justread posted at 03:00:52 PM on Oct 03, 2012:
I work with successful people. Some are wealthy. Once in a while, I work with someone on the Forbes list. I have learned a lot about those terrible wealthy people.
What did I learn?
-That wealth rarely make it past the third generation. The first generation makes it, the second generation builds it and the third spends it. There isn't all that much "old" money. (The guy from 5 hour energy is on the new Forbes list, but there ain't no Vanderbilts.)
-That wealthy people give far more to charity than anyone else, and that philanthropy is better at fixing societal problems than taxes.
Most wealthy people feel an obligation, and will act on that obligation, but don't want to be forced.
-That wealthy people create more jobs than anybody else. (Although the government is catching up.)
-That wealthy people pay the taxes that they are required to by law.
-That wealthy people have the willingness, capacity and ability to flee an unfair tax system.
-That a flat tax is the only fair tax.
-That most of them achieved their success due to their own hard work, productivity and/or imagination.
-That the fastest way to bring about the collapse of this country is to dis-incentivize success and subsidize complacency.
-That they were successful not due to the government, but in spite of it.
-That jealousy is a strong motivator for hatred.
-That if you add up every penny and every asset of the top 400 folks on Forbes list, their total combined net worth would be less than our government increased the debt THIS YEAR ALONE.
You think that you are scared? The wealthy are terrified enough to consider Chile, Costa Rica, or even Ireland with it's 11% tax rate.
The "war" on the "one percenters" is the single most destructive effort in the history of this country.
The ads that pander to the "middle class" suggesting that the "rich" will get a $250,000 tax cut and that the "poor" will get a $2,000 tax increase is among the most irresponsible things that I have ever witness.
Even more irresponsible than stories of prostitute moms, dogs left on cars, kenyan births, failure to pay taxes, overpayment of taxes, out-of-context 47%, fat asses or Jeremiah Wright.
Wealthy give far more to charity? They have far more to give to charity, poor people don't have jack shit to contribute, duh. Now if you're Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, you literally can't spend it fast enough to make a dent. But there's rich assholes with a serious self interest in what they're donating to, as well. One of the Kochs if I recall correctly essentially funded a cancer research center... for his particular type of cancer, IIRC. Hmmmmmm. Not entirely selfless there, really not when you stick your name on the building. Shit, if I came into millions of bucks, I wouldn't really want some damn AnonymousCoward Center for Whatever, I'd just find some damn quiet church or non-profit somewhere that isn't full of dicks and shove an envelope full of cash and a note through the mail slot. No need for the AnonymousCoward Endowment for The Arts/Sciences/whatever.
Government catching up on job creation? You bothered to look at GOVERNMENT JOB NUMBERS under Obama? Go look and then come back here and say "d'oh, my bad".
Wealthy people have the willingness, capacity, and ability to flee an unfair tax system? Yeah, because the rest of us don't have Swiss and Cayman Island accounts like Mitt Romney, nor financial managers, accountants, and tax lawyers on retainer and speed dial to set this up for us. You can damn well bet that willingness is not the problem of the non-rich, if you could get this down at H&R Block I bet the line would make Black Friday look like the express lanes at Kroger at 6am.
Flat tax is the only fair tax? 15% of minimum wage vs 15% of $250k/year. Which person is gonna be buying low-quality shit from Walmart that breaks after a couple years? Sam Vimes's "Boots" theory comes to mind.
Jealousy? I think that's where the peons that actually do the work that makes the company money watch as the executives pay themselves million dollar bonuses while telling the peons that there will be no more 401k matching and that there's a hiring freeze so you better be prepared to do the work of 2 people for the foreseeable future. And don't forget, the bonuses are for making all the cuts that allow the company to meet the "earnings target" that Wall Street set. That right there is the damn shallow thinking that is a major problem, it's all about next quarter's figures and not where the company will be years down the road. If you don't meet that quarter's target, the stock takes a dive and all the stock options of the execs are worthless.
Yeah, Ireland's low low tax rates really paid off for them when the recession hit. I seem to recall the Irish economy and government really took it in the ass over there when the Great Recession hit. Ditto a lot of other nations that had done the LOW LOW TAXES! spiel to get businesses to locate there. And now there's civil unrest because unemployment is high, food prices are high, the banks are unstable or being bailed out, etc. So do keep that in mind, dude. And if they're so pants-pissingly terrified to leave, fine, how about we revoke their citizenship while we're at it. Next time civil unrest comes to your new country, the USA also won't be saving your bacon. (Wasn't this the attitude all those people who threatened to move to Canada after Bush was elected received from the "true American patriots"?)
And the "rich will get a tax cut and poor will get a tax hike ads"? Yeah, we've only seen Ryan's budget, Romney has nothing, though he already wanted to cut taxes AND remove deductions. Sounds good until you run some numbers and see which groups that benefits. Hint: How much do you have to make for, say, a 5% tax cut to save you enough money to make up for losing say a $2000 deduction? Anyone below that magic number just got screwed big time.
I got nothing against honest wealth. I got a big problem if it ain't "trickling down" (HAH!) on all the other people that helped along the way, a big problem if you are so wrapped up with it that you aren't happy with what you've got and you have to make more, or especially if you've decided to maliciously or psychopathically/sociopathically screw lots of people over so you get yours. And for those who don't get it, the difference between malice and psychopathy/sociopathy is that malice is where the person knows what they're doing isn't right and is going to hurt people and actually has the concept of the pain/discomfort they're causing, and psychopaths/sociopaths MIGHT in some cases know it's not right on some intellectual level, but they literally cannot fathom why someone else might be hurt or otherwise see it from any other point of view. American capitalism as it exists currently, in my book, has a very strong Darwinian/survival of the fittest component in it that strongly promotes the biggest psychopathic/sociopathic people to the top, because these people can make all the cuts that put people on the streets without blinking and all those other hard decisions. That's nice if you're the investors in that company but all the human factor is gone. Hell, if only Artificial Intelligence got better we could just replace the execs with robots and save the company millions of dollars, if you want to take this to its logical conclusion. This is also why you see a lot of "brain drain" from the big tech companies once they get successful. It stopped being a fun time where your ideas got listened to and the management worked with you and you got rewarded appropriately for your contribution when it became having to deal with all sorts of reports and having no input let alone feedback on anything that affects you and a focus on the next quarter's figures. The really smart people don't give much of a hoot about promotion and how much they get paid, so the managers who do get in power and eventually take over and life becomes miserable for everyone so they jump ship.
I'm a big believer in that some numbers aren't easily calculated on a spreadsheet, that if someone comes up with an idea that saves lots of money, they should get the credit and a reward for it, and a lot of other things that seem to be anathema to the Harvard MBA-type crowd.