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Old 04-02-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
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Default Discussion: Taxes and Taxation

Well, I just did my income taxes and it looks like I have paid roughly 12.94% of my income to the government.

When I started my job, I had the govt pull out an extra $20 per check, since I wont miss that on a paycheck, but I will see a difference at the end of the year, whether I dont pay anything, or I get a refund. It worked for years.

Well over the last two years, I have had to pay money.
Time to up my extra deductions so I dont have to pay money again next year.

What about you guys?

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: Income Taxes

You only paid 13%? I haven't crunched the numbers, but I know my tax burden is well above that figure. I am getting money back, though, as I also have extra money withheld from each paycheck.

And just imagine how your tax percentage will rise, rise, rise once you start paying for the health care of others. Can't wait.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Income Taxes



HHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII GGGGGUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSS, are we talking about taxes? Can I talk about taxes with you?



Anyrate, I have to pay over $1100 again, 2nd year in a row. And, because I don't have the money to just throw a Grand away, I have to put it on a credit card, which I know is a big no-no, but what can I do? This is one of many reasons I support the FairTax so fearcely. I can't stand paying 33% of my paycheck in taxes, then have to turn around and pay a Grand more. I had to go to the CFO and ask that $50 extra get taken out per paycheck so next year so maybe I could have a wash. This is why I'd rather spend 23% of what I Spend instead of 33% Plus of what I earn.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Income Taxes

Got $1,862.00 back.......*smiles*

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Income Taxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by SupermanBeyond View Post


HHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII GGGGGUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSS, are we talking about taxes? Can I talk about taxes with you?



Anyrate, I have to pay over $1100 again, 2nd year in a row. And, because I don't have the money to just throw a Grand away, I have to put it on a credit card, which I know is a big no-no, but what can I do? This is one of many reasons I support the FairTax so fearcely. I can't stand paying 33% of my paycheck in taxes, then have to turn around and pay a Grand more. I had to go to the CFO and ask that $50 extra get taken out per paycheck so next year so maybe I could have a wash. This is why I'd rather spend 23% of what I Spend instead of 33% Plus of what I earn.
Aside from Fair Taxes....
Yeah, have them withdraw extra money per paycheck.
You generally dont notice it over the year, and its a huge benefit whtn you dont owe anything, or you get a nice "paycheck" from the IRS.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Income Taxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by SupermanBeyond View Post


HHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII GGGGGUUUUUUUUUYYYYYYYYYYYYSSSSS, are we talking about taxes? Can I talk about taxes with you?



Anyrate, I have to pay over $1100 again, 2nd year in a row. And, because I don't have the money to just throw a Grand away, I have to put it on a credit card, which I know is a big no-no, but what can I do? This is one of many reasons I support the FairTax so fearcely. I can't stand paying 33% of my paycheck in taxes, then have to turn around and pay a Grand more. I had to go to the CFO and ask that $50 extra get taken out per paycheck so next year so maybe I could have a wash. This is why I'd rather spend 23% of what I Spend instead of 33% Plus of what I earn.
Why would you put it on a credit card.....call the IRS, get on a plan, hell their interest rate is less than 1%, a hell of alot better than your credit card rate....

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Income Taxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel View Post
Why would you put it on a credit card.....call the IRS, get on a plan, hell their interest rate is less than 1%, a hell of alot better than your credit card rate....
You can also get a 6-month extension on your taxes. Invest the money you owe, earn interest on it, and pay off your debt at the end of that 6-month term.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Income Taxes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel View Post
Why would you put it on a credit card.....call the IRS, get on a plan, hell their interest rate is less than 1%, a hell of alot better than your credit card rate....
I know I could do that, but I actually hate the IRS more than Credit Card Companies, and I could pay it off rather quickly, only 2 months. And I receive enough benifits from my Credit Card to get more from doing that than Paying interest to the IRS.

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Income Taxes

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Originally Posted by SupermanBeyond View Post
I know I could do that, but I actually hate the IRS more than Credit Card Companies, and I could pay it off rather quickly, only 2 months. And I receive enough benifits from my Credit Card to get more from doing that than Paying interest to the IRS.
That makes no sense whatsoever.....but hey its your money.....

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Income Taxes

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Originally Posted by Tron5000 View Post
You can also get a 6-month extension on your taxes. Invest the money you owe, earn interest on it, and pay off your debt at the end of that 6-month term.
Thats pretty much what it is.....

When my mom passed away, I had to pay a buttload of money on my inheritance......I put the money in my 403 b, to the cap.....then put the rest in my savings.....and made money off of it on both, and simply paying a couple of $100 a month at less than 1%.

I don't like the IRS either, but I DO like my money, and if I can pay less of it to them rather than a credit card......lmao, well.......that's a big duh. Paying $10 of interest, rather than $180 of interest.....that's a no brainer.

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Old 04-02-2008, 11:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Income Taxes

The IRS shot J.R. Ewing and killed Laura Palmer. I guess that could explain the hate

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Old 04-02-2008, 11:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Income Taxes

I work for a Cooperative. i file K-1 forms for taxes... which means im essentially self employed and pay somewhere around 22% in taxes. i pay all my own social security.

money is not automatically withheld for taxes, so i've had to create an excell sheet that deals with it for me based on how much i've made that week.

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Old 08-28-2008, 03:43 PM   #13
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Default Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

I've seen this subject come up quite a few times, but I don't recall ever seeing a thread dedicated to its discussion.

I find this subject interesting because over the years, as I've grown older and I think wiser, my opinion has been gradually updated by experience; but be warned because this is also one of those subjects on which I lean left of center.

When we talk about 'robbing from the rich to give to the poor' as many conservatives like to call it, we seem to forget our humanity. More importantly, we seem to become entrenched with this notion that financial success is completely the result of 'working hard.'

We also tend to forget that our country is ripe with consumerism; consumerism that ultimately makes the 'elite' rich beyond all imagination.

I do not believe that rich people should be robbed of their riches. However, I do believe that there is a reasonable limit to what one human being should acquire in wealth when so many other people who also work hard are barely scraping by...

I would argue that a school teacher works harder in a month than five A-list actors work all year, and yet the school teacher who contributes more to society than all A-list actors combined receives about as much in a year as an A-list actor does in a day.

And yet we celebrate the rich and famous. Why? What did they do that was so important that they deserve such notoriety? Sure, The Dark Knight was a great film, but did Christian Bale really deserve more money for six months worth of 'work' than most of us will make in a lifetime? Absolutely not...

Those who are 'successful' in this country are successful for one reason, and one reason only: Opportunity. Opportunity that someone or something provided to that person. Someone extended an invitation to an audition. Someone liked how you spilled coffee all over the table, and suddenly you're playing Superman on the big screen. The opportunity was right and it allowed someone to become 'successful.' After all, you don't really believe that the CEO of <insert major corporation here> actually 'earns' a million dollar salary, do you? Does that person work harder than a school teacher or a fireman, or his secretary for that matter? No, but because opportunity was provided (perhaps by parents, perhaps by a friend, perhaps because he opened the newspaper that day and saw an ad), that person was able to land a job making millons.

I take myself as a moderate example. I work as a Producer over two major titles for a large gaming company. How I came to find work at this company eight years ago was blind luck. But what I did after I became employed was my own doing. I worked hard and I succeeded. The question I have to ask, though, is what would have happened if that blind luck never happened? Where would I be? Would I still be pulling in a six figure salary or would I have been forced to find work elsewhere that perhaps would not have payed as well?

Thus, I strongly believe that raising the taxes on those who live excessively (mansions, yachts, etc.) is perfectly acceptable in a society and a world filled with people who work JUST as hard, but just not in the same career field. But unfortunately, our government isn't bright enough to use that extra tax money effectively, and so we continue in this cycle of widening the gap between haves and have nots.

People like Neal Boortz whine about taxes all the time. He complains because for every million he makes, the government takes 45%. All I can respond with is BOO FREAKING HOO! I will probably never make a million dollars in less than five years, yet I make enough to live a decent life and provide for my family - which is still more than at least 50% of this country can say, which is also sad. The average salary in this country is something like 25k - 30k a year, which isn't even enough to 'earn a living' and yet Neal Boortz is complaining because he only has 550,000 left over out of a million? I'm sorry, but does he work harder than a store manager at Target, or the nanny who's raising some rich star's kids?

Our country is about capitalism. However, the problem with our country ISN'T capitalism - it's UNREGULATED capitalism. Prices rise each year because someone wants to make more money. Profits and losses take a backseat to private elitism. It's no longer about providing a decent product or service at a reasonable price. Instead, it's about charging 'whatever the market will bear in order to maximize profits,' which of course excludes a good portion of society, since few have any real money. How many people making 30k a year as a police officer get to see a movie even once a month, for example?

Our government ensures capitalism. But our government should also ensure fair capitalism so that people who truly do 'work hard' can experience all of these things that our politicians keep promising, but ultimately fail to deliver.

I'll stop here and wait for comments. I look forward to an interesting discussion on this subject...

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Lazur, hell must have frozen over because you and I agree on something for a change. The other thing I might add to your diatribe is that the Free Market hasn't been allowed to function as a true Free Market for a very, very long time. The lobbyists and their government buddies have seen to it that corporate special interests get legislative priority, above and beyond and before the people of this country. That's ass-backwards. And, the government, at the urging of their corporate buddies, have meddled in countless markets setting unnecessary laws and regulations to help prop up dying business models. Regulations and laws to protect consumers and ensure fair business practices are one thing, but when they give unfair advantage to corporations, sacrifice the environment, allow average land owners to be forced from their property (the abuse of eminent domain laws), grant special tax privileges to companies and corporations that are far above and beyond what private citizens are granted, and prop up business models that wouldn't be able to survive otherwise through protective legislation or finding ways to funnel government tax dollars into private businesses to keep them going, then I start to have a problem with that. Now the government is playing a part in what companies and business sectors are successful and which aren't, and that's absolutely been abused and contributed to the economic issues we have today.

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

My thoughts on income redistribution:

The government need not be rewarding or punishing anyone with tax cuts. They should not be giving a higher tax rate to the wealthy simply because they've succeeded in life (and in turn already pay more because they have a higher income and 12 % of 20 million is higher than 12 % of 20 thousand). At the same time, the government should not be rewarding them with tax breaks. Their 20 million dollars that they were able to earn by living in and doing business in the land of the free is enough of a reward.

On the flip side, the government should not be in the business of forced philantrophy. We have no problem helping out when it is needed, nor should we. But we are also in a difficult time. Our deficit is out of control. You want help? Fine, then you give up some of your rights in exchange. You want the government's help? then the government should be able to strictly monitor your spending, activity, and find jobs for you within reason. We should not have "welfare kings and queens."

And we definitely should not be robbing from the rich to redistribute the wealth among the poor. That is just straight out communism and is not needed in our country.

If we are not going to entirely revamp the system, what we need to do is implement is a steady, consistent tax rate, with breaks for very very few (handicapped, veterans, etc) and cut spending until we are out of our deficit.

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Taxation should not be used as a tool by Government, it should only fund the operations of Government, that is it. Taxation, in a Form of Bribery, Punishment, Awards, or Behavior Control should be abolished.

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Old 08-28-2008, 08:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Random points:

My argument is that Christian Bale deserved a higher salary than many teachers because he satisfied a larger demand than those teachers. Bale entertained millions of viewers.....whereas one particular high school teacher may have taught maybe a thousand students if he or she's lucky.

I don't support anarchy ...and I understand our economy is a mixed economy, mostly capitalism with sprinkle of government regulation here and there. But our capitalism is the best system...it rewards freedom and allows people to get paid based on demand.

The thing about teachers is that some of them probably should be paid more....but they can't get paid more because unions dictate that all teachers with the same tenure get paid the same salary, whether math, physics, gym, or english teacher. Of course, the demand for math and science teachers are much higher than gym teachers....but government bureacracy prevents math and science teachers from getting paid at the rate that they demand.

This argument, I've heard it millions of times thoughout school.....why does Arnold Swarzenegger get paid millions whereas a fire fighter only gets paid etc....to me that's whining. Because Arnold provides a service that more people collectively find valueable but also unique , which the other professions, despite how good they are, they supply is great, the workers are more easily replaceable.

I'd argue that a CEO of a company should be worth millions of dollars.....first off that CEO is typically the person who worked their asses off and built the company from the bottom to top. Second, that if that CEO makes a stupid decision, thousands of people in industries could lose their jbos. The idea that CEOs sit in a penthouse and get paid millions is false. They're paid to make an incentive to make brilliant financial and commercial decisions that will continue to keep the company afloat. If you have no incentive to make wise business decisions, you'll take stupid risks which might endanger company, endager thousands of workers and thousands who are investing capital into your business. And there may also be a chain reaction in other businesses as well.
So yeah, I do think CEOs should be paid lots of money.

Second, I don't believe in "luck" when it comes to succeeding in the industry. Yes, you don't know the future, and certain parts of life is a a gamble. What separates successful people like Bill Gates, Buffett, Ross Perot ....from other not so rich...is that they were persistent. They didn't strike it rich the first time. They failed hundreds of times....their company was in jeapordy. I've read many biographies of successful people, the idea that some coin flip created their wealth is a myth....they were persistent in face of adversity and a crowd of cynics who doubted them. Their persistence pays of...

Think about it mathematically. Let's say you roll a die....and if it rolls a 3...you get paid millions.....anything else...you get nothing. If you continue to roll the die...the probability that it will eventually come up a 3 will approach 1/1.

Yes, I am a math/statistics nerd.

These people may have been "lucky"....in the sense they couldn't have predicted the exact moment or circumstance they would have been successful....but they tried and tried and tried again...which allowed them to eventually succeed. They went the extra mile most people don't....most people look at the world as a pack of cards.....so they don't bother trying..they make an excuse not to try, ..and they blame their lack of effort on others being evil, greedy, lucky....etc..etc..

Now, I support taxing...we obviously need taxes. But we should always decide first what service we are using that requires taxing...is this service absolutely necessary, will it create the desired result and no negative economic side-effect...before we go through with raising the tax. The problem is we don't do that nearly enough...we tax and use the government to solve every little private problem, under the banner of "fairness"


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Old 08-28-2008, 09:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Lazur and I have come to more and more common ground since the last election.
you see? why can't Israel and Palestine learn from US?

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Old 08-28-2008, 10:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazur View Post
I've seen this subject come up quite a few times, but I don't recall ever seeing a thread dedicated to its discussion.

I find this subject interesting because over the years, as I've grown older and I think wiser, my opinion has been gradually updated by experience; but be warned because this is also one of those subjects on which I lean left of center.

When we talk about 'robbing from the rich to give to the poor' as many conservatives like to call it, we seem to forget our humanity. More importantly, we seem to become entrenched with this notion that financial success is completely the result of 'working hard.'

We also tend to forget that our country is ripe with consumerism; consumerism that ultimately makes the 'elite' rich beyond all imagination.

I do not believe that rich people should be robbed of their riches. However, I do believe that there is a reasonable limit to what one human being should acquire in wealth when so many other people who also work hard are barely scraping by...

I would argue that a school teacher works harder in a month than five A-list actors work all year, and yet the school teacher who contributes more to society than all A-list actors combined receives about as much in a year as an A-list actor does in a day.

And yet we celebrate the rich and famous. Why? What did they do that was so important that they deserve such notoriety? Sure, The Dark Knight was a great film, but did Christian Bale really deserve more money for six months worth of 'work' than most of us will make in a lifetime? Absolutely not...

Those who are 'successful' in this country are successful for one reason, and one reason only: Opportunity. Opportunity that someone or something provided to that person. Someone extended an invitation to an audition. Someone liked how you spilled coffee all over the table, and suddenly you're playing Superman on the big screen. The opportunity was right and it allowed someone to become 'successful.' After all, you don't really believe that the CEO of <insert major corporation here> actually 'earns' a million dollar salary, do you? Does that person work harder than a school teacher or a fireman, or his secretary for that matter? No, but because opportunity was provided (perhaps by parents, perhaps by a friend, perhaps because he opened the newspaper that day and saw an ad), that person was able to land a job making millons.

I take myself as a moderate example. I work as a Producer over two major titles for a large gaming company. How I came to find work at this company eight years ago was blind luck. But what I did after I became employed was my own doing. I worked hard and I succeeded. The question I have to ask, though, is what would have happened if that blind luck never happened? Where would I be? Would I still be pulling in a six figure salary or would I have been forced to find work elsewhere that perhaps would not have payed as well?

Thus, I strongly believe that raising the taxes on those who live excessively (mansions, yachts, etc.) is perfectly acceptable in a society and a world filled with people who work JUST as hard, but just not in the same career field. But unfortunately, our government isn't bright enough to use that extra tax money effectively, and so we continue in this cycle of widening the gap between haves and have nots.

People like Neal Boortz whine about taxes all the time. He complains because for every million he makes, the government takes 45%. All I can respond with is BOO FREAKING HOO! I will probably never make a million dollars in less than five years, yet I make enough to live a decent life and provide for my family - which is still more than at least 50% of this country can say, which is also sad. The average salary in this country is something like 25k - 30k a year, which isn't even enough to 'earn a living' and yet Neal Boortz is complaining because he only has 550,000 left over out of a million? I'm sorry, but does he work harder than a store manager at Target, or the nanny who's raising some rich star's kids?

Our country is about capitalism. However, the problem with our country ISN'T capitalism - it's UNREGULATED capitalism. Prices rise each year because someone wants to make more money. Profits and losses take a backseat to private elitism. It's no longer about providing a decent product or service at a reasonable price. Instead, it's about charging 'whatever the market will bear in order to maximize profits,' which of course excludes a good portion of society, since few have any real money. How many people making 30k a year as a police officer get to see a movie even once a month, for example?

Our government ensures capitalism. But our government should also ensure fair capitalism so that people who truly do 'work hard' can experience all of these things that our politicians keep promising, but ultimately fail to deliver.

I'll stop here and wait for comments. I look forward to an interesting discussion on this subject...
Not bad, Not bad at all. Well said.

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Old 08-28-2008, 10:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Quote:
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Taxation should not be used as a tool by Government, it should only fund the operations of Government, that is it. Taxation, in a Form of Bribery, Punishment, Awards, or Behavior Control should be abolished.
WOW! Just WOW! Someone gets it.

Well said and great reminded for those that have forgotten.


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Old 08-28-2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

not really, since government has operations outside itself that are necessary to preserve society. (which is it's job) so then, Taxes become necessary, otherwise unregulated free markets would clutter and collapse the structure.

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Old 08-29-2008, 12:17 AM   #22
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SentinelMind View Post
Random points:

My argument is that Christian Bale deserved a higher salary than many teachers because he satisfied a larger demand than those teachers. Bale entertained millions of viewers.....whereas one particular high school teacher may have taught maybe a thousand students if he or she's lucky.
I won't disagree that Christian Bale deserved a higher salary. But the degree is the part I question. The man made 20 million for about six months of sporadic work. Don't get me wrong, I love Bale and he's probably the most profound actor of today, which is why I used him as an example. But at the end of the day, he's an actor, and he entertains. The value he brings to the world through entertainment is still not equal to the value a teacher brings to a single student through education. Because some day, that student may just wind up being the next Christian Bale, and that teacher will have become a part of that legacy, and the legacy of who knows how many other people who went on to experience success.

So no, I do not measure someone's contribution to society based on how 'satisfied' that contribution made its 'consumers.' I measure someone's contribution based on how many lives that person has changed for the better. I mean, TDK engrossed me for a good solid couple of hours, right? Great movie! But compared to the lifetime of success which is owed to those who dedicated themselves to making me a better person? Should I really be comparing the two?

Does that mean I think teachers should make 20 million a year? No. But it does mean I have no problem with our government taking half of Bale's 20 million, while doing so responsibly and ethically, of course, being certain to reward achievement, and using it to increase the salaries of deserving educators...

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I don't support anarchy ...and I understand our economy is a mixed economy, mostly capitalism with sprinkle of government regulation here and there. But our capitalism is the best system...it rewards freedom and allows people to get paid based on demand.
I agree that capitalism is fundamentally successful in a 'free market.' However, our 'free market' is in gridlock by special interests, lobbyists and greedy, unethical politicians and business people.

It's the government's job to protect its citizens from economic self-destruction. It is not in our country's best interests to allow pivotal contributors in our society to live in poverty while those who live flamboyant, spoiled lives offer nothing tangible in exchange.

The very reason Christian Bale is able to make 20 million is first, because he lives in this country, and second, someone took the time to mentor him into what he is today. In my opinion, he owes something back to those people.

I'm not advocating anarchy, and I'm not sure why that came up. What I am advocating, however, is that this free market must remain sustainable and beneficial to every hard-working American. In order to do that, we would have to establish what the monetary amount is that equals 'rich' in this country, and then tax the crap out of anyone who exceeds that figure. Not to the extent that it degrades a person's standard of living, but to the extent required to continue to provide the protections and services the government is EXPECTED to provide in accordance with the constitution, without the people who fill those positions feeling like they can barely put food on the table.

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This argument, I've heard it millions of times thoughout school.....why does Arnold Swarzenegger get paid millions whereas a fire fighter only gets paid etc....to me that's whining. Because Arnold provides a service that more people collectively find valueable but also unique , which the other professions, despite how good they are, they supply is great, the workers are more easily replaceable.
That's not my argument, though. I have no problem with Arnold Schwarzenegger being paid more than a fire fighter. What I have a problem with is the fire fighter living paycheck to paycheck when he/she should be able to live a decent life in a decent house in a decent neighborhood. Does a firefighter need to live in a mansion like Arnold? No, but a house with a back yard would be nice...

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I'd argue that a CEO of a company should be worth millions of dollars.....first off that CEO is typically the person who worked their asses off and built the company from the bottom to top.
Maybe a first generation CEO, but beyond that, no. CEO's are appointed. But I do understand your point if coming from the perspective of the founders of a company. Unfortunately, that's pretty rare nowadays, at least for the jumbo corporations that do pay millions of dollars to fat guys in suits.

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Second, that if that CEO makes a stupid decision, thousands of people in industries could lose their jbos.
True, but that happens now with CEO's being paid what they are. Seems to me that if they aren't preventing that with million dollar salaries, maybe it's not really possible to the degree we fool ourselves into believing it is, and maybe we reduce the salary accordingly.

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The idea that CEOs sit in a penthouse and get paid millions is false. They're paid to make an incentive to make brilliant financial and commercial decisions that will continue to keep the company afloat. If you have no incentive to make wise business decisions, you'll take stupid risks which might endanger company, endager thousands of workers and thousands who are investing capital into your business. And there may also be a chain reaction in other businesses as well.
So yeah, I do think CEOs should be paid lots of money.
I do as well, but there is a limit. While I do not believe government should regulate that, I do believe our politicians have a responsibility to talk about it with the American people. We as a nation need to understand what we're doing that is causing destruction in the lives of others. Get some of these outlandishly rich celebrities to 'adopt a teacher' or something and pledge an extra 20k a year to that teacher's salary for life. It's one written check.

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Second, I don't believe in "luck" when it comes to succeeding in the industry.
I disagree. While inner drive and hard work are required to realize a goal, the opportunity must also exist. But there are many people out there who will *never* have the opportunities you and I have had. There are many people out there who have been shortchanged. And guess what - they are hard workers who love their children and this country.

Which means something isn't working the way it should. In this country, ALL who work hard and contribute to society should experience success.

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Yes, you don't know the future, and certain parts of life is a a gamble. What separates successful people like Bill Gates, Buffett, Ross Perot ....from other not so rich...is that they were persistent. They didn't strike it rich the first time. They failed hundreds of times....their company was in jeapordy. I've read many biographies of successful people, the idea that some coin flip created their wealth is a myth....they were persistent in face of adversity and a crowd of cynics who doubted them. Their persistence pays of...
No. Bill Gates is an exceptionally intelligent man. He was born that way. Not everyone is born at a genius level. Bill Gates also got lucky due to the very premature state of computer software technology at the time of his arrival. Had he arrived 10 years later, you and I would not know who Bill Gates is. Not to say he didn't grab a hold of the opportunity that came his way. But he certainly wasn't entirely responsible FOR that opportunity coming along in the first place. He was born brilliant, had a great idea, and he was in the right place at the right time in his life. Period.

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Think about it mathematically. Let's say you roll a die....and if it rolls a 3...you get paid millions.....anything else...you get nothing. If you continue to roll the die...the probability that it will eventually come up a 3 will approach 1/1.

Yes, I am a math/statistics nerd.
You're attempting to state that all people who try will eventually succeed. I disagree. I believe that is what our country stands for, but that that is not what our country currently is.

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These people may have been "lucky"....in the sense they couldn't have predicted the exact moment or circumstance they would have been successful....but they tried and tried and tried again...which allowed them to eventually succeed. They went the extra mile most people don't....most people look at the world as a pack of cards.....so they don't bother trying..they make an excuse not to try, ..and they blame their lack of effort on others being evil, greedy, lucky....etc..etc..
Again, not everyone who tries and tries and tries ... makes it. Success stories are so profound and interesting to us when we hear a celeb or some CEO talk about how his/her circumstances unfolded for them to get to where they are, but those stories are not unusual. I talk to people all the time who work hard, and who have amazing stories (much like mine) about how they got to where they are. But not everyone who works hard to make an honest living and to reach to the next rung on the ladder has an amazing story of success...

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Now, I support taxing...we obviously need taxes. But we should always decide first what service we are using that requires taxing...is this service absolutely necessary, will it create the desired result and no negative economic side-effect...before we go through with raising the tax. The problem is we don't do that nearly enough...we tax and use the government to solve every little private problem, under the banner of "fairness"
Agreed, but the problem isn't that we tax too much. The problem is that what we do tax is spent poorly, and taxes are raised even more to compensate for the incompetence of our government.

Still, when it comes right down to it, all of this is completely dependent upon decent, honorable politicians. I guess we can only dream...


Last edited by lazur; 08-29-2008 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:53 AM   #23
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I respect your opinion, but disagree with some of them, I'll respond to some of them later...

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No. Bill Gates is an exceptionally intelligent man. He was born that way. Not everyone is born at a genius level. Bill Gates also got lucky due to the very premature state of computer software technology at the time of his arrival. Had he arrived 10 years later, you and I would not know who Bill Gates is. Not to say he didn't grab a hold of the opportunity that came his way. But he certainly wasn't entirely responsible FOR that opportunity coming along in the first place. He was born brilliant, had a great idea, and he was in the right place at the right time in his life. Period.
I'll have to disagree with you here. Bill Gates is a genius, but I think you underplay his persistence, there a lot of smart people who won't pick up an opportunity when it falls in their lap. Gates makes it a philosophy to treat every competitor like a serious threat and he worries about the next phenomenon that could take him out just as easily as it brought him in. That's why he studied his opponent, whether it was Apple or UNIX, and constantly compared its strengths weaknesses to Microsoft's.


Yes, Gates passion for computers, willingness ot learn intracacies of computer science and his willlingness to rub shoulder and network with tough businessmen allowed him to see an opportunity that most people would ignore. Not every computer scientist struck it rich in that industry. He had been in the industry a long time before the opportunity came along, he could have easily quit and did something else, but he stuck with an unrealized industry because he loved what he did and was willing to understake the risk. Enterpreneuers in every industry, ..the car industry, steel industry..etc.....they had entrepreneurs who had to undertake a risk. These entreprenuers faced adversity,...Microsoft faced adversity. Gates didn't just quit...he kept going...and it was that persistence coupled with his natural talents that allowed him to succeed.


Quote:
Again, not everyone who tries and tries and tries ... makes it. Success stories are so profound and interesting to us when we hear a celeb or some CEO talk about how his/her circumstances unfolded for them to get to where they are, but those stories are not unusual. I talk to people all the time who work hard, and who have amazing stories (much like mine) about how they got to where they are. But not everyone who works hard to make an honest living and to reach to the next rung on the ladder has an amazing story of success...
I also disagree with this a bit. Yes, they are people who worked all their life and then retire with nothing. But I don't really view that as model for success. They did the same thing over, typically don't adapt to our changing job market...and don't plan ahead financially until its too late. They didn't adapt or "learn" from their mistakes.....they just kept doing the same thing that allowed them to stay above the water for a little while....and repeat. They had a model for living paycheck to paycheck....but they didn't have a model for creating wealth. That's like saying a person who runs a marathon works harder than someone who drives....but the person behind the wheel will inevitably get farther than the guy who runs all the time. If you have a tool that accessible to you and everyone else, but you don't use it, its your own loss. Its not about bludgeoning a square into a round hole, its about learning from mistakes, learning about environment, job market, and picking up skills, talent, knowledge that allows you to survive that market. If you do that, and do it consistently, I think nearly every American can suceed and retire well in this country. If you don't, you pick an easily replaceable skill, spend outside your means...or you give birth to three children.....you lose the momentum. Your energy that you could have sustained to reach a successful position is now utilized on the the momentary pleasures that seek before you. Its about working smart, not just working hard. Yes, pushing a wall with your hand drains your energy...but it wouldnt' be very productive.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:47 AM   #24
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WOW! Just WOW! Someone gets it.

Well said and great reminded for those that have forgotten.

Thanks.

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Old 08-29-2008, 05:53 AM   #25
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Default Re: Taxes, Wealth and 'Income Redistribution'

When it comes to equality (socioeconomic or otherwise), government should treat everyone equally . . .

. . . not make everyone equal.

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