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Moxie

Rich getting richer, hard to get ahead, etc...

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The inequality was less and nowhere near as extreme especially when the taxes were more progressive. In most industrialized nations the GINI coefficient is much less. It does work just fine to have progressive taxes. There worldwide political system is much bigger then simple explanations. You do not have to go to communism and socialism and take away freedom to reduce the huge inequality or poverty rates or to make it so more poor people can have opportunities to get out of poverty. There are places with less inequality and poverty. Obviously you cannot reduce it all together.

 

The health care costs are also much less in nations with universal health care coverage which are done in lots of different ways. We are the only industrialized nation without a system. Private charities are not super efficient themselves and ave very high overhead costs.

Edited by MistyMountain
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I want it.

I'd love to see the numbers add up.

I don't.

 

I'd like to push on the cost end of the health care issue, not just the cost of 'end of life care', but the cost of malpractice insurance, of defensive medicine, of economics favoring specialization to the extent that many people effectively have no access to care even if they have insurance, and then, also, of the insurance issues.

 

 

Re. our parents' generation--they got the same housing interest deductions that people are criticizing now, but many of them also got subsidized VA loans--increasing family stability and housing stability.  They got pensions, most of them.  They had a solvent social security system.  And they lived in an era where if you worked hard you had a reasonable hope of keeping your job for a long time, which contributes tremendously to breadth of medical insurance coverage.  These generally were not a result of higher income taxes, but of a set of social expectations that have been systematically eroded by big business.  Government in those days was pretty bloated and inefficient.  I personally think we have swung too far the other way, but I don't favor burdening people without a meaningful safety net with even worse tax rates.  It's just too much.  We have to figure out how to change gradually, and how to truly improve rates of small business ownership, and how to make government competent and efficient.  We have to remain a free society, and teach the value and responsibilities associated with that.  Otherwise we will implode.

 

To avoid getting into politics, I'll just say I don't agree with all the naysayers out there - the arguments they use (to keep their wealth) - the stories they tell to those less wealthy, etc, esp the one they use that goes something like, "If you had this money, would you want to be taxed this much?" and so many agree based upon just that without realizing, "Wait, I still have a million plus compared to my measly 50K (or whatever the current average income is - too lazy to google)."

 

Our peer nations really have managed to establish structures that result in more choices for individuals by investing enough in healthcare, education / training, and public infrastructure that individual households aren't carrying those burdens alone. 

 

And this is why I don't believe the naysayers TBH.  It's very much similar to The Hillbilly Elegy when folks start saying, "Oh, but we could never do it!  That's only good for those other folks."

 

But getting back to reality... even though I'm positive we could make something work - it might need tweaking, but it would work better than what we have - I'm doubtful it will actually happen as long as the wealthy are in charge of writing the rules and feel their own need to keep up with the Joneses around them who earn even more.  So... those who want to have to try to switch classes and those of us who don't mind sharing (even though we aren't in the Top 10%) will continue to try to help them as we can.

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Your darkest days are my everyday. Neither party represents the interests of the people. They divvy up the issues and then pass the agenda of whomever butters their bread.

 

That's why I personally believe that campaign finance and other areas where money directly influences politicians have to be the first area tackled in order to accomplish anything of substance further down the line.  Unfortunately, we've seen how well that usually goes over in Washington. 

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These kinds of arguments are always hard because the problems they address are so multidimensional.

 

It's kind of like when "The Content of Our Character" was published.  Basically it was written by a Black professor who argued that Black people should uplift themselves with wise choices and determination.  And, that is always good advice, but OTOH, the book seemed to ignore the effects of hundreds of years of discrimination and structural issues. 

 

OTOH, books about hundreds of years of discrimination and structural issues don't lead to empowering individuals to taking action on their own behalf.

 

And the bottom line, of course, is that working on structural problems AND on individual responsibility are both part of the equation, but it's easy to argue for ether one in such a way that you seem to ignore the very real issues of the other, and that leads to very hard feelings.

 

You see this a lot in Hillbilly Elegy--one of the points that really resonated with me was when the working poor intensely resented the freebies that the welfare recipients got.  The well to do didn't have a problem with that, but the working poor were less well off than the welfare recipients in some visible ways, and that rankled a lot. 

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The whole problem is that all these tax increases hit the people who have the highest expenses for college= full pay of private college minus any scholarship and yet people like me don't have assets so there is no sheltering income.  There is a huge difference between 250 K and 1 million. Once you go over something like 120K for families, you start losing credits and exemptions.  All the education credits and deductions- we can't take any of them.  So I am not for that kind of tax increase.  Figuring out a way to get hedge fund owners to pay taxes- yeah, I am for that.  I am for simplification of taxes, I am for lowering corporate taxes so we can compete in the global market, and I am for the kind of health system that exists in Belgium=-= mutual insurances but for that to be affordable medical educations would have to be paid for,. lawsuits would have to be greatly curtailed and all sorts of stupid costs would have to go away--- Belgian doctors were very good but the waiting rooms were very basic plastic chairs and the hospitals didn't look grand.  Food in hospitals wasn't good at all and most people brought in food.  It wasn't fancy but yes, the doctors were still richer than the store clerk and still did things like live in larger houses and travel. 

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I am replying to you only bc you put the sentiment of many very concisely.

 

In my opinion, that's EXACTLY the difference between people. I never wondered "why should i have to". It never really mattered to me what others were able to do, what kind of resources they had and how "lucky" they were. My family was poor in our old country and was poor in US for a long time. My goal was to provide for myself. My parents' goal was to provide for themselves. And every other family we knew who came to US same time we did was doing the same.

 

We didn't have time or inclination to think about "rich getting richer". We did what we could to have a better life.

 

For the first few years of being in US I didn't have any American friends bc I didn't speak English very well. It wasn't until later that I was able to talk to people more proficiently. We were living in a fairly poor are and I was working as a teller in a small bank. You start to get to know your customers and have conversations and it was striking to me to listen to people - there was so much complaining about unfairness of life and how hard it was - all while cashing govt checks with their weekly manicured nails and hair dos.

 

I know that the issues of poverty and resources and achievements are complex and there are no "one size fits all" solutions. But in my personal (may be limited) experience people who thought that they can only do anything if there was outside help - new laws, new programs, etc - didn't get very far. Bc there are a LOT of that out there and it still doesn't seem to help.

 

I see a person doing well - my first inclination is not to wonder why they have so much better or whether mommy and daddy helped them. My first inclination is to see if I can learn anything from them so I can duplicate it and do better for myself.

 

Oh and as a side note re: hot showers - you just reminded me. Where I am from, we used to have hot water cut out for weeks at a time to preserve resources. Again, bc everything was govt controlled. I still remember how my mom was giving me bath by boiling water on the stove and then mixing with with cold water in the bathtub so I could wash my hair. :)

My mom has drawn water from a well and heated it on a stove and put it in a metal tub to bathe me and my brother. But my appreciation for hot clean running water came after I watched a documentary about a refugee camp where each family was allowed 50 seconds of water running into their container each day. That had to be drinking, bathing, cooking cleaning. Sometimes I count to 50 in the shower and think, yep that is all they get. That is horrifying to me. It is not fair.

 

I don't sit around looking at rich people thinking why should I have to work so hard and they don't. I look at those in poverty and think why do I have so much and they have so little. It makes me ill honestly. It doesn't stop me from doing my best. But the disparity makes me sick.

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why should they have to? Because that is how life works. Why should some kids have to carry epi pens around when my kids don't. Why should I have to tak my daughter to OT every week when my sister doesn't. Why should my one nephew have to deal with a crazy bio mom who makes things up and multiple half and step siblings, when his brother doesn't have to. Why should some kids find math so hard when it's so easy for others. Because that is how life works. It always has.

 

 

Everyone has their pile of $%+ to deal with. No one goes through life without it. Some people have a bigger pile of poo than others. Some people have a bunch of little piles of poo, some get a really big one. Some people get stinkier piles of poo than others. But, we all get to deal with our piles of poo. We all get to decide how to deal with them. We can try to go over it, try to go around it, or even just stand and stare at it. Or we can figure out how to shovel it out of the way. I am a "figure out how to shovel it out of the way" kind of person.

Good for you.

 

You can figure out how to shovel it out of the way and still be sad that others are suffering. Compassion. Empathy.

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OK, so what policies should be change?  What new policies should be created?

 

And who is paying for all that????

 

Australia's Medicare levy is 2% for taxpayers. 

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Australia's Medicare levy is 2% for taxpayers. 

 

OK and it's 1.45 for employees in US.  But there are a LOT of people in US who are not paying that at all, bc they don't work.  Employers contribute another 1.45% for every employee they have. 

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OK and it's 1.45 for employees in US.  But there are a LOT of people in US who are not paying that at all, bc they don't work.  Employers contribute another 1.45% for every employee they have. 

 

That sounds like a cumbersome way of organising it.

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Good for you.

 

You can figure out how to shovel it out of the way and still be sad that others are suffering. Compassion. Empathy.

who said I have no compassion for those that are suffering? It SUCKS to have to deal with things like major illness, with $100k in debt from student loans, with figuring out how to buy food when your spouse calls you up and says he has been laid off with no warning and you aren't sure if that last paycheck will even show up. Or with an ex who sues you in court for custody every chance she gets, with her new spouses money. Or a car wreck that takes out your only vehicle. Or whatever other financial hardships people deal with.

 

But this thread isn't about a specific hardship. This thread is about it being hard to "get ahead" and how individual choices and societal policies affect that.

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That sounds like a cumbersome way of organising it.

 

Not really.  It's automatically deducted from one's paycheck.  Employer their portion of payments qtrly.

 

Self employed people are also required to submit it qtrly, but are responsible for the entire amount.

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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

 

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

 

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

 

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

1. You are also sitting around chatting online all day. That's always a ridiculous argument in online discussions.

2. Many homeschooling moms on these forums work. You're not the only one.

3. Related to #2: who is this mythical housewife with the 9-5 dh? Every household I know with a SAHM looks like mine - dh works WAY more than 40hr, teens and college kids work multiple jobs, mom pulls in what she can through smaller jobs (and practices extreme frugality, which takes time). Everybody's busting their asses in 2017.

4. You're not rich? That contradicts all your other posts about how rich you are. Tell me again about spending tens of thousands on dance for your child. I mean, I don't care that you do, I'm glad for any kid who has opportunities in life (and parents willing to help them at great personal cost), but don't pretend you're not rich. That's silly.

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Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? 

 

Because the rich parents of the kids I went to school with (several sets - many occupations) do not work any more (or less) than the average working person I know where I live now or the poor working folks I know.  Some of the rich I know now work considerably less than their less wealthy counterparts (rich folks often retire early - those less wealthy can't).

 

All work more than those who don't - regardless of wealth, but I know very, very few who don't work and usually there are health or mental issues going on.

 

As I said in my previous post... you know an extremely small subset of people.

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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

 

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

 

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

 

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

 

Bc it's MUCH EASIER to spend other people's money.  And when those "other" people protest about their money being spend, especially when they see the spending being wasteful - they are considered mean and cold-hearted and accused of not wanting to "help the poor"

 

This country spends a lot more on social welfare than most European countries and yet it's never enough. 

 

There are govt subsidies for housing, child care, food, education, medical expenses.  But nope, never enough!

 

 

 

 

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and of course taking care of children and educating them isn't a job unless it is someone else's children

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1. You are also sitting around chatting online all day. That's always a ridiculous argument in online discussions.

2. Many homeschooling moms on these forums work. You're not the only one.

3. Related to #2: who is this mythical housewife with the 9-5 dh? Every household I know with a SAHM looks like mine - dh works WAY more than 40hr, teens and college kids work multiple jobs, mom pulls in what she can through smaller jobs (and practices extreme frugality, which takes time). Everybody's busting their asses in 2017.

4. You're not rich? That contradicts all your other posts about how rich you are. Tell me again about spending tens of thousands on dance for your child. I mean, I don't care that you do, I'm glad for any kid who has opportunities in life (and parents willing to help them at great personal cost), but don't pretend you're not rich. That's silly.

Amen, sister.

 

I'm also wondering how it would be possible to tax people highest who are sitting on their butts all day. Where does that tax revenue come from?

 

I don't know any people who sit on their butts all day. None whatsoever.

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Bc it's MUCH EASIER to spend other people's money. And when those "other" people protest about their money being spend, especially when they see the spending being wasteful - they are considered mean and cold-hearted and accused of not wanting to "help the poor"

 

This country spends a lot more on social welfare than most European countries and yet it's never enough.

 

There are govt subsidies for housing, child care, food, education, medical expenses. But nope, never enough!

How do you figure? The OECD has us like 19th in percent per capita for 2016, and 13th in dollars for 2013.

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There are govt subsidies for housing, child care, food, education, medical expenses.  But nope, never enough!

 

 

No. Not until the homeless are eating cake.

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How do you figure? The OECD has us like 19th in percent per capita for 2016, and 13th in dollars for 2013.

 

I am on my way out right now but I will try to find the article that I read a few years ago. 

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Bc it's MUCH EASIER to spend other people's money.  And when those "other" people protest about their money being spend, especially when they see the spending being wasteful - they are considered mean and cold-hearted and accused of not wanting to "help the poor"

 

This country spends a lot more on social welfare than most European countries and yet it's never enough. 

 

There are govt subsidies for housing, child care, food, education, medical expenses.  But nope, never enough!

 

I think you should look at your stats again...

 

But actually, that's my "other" tax plan - the one where "I" get a lion's share of all taxes taken in and can build my own wealth while not worrying much about anyone else since spending money on them is "wasteful."  I can toss some money out to the "poor" to make myself feel good.   :lol:

 

Oh wait... that's pretty much akin to how our taxes (or tax breaks) work now.  :glare:

 

(In my original "pay for healthcare" tax plan, my family would be paying more than we do now - with no regrets.)

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Bc it's MUCH EASIER to spend other people's money. And when those "other" people protest about their money being spend, especially when they see the spending being wasteful - they are considered mean and cold-hearted and accused of not wanting to "help the poor"

 

This country spends a lot more on social welfare than most European countries and yet it's never enough.

 

There are govt subsidies for housing, child care, food, education, medical expenses. But nope, never enough!

This is an incredibly insulting post.

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No. Not until the homeless are eating cake.

 

I can appreciate the snarky comments as much as the next person. 

 

Here is a "cute' story re: cake and homeless people.

 

I worked in Baltimore City for years.  My company had free lunches for all employees.  Needless to say, there were a LOT of food left over each day that wasn't allowed to be served the next day.

 

Baltimore City is flooded with homeless people and soup kitchens and homeless shelters. But dues to all kinds of regulations we were only allowed to donate a very certain foods and under very specific conditions. 

 

So, one time there was a huge party for all the employees and there was a LOT of cake left.  Can you guess where I am going with this?  We weren't allowed to donate any of that cake.

 

Resources are there.  Just bc they are not being properly used doesn't mean we need to keep adding to them.

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I think you should look at your stats again...

 

But actually, that's my "other" tax plan - the one where "I" get a lion's share of all taxes taken in and can build my own wealth while not worrying much about anyone else since spending money on them is "wasteful."  I can toss some money out to the "poor" to make myself feel good.   :lol:

 

Oh wait... that's pretty much akin to how our taxes (or tax breaks) work now.  :glare:

 

(In my original "pay for healthcare" tax plan, my family would be paying more than we do now - with no regrets.)

 

Really?  You don't think that many govt programs are not being run efficiently?  You don't think that plenty of money being wasted?

 

OK....

 

ETA:  last thing and then I am out of this thread bc obviously my opinion is quite unpopular.  If you want to pay more in taxes - that's fine, but don't you think other people should be given the choice?  This entire thread about people not having choices, but does it only matter when it comes to people with less income?

 

In any case, that's a completely rhetorical question.  

Edited by SereneHome
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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

 

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

 

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

 

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

 

I'm not going to get into the attitude behind this post, but I did want to address the bolded.

 

Many poor people do work multiple jobs, but no one employer will allow an hourly employee to work 80 hours due to overtime pay. And it can be hard to find multiple jobs to accommodate that schedule. So, a poor person might work 35 hours at Main Job #1, 20 hours at a retail place at night, and work a weekend serving job for 10 hours. Balancing each employer's demands for availability would be like walking a knife edge. A low income professional may get 45 hours at Main Job #1 and 15 hours at a weekend or night job (if main job #1 doesn't require weekend hour availability). People are hustling in my area, but even trying to work hours like the upper classes comes with its own hurdles.

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We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. 

 

Now I'm confused. So charity work is still work, but all the rest of the unremunerated labor in the economy is not?

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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

 

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

 

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

 

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

I dont assume anything about rich people.

 

Some people work hard and do fine or better than fine and some people work just as hard and live in abject poverty. That is a fact you seem unwillingly to accept.

 

I am on a chat board today from a hospital room where my husband is recovering from surgery. So yeah, lazy me.

 

Who would get to decide what the 'contribution to society' value is? You? That is a scary thought.

 

Many many people on this board work for pay either from home or away from home OR they are caring for several small children or disabled adult children. A few are empty nesters taking care of their home and supporting their husbands in their work for pay jobs.

 

As for my IRL, I don't actually know anyone who sits around their butts all day. Oh wait I have a step brother who is disabled and a double amputee who is terminally ill who lives in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid. Do you begrudge that money being spent? Maybe he should be kicked to the curb and left to die in the street?

Edited by Scarlett
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I dont assume anything about rich people.

 

Some people work hard and do fine or better than fine and some people work just as hard and live in abject poverty. That is a fact you seem unwillingly to accept.

 

I am on a chat board today from a hospital room where my husband is recovering from surgery. So yeah, lazy me.

 

Who would get to decide what the 'contribution to society' value is? You? That is a scary thought.

 

Many many people on this board who for pay either from home or away from home OR they are caring for several small children or disabled adult children. A few are empty nesters taking care of their home and supporting their husbands in their work for pay jobs.

 

As for my IRL, I don't actually know anyone who sits around their butts all day. Oh wait I have a step brother who is disabled and a double amputee who is terminally who lives in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid. Do you begrudge that money being spent? Maybe he should be kicked to the curb and left to die in the street?

 

Sending speedy recovery prayers to your DH, Scarlett!

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It truly is, in so many ways, more expensive to be poor. I see and point examples out to my kids all the time.

 

Yesterday my dd had to get braces. My financing options were to pay in full and get 5% discount, pay a down payment and spread interest free financing in office over 14 months or third party financing (obviously with interest) spread out over up to 60 months.

 

I immediately opted for the in house payment plan. Dh has an HSA plan through work that we put the max in so we have a bit of a surplus plus we can take the monthly payments out of that.

 

So we will absorb the hit of braces ok and pay for them with pre-tax dollars. Ten years ago we would have had to do the outside financing. So our pre-tax, interest free braces are going to cost us less precisely because we can better afford them. We've worked hard and saved and I am glad we can handle it. I do think it has been earned...but we don't deserve cheaper braces.

 

I have never been called a liberal but it drives me nuts that people won't acknowledge the whole "rich get richer." Being poor is expensive in many many ways.

Edited by teachermom2834
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This is because our government is structured toward the individual, rather than the collective.  It's a system that has worked well, overall.

I think this is a fascinating thread. There have been lots of ideas presented about what people should do to improve their situation, but I think it is important to understand that there are actually things to be known about social mobility in the US that should inform our decisions as a public. As inequality has increased more and more, social scientists have been studying it over multiple generations. The US has some of the lowest social mobility rates in the developed world. Social mobility rates in the US have regional variations (they are particularly low in the South and the Rust belt). The US does much less than other similar developed countries to even out disposable income. And we have seen a significant decrease in government spending/investment in what political scientists call "the commons," i.e. education, infrastructure and other things whose benefits are shared by all, especially since the 1980s. So it doesn't really make sense to compare what our parents or grandparents did to what we experience now. If it feels like the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are running like hamsters on a wheel and staying in the same place, that's because that is in fact what is happening. 

 

There are lots of public policies that could address these changes (we know this because it was public policy that put us in this place). Here is a good survey article that clearly explains some of these changes and solutions, and the work of some of the researchers who are studying this problem. The point of understanding these policy changes is to understand that the rise and fall of social mobility in the US has never really been about attitude, but rather about public policy. That is what people in this thread mean when they say they can't change things by changing their attitude. It might be good for your mental health to cultivate an attitude of optimism or acceptance, to be grateful for what you have etc.., but it is not going to change the actual situation on the ground. Public policy matters. It has a real effect on people's lives. 

 

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The last paragraph:  This is where I think individual mentorship can really make a difference.  I don't mean mentorship just in high school - that's too late.  I mean individual one-on-one mentorship from Kindy onward.  Even though I did OK on my own, I know it would have benefitted me if I had had a mentor; I would have made wiser choices.  I don't think the mass-produced, easy-to-implement solutions that use mass emails, online classes or online guidance are worth much; I think it takes person-to-person, boots-on-the-ground, face-to-face  mentorship to make this work.  But then you would have a contingent of people whining that they are being patronized, so I think that discourages investment in this also.

I agree that not many do it, but with the thought of providing some incentive for those who can do it, I posted this NYT article last month which shows data regarding income levels and college degrees.  Those who start off in the lowest income levels and make it into and through college often end up moving up at least two quintiles in economic status.  From this thread, I suspect the majority come from the "parents want better for their kids" rather than "parents are jealous of their kids" group:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/upshot/some-colleges-have-more-students-from-the-top-1-percent-than-the-bottom-60.html?_r=0

 

A reader shouldn't get hung up in the top half of that article, although it can fit with the idea of lack of fairness.  Instead, look farther below at quotes (with data proving them) like this:

 

"Even though they face challenges that other students do not, lower-income students end up earning almost as much on average as affluent students who attend the same college."

 

"An affluent student who attends one of 12 “Ivy plus†universities (the Ivy League colleges, DukeM.I.T.Stanford and the University of Chicago) ends up around the 80th percentile of the income distribution on average. A lower-income student who attends one of those colleges ends up around the 75th percentile. Lower-income students who attend less elite colleges also have outcomes similar to others from the same college."

 

And of course, we all know the obvious, stated here:

 

"By contrast, the steeper gray line shows outcomes for the entire American population. Most students who grow up poor remain poor as adults, and most students who grow up affluent remain affluent."

 

There are ways out of poverty for capable kids, but one has to actually get there preferably with support.  Then we also need to fix policy to see that those who aren't capable of college level work/jobs also can earn a decent living.  The first is a path through the woods now for those who can find it and walk it.  The second... some of us are trying, but I wouldn't hold out hope of that happening anytime soon.

 

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Yes, this is true.  I was reading about this not long ago, and although I can't remember where I read it, the article noted that the potential of immigrants coming here varied tremendously from the area they came from.  IOW, some came from countries where were already well-equipped, and some did not.  I assume it's a mix, but regardless of resources, it still takes brass balls to pull off, and brass balls stay brass for a long time.

Further, most immigrants coming here are already self selected. They're not exactly handing visas like candy in most places. Even the green card lottery has a minimum high school graduation requirement. Immigrants may be "poor" financially (though again that's a relative term) but they may have had a strong family culture of education or whatever.
And not all immigrants reach peaks of society. In fact few do. Many continue working the jobs they did when they first came.

 

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Really?  You don't think that many govt programs are not being run efficiently?  You don't think that plenty of money being wasted?

 

OK....

 

ETA:  last thing and then I am out of this thread bc obviously my opinion is quite unpopular.  If you want to pay more in taxes - that's fine, but don't you think other people should be given the choice?  This entire thread about people not having choices, but does it only matter when it comes to people with less income?

 

In any case, that's a completely rhetorical question.  

 

I think more good is done than waste.  Nothing will ever be completely efficient.

 

And no, I don't think people should be allowed to have millions of dollars while others go without health care (or other necessities).

 

Wealth is so much more dictated by birth lottery and connections than anything else.  Just because someone drew a good number doesn't mean they should be allowed to be completely selfish if they choose to do so.  No one is taking away their wealth (as was pointed out many times before).  It is merely taxing excess income.  They'll still have more toys and a better financial life overall if you're worried about that.

 

Think about it.  

 

Person A earns 50K per year and theoretically pays no taxes - for ease of calculations.

 

Person B earns 2 million per year and would have the first 50K free of taxes just as Person A does, then for ease of calculations will be taxed at 30% on the next 950K and 75% of the second million.  This leaves them $965,000 - all for one year.  Exactly who is struggling financially?  And who can afford more toys?

 

Why does Person B need so much more?  Full pay college and pricey houses can pretty easily come out of that income if I were doing the budgeting.

 

Of course there are oodles of people between that 50K and 2 million (and outside of that range), but the numbers still work out that those who earn more, make more - esp since the first part of their earnings are taxed the same.  Most people don't realize that.

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OMG, I see this in my family, particularly with a few specific people.  It's a real thing.

i think statistics can be useful, but just like in the thread about perceived risk, they don't tell the whole story. For example, statistically, people without a high school diploma have high rates of unemployment. The question though is, how much of that unemployment because they can't find jobs, and how much is because the same choice that the person has made that kept them from finishing school are the ones that keep them from getting/keeping a job? How much does not showing up fro class to smoke weed translate to not showing up for interviews to smoke weed.

To be clear, I am not in any way suggesting that all people who do not have a high school diploma are lazy and sit around smoking weed all day. All I am actually saying is that they aren't all completely at the whim of circumstances completely out of their control either. I think that, again, just like nearly everything in life, it's really somewhere in the middle and statistics really aren't going to show that.

 

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None of us can fix this all by ourselves.

 

Yes, indeed, there are techies (many of them!) around here who work 80 hour weeks.  They have a tiger by the tail.  They have wonderful perks, many of them, and high pay.  But they have no life to speak of, and their children don't really know them.  I imagine this is true of executives as well, particularly those who must be on the road a lot.  They are privileged but imprisoned.  Their choices are basically all in or completely out. 

 

I live on a street where cute, older little 2-3 bedroom homes are being torn down to build McMansions.  The people who buy those do not talk to anyone else, by and large.  They won't say 'hi' BACK if greeted.  The neighborhood feel of the area is dwindling.  Two years ago one them backed into the car of another and ruined it, and laughed and sped off.  If not for my DH happening to see this happen, the owner of the ruined car would not have known who did it.  He decided to move away because the area had become so toxic.  Toxic, entitled, working all the darned time, up and coming wealth is hard on people and hard on communities.  These people are incredibly privileged but it's all a high wire act--one misstep and they are toast, with no back up plan.

 

And yes, there are working poor people who work 80 hour weeks by piecing together several jobs.  The janitor at my office is one of those.  He does a little construction work, he has his own small business cleaning offices, and he works for another office cleaning business as well.  His wife pitches in, they bring their kids (who sit on the inside stairs and play video games while their parents work), and they work extremely hard.  They have no margin in their life.  He speaks almost no English.  Her brother died of cancer last year, and there was a Go Fund Me for funeral expenses.  His mother was flooded out of her apartment when the Coyote River flooded earlier this year.  She moved in with them, into their crowded place.  I lucked into a donated bed for her but she didn't have much else.  It's not clear whether their landlord knows she lives there now, and they could get evicted for bringing her in if he doesn't agree.  They are not privileged at all.  One misstep and they are homeless.

 

I do not equate these two, but there are elements that are similar.  There is no real safety net in this country.  Worse, there is a basic assumption that if you work like a dog to the detriment of your health, your family, and your community, that's normal and good and right.  There is no sense of appropriate proportion in what people are expected to do and be.  No expectation of balance in life.  No real prioritization of unpaid but crucial family and community building work.  We have lost our way. 

 

As homeschoolers, we have chosen other values, and maybe even insulated ourselves a bit from how pervasive these rather odd values are.  It's good to think about this once in a while. 

 

 

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I usually avoid threads like this - if I want to get in the middle of an argument I can listen to my kids :-) - but I think the point about mentoring is both important and HARD. I've been helping out at a local ministry that has an afterschool program. I've gone for about 1.5 hrs every Wed during the school year for 2 years. Ostensibly, I'm there to help the kids from a particular charter school with their homework and then read and chat while they have a snack. Some weeks are good - I lay in the floor with a kid and work on a reading list, or get a kid to use popsicle sticks to figure out math. More often, though, I'm wrestling items away from somebody to get them back to their owner, picking up kids who have climbed on a table and refuse to get down, taking away shoes, belts, or jackets that students are using to hit other kids with, or trying to get kids to quit running around the room, climbing under the table, or sitting on the bookcase and sit down to do the 15 minutes of work. If I read, many don't have the attention span to get through a picture book. I tried for several months to teach them to take turns so that they could play Uno, but most couldn't.

 

I love these kids and plan to continue with them, but there are so.many.obstacles. Some of the kids are super smart and a few are well behaved, but they need help in so many ways...and these are the kids whose parents signed them up for an after school program and a charter school. It is so frustrating to know that, while these kids are physically taken care of - subsidized housing, food programs, food provided at school and snacks provided after school, there is no program that can give them the intangibles - be polite and don't yell, keep your hands to yourself, take turns, just because somebody else isn't holding it doesn't make it yours... These things have to be taught almost one-on-one, and if you've never encountered the behaviors, it's hard to know where to start. And honestly, I can imagine a lot of the older ladies (retired teachers) who make up so much of the volunteer force being afraid of being knocked down - my little buddies are aggressive.

 

And after 2 years, I really can't tell if it's made any difference at all. I think it's important, and I hope that some of these kids can escape the dysfunction - they're certainly smart enough - but it feels like an exercise in banging your head against a wall. That's what is so hard about these discussions. There is poor with problems that can be solved with money (my dad grew up like that - it got a little better each generation) and then there is poor with a dysfunctional culture. I think the problems and solutions are different for each group, which is why these discussions often feel like people talking past each other. And now I will run back over to the education forum, where I can chat about something much more in my comfort zone, like science scheduling. :-)

 

The last paragraph: This is where I think individual mentorship can really make a difference. I don't mean mentorship just in high school - that's too late. I mean individual one-on-one mentorship from Kindy onward. Even though I did OK on my own, I know it would have benefitted me if I had had a mentor; I would have made wiser choices. I don't think the mass-produced, easy-to-implement solutions that use mass emails, online classes or online guidance are worth much; I think it takes person-to-person, boots-on-the-ground, face-to-face mentorship to make this work. But then you would have a contingent of people whining that they are being patronized, so I think that discourages investment in this also.

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I usually avoid threads like this - if I want to get in the middle of an argument I can listen to my kids :-) - but I think the point about mentoring is both important and HARD. I've been helping out at a local ministry that has an afterschool program. I've gone for about 1.5 hrs every Wed during the school year for 2 years. Ostensibly, I'm there to help the kids from a particular charter school with their homework and then read and chat while they have a snack. Some weeks are good - I lay in the floor with a kid and work on a reading list, or get a kid to use popsicle sticks to figure out math. More often, though, I'm wrestling items away from somebody to get them back to their owner, picking up kids who have climbed on a table and refuse to get down, taking away shoes, belts, or jackets that students are using to hit other kids with, or trying to get kids to quit running around the room, climbing under the table, or sitting on the bookcase and sit down to do the 15 minutes of work. If I read, many don't have the attention span to get through a picture book. I tried for several months to teach them to take turns so that they could play Uno, but most couldn't.

 

I love these kids and plan to continue with them, but there are so.many.obstacles. Some of the kids are super smart and a few are well behaved, but they need help in so many ways...and these are the kids whose parents signed them up for an after school program and a charter school. It is so frustrating to know that, while these kids are physically taken care of - subsidized housing, food programs, food provided at school and snacks provided after school, there is no program that can give them the intangibles - be polite and don't yell, keep your hands to yourself, take turns, just because somebody else isn't holding it doesn't make it yours... These things have to be taught almost one-on-one, and if you've never encountered the behaviors, it's hard to know where to start. And honestly, I can imagine a lot of the older ladies (retired teachers) who make up so much of the volunteer force being afraid of being knocked down - my little buddies are aggressive.

 

And after 2 years, I really can't tell if it's made any difference at all. I think it's important, and I hope that some of these kids can escape the dysfunction - they're certainly smart enough - but it feels like an exercise in banging your head against a wall. That's what is so hard about these discussions. There is poor with problems that can be solved with money (my dad grew up like that - it got a little better each generation) and then there is poor with a dysfunctional culture. I think the problems and solutions are different for each group, which is why these discussions often feel like people talking past each other. And now I will run back over to the education forum, where I can chat about something much more in my comfort zone, like science scheduling. :-)

 

 

I don't know where the children are that you are mentoring, but this entire post makes me think of all the invisible burdens of poverty that we are all ignoring to our collective detriment. I once read that almost 60% of the children in Detroit public schools had some degree of lead poisoning. I guess we can add Flint to that list now. And these communities are just the tip of the iceberg. It's hard to expect good behavior and learning from kids that have literally been poisoned. The damage these kids have suffered will stay with them as they grow into adults. For the life of me I cannot see why wealthy folks are so averse to paying more in taxes. The wealthy will still be wealthy, but the benefits of a clean environment, healthy infrastructure, high quality education (and yes, it does take more money and resources to deal with these issues) redound to everyone.

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Based on where we are, I wouldn't expect problems with lead paint (the housing isn't that old) or water, but I have wondered about the cumulative effects of junk food. That being said, some of them are really picky about eating, so trying to fix potential food-related problems could be another exercise in banging your head against a wall. I'm usually wildly optimistic, but working with these kids has convinced me that much of the low-hanging fruit issues have already been dealt with - it's easy to provide $ for food and housing - but the things that are left will required folks to dig in to help.

 

I don't know where the children are that you are mentoring, but this entire post makes me think of all the invisible burdens of poverty that we are all ignoring to our collective detriment. I once read that almost 60% of the children in Detroit public schools had some degree of lead poisoning. I guess we can add Flint to that list now. And these communities are just the tip of the iceberg. It's hard to expect good behavior and learning from kids that have literally been poisoned. The damage these kids have suffered will stay with them as they grow into adults. For the life of me I cannot see why wealthy folks are so averse to paying more in taxes. The wealthy will still be wealthy, but the benefits of a clean environment, healthy infrastructure, high quality education (and yes, it does take more money and resources to deal with these issues) redound to everyone.

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I think more good is done than waste.  Nothing will ever be completely efficient.

 

And no, I don't think people should be allowed to have millions of dollars while others go without health care (or other necessities).

 

Wealth is so much more dictated by birth lottery and connections than anything else.  Just because someone drew a good number doesn't mean they should be allowed to be completely selfish if they choose to do so.  No one is taking away their wealth (as was pointed out many times before).  It is merely taxing excess income.  They'll still have more toys and a better financial life overall if you're worried about that.

 

Think about it.  

 

Person A earns 50K per year and theoretically pays no taxes - for ease of calculations.

 

Person B earns 2 million per year and would have the first 50K free of taxes just as Person A does, then for ease of calculations will be taxed at 30% on the next 950K and 75% of the second million.  This leaves them $965,000 - all for one year.  Exactly who is struggling financially?  And who can afford more toys?

 

Why does Person B need so much more?  Full pay college and pricey houses can pretty easily come out of that income if I were doing the budgeting.

 

Of course there are oodles of people between that 50K and 2 million (and outside of that range), but the numbers still work out that those who earn more, make more - esp since the first part of their earnings are taxed the same.  Most people don't realize that.

 

See, I am, with every fiber of my soul, against this idea. 

 

May be it's just me.  May be it's bc of where I grew up and saw first hand how "taking from the rich and giving it to the poor" doesn't work.  I don't know.

 

But I don't think it's up to me at all to decide what people should be doing with their money or how much they need, regardless of how they got that money.  It's a very slippery slope.  

 

And then there is a simple fact that we do have many many social programs that are used by and for poor people.  And yet, everyone keeps saying how things are worse. 

 

Do you really think that majority of poverty problems can be solved by higher taxation?  I really don't. 

 

I don't know if you saw my earlier post, but W-2 earners with good jobs are usually hit the hardest with any tax increases.  The truly wealthy are hardly ever effected. 

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It a person is capable, they could join the military. The GI bill from my husband will be funding two years of my sons's school. My other son won an ROTC full ride Air Force scholarship, and will be entering as an officer at graduation. There are some opportunities to change your stars.

 

I have 3 cousins that went this route.  It worked well for the first one.  He got in, did his time and got out.  The second one has injuries that will prevent him from attending college.  The third one is struggling to not commit suicide.

 

I wouldn't call that a great success rate. 

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See, I am, with every fiber of my soul, against this idea. 

 

May be it's just me.  May be it's bc of where I grew up and saw first hand how "taking from the rich and giving it to the poor" doesn't work.  I don't know.

 

But I don't think it's up to me at all to decide what people should be doing with their money or how much they need, regardless of how they got that money.  It's a very slippery slope.  

 

And then there is a simple fact that we do have many many social programs that are used by and for poor people.  And yet, everyone keeps saying how things are worse. 

 

Do you really think that majority of poverty problems can be solved by higher taxation?  I really don't. 

 

I don't know if you saw my earlier post, but W-2 earners with good jobs are usually hit the hardest with any tax increases.  The truly wealthy are hardly ever effected. 

 

Having heard multiple stories from my grandparents, things most definitely aren't worse now post safety net intervention, but there is more that could be done - esp with health care.

 

And no, I don't think we'll eliminate poverty (ever), but I want to see to it that no one has to worry about getting basic health care or eating or an education - the necessities.  I don't think having those things should only go to the wealthy, esp knowing how much wealth depends upon the birth lottery or connections.  The same person who makes that 2 million could have drawn a different number and been born with autism or get cancer young or oodles of other things and they are no less worthy of a decent (albeit not wealthy) life.

 

Delving more deeply into how "I" would do taxation... deductions would be removed (thereby making rates lower, but income from taxes adequate and IMO more fair).  Everyone would have a certain amount tax free (as in my 50K example).  Then it would be progressive with stages and rates figured out by calculations of what is needed.

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I have 3 cousins that went this route.  It worked well for the first one.  He got in, did his time and got out.  The second one has injuries that will prevent him from attending college.  The third one is struggling to not commit suicide.

 

I wouldn't call that a great success rate. 

 

Compared to what?  A family I know where none of the kids went to college or joined the military and one has since OD's (to death) on heroin, two others struggle with it working on and off as they can stay employed, and one is (so far) doing ok working at a local food factory?

 

I've often wondered if life would have improved for them if they had joined the military instead.  One never knows.

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If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

:snip:

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

Why do you assume that just because I'm a SAHM who also homeschools that the work I do has no value? Or that my husband just works 40 hours?

 

My dh is an LEO who very rarely works *just* 40 hours because he also has a second job that depending on the week is 20+ hours. And that doesn't include all the times he doesn't come home on time either because he gets mandated to work another four hours or because he signs up to work another 4 hours on his work day or comes in on his "off" days to work some more. Or the days you get a late complaint or deal with a drunk driver, or a domestic issue and then next thing you know, it's been another four hours past your shift end time. Sometimes he works until 3 am, goes to bed for three or four hours, gets up and goes to work some more.

 

And me? Honey, I ain't sitting on my butt all day doing nothing because if it's related to the kids or the house or anything not work related? Yup, that's me. You know why I don't volunteer? In the younger years, who would watch my kids? Now that they're older whose got time for that? The work goes up for me as they get older and have to get places. It's a good thing I rock a mean spreadsheet because keeping this all on track and stretching our money to cover needs plus some portion of wants requires some talent and planning.

 

And maybe it would be better if I went back to work? We toss that ball around off and on. The thing is, he can afford to be a good employee because I'm home with the kids. We never have to scramble to try and cover childcare because he got called in early or mandated to stay late. He can volunteer for extra shifts and be always available to his employer because I've got the kids and family life covered. He doesn't have to use his sick days to take care of sick kids because, again, I have it covered. And if I went back to work? What happens when he can't pick up the slack? Who takes care of the kids then? Will my employer be understanding when I have to take off work because dh can't just leave in the middle of a call?

 

And I've been out of the workforce for more than a decade so even if I want to go back to work can I make enough to replace what he makes at his second job? Without going back to school? And should I go back to school when we really need to be saving to send the kids to college? How likely is it that an employer wants to pick the 35+ year old woman when they can hire someone younger? Will that risk in investing in yet more education for me (so I can get a second bachelors) pay off? And if it doesn't, can we recover and not negatively impact the kids' future?

 

And always in the back of my mind I worry - what if he gets shot? What if he's killed? What if his squad car gets in an accident and he's seriously injured? Then what? With all do respect to Mr. Banker and Ms. Charity lady, I imagine in their 80 hour work weeks ever once take any of those things into consideration.

 

Seriously, you either live in some alternate world separate from the reality of the 2017 I live in, or you wear blinders based on your assumptions. I may not get a paycheck and dh and I may not be rich, but no one here's sitting around on their as*es all day, working m-f 9-5 and expecting subsidies because they're too "lazy" to work. As if 40 hours a week isn't "enough." FFS

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OK, whoever was asking about article on US spending more on social welfare than other countries, I *think* this was the article I read before...

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/09/how-the-u-s-spends-more-helping-its-citizens-than-other-rich-countries-but-gets-way-less/?utm_term=.a147a79cf19b

 

And this is another one, but it's from conservative source, so I am not sure if people will take it seriously

 

http://dailysignal.com/2015/09/19/us-spends-far-more-on-social-welfare-than-most-european-nations/

 

There were other articles as well, I think Forbes did a story on it too.

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I think more good is done than waste. Nothing will ever be completely efficient.

 

And no, I don't think people should be allowed to have millions of dollars while others go without health care (or other necessities).

 

Wealth is so much more dictated by birth lottery and connections than anything else. Just because someone drew a good number doesn't mean they should be allowed to be completely selfish if they choose to do so. No one is taking away their wealth (as was pointed out many times before). It is merely taxing excess income. They'll still have more toys and a better financial life overall if you're worried about that.

 

Think about it.

 

Person A earns 50K per year and theoretically pays no taxes - for ease of calculations.

 

Person B earns 2 million per year and would have the first 50K free of taxes just as Person A does, then for ease of calculations will be taxed at 30% on the next 950K and 75% of the second million. This leaves them $965,000 - all for one year. Exactly who is struggling financially? And who can afford more toys?

 

Why does Person B need so much more? Full pay college and pricey houses can pretty easily come out of that income if I were doing the budgeting.

 

Of course there are oodles of people between that 50K and 2 million (and outside of that range), but the numbers still work out that those who earn more, make more - esp since the first part of their earnings are taxed the same. Most people don't realize that.

"Excess income" and "should be allowed to have"

 

That's alarming. According to whom? In other countries those questions get answered by crazy people at worst or at best at the slight of other demographics. I want to keep what our family makes as much as possible to do what we want with it....which incidentally IS giving it away to starving kids in other nations, to give them education and hygiene products/lessons. We are living with less than we could so others can have more. It's a rub when people want to dictate what we do with money.

 

When you take something, in this case, money, from people who are unwilling to give it, all you do is force people into compliance with your fake rule. Is that okay? As it turns out, Americans may be some of the most generous and monetarily helpful people in the world with the billions of dollars private citizens give to charity. If you want others with less to have more, then set up successful programs that work and can take funding from donors giving willingly.

 

Right now all the existing programs have so much red tape and troubles....there's waste, misuse, illegal activity, etc.. but people want to keep feeding that broken system. It's dumping money into pits and burying it. I don't want to be part of that any more than I have to.

 

BUT if you can craft programs that DO work at local, boots on the ground, levels and not some D.C. Based bureau-lith which is out of touch with people, then I'd back that happily.

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Having heard multiple stories from my grandparents, things most definitely aren't worse now post safety net intervention, but there is more that could be done - esp with health care.

 

And no, I don't think we'll eliminate poverty (ever), but I want to see to it that no one has to worry about getting basic health care or eating or an education - the necessities.  I don't think having those things should only go to the wealthy, esp knowing how much wealth depends upon the birth lottery or connections.  The same person who makes that 2 million could have drawn a different number and been born with autism or get cancer young or oodles of other things and they are no less worthy of a decent (albeit not wealthy) life.

 

Delving more deeply into how "I" would do taxation... deductions would be removed (thereby making rates lower, but income from taxes adequate and IMO more fair).  Everyone would have a certain amount tax free (as in my 50K example).  Then it would be progressive with stages and rates figured out by calculations of what is needed.

 

That would be great, and I've never met a person who said otherwise.

 

But here where it gets tricky.  All those things are highly subjective and debatable.  You can do a poll any number of people and I would be surprised if any of them agree on what constitutes "basic health care" or necessities.  And once again we already have that in place.  We have medicaid and food stamps and food banks and housing assistance and financial aid.  Paid by those "wealthy" everyone wants to keep taxing.

 

And it has NOTHING to do with anyone being less worthy!  It's simply has to do with not forcing people to give up their money.

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Why do you assume that just because I'm a SAHM who also homeschools that the work I do has no value? Or that my husband just works 40 hours?

 

My dh is an LEO who very rarely works *just* 40 hours because he also has a second job that depending on the week is 20+ hours. And that doesn't include all the times he doesn't come home on time either because he gets mandated to work another four hours or because he signs up to work another 4 hours on his work day or comes in on his "off" days to work some more. Or the days you get a late complaint or deal with a drunk driver, or a domestic issue and then next thing you know, it's been another four hours past your shift end time. Sometimes he works until 3 am, goes to bed for three or four hours, gets up and goes to work some more.

 

And me? Honey, I ain't sitting on my butt all day doing nothing because if it's related to the kids or the house or anything not work related? Yup, that's me. You know why I don't volunteer? In the younger years, who would watch my kids? Now that they're older whose got time for that? The work goes up for me as they get older and have to get places. It's a good thing I rock a mean spreadsheet because keeping this all on track and stretching our money to cover needs plus some portion of wants requires some talent and planning.

 

And maybe it would be better if I went back to work? We toss that ball around off and on. The thing is, he can afford to be a good employee because I'm home with the kids. We never have to scramble to try and cover childcare because he got called in early or mandated to stay late. He can volunteer for extra shifts and be always available to his employer because I've got the kids and family life covered. He doesn't have to use his sick days to take care of sick kids because, again, I have it covered. And if I went back to work? What happens when he can't pick up the slack? Who takes care of the kids then? Will my employer be understanding when I have to take off work because dh can't just leave in the middle of a call?

 

And I've been out of the workforce for more than a decade so even if I want to go back to work can I make enough to replace what he makes at his second job? Without going back to school? And should I go back to school when we really need to be saving to send the kids to college? How likely is it that an employer wants to pick the 35+ year old woman when they can hire someone younger? Will that risk in investing in yet more education for me (so I can get a second bachelors) pay off? And if it doesn't, can we recover and not negatively impact the kids' future?

 

And always in the back of my mind I worry - what if he gets shot? What if he's killed? What if his squad car gets in an accident and he's seriously injured? Then what? With all do respect to Mr. Banker and Ms. Charity lady, I imagine in their 80 hour work weeks ever once take any of those things into consideration.

 

Seriously, you either live in some alternate world separate from the reality of the 2017 I live in, or you wear blinders based on your assumptions. I may not get a paycheck and dh and I may not be rich, but no one here's sitting around on their as*es all day, working m-f 9-5 and expecting subsidies because they're too "lazy" to work. As if 40 hours a week isn't "enough." FFS

Your last sentence is my point too. I don't care if some people choose to work 80 hours a week to have the most of everything, but people who want to work reasonable hours shouldn't have to live in abject poverty.

 

And sure we live in a fallen world, full of imperfect people and no government has figured out how to fix this problem. I completely believe this problem is beyond the abilities of humans to fix. In the meantime, I can offer acknowledgment of the disparity without suggesting or encouraging anyone to give up on doing their best.

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It truly is, in so many ways, more expensive to be poor. I see and point examples out to my kids all the time.

 

Yesterday my dd had to get braces. My financing options were to pay in full and get 5% discount, pay a down payment and spread interest free financing in office over 14 months or third party financing (obviously with interest) spread out over up to 60 months.

 

I immediately opted for the in house payment plan. Dh has an HSA plan through work that we put the max in so we have a bit of a surplus plus we can take the monthly payments out of that.

 

So we will absorb the hit of braces ok and pay for them with pre-tax dollars. Ten years ago we would have had to do the outside financing. So our pre-tax, interest free braces are going to cost us less precisely because we can better afford them. We've worked hard and saved and I am glad we can handle it. I do think it has been earned...but we don't deserve cheaper braces.

 

I have never been called a liberal but it drives me nuts that people won't acknowledge the whole "rich get richer." Being poor is expensive in many many ways.

The more progressive the tax structure, the more of a wedge that is placed between the person paying pre-tax and post-tax dollars for braces.  This is support for greatly simplifying our tax code.   

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For the sake of this discussion, suppose taxes were levied based on how much free time one had. Those who did not work were taxed the highest, followed by part-timers, then full-timers, then those who worked longer hours, and finally the workaholics were taxed the least. After all, they are contributing the most to society's economics. Those not working at all are contributing the least to a solid economic society.

 

Would all of you guys think that was fair? Probably not as you would not have time to chit chat on this board all day. You would have to go get a job, or even do public volunteer work, to avoid high taxes. You would probably be jealous at those who could afford to sit around and chit chat all day.

 

If for one second, we envision a tax rate based on contribution to society rather than the amount of the paycheck, it is easy to see why those who work their butts off are not really interested in equalizing a housewife and her 40 hour a week husband's paycheck. Now the single mom with two full time jobs and a 12 hour college load is a different story. Those people most are happy to subsidize. We awe at their capabilities and endurance. We feel they deserve what they achieve. But, now tell that mom she has to start subsidizing the housewife and her 40 hour a week husband. She may then feel defeated. What really was the point of getting ahead if one is only going to strip it away?

 

I live on a street with upper middle class people. Some people call us rich, but, we are nowhere close. There are 4 physicians on the street. All have working spouses. All work greater than 80 hours a week. There is a banker who travels. He is home 1 or 2 days a week at most. He goes into the local office on those days. We have a retired pilot who heads up some retired servicemen program. He has the most time of all my neighbors. At least I see him walk to the mailbox each day. We have one set of neighbors who are rich and do not have jobs. Both are so busy heading up charity events that they are rarely home. When they are home it is because 20 of their charity worker friends are popping by to discuss the next charity event. Her time off is the minute she gets to pose for her photo in the paper at each event. I bet she puts in easily 80 hours a week and her husband is a close second.

 

I am astounded at how many people on this board, who do not bring in an income, think there should be more economic equity. Personally, I think there should be more get up and go to work and school equity. When I was poor, I knew a lot of people with 40 hour a week jobs and some with another part time one on top of that. Now that I am not poor, I know a lot of people who are putting in 80+ hours a week. It is ironic because all the "grandeur" they can buy, doesn't really get enjoyed. But, why on earth does anyone think he deserves part of their hard labor, when he hasn't worked nearly as hard?

 

Why is it that people assume rich people do not work? Now I do not hang with the likes of the Kardashians. Maybe people like that do not work. But, I highly doubt it. I would guess they mostly work hard, too.

 

I too am wondering why people assume high income means easy work hours.  Maybe on average it tends that way, but there are many financially successful people who practically work in their sleep.  I know people who make themselves available literally 24/7 (actually I have been one and often am one, but not all year long nowadays).  Details aside, being that busy and hands-on in the business is the reason many people get successful in the first place.  And the other reason is that their motivation is usually altruistic, believe it or not.  "Spare time" is spent on volunteer work to the point of exhaustion.  Much cash is donated to good causes.  It's not what people see, and not what they want to imagine, but it is happening behind many doors.

 

Saying this does NOT mean we think low-income people don't work hard.  Some do, some don't, just like every other group.  My house cleaner just called today begging us to let her come biweekly instead of monthly, because one of her long-time clients died and she needs the money.  FTR we pay $40/hr for 2 cleaners, which I think is reasonable for the work.  We agreed - even though frankly she is not very reliable or punctual and she's caused us some headaches and I don't need or want that much cleaning - because we are not heartless.  Others will be all "well! it must be nice to have biweekly house cleaners, i.e. you must be so spoiled and selfish and you're gaining comfort off the backs of poor people."  Whatever.

Edited by SKL
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