the rest of us to cater to them and give in to their demands. Democrats have no real plans to make any of this free stuff a reality. Just using that to dupe people into voting for them.

        • Of course people will abuse any system, whether they are rich or poor. Just because Fox News trots out one extreme example (Kelly Mullin) does mean she represents all people who need government assistance.

          • ragnarsbhut says:

            Arlen Grossman, you had said that people who inherit wealth did not earn it. However, people who just issue demands for free college did not earn that either. Different scenarios, yes, however, the same principle applies.

  163. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, those who have an obsessive fixation with the amount of wealth owned by other people are not interested in making a better life for themselves, just a desire to take the wealth and use it for their own ends. The 1% of the population is hoarding wealth and causing the catastrophic student loan debt crisis that college attendees face? Give me a damn break. We don’t need to evenly redistribute wealth. Where is the incentive to work if all that one busts his or her butt for is going to be taxed and redistributed to welfare recipients who gripe about how unfair life is for them? If those who support redistribution of wealth were given billion dollars worth of assets right now, it is my guess that most of these hypocrites would immediately turn into all-out capitalists and desperately argue against the government taking their fortunes away.

  164. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, you made an inquiry as to why the rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer. It is very simple. The poor keep voting for the people who promise them free stuff if the poor people keep staying poor. The rich vote for people who will support their endavors in the pursuit of wealth.

  165. ragnarsbhut says:

    Arlen Grossman, wealth “hoarding” is just a figment of the imagination of people who use that talking point. How did Bill Gates make his billions of dollars? The man made that much money by providing a good and service to satisfy the wants and needs of the people through the creation of Microsoft? Why is someone who is rich less entitled to his or her money than a bunch of welfare recipients who refuse to do anything but sit on their butts and demand that their desires be fulfilled by other people?

    • wealth hoarding is not imaginary, Ragnar. The gap between the rich and the rest of us keeps getting bigger. As an example, the top 1% now own more wealth than the bottom 90%. The rich keep getting a bigger share while many Americans struggle to eat and keep a roof over their head. Does that seem good to you?

      • ragnarsbhut says:

        Arlen Grossman, sure it is. I am more concerned with people being hungry and homeless than I am with people who demand that we pay for their college educations, as well as other things that they want. Do I view it as wrong for people to tell those who live in poverty that they are on their own? Absolutely. The problem is in how to distinguish people who are legitimately experiencing hardship and people who make that claim in order to get us to pay for their stuff.

        • True, it is not easy to know who really needs help. But I don’t spend time worrying about it. Nobody on public assistance is rich or.destroying our country. The money I worry about goes to military aid that we don’t need, and endless tax breaks for the rich. You worry most about poor people, I worry most about people who already have plenty of money getting more.