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OfflineRonoS
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Registered: 01/26/01
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The Return of Class War
    #1611136 - 06/05/03 01:22 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Bush and the new tyranny of the rich.
By Michael Kinsley


The fall of communism 14 years ago was not the end of history, despite Francis Fukuyama's famous prediction. It was, though, pretty much the end of the argument, in most of the world, about the best way to organize society. The answer (despite quibbles over the details and a surprisingly resilient minority preference for theocracy) is democratic capitalism.


But this intellectual victory for the dynamic duo didn't resolve the tension between them. Democracy presumes and enshrines equality. Capitalism not only presumes but requires and produces inequality. How can you have a society based on equality and inequality at the same time? The classic answer is that democracy and capitalism should reign in their own separate "spheres" (philosopher Michael Walzer's term). As citizens, we are all equal. As players in the economy, we enjoy differing rewards depending on our efforts, talents, or luck.

But how do you prevent power in one from leeching into the other? In various ways, we try to police the border. Capitalism is protected from democracy, to some extent, by provisions of the Constitution that guard individuals against tyranny of the majority?for example, by forbidding the government to take your property without due process of law. Protecting democracy from capitalism is the noble intention, at least, of campaign finance laws that get enacted every couple of decades.

Separation of the spheres also depends on an unspoken deal, a nonaggression pact, between democracy's political majority and capitalism's affluent minority. The majority acknowledge that capitalism benefits all of us, even if some benefit a lot more than others. The majority also take comfort in the belief that everyone has at least a shot at scoring big. The affluent minority, meanwhile, acknowledge that their good fortune is at least in part the luck of the draw. They recognize that domestic tranquility, protection from foreign enemies, and other government functions are worth more to people with more at stake. And they retain a tiny yet prudent fear of what beast might be awakened if the fortunate folks get too greedy about protecting and enlarging their good fortune.

That was the deal. Under George W. Bush, though, the deal is breaking down. With Republicans in control of the White House and both Houses of Congress, the winners of the economic sphere are ratting on their side of the bargain and colonizing the sphere next door. Campaign contributions are only the crudest way power is transferred from the economic sphere to the political one. In addition, there are well-financed lobbying organizations, including some masquerading as research institutes. There is the inherent complexity and boredom of tax and regulatory issues, which repel people who don't have a major financial stake. There is the social milieu of the president and most members of Congress. They may not all come from the worlds of posh aristocracy or self-satisfied business success (Bush remarkably straddles both), but these are the worlds they are plunged into as they rise to congressional leadership. And, in the back of their minds, these are the worlds they may hope to find a place in when they lay down the weary burdens of power.

The recently enacted tax bill is such a shocking and brazen gift for the wealthy that it is hard to describe in anything short of these cartoon-Marxist terms. After two Bush tax cuts, consider how we now burden people at the bottom and at the top of the economic ladder.

A minimum-wage worker today must pay the FICA payroll tax of 15 percent (if you include the employer's share, as economists agree you should) on the very first dollar she earns. If she has children, she may qualify for an earned income tax credit, but she may not. If she works hard and moves up the income scale, she'll soon be paying another 15 percent in income tax. You might call this "double taxation," but President Bush doesn't.

Our minimum-wage worker most likely falls into one of the unadvertised holes in the Bush something-for-everyone tax cut. There is nothing in it for her. This gap around the minimum wage was supposedly inadvertent, and Republicans on Capitol Hill were eager to correct it. But Republican congressional straw boss Tom DeLay said incredibly that he would only allow the alleged correction as part of yet another big tax cut with more goodies for the serious income brackets.

Now look at the fellow who has a few millions or billions. He probably has paid no income tax on most of that pile, since investment profits are taxed only when they are "realized"?i.e., cashed in. Any investment profits that he hasn't cashed in when he cashes in himself escape the income tax forever. If he can hold on for a few years, under current plans, the estate tax will die before he does. His investment income also is exempt from the 15 percent FICA tax that hits the minimum-wage worker at dollar 1.

And now the tax rate on both dividends and capital gains is capped at 15 percent. This is supposed to alleviate the unfairness of having both a corporate income tax and a tax on the profits individuals earn on their investments in corporations. This is the one Bush does call "double taxation," and he rails against its injustice. In 2002 the total burden of the corporate income tax was barely one-fifth of the burden of payroll taxes, but it apparently strikes a more sensitive group of people.

So, under the American tax system as designed by the Bush administration and congressional Republicans, the most a person of vast wealth is expected to contribute to the commonweal from his or her last dollar of investment profits is the same 15 cents or so that a minimum-wage worker is expected to pay on his or her first dollar. This does not mean that we have a flat tax. We have a tax system of vast complexity, with wildly different tax burdens on different people. But we have a tax system that, on balance, knows who's in charge.



--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Rono]
    #1611166 - 06/05/03 01:34 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Ludicrous at best.

It's rare indeed for a minimum wage worker in the US to wind up on the payee side of taxes in the US. Between standard exemptions, low rates, E.I.C., and now the new $400 dollar per kid checks, the actually recieve more than they ever pay.

Anyone even remotely honest with no agenda will see the the upper 25% of wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes collected in this conutry. That's why we need a flat tax with no exemptions for anyone.

Besides.... those stupid enough to not be able to get an above minimum wage job deserve little from society anyway.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1611177 - 06/05/03 01:39 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Anyone even remotely honest with no agenda will see the the upper 25% of wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes collected in this conutry. That's why we need a flat tax with no exemptions for anyone.




We?! :shocked: :smirk:


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1611186 - 06/05/03 01:43 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I'll spell it out in easier to understand language then....

"That's why this country needs a flat tax with no exemptions for anyone."

Why do I suspect you knew what I meant though?


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineBetMomIsProud
Journeyman ofMycology
Registered: 05/15/03
Posts: 172
Loc: MI
Last seen: 13 years, 2 months
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1612025 - 06/05/03 05:06 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

The problem is that reform in a capitalistic society is next to impossible if there is no monetary reward for action. That's the basis of capitalism, only do things that will make you a buck and screw the other guy. Law of the jungle and what not, in this society only the strong will survive. The difference between us and the animals in the jungle is the oft forgotten concept of greed. If a capitalist is stronger than someone else it is in his/her best interest to take everything they own and then use them to make you more money. The Bible said that money is the root of all evil for a reason, yet capitalism is a form of society that worships wealth. I'm sorry if you get offended at the biblical reference, but it fits well and is easily demonstrated in everyday life. We have to face the fact that imperfect humans are never going to create something that is perfect. All we can do is rail as loudly as we can against the injustices that the strong commit against the weak so that our children and their children may learn from our mistakes and take the next step towards personal freedom, the only true freedom we will ever enjoy as a race


--------------------
Nothing is idiot proof. Just need a real talented idiot.


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1612159 - 06/05/03 05:48 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Anyone even remotely honest with no agenda will see the the upper 25% of wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes collected in this conutry.

Smells like a load to me. Here's the last figures I saw:

Top fifth of earners: 19 percent
Next fifth of earners: 17 percent
Middle fifth of earners: 16 percent
Next fifth of earners: 14 percent
Bottom fifth of earners: 18 percent

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/01/20/business/21DOUBLE.chart.jpg


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Xlea321]
    #1612212 - 06/05/03 06:09 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Anyone even remotely honest with no agenda will see the the upper 25% of wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes collected in this conutry.

Smells like a load to me.
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/01/20/business/21DOUBLE.chart.jpg




Maybe you should have your nose checked, take some English courses and brush up on your math. You are providing a blatant misrepresentation of the figures. The percentages that you listed are the average taxes those groups pay as a percentage of their income not as a percentage of taxes collected.

The total of taxes paid from the chart is 41,367

So the breakdown in taxes paid (according to the chart) is...
Top fifth of earners: 21,623 (52.27% of taxes)
Next fifth of earners: 9,835 (23.77% of taxes)
Middle fifth of earners: 5,622 (13.59% of taxes)
Next fifth of earners: 2,847 (6.88% of taxes)
Bottom fifth of earners: 1,449 (3.5% of taxes)





DO THE MATH!


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


Edited by Evolving (06/05/03 06:10 PM)


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Xlea321]
    #1612431 - 06/05/03 07:40 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

So I was wrong Alpo, it's the top 20% pay the majority.

That load you smell must be the one in your pants.

And as to your misrepresentaion of the facts.... it's pretty much what we've come to expect from you.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


Edited by luvdemshrooms (06/05/03 07:41 PM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
Chill the FuckOut!
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Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 27,301
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Rono]
    #1612723 - 06/05/03 09:12 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

The Return of Class War



Did it ever go away to begin with?  :confused:


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
T'was born oftrue in the yearof the cock!

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 1,500
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: silversoul7]
    #1612765 - 06/05/03 09:23 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

democratic capitalism? no, i think social evolution will prove that wrong within the next 50 years.

how about:

socialist capitalism under a democratic technocracy.


--------------------
enjoy the entertaining indentity i have constructed for you while you can.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: atomikfunksoldier]
    #1612779 - 06/05/03 09:25 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

socialist capitalism under a democratic technocracy.



I have no idea what that means.  :confused:


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Evolving]
    #1613477 - 06/06/03 01:34 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

The percentages that you listed are the average taxes those groups pay as a percentage of their income

Isn't that the important figure? The fact that the poor pay just as much tax on their income as the rich do?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineRadioActiveSlug
addict

Registered: 03/14/03
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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: atomikfunksoldier]
    #1613748 - 06/06/03 03:49 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

how about a community based ecotopian virtual democrasy


--------------------
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned." -Buddha
www.impeach-bush-now.org


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

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Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1613852 - 06/06/03 04:32 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

so the people who earn the most pay the most tax - thanks for that fucking newsflash.

As a percentage of income everyone pays near enough the same. The top 20% should be paying more. Much more.


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Xlea321]
    #1613944 - 06/06/03 05:18 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Isn't that the important figure? The fact that the poor pay just as much tax on their income as the rich do?



Not when you lie and say this....

Quote:

Anyone even remotely honest with no agenda will see the the upper 25% of wage earners pay the vast majority of taxes collected in this conutry.

Smells like a load to me. Here's the last figures I saw:

Top fifth of earners: 19 percent
Next fifth of earners: 17 percent
Middle fifth of earners: 16 percent
Next fifth of earners: 14 percent
Bottom fifth of earners: 18 percent





The figures you posted have no relation to my statement. Dishonesty seems to be your only method of operation these days Alpo.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,720
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: GazzBut]
    #1613949 - 06/06/03 05:21 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

so the people who earn the most pay the most tax - thanks for that fucking newsflash.

As a percentage of income everyone pays near enough the same. The top 20% should be paying more. Much more.



No they shouldn't. There should be no income tax. If there must be then everyone should pay the same percentage.

And if you knew even a little, you'd know that the lower income people wind up paying NO income taxes and often wind up with hand-out checks.

But I doubt the truth matters much to you either.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 4,733
Loc: London UK
Last seen: 3 months, 29 days
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1614073 - 06/06/03 07:54 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

yeah let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer because everyone is where they are purely on merit and poor people are stupid anyway.

Egos drone and pose alone blah blah blah


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Rono]
    #1614102 - 06/06/03 08:41 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)



FYI..


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1614384 - 06/06/03 12:37 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

And if you knew even a little, you'd know that the lower income people wind up paying NO income taxes and often wind up with hand-out checks.

No, go back to the diagram and this time READ it. The lower income brackets pay just as much of their income in tax's as the rich.

And there's one sure fire way of increasing the amount of tax they pay - pay them a decent wage in the first place!



--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: The Return of Class War [Re: Xlea321]
    #1614415 - 06/06/03 01:00 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

And if you knew even a little, you'd know that the lower income people wind up paying NO income taxes and often wind up with hand-out checks.

No, go back to the diagram and this time READ it. The lower income brackets pay just as much of their income in tax's as the rich.

And there's one sure fire way of increasing the amount of tax they pay - pay them a decent wage in the first place!





Pre-tax income for the lowest income group would include government checks (FREE MONEY taken from others in the form of taxes) but would not include non-cash items such as food stamps, medicare, medicaid, housing subsidies, earned income credit (an after tax handout), etc (derived from the taxes of others). It should also be noted that lower income people spend a disproportionate amount on highly taxed items such as tobacco and alcohol (raw dollars, not percentages). Merely eliminating the punitive taxes on alcohol and tobacco would greatly change the figures, or if the lower income people (more wisely) refrained from buying alcohol and tobacco they themselves could greatly reduce their tax burdens as a percentage of income.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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