(Here's a good one: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46697 which doesn't brush with Godwin.)
Distribution of wealth is an issue, to be sure. I have a problem with the *agenda* of those who seek to forcibly "fix" the issue via increasingly progressive taxation, using the illusion of class warfare to promote it. We've already demonstrated that increased taxation does not solve economic problems; it only permits the government to get bigger and bigger.
Back to the issue at hand: if the real issue is lopsided distribution of wealth, why are celebrities not being tarred with the same brush as corporate leaders, when they have even *more* of that allegedly hoarded wealth?
At this point, I'd really like to see a private, NGO-funded audit of the federal budget. I want to know where the hell all this money is *truly* going. Given it's gargantuan size, I simply don't believe that it's mostly going to medicare, 800$ hammers, and social security (read: defense and social programs, in gen) and not to enourmous amount of guttable pork.
Getting very close to seeing a Dave-vention as a desireable option.
So, the author of the article proposes that the Occupy Wall Street folks should start beating the ally mugger instead of beating the serial killer.
Because that's what I took away from the article.
People fail to look at the bottom line, I think. Hollywood's excesses are awful, and it would be entertaining to see the baleful light of truth and justice shine on all those fuckers, but I don't think it would have the impact that shining the light on the banksters might provide.
Hollywood's corruption does impact lives. People get screwed over constantly in that industry, to include the consumer. But, honestly, I can live without movies, television, and a lot of other crap they generate.
I can't really live without food, shelter, and clothing.
Which brings us to the banksters. They've definitely fucked with 'shelter'.
That's incontrovertable. Further, they've fucked with every other sector of employment out there, because all businesses (particularly small to medium sized businesses) occasionally need to take out loans. And, honestly, their excesses have consistently been a problem in this country. Unless, of course, you don't think The Great Depression was a very big deal.
So, really, it's an issue of scale. The banksters need to clean themselves up for the good of the country. Hollywood needs to clean itself up for the good of the entertainment industry.
In any event, the real problem is in our government, I think.
I never used to think that it was good and right to distribute wealth from the rich to the poor, but my mind is changing, somewhat.
The top 0.1% of this country's wealthy people hold a very, very large percentage of all money in this country. And, I think, most of them do not actually work, so about the only contribution they could possibly make to society is to help use their money to drive industry. Which, I think, most of them do.
And you know, that's fine. But you have to consider something... the very rich know how, and have a proclivity for attracting wealth to themselves, moreso than anyone else. And when there's only so many dollars out there (even if you print more, you just dilute the currency), as the rich accumulate more money, there's less for anyone else.
Now, if you're a laborer (and chances are, if you're reading this, you are a laborer), and you decide you'll always be a laborer, you've pretty much figured out that you aren't the type of person who can accumulate money to yourself. You've probably come to agree that you will work for other people providing labor, and gaining a paycheck for your efforts. Maybe you're particularly skilled, so you'll get a higher paycheck than unskilled people, but it's more-or-less the same... you're a laborer.
Even if you don't quite fit the above (stock options, whatever), you are probably not one of the 0.1% who holds the majority of the wealth in this country. You're probably just another person hoping to be able to retire comfortably, maybe sell the business to someone else or whatever.
If your chunk of the pie (dollars) is getting smaller, with more of it going to the super-rich, and the super-rich isn't voluntarily passing any of it back to the laborers (wage cuts, moving jobs overseas, stealing retirement funds, reducing benefits, not providing medical insurance, etc), you are basically getting squeezed to a point where, collectively, you will break.
And at that point, I guess, there will be a storming of the bastille.
The government used to provide some of that redistribution, either through laws or various benefits. If the government continued to do that, it should ensure the monies taken from the rich are distributed to laborers who best benefit society as whole (which, to me, means the small to medium sized businesses, as they provide the bulk of employment).
But, increasingly, what ways the government had for doing this have been stripped, while businesses provide less for their laborers.
I think, although the Wall Street Dingbats don't *really* know why they're angry, they are responding to what they feel. I think it's a warning.
Take it a step further. The wealthiest 10% of Americans earn 45 percent of the nation's income, but pay 70% of the taxes.
And one step further ... the top 25% earn 67% of the money, and pay 86% of the taxes.
So ... tax the rich? More? At what point will the occupy-mob consider the "banksters" to be paying "their fair share?"
If this movement is authentic (and again, I have my doubts) ... it makes me quite fearful that Alexis de Tocqueville was correct in pretty much everything he's ever written.
I think you're flattening dimensions here not able to bear the needed information.
I think one would need a graph here; x axis % of population, y axis % of income
best twice, one to the direction %welthiest and %poorest.
If the movement did nothing else, it at least got us to seriously look at what the fuck is going on, and get outraged. I dunno if we're outraged eough to do anything about it, but at least some people are pissed off. I would be one of them.
Yes. Tax the rich even more. Of all the people in this country, tax those fuckers until it hurts, for having public funds bail their corporations out when they should have gone under.
You can't possibly tax the middle class or the poor too much more... certainly not enough to come up with the absolutely astonishing numbers we're seeing in TARP and (maybe soon) FDIC. If our government is now expected to fund corporate wellfare in addition to citizen's wellfare, tax them until they bleed.
Read that link again, IG. The rich not only accumulate wealth, they also accumulate power. Their wealth helps grant them the ability to make changes in government that benefit them.
If we're investing in corporate wellfare, we have no choice but to increase the burden on the rich. And, yes, it's fucking unfair... there are plenty of wealthy people who didn't fuck over their corporations, who managed to run a clean, decent business under sound business policy, and maybe even devoid of corruption. But you and I cannot afford to bail out banksters. Only the rich can do that. And if there is ever going to be any change to prevent us from bailing those fuckers out again, it will have to happen from the wealthy who refuse to bail them out in the future.
Tax the rich, hard, and make them fix the problem.
But it won't happen. I'd be really surprised if our politicians actually do anything substantive to fix this problem. I will not be surprised if in another ten to twenty years, we have a civil war.
I think you're seeing what I see.
It's about the ratios, not the absolute dollars.
By ratio, the middle class is very badly burdened, and its getting worse.
The rich are hardly impacted at all.
The theory of 'trickle down' involves the rich putting money back into The System (economy, I guess) which trickles down to everyone else. The hard numbers show that is total bullshit... the rich do not put money back into the economy for everyone else, but keep it for themselves, creating more and more disparity between themselves and the rest of the citizenry.
Taxes are about the only way the money gets redistributed to the population at large, unfortunately, since the rich won't do it on their own. And, now, even the taxes won't do it. So maybe we're headed towards an economic collapsed sponsored by the wealthy, I dunno.
Taxation *should* be progressive; basically, you have trouble running a functioning government on a flat tax without placing an unfair burden on the poor. Right now we have a bell-curve tax; it's mostly progressive but, due to loopholes, not entirely.
But it doesn't have to be that way. European countries often have a much less progressive tax structure than we do; they simply make up for this with more progressive social programs.
It might be interesting to see how much taxes less "the rich" could be paying if they were paying all their taxes. For example, according to our primary yellow press magazine, the greeks have 200 billions € on offshore accounts (mostly switzerland), alledgedly... Dodging taxes is a widespread hobby of germans, too.
Lots of american companies have their main headquarter in ireland for tax reasons (and the EU recently bailed ireland out of their debts, iirc...), Bono (that head fag of U2) has his main place of living in netherlands, because he pays less taxes there. If all of these people were living in the country they call "home" (for whatever reason they do so) and pay proper taxes, maybe the state wouldn't need to tax them that much. If Apple would still build their hardware in US instead of Shenzen, pay their employees more and charge the same, they wouldn't gain as much as they do now, but the US might gain more...
Also maybe legallizing all drugs and taxing them might cash in some money while at the same time it might reduce the money spent for border control and on crime fighting the mafia... But that would be unethical, i guess.
Then again, I don't understand politics and economy, so what the heck. ;)
Lots of american companies have their main headquarter in ireland for
tax reasons (and the EU recently bailed ireland out of their debts,
I don't know about Irish company headquarters... but a lot of pharma companies have manufacturing in Ireland. These companies aren't Irish-owned, so they don't contribute to Ireland's GNP.
Google for example has its main part of the company there, at least the one that should be paying business tax in USA. They only have 15% business tax or something like that in ireland. So they gain a little by all the foreign countries but still not enough to bail out their own banks, EU did that. They also wont raise their tax, since the foreign businesses would leave then...
There's a case to be made that Ireland shouldn't have bailed their banks out. (Yes, they did bail out their own banks, effectively transferring big subprime losses into government debt.)
The chain of events was: first Ireland bails out its own banks. Then, oops, debt trouble, time to go looking for a bailout for the Irish government.
This would not have been such a huge problem if Ireland still had their own printing press... but no, that printing press is under lock and key at the ECB.
Fundamentally, Ireland chose to bail out foreign bank creditors to their own banks; bad deal for Irish citizens; massive losses for Irish depositors would have been awful, but quite possibly preferable. So it's not as simple as saying Ireland just went looking for a handout.
They've had terrible economic problems before.
I hope they like potatos.
Plenty of peat, though, so no need for foreign oil.
Subject: Re: One Law. Period.
Tue Oct 18 2011 13:09:17 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored Subject: Re: One Law. Period.There is only, precisely, One Law.
Are we referring to "the One Law, the totality of all laws" as discovered by Moses?
Or something else?
It is mathematically impossible to have more than one law if the requirement is that such laws are to be coherent.
Moses ? I try to steer clear of religious perspectives as they so often end up creating very intense RDFs where logic threads
undergo quantum entanglement at relativistic velocities which even heavy doses of alcohol cannot alleviate...
[Urgent note to self: Drink coffee at least one hour before turning logging onto uncensored and typing things one might regret later ]
charred, dead monkeys.
in a light wine sauce.
Subject: Re: One Law. Period.
undergo quantum entanglement at relativistic velocities which even heavy
doses of alcohol cannot alleviate...
You're occupying the wrong Zone of Thought.