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Income Inequality

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17 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

618,000 of the 70 million U.S. Millennials have net worths of $1 million or more; most of them in California & New York:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/17/heres-where-the-millennial-millionaires-live-around-the-us.html

 

 

 

So less than 1% of the millennial population? Interesting to note that being a millionaire in New York or California is like earning $250,000 per household in Cleveland. Meanwhile, about 5-6 percent of the US population are millionaires, so millennials aren't doing very well compared to their elders.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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1 hour ago, KJP said:

So less than 1% of the millennial population? Interesting to note that being a millionaire in New York or California is like earning $250,000 per household in Cleveland. Meanwhile, about 5-6 percent of the US population are millionaires, so millennials aren't doing very well compared to their elders.

 

Millennials have also had less money making years than everyone older than them?


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"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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Are we winning yet?

 


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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3 hours ago, DarkandStormy said:

Remember when Bill Gates pledged to give away, like, 99% of his wealth? He's failing.

 

 

He can still be evaluating who he would like to cast his vote for.  He doesn't have to donate if he chooses to change his mind.  Not one person here know the dynamics of his life/lifestyle nor what he is thinking.

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6 hours ago, MyTwoSense said:

 

He can still be evaluating who he would like to cast his vote for.  He doesn't have to donate if he chooses to change his mind.  Not one person here know the dynamics of his life/lifestyle nor what he is thinking.

 

There isn't a violin small enough to play for the man with $108 billion having to do "math" should a wealth tax be enacted on him.


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10 hours ago, DarkandStormy said:
Remember when Bill Gates pledged to give away, like, 99% of his wealth? He's failing.

 

There's a fundamental difference between giving something away and having something taken away.

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Also, for all you know he could be quietly supporting Biden and not wanting to give Warren's campaign a boost by a statement in support of her (even if ithe question was phrased as a choice over Trump vs. over Biden, Gates is well aware how statements like that can sound after they've been through a newsroom and/or quoted in part on social media).  "Gates backs Warren Over Trump" would be technically accurate but because it leaves Biden out, inherently helps Warren in the primary even if Gates would prefer not to.

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2 hours ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

There isn't a violin small enough to play for the man with $108 billion having to do "math" should a wealth tax be enacted on him.

1) Shouldn't he have a choice what he does with his property? After all, he made the money, it is his personal property? Whose right of yours or the government's is it to confiscate that property that he has already paid taxes on?

 

2) The wealth tax in theory is rooted in jealous towards the rich and ultimately undermines the entire concept of freedom and property rights for which our nation was founded. It entirely changes the paradigm of personal property. With a wealth tax, you essentially have the government own the capital and have full control over the capital. They can take what they want from whomever they desire as they please. Capital ultimately is owned by the government and distributed as the government sees fit to caretakers. This flips the entire system of personal property upside down.   

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3 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

The wealth tax in theory is rooted in jealous[y] towards the rich


I think that's a misconception. Practically no one who is proposing a wealth tax wants to personally be that rich. Anyone with that much money has too much money for the simple fact that it means people at the bottom are getting even less. As the number of billionaires in America goes up, it's a signal that our economy is transitioning towards one where the rich are able to siphon more and more money out of the middle and lower class Americans. That's why people say every billionaire is a policy failure. Because in an ideal world, there would still be rich and working class, but the rich wouldn't be getting richer while the rest of the population gets poorer. That's a failure in our ability to adapt our policy to a changing economy.

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Bill Gates gives away an enormous amount of his wealth, $35 billion dollars this year alone, to charities and his foundation. The fact that he's still worth $100 billion is indicative of good investments - doesn't he own a lot of Berkshire Hathaway Class A and Microsoft stock, both of which are at all time highs. A quick google search shows that he has 60% of his funds in stocks and index funds, and so a major downturn in the markets would result in a disproportionate hit (compared to "average" wealthy investors who only put away half their wealth in equities).

 

Clearly he feels his charity work and the Foundation can help far more people than the government taking its cut through a wealth tax. And based on what he's done, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt here, as he's changing the world on a global scale with his work. He shouldn't be scorned for wanting to avoid a wealth tax, when that money clearly is being used for important things. I think he's unique compared to most other wealthy types who want to avoid paying their share.

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20 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

1) Shouldn't he have a choice what he does with his property? After all, he made the money, it is his personal property? Whose right of yours or the government's is it to confiscate that property that he has already paid taxes on?

 

2) The wealth tax in theory is rooted in jealous towards the rich and ultimately undermines the entire concept of freedom and property rights for which our nation was founded. It entirely changes the paradigm of personal property. With a wealth tax, you essentially have the government own the capital and have full control over the capital. They can take what they want from whomever they desire as they please. Capital ultimately is owned by the government and distributed as the government sees fit to caretakers. This flips the entire system of personal property upside down.   

 

On 1) you are aware the federal government right now is trying to acquire property along the Mexico border to build a border wall, right?  Do you support the federal government acquiring that personal property?  Are you against all eminent domain cases?

 

2) It is not rooted in jealousy if you've read anything on it.  It is rooted in some semblance of equality, a concept apparently foreign in conservative circles.  Your point about "taking what they want from whomever they desire as they please" is a fear-mongering talking point.  Read the proposed legislation from either Warren or Sanders.  It's very clearly not what you are saying.  Plenty of other countries have a wealth tax - Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark, etc.  Pretty sure the billionaires there are still doing fine and the government isn't taking their property as they please.


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11 minutes ago, ryanlammi said:


I think that's a misconception. Practically no one who is proposing a wealth tax wants to personally be that rich. Anyone with that much money has too much money for the simple fact that it means people at the bottom are getting even less. As the number of billionaires in America goes up, it's a signal that our economy is transitioning towards one where the rich are able to siphon more and more money out of the middle and lower class Americans. That's why people say every billionaire is a policy failure. Because in an ideal world, there would still be rich and working class, but the rich wouldn't be getting richer while the rest of the population gets poorer. That's a failure in our ability to adapt our policy to a changing economy.

The question is who does the wealth belong to. Who owns the property? Bill Gates or the government?? If you have a wealth tax, you are essentially telling Bill Gates that he no longer has ownership of his capital and is merely a caretaker of that property.  If that is the case, you are essentially arguing that there is really no such thing as property rights. You can say the government can come take your classic car from your garage because the steel used in it is more valuable for government endeavors, or you no longer want any gas powered vehicle in someone's hands. You can take it down to the least common denominator. 

 

With Bill Gates, he is going to give away billions of dollars that he earned during his life. Shouldn't it be his choice where that goes not the governments?

 

People who say every  billionaires is a policy failure is just a jealous troll. This is complete garbage theory as again it goes against the paradigm that our country is based. The capital belongs to the individuals who create it, not the government. The government was never set up as the owner and overseer of capital.   

 

 

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I think the wealth tax proposal is a misguided attempt to solve the wealth / income gap in a short period of time.  Just fix the income tax structure to make it significantly more progressive with many, many more tax brackets at the top end and the problem should take care of itself over a generation.  Also reinstate the estate tax at a reasonable level or simply treat a portion of inheritance as income as tax it appropriately.  Also get rid of the capital gains tax and, again, tax gains as ordinary income.

 

The problem can be solved in the existing tax structure.  No need to create a new and very controversial tax.  

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Just now, DarkandStormy said:

 

 

 

2) It is not rooted in jealousy if you've read anything on it.  It is rooted in some semblance of equality, a concept apparently foreign in conservative circles.  Your point about "taking what they want from whomever they desire as they please" is a fear-mongering talking point.  Read the proposed legislation from either Warren or Sanders.  It's very clearly not what you are saying.  Plenty of other countries have a wealth tax - Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark, etc.  Pretty sure the billionaires there are still doing fine and the government isn't taking their property as they please.

 

This is that projection thing again. People who claim it's rooted in jealousy are the ones who are jealous because they (mistakenly) think everyone else thinks like they do. That's like how only thieves say "well, they left the item out. They deserve to have it stolen." while everyone else thinks it's awful that it got stolen.

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2 minutes ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

On 1) you are aware the federal government right now is trying to acquire property along the Mexico border to build a border wall, right?  Do you support the federal government acquiring that personal property?  Are you against all eminent domain cases?

 

2) It is not rooted in jealousy if you've read anything on it.  It is rooted in some semblance of equality, a concept apparently foreign in conservative circles.  Your point about "taking what they want from whomever they desire as they please" is a fear-mongering talking point.  Read the proposed legislation from either Warren or Sanders.  It's very clearly not what you are saying.  Plenty of other countries have a wealth tax - Sweden, Finland, Germany, Denmark, etc.  Pretty sure the billionaires there are still doing fine and the government isn't taking their property as they please.

 

1) Many countries have repealed or moved away from their wealth tax because it has shown to be ineffective. Taking economic talking points from crazy Bernie only contributes to the dumbing down of society. I suggest you hitch your horse to someone not so crazy.

 

2) Eminent domain and the wealth tax are 2 different issues. For one, eminent domain involves a compensation at market rate for the taking of personal property whereas a wealth tax is ultimately taking personal property and distributing it to those who are deemed a better and higher priority in the eyes of the government. There is a key difference between the two so to equate wealth tax and eminent domain is a false equivalency.

 

3) the "equality" this is rooted in is a fallacy. "Eqaulity" for who? This is a matter of perspective and is just a talking point of the crazy Bernieites.

 

The key point is that wealth tax is a taking of property (in this case economic capital) that was earned legally, already taxed by the government on the income side, and belongs to the person who legally earned it.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, TBideon said:

Bill Gates gives away an enormous amount of his wealth, $35 billion dollars this year alone, to charities and his foundation. The fact that he's still worth $100 billion is indicative of good investments - doesn't he own a lot of Berkshire Hathaway Class A and Microsoft stock, both of which are at all time highs. A quick google search shows that he has 60% of his funds in stocks and index funds, and so a major downturn in the markets would result in a disproportionate hit (compared to "average" wealthy investors who only put away half their wealth in equities).

 

Clearly he feels his charity work and the Foundation can help far more people than the government taking its cut through a wealth tax. And based on what he's done, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt here, as he's changing the world on a global scale with his work. He shouldn't be scorned for wanting to avoid a wealth tax, when that money clearly is being used for important things. I think he's unique compared to most other wealthy types who want to avoid paying their share.

 

So a few things:

1) Yes, Gates is sort out of the norm with his charitable giving.  The fact that he's increasing his wealth since signing the "Giving Pledge" is indicative that he has way too much wealth.  He and his wife stated they would give away 95% of their wealth nearly a decade ago (source - https://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-11565953/bill-and-melinda-gates-give-95-of-wealth-to-charity).

 

2) I'm sure there is some tax saving maneuvering going on with his own Foundation.  It also speaks to his own vanity - that he feels because he acquired $100 billion, he knows best how to dispense of it to enact the most good.  More than charities that have been up and running for decades, more than governments.  That isn't to say the work isn't good - the vaccines in Africa in particular will save many lives.  The Foundation has also kind of missed on education.

 

3) This kind of gets to my point.  It's very hard to give away billions of dollars and make sure it is used efficiently and for good purposes.  One might argue that simply giving a chunk to the government to ensure universal healthcare or universal pre-K is available is the best / a good way.  That he doesn't even consider it as an option - 3% to the government, the other 97% he's free to spend how he wants doesn't seem that bad - speaks to his vanity and the fact that he thinks his Foundation is the best/only way to give charitably.  He'd "only" have $105 billion at his disposal to give away instead of $108 billion?  Cry me a ****ing river, Bill.

 

4) https://fortune.com/2010/06/16/the-600-billion-challenge/

The Giving Pledge he and Buffett started is still good.  If the options are billionaires do nothing, keep acquiring ungodly amounts of wealth vs. a plan that's basically, "Hey, fellow rich billionaires, let's try to give some of this away," then of course the later is a much better option.  If the overall point is, "Hey, we have way too much money.  Let's give most of it away and still live comfortably off of ~$1 billion" then I don't understand the hesitation/apprehension to a 2-5% wealth tax.  It's a very minimal step in accomplishing that goal!  They'd still have $100 billion at their disposal.  Buffett has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth, the Gates have pledged 95%, and Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged 99%.  Through the first decade of the Giving Pledge, they don't seem on track for their goals.  Let's give them a little nudge with a small wealth tax to help them accomplish that feat.

 

Edited by DarkandStormy

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3 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

The key point is that wealth tax is a taking of property (in this case economic capital) that was earned legally, already taxed by the government on the income side, and belongs to the person who legally earned it.

 

Why do I have to pay tax on dividends if I've already paid an income tax on the money I used to invest in earning that dividend?


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12 minutes ago, Hootenany said:

I think the wealth tax proposal is a misguided attempt to solve the wealth / income gap in a short period of time.  Just fix the income tax structure to make it significantly more progressive with many, many more tax brackets at the top end and the problem should take care of itself over a generation.  Also reinstate the estate tax at a reasonable level or simply treat a portion of inheritance as income as tax it appropriately.  Also get rid of the capital gains tax and, again, tax gains as ordinary income.

 

The problem can be solved in the existing tax structure.  No need to create a new and very controversial tax.  

 

It would be awesome if we could be quick and adapt our policies to a rapidly changing economy to stay one step ahead of it and anticipate how people are going to suddenly make untold billions in new industries. But that's not realistic. The Wealth Tax is a proposal that acts as a last resort for when we don't update our laws fast enough. It keeps individuals from basically gaming the economy on the backs of everyone else. If Congress isn't faster than the economy (hint: they aren't) then tons of people get through and stockpile wealth at the detriment to the rest of the country.

 

12 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

People who say every  billionaires is a policy failure is just a jealous troll.

 

Chill out and stop calling other forumers trolls when they are debating actual policy proposals in good faith. Do it again and I'll be happy to see you banned from Current Events.

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18 minutes ago, Hootenany said:

I think the wealth tax proposal is a misguided attempt to solve the wealth / income gap in a short period of time.  Just fix the income tax structure to make it significantly more progressive with many, many more tax brackets at the top end and the problem should take care of itself over a generation.  Also reinstate the estate tax at a reasonable level or simply treat a portion of inheritance as income as tax it appropriately.  Also get rid of the capital gains tax and, again, tax gains as ordinary income.

 

The problem can be solved in the existing tax structure.  No need to create a new and very controversial tax.  

 

This won't solve the issue.  We had a very progressive tax structure previously and with top marginal brackets as high as 90%.  The wealthiest have ways around it - carried interest, getting paid mostly in stock as compensation, etc.  Elon Musk, for example, declines his salary.  He doesn't decline other portions of his compensation package and that's how he's able to massively build his wealth.  Same for Gates, as noted above.  When your "mailbox money" is earning you hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars a year, no restructuring of the tax code will fix the wealth inequality gap.

 

Warren Buffett, notably, has stressed for years that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.

Edited by DarkandStormy

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13 minutes ago, Hootenany said:

I think the wealth tax proposal is a misguided attempt to solve the wealth / income gap in a short period of time.  Just fix the income tax structure to make it significantly more progressive with many, many more tax brackets at the top end and the problem should take care of itself over a generation.  Also reinstate the estate tax at a reasonable level or simply treat a portion of inheritance as income as tax it appropriately.  Also get rid of the capital gains tax and, again, tax gains as ordinary income.

 

The problem can be solved in the existing tax structure.  No need to create a new and very controversial tax.  

The estate tax was shown to generate little to the treasury in the form of taxes and was solely meant to be redistributive. It is troubling in that manner

1 minute ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

Why do I have to pay tax on dividends if I've already paid an income tax on the money I used to invest in earning that dividend?

Because the corporation is deemed to be independent of their investors. The corporation pays corp tax and then you would pay tax on your investment income you earn. And the majority of corporations, you do not pay an individual tax on dividends for what it is worth.

 

9 minutes ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

So a few things:

1) Yes, Gates is sort out of the norm with his charitable giving.  The fact that he's increasing his wealth since signing the "Giving Pledge" is indicative that he has way too much wealth.  He and his wife stated they would give away 95% of their wealth nearly a decade ago (source - https://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-11565953/bill-and-melinda-gates-give-95-of-wealth-to-charity).

 

2) I'm sure there is some tax saving maneuvering going on with his own Foundation.  It also speaks to his own vanity - that he feels because he acquired $100 billion, he knows best how to dispense of it to enact the most good.  More than charities that have been up and running for decades, more than governments.  That isn't to say the work isn't good - the vaccines in Africa in particular will save many lives.  The Foundation has also kind of missed on education.

 

3) This kind of gets to my point.  It's very hard to give away billions of dollars and make sure it is used efficiently and for good purposes.  One might argue that simply giving a chunk to the government to ensure universal healthcare or universal pre-K is available is the best / a good way.  That he doesn't even consider it as an option - 3% to the government, the other 97% he's free to spend how he wants doesn't seem that bad - speaks to his vanity and the fact that he thinks his Foundation is the best/only way to give charitably.  He'd "only" have $105 billion at his disposal to give away instead of $108 billion?  Cry me a ****ing river, Bill.

 

4) https://fortune.com/2010/06/16/the-600-billion-challenge/

The Giving Pledge he and Buffett started is still good.  If the overall point is, "Hey, we have way too much money.  Let's give most of it away and still live comfortably off of ~$1 billion" then I don't understand the hesitation/apprehension to a 2-5% wealth tax.  It's a very minimal step in accomplishing that goal!  They'd still have $100 billion at their disposal.  Buffett has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth, the Gates have pledged 95%, and Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged 99%.  Through the first decade of the Giving Pledge, they don't seem on track for their goals.  Let's give them a little nudge with a small wealth tax to help them accomplish that feat.

 

This again gets back to the main premises of my point. This wealth belongs to Gates, not you, not me, not the government. It is his choice on how to spend it. It is not your choice, not my choice not the government choice. Just because he does not allocate that capital in the way you or I would perceive as ideal is not our business or decision

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Why is labor taxed at a higher rate than capital?  Because those that control the capital control the policy makers.  I think a just society would reverse these to or at least tax them at the same rate. 

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3 minutes ago, freefourur said:

Why is labor taxed at a higher rate than capital?  Because those that control the capital control the policy makers.  I think a just society would reverse these to or at least tax them at the same rate. 

 

 

There are numerous reasons.  Namely labor tends to be fixed and easily determinable whereas wealth is a lot more fluid

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Quote

“I've paid over $10 billion in taxes,” the Microsoft co-founder aid during the New York Times DealBook Conference on Wednesday. “If I'd had to pay $20 billion, it's fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, OK then I'm starting to do a little math about what I have left over."

 

I mean, this is just completely disingenuous on the part of Gates.  No one is proposing he pays $100 billion on his $108 billion fortune.  He's using a strawman scare tactic to make his point to leave his wealth alone.  If he's fine with paying $20 billion, guess what, Warren's proposal would only require he pay ~$5 billion.


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Just now, Brutus_buckeye said:

 

 

There are numerous reasons.  Namely labor tends to be fixed and easily determinable whereas wealth is a lot more fluid

 

That doesn't really explain anything.  

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3 minutes ago, DarkandStormy said:

 

I mean, this is just completely disingenuous on the part of Gates.  No one is proposing he pays $100 billion on his $108 billion fortune.  He's using a strawman scare tactic to make his point to leave his wealth alone.  If he's fine with paying $20 billion, guess what, Warren's proposal would only require he pay ~$5 billion.

But whose capital is it? Gates or Warren? Who has more right to Gate's personal property (Warren or Gates)?

 

4 minutes ago, freefourur said:

 

That doesn't really explain anything.  

Say you own controlling stock in WeWork and it is January of 2019. You are considered to have a net worth of over $1 billion and likely more. You are a billionaire and would be subject to the wealth tax.

Now fast forward to September 2019, you own the same amount of shares of WeWork, you are no longer a billionaire because the company has pretty much gone bust.

 

Say you are Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is flying high with a multi billion dollar valuation. 3 months later, things have changed and the company is worth $0. At one point that year she was a billionaire and a few months later she was a pauper. That is the fluidity of wealth.

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8 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

But whose capital is it? Gates or Warren? Who has more right to Gate's personal property (Warren or Gates)?

 

Say you own controlling stock in WeWork and it is January of 2019. You are considered to have a net worth of over $1 billion and likely more. You are a billionaire and would be subject to the wealth tax.

Now fast forward to September 2019, you own the same amount of shares of WeWork, you are no longer a billionaire because the company has pretty much gone bust.

 

Say you are Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is flying high with a multi billion dollar valuation. 3 months later, things have changed and the company is worth $0. At one point that year she was a billionaire and a few months later she was a pauper. That is the fluidity of wealth.

I was discussing the current taxation of capital via capital gains tax not Warren's proposal. Perhaps it was confusing. 

Edited by freefourur

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9 minutes ago, freefourur said:

I was discussing the current taxation of capital via capital gains tax not Warren's proposal. Perhaps it was confusing. 

I think the capital gains tax debate is more than a welcome debate to have. WHile I personally agree with a favorable capital gains tax rate to spur investment it is still a reasonable discussion to raise it, lower it, or keep it the same or restructure it in another way.

 

The capital gains tax is not a wealth tax and it is vastly different than a wealth tax as proposed by Sanders and Warren. At the end of the day, the capital gains tax is a tax on earned income.

Edited by Brutus_buckeye

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How would a wealth tax work in a WeWork situation? Would largescale investors be taxed on a percentage of their net worth? At what point?  

 

And if the stock dipped, or dipped considerably, would those investors be entitled to some kind of refund if they had already paid this tax before the end of the tax period?

 

It seems very confusing. Just raise the capital gains tax.

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4 minutes ago, TBideon said:

How would a wealth tax work in a WeWork situation? Would largescale investors be taxed on a percentage of their net worth? At what point?  

 

And if the stock dipped, or dipped considerably, would those investors be entitled to some kind of refund if they had already paid this tax before the end of the tax period?

.

BINGO

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1 hour ago, TBideon said:

Clearly he feels his charity work and the Foundation can help far more people than the government taking its cut through a wealth tax. And based on what he's done, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt here, as he's changing the world on a global scale with his work. He shouldn't be scorned for wanting to avoid a wealth tax, when that money clearly is being used for important things. I think he's unique compared to most other wealthy types who want to avoid paying their share.

 

IMO that would be a way to avoid the wealth tax.   Put in a provision for charitable deductions.  If you're giving away $35B a year, yeah we'll let you skip the wealth tax.  

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1 hour ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

The question is who does the wealth belong to. Who owns the property? Bill Gates or the government?? If you have a wealth tax, you are essentially telling Bill Gates that he no longer has ownership of his capital and is merely a caretaker of that property.  If that is the case, you are essentially arguing that there is really no such thing as property rights. You can say the government can come take your classic car from your garage because the steel used in it is more valuable for government endeavors, or you no longer want any gas powered vehicle in someone's hands. You can take it down to the least common denominator. 

 

This argument proves too much, though.  You could make that argument for every kind of tax.  Income tax ... who owns your labor, you or the government?  Property tax ... who owns your house, you or the government?  Sales tax, franchise tax, VAT, tariff ... who owns your trade or business, you or the government?

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35 minutes ago, TBideon said:

How would a wealth tax work in a WeWork situation? Would largescale investors be taxed on a percentage of their net worth? At what point?  

 

And if the stock dipped, or dipped considerably, would those investors be entitled to some kind of refund if they had already paid this tax before the end of the tax period?

 

It seems very confusing. Just raise the capital gains tax.

Ideally I'd want both a wealth tax and increased capital gains tax. If I had to pick one, it would be increased capital gains, since that seems less avoidable. However, capital gains taxes seem to be politically unpopular. Sanders's "wall street speculation tax" seems like it would tax the short term speculation while leaving grandma's portfolio intact, although I am a bit skeptical that it would raise as much as he says it would.

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A higher capital gains tax would discourage speculative activity both in stocks and real estate and instead encourage long-term investing in each for dividends and rent.  

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40 minutes ago, TBideon said:

How would a wealth tax work in a WeWork situation? Would largescale investors be taxed on a percentage of their net worth? At what point?  

 

And if the stock dipped, or dipped considerably, would those investors be entitled to some kind of refund if they had already paid this tax before the end of the tax period?

 

It seems very confusing. Just raise the capital gains tax.

 

This is the strongest argument against the wealth tax.

 

The overwhelming majority of major concentrations of wealth are not liquid.  The values are based on the size and confidence of their likely returns over time.  Moreover, in a dynamic environment, the mere fact that that capital was now exposed to taxation would inherently reduce its value.

 

Most extreme wealth comes from business ownership (though this would also apply to valuing real estate).  I recently sat in on a trial where an expert was called to analyze the value of a business.  He presented three different valuation models: precedent transactions; comparable companies; discounted cash flow.  This guy was from a major NY investment bank.  He gets paid millions to value companies.  And the best he could come up with was a pretty broad range.

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