No End To Greed

Discussion in 'Money & Finances' started by Richard Whiting, Jul 5, 2023.

  1. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    It seems to me that there is absolutely no limit to greed. The more money that people have, the more they want.

    I certainly understand people wanting/needing the basic necessities of life. We all want/need basic housing, enough money to buy food for our selves/families, basic clothing for work/leisure, and of course access to medical care. Additionally we all need some sort of basic transportation and furniture for our living space.

    However, we do not NEED huge 4,000 -8,000 square foot houses. Nor do we NEED ever more exotic cars, certainly not $95,000 a Mercedes-Benz or a $200,000 Ferrari.

    Lets look at clothing as an example of greed. Some men are "clothes horses" , BUT one heck of a lot of women have more outfits then she can possibly wear in a in a month of Sundays. Seriously, who needs dozens and dozens of shoes ? I recall that the wife of Philippine Pres. Marcos had 3,000 pairs of shoes. Yeah, yeah, I know that she was not the typical woman , BUT how many western culture women have 2-3 dozen pairs of shoes ? LOTS of them !

    By no means are men exempt from collecting ever more "toys" like electronic gadgets and a dozen cars.

    I could go on and on about the excess of what people own. However, when tens of thousands of our citizens have tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry: Rolex watches worth $10,000 and or diamond rings worth more than most people can earn in a year, I get upset when I see masses of people who are homeless and hungry and living without any medical care what-so-ever.

    Now, I do not object to basic capitalism, BUT I do object when people acquire such wealth as to not pay their fair share of taxes.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    If you can afford it, why not? If the IRS isn't coming after you, apparently you must be paying your fair share of taxes. If people want to donate to the government or to people in need, I'm all for that, but no one should feel pressured to pay more taxes than they have to. I don't "need" to buy an ice cream cone but if I want one, and can afford it, why not?
     
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  3. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    Just because the IRS is not coming after people, does NOT mean they are paying their fair share. When people manage to collect billions of dollars, something is VERY, VERY wrong. I advocate a system where the more money people collect, the higher their taxes should be. The key word here is FAIR.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    The world has ALWAYS had rich people and poor people, and it always will have, regardless of whether people pay taxes or not. I don’t see what that even has to do with it anyway.
    No matter how much or how little taxes rich people pay, it is not going to give poor people any more money.

    The whole idea sounds like some kind of TV propaganda telling people that poor people are poor because rich (white) people are not paying enough taxes and buying whatever they want to buy .
    Even if rich people paid 10 times more taxes, the government would continue to keep the money and spend it on whatever, or send it to millionaires like Zelinskyy in Ukraine.
    People on welfare would not get any of that money, that is for sure !

    On the other side of that coin is this fact; it is those rich people that own the companies that give the other people a place to work and earn money.
    Someone like Elon Musk has a bunch of companies, all hiring lots of people, and working with many other companies, who also hire lots of people.
    So, in my opinion, the rich people do way more for the rest of the people to have money to live than the government does who collects the taxes of not only the rich, but also all of us poor people, in one way or another.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2023
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  5. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    It does not have to be that way. It would be the simplest matter to pass a federal law that says, quite plainly, the "extra" taxes of the super wealthy MUST BE used ONLY for the benefit of the poorest people. By that I mean, for one example, building millions of new homes . I have forgotten the name of the program that ex Pres, Clinton started where relatively poor people can buy a house and their own labor went to pay the down payment. I have something like that in mind BUT on a VASTLY larger scale.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    If you have information proving that someone is not paying the taxes that he is required to pay, you could turn that information over to the IRS. If what you are saying is that you think some people should have to pay more than they are required to pay, then that's a bit like saying that you believe that no one should be allowed to drive over 40 miles an hour on the expressway, or that you think that people with more than two kids should be required to surrender the excess to someone who doesn't have any kids. You can think what you want, but the fair share of taxes is what you are required to pay. Anything more is either a gift or a theft.

    Is that why you moved to Mexico?
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    Now you are looking at the problem from a better angle, @Richard Whiting . As you suggested, the GOVERNMENT could pass such a law, and could even enhance the programs that they already have; but the likelihood of the government doing that is pretty much nil. Even the programs that President Trump put in place have been stopped by the Biden administration.
    My EBT allowance for basic food has been cut to about one third of what it was under Trump, and at the same time, Biden has pushed inflation, so the amount that I do get buys about half of what it used to buy.

    The government is too busy sending billions of dollars overseas to even care about our veterans here, let alone the senior citizens or any other Americans.
    PS i think that the program you are talking about is called Habitat for Humanity, and they still have that program.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    As I said, I'm all for voluntary contributions to the needy. There's nothing wrong with that.
     
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  9. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes That's it. Habitat for Humanity. :)

    You're right about the chances of what I propose actually happening is nil. However, I still like to dream of a better world.

    Back in the days of the Great Depression, there was a program called Civilian Conservation Corp. I think a similar program COULD be restarted and literally millions of homes could be built, under the direction of the Army Engineers. There is no rational reason why one of the richest countries in the world should have ANY homeless. Excepting, of course, addicts who are on the street voluntarily.
     
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  10. Thomas Windom

    Thomas Windom Very Well-Known Member
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    We don’t truly NEED anything except air, food, water and, in some situations, shelter. You can die in short order without them. Everything else is stuff we want.
     
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  11. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    I think you are missing the whole point. I'm not talking about people breaking the law. Though that does happen. I'm talking about COMPLETELY changing the tax laws. This would mandate what people are REQUIRED to pay. One thing I advocate is closing all loop-holes in the tax laws so that the super wealthy pay a higher, MUCH HIGHER percentage of their annual income. The higher the income, the greater the percentage of taxes.

    The second point you are missing is the issue of FAIRNESS. A "fair share of taxes" in my opinion is one in which everyone has a home and gets to eat well. AND if that takes raising the taxes on the super wealthy, then so be it.

    Once we had a speed limit on interstate highways of 70. Now, it is mostly 55 mph. That changed and so could the tax laws.

    PS: I did not move to Mexico to avoid paying taxes. I did it to stretch my retirement income.
     
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  12. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    Can you name any group which does not NEED shelter ? Shelter is a NEED !
    We also need decent medical care for everyone. We also need basic furniture/appliances: stove , fridg , bed, table and chairs.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    It wouldn't be a better world. It would be a world in which most of the population was content to benefit from the accomplishments of others, and in which many wouldn't see a point in trying to get ahead because it would just be taken from them, anyhow. If someone simply takes what they consider to be excess from me, why should I bother working my butt off to earn it? It wouldn't get to the poor anyhow. The government regulators would take the bulk of it because they'd be exempt.
     
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  14. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Veteran Member
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    It used to be that way. The top income bracket tax rate was 91% in 1960, for income above $200K ( $2 million today). Of course there were tax loopholes back then also. In 2022 the top bracket was $500K and the rate is 37%.

    People who have enough money to invest, generally have always gotten a tax break on profits from those investments (capital gains tax rates).
     
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  15. Richard Whiting

    Richard Whiting Very Well-Known Member
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    I never suggested that the gov't would take all of their money. Merely an increase in what they currently pay. If i had a profession in which I earned $750,000 per year and I was paying 30% in Federal taxes and then the laws were changed so that I now had to pay 40 % I'd keep working the same as always. In any event, what choice would I have ? Stop working ? Not bloody likely.
     
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