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
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.
Arlen Grossman, whether or not some people have too much money and some people have too little is just used as a political talking point to stir up class envy and division. When politicians who are so into the idea of wealth redistribution are willing to give up 40% or more of their taxpayer-funded salary, then they can talk all they want about redistribution of wealth. What they really mean when they talk about redistribution of wealth is that they want to take money from the rich and give it to poor people in the form of handouts. Handouts and collapse of the family unit, both part of the endgame of the Marxists, are only meant to create perpetual dependency.
Family is the backbone of society. After all of the taxes owed to the government have been paid to the satisfaction of the government, whatever happens to the after-tax wealth is nobody’s business but the family that owns it. When I hear talk about hefty estate taxes based on the belief that people who inherit those estates and wealth associated with them did nothing to earn them, I must point out the fact that people who make demands for free college, free health care and so on, I would argue that those were not earned either, so what is the argument?
When politicians who have millions of dollars to their names are willing to pay their fair share in taxes, at that point they will have credibility when there is talk about the rich paying their fair share. Unless and until then, they are being all talk and no action. This also applies to politicians who try to buy votes of people with their student loans being cancelled. Now, I have no problem with rewriting bankruptcy laws that treat all debts the same, however, claiming to want to enact laws against corporations bribing politicians and yet allowing politicians to bribe their voter base with handouts and free stuff is absurd.
If you require a history lesson, there was theft of labor from the African-American community as a result of slavery. There was also theft of land from the American Indians after they were forcibly relocated to other places. Capitalism had no role in that, just government wanting to play favorites as to who got what land.
Even with various flat tax proposals, something that would be obvious to people who reas the fine print, there are always thresholds where a set amount of income is tax-free. That being the case, it is indicative of the fact that Left-leaning types are economically illiterate or just disinformed when they talk about a tax hike for people who would not even have any tax liability at all. An example: A family of 4 who earned $50, 000.00 a year or less would not pay any federal income tax at all and also no payroll tax because it would be eliminated. Anything above that being taxed at 15% as income went up meant that the rich still have a greater share of the tax burden. A family that would not be liable for income tax because they would not meet the threshold being the recipient of a tax hike under a flat tax is clearly indicative that people who talk like that are uninformed.
You don’t have to like it, however, nobody has an absolute right to the money of one family except for the members of said family. What is truly absurd is that there are people who believe that inherited wealth comes at the expense of the public. That is absurd. The best people to tax are the rich as they can afford it. After their tax obligation has been satisfied, the government has absolutely no business demanding more. People on the Left claim that inheriting wealth will make people lazy. What about people who are trapped in states of perpetual dependency as a result of these welfare programs? They did not see what it took for people who actually earned that money that was taken from the people who worked for it and given to the recipients of the government handouts. Those who inherit wealth got to see what it took to make it possible to accumulate that wealth.
Arlen Grossman, if someone had a business that started as a small business, that being a mattress manufacturing company, to pick an example, then expanded and sold mattresses all around the world, that person and the business should be able to reap the financial benefits as a result of the products being produced. Politics aside, what do you think about Mike Lindell and Mypillow?
Ragnar: I have no problem with somebody making good mattresses that sell a lot and making a lot of money. But I think there has to be a limit, and paying their fair share of taxes is a good place to start. Capitalism needs to be regulated or a handful of people will own and control everyone else. Are you aware that three people (yes, 3 people: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk) have more wealth than the bottom 50% of all Americans. There is no way that is good or justified. It explains a lot of what’s wrong with America today.
Arlen Grossman, I agree. The issue is who gets to impose a monopoly on what is a fair share. Example: All incomes above $57, 000.00 is taxed at 15%, regardless of its being earned or inherited. To utilize basic math, 15% $150, 000.00 is less than 15% of $15, 000, 000.00. So from that standpoint alone, it should be perfectly fair.
As for Mike Lindell: he is one of millions of Americans that like to believe everything Donald Trump says.
He is one of the leaders of the Trump cult, those who don’t understand Trump is a mentally disturbed sociopath and perhaps the greatest con artist in American history. Funny thing about people like him who attach themselves to Trump. So many of them go down in flames eventually because of their loyalty to him. Rudy Giuliani and most of the Trump lawyers and so many who served in his administration are good examples. His children are on the road to ruin too.
Arlen Grossman, I disagree. Donald Trump is not a perfect person by any means, however, he is perfectly coherent when he speaks.
Arlen Grossman, here is a hypothetical scenario for you: A family of 4 who earns $57, 000.00 a year or less would pay no federal income tax and no payroll taxes either and everything above that is taxed at a flat 15%. Basic logic would say that 15% of $250, 000.00 would be less than 15% of $350, 000.00, so the percentage is the same, however, the dollar amount for the person with more is still higher. A literal interpretation of the Equal Protection clause in the 14th Amendment mmeans that there should be no discrimination against anybody, regardless of race, economic status and so on.
Arlen Grossman, I have no interest in being a billionaire. I am also not in favor of full elimination of the billionaire class. Here is an idea that in my opinion should appeal to everyone on both sides of the aisle: Replace the current welfare system with a combination of a negative income tax, as proposed by Milton Friedman or a Universal Basic Income as suggested by Andrew Yang.
I would also fix the tax code to reward savings and investment. More savings and investment will benefit everyone. That would be good for the overall health of the economy. With the income tax, income fluctuates from year to year and that means the amount of tax paid changes. A consumption tax would be more equitable and fair. The FairTax proposal also has a Prebate and it also eliminates the payroll tax, so the poor are completely untaxed.
Ragnar, most of us would agree that the current system is complicated and often unfair. But I worry that the FairTax is mostly a Republican proposal, and the GOP always makes sure the upper incomes do well. There are good ideas in the FairTax, but I would need to see evidence that the middle class would benefit more than the wealthy class. I doubt this would do it. Changes are needed in our tax system, but they have to be fair, progressive, and well thought out.
Arlen Grossman, nothing stops people from pursuing successes of their own on their own with the exception of the welfare state and also over-regulation of businesses. While we are not going to agree on the estate tax, I would not have an issue with it if the trade-off was lower personal income tax rates across-the-board.
Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kpWkjlR3OQ I really don’t see what the issue is with the billionaire class. There is talk about significant income and wealth inequality. That is an issue that should be addressed, however, I do not favor full elimination of the billionaire class. The only thing in this video I disagree with is Elizabeth Warren arbitrarily wanting to cancel student loan debt by legal dictate. Student loan debt is an issue, however, people who take on the responsibility of those financial obligations should be responsible for them, not shifting the costs to the rich people.
Certainly, Ragnar, we can agree our health care system needs reform. As far as inequality, it is a growing problem. However full elimination of the billionaire class is not necessary. They just need to pay their fair share of taxes, without all the breaks given them by the government. We’ll just have to disagree about forgiving student debt. That it got to be such an issue is that the government should be helping keep costs down.
Arlen Grossman, I disagree with people who want full elimination of the billionaire class personally. To be honest, I would not have an issue with billionaires who earned their fortunes by satisfying consumer demand. Insofar as I am concerned, if they paid their employees fair wages and also their fair share in taxes, whatever these billionaires do with after-tax wealth is of no concern to me.
We can agree on that, Ragnar.
Arlen Grossman, one thing that would benefit everyone, particularly those on the bottom rung, is a debt-free lifestyle. I do not believe that the billionaire class should be able to bribe politicians to make laws that favor only them and screw the rest of us over, however, fully eliminating them as a class makes no economic sense.
Arlen Grossman, people on the Left claim that those who inherit wealth did nothing to earn it. That may technically be true, however, that does not make it morally justifiable to take and arbitrarily redistribute that wealth to other people by force. Forcible redistribution of wealth is also prohibited Biblically under the commandments to not steal or to covet thy neighbor’s goods. Secular and agnostic or atheist types may have no belief in a higher power and that is on them to figure out. The family is the foundation of society. I also find it to be rather absurd that Left-leaning types claim that people who inherit wealth are getting welfare that they don’t need. Considering the fact that promotion of the General Welfare is in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, why is it also so wrong to think about the welfare of one’s family members? 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.
Many people produce under the incentive to provide for their children, and inheritance taxes mitigate that incentive. It is nobody’s responsibility to pay for the quality of life of a family to whom they are not related to. You indicated that I seem to advocate for the wealthy a lot. As long as I am not being stolen from, I really don’t care if someone has a greater level of wealth than I do.
We would have more money for the things we need if we would stop spending that money to pay for people who are turning welfare into a career opportunity to not work. What about politicians who promise free stuff to us? Unless and until they agree to work for free, they should just shut up and stop pandering to us.
Welcome back, Ragnar. When you write words like “morally justifiable to take and arbitrarily redistribute that wealth to other people by force,” you lose me. By force? The wealthy get that way because our system of government allows them to do so. They benefit from a political system in which they can buy off Congress, which allows them to accumulate wealth without paying a lot of taxes. They would take everything if they were allowed to, but the government steps in to keep their greed under control. But the poorest among us have no clout so they suffer from hunger, homelessness, and sickness. It’s called capitalism and those on the top are the winners.
Arlen Grossman, there is a difference between a fair share in taxes and outright confiscation of wealth.
Arlen Grossman, who has a greater right to the fruit of the labor of a person: The person who created the fruits of that labor and by extension the family members of said person or the government or people on welfare? If the government or people who are on welfare have a greater right to the money of hardworking families, where is the incentive to want to provide for one’s family if half of that wealth is taken from them?
Milton Friedman described our society as a family society, not an individualist society. It makes no sense why there is a desire on the part of people on the Left to want to undermine the idea of family cohesion. You claimed to advocate for a high estate tax on the basis that people who inherit money did nothing to earn it. While it is technically true that people who inherit wealth did nothing to earn it, it is also true that the government did nothing to earn it either, so what exactly is the argument?
The Bible commands us to not steal or covet the goods of our neighbor(s,) so that alone should delegitimize arguments for the forcible redistribution of wealth. By the way, there is a difference between giving to those in need and taking money from other people by force to redistribute to those seemingly in need.
What about the demands from the “free stuff” crowd for free college, free health care, et cetera? If they want free stuff, they have no right to claim a position of moral superiority by telling people who inherit wealth that they have a limited right to it. To do otherwise would be hypocritical.
There seems no limit to your concern about the rich and their offspring. They are doing quite well as I see it. And if the less fortunate want to have a chance to succeed, you dismiss their needs. We live in a society that caters to those with money, and few others have a chance to make it. It didn’t use to be this bad, and sometimes the “Great American Dream” actually worked. Not any more.
Arlen Grossman, if someone has more money than I do but I am not hurting financially, why should I be at a disadvantage? If I can make a good living and be comfortable, I will let the situation be what it is.
Arlen Grossman, I don’t believe that the 1% should have ownership of all the wealth in the nation. Having said that, I don’t believe that they should be subjected to punitive tax rates either.
Fair enough, Ragnar. The problem here, obviously, is the definition of “punitive tax cuts.” If everyone could agree on that number the problem would be solved. But the agreement of that number is likely impossible.
Arlen Grossman, I prefer to tax consumption over income. Having said that, if we tax income, I say tax regular income and capital gains at the same rate.
Arlen Grossman, I understand the economic arguments from the Left that favor redistribution of wealth. The issue is the lack of morally justifiable arguments for it. If the only argument being made to justify the forcible redistribution of wealth is based on the assumption that the rich have more money than they need or that they are hoarding it, people who make that argument clearly have either never worked a day in their life and just want handouts or just not worked hard enough to be that successful.
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.” 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.” People who use the argument that forcible redistribution of wealth is done under the guise of fairness are not interested in fairness at all. The only thing they want is power and control.
Related to the John Stossel videos I shared, you clearly missed the point. If people have the time to craft signs advertising states of hardship and asking for handouts, they should have as much time to try to look for work. People who claim to not make other people give them money and yet still hold signs on street corners essentially asking for money don’t want to work, which is demonstrated by their behavior.
What you are not taking into account, Ragnar, are all the advantages the rich use to fatten their portfolios. The laws are all in their favor because they buy off Congress with huge donations. Congress then makes sure the wealthy get bigger tax cuts and other ways of increasing their wealth.
“On Monday, when millions of unemployed Americans poured their cups of coffee and started searching for jobs online, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw his net worth grow by $13 billion. You’re not reading this wrong. Yes, it’s the largest intraday jump in net worth, according to Bloomberg.
The Guardian wrote that at the height of the pandemic, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg (his net worth ballooned by about $15 billion in 2020), Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison collectively witnessed their already incredible wealth increase by $101.7 billion between March 18 and June 17.
Arlen Grossman,you talk about the rich having to pay their fair share in taxes. People who pay nothing in federal income taxes have no right to complain about people contributing nothing without first looking at themselves.
Arlen Grossman, if Bill Gates sold Microsoft stock and generated revenue from the sale, should that be defined as earned income or would that be considered as a capital gain and be subjected to the capital gains tax instead of a regular income tax?
Arlen Grossman, related to those John Stossel videos I shared, I was trying to make a point. Rich people are not responsible for the problems plaguing seemingly homeless people. People who have the time and energy to create signs advertising states of hardship should also have time to try to find work, not ask for handouts from other people.
Arlen Grossman, here are a few hypothetical scenarios for you: 1: A family of 4, to pick a number, works and saves and cuts all nonessential expenditures from the family budget and another family with the same number of people spends money recklessly and irresponsibly. Why should one family have their assets seized in order to bailout the family that was financially irresponsible? 2: A family cuts spending on phone plans by reducing to one uniform plan and accumulates some savings as an end result. Why should the money they saved be taken from them and given to other people by legislative decree/dictate in the form of a wealth tax in order for politicians to get their votes?
Arlen Grossman, I find it to be rather ironic how Left-leaning types claim that people who inherit wealth are getting welfare that they don’t need, something that is rather absurd as the promotion of the General Welfare is implicitly/explicitly talked about in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, however, they have no problem letting illegal aliens freeload off of us and giving them access to our welfare systems. Can you explain that? Can you explain the logic in why people are entitled to free college on the taxpayers’ dime and people who inherit wealth have limited rights to said inherited wealth?
Arllen Grossman, outside of the taxes owed, I would argue that forcible redistribution of wealth is theft.
Ragnar, if what you call ” forcible redistribution of wealth” are classified as extra taxes, is that considered to be theft? Just wondering.
I did not say that. What I was speaking of is how politicians worth millions of dollars talk about wealth redistribution and yet are unlikely to redistribute their own.
Ragnar, I would really like you to see this short Robert Reich video and give me your reaction. https://youtu.be/gSlHVZpNxMM. Spoiler alert—– You won’t find this on your favorite websites or Fox News.
Arlen Grossman, I like to get my news from many sources and then make up my own mind as to what is true.
Good, Ragnar, I’m glad to hear you look at many different news sources (although you seem to settle on a libertarian/conservative viewpoint, but that’s okay). In that spirit, I ask that you look at the Robert Reich video, which encapsulates my views pretty much. I would be interested in what you agree or disagree with, and what you think about what he says.
Arlen Grossman, are you familiar to any extent with Dave Ramsey or Jim Cramer?
Arlen Grossman, people should be able to live in freedom, not have government give them free stuff on the taxpayers’ dimes.
I think we need more concern for the 1 out of 6 American children living in poverty, and the millions of Americans without homes, health care, and food. This is unacceptable in the richest country on Earth, and more important to me than the tax situation of rich people.
Broken family situations are a cause of poverty. The welfare state is not doing anything but ensuring greater dependency upon the government.
Arlen Grossman, one thing I find to be rather convoluted is in how the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution talks about promoting the General Welfare, however, Left-leaning types complain that people who inherit wealth are getting welfare that they don’t need. Can you explain that inconsistency?
I think you are referring to corporate welfare, in which the federal government gives subsidies and tax breaks to wealthy corporations. Do they really need it? Of course not.
What baffles me, Ragnar, is why you seem to always defend and promote the welfare of the wealthy in this country. It’s not like they need your help. But you seem to identify with billionaires, and I’m guessing you’re not one of them. I never have understood your compassion for America’s wealthiest citizens. It’s a mystery to me.
Arlen Grossman, I just believe that people should be able to keep what they earn and that the family members should be able to keep the fruits of that labor.
I get that. But I’ve yet to see you with compassion for folks of more modest means. Those who truly need help.
Arlen Grossman, people who appear to be truly starving and desperate are those who need help. People who stand on street corners who hold probably homemade signs advertising states of hardship are just looking to line their own pockets.
Arlen Grossman, here are a few videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DMCsXq_mYw, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JDxSWPe7a0, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-94l1QE5Kk, 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9bBWP7fHFE I am not against the idea of pursuing a college education and getting a degree. The issue is who should pay for it. K-12 education is already free (taxpayer-funded,) however, government and teacher’s unions are robbing kids of the ability to learn. Were it not for the massive level of national debt and the unfunded and underfunded liabilities, I might be willing to see some legitimacy to the idea of tuition-free college. We have gone back and forth on the matter of the estate tax, however, to connect the estate tax and free college discussions, here are 3 questions for you: 1: From a moral standpoint, how can it be justified that people should be able to go to college for free on the taxpayers’ dime and yet some people have limited rights to inheritable wealth, even if they get a significant inheritance after taxes anyway? 2: Instead of giving away free college, why not get the government out of guaranteeing student loans? 3: What about people who pursue college courses online? 4: Is online education not only cheaper excluding WiFi costs than the tuition costs but also more scheduling friendly for people who may not have the time for all classes because of other commitments?
I have a tough time relating to some of your opinions and answering your questions, Ragnar. I believe it is because our values and philosophies are so different. I am most concerned about our country’s poverty, food insecurity, poor health care, poor education, etc. But I see there are countries that alleviate poverty, provide health care, higher education and many other services to its citizens. I would like us to be more like that.(Yes, more tax money must be used to accomplish these goals.) You, on the other hand, seem to prioritize keeping more of your money as well that of the wealthiest among us who often seem to pay little or no taxes. We are a microcosm of the problems faced by Congress, where the ideas of solving our nation’s problems seem insurmountable.
Arlen Grossman, outside of falling on hard times due to no making of one’s own, people who are on the street asking for money are just scamming us for their own benefit. Your money should be yours to do with as you please. The same is true for money that belongs to me and money that belongs to other people.
Arlen Grossman, taxes may be the price paid for living in a civilized society. Beyond that, nobody has any right to demand that the rich give them their money. Nobody has any right to democratically vote away any percentage of another person’s money.
The rich just need to pay their fair share of taxes, Ragnar. Did you notice how many giant corporations don’t pay taxes at all, FedEx and Nike, for example? https://itep.org/55-profitable-corporations-zero-corporate-tax/
Would you hold Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to the same standard? Bill Gates and Microsoft?
Absolutely! Any rich person or company that isn’t paying their fair share should be doing so. And if that were the case, we can get a lot accomplished here at home.
Arlen Grossman, I agree with you on that.
Arlen Grossman, the best way to fix the wealth gap is to fix the tax code. Encouraging savings and investment will grow the wallets of those with lesser means than giving them handouts in the form of extracting wealth from the rich to give to the poor. Poor people are able to remain poor because the welfare state rewards it.
Voluntary charity won’t do the trick. But I suppose really helping people is not your priority, or for most conservatives and libertarians. Keeping your money seems to have a higher priority than helping people who really need it.
Arlen Grossman, wealth redistribution as a talking point is only used by politicians to pander to their voter base.
I disagree, Ragnar. Wealth redistribution is badly needed in this country, because of the ever-widening wealth disparity in this country. In the U.S. the inequality is worse than any other developed country and the hig hest in our recorded history. Why? Because rich people get the most benefits, subsidies and tax breaks. A politician not addressing this worsening situation is negligent in his job.
Arlen Grossman, an easy solution is to let the redistribution of wealth take place via voluntary financial transactions. Here is a question for you: Why should someone who works his or her tail off only be able to keep 50% of the fruits of his or her labor, regardless of the amount accumulated in after-tax savings and not all of it?
Arlen Grossman, I would have no objection to the idea of tuition-free college if there was hard data which indicated that the costs was lower than some people believed. Example: Let’s say that some people estimated the cost at being $1, 000, 000, 000, 000.00 a year and some people said that the cost was less than that. Whose math is right in that sense?
I guess that would be determined by the cost that colleges are asking for. There are many to choose from. If necessary, there could be a limit on the maximum amount the government would pay.
Arlen Grossman, what you say makes a lot of sense to me.
Arlen Grossman, even though we have our areas of disagreement, I am enjoying your blog and find it to be very enlightening.
That’s kind of you to say, Ragnar, and appreciated. I hope to be more active on my blog soon. I’ve been stuck learning the new way WordPress.com (the web host) does things. I’m hoping to be ready soon.
Arlen Grossman, I will be mindful of how many posts I comment on and how lengthy my comments are. Despite that, your blog is something I am enjoying.
Arlen Grossman, if college is to become tuition-free, essentially taxpayer-funded, I think it would be very reasonable to allow the taxpayers to have some say-so in the degree pursuits of college students. It would be a bad investment to have the taxpayers pay for people to get higher education if the only end result is people graduating from college but can’t find decent jobs because their degree choice was incompatible with potential employment possibilities. One thing that rubs me the wrong way when I hear people talk about free college is that their only reason for wanting it to be free is based on their inability to afford it. The other thing that makes the arguments for free college hard to take seriously is people who have a “we breathe, therefor we deserve free stuff” mentality. Here are 3 questions for you which I ask in all sincerity: 1: Since people who went to college but decided to dropout to pursue other ideas have accumulated massive wealth with no student debt, why should they be obligated to bail other people out of their bad choices, such as taking on significant student loans and having these students asking for handouts because they don’t want to be obligated to the costs related to decisions that were of their own making? 2: Since politicians who talk about free stuff do it in an attempt to pander to us, why should they not be required to work without pay? 3: Even if free college was a doable thing, why not have dramatic spending cuts across-the-board, including a reduction in politicians’ salaries, to pay for it? It would be hypocritical for politicians to preach about giving away free stuff but not working for free themselves.
You would allow the government to have input in what degree college students should choose? Talk about government overreach!
Overall, you are stingy about money and worry about money more than anything. I think in terms of helping my fellow citizens get jobs, medical care, avoid poverty, get educated
and avoid the effects of global climate changing. That’s where we differ.
Arlen Grossman, I said the taxpayers, not the government. Outside of falling on hard circumstances due to no fault of their own, even having medical/health issues that make certain lines of work impractical, even impossible due to health risks, people can pursue other means of work. Nobody has to beg for money on street corners. You advocate government taking over health care, however, you accuse me of advocating government overreach regarding my saying that if colleges become taxpayer-funded that taxpayers should have some say-so as to the degree pursuits of the students. I said the taxpayers, not the government, should be able to have some say-so regarding what people should pursue as degrees if college is funded through our tax dollars. Either event gets financed with our tax dollars, so your premise is flawed.
I’m sorry, Ragnar, I’m confused. You’re saying taxpayers, not the government, should have some say-so regarding choice of degrees for college students, but not the government.. What I don’t understand is what is the difference between taxpayer money and government money? Doesn’t the government’s money come from the taxpayers? Please tell me the difference.
Arlen Grossman, here is an example for you: Someone wants to get a degree that specializes in physical therapy. That is something I would see as a legitimate use of taxpayer money to help fund. Because that would be both a benefit to the person pursuing that line of work and society as a whole because the person pursuing that as a career path can help more people in need of that service.
Sounds logical to me, Ragnar. But who gets to determine that if not the government? And we are left with the government interfering with the student’s choices. Do you want that kind of government interference?
Arlen Grossman, some people want the government to take control of things like our health care. By that logic, why not let it take over everything?
If the government were to take over everything, that would be communism. I prefer Democratic Socialism in which the government takes charge of areas that would be beneficial for most citizens. Capitalism has a role in the economy, too, but it must be far more regulated than it is now.
Arlen Grossman, I was dealing in some degree of hyperbole in my comment.
Arlen Grossman, government money is printed by the US Treasury. What money one has earned is the property of the individual and the family members of the individual by extension.
And how do citizens decide on the best degrees for college students? I don’t see how that can be done without going through the government. The government relies on taxpayer money and represents the citizens of our country.
Arlen Grossman, if people want tuition-free college, the only way I would be willing to agree to that is if the taxpayers got to have some level of influence in the degree pursuits. If someone says that he or she wants the taxpayers to pick up the tab, pursuit of a degree in medicine would be something I would be happy to help support. Just my thoughts.
Not out of the question. But how to implement it fairly could be a challenge.
Arlen Grossman, a person with a medical degree would be of great value to society.
Of course, Ragnar. Also a school teacher, a nurse, a stock broker, a cook, a musician….and thousands of other jobs. I’m not sure we should be choosing majors for other people. Actually, it sounds like a bad idea, in my opinion. Just being educated is a good thing and of value to society.
Arlen Grossman, no disagreement there.
Arlen Grossman, outside of the taxes they owe, we have no right to demand that the rich give us more of their money. This talk about forcibly redistributing wealth from one group of people to another under the assumption that those with less are being deprived of the opportunity to pursue their own paths to wealth creation and accumulation of assets is absurd. Here is an example for you: You have 3 people, 1 with $3, 000, 000.00, 1 with $550, 000.00 and one with $450, 000.00, all of which have enough money to be financially secure despite 2 people having more money than the 3rd person. Why should the person with the most wealth be required to balance out that wealth evenly with the other 2 people if the other 2 are financially secure already?
Arlen Grossman, if wealth redistribution must take place, I would argue that it is better to engage in it via voluntary financial transactions. Nobody has any right, either morally or practically, to pick another person’s pocket and take a certain percentage of the other person’s wealth to line the pocket of the person taking that wealth.
Ragnar, you use some politically charged words to make your case: “pick another person’s pocket” and “line the pocket of.” It is easy to see your biases. I would say paying taxes is a reasonable thing to ask of citizens who can afford it.. Taxes are the cost of financing the government in its efforts to make a better society. Every developed country in the world collects taxes for that purpose. I do not see that as picking “another person’s pocket.” It is the cost of being a good citizen.
As for how the government spends that money is a different matter. I’m sure both of would agree that they don’t do it wisely. But that is why we elect representatives to steer the expenses in the right direction. It’s messy, but I think it far better than neglecting the needs of our fellow citizens, or to have those decisions made by an autocrat.
Arlen Grossman, if you want to give away your own money to someone on the street, that is your prerogative. The same is true for me or anybody else. What I find distasteful is when con/scam artists are out there feigning states of hardship and then line their pockets with money they conned us out of by feigning states of hardship.
Regarding your claim about millions of people being hungry and homeless, here are 3 questions for you: 1: Did it not occur to you that unless people seem to truly be starving that their signs claiming that they need food is just a means to scam us in order to satisfy addictions to drugs and alcohol? 2: If more than half of them are able-bodied and have the capacity to work, why not have them actually work to meet the work requirement for welfare benefits? 3: While it is morally right to help people who seem to need it, what if they brush off the person offering the help?
For some reason, it seems to be important to you to describe people in need as scam artists, liars, and substance abusers. What percent of those in need have these characteristics? If you watch your John Stossels, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson, etc. you might have a picture of hordes of poor people (usually of color) invading rich neighborhoods and demanding “free stuff.” That’s a distorted reality.
Also, you present as a major problem these people of poor means trying to get help.
For some unknown reason you don’t focus on billionaires and large corporations who have great wealth that overwhelms the money of welfare recipients. You know, the wealthy who benefit from subsidies, tax breaks, offshore accounts, the best lawyers, etc.
In other words you worry about poor people taking advantage of the system, yet give a free pass to the people who have all the money.
It should be the other way around. But that’s never the case when the right-wing assigns blame and drive wedges between people.
Arlen Grossman, that woman in the Freeloaders: Panhandling segment that held up a sign advertising distress took the money and was lining her own pocket. Outside of people who are truly desparate, I would not be surprised if a good percentage are scam/con artists whose goal s to con us out of our money. They don’t want help, just handouts.
Arlen Grossman, here are 2 videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrQu5grf5v8, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smI3FaGHW6w There is no such thing as free stuff. Politicians who talk about free stuff are clearly living in a state of delusional thinking. Unless and until politicians who talk about free stuff are willing to work for free, they should just shut up and do the jobs we elect them to do.
The use of the term “free stuff” is a dead giveaway for what you think people want. People don’t go around asking for “free stuff.”
Arlen Grossman, “free” college is an example of free stuff. Inheritable wealth is “free” stuff, so I don’t get the double-standard as to why one group of people is entitled to free stuff, such as free college and free health care, however, those same people gripe that people who inherit wealth are getting free stuff. The only difference is in the fact that inherited wealth costs the general public nothing. Paying for tuition-free college and these other freebies that people want costs the taxpayers a lot of money and for what? People to come out of college and can’t find jobs because of pursuit of useless degrees, such as arts degrees? Review that Keely Mullen video. She is among the free stuff crowd.
People will more likely ask for medical care, money for food, or a rent subsidy. You like the term “free stuff,” but I would call it assistance to those in need. In this ultra-capitalist country, many people cannot afford these things, and need some help. Perhaps it would be better if people starve, be unable to get medical care, or live in the streets. I would rather such people get some help from their government, as is done in other developed countries.
Arlen Grossman, people who pay into Social Security and Medicare, as well as the disability system have earned those benefits. People who refuse to work who sit on street corners with signs asking for money are just con/scam artists in a lot of cases.
Arlen Grossman, here is a video I would like to get your thoughts on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slFZ8K2aBoY I know that I seem to advocate for the wealthy. That is untrue. My belief is that people should just not look to pick other people’s pockets to pay for their own wants. One thing that Mitt Romney said in his 47% comment that was true is that there are some people who feel as if they are entitled to things that they have no right to.
Arlen Grossman, here are 3 videos for you: 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd-MP6pXzuc, 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5n2HZcox2E, 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJmOusBxr7g Outside of a voluntary exchange where a good or service is provided to a person or group at no charge, nobody has any right to free stuff just because they can’t afford it, nor do people who want to go to college but can’t afford it have the right to demand handouts from the rich to cover the costs.
I especially like some of the comments after the first Pakman video:
“Ever notice it’s only called “free stuff” when it might help the American people?”
“It’s called free stuff when it benefits people. It’s called tax incentives when you give it to corporations.”
Arlen Grossman, there is inconsistency on both sides regarding free college and inheritable wealth. Those on the Right object to free college but not letting people keep all inherited wealth, Those on the Left want to levy taxes on inheritable wealth but give us free college and free health care, et cetera. Here are my general thoughts: If people want free college, free health care, et cetera, then people whose wealth is inherited should be able to keep it all tax-free.
Arlen Grossman, just because some people have more money than other people does not mean that the people with less are forced into states of poverty. Bill Gates having more money than I do is not hurting me financially, so I have no right to what he has. Good and responsible money management is why rich people get richer and poor money management is why we have many poor people. Welfare programs are also an incentive for poor people to keep being poor. Why work to earn a living if half of what one earns is taxed and redistributed to people who have done nothing to earn any of that money?
Ragnar, you say “Bill Gates having more money than I do is not hurting me financially,” I don’t know about Bill Gates specifically, but I do know that a great many billionaires and corporations paid no income tax at all. And many use offshore accounts to hold their money and not get taxed. So my position is these rich people are hurting the rest of us financially by not paying their fair share of taxes.
Then you say “Good and responsible money management is why rich people get richer and poor money management is why we have many poor people.” That is way too simplistic and often very wrong. “Responsible money management” often means having the best lawyers, lobbyists, and accountants to avoid the taxes that the rest of us pay.
Poor people are often poor because they have low-paying jobs and get laid off, or they have huge medical bills (which wouldn’t happen in any other developed country), they may get hurt or disabled,or have outrageous student loan debts (which once again wouldn’t happen in any other developed country), and other reasons that don’t have anything to do with poor money management.
And I don’t know of anybody (perhaps you do) who refuses to work because other people collect welfare.
The bottom line, as I see it, Ragnar is that you imagine a simplistic, unrealistic world in which rich people are wonderful and deserve everything they get. And people that are poor
are lazy and demanding, never work and have substance abuse and similar problems.
I can understand your point of view if your world is made up of these stereotypical, and often wrong, beliefs about rich and poor people. You would be better off observing the real world and not relying on the John Stossels and Fox News types, who only show evidence that confirms their prejudices.
If I sound too harsh, I apologize. But I often react that way when others rely on prejudices and stereotypes to make their argument.
Arlen Grossman, as I said, I believe that people should just leave each other alone. Your money belongs to you and my money belongs to me. I do not believe that people who are at the very least willing to make an effort to get by are lazy or demanding, just the people like the Keely Mullen types who want handouts despite coming from wealthy families. Here are questions for you: 1: Did it not occur to you that the very people who want to tax and redistribute wealth from the rich to the rest of us under the guise of fairness would be very likely unwilling to give away half of their wealth, regardless of the amount, to the government? 2: Had it not occurred to you that the people who advocate taking wealth from the rich to redistribute it to the rest of us are very likely the same people who advocated theft of land from Native American tribes and their forced relocation as an end result and also theft of the labor of African-Americans via slavery? 3: Since K-12 education is already free (taxpayer-funded,) what gives anybody the right to impose financial burdens on the taxpayers that obligates them to pay for higher education if some of them don’t benefit from it? I am not against having an educated population. Having said that, nobody has any right to pick another person’s pocket to pay for that person’s wants or needs.
For you, Ragnar, everything seems to be about keeping your money and especially that of well-off people. I’m not losing any sleep over making sure everybody keeps their every dollar. I am more concerned about providing services for the American people, and making this a nicer and happier country..
Many countries provide medical care and college for their citizens. Only in America can people can go bankrupt over medical bills, or be unable to afford a college education. Sorry, Ragnar. but taxes are needed to pay for government services, and citizens need to pay their taxes, and those with the most money need to pay a bit more.
The Scandinavian countries do a good job of helping their citizens, and the people in their countries are happier than those in the U.S. If you have the time, Ragnar, read this by Thom Hartmann and you will better understand my thinking https://hartmannreport.com/p/why-america-cant-have-nice-things
Arlen Grossman, the issue of the $20, 000, 000, 000, 000.00+ level of debt and the unfunded and underfunded liabilities are more pressing issues in my opinion than catering to the whims of people who want college to be free just because they can’t afford it. If some people can’t afford something, that does not entitle them to said things for free. This is the thing that irritates me about politicians who campaign on giving us free stuff. It is still financed with our tax dollars, so it may be free out-of-pocket, however, not even remotely free otherwise.
Arlen Grossman, I go back to the Keely Mullen video. She claimed that her family was on government assistance and was scraping by to put her through college. From what I read, she actually comes from a wealthy family, so her claim is a bunch of b.s. insofar as I can tell.
Okay, we can all agree that Kelly Mullen is not legitimate. And what does that prove? You apparently don’t read or you judgingè ignore my comments. For example, I wrote “You would be better off observing the real world and not relying on the John Stossels and Fox News types, who only show evidence that confirms their prejudices.” Don’r you understand, Ragnar? One anecdote is interesting but proves nothing. Look at a large number of people to understand trends and probabilities.
Arlen Grossman, when someone is on the street holding a sign advertising a state of distress and then pockets money that he or she conned other people out of, that does not indicate desperation. That person is just a scam/con artist.
Those who claim to be on government assistance and yet whine about people contributing nothing should look in the mirror. Many rich people get rich by screwing over other people and many rich people got that way by their own merits as a result of creation of goods and services to satisfy the wants and needs of other people.
Arlen Grossman, the thing about the welfare state is that people make money for doing nothing and people who work hard have to pay 50% or more in taxes to support them. You could say that people who inherit wealth are getting money for doing nothing, however, the difference is in the fact that government programs cost taxpayers millions of dollars to fund and inherited wealth cost the government nothing.
Arlen Grossman, our current tax code is part of the problem. The wealth tax being talked about by the democrats is only used to pander to voters in order to dupe them into voting for the democrats. Before the welfare state, people took pride in the ability to be productive and earn their own way, not get handouts from the government. One of the problems is the marriage penalty.
Arlen Grossman, outside of legitimate disabilities that make certain lines of work unrealistic due to safety hazards, I don’t see why other forms of work are not looked into. One example of work that poses no risks unless any person has an allergic reaction to dogs or cats is helping a pet grooming service and making money from that.
You said, “And I don’t know of anybody (perhaps you do) who refuses to work because other people collect welfare.” What if the people who are working are being taxed excessively to pay for other people to be on welfare?
“Being taxed excessively because other people collect welfare” is difficult to quantify. It is a matter that is subjective. Your view of “taxed excessively” is probably different than mine. “People collecting welfare” may be lying on the couch eating bon-bons, or it might mean helping people get off poverty and get a fresh start.
Arlen Grossman, outside of legitimate disabilities that make certain lines of work impossible, other means of employment can be found.
You are right here, but it’s not that simple, Ragnar. Millions of jobs simply pay too little to be worth taking. Even with a raise to $15 per hour, a typical family of four couldn’t afford the basics in any U.S. state, according to a CNBC analysis of cost-of-living data by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (This example assumes two kids and two adults working full-time for minimum pay.)
If we got rid of the payroll tax, more money would be available for the employer(s) in a business to pay the employee(s) of said business. Outside of allergic reactions to dogs or cats, people who love animals can help out at pet stores or vets and provide grooming and other animal-related hygiene services.
Arlen Grossman, here is a video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJmOusBxr7g I don’t agree politically with Kyle Kulinski or Bill Maher. Having said that, to his credit, even Bill Maher gets the fact that there is no such thing as free stuff. I really don’t get the push for free stuff from some people, either by politicians to get votes or people whose wants for free stuff is just based on their perceived sense of entitlement to said stuff because they allegedly can’t afford the stuff they want. Nobody is owed anything in life on-demand.
Arlen Grossman, I know we have differing views on the tax issue in general and the estate tax in particular. My objection to the estate tax is largely based on a distrust of the government to manage the revenue from such a tax, even any form of income-based taxation, very well. The only other objection is based on the double-standard of how Left-leaning types whine about people getting welfare that they don’t need, which is perplexing due to inheritable wealth not costing the taxpayers or the government a dime and yet they seem to have no problem with people being on government programs that cost taxpayers thousands, if not millions, of dollars or giving people free stuff on the dime of the taxpayers.
On the matter of education, K-12 education is already free (taxpayer-funded.) Beyond that, people who want college to be free (taxpayer-funded) are just trying to shift the financial responsibilities that are supposed to belong to college-aged people on to the taxpayers with the only goal of looking for handouts. Due to a medically complex situation, I don’t see college being in my future. Even if it is, I would not feel like I am entitled to it at the expense of other people. Nor do I believe it should be free just because some people can’t afford it, as it would be indicative of a double-standard to require people who can afford the costs to pay and people who cannot afford the costs getting a free ride. People who cannot afford the costs have no right to force other people to pay for their education. If the tuition fees are not affordable, people have no business going.
Wealth taxes as a proposal from the democrats would be devastating to the economy. Of course, politicians who talk about that probably have millions of dollars that they would try to shelter from that tax. Rather than whining about some people having more money than they could ever spend, people should keep their hands out of other people’s pockets.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
Arlen Grossman,there may be some things that we disagree on. However, I think it is mostly the tax issue.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
This is what I wanted you to look at, Ragnar: https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/historical-highest-marginal-income-tax-rates
Arlen Grossman, outside of falling on hard times due to no fault of their own, people who are on the street asking for money are looking for handouts. He may be putting a spin on it to his favor, however, John Stossel’s segments about freeloaders who panhandle and bad laws contributing to homelessness seem to be mostly fact based.
Arlen Grossman, self-made wealthy people don’t owe anybody anything. People who hold signs on the street asking for money are just looking to freeload. Why should those who work 40/hrs or more a week have to fork over money to support people who live on the streets by choice?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is the “general welfare” part of the preamble. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether or not the items you refer to are Constitutional.
Arlen Grossman, I am not interested in paying for someone to be indoctrinated into the belief that they are victims of an unfair system.
But what if the system is unfair?
Arlen Grossman, we can do our best to have the system be equitable and fair for all. However, the fact of the matter is that nothing in life is fair or unfair in entirety.
But if the system is unfair for somebody, I believe they should speak up and try to correct the situation. Don’t you agree?
Arlen Grossman, I agree with you in some ways. Here is a question for you: How is it fair to the taxpayers to make them subsidize things that they get no benefit from and yet it is not fair to let the family’s heir(s) keep every penny that is inherited tax-free?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..?
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
Arlen Grossman, we agree to some extent. The area of disagreement is in who should pay.
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.
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?
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?
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?
Arlen Grossman, outside of a voluntary exchange, wanting something without paying for it is theft.
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.
No, Ragnar, a wealth tax is not meant to stir envy and division. It is needed to pay for the services desperately needed to fix the huge problems in this country: poverty, homelessness, hunger, health care, education, record income inequality, and so much more. The rich, who are paying less than ever in taxes, need to pay a fairer share of their wealth to help this country. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/06/opinion/income-tax-rate-wealthy.html
Arlen Grossman, a wealth would be Unconstitutional without an Amendment to implement it. Of course, since when do Progressives care about the U.S. Constitution?
Arlen Grossman, a wealth tax would be Unconstitutional without an Amendment to implement it. Of course, since when do Progressives care about the U.S. Constitution?
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
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, thismay be simplistic, however, your money belongs to you and my money belongs to me.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, if you invented a software system, you would not owe me the product.
Arlen Grossman, you could sell me the product in my scenario I mention. Having said that, if you built it, it is yours to do with as you please.
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.
Arlen Grossman, I believe that everyone should have a decent living standard. I believe that money cannot buy true happiness. On the matter of getting money out of politics, I actually do agree with you on that.
That’s good to hear.
Arlen Grossman, one problem we have is that our tax code does not encourage savings and investment.
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.
Arlen Grossman, if we went back to the gold standard, do you see yourself supporting such a policy?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
Arlen Grossman, if someone inherited $15, 000, 000.00, I would let them keep 50% of it. Just my thoughts
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, free just means taxpayer-funded.
I think that is obvious to everyone. Your point?
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In your view of the world, Ragnar, the rich use their money to invest in and grow the American economy, while those poor people who take government assistance are lazy and demanding. No doubt the rich are pleased with your views and encourage those who believe like you to allow them to keep getting richer.
But in the world we live in today, the rich continue to grow their wealth while most Americans struggle to get ahead and for some, struggle to make ends meet. As usual, capitalism works well for those at the top, but not so well for everyone else.
If you have time, you might want to look at some articles with statistics that show how things are in the real world.
Arlen Grossman, there is a difference between people who fall on hard times and do need help people who claim to fall on hard times in order to scam us out of our money. People who tell sob stories in order to dupe us into paying for their stuff are looking for handouts only. Those who truly need help either openly admit to it or are probably too prideful to admit that they need help.
Fine, but how doyou determine who really needs it?
Arlen Grossman, hearing people in their own words or by observing their actions. Example: A person seems to be starving and is offered a cheeseburger. Said person bats it away and says he or she wants money, not food. Will that person buy his or her own food or buy drugs and alcohol? How are we to know?
And how is the social worker behind his desk to know who should get assistance?
Arlen Grossman, you make a good point. Maybe a background check would be a good place to start. Here is a question for you: Even though it is considered as being “welfare” either way, why is it justifiable to subsidize families that live in poverty with our tax dollars and yet it is wrong for people who want to leave wealth to living family members when they are deceased? Outside of the taxes legally owed, nobody has any right to money that belongs to other people outside of the family members of those people.
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?
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, re-watch the Stossel videos I linked. Nobody has to be homeless. They just choose to be on the streets.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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..
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),
Arlen Grossman, your answers are actually those that I can agree with. So we seem to be on the same page.
I’m a bit surprised, but pleasantly.
Arlen Grossman, I know we will have areas where we will not see eye to eye. Having said that, I am enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.
You are welcome.
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.
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
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.
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.
I’d say most people feel that way. Even me.
Arlen Grossman, we agree on that.
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.
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.
Your last two sentences, Ragnar, where is your evidence for saying that?
Arlen Grossman, look at the Great Society which was promoted by Lyndon Johnson. His goal was to legally re-enslave the black community by making them dependent upon the government. Here is a link for you: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/lbj-voting-democratic/
There is no question LBJ could be quite crude. But the Great Society involved a large number of domestic programs. It was put in place for many reasons, not just to help black people. I’m sure we feel differently about whether it was successful or not.
Arlen Grossman, I would not have any objections to implementing work requirements for people who are on welfare to access those benefits. Example: A medically disabled person who can work to some degree would be eligible for disability benefits if the income did not exceed a specific threshold. The exception to the rule would be for people who would want to work but have medically complex situations that make certain types of work impractical.
I have no problem with that.
We agree on this.
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/
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, in that video I linked about college students wanting top earners to pick up the tab, Keely Mullen said 3 core demands.
I don’t know who Kelly Mullen is, other than great fodder for Fox News. But she is one person and does not represent all students.
Arlen Grossman, this is true.
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.
You are right. Both sound good to me.
I agree with you on that.
Amazing we can agree on many things despite our differences. I suppose it’s a good thing.
Arlen Grossman, that is a good thing.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
But, Ragnar, how do you tell the difference between the needy and the fakers? That would be tough to do.
Arlen Grossman, this is true.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Arlen Grossman, we do not have too many rich people. We have too few of them.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All blame shouldn’t fall on the rich, Ragnar. But a lot should, because the rich own our country and its politicians.
Arlen Grossman, I will not deny the fact that the rich can buy off a lot of politicians who will make laws favorable to the rich. To be fair, some people who become wealthy may become self-made millionaires. Should they be taxed out the wazoo if much of their wealth is acquired through hard work and redistributed to other people or should they be able to reap the rewards of their productivity?
Maybe you didn’t notice the huge tax cut for the wealthy that Donald Trump signed. There are always tax breaks for the rich. I don’t know why you think the rich are taxed too much.
Besides, helping out our society with taxes is not a bad thing.
Arlen Grossman, if I had to choose between paying for someone to go to college who I had no relation to or helping a person who was starving, the starving person would take precedence over someone who demanded that I pay for that person to o to college. Rather than go to a typical university, a trade school would be better if people actually wanted to make money.
Thom Hartmann sums up the issue for me very well.https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2020/07/blowing-lid-billionaires-big-con-and-its-deadly-link-coronavirus-pandemic
Arlen Grossman, I am inclined to disagree with Thom Hartmann on the tax issue. Having said that, I have liked the videos he has on his Youtube channel.
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.
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..
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, your answers make perfect sense. I do agree with you on point #2.
Glad to hear it, Ragnar. Thank you.
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?
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.
Arlen Grossman, expecting honesty from any politicians nowadays seems to be asking too much.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, that point was not lost on me. The problem is in how some people do not seem to be given credit where it is due.
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.
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).
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arlen Grossman, now I cannot remember the comment I initially made. So I do not mean to waste your time with that detail.
A grain in sand on the beach, since you have so many more comments. Best wishes.
Arlen Grossman, you had mentioned favoring restrictions on hate speech. I agree with you on principle. Having said that, the problem is where the line should be drawn between actual hate speech and people who fling that accusation just because they arbitrarily decided that something offends them where no offense is intended.
I can agree with that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
I agree, Ragnar. I appreciate your honesty. It is a given that the system will be abused, but we must ensure that people who need it, get it.. In other words, we don’t want throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Arlen Grossman, taking partisan politics out of the equation, which politicians on both sides of the aisle have you observed as being seen to actually want to resolve this issue? I would like to get your perspective.
What issue specifically do we want to resolve?
Arlen Grossman, getting money out of politics is a good start.
It will make all the difference in the world. it would upend our political system…and that’s a good thing.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Arlen Grossman, I agree with you.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Arlen Grossman, the difference is that the people who were on welfare in that case needed help. The problem with welfare is the fraud aspect.
And you can tell the difference how? Or should we not provide welfare just in case there is fraud?
Arlen Grossman, government is not supposed to be our nanny.
You’re right about that’s, Ragnar. But government is supposed to help its citizens. Giving financial aid to those who need it is reasonable. All developed countries do it and it is the decent thing to do.
Arlen Grossman, what you said made me think of hurricane Katrina.
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.
Arlen Grossman, read through my original response. The fact of the matter is that these people who are demanding free stuff have been brainwashed by their college professors and the empty promises from politicians of the Democratic Party.
Sometimes, Ragnar, you sound intelligent, with a mind of your own. Other times you just seem to be parroting right-wing talking points.
Arlen Grossman, thank you for the compliment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 beli