Friar Bijou wrote:
Now that we have one, and the ability for anyone with decent skills to become middle class, maybe we should allow them to share in this concept called "inheritance". Shocking concept!
Bolded statement proven wrong here in the past. Somehow, you still think it's valid. You're weird, dude.
What's weird is assuming that the ability to do something is disproved if less than 100% of the population statistically achieves that thing. Having the ability to do something is no guarantee. I get you want to wallow in your world view that the deck is magically stacked against you and it's just impossible to succeed, but the reality is that most people are one good job from the middle class. That's it. It's hardly some impossible condition to achieve.
gbaji thinks it's not absurd to give the wealthy more wealth at the expense of the entire country just because of how the money was made.
First off, your response bears zero resemblance to anything I said. You were claiming that something which doesn't "affect everyone equally" was "not fair". I disagreed. And you respond with... this? Huh?
Ignoring the completely out from left field of your response, you're wrong on multiple levels:
1. We're not "giving wealth" to anyone. Investing in something, and then having that something increase in value after a year, is not the result of someone else "giving you" anything. And no, a lower tax rate also isn't "giving wealth" to someone. It's "taking less wealth", from them. Once again, the old mental block between absence of a negative, and presence of a positive rears its head into the discussion. How many times have I pointed this out as a logical flaw? Yet, how many times do people continue to argue as though it's valid? Well, that's +1, I guess.
2. It's not "at the expense of the entire country". OMG you have such a martyr complex going on! I've specifically argued, in fact, that the whole point of the lower capital gains tax rate is to encourage investment in things that actually experience real growth over time, rather than just quick "gambling" style gains. The whole point is to get folks to put money into things that benefit other people instead of just things that benefit themselves. How on earth you equate that to being at the expense of the rest of the country is beyond me.
Could you even just try to understand what I'm talking about? I wouldn't mind if you argued against me and at least had some kind of economically sound position. But you don't. It's just associative mumble jumbo.
So he helps the country that allowed him to succeed and help everybody else (if nothing else, infrastructure and such, before you go off on a tangent about "welfare queens" again).
Sigh. And what do you suppose said rich guy would have done with that money if it hadn't been taxed? Hide it under a mattress? We even went through a case (which you brought up IIRC), about different tax rates and a small business. I pointed out that to get the capital gains tax rate, the owner would have to use the money in some way that actually increased the real market value of the business
. Which, most of the time for a small business means expanding in some way, which usually means hiring more people. Which, shockingly, might just be better for the economic outlook of "other people", than what the tax dollars might otherwise have been used for.
If your argument is valid, then why not just argue for 100% tax rates for everything and everyone? Then all our money would be used to "help everyone else"? Clearly, there's a balance between money taxed by government and money left in the hands of private owners, right? It's not an absolute "Taxes are good/bad" versus "private money is good/bad". My argument addresses this nuance by arguing for tax structures that reward "good" investment of private money. So we tax higher that which is gained by "gambling", and less that which is gained as a result of real economic growth. I'm not sure why this is a problem.
Oh. And I'll also point out that you just changed the subject. Your original argument wasn't about whether the taxes would be beneficial for others, but that the rich guy personally benefited more from capital gains then those with less wealth, so it was somehow "unfair". Remember your whole "he gets a maserati, and I get a bag of beans" bit? Where did that argument go?
Since they do all these things anyway, what was your point? Reward them for being tax-evading douches?
No. As I've already explained like 8 times now. Reward them for investing their money in ways that are most likely to benefit other people, rather than ways that are least likely. Again, it's not like it's "zero tax" I'm arguing for here. Just that if we're going to tax income, why not do it in a way that encourages the best use of the money within the private market?
I'll ask again: What is your alternative proposal? Why is that "better"? I've argued at length the benefits of having a lower capital gains tax rate. What's funny is that you haven't actually countered a single point I've made. All you've said is that since "the rich" engage in such investment more than others, it's somehow a bad idea. But "the rich" are going to engage in any investment form more than others anyway, right? Investment that doesn't fall under our current long term capital gains requirements is still going to overwhelmingly be engaged in by "the rich". Any tax adjustments we make will affect "the rich" more than anyone else, because they have the most money. It's a nonsense argument to make.
The question isn't about who has the most money, or who is in a position to invest the most money, but whether our tax policies encourages uses of that money which we view as "good", or ones we view as "bad", or somewhere in between (so even just "better" is a positive choice here). You're trying to apply a black and white argument here, but it just doesn't work.
As for the rest of your rant about investment helping everybody, so it's worth doing (capital gains), where do you stop? Dairy farmers are pretty important, right? Do they get the 20% tax rate? In my opinion, teachers are equally useful to the country as an investment broker. Do they get a 20% rate?
What the heck does this have to do with anything? Money earned by a dairy farmer in the form of a capital gain, gets taxed as a capital gain. So he buys a calf, and sells it a year later, he pays capital gains tax on the difference. Anything earned as income is taxed as income. So his salary as a dairy farmer is income. His net profits from the sale of milk or whatever is income.
The teachers salary is taxed as income. Cause it's... wait for it... income. The investment broker's salary is *also* taxed as income (you do understand that most brokers are actually paid a salary, right?). He pays income tax on that, just like everyone else.
You just have a bizarre way of looking at this. As though the tax rates are some kind of indication of the value of the people or something. That's not the case. If a school teacher invests money into the market, and gets a return, guess what? He pays capital gains on that gain. Just exactly like the investment broker who puts his own money into an investment does. And just like the dairy farmer does. I'm not sure why you have this mental block for this.
It's not about what you do to earn money in the first place. It's what you choose to do with money you have already earned. Capital gains taxes are about rewarding people for taking money they already have, which they could simply spend on things for themselves, but choose to risk that money buying some kind of investment. The argument is that this kind of spending is more beneficial to the economy as a whole than simple consumption. You're free to argue that this isn't the case, but that's not what you have done. All you've done is make some really weak identity associated claims about who is "good" and "bad". We don't (or shouldn't) reward people based on whether we like or dislike them, but based on their actions. And guess what? The "action" of investing money for a long(ish) term, is something we like to encourage. So or tax code encourages it. And it does so for anyone and everyone who does that action with their money.
You're the one trying to make this about the "who", and not the "what". I totally disagree with that approach. Edited, Mar 26th 2018 7:14pm by gbaji