Sustainable Development (environmental, population, economic, resources wars, ext.)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Yuthura, Jan 4, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, about that whole 'government working for the people' business. I think you should look around and see if it serves that function these days. And if not I think it'd be cool if you marched on Washington with a megaphone.
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    How does such a "rift" detract from the ability to pursue happiness? Note that it's not the right to achieve happiness, merely pursue it. Throughout the history of the US, including in recent years, there have been many examples of individuals who have risen from poverty to become wealthy. That alone proves that those who are poorer still have the ability to pursue happiness.

    For example, consider Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google. He immigrated to the US at age 6, escaping political persecution in the USSR. Today, 30 years later, he's worth $12 billion (give or take a bit).

    This statement only proves that you haven't read what I've actually written.

    I haven't claimed that a progressive tax structure "detracts from the US economy". What I have claimed is that it is unfair and unequal treatment of a minority portion of the population. It is prejudicial, and nothing more than class warfare.

    The government has no business treating the next $1 earned by Sergey Brin or Bill Gates any different than it treats the next $1 that you or I earn. Moreover, confiscating someone else's money simply because you think that they earn too much and it should be given to someone else is simply putting a thin veneer over theft.

    You previously recommended that I read a book "cover to cover" before trying to "make a judgment like you're an expert". Might I suggest that you actually read my posts and try to grasp them before you do the same?

    You haven't made any sort of a case at all! Making a case implies that you actually present a logical argument. You haven't done that. Instead, you've simply asserted that CEOs making millions of dollars is wrong and that they should be taxed more heavily.

    That's a very strange definition of "fair". Last I checked, the entire concept of "fair" depended on whether it was just and/or equal. How do your criteria fit into that sort of definition?

    In fact, you specifically said earlier that "It's not unfair to say someone who earns a billion a year will have to pay 50% of his earnings for taxes." How does that mesh up with the English language where the term "unfair" means:
    1. not fair; not conforming to approved standards, as of justice, honesty, or ethics: an unfair law; an unfair wage policy.
    2. disproportionate; undue; beyond what is proper or fitting: an unfair share.
    Charging one person 50%, while charging another 10% is the very definition of disproportionate!

  3. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Sure you can becasue there is always going to be someone who can do a better job. Heck my company did that jsut a few weeks ago. The brought someone in who turned out to be a real *** and they fired. Besides they already had someone who knew what they were doing.

    No they are hired because they are the worst person for the job :rolleyes:

    Unless you know how much work the board members do then who are you to say how much they should and should not earn. And I'm just going to point out that not all companys have board members.
  4. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    The 10 percent and rising unemployment rate. Working people are at the mercy of their bosses these days. Not sure what field you are in; some fields are recession proof and still hiring. My husband could probably find another job if he wanted one, although we'd have to relocate--which is expensive and therefore not an option for many people.

    The employees can call the shots like you described in a good economy, not in this one.

    As far as the government working for the people, I agree with FIDo. It doesn't happen. Politicians don't even try to appeal to "the people" anymore, they look at various bases of people, normally those who can line their campaign coffers.
  5. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Exactly, but I still vote and hope for the future. I just know that reality is very far from what people like ani say where the government 'serves the people'. Yeah, it serves them all right: serves them a big steaming pile of crap.
  6. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I have an uncle who's CEO of a small corporation in Nashville. It's a network maintenance company with a net worth of about 10 million at its peak. It was rated very highly for being the 'best small business' in Tennessee for the last two years.

    He does work long hours, yes. However I spoke with him explicitly on the way he goes about as CEO of the business... he gets a very handsome sum for his part, but he says the most significant reason his small business can be competitive with larger corporations is to offer better quality in their services. Because they could not produce in volume, they had to specialize in better customer services and higher standards than the 'mass customer' approach. Part of that is to motivate the technicians with the sense that they are a significant part of the team, as they have to socialize and work with customers directly. That isn't done as often in VERY large corporations because they specialize in volume... not quality. This has the unfortunate effect of making some very demoralized workers and employees.

    They don't 'work' all the time. Their schedules are not fixed, so they are much like firefighters who are always on duty. But you could just as easily expect someone like my uncle to run a major company and his qualities as a CEO would not be as significant to the success of the business as maintaining a good image to others. He specifically mentioned that social skills are among the most critical aspects of whether you're a good CEO or not. There are many who would qualify for the job, but most are chosen for their reputation moreso than for their level of competence. He also said he was good because he was a part of the company from the beginning, whereas many CEO's could go from cars to a restaurant chain.

    Henry Ford was good because he understood his company, but he also showed how significantly you can hinder a company because of personal bias and lack of understanding of your customers. Ford did understand his workers... as does my uncle.

    Even so, their actual worth is only as much as people are willing to invest in. Tiger Woods is just good at playing golf, yet his net worth from sponsors... before the latest events... was enormous. If you think celebrities are worth all that, then I can't change that. But I will say that people can be foolish to put so much value in a person for their personality and not their actual worth.

  7. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    This is one area where I strongly disagree with KK.

    The dollar earned by Bill Gates is not the same as a dollar earned by a worker. It is impossible for one man to "earn" 50 billion dollars. They are not being paid a wage for labor, they are being rewarded for entrepreneurial and management skills.

    The worker in 19th century England didn't have the choice to simply change employeers, and the idea to suggest that workers and employeers are on equal ground as free actors in the marketplace is a lie. It just doesn't work that way except possibly if you have highly developed skills.

    But an entrepreneur isn't able to create such vast sums of wealth from scratch, they are dependent on the society they live in and the people that work for them. Thus the dollar they earn from harnessing and managing the talent and capabilities of society is in fact very different than the worker who is paid for a wage. The dollar given from rich father to child is also very different from the dollar earned by actual work.

    The rich do not need taxes to exploit and wage war on the lower classes, they do fine without it. Collective action, both economic and political is often the only tool needed to fight back. If you can call it a class war, you can be certain the workers didn't start it.
  8. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Sorry for the double post, but just noticed this:

    Everyone isn't the same economically, even if they are all the same under God.
  9. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    That's what I told you. [face_plain]

    And I already told you all tof that.


    I'm not going to gloss over this one. If you are a loser you're company will be a loser. The image of the CEO is ever thing.


    Well duh again that's what I told you. Again I work for a coating company. Are customers like what we do becasue we turn out a good product. Price does come in but they want a good product. I told you all of this already.



    The CEO/owner/whatever is the preson who runs the company they are no a burden. They are the people out front doing that work of getting customers.


    Do you like oranges? I do they are going to have to rise the price of oranges to make up the cost of lost oranges this year in Florida. Rasing peoples wages is not really a good thing. Add to that in my state they want to start taxe truk drivers even more then they are taxed now. So yeah you really need to learn about cost. You increase the price of you're product you have to make cuts from somewhere.

    Let's see I can go to Chills for ribs that cost less or I can go to that really nice bar and girll I like. Sure the ribs cost more but that has to do with the cut of meat. Hmmmm I'm going to go for what costs more. Again people want a good product you can have the product cost one doller if you do a crap job no one will buy you're product.


    As long as the product is good.

    So if I put out let's say I make chairs. I sell them to people at a low price and you buy one of chairs and it breaks. Don't you think you should have checke to see the quality over the price.

    But if you really want to go at this. Let's just check o
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but what is labor except the application of skills? I sit at a computer almost all day applying my skills for my employer. Does that mean that I don't get paid a wage for labor?

    You might not have noticed, but it's not the 19th century anymore. Even in the case of minimum wage workers, there is still the option of finding a different job. I have known several people to do that, even in poor economic times like right now.

    No, it is no different. Each dollar represents the exact same thing from an economic standpoint.

    Personally, I'm getting really sick of the whole canard that "they are dependent on the society the live in, so they owe more to that society". The entire point of money is that it represents a commonly-accepted value (replacing barter). Yes, they gain greater value from society (hence their greater wealth), but they also pay correspondingly higher amounts back into society directly. If a person takes twice as much from society, then they should pay twice as much back in.

    But that's not what either of you are advocating here. You're advocating that the person who gets twice as much from society pay ten times as much back. That is wrong.

    In what way? Was that dollar not alreay taxed when the father received it as part of his income? Why, then, does the government have any further claim upon that dollar?

    I'm sorry, but what you call "collective action" would never be tolerated if directed against a different group.

    It's like the old parable about democracy with the three wolves and the sheep deciding what's for dinner. You would never accept that as fair in another field of politics or society. Why do you suddenly do an about face now to call it "fair" here?

    If your approach is so fair, what objective criteria can you offer to determine who has "too much" money, and needs to pay more taxes? How do you calculate that?

    Yes, in theory, you could confiscate all the money from people who make more than the average salary, and redistribute it to everyone who makes less than the average, but you could only do that by running roughshod over the rights of everyone and treating citizens as though they are the property of the state. No thank you. Until then, you will always have people complaining about the disparity between the "rich" and the "poor".

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    Except those skills are what turned Microsoft from a small business to the conglomerate it is today. In essence, Gates had skills that few others had, and his work, while different from those who might be viewed as a "worker," is still work. Who is to say one kind of work is better than another?

    Except the dollar given to the child by the rich father was ALREADY TAXED! Estate taxes are particularly noxious in that they tax income that was already taxed earlier.

    But there is a question he has asked that needs to be answered: Does a rich person have the same property rights as someone who isn't rich?

    And if so then is it appropriate to expropriate his property (via higher tax rates than for lower-income people) for the purposes of wealth redistribution?

    Many are upset when someone's house is seized via eminent domain for a private business. Why should a person's income be viewed differently than their house?
  12. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I dunno....from what I know employers aren't exactly advertising how much they're willing to pay employees. Given that, the capitalist ideal breaks down as employers don't have any incentive to compete with one another to maintain their supply of labor.
  13. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Correction:

    That's all I told you.
    [/quote]

    Correction:

    You said none of that. Stop taking credit for something you didn't do.

    I just made a case against your 'Pro CEO' ideology. This is not a super-wealthy guy. He doesn't make an outrageous sum of cash because his business depends on happy and devoted workers. If he were greedy, he would be able to take on a large salary, but it would detract from the performance of the business.

    Incorrect. It's not everything. If it were, then why are some of the best companies going bankrupt? If they can just throw some face onto the front of their corporation... problems solved.

    It would be accurate to say that a bad CEO can ruin everything, but a good one doesn't make everything. A corporation is made up of MANY MANY people. When the corporation does well, it would makes sense to assume those many people ALL get benefits from their hard work. The CEO should as well, but not such a vast majority of the earnings. He is only one man... and that money that he gets doesn't improve the company. Giving bonuses to the workers promotes better employee devotion and motivation... improvement.

    If you're not going to take this seriously, then get off the forum.

    I have no respect for you. What I specified about quality only applies to a small corporation. It was not directed at a large corporation. You had no idea I was evaluating how my uncle goes about his business differently than one who works as CEO for Wal-mart.

    That's NOT what you told anyone, so stop pretending.

  14. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Yes you use a skill to gain a wage. In economics, labor costs and entrepreneural costs are seperated.

    What we have here is a conflict of values. Above all you value the rights of private property, even at the expense of economic liberty. You see economic freedom as the ability to keep what you get and talk about the fairness of getting to do so and it isn't "fair" when people are treated differently. The reason why money is different is that it is the way we meet our basic needs. Rich people don't require any more than poor people do to live, they just want more. You ask if it is right that what they have should be taken away, yet assume that all wealth is received through a perfect liberty of contract and each man receives according to his skill. The simple fact of the matter is that if you abolish Estate taxes, then time and time again those with all the wealth are the children of those who had skills, not those that now have skills. You talk about the examples of people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, but such a thing is near impossible in a society where all capital is held by an aristocracy.

    No this isn't the 19th century and we have successfully outsourced the global poor from our cities so we don't have to think about them. You give anecdotal evidence, but the fact remains that people are not free actors and do not have the ability to simply move to another job. Yes you do, and we are all very happy for you, but most of the world is not in the same position. The worker and the employeer are not on equal ground when it comes to negotiating contracts, and while the absurdity that such a thing exists was most evident around the turn of the last century, it is still with us.

    Yes, they gain greater value from society (hence their greater wealth), but they also pay correspondingly higher amounts back into society directly. If a person takes twice as much from society, then they should pay twice as much back in.

    Those that are most able to pay, should pay the most. What harm does taking more from the rich cause? So you consider it unfair and an act of violence upon them. What is actual harm in their lives? They won't be able to afford an even bigger house or even more toys? Besides it violating your opinion of what is fair, how much is their quality of life diminished? When you take the same proportion from the poor you feel justified that they were treated equally. Yet now they may miss a meal.

    If business leaders and those who made money did so through purely honest and strove to deliver products and services with such high regard for what you call "fairness," then this wouldn't be an issue. You really, really, really need to read Outliers. Bill Gates didn't pull himself up by the bootstraps, he happened to be one of the only thirteen year olds in the country with access to one of the most advanced computer systems in the world. Yes he put in his 10,000 hours and deserves to be rewarded. But he was also born at just the right time, and through circumstance had advantages that billions of others did not. He got lucky, and luck isn't fair. And I hardly think I need to go into the history of Microsoft with you, but charging a global tax on computers wasn't fair either. You can't just reply that people had the option of going elsewhere, because if you understood monopolies you would understand that it isn't an option.

    As for CEO pay, no they aren't worth what they are paid, and you can't say that just because they are paid that much, it means they must be worth it because that makes no sense. Just because you can legally defraud your investors by not allowing shareholders to have much of a say in the matter doesn't mean you are worth it. And if anyone thinks people are rewarding perfectly with what their skills are worth, I don't know how you can explain Hollywood.
  15. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 6
    Well said, Espy, especially this part:

    I do understand Smuggler's point about estate taxes being double taxation. However, estate taxes are in place in order to stop the formation of an aristocracy a la old Europe, in which a few families control all of the money. In a situation like that, the ordinary person's success depends on the benevolence of one of those families. In a way estate taxes are unfair, but the point behind them makes sense.

    And no, not all wealth is created in this country by people who have unique skills or pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. There are many people who "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and overcome their poor background to reach an upper-middle-class standing, but the idea of telling a kid that "If you work hard, you'll be as rich as Bill Gates" is neither realistic nor accurate. The "worked for every dime of those millions" idea falls apart when luck is factored in.
  16. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but who are you to speak to what I value above all? What you posted there is a gross misrepresentation of my position. My position is based first and foremost upon the duties of government, as outlined by such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Constitution explicitly protects property rights and demands that the government provide equal protection of the laws. You can't just throw that out because you want to grab more money from the rich. Their constitutional rights are just as important as anyone else's.

    But before we can get into that, if you value economic liberty more than anything else in this discussion, then you need to define what you mean by that. I'll define property rights for you: the right to keep and own property.

    I assume nothing of the sort. I fully recognize that some people gain money that they did not earn through their skills. (The mere existence of lotteries and casinos proves that, as does the existence of probate records.)

    The difference is that you seem to believe that the government has some sort of inherent right to that money, whereas I hold that the government has no inherent right to anything.

    Quite frankly, the rest of the world is not my concern in this discussion because we aren't talking about world-wide laws. We are discussing the laws and policies in the US. (Or are you advocating that the US as a whole be taxed heavily to redistribute to poorer nations?)

    The fact is that you are wrong here. People are free actors and do have the ability to move to another job. The problem is that they do not recognize that they have that ability. Just because a person doesn't believe that they have any options doesn't mean that they don't have any options.

    If you are going to assert that people aren't free actors, then you need to back that up. I see no evidence that it is true, and lots of evidence showing that people are free actors.

    How do you measure that? How do you determine what people "should" pay? To quote a saying from Lazarus Long, "If you can't express it in figures, it ain't science; it's opinion." How do you express that statement in figures? Otherwise, why should US policy be dictated by your opinion, and not mi
  17. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Way back in high school I learned about this thing called diminishing marginal utility. Simply put, the more units you have of something, the less useful each successive unit becomes to you.

    If you eat one sandwich a day for lunch, it's extremely helpful. It satisfies your nourishment needs, and it tastes good. If you start eating two sandwiches per lunch, that first sandwich remains helpful, but the second is much less so. It may have added nutritional value, but it's much less important than the first which satisfied a basic hunger. By the time you get to five or six sandwiches per lunch, the last sandwich is actually having a massive negative effect on you.

    It is with this principle that I justify progressive taxation. Taking $5,000 from someone who makes $20,000 a year denies a much greater marginal utility than taking $5,000 from someone who makes $100,000 a year.
  18. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6


    To go off-topic (on-topic?): every piece of technology needed for the western world to be able to sustain our current lifestyles, more or less, already exists.


    Power: More than oil, the ability to generate electric power itself is the most fundamentally important requirement for western civilization. Fortunately, the technologies needed to generate electricity are very well understood for the most part, and in the US and Canada at least there's no fear of running out of electrical generating power any time in the near future, so long as we transition away from gas/oil generators in the next decade or two. Hydro, solar, wind, nuclear and even coal power will last us for quite some time.

    Fuel: Oil will run out before too long, which may very well sink the automobile industry in of itself. Options include moving to electric cars or alternate fuel sources (bio fuels), or increased mass transit usage. I think that the most likely long term option is that we'll see fuel based vehicles being primarily rural and military vehicles; cities will need to rely more on mass transit, bikes, etc. While I realize that some may find a "mass transit for everyone not in the top 5% income brackets" might be offensive, I believe that it's the best option for sustainable people moving.

    Plastics: We can make them without starting from oil, but this is the area we're probably in greatest need of improvement.




    Our sustainability isn't really based on rich vs. poor, it's based on how we use the resources at hand. Power we have plenty of, if we prepare for it. Fuel we won't have enough of to sustain our current lifestyle, but an alternate lifestyle would probably be better for us and the planet.
  19. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    First of all I want to apologize for one error that I made earlier. I said that adjusted gross income includes deductions, when it only includes some deductions (such as student loan interest, health savings accounts, and so forth). Itemized deductions like mortgage interest or charitable contributions are not used to calculate the AGI. However, this only makes my argument even stronger, as the AGI reported for the top 1% includes most of their deductions as part of that before laying a heavier tax burden on them.
    Except how do you quantify it? How do you determine who gets a greater marginal utility?

    When it comes to taxes, the point of the standard deduction and personal exemptions ($5700 standard deduction and $3650 personal exemption this year) is to account for that diminishing marginal utility. It provides a tax-free baseline ($9350 this year) that is meant to cover the approximate costs of those basic needs. (Whether it actually does or not is a different question.)

    I'll point out that I have never called for abolishing the standard deduction or personal exemptions, nor are many itemized deductions (such as charitable contributions) necessarily a bad thing. I agree that there needs to be some sort of baseline to make it easier for individuals and families to cover their basic needs.

    However, once you pass that baseline, everyone should be treated the same. The government isn't there to make you comfortable. It's there to protect your rights. Once your basic needs are covered, then everyone should be treated the same. (To use your example, once everyone gets the basic hunger satisfied, all of the additional sandwiches should be treated the same.)

    Kimball Kinnison
  20. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    But all the additional sandwiches are NOT the same. Sandwich #2 is a lot more useful than sandwich #6, therefore if A has one sandwich and B has 6, a greater utility can be achieved by giving B's sixth sandwich to A.

    (I'm also trying to think of a better example to switch to, because too many sandwiches will deliver negative utility, and I don't think my chances of selling that as a trait of money are too good;))
  21. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    You are still missing my key point. How do you measure it? How do you determine what threshold to set, beyond which it's ok to increase someone's tax burden based on your theory here?

    If you can't measure it, then how can you apply it?

    And again, all of your points there are supposed to be covered through the standard or itemized deductions. Those are supposed to be sufficient to make income for basic needs "tax free", and only income in excess of that is taxed.

    Kimball Kinnison
  22. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    This is exactly the kind of topic I was hoping to discuss.

    Excellent point. The US has no problem for the time being when it comes to electricity. It is a universal kind of energy which can be produced with virtually any kind of force which produces kinetic or thermal energy. The most significant problem in regards to energy is that oil is the only fuel that can be used for over 90% of our transportation. There are no effective substitutes; even ethanol cannot do more than blend with gasoline in most engines.

    The most significant issue in regards to energy I think is that the power grid and the transportation infrastructure have always been independent of one another. The solution to that is to start converting to electric vehicles as quickly as possible. This presents two problems, though. One is that storing electricity in batteries for cars presents comes with limitations. You have to wait hours between recharges. Second is that batteries are expensive. While their manufacturing costs are declining, prices are dropping slower than the price of oil rises. And electric hybrids are only a temporary solution... still expensive compared to standard cars, and plug-in versions go even higher.

    I actually would support development of another kind of hybrid car that uses the Scuderi engine. Unlike electric hybrids, this split-cycle engine is able to store compressed air as potential energy instead of using batteries. It also may cost about the same as a standard car, but could get the same mileage as an electric hybrid. And it's quick to adapt the design from current four-cycle engines. This is another temporary solution, but it's one that can quickly be implemented for both gasoline and diesel engines.

    I absolutely agree. The best way to use electricity in transportation is to have vehicles draw energy through physical connections to the power grid. Out of the various forms of mass transit, I favor light rail above all else. I seriously believe it's the best option for the impending oil crisis. And for it to be viable, people must be willing to live closer together in urban landscapes.

    The best reason to renovate American cities to use transportation-oriented development (TOD) is because most of the major US infrastructural systems are old and worn out. To replace all the electrical lines, sewer lines, pipes, and roads... the costs would be astounding. By using TOD, you can renovate US cities much cheaper per capita than if you were to repair a flawed infrastructure of suburban development. It costs less to maintain a denser city than one where people are spread all over, which is why we MUST do it. We simply must be willing to live in denser cities
  23. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    I don't see that as a capitalism vs. socialism question.

    In New Brunswick, the St. John River floods on a yearly basis. Without fail, every spring we see some people on the news saying that the river rose up and destroyed their home, just like it did last year, and the mean old insurance companies and government might not do anything to help them. The American mortgage crisis of 2008/2009 involved similar logic and reasoning. People make stupid decisions and then complain that no one warned them before or helped them after. That's just how people are. Anyone buying a home in the suburbs now has all the information that they need, readily available, that says suburban living is going to become very impractical within fifty years or less.

    Good luck finding large numbers of people who think that way. By providing bailouts and subsidies on actions that further erode our long term economic health, socialist leanings in Canada and the US are making the future problems worse.

    I consider myself a socialist, but for me that means that the governments (municipal, provincial, national) should provide essential services (national defense, police and some legal services, fire department, essential medical services, education, and to ensure essential infrastructure such as power and roads exist). I am fine with private companies providing some of those options, provided the aim is to be revenue neutral.
  24. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I understand this. New Orleans was a disaster, but an understandable one. Rebuilding the city though is just another such disaster asking to happen. I absolutely oppose any reconstruction efforts there... New Orleans should forever be left in ruin. The same thing goes for idiots who build on barrier islands. When you live in an area more prone to disaster, you should be expected to pay for whatever emergency services you will demand for when the disaster strikes. Yet we do all this when we choose where we live.

    Unlike tornados, which only cause mass destruction to a limited extent, some Americans prefer living near a slope prone to avalanches. When disaster strikes... I never knew that would happen!

    Building on earthquake zones isn't exactly foolish if you quake-proof your buildings. Those that don't shouldn't receive any emergency aid.

    Living on a flood plain without a means to quickly drain or divert the water is just begging for flood insurance. They may get it, but it detracts from the company who forks over the cash.

    Building a city in the middle of the desert... what genius designed Phoenix or Los Vegas?

    Cultivating arid land for farming through the use of ground water is going to end very badly.

    Using the automobile for 90% of all transportation needs... there's nothing more American than that.

    Americans really are just asking for disaster. If it happens, they'll just assume the insurance company will cover it... only problems is that when everyone thinks like that, such plans won't work. You own the bank $1000, it's your problem. If a thousand other people owe it, it's everyone's problem.
  25. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    So because you can't measure something, that's excuse enough for someone to be taxed just as heavily at $40 billion as someone who earns $50,000?

    Let's put it another way. Say for instance that you decided to set everyone's taxes to 80%.

    Now you have one person having only $10,000 after taxes compared to someone having an astounding $8 billion. Can the one who would normally be getting $50,000 be able to get by? Not likely. What about the guy who would have otherwise gotten $40 billion? Even after being taxed so heavily, the billionaire still would be making more than enough to support himself 160,000 times over again. I'm assuming you would just need $50,000 a year for housing, food, and other expenses. That would be on the high side.

    What I suggest is to make it so that someone earning less than $20,000 a year be tax-free because there is no way such a person could get by and pay taxes as well. It's not unfair... if the billionaire wants to stop earning profit and live on a meager $20,000 year to escape taxes... that's his right! Now as you progressively earn more money, it would just involve setting a higher tax level for each ~10,000 more you earn. The first $20,000 would be tax free, the next $10,000 would be taxed at 6%. The next $10,000 would be taxed at 9% and it would steadily increase until you reach 69%. After that point, every additional $10,000 a billionaire earns would have $7,000 taken out in taxes. Continuing to work still would be making him money, but just not as much as when he only earned $200,000 a year.

    That doesn't change the fact that a billionaire's first $20,000 wasn't taxed at all. Nor having $600 taken out when he reached $30,000. $1200 when he reached $40,000. And so on. This would allow for tax breaks to go to those who NEED it and encourage super rich to enjoy life more often and not work as much. If you tax the rich more heavily, it won't matter to them because they already are making more than they could ever need. It's not like they're being cheated out of what they earn, but preventing them from cheating hundreds of thousands of wage-earners the opportunity to earn a decent way of life. If the Super rich don't want to be taxed so heavily, then it's their right to just kick back and enjoy life instead of working.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.