Business Week article on A Global Tax on the Superrich

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #1

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-10/thomas-pikettys-global-tax-on-capital-may-not-be-a-crazy-idea#p1

    I'm not sure I agree with the proposed cure, because, although I think the wealth is far too concentrated today, I would like to see a proposal that would encourage more investments of the job-creating type, and, I don't think this proposal would do that. But, I like the fact that at least this is being discussed openly now.
     
  2. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #2
    Tax enforced by whom?

    Not necessarily opposed, but who is supposed to take point on this idea?
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    That would be the new World Government.

    Dun-dun-dunnnn.
     
  4. NukeIT macrumors regular

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    #4
    I always love the "Tax the rich, because we're not"

    Penalize success always makes sense, right??
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    Because the riches success is all down to them...
     
  6. VulchR, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014

    VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #6
    A world tax on capital simply amounts to all countries agreeing to rationalise their tax codes so that there are no tax havens. It does not require a new world government. The question one might ask is why tax havens would give up there status and do this. The answer is because they are small and can get squashed like over-ripe mangos if they don't.

    In any case, the issue is wealth, for which earned income is increasingly less relevant compared to capital gains and investments.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #7
    Wealthy people aren't necessarily successful at anything. If my family had a few billion in the bank we could breed about a hundred generations of total losers and still be wealthy. Many people do nothing to obtain their wealth besides coming into the world with a golden diaper.
     
  8. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #8

    Spot on.

    And no, being rich does not make one a job creator either. It's ignorant as hell when people say this.

    Lots of inherited wealth on wealth accumulation in the hands of people that have no sense whatsoever and certainly no capacity to generate wealth on their own.
     
  9. jnpy!$4g3cwk thread starter macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #9
    Good question. If a significant number of countries did agree on what to do, it probably could be done through the WTO. After all, the wealthy have been using the WTO in recent years to twist countries arms about all kinds of (big) business-friendly trade measures.
     
  10. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #10
    And it's proven repeatedly that family fortunes are easily squandered.
     
  11. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Quoted for awesomeness and to add a third piece...

    New business is a triangle of three things:

    Customers
    New idea/Approach
    Capital

    To make a car analogy, the customers are the road, the idea is the car, and the capital is the fuel. What we often hear (that we need more capital and benefits for capital holders) is like saying we need more fuel when gas trucks are already struggling for a place to park, never mind sell and unload. We already have several life times worth of capital. What we've run out of is customers!

    Without all three, there won't be any new jobs.
     
  12. NukeIT macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2013
    #12
    You have a valid point.

    But so just because they were born into it we should take it away??

    Life isn't fair, some people are dealt a better hand then others, some have money some have not, some have health others have disease. But that's life

    The government should not have a right to take it away just because your ancestors bequeathed it to you.
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #13
    It's either something like that or they'll print more. If currency becomes incredibly concentrated in specific places, it has a lot of strange economic effects. Even investment slows down if there aren't enough potential customers.
     
  14. ElectronGuru, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #14
    A number of threads cover (and fear) political systems that competed during the 20th century. But most of those were experiments to find the best replacement for the wide spread and long standing feudal systems that preceded them. Avoiding nepotism is about more than fairness, it's about preventing unsafe concentrations of power. Government, business or family, to much power in to few hands rarely ends well, however good the intentions or natural the imbalance.
     
  15. jnpy!$4g3cwk thread starter macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #15
    A general observation: if Charles and David Koch decided to sell all of their property, shares, and other business holdings, and buy gold, and, buy their own little sovereign island somewhere and put all their gold in a bunker, and sit on, I really could not care less. They and their dependents could sit there tax-free forever.

    Think about it for a second-- the real wealth actually flows in the opposite direction from the gold. The companies, the know-how, the land, the buildings, the employees who are expert at what they do: that is the real wealth.

    But, the companies owned by the Kochs, and all the other super-rich, are a part of the general economic fabric. And, yes, we all, who work as part of that fabric, do have a say in what the Kochs do. Their sovereign right to run things exactly as they see fit only exists on that desert island. Here, in the real world, they are buying from and selling from everybody else in the marketplace, and the smooth operation of that marketplace depends on laws and regulations, and all of us agreeing on what the rules are.
     
  16. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #16
    There is nothing wrong with coming into the world with a "golden diaper". It is not immoral, there is nothing despicable, it just is what it is. And no one has a right to take that away.

    Anyone born in the USA essentially has "golden diaper" status compared to someone born in the Congo.
     
  17. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #17
    Why not?
     
  18. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    #18
    Oh yeah?

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2010/10/estate_tax_and_founding_fathers


     
  19. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Ah, the classic 'is what it is' gambit. Yes, and the advantages of living in the USA (including the ability to make a golden diaper) are largely a result of the investments we made in the past. The same kind of investments we have to reduce when the beneficiaries of previous investments are unwilling to make future investments. The USA then becomes 'is what it was', and we start looking back to eras of prosperity and wondering what happened. Sound familiar?
     
  20. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    #20

    of course it hasn't happened yet and doesn't seem to be happening either

    the banks are probably the ones complaining since a golden diaper means a lot of people have inherited housing and don't need a mortgage
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #21
    If the banks hate people with "golden diapers" why do they offer things like HSBC Premier and HSBC Private Bank?
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #22
    The banks love the wealthy. CitiBank even came up with a new term, plutonomy, because in their analysis the only actual growth or movement in the markets of a significant measure is that of the exceedingly wealthy and large corporations.

    Here is their internal document outlying their observations (and therefore business strategy) circa 2006. Now, compound that observation with the fact that 95% of the economic recovery since the recession has gone to the top 1% and you've got a very compelling argument, from the bankers themselves, that the economy really only exists for and by the wealthy. It's a fascinating read, original document attached but here are some great nuggets from the intro:

    "Plutonomy and the Great Conundrums of our age
    We think the balance sheets of the rich are in great shape, and will get much better. Their behavior overwhelms that of the “average” consumer. A -10% savings rate for the rich has a trivial impact on even the growth in their net worth – don’t be shocked if the savings rate worsens as equities do well.

    What could go wrong?
    Globalization, productivity, a rising profit share and dis-inflation have helped plutonomy. Beyond war, inflation, the end of the technology/productivity wave and/or financial collapse, which have killed previous plutonomies, we think the most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth."

    Pages 7-19 cover the "plutonomy"
     

    Attached Files:

  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #23
    I don't think it should be "taken away" but you either provide everyone with an equal chance for success or you admit that the game is rigged and do nothing about it. At some point the system will correct itself, but its going to be at the end of an angry mob revolting against the status quo. Keep in mind all you really have is paper.

    Paying to educate your populace is probably the easiest way to deter them from cold blooded murdering you as a 1%er (not directed at you).
     
  24. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I just see that as a false dichotomy.

    You can't give everyone an equal chance ... it's an impossibility.

    You're alternative to that is to do nothing.

    But IMO, somewhere between achieving the impossible and doing nothing, there is something that can actually be done.

    I'd prefer to search for that solution.
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #25
    But when those with the golden diapers can find the loopholes or actually influence congress to create the loopholes not to pay taxes is where the problem happens.

    It's fine if you want to be a stuck up rich kid who would never think of talking to the normal people. Just pay your share into society.
     

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