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TheDumbMoney (38.61)

No Matter How Conservative You Are, Look at These Charts

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October 13, 2011 – Comments (31) | RELATED TICKERS: SPY

I have been a pretty big hater of Henry Blodget for a long time.  But I think he has redeemed himself in my eyes a bit with this chart series.  Aside from two or three slightly misleading ones at the end, this chart series is dead on.  If you are a major fiscal conservative, ask yourself if the honest rebuttal in your mind is as powerful as the rhetorical one you can put down in pixels.  See here.

31 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

Yes DTAF, but what does this have to do with fiscal conservatism? People often conflagrate (for good reason sometimes I suppose) true conservatism with the elitism that is the republican party today. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain.... elitists. They should look at these figures

Ron Paul on the other hand, is very familiar with these data I assure you.

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#2) On October 13, 2011 at 3:18 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

1)  Conflagrate is not the word you intend to use.  I think you mean "conflate."

2)  I applaud your desire to retake the term "fiscal conservative" for the cause and politician you believe in.  However, in the real world (the one we live in, with the usage we have), the term "fiscal conservative" has been used for twenty or more years to describe people like Romney, Perry, Cain, Bush, Cantor, and others like them.  I hope you recognize that you are trying to change the definition.  Please at the very least do not purport to criticize me for using it in the sense it has commonly been used for decades.  At the very least, don't expect me to buy the redefinition without realizing it is an attempt at redefinition, however worthy.  Jsut acknowledge that your preferred meaning of the term is not within a hundred miles of being the common and accepted usage at this time.

Cheers.

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#3) On October 13, 2011 at 3:39 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

To make it more clear:  this post is not directed at the whereaminows of fooldom, it is directed at the jakilathehuns of fooldom.

-- DTAF (a moderate* who sympathizes with the motivations of the OWS crowd, even if they lack solutions and many of the solutions they have proposed are idiotic).

*Aside:  Do people understand the distinction between a moderate and a centrist?  A moderate evaluates issues on an issue-by-issue basis, always looking for something that might be called "truth."  A moderate will take the "Left's" extreme on one issue if he thinks it is right.  A moderate will take the "Right's" on another issue if he thinks that is right.  Sometimes a moderate concludes both sides are off their rockers.  By contrast, a centrist has given up looking for anything approaching "truth" (who knows, maybe a wise decision?), and on any issue almost always proposes a "split the baby" solution that is simply halfway between what the Left and the Right (or between one of these and the so-called 'non-statists') propose.

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#4) On October 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM, rofgile (99.30) wrote:

dumberthanafool:

 There have been mathematical studies that show that when tax rates are lower than a certain point, the richest segment of the population will be able to keep getting richer (eventually at the expense of the rest of the society).  The result is a complete loss of the middle class, and the growing seperation in ownership results in the creation of a two tier uber-rich and servant class.  We are getting close to that territory in the United States.  

 I don't believe "fairness" has anything to do with how much someone should or should not get taxed.  The flat tax system s a bad idea because it would eventually produce the above described problem where eventually an uber-rich class owns everything and everyone else is a servant.  The system which prevents this is called the  "progressive" tax system.   As the income/wealth rises for an individual, so does the tax rate scale upward

 Progressing working tax system should look something like this.  The bracket ranges can be adjusted, but in general rates must rise with incomes.  

 $0-15000 income = O tax rate 

 $15-25000 = 10% tax rate

 $25-50000 = 25% tax rate

 $50-100000 = 30%

 $100-200000 = 35%

 $200-500000 = 40%

 $500-1000000 = 45%

 $1-2 million = 50%... > until you get to the level of 100% taxation.

 Such a tax code prevents a single person from acheiving such a money imbalance that they "break" the economy.  It has nothing to do about fairness or how hard a person works or that a person should or should not be rewarded for their efforts or other moral things people put on taxes.  A tax code should be derived solely for maintaining a "healthy" economic society.  We need to avoid the creation of feudalist "rich" vs "servant" societies.  We need to avoid the passing on of unearned wealth through generations (producing "gentlemen" classes). 

 A tax code should be derived solely from the mathematical outcomes of its tax rates, and ideally would be something without any tax breaks for any sort of political issues. 

 -Rof 

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#5) On October 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

rof,

Thank you for that wealth of information.  I must note, however, that:

1)  I said nothing myself about fairness;

2)  I am not advocating a flat tax;

3)  in general, I am confused by your herein-non-responsive advocacy of a predetermined package of tax ideas.  My post is about causes, not solutions.

Snarking aside, I largely agree with your basic thrust.  I support some "statist" push for equality of outcome only because I believe that without it, you eventually get the Cuban revolution.  (I don't expect anyone who comments to have read my prior blogs though.)  It is ultimately in the best interests of the 1% to make sure the bottom rungs don't get so pissed off that they behead the 1% and start putting red stars on all military uniforms. 

I am a strong supporter of capitalism, corporations, free markets, lassaiz faire, and freedom.  In the mythical world of Theory, I would be a libertarian.  But this is the real world, and it sounds like you and I would agree that the above entities, and the mainstream promoters of the above interests, are all prone to making segmented decisions that appear (in the short term) to provide benefits, but which actually are self-destructive in the long term.  In short: the laissez-faire capitalists we love and need don't always know what's good for 'em in the long term.  There is no way to say it to "them" without coming across as condescending, but in my judgment it's the truth. 

A perfect, concrete example of this sort of warped, short-term thinking by our "sophisticated," profit-oriented capitalists is the banks' (and admitedly largely Fannie/Freddie's) decisions to foreclose, in the name of the deity of contract law and profit, rather than reducing principle and otherwise modifying loans.  Longer term result?:  banks can't get rid of properties, don't have the organizational infrastructure in place to maintain them, and are now increasingly bulldozing them at a greater loss than if they had just done more to keep the poor sops who bought the properties them in the homes.  Expect bulldozing to increase.  (Long CAT.) -- just kidding.

-- DTAF

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#6) On October 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

DTAF, yeah I meant conflate. Also, I appreciate your clarification of "moderate" versus "centrist".

But, let's talk about fiscal conservatism.

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

Your snarky dismissal of me pissed me off. You implied I was in la-la land while the mature adults such as yourself are anchored in reality.

Please read the wikipedia definition of fiscal conservatism and then apologize. The entry mentions libertarianism quite a bit. It also leans on your definition of fiscal conservatism but it isn't the focus at all. So next time you make a post (an interesting one frankly), please clarify and don't let semantics get in the way of a good discussion. Especially when your semantics are off kilter. 

Oh and rof, I think you have a typo you need to correct. You state that the tax rate should increase up to 100% (or is it an asymptote that doesn't quite reach)? I assume this was a typo and possibly a freudian slip exposing you for the psycopath that you are. 

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#7) On October 13, 2011 at 8:21 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

Dude, sorry for p!ssing you off.  But first of all, you're citing editable-by-anybody wikipedia?  I'm a lawyer.  Cite wikipedia to a judge and you'll get sanctioned! 

I'm citing twenty years of personally listening to people like Romney and Bush and Perry and Cantor and Boehner and Dole self-reference themselves as "fiscal conservative," and of personally listening to every news source refer to them as the same. 

Also, if anything I think with the link you merely made my point: Ron Paul is a type of fiscal conservative, but so are these guys.  Nothing in that wiki entry supports the idea that Romney, Perry, et al are not one form of "true" (your word) fiscal conservatives.  Do you think otherwise?  The wiki makes fairly clear there are different types of fiscal conservatives.  It certainly makes no claim about what a "true" one is (well, until somebody edits it to do so! :-) ).  I happen to agree with a limited amount of what Ron Paul says, but that's beside the point.

I apologize for being condescending (which was uncalled for), but not for being wrong, which I don't think I am.  Calling Ron Paul a "true" fiscal conservative, as you did, amounts to an attempt at redefinition of the term, even based on the authority you subsequently sent me.

Also, how come "pissed" gets past the profanity filter?  "P!issing" does not.

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#8) On October 13, 2011 at 10:14 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

DTAF, I don't have to redefine the words. "True", "Fiscal" and "Conservative".

 But I get what you are saying. I don't believe Bush was a fiscal conservative (or at he didn't act like one). I don't believe Romney will act like a fiscal conservative while president. Sure, the media often call these clowns fiscal conservatives but that doesn't change the meaning of the words.

In Germany, the media often called Hitler, "Brave", "Heroic", and "Generous". Hitler slaughtering my ancestors doesn't mean I have to refrain from considering myself generous or redefine the word.

Google was down when I posted that definition so that's all I came up with. I don't feel the need to prove that the term "fiscal conservative" does not only apply to neo-cons. It is obvious. Common sense. Inherent in the words.

Ok Mr. Lawyer. You declared that I redefined a term. I declared that people often "conflagrate" (when I meant conflate) a term. My claim is open-ended and did not specifically target you or your claims. Your claim is specific. The burden is on you to prove that I redefined the term "fiscal conservative." There is very little burden on me to prove that people often conflate a term. 

And I never claimed (in this post) that Ron Paul is a "true" fiscal conservative (of course this is what I believe, however).

"Jsut acknowledge that your preferred meaning of the term is not within a hundred miles of being the common and accepted usage at this time. "

A ridiculous statement.... admit that you were wrong :(

(apologize ahead of time for the rantish post over semantics... considering deleting it and moving on but nah, letting out steam and sick of being put down when I'm 100% valid and correct, I'm wrong enough that you could put me down over that stuff.) 

 

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#9) On October 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

You can say the burden is wherever you want to say it is.  The burden is not on me because you say it is.  I'm not putting you down because I think I was right.  I just think I was right!  (And I already apologized for being condescending, so what's with the "sick of being put down" stuff in the last post?)  I don't even know what we're arguing about anymore, but it's so divorced from the original point of the post that to another person reading this the whole thread must seem silly.  Is your point that anyone who advocates any spending, as Perry has, can't be a fiscal conservative?  Then you're just narrowing the definition to an extreme, you just are.  Put it this way:  if you took a poll, don't you think 90%+ of people in this country would label Rick Perry a fiscal conservative?  

My original point was simply that most people who identify as fiscal conservatives (whoever the f^ck they are) have a mistaken view of what is really wrong with this country, and where we are at historically, and the charts show their mistake(s).  That's my point.  I'm not really interested in arguing semantics about what a "true" fiscal conservative is.  The true ones, the not true ones..., they're all bass ackwards.  Liberals are generally bass ackwards in their own ways.

 

 

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#10) On October 14, 2011 at 2:21 AM, awallejr (85.43) wrote:

Ok guys you are getting into a silly p*ssing match now.  I do like the charts mainly because it now gives me a central place to locate potentially supportive statistics for future discussions.  It would be interesting to see many of those charts carried beyond 2007 and into at least 2010 tho.

I don't know where the hate on Rof came from, his reply #4 was straight forward and presents a concept I personally agree with as well.  Aside from the tax percentages, the "fight" really is in the determining of that ultimate "adjusted gross figure" that we do tax. 

 

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#11) On October 14, 2011 at 3:33 AM, walt373 (99.79) wrote:

Sometimes I wonder if the government should just give everyone 50 grand and see what happens.

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#12) On October 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM, edwjm (99.87) wrote:

Three cheers for rofgile.  I like your tax proposal in principle.  Perhaps you can clarify some details, such as deductions, treatment of interest, dividends, and capital gains, and exemptions.

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#13) On October 14, 2011 at 11:11 AM, edwjm (99.87) wrote:

@walt373:

You pose an interesting scenerio.  Centainly the effects would be far more drastic than the $250 under Ford or the $400 under Bush, both of which had virtually no effect at all except to raise the national debt.

The first effect would be drastic price inflation.  That would be followed by wage inflation, most probably accompanied by considerable labor unrest.  The foreign exchange markets would go crazy, and there would be a considerable disruption in international trade. 

Short term, there would be an immediate boost to the economy.  Unfortunately, the long term effects are not so easy to assess.  In the long term, who would benefit the most, and who would benefit the least?  The answer to that is not clear.

 

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#14) On October 14, 2011 at 4:03 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

Progressive taxes. Fine. I'm not against them in principle because you can argue that the rich somehow benefit more from state goods (you can argue, doesn't make it right). Up to 100% though?

What do you mean by "break" the economy? Why can't certain individuals become super wealthy without harming the economy? Does Buffet's existance make you feel insecure? Seriously though, I don't get this notion and would appreciate if someone would explain it to me.

If your point is: the rich should be able to keep the bulk of their property, but should not be able to use their wealth to influence politics so as the assure they get more wealthy (ie get the money out of politics) then I agree completely. If your point is, the mere presence of the rich destroys the economy, then please elaborate. 

Oh and DTAF, I'll give this a +1 because it's an interesting discussion and I'm not pissed anymore (and forgot why I was in the first place.... )

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#15) On October 14, 2011 at 4:05 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

Also, rof, (or anyone), please elaborate on these elusive "mathematical studies", which you do not cite.

I'm a scientist. I read over "mathematical studies" every day and most are absolute nonesense. Correlation confused with causation has made many socialist careers.

There are storks near cities that have more babies :)

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#16) On October 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

"Correlation confused with causation has made many socialist careers."

There, Franky, something we can agree on! 

Though I think it has also made for many political careers on both sides of the aisle.

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#17) On October 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM, walt373 (99.79) wrote:

100% tax is like telling the people who contribute the most to the economy to stop doing such a good job. If the richest people on average are not contributing the most to the economy, that means something is wrong with your capitalism. Then in that case, a high tax rate is attacking the symptom and not the cause.

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#18) On October 14, 2011 at 5:28 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

DTAF, of course both sides abuse it, I was being a prick on purpose.

Walt, very well said. 

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#19) On October 14, 2011 at 7:37 PM, rofgile (99.30) wrote:

Frankydontfailme:

 I'm talking specifically about simulations of wealth distribution for a pareto distribution.  There was a mathematical study done setup as follows: you had the ability for any two persons to make a bet (flipping a coin, heads or tails) where one person wins all or loses all - and the bet can only be for as much as the lesser wealthy of the two people owns.   All members of the population then randomly make random sized bets with each other.  What results is an increasingly non-gaussian distribution of wealth.  And eventually, the most wealthy members wipe out the lesser wealthy members, so you get a bunch of uber rich and mostly the rest are completely broke.  This could be an analogy of our modern stock market system..

 One way to correct this, is to have income taxed progressively, because it acts as a gravitational pull such that no subset of the population can eventually completely "win" the game and own all the wealth.  

 Here's one link to ideas of "Pareto" distributions: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/2906.html

 The ideas of Pareto distributions are quite old, it is one of the influences that lead to ideas such as fractals of Mandelbrot.  Basically, the distribution of wealth in any country is a non-bell curve distribution.  Instead, you have "fat tails" where you can have a very small proportion of the population holding most of the wealth.

 I don't have a link to the study about "coin-flipping" in a pareto distribution.  It was in a book I read, for a while I thought it was by Gardner, but I'll try to find it in a library again because it was wel worth reading.  Perhaps I can find it, and I'll upload a pdf for you to read later...

 (On 100% tax, yeah that is probably not good :) - we can probably stop at something like 80-90% for the highest) 

 -Rof 

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#20) On October 14, 2011 at 7:43 PM, rofgile (99.30) wrote:

OO-

 That didn't take as long.  Here is an article about the "random flipping" model that describes a process called "wealth condensation".  

 Take a gander: Casa Cognito: Wealth Condensation

One potential answer was suggested by University of Paris physicists Jean Phillippe Bouchard and Marc Mezard in their 2000 paper Wealth Condensation in a Simple Model of Economy. The term “wealth condensation” means exactly what it sounds like.  It describes “a process by which, in certain conditions, newly created wealth tends to become concentrated in the hands of the already wealthy individuals or entities, a form of preferential attachment.”  In other words, it describes the already rich getting even richer over time.

 ---

 I should write a whole blog about this paper sometimes, it is just very interesting.  Basically, this paper suggests that the "rich get richer" is an inevitable process that spontaneously arises in any economy.

 -Rof 

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#21) On October 14, 2011 at 7:55 PM, awallejr (85.43) wrote:

Actually why would anyone want someone to make say a trillion dollars a year? None of us has any shot at that, nor 99.99999% of the country. I am not saying people shouldn't be able to profit from their work, investments or ideas, but it really does seem dangerous to allow a few people to control so much wealth.  To big to exist?

Personally there are circumstances where I do want to tax at 100%.  Many CEOs, Executives, Board of Directors have profited obscenely as many of the charts in #1 show.  They literally have raided their corporations which the average investor really is helpless to prevent.  I always vote against executive compensation packages I get to vote on.  My few thousand shares will have no impact.  As for the institutions that hold the larger stakes, I believe the average hold is like 4 months now.  So they pretty much don't care.

Taxing harshly income (treating stock options and warrants as ordinary income) after a certain amount would actually deter any further raiding, keeping the money still in the company and less stock dilution.

But the bulk of us really lose because we are trying to argue whether it is fair or right or not to tax a small sect of people harshly, which group none of us will ever likely be a part of. To be candid to me it is really a sucker's debate, the rich getting the masses to argue why it is fair for the rich to be rich heheh.

Make no mistake I am not arguing against people being able to succeed, I am arguing against obscene abuse.  I absolutely despise the whole concept of Royalty, where a small group are inherently superior by reason of birth and have the right to rule by divine law.  The creation of this country started the wheels to replace royalty.  Some countries still want their "bluebloods" like England, but that is more for show and entertainment now.  And if the British want to waste their tax dollars supporting them, that is their choice.

But what I don't want to see is another form of "royalty" just replacing the old, namely the super rich.  You are certainly seeing that now in Russia such as Putin. 

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#22) On October 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

Ok Rof, thanks for your response.

I would like for you to address some assumptions that you are making.

Assuming this model to be true (which I do not), why does it matter that some acquire wealth by random chance? Or more importantly, why is it worth expending the energy to usurp wealth from those who have (whether they acquire by chance or not)? This is especially pertinent considering the energy that wealthy individuals will expend to avoid taxes at such high levels. Such progressive taxation would surely create a sub-economy designed to avoid and acquire taxes (we have this already no? shouldn't our energy be expended towards production of what people demands, not on lawyer? I digress...) 

For your model to be true, free-will has to be under question. I'm not entirely unsympathetic  to the non-deterministic anti-free-will thought, so you won't need to convince me here.

You will need to provide evidence, however, that the wealthy acquire their wealth from this sort of random coin flipping. In other words, how are you sure that the wealthy do not acquire wealth because they "deserve" it, rather than because they inevitably happen to end up with it.

To be clear, evidence that many "free-market" societies have this parietal distribution of wealth is not sufficient to suggest that free-markets cause this distribution or that this distribution is a bad thing. In practice, we have nothing close to "free-market" societies due to government intervention in markets not seen since the dark-ages (I exaggerate). Therefore, it is unclear whether free-markets, or government intervention causes this distribution (I side with the latter).

Potentially, you could provide evidence that the generally "Freer" markets in the world have a worse distribution than the less free ones. I'd be interested to see this evidence, although the interpretation would of course be subjective. 

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#23) On October 17, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

Awal, why does it matter that someone has 1 Trillion dollars? If they can use that money to control the government, then we have a problem with the government not the individual, and not the individual's wealth.

It seems what we all want is for the poor to be less poor. What do we care if the rich are less rich?

Taxing ceos might make us feel good, but it's ultimately a complete red herring. Take every penny that every ceo has and we're not covering the deficit in America (for even a single year). And then we'd have no ceos, and a deficit for next year to take care of (tax the poor now?) It's an absurd argument. It accomplishes nothing.

Let's be rational. We need to cut spending. We need to majorly reform medcare and social security. We need to bring home our soldiers. And yes, we even need to repeal the Bush tax cuts.  All of these things must happen. Either we do them responsibly or the interest payments on our debts will surpass our tax revenues. And then we have hyperinflation (which would result in majorly reforming these programs and bringing home the soldiers anyway).

According to the CBO, if we don't reform our entitlements, they will force a deficit in the future EVEN IF WE RAISE TAXES AND BRING HOME EVERY SOLDIER. 

The question is, can we come together as a country and enact change with dignity without resorting to Marxism? Can we stick to the ideals of our founding fathers? Or should we instead rob the rich. I doubt it. 

Buy gold :)

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#24) On October 17, 2011 at 5:09 PM, awallejr (85.43) wrote:

Well I am of the view that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  That's why I like the checks and balances of our system, but more work needs to be done such as putting term limits on all elected officials and heads of agencies.  And one with tremendous wealth accumulation will also command tremendous power.

As for Ceo's, etc. I said tax them harsh after a certain point because all they are doing is raiding  the company and shareholders.  Jami Dimon could live quite comfortably on 10 million a year.  We won't have any shortage of them.

As for the entitlements issue, under no circumstance should SS be cut.  And to even argue doing that while demanding taxes for the rich must stay the same or be lowered is hypocrisy. 

Every year I get a statement from SS telling me how much I contributed and how much I should anticipate receiving once I retire, with the monthly amounts increasing the longer I delay retirement.  Now I am relying on that as are others.  For the Federal government to cease honoring its obligation would be tantamount to them refusing to honor the Tbills it has issued.  Imagine the ramifications if the Federal Government said "sorry folks we are only paying 80 cents on the doillar on all the TBills out there."

Now medicaire/medicaid we need to work on, but more on the cost side of the business.  One thing I would love to see is a limit on jury tort awards, but the lawyer lobbyists always prevent that.

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#25) On October 17, 2011 at 5:24 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

I didn't say lower taxes on the rich, I said repeal the Bush tax cuts...

You say: "sorry folks we are only paying 80 cents on the doillar on all the TBills out there."

That is exactly what we will do. Either through inflation, straight out default or both.

The answer to corporate raiding, (as you suggested) is to stop buying the stock. Otherwise, how is his pay affecting you? Don't buy the stock, don't even buy the product. And I agree with you that that is all Jamie Dimon is doing (he's a theif ). Don't worry. Justice will be swift. JPM will go bankrupt. 

I get that the US has made a promise on Social Security, and its wrong to brake that promise. They don't have a choice. It will not be solvent. It's a damn shame. But I would recommend you put away money so as not to depend on the government. It isn't solvent. It will not last (not in its current form at least).

Tremendous wealth accumulation only gives power because we allow money into politics.

 This is unnacceptable. I agree with you on term limits

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#26) On October 17, 2011 at 6:06 PM, TheDumbMoney (38.61) wrote:

"The answer to corporate raiding, (as you suggested) is to stop buying the stock. Otherwise, how is his pay affecting you?"

I disagree with this.  I think the rise of the Delaware corporate model has been very destructive.  I think the agency problems of corporate CEO's and boareds are so severe there needs to be a better stop than this.  The fact is the world is so awash in capital (particularly capital that wants to be invested in the U.S.) that there are always going to be enough investable dollars to make this sort of safety mechanism meaningless.  I have thought long-and-hard and I don't see a way to change corporate law without over-empowering plaintiffs' attorneys.  I therefore think the solution is through the tax law, through higher taxes on these individuals.

Also, Franky, let's do another bet.  A top-ten producer (by market cap) of commodities (copper, oil, gold, potash) will go bankrupt before JPM (which won't) does.  Are you a taker?

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#27) On October 17, 2011 at 8:01 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

NO.

 

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#28) On October 17, 2011 at 8:06 PM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

It will go bankrupt though. Maybe not technically because our tax payer dollars will bail them out.

I'll bet JPM receives tax payer dollars as part of a "loan" or "bailout" within the next five years. Or the Fed will actively inflate by purchasing broken investments directly from JPM (keeping it afloat). 

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#29) On October 18, 2011 at 1:09 AM, awallejr (85.43) wrote:

Tremendous wealth accumulation only gives power because we allow money into politics.

Who is we?  Certainly not the guy working at a local deli to put food on his table.  It happens because wealth is power, and as I said power corrupts. Seriously anyone not in the top 1% trying to defend that top 1% is foolish.

You and I will never be in that club.  Most if not all people blogging on this site will never be in that club. It is a club that should not exist.  Period. And for people outside that club (who will never get into that club)  trying to argue why that club should exist is flat out asinine. 

In the end the only way to prevent such a club is to tax excessive wealth.  I tip my hate off to Buffett and Gates because at least they are giving away their excessive wealth.  But the Putins of the world certainly won't.  The wealthy fear this OWS more than anything for one simple reason they are massively outnumbered.  And should these masses finally wise up and elect people not beholden to special interest groups they could level the playing field in a flash.

Obama is playing that card now because he realizes it is the only chance for re-election.  Go ahead Republicans nominate Cain who wants to further punish the poor with his ill thought out 999 tax plan.  Ask him if the person on welfare or on social security will have a tax INCREASE. Ask him if those poor should have to buy used clothes, food, toiletries, etc. instead of new because now we bumbed up the sales tax rate for new by 9%.

Yeah I am starting to sound like Alstry now but I see the con job yet many don't.

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#30) On October 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM, Frankydontfailme (27.35) wrote:

"Who is we?  Certainly not the guy working at a local deli to put food on his table.  It happens because wealth is power, and as I said power corrupts. Seriously anyone not in the top 1% trying to defend that top 1% is foolish."

Who's defending the top 1%? What is their to defend or attack?

Wealth is power - this is an idea worth considering. Does wealth necessarily give power? In the history of mankind it seems to always have. Maybe I'm naive but it doesn't necessarily have to. What the "guy working at a local deli" can do is vote for Ron Paul. Or at least some other candidate who would end cronyism. I don't know of any except Ron Paul. As Americans, we get the politicians we deserve. 

I agree with you on Cain's plan and most people do as well.

What do you mean the 1% should not even exist? Unless everyone has exactly equal wealth there will always be a top 1%. I think you mean the top 1% should have a lower proportion of the nation's wealth. I agree with this. The solution is to default on absurd debts (wealthy hold the bonds) (jubilee style), and to go back to a gold standard. Any fiat money regime will allow inflation. That inflation will always end up concentrated into the hands of those who have power (as you note usually the wealthy). 

I know these aren't ideas that you agree with, but I highly recommend learning more about the gold standard. Give it a fair shake.

The problem with fiat money in 4 minutes: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx16a72j__8&feature=player_embedded

Misconceptions on the gold standard: 

http://www.cheviot.co.uk/sound-money-conference/presentations/common-misconceptions-about-the-gold-standard

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#31) On October 18, 2011 at 3:06 PM, awallejr (85.43) wrote:

I am not arguing equal wealth for all.  I do believe the smarter, more industrious person should be rewarded as opposed to someone who is lazy and unambitious.  I, however, do oppose excessive wealth as well as poverty.  And the only realistic way I can see of influencing either extreme is through a progressive tax policy with aid towards those in poverty. That means the higher your income the higher the tax amount,  those at the top of your pyramid in your you.tube video.  The problem, however, is that politicians tend to be in bed with those at the top, hence why I at least want term limits for all offices, including regulatory agencies.

As for gold, it would be a foolish system unless you can internationlize all the mines.  Not to do so would make the mining countries more powerful.  Holding it as a diversified asset is perfectly fine in my opinion.

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