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Author Topic: Are you paying your fair share?
TomDavidson
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Coercion: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3210#comic
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
there's barely any historical truth to the idea that the have's have manipulated the rules in their favor given the turnover in the haves and have nots over time
Ok. You don't live in reality. Fair enough.
It was a bigger point than that PSRT, "There's no special merit of the have nots that justifies taking from the haves, there's barely any historical truth to the idea that the have's have manipulated the rules in their favor given the turnover in the haves and have nots over time. If you think the rules have been corrupted, I'm willing to work on them, but the system uncorrupted is far far better than a system that attempts to equalize outcomes without regard to merit."
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And you qualified it, "social coercion," specifically to show that it's an analagous situation, and not directly the same thing.
No, it's the same thing. It's a subset.
You have physical coercion and social coercion. They are both examples of coercion.

And even then its still a gross exagerration to claim that the job market is coercive without actual threats existing. You can draw an analogy if you want and say it's "like coercion", but that's all it is. Because you know its exactly like being cut off from your entire community and being made an outcast - which is what shunning is.
quote:
quote:
What's stopping them is capital and risk, they either don't have the first or they don't want the second.
Very true. In the same way, what's stopping you from overthrowing the federal government and putting one in place that you prefer?
Capacity, belief in principals that the ends do not justify the means.

Are you seriously claiming that forming a business is like over-throwing a government? How many businesses are founded every year again?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And even then its still a gross exagerration to claim that the job market is coercive without actual threats existing.
The loss of your job is not a threat?

quote:
Are you seriously claiming that forming a business is like over-throwing a government?
Rather, I'm claiming it's a matter of degree. After all, surely it's even easier to reform a game business from the inside by working for years to achieve a lead position, then changing its policies, than to come by the necessary capital to start one. But we don't see that happen all that often, either.

If you threaten to throw someone into a cage full of angry bears unless they agree to sew your shirts, it's true that it's possible for someone to not only survive but prosper in a cage full of angry bears. A truly determined, capable person might even emerge with pelts and bear meat and a story worth the telling. So of course there's no coercion in that.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by Seriati:
Paying anything less than the asking price (not fair value) in a private transaction is still a theft. We do recognize a power for the state to force these transactions on fair value.[/qb]

Lets not pretend that "asking price" has any real validity if we ignore coercion: I'm pretty sure I could reduce an "asking price" by holding a gun to the seller's head.
What are you talking about? You're not required to pay an asking price, you're just disallowed from taking what I have and not paying it. I don't believe you think differently either, or would it be okay if I come over and purchase your car, or your house for what I choose to pay?

Simply put, the only coercion in the model you're citing is that which would be necessary to force a deal at less than the asking price. Now if you want to limit it to a unique good, that is vital for survival you may have a point, and we have laws specifically to address that. But employment is not a unique good, and in this country its not even necessary for survival so you don't have much of a point here.
quote:
Also, note that I was arguing for market dynamics to create fair values, not government force. The government's job in the market is to *remove* coercion, and protect against it.
I agree. I don't think that's the logical result of your position though.
quote:
First of all, full employment isn't a hastily assumed 0% unemployment rate; its an absence of a labor surplus (some economists define this as a market with an equal amount of unemployed persons and job vacancies, which works for me, and is obviously not 0% unemployment).
First of all, an absence of a labor surplus also has issues and inhibits growth, though I agree having 3 people available and 10 vital jobs do get done is going to result in those 3 getting more money. But that's no less a "coercive" situation than the inverse, just flips who holds the power.
quote:
That said, positive unemployment rates (rates above this optimum) create a labor surplus (more jobs than vacancies), and surpluses drive down prices (wages are prices for labor).
Maybe it would help to specifically lay out what policies you believe are designed to maintain a positive unemployment rate. It's my view that things in abstract are a lot cleaner seeming than things that have been practically implemented (which often serve dozens of masters and at conflicting purposes). It's not enough to me, that you establish results (even if I believed you had) if you're arguing intent.
quote:
That's pretty basic economics.
But it's also ignoring that the rate is a composite, and that both in regions and in industries its contra-indicated, and completely skips why we might want that sort of result to encourage movement towards other opportunities. It also ignores that we have official citizens sitting unemployed, while we have off the books workers doing jobs, and the implications that has on whether or not there really is a true labor surplus and who's holding the power if staying unemployed is preferable to doing jobs that others are doing willingly.
quote:
Now, when a government, over a long period of time, artificially maintains a labor surplus, its is distorting the market.
True, now demonstrate this occurs, and demonstrate that the redistributionist policies you're advocating, which will supress private business growth, are a better solution than encouraging more economic development.
quote:
And this distortion creates a transfer of wealth from laborers to employers, every bit as much as if I used a weapon to intimidate a seller into dropping his price for me.
Actually, not even remotely as much. Employer's gain wealth from having jobs done as a return on capital, but each employee is also gaining wealth from performing the job, this is NOT a zero sum game. If all you're arguing is that the employee piece of the allocation should be bigger, fine, there's lots of good reasons for a business to operate that way. However, it's clearly evident that in a globabl market place there's a limit to how much this can work before the US product is priced out of the market. Are you advocating tariffs to go with this?
quote:
quote:
First, I simply reject that this is the general case in the US. Most employers are local and their ability to shop around is limited, even where it's not, the same ability to hire from a wide area means that potential employees can obtain employment from a wider market of employers. It's a reciprocal fact that you can't have one without the other.
You don't think there is a labor surplus in the U.S.? [Confused] By "shop around", I don't mean that a business can look further afield than job seekers, I mean that more people want jobs than employers have positions to fill. This is true whether you look very locally, or nation wide. When you have two people competing for the same job, they offer more labor for less compensation in order to win the scarce commodity (the job). To the constant, ongoing benefit of the employer.
This is actually an interesting question. I do think there is a labor suplus in the US, however, I think that's the result of the overall lack of economic growth. It was not the case before this recession. It was rare for an employable person to be out of work for any length of time. Accordingly, the best plan is to encourage the economy, and slapping on anti-growth redistribution policies is a double hit on that. It directly reduces assets available for growth (by seizing them and by encouraging inefficient protective behaviors) and disincentivises potential employees from taking work or even starting their own businesses.
quote:
The problem is when either surplus or scarcity is *artificially* maintained.
This is the root of our disagreement. I don't believe you've adequately demonstated either this proposition, or its one directional impact in a multi-consideration environment.

I agree, there are academic impacts that a policy like this has (generally it takes a comparative extremes for this to really become evident), but they can be good or bad.

And since I reject your "coercion" argument, I'm not seeing a validity to your claim that labor has been priced unfairly.
quote:
Not merely globalization of trade, but structuring it specifically to massively inflate the labor pool to the direct detriment of domestic workers. They did an end run around a century of slow, careful advances in labor rights, and not only have we not recovered, its getting worse.
While I agree with you that this situation was borne in the abusive and coercive practices by management that did happen, what you describe is only a return to a more natural status quo than the artificial and coercive results that we got from big labor. And just to be clear the NLRB is an actual coercive force, and it did and has warped the free exchange between labor and management.

There's no question it did this initally to restore a balance that management had broken through it's own coercive practices, but then it went too far. The results are easy to see when you throw it onto a global stage. But even if you write that off to "properly balanced US companies (notwithstanding the overt coercion in our system)" not being able to compete with criminally management coerced companies in other countries, we're still left with a market where ever more jobs can be automated. We are not too far from where even third world labor will be more expensive than machine produced goods.

At some point we may have to adopt your idea about creating a permanent dole, but it won't be to undo some invisible coercion, rather it will because no one's labor will actually be worth anything making it virtually impossible to actually work.
quote:
From a market perspective, other considerations are irrelevant (or, rather, periphery). The only relevant question is: can this person decline the exchange if it fails to reflect an equal exchange of values? When the answer is no, due to looming debt, poverty, job scarcity, and/or other obligations, then the exchange will not reflect a mutual agreement of values.
The answer is almost never no, and even where it is, that's only a short term answer. Nothing prevents any person from working to get a better job while they take a job "to pay the bills."

Frankly, this is getting silly. Even highly compensated people work because they have to pay their bills.
quote:
When those "incorrect" exchanges aggregate, the market produces false values on a wide scale.
There is nothing "incorrect" about taking a job that allows you to pay your bills, nor is there any coercion inherent in having to be productive to receive compensation. What would be "incorrect" is a system that encourages leeching - ie recieving benefit without contributing to the collective good - by not requiring any effort at being productive to share the results of the communities production. Or to put it more simply, why don't we all move in with you, you can work and the rest of us will watch your TV and eat your food.
quote:
Its easy to see the imbalance when you consider that its essentially unheard of for a company to hire someone they considered unsuitable, simply because they *needed* an employee at that moment.
Have you never worked in fast food? This happens literally every day.
quote:
Its a question of values, ultimately, so people can reasonably disagree. But currently, our economy rewards money shufflers like Mitt Romney as more valuable than *hundreds* of doctors, much less teachers, firefighters, coal miners or auto workers. Even if we could grant that a hedge fund manager's labor was worth more to society than a doctor's (which I don't), can anyone reasonably claim its that many orders of magnitude more valuable?
I can't count how many retired people I know who live better lives when thier "money shufflers" are doing well than when they are not. Real quality of life type items, vacations, dinners out, gifts to family. In order for "money shufflers" to be paid they have to working for others (if they just invest their own resources its not clear what you're beef would be).
quote:
For most people, thats an absurd statement, as is the idea that our economy even remotely resembles a meritocracy.
Most people dislike everyone else's lawyer too. So what. Fact is you don't know anyone who has investments who want them to lose money do you? I've known plenty of people who'd go to the free clinic rather than pay for a top doctor, do you know anyone who want a substandard investment manager because he works for less?
quote:
Try this experiment:
why? I've already repeatedly asserted that people don't place the proper value on certain tasks because they undervalue how hard they are. Similarly they overvalue other tasks (like being a teacher) because they steadfastly refuse to consider how rewarding they are in ways other than monetarily.
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KidTokyo
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Seriati,

Do you understand that a limited-liability corporation quite literally cannot exist without the state?

Do you understand that a large, complex corporate entity cannot exist without an equally complex set of state regulations?

Do you understand the consequences of limited liability?

Until we are on the same page with the above questions, I think you and others will continue to talk past one another.

I don't think anyone here is proposing that we should "equalize outcomes without regard to merit."

I think we disagree as to how an actual meritocracy would function.

[ December 18, 2013, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Seriati
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KidTokyo,

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Still think you're overplaying the corporatist angle on this.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
And even then its still a gross exagerration to claim that the job market is coercive without actual threats existing.
The loss of your job is not a threat?
It can be a threat, it's still not coercion, anymore than all marriages are coercion because your wife can divorce you (though they may feel that way sometime).

The threat of being fired is not enough to allow a boss to get away with literally everything, people quit jobs all the time. People sue their former employers all the time. People make thier boss fire them and collect unemployment all the time.

Is it your argument that employers are not entitled to the same free association principals as employees? That they are not entitled to end employment? That's kind of a bizarre philosophy, but I guess it makes sense if you see work itself as an entitlement.
quote:
Rather, I'm claiming it's a matter of degree. After all, surely it's even easier to reform a game business from the inside by working for years to achieve a lead position, then changing its policies, than to come by the necessary capital to start one. But we don't see that happen all that often, either.
Actually for a game company, I think its easier to create one. There are tons of start up game companies, and right now its a particular hot time with the comparative ease of getting into the app market.
quote:
If you threaten to throw someone into a cage full of angry bears unless they agree to sew your shirts, it's true that it's possible for someone to not only survive but prosper in a cage full of angry bears. A truly determined, capable person might even emerge with pelts and bear meat and a story worth the telling. So of course there's no coercion in that.
You do realize that there is literally physical violence in your story, hence coercion. Why is it everytime you need an example you devolve to actually coercive ones? Oh yes, because the point is that what you're arguing is "like coercion" not actually coercion (which is fairly easy to identify).
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KidTokyo
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If you understand those three factors, then how can you argue that there is no state-sanctioned privilege granted to powerful business entities? Why do you object to policies that correct for the inherent market distortion and/or to policies which level the hierarchy?

"Overplaying"? The largest businesses have almost complete command over our legislators. We are living in their world.

Wouldn't we be better off in a world where everyone owned their property and controlled their own working life, rather than a semi-feudal system wherein the great majority mistake debt for ownership?

[ December 18, 2013, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
[QB] If you understand the those three factors, then how can you argue that there is no state-sanctioned privilege granted to powerful business entities?

I didn't argue that. I don't think its relevant to this discussion.

I think you're reading way past what the 3 factors you list actually do.
quote:
Why do you object to policies that correct for the inherent distortion and/or to policies which level the hierarchy?
Because I don't see it as sinister? The first 2 factors you listed are a truism, corporations are created and not natural entities so really the only relevant one is the third.

Limited liability is not - in my view - a particularly great evil. It certainly can be abused, and piercing the corporate viel is notoriously more difficult than perhaps it should be. But the concept itself is directly responsible for encouraging a massive amount of investment that has generated a massive amount of growth and opportunity.
quote:
"Overplaying"? The businesses have almost complete command over our legislators. We are living in their world.
Literally everyone lives in a world where they are governed by others, with the possible exception of those that purported have created micro-nations. Our legislators are influenced by rich people who donate to them. You know what though, they're also influenced by groups that are passionate about voting, like the NRA or the elderly, or volunteering like big labor.

I literally see no reason to believe that getting rid of corporations would have the least impact on the amount of influence people engaging in big business have.

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Mynnion
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I have been following this thread with interest and am still waiting for a definition to "fair share." There has been talk about the haves and have nots. Who are they?

Wall street is set for another record year and the top investors and CEOs continue to see their wealth increase while the middle and lower class sees wealth decrease.

Profitable small businesses are being bought out by investor groups that slash wages and cut benefits to improve their bottom line. In some cases destroying the companies they have purchased after raiding them of value.

This practice provides no benefit to society. It stifles real growth since R & D also gets scaled back. Reduces the income of the hundreds or thousands solely to enrich a few.

Back to the original question. What is a persons fair share?

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KidTokyo
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quote:
I didn't argue that. I don't think its relevant to this discussion.

I think you're reading way past what the 3 factors you list actually do.

When a corporation "goes public" its income and rate of growth can increase by ten-fold or a hundred-fold. Because of this state-enforced economic privilege, it drive smaller entities out of business quite easily, and thereby reduce wages.

You would not argue that the state does not have coercive power, right?

You agree that corporate privileges (like limited liability, and many other aspects of corporate structuring) are 1) why corporations can become drastically more powerful than they otherwise would and 2) that these privileges are state created and enforced.

And yet you claim there is no coercive influence on an individual worker's right to bargain. That doesn't really seem consistent, does it?

Are you aware of the history of the corporation in the United States? Familiar with the term "race to the bottom"?

quote:
Limited liability is not - in my view - a particularly great evil.
I don't think it's evil at all. It can be useful. The evil is in ignoring what it is and what it does, and the consequences. You wouldn't give the military a vast armory and then fail to subject it to civilian control and review would you? The consequences would be evil, even if the military as a generally useful entity is not.

quote:
Literally everyone lives in a world where they are governed by others, with the possible exception of those that purported have created micro-nations.
We can have greater democratic control over those institutions which most affect our lives.

quote:
literally see no reason to believe that getting rid of corporations would have the least impact on the amount of influence people engaging in big business have.
I said nothing about getting rid of corporations. I think corporations are useful and important. I actually have one of my own, a wee little s-corp.

I am suggesting that as state-administered entities they should be subject to greater levels of democratic control, which, incidentally, was the widely-held view for about the first 100 years of American history.

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KidTokyo
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Mynnion,

The definition of "fair share" is exactly what I've been getting at.

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RedVW on a Laptop
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Which should give people ample pause to adopting either man's point of view.

Then again we apparently get jobs by chance, have no economic mobility, work for crappy bosses, and have no expectation of fulfilling work.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
Then again we apparently get jobs by chance, have no economic mobility, work for crappy bosses, and have no expectation of fulfilling work.
No one is saying anything like that. Why do these discussions have to go to extremes? There are shades of gray.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It can be a threat, it's still not coercion, anymore than all marriages are coercion because your wife can divorce you.
And yet "give me a blowjob or I'll divorce you" is indeed coercion. You are suggesting that only "give me a blowjob or I'll hit you" is coercive, but that's plainly not the case.

quote:
The threat of being fired is not enough to allow a boss to get away with literally everything, people quit jobs all the time.
Are you defining "coercion" as "manipulative pressure on a decision that cannot be resisted?" Because it seems to me that even physical coercion is frequently resisted and/or overcome.

quote:
Why is it everytime you need an example you devolve to actually coercive ones?
Because you accept physical coercion as a form of coercion. Ergo, I use examples of physical coercion to demonstrate why the ridiculous claims you are making re: social coercion are equally ridiculous when applied to physical coercion. In the same way that someone can rise above social coercion, they can rise above physical coercion; I picked a deliberately ridiculous example of physical coercion in hopes that this would make the comparison obvious.
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LetterRip
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Actually jobs are rarely allocated by chance directly - they are primarily allocated via connections. Connections are allocated via a large helping of chance (ie probably 90% of your entry level job connections are based on who you were born to). Your parents will largely determine

1) Your familial connections and job opportunities (born to a farmer or fisherman - chances are most of your entry level job experience will be farming or fishing; born to a lower class - chances are your job will be McDonalds or simple manual labor; born to to a tradesman - chances are your job will be related that trade; born to someone wealthy or politically connected - chances are you will get internships at places with prestige; etc.)

2) Your family will largely determine what college you get into (born to a poor family - chances are no college or community college; middle class - community college or state university; upper class - ivy league).

There are exceptions but it takes extraordinary skill or luck. Ie an equally smart and talented kid from a poor background; a middle class background; and a wealthy background - will probably end up at community college or no college; state university; and an ivy league university respectively. Their family background is a far larger determinant of their future than their personal merit. It is only severe deviations that change those outcomes (someone from a privileged background could potentially screw up bad enough that they can't get into an Ivy League, but it is rare. Someone in poverty can overcome enormous odds, but it is rare).

Note that rare means things like '1 in 1000'. If there are 50 million in poverty - than that still results in '50 thousand success stories'. This results in dichotomy that one can know 'lots of people that overcame poverty' and yet it be something that is extraordinarily difficult to overcome. The actual odds of moving from poverty to upper class are probably far worse than 1 in 1000, I'd expect more like 1 in a million - thus 50 success stories of 'from rags to riches'. (If we include pop/rap stars and sports that increases).

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
When a corporation "goes public" its income and rate of growth can increase by ten-fold or a hundred-fold. Because of this state-enforced economic privilege, it drive smaller entities out of business quite easily, and thereby reduce wages.

Umm... corps have limited liability way before they go public. Going public has substantial costs both upfront and ongoing and is NO guarantee of any sort of financial success. And you would expect that a corporation that is in need of capital to grow, and chooses to raise it by going public would actaully grow thereafter so I'm not entirely sure where you're going here.
quote:
You would not argue that the state does not have coercive power, right?
Why would anyone?
quote:
You agree that corporate privileges (like limited liability, and many other aspects of corporate structuring) are 1) why corporations can become drastically more powerful than they otherwise would and 2) that these privileges are state created and enforced.
What do you mean by "than they otherwise would"? How do you separate what a corporation would be from the very elements of its structure? Or do you mean if business had to be conducted through general partnerships?

I agree with you, absent a corporate structure business would tend to be smaller, and it would be smaller specifically because it excludes any kind of passive investor. Who would make a thousand dollar investment in a business if they could lose their house and everything they own over it? The idea of crowd funding would be suicide. Pretty much ONLY THE RICH would own businesses of any scale, and they would have massive incentives to secrecy and abuse of authority - exactly like existed prior to the development of the corporate structure in the first place.

I feel like we're having a discussion about the utility of knives and all you want to cite to is how they can be used by serial killers.
quote:
And yet you claim there is no coercive influence on an individual worker's right to bargain. That doesn't really seem consistent, does it?
You haven't cited anything about a corporation that's relevant to whether there's coercion on a worker. Is there an unstated premise you're using here?
quote:
Are you aware of the history of the corporation in the United States? Familiar with the term "race to the bottom"?
Moderately and yes. And?
quote:
quote:
Limited liability is not - in my view - a particularly great evil.
I don't think it's evil at all. It can be useful. The evil is in ignoring what it is and what it does, and the consequences. You wouldn't give the military a vast armory and then fail to subject it to civilian control and review would you? The consequences would be evil, even if the military as a generally useful entity is not.
And what makes you think that limited liability's consequences have been ignored? Is it your claim that mega-corps are not THEMSELVES adequately capitalized such that they are a sham to inproperly shield their beneficial owners assets? Or that their widely diverse ownership bases are appropriately directly liable with unlimited liability? Or that officers have not with increasing frequency faced jail time and criminal charges, or fines? Or that its not possible to pierce the veil of sham corps?
quote:
I am suggesting that as state-administered entities they should be subject to greater levels of democratic control, which, incidentally, was the widely-held view for about the first 100 years of American history.
Be express then about what you're suggesting. I really feel like you're trying to imply something you're not stating. I still disagree with most of your premises, but if I see what you think would solve the problem it may help the discussion.
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
It can be a threat, it's still not coercion, anymore than all marriages are coercion because your wife can divorce you.
And yet "give me a blowjob or I'll divorce you" is indeed coercion. You are suggesting that only "give me a blowjob or I'll hit you" is coercive, but that's plainly not the case.
What I'm suggesting is that you're over-generalizing, and that the fact that coercion can occur within the bounds of relationship (marriage or employment) does not make the relationship inherently the result of coercion. I mean Adam's pretty much implying that there is virtually NO non-coercive employee relationship since virtually everyone needs to earn resources to pay for survival items.
quote:
Are you defining "coercion" as "manipulative pressure on a decision that cannot be resisted?" Because it seems to me that even physical coercion is frequently resisted and/or overcome.
It can be resisted or not resisted, coercion is using threats (generally of force) to get compliance.
quote:
quote:
Why is it everytime you need an example you devolve to actually coercive ones?
Because you accept physical coercion as a form of coercion. Ergo, I use examples of physical coercion to demonstrate why the ridiculous claims you are making re: social coercion are equally ridiculous when applied to physical coercion. In the same way that someone can rise above social coercion, they can rise above physical coercion; I picked a deliberately ridiculous example of physical coercion in hopes that this would make the comparison obvious.
Since I dispute that coercion is a fundemental characteristic of the job market, showing examples where someone uses actual coercion is not a particularly effective technique to make your point.

Now if you want to say that press gangs or slave labor involve coercion, or that blackmailing someone into working for you does, you'll get no argument from me. But that doesn't mean I'm ready to buy that the idea that because someone has to eat, means any particular employer is using coercion in setting the terms of their employment.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I mean Adam's pretty much implying that there is virtually NO non-coercive employee relationship since virtually everyone needs to earn resources to pay for survival items.
I think you may be misinterpreting Adam.

quote:
coercion is using threats (generally of force) to get compliance
I would go broader than that. Coercion is the use of threats or implied threat to get compliance. A boss who laughs at his own joke, then looks at you sternly until you laugh, has not made an outright threat -- but there was an implicit threat.

quote:
Now if you want to say that press gangs or slave labor involve coercion...
I am saying that threatening someone's job if they unionize, or if they ask for a raise, or if they take disability, or if they complain about poor work conditions, is coercion. If being the squeaky wheel would get you fired, and as a direct result you do not speak up, you have been coerced into silence.

quote:
But that doesn't mean I'm ready to buy that the idea that because someone has to eat, means any particular employer is using coercion in setting the terms of their employment.
Let's set aside the word "coercion" for a moment, then, and talk purely about power disparity. Do we agree that in all but the most extreme of labor shortages, an employer has considerably more power than an individual worker in any negotiation?
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Seriati
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I have no issue with including implied threats, I thought that went without saying. But you definitely have a scale problem on what you deem to be coercion - or maybe if not then the answer is coercive relationships as you describe should not be corrected.

You know we already have laws regarding firing people for reasons like exercising their right to unionize, and for retaliation for complaints about poor working conditions. I don't object to laws that deal with specific coercive situations, honestly who would. Still has nothing to do with your actual arguments though.

I've already answered the question on labor shortages for Adam. It still doesn't have any relevance without the follow up I asked him for.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't object to laws that deal with specific coercive situations, honestly who would.
A surprising number of business owners and right-wing politicians.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
Umm... corps have limited liability way before they go public. Going public has substantial costs both upfront and ongoing and is NO guarantee of any sort of financial success.
True, but beside the point. I am referring to the limited liability of investors, which greatly reduces the risk of investment. Hence, more investment, more capital. The fact that some corporations may fail at this point is, again, totally irrelevant, since I am discussing the impact of those that succeed.

quote:
And you would expect that a corporation that is in need of capital to grow, and chooses to raise it by going public would actaully grow thereafter so I'm not entirely sure where you're going here.
I'm nor sure why you're not sure, as I've already stated it point blank. You have a state-enforced contractual protection which 1) cannot exist without the state and 2) greatly empowers the economic impact of the entity.

What part of this are you missing? No company would ever develop the power and influence of Wal-Mart or Microsoft or Monsanto without extensive government support. Once successful enough, a state-supported corporation becomes a state-directing corporation, influencing policy.

You keep telling me that I'm overstating or whatever, but you haven't refuted any of this. So I'm actually "unsure" as to what your refutation is.

quote:
What do you mean by "than they otherwise would"? How do you separate what a corporation would be from the very elements of its structure? Or do you mean if business had to be conducted through general partnerships?
Than they otherwise would if not incorporated, of course. People form corporations for a reason -- they know they will make a lot more money if they succeed. My calculus is the same as theirs. Very simple.

quote:
Pretty much ONLY THE RICH would own businesses of any scale, and they would have massive incentives to secrecy and abuse of authority - exactly like existed prior to the development of the corporate structure in the first place.
This is demonstrably wrong on several levels.

In a scenario where corporations are restricted only to public-works projects (such as early America) there would be considerably less wealth imbalance -- you'd have a more transparent economy.

In a scenario where corporations are owned by stakeholders as well as shareholders, you would have more democratic control and a more equitable spread of wealth. This is done in Japan, for instance, where it works very well.

And you could go the whole hog and just have employee-owned companies, thus completely circumventing your objection that only the rich would own anything.

All of these options are viable, and there are thousands of examples of each. It's only a matter of policy choice. There is no natural law that says that corporations need be structured the way they presently are in the US.

quote:
I feel like we're having a discussion about the utility of knives and all you want to cite to is how they can be used by serial killers.
That's because you aren't, it seems to me, really concentrating on what I'm telling you. I'm telling you that everyone can use knives in a way that does not encourage anyone to be a serial killer.

quote:
You haven't cited anything about a corporation that's relevant to whether there's coercion on a worker. Is there an unstated premise you're using here?
Yes, I did. I said that they have greater leverage against the cost of labor because of their state-sanctioned ability to raise capital very quickly, and to influence social policy through lobbyists. Please respond to this point.

quote:
Moderately and yes. And?
So you know that states granted more and more executive independence to corporations to raise tax revenue, centralize authority, and suppress collective labor rights?

quote:
And what makes you think that limited liability's consequences have been ignored? Is it your claim that mega-corps are not THEMSELVES adequately capitalized such that they are a sham to inproperly shield their beneficial owners assets? Or that their widely diverse ownership bases are appropriately directly liable with unlimited liability? Or that officers have not with increasing frequency faced jail time and criminal charges, or fines? Or that its not possible to pierce the veil of sham corps?
Asked an answered. If the state is to be a government of of the people then the people have a right to control what the state does with its powers. We have a right to extract revenue from those who benefit from a form we provide with our laws and our court system. This is nothing more than commonsense reciprocity.

quote:
Be express then about what you're suggesting. I really feel like you're trying to imply something you're not stating. I still disagree with most of your premises, but if I see what you think would solve the problem it may help the discussion.
Hopefully, I have been, in my responses above.

I also made recommendations earlier on in the thread.

To summarize: ownership control by stakeholders, and legal limitations on size, form, and purpose. Favor horizontal cross-holdings and relationships over vertical pyramids of ownership. Require more transparency. One these are in place, adopt poison pill measures to defend against buyouts from overseas, where other less democratic systems may be in place.

[ December 18, 2013, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
I'm nor sure why you're not sure, as I've already stated it point blank. You have a state-enforced contractual protection which 1) cannot exist without the state and 2) greatly empowers the economic impact of the entity.

What part of this are you missing?

None of it, its of the nature of a truism, it's literally of the "so what?" category for me. It's why you think that leads to the next points I'm missing. Did you ever see the South Park with the Underpants Gnomes? I seem to remember their business model when something like this:

1. Steal all the under wear.
3. Massive profits.

I'm not seeing your connector.
quote:
No company would ever develop the power and influence of Wal-Mart or Microsoft or Monsanto without extensive government support.
And would the world be better off without microsoft products, or Monsanto products? Would people have more access to inexpensive goods without Walmart? There's good and bad here, why should I jump to conclude there's a massive obvious "problem"?
quote:
Once successful enough, a state-supported corporation becomes a state-directing corporation, influencing policy.
No more so than any other rich or well coordinated group, and many times less influential than other groups.
quote:
You keep telling me that I'm overstating or whatever, but you haven't refuted any of this. So I'm actually "unsure" as to what your refutation is.
I don't see anything to refute. You basically state a simple explanation of what a corporation is, then jump straight to the end of the world without expaining why you go there. Are you against big business generally? Are you against passive investment? Is there a reason you prefer other business models - the Roman's used upper class slaves in place of corporations is that better in your mind?

The fundemental reason for the corporation is to protect investors against unrestricted risk. If there is adequate capitalization this deal usually works well, it always works well in contracting where the nature of the corp is disclosed. It work's less well where there are externalities, but that is the reason that capitalization is required. Do you know how many great products and advancements would die on the vine without such a structure? Who would engage in drug research, for example, if personal liability was required?
quote:
Than they otherwise would if not incorporated, of course. People form corporations for a reason -- they know they will make a lot more money if they succeed. My calculus is the same as theirs. Very simple.
People engage in business to make money, people use partnerships all the time and sole proprietorships are the most numerous structure out there. Not to mention, the dozens of other available structures that provide some version of limited liability - are you opposed to them too?
quote:
quote:
Pretty much ONLY THE RICH would own businesses of any scale, and they would have massive incentives to secrecy and abuse of authority - exactly like existed prior to the development of the corporate structure in the first place.
This is demonstrably wrong on several levels.
No its really not, the key word is "scale."
quote:
In a scenario where corporations are restricted only to public-works projects (such as early America) there would be considerably less wealth imbalance -- you'd have a more transparent economy.
And you'd have much less business going on, much less wealth overall, and a much larger divide between workers and owners since you've kicked everyone out of ownership who isn't willing to risk everything they own.
quote:
In a scenario where corporations are owned by stakeholders as well as shareholders, you would have more democratic control and a more equitable spread of wealth. This is done in Japan, for instance, where it works very well.
It's done in America too, with employee stock plans and retirement plans that invest in the company. Why not buy stock if you think that's the secret to great wealth.
quote:
And you could go the whole hog and just have employee-owned companies, thus completely circumventing your objection that only the rich would own anything.
Of scale. Employee direct ownership, puts every employee's entire assets at risk, pretty much ensures that small companies, even well run ones that other people would benefit by being exposed to, have little chances of ever getting scale. There would be no investors to help buy the second store for example. And no reason to link the two together if a harm caused at one causes both to be lost.
quote:
All of these options are viable, and there are thousands of examples of each. It's only a matter of policy choice. There is no natural law that says that corporations need be structured the way they presently are in the US.
Agreed, and there are literally hundreds of ways they are strucutured in the US today.
quote:
That's because you aren't, it seems to me, really concentrating on what I'm telling you. I'm telling you that everyone can use knives in a way that does not encourage anyone to be a serial killer.
But I don't believe knives encourage anyone to become a serial killer, and nothing anyone does in their use of knives will have an impact on those who become serial killers. Same with corps, you're raging against a format that has nothing inherently wrong with it, because it sometimes may be used in a way you don't like.
quote:
quote:
You haven't cited anything about a corporation that's relevant to whether there's coercion on a worker. Is there an unstated premise you're using here?
Yes, I did. I said that they have greater leverage against the cost of labor because of their state-sanctioned ability to raise capital very quickly, and to influence social policy through lobbyists. Please respond to this point.
That's the first I've seen of you stating this. Please explain why you think they have greater leverage against labor based on their ability raise capital quickly - the two items don't lend to any readyily apparent link. I'd also dispute why you think public offerings are the way to raise money quickly, most people who need money quickly do it on the private market or through loans.

Anyone with money or influence has the ability to influence policy through lobbyists. Why do you think that Corps are special risk on that?
quote:
quote:
Moderately and yes. And?
So you know that states granted more and more executive independence to corporations to raise tax revenue, centralize authority, and suppress collective labor rights?
I think you'll have to provide the step by step on that. I think you're overascribing government trends that would occur in any event to an unrelated event (though there may be a correllation in timing).
quote:
quote:
And what makes you think that limited liability's consequences have been ignored? Is it your claim that mega-corps are not THEMSELVES adequately capitalized such that they are a sham to inproperly shield their beneficial owners assets? Or that their widely diverse ownership bases are appropriately directly liable with unlimited liability? Or that officers have not with increasing frequency faced jail time and criminal charges, or fines? Or that its not possible to pierce the veil of sham corps?
Asked an answered. If the state is to be a government of of the people then the people have a right to control what the state does with its powers. We have a right to extract revenue from those who benefit from a form we provide with our laws and our court system. This is nothing more than commonsense reciprocity.
That isn't remotely an answer to what I said. Corps are in fact tax payers, and their employees and owners are tax payers. Corps have to obey the laws of the states and federal government.
quote:
To summarize: ownership control by stakeholders, and legal limitations on size, form, and purpose.
Why? I don't see any good result in prohibiting people from making passive investment. Why should I not be able to invest in a company that seems like a good idea? Putting my excess capital into what seems like the best use, even (and especially) if I don't have the knowledge to pursue it is a very efficient result.

How do you think a limit on size will work? What happens when it's hit yet there is still need for the business to grow? I don't object to anti-monopoly laws, I wouldn't object to them being enforced more liberally either.

In my experience limits on purpose have no good effect. Either people use work-arounds, or you are back to the default of discouraging legitimate business.
quote:
Favor horizontal cross-holdings and relationships over vertical pyramids of ownership. Require more transparency.
As a general matter, US public corps have more transparency than almost any other business entities in the world. I'm not sure I follow your preference for horizontal relationships and cross-holdings.
quote:
One these are in place, adopt poison pill measures to defend against buyouts from overseas, where other less democratic systems may be in place.
If you're opposed to public ownership why would you think this is a risk?

It really seems to me that you're opposed to big businesses and that you're attacking the corporate form because it enables big business. Why not leave a form that works 99% of the time without any particular hazard out of it, and just focus on the aggregation of too much corporate power under a single management team if that's your concern?

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scifibum
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I think Kid's point is pretty simple:

The tax fairness evaluation should take into account the advantages that are enjoyed by the people who benefit most from other aspects of how our government works. He's been detailing some of those advantages that would weigh against a higher rate, to demonstrate that a higher tax rate isn't necessarily unfair. Those advantages aren't, practically speaking, available to everyone, so those who exploit them owe a reciprocal debt (over and above the debt that every taxpayer owes) to the rest of the society that grants them those advantages and provides the labor base that makes them so lucrative.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
None of it, its of the nature of a truism, it's literally of the "so what?" category for me. It's why you think that leads to the next points I'm missing. Did you ever see the South Park with the Underpants Gnomes? I seem to remember their business model when something like this:

1. Steal all the under wear.
3. Massive profits.

I'm not seeing your connector.

The connector is that without the state-formed entity you would have a smaller, less-powerful businesses, with less leverage in wage negotiation, and less ability to influence economic policy. You would not have massive insurance companies and credit card companies dictating legislation.

This is not an argument for their non-existence. It is an argument for a higher level of regulation and taxation than is applied to the private individual, because corporate managers are the beneficiaries of public support, whether we buy their products or not.

quote:
And would the world be better off without microsoft products, or Monsanto products? Would people have more access to inexpensive goods without Walmart?
I grow tired of repeating this, but again, I am not and have never said that such entities should not exist. Well, Wall-Mart we actually could do without.

The point I am making is directly tied into the question asked by this thread -- what is a fair share?

Corporations should pay a fair share for the privileges they benefit from.

quote:
No more so than any other rich or well coordinated group, and many times less influential than other groups.
What group are you thinking of that is neither corporate nor corporate-funded that has a comparatively huge influence on social policy?

quote:
You basically state a simple explanation of what a corporation is, then jump straight to the end of the world without expaining why you go there.
I'm doing nothing of the sort. And at this point I think you're deliberately ignoring my many clarifications.

quote:
Are you against big business generally? Are you against passive investment?
No and no.

quote:
Is there a reason you prefer other business models - the Roman's used upper class slaves in place of corporations is that better in your mind?
That's not a serious question. And I've already told you what other business models I prefer, in considerably detail.

quote:
The fundemental reason for the corporation is to protect investors against unrestricted risk.
Yes, I said that, didn't I?

quote:
If there is adequate capitalization this deal usually works well, it always works well in contracting where the nature of the corp is disclosed. It work's less well where there are externalities, but that is the reason that capitalization is required.
Now who's dealing in truisms?

quote:
Do you know how many great products and advancements would die on the vine without such a structure? Who would engage in drug research, for example, if personal liability was required?
Yet again, you are rebutting arguments I never made. Why do you continue to do this?

quote:
People engage in business to make money, people use partnerships all the time and sole proprietorships are the most numerous structure out there. Not to mention, the dozens of other available structures that provide some version of limited liability - are you opposed to them too?
No. And I am NOT OPPOSED TO THE EXISTENCE OF CORPORATIONS.

quote:
And you'd have much less business going on, much less wealth overall, and a much larger divide between workers and owners since you've kicked everyone out of ownership who isn't willing to risk everything they own.
Debatable, but I wasn't advocating this position as a solution. I was debunking your claim that only the rich would own companies. Actually, the claim is historically dead wrong, as workers in America at that time had much more ownership of production, and the risk was much less severe precisely because the economy was not as subject to the pull of huge conglomerates.


quote:
It's done in America too, with employee stock plans and retirement plans that invest in the company. Why not buy stock if you think that's the secret to great wealth.
That's not the same as being a stakeholder. I'm not going explain the difference, which you should know, and can easily look up yourself.

quote:
Of scale. Employee direct ownership, puts every employee's entire assets at risk, pretty much ensures that small companies, even well run ones that other people would benefit by being exposed to, have little chances of ever getting scale. There would be no investors to help buy the second store for example. And no reason to link the two together if a harm caused at one causes both to be lost.
You're dead wrong about that. Here are two examples:

Burns & McDonnell is an engineering design firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

Burns & McDonnell is one of the leading design firms in the United States. The company provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services for the aviation, defense, environmental and utilities markets. The group ranks among the top 10 designers for the power industry market, and nearly 40 percent of its revenues are earned from projects for that market. In 2005 the company created a new business unit to offer architectural, engineering and construction management services to the health care industry.

Burns & McDonnell is a 100 percent employee-owned company with more than 4,000 employees.


and

Alion Science and Technology Corporation (pronounced: ah-LYE-un)[citation needed] is an employee-owned technology solutions company delivering technical expertise and operational support to the United States Department of Defense, civilian government agencies and commercial customers.

Based in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Alion has 3300 employee-owners at major offices, customer sites and laboratories worldwide.[citation needed]

It was established in 2002 when approximately 1600 employees purchased most of the assets of IIT Research Institute. One Alion product is the simulation software tool, Micro Saint Sharp.


Here are some more:

Acadian Ambulance
Alion Science and Technology
Arup
Avis Rent a Car System - employee-owned 1987-1996; sold to HFS, which became Cendant
Bi-Mart
Bob's Red Mill
Brookshire Brothers
Burns & McDonnell Engineering
Carter's Foods
Certain Affinity
CH2M Hill
Chicago and North Western Railway - sold to Union Pacific Railroad in 1995
Columbia Forest Products
Dahl's Foods
Davey Tree Expert Company
Ebby Halliday Realtors
Edgewood Management, LLC
Ferrellgas Partners
Food Giant
Frontline Test Equipment
Full Sail Brewing Company
Gensler
Golder Associates
Graybar
Greatland Corporation
Huawei
HDR, Inc.
Hensel Phelps Construction
Herff Jones
Hot Dog on a Stick
Houchens Industries
Hypertherm
Hy-Vee
John J. McMullen & Associates - now part of Alion Science and Technology
John Lewis Partnership
Journal Communications
Kantega
King Arthur Flour
Landmark Education
Lifetouch
LPK
Mast General Store
Mathematica Policy Research
Mercedes Homes
Mondragon Corporation
Mott MacDonald
Mushkin
New Belgium Brewing Company
Niemann Foods
PA Consulting Group
Parsons Corporation
PCL Construction
Peter Kiewit Sons'
Phelps County Bank
Price Chopper (New York) (Golub Corp.)
Publix Super Markets
Raycom Media
Recology
Rosendin Electric
Scheels
Schreiber Foods
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories
Springfield ReManufacturing
Stiefel Labs
STV Group
Swales Aerospace
Talis Group
Terracon
Tidyman's
Westat
West Highland Free Press
WinCo Foods
W. L. Gore & Associates
W. W. Norton & Company
Woodman's Food Market

quote:
But I don't believe knives encourage anyone to become a serial killer, and nothing anyone does in their use of knives will have an impact on those who become serial killers. Same with corps, you're raging against a format that has nothing inherently wrong with it, because it sometimes may be used in a way you don't like.
I'm not raging against it. I'm raging against the lack of adequate limits on the form that allow certain managers to acquire more than their share of wealth.

I will have to answer your other questions later this evening.

[ December 18, 2013, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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PSRT
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Seriati-
You may have had a larger point than what I responded to, but the segment of your post that I responded to is perhaps the most important. Nothing else you say matters if you are starting from the completely false premise that our financial and regulatory and legal systems are not set up in such a way that the people on the bottom are not compensated proportionate to their contribution to society, while the haves are compensated far and above their contribution to society.

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RedVW on a Laptop
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Kid

My post was in response to people previously stating what I put in my second comment.

I'll boil it down even further. I think it is morally wrong that fifty percent of my earned income is taken away in taxes. I believe it is wrong because of my remaining income I have to provide 100% of my actual needs.

I don't get any state federal or local aid, government programs, or even a usable school system. Phi get a mortgage deduction and a tax write off for my charity. But as for the rest, I'm not a leech. So I've seen estimates of how much goes for various programs such as military, nasa, courts, congress, sec, FCC, etc. and it's always some rediculously small percentage of each dollar taxed.

I simply don't find any scenario short of a World War fight for survival where we have a total war economy resulting in a 50% tax.

You guys can keep debating semantics. I'll say 50% is too much and morally bankrupt.

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JasperWobbly
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quote:
morally bankrupt
quote:
I'd kill my parents before I paid a dime to either of them. Long skipped story redacted here- but if it ever became the case where I was legally responsible for them, I'd kill them.

Period. Full stop.


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LetterRip
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Red,

of each dollar taxed most of it goes to the military (current spending + most of the national debt is from previous campaigns + veterans affairs + military pensions + significant portion of social security spending for disability + part of DOE, NASA and other budgets)

It comes out to well over half of the budget.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

Note that none of those account for the percentage of social security spending that is for veteran disability - 3.6 million 'disabled veterans',

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/veteranscensus1.html

and given there are about 40 million people collecting from social security. That suggests 5%-10% of the social security spending is actually military related spending.

JasperWobbly, probably wrong thread.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why not buy stock if you think that's the secret to great wealth.
There have been a number of studies examining the rich-making effects of the stock market on the "common man" -- i.e. someone who can afford to invest less than $10K a year in a public stock. Turns out that these people are not the ones taking enormous profits out of the stock market. In fact, they're not even getting 8%. They're not even beating inflation.
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Mynnion
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Try getting in on a promising IPO without a generous portfolio or without the "right" connections.
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KidTokyo
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Red,

quote:
I think it is morally wrong that fifty percent of my earned income is taken away in taxes.
Given some of the awful and destructive things that money gets spent on, I'm inclined to agree with you.

quote:
I believe it is wrong because of my remaining income I have to provide 100% of my actual needs.
Well, this I don't agree with. Nobody provides 100% of their own needs. You are not farming or killing your own food, paving your own roads, policing your neighborhood, developing your of communications technology, etc. You may pay for some of these things voluntarily -- but there is a reason why they are there and available at a certain price, with a certain degree of safety. Infrastructure is hugely important.

quote:
I don't get any state federal or local aid, government programs, or even a usable school system.
Many people who provide the above do, and if they didn't your options as buyer of goods and services would be more limited.

quote:
Phi get a mortgage deduction and a tax write off for my charity. But as for the rest, I'm not a leech.
I would never say that anyone who works is a leech.

quote:
I simply don't find any scenario short of a World War fight for survival where we have a total war economy resulting in a 50% tax.

You guys can keep debating semantics. I'll say 50% is too much and morally bankrupt.

In a case where someone's income is so high it would be essentially impossible to achieve in a truly free-market scenario, I don't think it's bankrupt at all. There are people for whom the 50% remaining is still much higher than what they would be able to earn without state-administered privilege. In that case, 50% or more is justifiable. I don't know much about what you do so it's hard to know if you belong to that category.
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Greg Davidson
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I may have missed this, but how do you (Red) get to 50%? We don't have especially many deductions, have high income, and live in what is reputed to be the very highly taxed state of California, and our total taxes (state, federal and local) all come out to significantly less than 33%. I have understood that our tax system is skewed in some ways very favorable to higher level on incomes, but I would be surprised an an effect that large.

Also, are you including social security as a tax? If you are, it's inaccurate to say "I don't get any state federal or local aid, government programs", because you will have gotten, whether you wanted it or not, the disability or death insurance benefits of social security (not huge, I know) and built up a retirement balance (assuming you live that long) that is substantially higher than the payments that you have made in to social security (which is one of the problems of social security, as I will concede, but in your particular case it provides you an actuarial likelihood of benefits far in excess of the stream of payments that you have made).

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TomDavidson
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Yeah, we're making low six figures this year and aren't coming close to a 50% tax burden.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I'll boil it down even further. I think it is morally wrong that fifty percent of my earned income is taken away in taxes. I believe it is wrong because of my remaining income I have to provide 100% of my actual needs.
Ecept the tax is on the transation of providing you with your income. The money that you get _after_ the transation can reasonalby called your money, the amount taken in taxes was never yours to begin with, and was only padded onto the figures in the first place because of the expectation that some would be lost to transaction costs in the form of taxes.

Similarly your real buying power would, at best, be entirely identical, if not somewhat less, in the absence of those taxes, because the prices you pay are based on what people can actually afford to spend after taxes, not nominal pre-tax numbers. If you're at the very top of the income spectrum, your buying power is effectively unchanged, because you define the top bid in the system to be appealed to, anywhere lower down the line and your buying power is somewhat increased because those top bidders can't push market prices up quite as much, even though they still effectively can buy the same amount of stuff.

An the only thing that anyone's federal tax dollars do is cancel out the volume of bonds the fed can offer to people looking to make savings deposits. They don't pay for anything at all; they just make secure savings a little more scarce because we, by law, choose to link our national savings cap directly to federal net spending levels.

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RedVW on a Laptop
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The tax level is what my accountant tabulates yearly for me. It's an inclusion of everything he accounts for. Property, ad velorum, sewer tax, street tax etc all add up rather quickly.

As to my estimated SSI payout, I'd be lucky to break even on my payouts vs what I put in according to this year's estimate provided by social security. Seeing as it will be bankrupt in another 25 years and the fiscal reality that I'm likely to neither be paid this benefit or get a substantially lower payout whether they use means testing in the future or not- I'd say its counting chickens before the eggs have even appeared.

I guess I indirectly benefit from payments to life safety, transportation, and economic regulations. And I don't have issue with that. I don't have issue with military spending. I have a serious issue with the great society programs because after a trillion dollars plus, the indicators for the program targets all show worse statistics or zero change.

Again where is it a moral act to take 50% from a working leech?

I don't care if a person wouldn't notice 50% tax because he is a multi millionaire. The point is that many people pay effective tax rates of under 20%. The excuse is that they are morally worthy of being taxed less because the rich deserve to be penalized due to all the advantages they have over the poor. The fact that poor people systemically ignore the advantages of rich people, such as getting an education, living on a budget, working harder, not having out of wedlock children, not doing drugs, not playing lotto, etc. it's alwAys a case of excusable circumstance or inability to cope or compensate for the individual poor that ultimately justifies the need for more and ever increasing taxes to enable the utopian world of no poverty and the rich paying their fair share.

So the rich currently pay almost all the federal income tax. Why not have the top 10% pay all the tax? Why not increase their effective tax rate to the level that makes this possible? If it's morally justifiable to have rich people paying 50% of their annual income, why not 60 or even 90?

Maybe that will expose the nature of my objection.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't care if a person wouldn't notice 50% tax because he is a multi millionaire.
Why not?

quote:
The excuse is that they are morally worthy of being taxed less because the rich deserve to be penalized...
You know, I'm pretty sure that is not the excuse.

quote:
The fact that poor people systemically ignore the advantages of rich people...
From today's Cracked:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-facts-about-being-poor-from-rich-person/

quote:
Why not have the top 10% pay all the tax?
Why not, indeed? I'd actually be fine with this. Of course, they'd then resort to even more criminal activity to keep their money. Is that the nature of your objection?

----------

As a side note, I just popped open my financial software -- I don't use an accountant, but I do use individual line items to track sewer taxes on my water bill, service taxes on my phone bill, sales taxes on my purchases, etc. -- and my total tax for this year (assuming I'm doing my taxes correctly) comes out to about 36% of my income (which is actually a little higher than normal, since we made some expensive purchases this year that were highly taxed). That's a hefty chunk of change -- it's equivalent to my entire annual household income just twelve years ago, albeit ignoring inflation -- but it's hardly a hardship.

[ December 19, 2013, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I don't care if a person wouldn't notice 50% tax because he is a multi millionaire.
That's not the argument. The argument is that it would not make a functional difference because the price of things that he pays for are set based on his after tax income. The only thing that the tax changes is his ability to drive inflation, the nominal price that he can push wealth to, not the access he has to it.

quote:
The excuse is that they are morally worthy of being taxed less because the rich deserve to be penalized due to all the advantages they have over the poor
No, the argument is that it makes no economic sense to attempt to moderate their puchasing power because their spending drives production, not inflation. Put more money in their hands and they buy more things, creating more jobs to produce those things. Put more money in a very high income person's hands and he buys exactly the same amount of stuff, he just forces the prices on that stuff higher because he can bid the process up a bit. No extra production, but higher prices for everyone else.

The "moral" issue is completely absurd, because it it comes from a position that is completely ignorant of what money is, pretending that it's commodity that people create through work, rather than an accounting measure that we communally share to facilitate transactions with based on a common pricing unit and, more than that, tries to pretend that short term nominal valuations are a meaningful measure of wealth.

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Seneca
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quote:
The "moral" issue is completely absurd, because it it comes from a position that is completely ignorant of what money is
I don't think many here agree with your idea of money.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't think many here agree with your idea of money.
I'm not sure that's true. I think most people here agree with Pyrt's idea of money, but not everyone shares some of his other economic ideas.
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