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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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What tax benefits mean to us

Just thought this was something everyone should read about. here's the story:

President Bush came to Chicago on Tuesday to begin selling what he characterized as a sweeping, bold plan to jump-start the economy--proposing everything from eliminating the taxes investors pay on dividends to creating new $3,000 accounts to help the unemployed find jobs.

"I proposed a bold plan because the need for this plan is urgent," Bush told a crowd of cheering businessmen at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. "Our nation has seen two years of serious and steady challenges."

Bush said his economic stimulus package would cut Americans' taxes by $98 billion this year and $670 billion over the next decade, putting cash in 92 million Americans' pockets while creating 2.1 million jobs. Many of the provisions have been leaking out of the Bush administration for days, but the president chose Chicago to begin the job of selling the public in a half-hour speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.

Democrats in Congress argue Bush's proposals largely benefit the wealthy, with 45 percent of the tax cuts going to 1 percent of Americans--those who make more than $350,000 a year.

"The majority of the benefits ought to go to the majority of Americans," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). "This latest Bush proposal is as bad as the first one. It is not going to save the economy. It is going to help the fat cat contributors.''

State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who is also Illinois state GOP chairwoman, dismissed such talk, saying the Democrats "are always whining about something or other."

"I think it's great," she said of Bush's proposal. "It covers such a variety of people, and the fact that it is reaching out and touching people who are going to need the most help is very, very good."

For his part, Bush went out of his way to sound bipartisan themes. He met with Democratic Gov.-elect Rod Blagojevich and took Mayor Daley along on the helicopter ride from O'Hare Airport to Meigs Field. Bush said he chose Chicago to unveil his economic plan because it "is one of America's great cities.''

"And one of the reasons why is because you have a great mayor in Richard Daley," Bush said. "We're from different political parties, but we have some things in common: We both married above ourselves. ... We both have famous and influential brothers. Our dads spent a little time in politics. And we love our country more than we love our political parties."

Both the mayor and his brother--former Commerce Secretary William Daley, who ran Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign against Bush--sat on the stage with Bush.

"I think he hit a home run," Mayor Daley said after Bush's speech. "It isn't good vs. evil, rich vs. poor. It's dealing with the economy of the nation."

Bush tried to paint an upbeat picture of the economic progress made under his watch, but conceded "in spite of successes, we have more work to do.

"Too many of our citizens who want to work cannot find a job. And many employers lack the confidence to invest and create new jobs."

Bush is asking Congress to make a variety of tax relief measures already passed for future years effective immediately, including tax cuts set to go into effect in 2004 and 2006.

The president pledged he would then direct the Treasury to immediately adjust the amount withheld from workers' paychecks to allow them to reap some of that savings now.

"If tax relief is good enough for Americans three years from now, it is good enough for Americans today," Bush said.

Bush said a typical family of four with both parents working to earn $39,000 in yearly income would reap more than $1,100 in tax relief.

But the centerpiece of his package is the sweeping call to eliminate the taxes investors pay on dividends. Bush characterized it as an issue of fairness, because the dividends are taxed twice--once as a company's profits and again when they are paid to shareholders as dividends.

"Double taxation is bad for our economy," Bush said. "Double taxation is wrong. Double taxation falls especially hard on retired people. About half of all dividend income goes to America's seniors, and they often rely on those checks for a steady source of income in their retirement."



For more opinions here's the link
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bush08.html

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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 09:48 AM
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I'll start this off by saying the rhetoric about double taxation is a bunch of

Our money is double taxed all the time. First your income is taxed. Then you take your income and buy a house and pay property tax. You go to the store and pay sales tax. You buy gasoline and pay a whole plethora of taxes.

I love Topinka's addition to the discussion. Yep, the Democrats are always whining about something... and so are the Republicans, so what's the point?.

I need to think about the proposal more as I haven't heard all the details yet. On the surface it sounds like more supply-side economics that increases the money available to corporations and the wealthier than average under the hope that the money will find it's way into the economy (trickle-down theory).

A similar economic strategy during the Reagan era left us with the largest budget deficits in history.

A lot of this comes down to who you think should be funding the economy. Don't kid yourself into thinking that tax policy and social policy are seperate. Every decision about who pays more tax that another is rooted in social policy, let alone decisions on tax spending.

I'm curious what taxation and government spending would look like if they were handled through referendum.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I think we are seeing alot of interesting things here. I agree that the double taxation rhetoric is weak cause we've been double taxed up the rear for such a long time. What amazes me though is that he actually said it. The issue has been avoided for years.

I haven't looked too much into the details but here's what I see. It looks like classic supply side economics to me. He did throw in those accounts for unemployed however. On the dividend point I'm not sure that's going in the direction we need. It's true to a point that you have to have enough coin to invest to take advantage of it. Then companies will pay dividends to make their stocks more attractive. As a consequence of that we will probably see stock buybacks drop off. Sounds like a double edged sord to me. Other than that supposedly an average household making 39 k a year will save a bit over 1k in taxes. Hmmmmmmmmmm that's great, everyone likes tax savings, but where will they put the money is the question. I'm not sure it will even make a difference.

Democrats and Republicans whine and moan about each other all the time. It helps to try and look past that. Deficits shouldn't be so taboo. It can be argued that deficits pulled us out hard times before and set the groundwork for the economic strength that we have enjoyed.

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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 10:31 AM
 
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Yeah...

Yeah the fact that Bush chose to single out dividends as being double-taxed was kind of shady but the fact that a lot of other things are double-taxed doesn't make it any better. Pretty much all the money we spend is double-taxed... that's why I think sales taxes are so crappy. The difference is that I guess the money I pay for sales tax goes to state, city, and sometimes local governments as opposed to the federal government. I can't recall who it was but I know I heard about some outlandish proposal to cut all income taxes and simply put something like a 15% federal sales tax on everything we bought. I have no idea if it would have worked but to me it sounded like a pretty interesting idea!!

I admit trickle-down economics has screwed us in the past... but heck maybe we'll learn from our mistakes! I personally LOVE the idea of tax breaks! I love the check I got last year! And I'm gonna love having less money taken out of each paycheck as well. I'm not in the $350,000+ tax bracket, either. I'm a normal workin' guy. If I remember correctly, clinton raised taxes a bunch during his 2 terms. That's all sweet and everything that he balanced the budget but if all my money is going to the government... well I dunno that's just kind of dumb in my eyes. I love the idea of getting rid of big government and trimming the fat. Is bush gonna do it? I don't know... but it sounds like he'd like to give it a shot.

PS ... yes I know many of Bush's ideas in this plan help big business and the rich... but he is a conservative after all... I'm not trying to argue that point at all ... just sharing some thoughts I had off-hand
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 10:56 AM
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I think it's just another garbage tax cut that is meaningless to the average person. If they want to do something to improve the country why not make the cost of College tuition tax deductable for households under say 100K annual income.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy


Deficits shouldn't be so taboo. It can be argued that deficits pulled us out hard times before and set the groundwork for the economic strength that we have enjoyed.
As a short-term policy I have no problems with deficit spending but as a long-term policy it creates huge problems.

One problem is that macroeconomics gets overwhelmingly complicated because of the number of variables and the assumptions of cause and affect.

So let's bring it down to a microeconomic level. You sometimes live on credit to raise your current standard of living. You increase current spending and increase the flow of money into the economy. However, now you have to pay that money back and with interest, serving to decrease your ready cash available for future spending so the net result is that you pump less money into the economy that creates jobs and more money into the economy that rewards the people who loan money (i.e. those that already have the money).

Now that's not so hard, right? You borrow money to purchase a house, then reward those who loaned you the money and you get some tax breaks because it benefits society for you to be more stable and own a home.

However, you borrow money for consumer spending and now you are pumping money into interest that is not directly helping productivity in the long run.

We all know this is a bad long-term strategy. So how come we have such a hard time extrapolating this to government spending and borrowing. Partly because of what it's spent on and partly on how the interest gets paid. If the government was pay-as-you-go, at least people could make intellegent decisions about what they are willing to pay for. However, often we take the benefits of spending now and pass along the economic affects to our children.

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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 11:46 AM
 
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I don't understand why we can just pay a flat rate across the board. Say 10 - 15 percent for everyone. Right now after federal, ss, etc, I pay almost 40% of my income in tax. OK, so in Switzerland it would be more like 50 - 55%, but at least they have free healthcare. I don't know if his current plan mentions it, but I think the inheritance tax is nuts also. Your dear old grandpa leaves you some cash (not gonna happen for me though), and the gubment takes up to 1/2 of it. I think cutting the inheritance tax was one of his campaign issues.
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by obijuan
I don't know if his current plan mentions it, but I think the inheritance tax is nuts also. Your dear old grandpa leaves you some cash (not gonna happen for me though), and the gubment takes up to 1/2 of it. I think cutting the inheritance tax was one of his campaign issues.

psssst....it was done already. I believe that you can now inherit up to $200k tax free.

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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by BusaDave


As a short-term policy I have no problems with deficit spending but as a long-term policy it creates huge problems.


We all know this is a bad long-term strategy. So how come we have such a hard time extrapolating this to government spending and borrowing. Partly because of what it's spent on and partly on how the interest gets paid. If the government was pay-as-you-go, at least people could make intellegent decisions about what they are willing to pay for. However, often we take the benefits of spending now and pass along the economic affects to our children.
Wow....this debate has gone on for soooo long now. I'm not sure there is a clear answer for it yet. The way I see it: Consumer borrowing and government borrowing is two different things. If you think about what harm does government borrowing do. As long as we keep prospect in our American dollar it really doesn't hurt anything. Borrowing creates a multiplicity to the dollar. That person you talked about that had the money to lend you for the home, he makes money by lending it. He spends that money or invests it, either way multiplying the effect. The more money that flows in the more likely the person that borrowed the money can make the money to pay back the loan and maybe some extra. Maybe then he can be the lender. Or maybe he borrows money to start a business that pays taxes to pay back that government loan. It's about growth and though, as you said there are many variables that may falter this plan, I would disagree. As long as it doesnt get carried away deficites can create future growth.

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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 12:33 PM
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The reason we had massive deficits in the 80's was not only because of tax cuts, but also because spending was not cut to make up for the tax cuts.

I believe that paring back the national debt needs to be done and fast. Why? In 2010, the first of the baby boomers begin reaching Medicare eligibility age. After that, we have roughly 20 years of a huge elderly influx into the medicare system. DEMOGRAPHICS ALONE will cause a huge increase in the medicare budget. So if you think deficits now will be big, think of the extra pressure on the budget after 2010.

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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Norseman82
The reason we had massive deficits in the 80's was not only because of tax cuts, but also because spending was not cut to make up for the tax cuts.

Dan....the spending creates jobs and pumps money in the economy createing more profits for taxing. It doesn't happen overnight but eventually a tax cut can create more tax revenue for the government in turn enabling them to pay back those loans. We saw that pretty recently when there were actually budget surpluses.

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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Appearantly the plan is being well accepted. A cnbc poll just reported 24% say it goes too far, 49% says it's just right, 27% say it's not enough. The Daily brothers even had good things to say about it.

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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy


Dan....the spending creates jobs and pumps money in the economy createing more profits for taxing. It doesn't happen overnight but eventually a tax cut can create more tax revenue for the government in turn enabling them to pay back those loans. We saw that pretty recently when there were actually budget surpluses.
That was in good part due to the Republicans seizing control of Congress in 1994 and putting a brake on Clinton's wild spending plans. Deficit spending increases the national debt which means we pay more money in interest on the national debt, which benefits only those who hold US govt. bonds. Two or three years of surpluses are not going to erase the 30+ years of deficit spending sprees.

I agree that occasionally we may need to run a deficit in times of national emergency, but that should be the exception rather than the rule. This nation needs to fiscally discipline itself with good habits rather than bad.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Norseman82


Deficit spending increases the national debt which means we pay more money in interest on the national debt, which benefits only those who hold US govt bonds.

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Interesting statement considering deficits are not anywhere near an all time low and the Interest rate on bonds is at substantial lows. There are way to many other variables to come to that conclusion.

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Norseman82


That was in good part due to the Republicans seizing control of Congress in 1994 and putting a brake on Clinton's wild spending plans. Deficit spending increases the national debt which means we pay more money in interest on the national debt, which benefits only those who hold US govt. bonds. Two or three years of surpluses are not going to erase the 30+ years of deficit spending sprees.

I agree that occasionally we may need to run a deficit in times of national emergency, but that should be the exception rather than the rule. This nation needs to fiscally discipline itself with good habits rather than bad.
I think this qualifies as one of those times. I think running in the red here is fine. The extra cash will most definitly pump up the economy in the long run.

I get soo sick of earing the libs talk about how it only affects the rich. Although what the media doesnt tell you is that the rich is defined by them as those who mak over 70 grand a year. I know I dont feel like I'm in the rich class.




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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy


That person you talked about that had the money to lend you for the home, he makes money by lending it. He spends that money or invests it, either way multiplying the effect. The more money that flows in the more likely the person that borrowed the money can make the money to pay back the loan and maybe some extra. Maybe then he can be the lender. Or maybe he borrows money to start a business that pays taxes to pay back that government loan. It's about growth and though, as you said there are many variables that may falter this plan, I would disagree. As long as it doesnt get carried away deficites can create future growth.
What does "at long as it doesn't get carried away" mean? That seems to be the fundamental question.

There's a lot of acts of faith in trickle-down economics, the first being that the money will trickle down at a rate similar to how it accumulates at the top. This is certainly argueable. For instance, the money earned for interest can increase the capital available to loan out again.

It's the money paid for the home that creates jobs, not the interest paid. The primary affect of interest payments is to accumulate wealth to those that have wealth. Whether this wealth is then distributed back into the economy in any way that contributes to productivity is quite debateable.

Bottom line, some borrowing does stimulate the economy. However, as we all know this money has to be paid back for the system to continue to work. Interest payments is wealth gained without the necessity to produce anything of value.

It still really comes down to a social/moral question. Is it ok to assume that the wealthy getting wealthier without producing anything is going to trickle down in the form of decent paying jobs for people who DO produce something of value?

Take a look at the number of MAYBEs in your previous post.

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Quote:
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I think this qualifies as one of those times. I think running in the red here is fine. The extra cash will most definitly pump up the economy in the long run.

I get soo sick of earing the libs talk about how it only affects the rich. Although what the media doesnt tell you is that the rich is defined by them as those who mak over 70 grand a year. I know I dont feel like I'm in the rich class.

Tell me about it. Do I look rich to you.

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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:13 PM
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Found this on MSN

http://www.msnbc.com/news/856163.asp?vts=010820031055

It's interesting. Single, 50k/year gets $385 saving. Single, 100k/year gets $1900. Double the income, quadruple the tax savings? Same goes for married with 2 kids. I don't see the average Joe saving much on this. Any money saved by corporations is going to go to shareholders and executive bonuses, not the common worker.

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Quote:
Originally posted by GsxrTony


Although what the media doesnt tell you is that the rich is defined by them as those who mak over 70 grand a year. I know I dont feel like I'm in the rich class.
Lately I've been hearing them quote >$100K/yr. While I would not consider this rich, it is certainly well off, and in comparison to the "average" would be pretty darn good.

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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GroverSV650S
Found this on MSN

http://www.msnbc.com/news/856163.asp?vts=010820031055

Any money saved by corporations is going to go to shareholders and executive bonuses, not the common worker.

Chris
Ok, ae you in a 401K or any retirement plan as mostof the common workers are? then your a shareholder. From time to time I supervise guys who dig wholes for a living. Most of thier conversations are about thier investment portfolios. Most Americans are now invested in the market. so helping corparations is a good thing. not to mentions the more corp's feel stabble the more americans will feel stable in thier jobs. which will mean they will get back out to the malls, whic means the malls will need more help, which means more americans will have more jobs available.




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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BusaDave


Lately I've been hearing them quote >$100K/yr. While I would not consider this rich, it is certainly well off, and in comparison to the "average" would be pretty darn good.
I guess some would consider it rich, I know I used to but now with mortgage payments and everything else I consider it just getting by.




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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by BusaDave



Take a look at the number of MAYBEs in your previous post.

I didn't think I'd have to explain this but: Maybe's are good in my book. That is what the government is there to do. Create opportunities. Anything more and they are controlling who gets what.

Both the money borrowed and Interest paid pump money back Dave. The interest you pay on a home loan gives the mortgage company profits so they can grow. As they grow it creates more jobs.

I hate hearing all this rich get richer crap. It's so easy to complain about people who have worked hard and created opportunity for themselves. If it's such a benefit to have money I would think that would be more motivation to get some instead of sit back and complain about it. Don't take that the wrong way though there are people that run into legitamate financial troubles so there are acceptions. That's why there are programs like unemployment, which btw congress just extended the benefits again, and Public aid etc.

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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:27 PM
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I would really like to see how the numers are gonna apply to me. I looked at that MSNBC page but of course they didnt have a comparison forpeople who are married with no kids. Do they automatically assume everyone who is married has kids?




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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by GroverSV650S
Found this on MSN

http://www.msnbc.com/news/856163.asp?vts=010820031055

It's interesting. Single, 50k/year gets $385 saving. Single, 100k/year gets $1900. Double the income, quadruple the tax savings? Same goes for married with 2 kids. I don't see the average Joe saving much on this. Any money saved by corporations is going to go to shareholders and executive bonuses, not the common worker.

Chris
Grover, first listen to Tony you probably are a shareholder, then check those numbers closer. The single guy making 50k still only pays 8.7% in taxes where the guy making 100k pays 17.3% in taxes

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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy

I hate hearing all this rich get richer crap. It's so easy to complain about people who have worked hard and created opportunity for themselves. If it's such a benefit to have money I would think that would be more motivation to get some instead of sit back and complain about it. Don't take that the wrong way though there are people that run into legitamate financial troubles so there are acceptions. That's why there are programs like unemployment, which btw congress just extended the benefits again, and Public aid etc.
Before you get off on too much self righteousness here, I'm not complaining, I'm discussing. Also, I have a job and work hard for my money. There are TONS of assumptions taken on faith in your reasoning about money flow. I haven't said they are right or wrong but let's at least agree that they're assumptions.

By the way, if I have enough money to loan you some and collect interest, in exactly what way have I worked hard to collect the interest?

This is exactly the reason I don't get into these political discussions... same ole I'm right and your wrong and if I can't tell the difference I'll call you a Democrat or a Liberal to discredit your reasoning.

Isn't it indeed a fact that there is a tendency for the rich to get richer, and that with enough wealth, no productive work is necessary to produce more wealth? So how does this observation become "crap"?

Capitialism works pretty damn good, but it has some moral difficulties in terms of producing value as opposed to producting wealth, and when is enough enough.

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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by BusaDave


Before you get off on too much self righteousness here, I'm not complaining, I'm discussing. Also, I have a job and work hard for my money. There are TONS of assumptions taken on faith in your reasoning about money flow. I haven't said they are right or wrong but let's at least agree that they're assumptions.

By the way, if I have enough money to loan you some and collect interest, in exactly what way have I worked hard to collect the interest?

This is exactly the reason I don't get into these political discussions... same ole I'm right and your wrong and if I can't tell the difference I'll call you a Democrat or a Liberal to discredit your reasoning.

Isn't it indeed a fact that there is a tendency for the rich to get richer, and that with enough wealth, no productive work is necessary to produce more wealth? So how does this observation become "crap"?

Capitialism works pretty damn good, but it has some moral difficulties in terms of producing value as opposed to producting wealth, and when is enough enough.
I don't know where you get self rightousness I agreed there were assumptions the difference I see is I see them as healthy part of capitalism. Theoretically being wealthy is a bi product of hard work. So when you loan me money you have already worked hard to get it. Not to mention you may want to remember your risking me not paying you back and taking all the implications that go with that. In my book that's work too. I agree with most of your post, but as I said before, this one has been debated for years with no one right answere so I didn't expect to get one here.

Dave...don't get pissed...it's just a healthy debate. I give my ideas you give yours and we all get a little perspective. No need to to make accusations and turn it persoal. I happen to like ya and would like to keep it that way.

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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:16 PM
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Loaning money is also work to a point. Making smart invenstments is work, Mental work, are you working as hard as someone digging ditches? No, but its still work.

It's a sociological fact that the higher you get ont he ladder, be it the income ladder or the management ladder the less physical labor you will have to do. Hell look at the Vp's of most of these companies. They dont actually do any serious work, but what they do, do is make discisions, decisions based in thier experience of climbing that ladder and hopefully having the foresight and charactor to make good descions (see Enron). that is why they get payed more money. who would ever climb the ladder and take on more responsiblity if you could stay at the bottom and make more.




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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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On a side note I'm shocke that not many people posted here. This program is something that effects all of us.

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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy
On a side note I'm shocke that not many people posted here. This program is something that effects all of us.
I agree. Although a lot of people dont really understand what it all means. I know people I've talked to at work dont seem to get a grasp on it. Most people are content to wait for the media to explain things to them. I personally dont trust the media. especially the networks. Fox news channel is about the only one I can handle. the rest are all waaay too sarcastic. about everything if it doesnt fit the liberal agenda.




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Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-08-2003, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy

Dave...don't get pissed...it's just a healthy debate. I give my ideas you give yours and we all get a little perspective. No need to to make accusations and turn it persoal. I happen to like ya and would like to keep it that way.
No problem. So what in your perspective is the part of what I actually said "crap"? How is that a "healthy debate" of ideas?

Dave
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