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Wealth & Economics > Economic segregation

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments That's just life, as we know it - you have dough you send your kids to a private school, afterwards to a uni or a better one, live in a better neighborhood, go to a club rather than hang out, fly first class, etc..
Yeah, there is an upward and downward mobility and all, but some stats show that the share of those actually climbing is constantly on decline.
An army once could be a melting pot, but where it turned professional - not any more.
In fact large groups of population may occasionally encounter each other, but know little about the others and basically live in parallel worlds.
Now, when it comes to politics - the majority of voters and most of the electees come from a different segment, so it's hard to tell how well the latter can represent or even care about the former.
Different segments may stick to stigmas and stereotypes, often hostile, towards each other. It's also an excellent and ever relevant trope of poor meeting/marrying rich and vice versa in lit -:)
Needless to say that the 'bonding' between different economic layers may not be the best, however one may ask what bonding is needed for really?
Watching a few episode of a local version of an Undercover Boss https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underco..., a boss working undercover for a week in the lowest position in his/her own firm, usually turned out to be very fruitful for both the boss and his/her subordinates, he/she came in contact with while working undercover.
A lot of effort was made into combating gender and racial segregation, however economic is accepted for granted.
Should it be so or should the issue be addressed somehow? What do you think?


message 2: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I have concerns that in many countries, the gap between privileged and under privileged is widening. Having said that, I'm not certain how it can be addressed, except at the highest levels of government.

And of course, many at those levels are relatively privileged, and have no or little concept of what it might be like at the other end of the spectrum, struggling to get by on the basics.

Education is probably the key, but again, this is a really tricky issue. I read an article today, commenting that approximately 20% of current year nine students (15 years of age) cannot write to an acceptable level. This is in NSW, where I live. Speaking to many school teachers, leaves me wondering how on earth we can change this. Without adequate literacy, a person is limited in their upward mobility.

Teachers tell me that they spend more and more time on externals - manners, behaviour, multiple new bits of curriculum, more and more assessment and reporting that their actual teaching time for what most of us would consider the basics is reducing.


message 3: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan The obvious attempt at 'fixing,' economic segregation is communism, which has an atrocious record of failure and mass murder.

Throughout human history, societies have stratified on economic and political power (however those things may be instantiated), I personally see no solution to economic and power inequalities as they seem to be deeply rooted in human nature (or the human condition if you like).


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Graeme wrote: "The obvious attempt at 'fixing,' economic segregation is communism, which has an atrocious record of failure and mass murder...."

Why, maybe a students' exchange between Harlem and Manhattan for bonding and a bit of an extreme would alleviate the societal division? -:)


message 5: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan There's a whole range of things that can improve social integration, but the deeper divisions based on effective access to the fruits of the economy or real power that would make a difference in a major way seem intractable to me.

I'm open to suggestions, but part of the problem, and perhaps the most important part of the problem is the acquiescence of those who are low in the hierarchy to the hierarchy itself, even going to the point of dying in its defense.

I think that for the vast majority of humanity, if you have three hots and a cot, why would you put your life at risk to bring about meaningful change?


message 6: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin One big problem is that the resources available are finite. It is simply impossible to be all rich (or well to do) because the pie size is pretty constant. You may cut it whatever way you want, the size of the pie will basically not change.

The problem of low/poor education is another problem. About the low writing skills, I strongly suspect that all this tweeting and texting, with its abbreviations and incomplete sentences, has a lot to do with that. A politically correct school curriculum, aimed at adding fun activities at the expense of basic learning, is also a big part of the problem. Can you really expect/demand to rise in your job hierarchy if you are not competent enough for the job?

As Graeme said, communism is a solution, in theory, but history has shown it to be a deeply flawed system that sacrificed human rights and lives to attain (supposedly) its goals. So, it isn't a viable or acceptable solution.

Last, let's face the reality: not everyone is truly capable, competent or efficient enough to realistically hope to rise to top or even median level positions and earn the corresponding salaries. There are plenty of persons that deserve the descriptives 'moron', 'lazy', 'stupid' or 'incompetent' who will never be able to fill a higher level position. Some of those compensate their lacks of skills and competence by using violence (thieves and other criminals), or get to where they are thanks to some gift or help they got (inheritance, luck) and end up well above what should be their legitimate pay grade (hum, one name comes to mind).

Total equality in a society has never existed in the whole history of the Humanity and I don't expect to see that happen in the foreseable future.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Solving and addressing are two different animals. One probably can't solve inequality while maintaining private property. And even if one can, not sure a toll is justified. However, we can bridge between the layers of society, which in its turn causes a greater level of cooperation and societal cohesion. People are emotional. It's much easier to not care about or hate someone abstract, while much harder to act indifferently towards someone he/she met. If there were only public schools, for example, so that students of different origin have to interact and grow up together, would it be beneficial? Or, if a wannabe politician had to spend a week among each layer of his geographic area?


message 8: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Keeping only public schools, so that the various classes of society could mingle and learn about each other, could be a good thing, as long as the curriculum is not 'dumbed down' to accommodate the students with the lesser skills or intelligence.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments When I was young, New Zealand was surprisingly "equal". Of course it was not equal, but there were few living in an exclusive stratum. In part this was done by a rather significant upper level tax grading, in fact the lower levels did not pay income tax at all, but did pay a "social security" tax, from which free health, education, etc was funded. Education was such that you had to reach a certain standard in classes to advance to the net level, and the stigma of failing was such that just about all children made some effort, with the result that while some would never be extremely literate, most could read tolerably well.

A second feature was that there was a strong "do it yourself" culture. As an example, my father effectively built his own house, providing all the labour, and paying a builder to show him how to do it, and the builder doing the trickier parts. Things requiring a lot of labour ended up with he and a number of friends descending on the place on a Saturday and working for nothing more than a good supply of beer at the end, and the promise they would return the favour. That meant that many people who had better paying jobs still joined in this sort of exercise, and so there was a sort of social mixing.

So what changed? First, in education, it was felt that it was "unfair" to hold children back, and it was unfair to stream classes - it made things socially "wrong". The net result is the lazier students did not even learn to read, and classes got more focused on the bottom end. Taxes got lowered at the top, and the sort of group working ended. Where before everybody worked as a group to get each other's personal problems solved, now there is no such social mixing. Now neighbourhoods do not really know each other, and they don't care that they don't, and up to a point I suppose I am as bad as anyone at this because I have new neighbours, and while I have made an effort with one or two of them, and got no real interest in persisting, I also give up on them. In part I guess I am getting too old to be bothered, but it is all a bit of a shame.


message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments Is it socialism to tax the rich at a high percentage rate in order to compensate for those who have low incomes? Or is it only fair to tax the rich at a high percentage rate because they've benefited mightily from living in a capitalist economy?


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments In economics, fair is a matter of opinion. The rich dude thinks a higher rate of tax is unfair - he thinks what he actually gets is easily paid for by a much lower rate of tax, especially if those at the bottom only get the benefits they pay for. Then, the rich dude probably will never admit it, but he has got rich by either paying very poor wages, of by tithing something else. There have been recent examples here of high-flying CEOs getting huge salaries, even AFTER losing huge amounts of money. One almost bankrupted his construction company - in a building boom! Why is it fair he gets such a lot?


message 12: by Graeme (last edited Aug 28, 2018 09:49PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Scout wrote: "Is it socialism to tax the rich at a high percentage rate in order to compensate for those who have low incomes? Or is it only fair to tax the rich at a high percentage rate because they've benefit..."

Hi Scout, a progressive taxation system is one of the planks of the communist manifesto, from wiki,
among them a progressive income tax; abolition of inheritances and private property; abolition of child labour; free public education; nationalisation of the means of transport and communication; centralisation of credit via a national bank; expansion of publicly owned etc.—the implementation of which would result in the precursor to a stateless and classless society.
REF: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Com...


message 13: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments Oh, heck no. But why shouldn't rich business people who have benefited from our capitalist society and who probably have offshore accounts that avoid taxes pay a higher percentage of taxes?
Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, among others, agree that they should be taxed more.


message 14: by Nik (last edited Aug 29, 2018 02:26AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments I should probably mention that a progressive taxation is a widely adopted system among capitalist countries. The basis for it is the notion of re-distribution function of the state - helping the less successful on account of more successful, thus giving better chances and creating a more cohesive society rather than two camps.
There are also luxury taxes and similar stuff. I guess another assumption is that those who succeed will always have/find loopholes how to 'optimize' their taxation -:)


message 15: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments I think here in the States, economic segregation has become just another way to segregate the races. Since blacks make up a disproportionate rate of those living below the poverty line, it's easy to exclude them from an upscale neighborhood without banning them for their skin color. Those who do well and can afford to live in those neighborhoods, well, that's tolerated since they're more like "us."

Low interest rates have encouraged people to spend more money on their houses than they might have afforded before the crash 10 years ago. And thanks to that crash, a lot of the people who might have taken on risky loans can't get them, so the people buying homes are those with the money. Developers, similarly, are building homes larger and larger, with more amenities, driving up the price and forcing many lower end and first time buyers out of the new neighborhoods. Thrown in an HOA with added fees, and you really limit the income of the people who live there.


message 16: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments And the very rich, regardless of race, who live behind walls with 24/7 security, think it's fine to have open immigration. In other words, they're saying, "Let them eat cake."


message 17: by Nik (last edited Sep 05, 2018 01:07AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Scout wrote: "And the very rich, regardless of race, who live behind walls with 24/7 security, think it's fine to have open immigration. ...."

I know I'm taking it to another direction altogether, but it's really well-noticed that once they made it, it's much easier to be caring, liberal, humane and all. After all having survival and success issues sorted, underneath a tough outer layer, some do have something resembling a heart. That's why it's important to not let the segregation separate nations from within. Those who deal in philanthropic fundraising make lots of dough helping people part with the money and feel almost saint with themselves -:)


message 18: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Nik wrote: "Scout wrote: "And the very rich, regardless of race, who live behind walls with 24/7 security, think it's fine to have open immigration. ...."

I know I'm taking it to another direction altogether,..."


I don't think that's strictly a money thing...Here in the US, it's easy for people to be above racism when they don't have to deal with the issue in their direct lives. Historically speaking, the North was always seen as liberal when it came to slavery, and later, civil rights, but once the blacks fled to the North to escape the Jim Crow South, the racism and segregation sprung up in places like New York and Chicago. MLK tried to set up operations in Chicago, and was driven out and back to the South because of the violence. Not to excuse what went on in the South, because you can't defend bombing a church and killing 4 little girls, for instance. However, it did devolve quickly in the North for the more "open-minded" once the issue fell into their own neighborhood.


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments True, I guess it's hard to dissociate other members of any group from an individual you don't like for some reason, yet I think it's important not to generalize about all judging by one or a few


message 20: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments Yes, Nik. That's what pisses me off about the Hollywood/millionaire types. They throw money at the problem and support liberal ideas while not having to deal with the reality of crime, immigrants, and putting food on the table. They're far removed from reality and should, in my opinion, stay out of the fray. They don't have a dog in the fight - i.e., nothing to lose.


message 21: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments I can understand your feelings. I would say - before spending millions on something abstract - make sure you are 100% fair with your own employees. I'm a bit pissed off (if that's the topic -:)) with those eager to pay millions of dollars salaries to their football/soccer stars, while miners working at their mines barely make the ends meet


message 22: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Professional sportsmen have been enjoying hyper-inflated, scandalous salaries for already way too long, like Hollywood 'superstars'. The sad part is that the lowliest paid people around are often their biggest fans and defenders of their 'worth'. Go figure!


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments I see the professional sportsmen in a slightly different light. They don't set their own income from the pool as do CEOs, but there is a genuine market for them. They get that huge income because as Michel says, it is the lowliest paid all shell out to see them. If they stopped going to matches, those incomes would promptly fall away. Getting a huge income from a fair market is different from a cabal of CEOs paying themselves for no actual performance-related sequence of achievements.


message 24: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments When we look at the very top, cream of the crop, the 2% holding wealth in America, most of them inherited it. At least Bill Gates and people like him created something to earn it.

In the past, which yes, someone can look up, America taxed those higher percentages a lot more than we do now (taking into account inflation). That only changed in the last 75 or so years.

In regards to sports, how long do they have to earn their money and how long does it take for the average well-paid sports person to reach that kind of income? If you add it up and aver it out, is it really excessive compared to other businesses? And is it excessive compared to the toll their bodies suffer? (I don't know.)

What I do know is that the CEO and owners of companies may have spent some time getting an education but most don't come from poor homes and work 40 hours a week while going to college. They don't live on the border of losing their home as they work their way up the ladder (if they didn't inherit it). They don't get paid for their own sweat and toil - they are making their profit off of others and from keeping costs down so that those others perform their jobs with the least amount of benefits and compensation possible.

We all know how WalMart works. Another example, Arizona contracts with several private prison groups including GEO. We paid extra money to GEO so that they could raise their guards salaries by a dollar an hour (they are around $15/hr. and are still paid $3 less than state guards). Yet, GEO made huge profits every year since becoming a private prison operator and its CEO and other executives have million dollar bonuses.


message 25: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Here's something interesting on the income tax in the US:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen...

The 16th Amendment enshrined in the income tax into the Constitution, and it was only passed about a hundred years ago. According to the Wikipedia article, Congress implemented an income tax only twice before, during the Civil War and again in 1894. The Civil War tax was initially a flat 3% tax on income over $800, before it was turned into a graduated tax between 3 and 5% of income over $600. The 1894 tax was a flat 2% on income over $4000.

Prior to the income tax, the US government relied on tariffs and duties to fund its obligations.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments Apparently in 1944 the top rate, over $200,000 was 94%. It took very long time to get below 70%, and recall, the US did not really have the social programs some high-tax European countries have.


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Lizzie wrote: "In the past, which yes, someone can look up, America taxed those higher percentages a lot more than we do now (taking into account inflation). That only changed in the last 75 or so years. .."

Big biz is wonderful in many aspects and can proudly attribute a lot of technological progress and general well-being to itself, however it has distinct inherent drawbacks that are not sufficiently addressed. Cleverly and legally avoiding (or controlling the level of at their discretion) taxation, using loopholes is one of them. The biz went global much faster than the regulators, which lag behind, and allow to shop for lowest taxation, least ecologically sensitive countries and lowest pay and benefits. Also, big biz is very pragmatic and effective at protecting their interests at legislative, regulating and other relevant authorities.
It's a delicate and complicated task to let it flourish on the one hand, while dealing with negative inherent side-effects on the other.


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments I think the delicate complications would evaporate if donations for election campaigns were removed.


message 29: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments I agree.


message 30: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments It's not just the donations, it's the lobbying and backroom handshake deals.


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments Yes, Lizzie, but the lobbying and backroom deals work because the politician knows the donations will dry up if they don't do what is required.


message 32: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments I am referring to things like:

The law that allows the government to take property if they simply believe someone is involved in a criminal activity, which property the government keeps even if a crime is never charged or convicted. The policing agencies, federal and state, actually count on those funds in their budget. Not changing that law doesn't get politicians a direct donation from a specific agency but it does get them the support of all the various policing agencies on every level.

Telephone companies for prison contracts - they aren't donating to a particular campaign. But the contracts include a percentage going back to that state's DOC, so the contracts aren't awarded based on services and cost effectiveness but on how much DOC can make off of it. That has been going on for a long time, regardless of party affiliations at state and federal levels.


message 33: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Lizzie wrote: "I am referring to things like:

The law that allows the government to take property if they simply believe someone is involved in a criminal activity, which property the government keeps even if a ..."


I saw something some years ago that Louisiana was particularly bad about this. They could seize property from anyone they simply suspected of being a drug dealer, so just about everybody they pulled over was "suspected" of being a dealer so their car and their money could be taken by the state...


message 34: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments Are we agreed that money feeds corruption in government if uncontrolled or unsupervised by an outside agency?


message 35: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Even outside agencies can become corrupt....


message 36: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments So how do you fight corruption in agencies like the DOC? Is there a way?


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Lizzie wrote: "But the contracts include a percentage going back to that state's DOC, so the contracts aren't awarded based on services and cost effectiveness but on how much DOC can make off of it...."

Meaning they award a contract to the highest bidder, offering a max royalty? Is it an over the table or under the table arrangement?
In principle, awarding something to the highest bidder isn't a flawed practice per se, but not when what stands behind it is that the inmates would need to pay an astronomic amount for communication. The tender may be legit, but the system or even the idea to use a private service supplier seems inappropriate


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments My view is that the state should take responsibility for all aspects of corrections. Private people making money out of prisoners is a step too close to slavery for my liking.


message 39: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments Agree with that.


message 40: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments J.J. wrote: "Lizzie wrote: "I am referring to things like:

The law that allows the government to take property if they simply believe someone is involved in a criminal activity, which property the government k..."


Civil Forfeiture laws involve the feds and the states both. For local and state police departments, it is big business. According to the Institute for Justice, the laws in most states allow police to keep 80% or more of what they seize. Be very careful traveling with cash, especially if you are a minority. Since I do long road trips, I divide mine up and hide it. I have a transgendered friend who was pulled over and asked if she had large sums of cash in 2010 in MO. They took $500.

Below is a link to a map that grades the states. Only NM has an A- and there are 6 states with a B rating. The rest, are C, D and F rated.

In 2014 The Washington Post wrote a report that states there were 61,998 cash seizures in the prior 10 years totaling 2.5 billion dollars. Most of those amounts taken were under $8k.

There was a write up about road officers who competed on how much cash they could collect, but I don't remember where I saw that article a few years ago.

https://www.ij.org/report/policing-fo...


message 41: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments Nik wrote: "Meaning they award a contract to the highest bidder, offering a max royalty? Is it an over the table or under the table arrangement?."

Meaning they give the contract to whoever gives them the biggest profit back. A lot of DOC contract information isn't available to the public, but as to Securus and the telephone contracts that came out because of legal suit by a grandmother of an inmate in which the ACLU filed on her behalf. Securus was giving 99% of the "costs" for telephone calls back to AZ DOC. It was standard for these companies to charge a connection fee of $5 or more per call, then several dollars per minute. A 15 minute collect call from an inmate was costing $25 per call. About 2 years ago, the FCC put a stop to the connection fees and limited the cost per minute. The also put a halt to the fees being charged every time you put money onto the account for the inmate to call you collect. The telephone companies, along with several states, to include AZ and WI, are challenging the FCC having the right to make that ruling.

It has been shown that the more contact inmates have with families and friends, to include visitation and telephone calls, the less likely they are to commit crimes (during incarceration and upon release). Yet, the system is such that it actively prevents that contact. Slowly, some of those barriers are being torn down.


message 42: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments Ian wrote: "My view is that the state should take responsibility for all aspects of corrections. Private people making money out of prisoners is a step too close to slavery for my liking."

I agree. Most states have contract with private companies for inmate labor. The inmates get $2 an hour at most. I have no objection to the inmates doing road clean up and maintaining the state facilities, but working for private companies at slave wages is wrong. I understand that there are extra considerations as to the cost of transportation to the job site and security so that it can't be the going wage for those position, but it should at least meet some reasonable standard.

Then there is the whole private prison industry which is making huge profits off of every aspect - from jail to the ankle monitors to the prison, to the parole and probation, to halfway houses. CoreCivil (fna CCA) and GEO run most of the private prison industries. Their top executives has $3 million dollars in year compensation packages. Private prisons account for 9% of the state inmates, 19% of the federal inmates, and 75% or more of the immigrants detained by ICE.

In AZ, there are federal and state prisons owned and run by these 2 companies. They pay their guards less than the state does and provide them with less training, provide less programs, less education, and less medical care for inmates. Private prisons are less safe with twice the rate of inmate assaults on guards and around 30% more inmate on inmate assaults.

They don't have to provide certain information but it is believed by the experts that private prisons cost more to operate with estimates anywhere from 3% to 15%.

Both these companies contributed to certain political campaigns in AZ, after which they were awarded more contracts and more beds. We have to pay whether those beds are used or not, generally those contracts are promising 95% to 99% occupancy rate.

Private industry - the more people incarcerated, the more profit. Their business model depends on high rates of incarceration (and they actively oppose through lobbying and funding any leniency or changes in the law that would reduce convictions and lengths of sentencing.) For the state, obviously, rehabilitation is economically more beneficial.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16053 comments Lizzie wrote: "Civil Forfeiture laws involve the feds and the states both. For local and state police departments, it is big business. According to the Institute for Justice, the laws in most states allow police to keep 80% or more of what they seize. Be very careful traveling with cash, especially if you are a minority...."

Unbelievable, if that's how the things are. Sounds like high seas(ways) piracy. Ex-USSR countries police taking bribes instead of fines looks much more humane all of a sudden...


message 44: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments Nik wrote: "LUnbelievable, if that's how the things are. Sounds like high seas(ways) piracy. Ex-USSR countries police taking bribes instead of fines looks much more humane all of a sudden..."

My post is facts. Aside from having been a paralegal provinding some exposure, having a son who committed a felony in 2012 and ended up in a private prison, I did a lot of research. I understand research better than I understand my son's behavior - lol.

I think allowing corporations and businesses to contribute to any political campaigns is a big part of the problem in everything from health care, tobacco, clean air, to the prison industry. Bribes by another name and legally tax deductible - makes some of those old ways feel cleaner.


message 45: by Scott (new)

Scott | 42 comments Adam Smith wrote:
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

"It must always be remembered, however, that it is the luxuries, and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people, that ought ever to be taxed."


This is in relation to a progressive tax. The truth is that the uber-rich pay a lesser tax rate (when you figure in social security payroll taxes) than do middle income people.

Why is it, when you hear about cutting taxes, it's never someone wanting to cut the percentages on the lowest brackets, it's always wanting to lower the highest brackets?

I'm a dentist, I don't earn a poverty wage, and I don't have a problem with paying a higher rate on the higher parts of my earnings. It's not communism to fund a government that does a lot more than most of us think it does.

Currently reading THE FIFTH RISK by Michael Lewis and I'm learning a ton. It should be required reading.


message 46: by Scott (new)

Scott | 42 comments Michel wrote: "Professional sportsmen have been enjoying hyper-inflated, scandalous salaries for already way too long, like Hollywood 'superstars'. The sad part is that the lowliest paid people around are often t..."

They are highly paid because people are willing to pay for the products of their labors. I really don't have a problem with a sports star or a movie star (or an author) collecting a salary that is a fair part of the revenue they are generating. It's different from paying a CEO millions to screw over the employees of the company or give them a golden parachute after they've failed.


message 47: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments The other part of the sports star is his/her lifetime of high earning is very short. They may make a huge income one year, but in their case, I would be more supportive of tax being spread over several years. Given that many are horrible money managers, maybe the income could have the option of being paid into a Trust that pays out the income over a number of years, and the Trust be tax free because it is not its income.


message 48: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 1847 comments I don't take issue with sports and movie stars either. Most of them, it's hit and miss and in sports it is risky from game to game. They may not have another season. An actor may not have another hit movie.

In terms of business, CEOs and owners are making money off of keeping business costs low. Those costs that are kept lowest tend to be those that are for workers - salaries, insurance, retirement, safety standards are kept down in order to increase the CEOs' bonus and owner's profit. When a business makes enough money of the backs of others such that its owners can pass down billions through inheritance for generations, the equations are out of balance. We can't all be rich, but no one should be hungry and without clothes and shelter.

Imagine what those companies have contributed to political campaigns to protect their "gold" could have accomplished if instead those funds were collected as taxes and applied toward those programs that need it - social security that does not provide enough for those who are too old to work or children who go hungry. The stability those funds could provide to a nationwide healthcare system.

The top richest companies(some in America and some richest worldwide but operating here) include WalMart, CVS, GM, GE, Apple Shell, Wells Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway, Morgan Chase, (and a few Chinese bank names worldwide) and the richest American people are all men such as Bloomberg, Koch, and the Google giants along with Bezos and Gates. How can Alice Walton ever spend 40 billion dollars?

My point is none of these are sports or movie stars - they are all business and tech some of which inherited and some of which created huge fortunes that we average people can't even imagine how they could ever spend it. Yet, a reasonable tax on it and on the inheritance laws for large sums could make a huge difference in our everyday lives.


message 49: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6171 comments How do the rich get richer? They can afford to hire tax lawyers.


message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11776 comments And most of the exemptions really mainly benefit the rich.


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