Re: Business as usual
- From: "Harold and Susan Vordos" <vordos@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:17:34 GMT
"Ed Huntress" <huntres23@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
"Harold and Susan Vordos" <vordos@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
"Ed Huntress" <huntres23@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
To get back around to my original point, these two philosophical
points -- that people should earn what they get and that children of
wealthy parents are entitled to whatever wealth their parents want to
confer upon them -- are flatly contradictory. Yet they're both
typically believed by self-described conservatives. Any ideology is rife
with such contradictions; the two poles of American politics are such a
ridiculous grab-bag of unrelated, random principles that they're almost
comical when you try to figure out where they come from.
That's nonsense. Unearned money that comes from some faceless entity
equates to money lost by one or many individuals, unlike money that was
*earned* (assuming it was) by one's parents. To compare one with the
other is just another of the less than honest ways greedy people justify
Economically, that's a distinction without a difference. Both sources are,
supposedly, the result of "productive" earning. In one case the giving is
voluntary. In the other, it's the result of taxation and redistribution.
There is a big sociological difference but not a bit of difference in the
economic flow of money.
Yes, a big difference. A very big difference. One of them is nothing short
of extortion. Pay the tab, or go to jail. But then, I'm not surprised.
Everything in our life inevitably ends up in the hands of government. How
many folks own their own land? Miss paying taxes and it's gone. Even
whey you're disabled.
Both amount to a redistribution of wealth that,
originally, was earned, and in the end, is passed on to someone who didn't
earn it. The economic question is whether there's enough wealth being
produced by the system as a whole to support all of it. At the moment,
While it's true that it is passed on, it is often passed on at the wish of
the rightful owner. It is his/hers to do with as they please. I have a
bit of a problem with government insuring that it can't happen. We have
a case, locally, that is a good example. Our phone company was sold because
the founder, and his two sons, who ran the business for many years, along
with the help of their sons, couldn't pass ownership to youngest generation.
Taxation was in the millions--so the business had to be sold. The sons,
ages around 40-50 years, had worked in the business since being children.
It was just as much theirs as it was their parents, but the only way they
could claim title was to pay the millions of dollars in tax, which they
didn't have. I hardly call that a fair deal. Government profits from the
loss of the family, who had paid countless dollars in taxes for years.
One of the things you're conveniently overlooking in this conversation is
the fact that taxing the hell out of productive people, giving to those
that can, but won't, support themselves, is a great incentive for those
without pride to get on the band wagon for *free lunches*.
I don't recall that you addressed the tax/redistribute issue before when
we've had this conversation. In those conversations you've been focused on
people who were being paid more than you think they're worth -- by means
of union pressure or other pressures. That's one issue. Welfare is another
My reason for bringing it up had to do with the focus on people getting
money they didn't earn. People who get big inheritances are in that same
category. Warren Buffet put his finger on the social distortions that
inheriting great wealth may produce. He's not the only very wealthy person
who sees it that way, either.
Listen, if I had Warren Buffets wealth, I'd likely feel fine about seeing
others taxed all to hell, too. No sweat off my brow-----and I have plenty
left after taxes, so it doesn't matter to me. I wonder how many people
that must choose between paying taxes and buying food would share that
The thing that troubles me the most is that it is a punitive system. Those
that do get taxed to death, while those that won't get a free ride. It
makes no difference to me that they are in a union or not, nor if it's
welfare for 6th or 7th generation people that have learned to work the
system. People should not be rewarded for non-performance, and those that
do the work shouldn't be penalized for the good they do. It's one of the
worst incentive killers I can think of.
No one should be penalized for doing the right thing----and that includes
recycling. One pays more to recycle their refuse than those that send
it to the land fill? How smart is that? Shouldn't the guy that is doing
the right thing be the one reaping a reward, assuming one is available?
Apparently, the economics aren't working in the favor of recycling in your
area. So you have to consider the real costs of filling your landfill.
There may be external costs (toxic leakage into the water table; a lack of
capacity; etc.) that aren't showing up right now as direct money costs. I
don't know your situation. Here in NJ, we're flat running out of landfill
space, so recycling is necessary to allow *some* room for
non-recyclables -- or we're going to face horrendous costs in the near
We'd have to know more about your case.
Garbage, here, is collected by private industry, hauled to collection
points, then shipped across the mountain by train, where it goes to a
landfill. By contrast, materials that are recycled are sent to
distribution stations, where they have value, yet cost (to the citizen) of
recycling is typically more than sending to the land fill.
I'm totally in favor of recycling, but, once again, why does government
seize the opportunity to tax those that cooperate? In a worst case
scenario, I could see an equal charge, but to contribute to what is a profit
making situation and pay for the right to do so just seems wrong to me, Ed.
The free money concept is driving this nation to total destruction. When
individuals (all of them) learn that money must be earned, perhaps we
will get back to a sense of fairness and honesty. Fat chance, when it
has become fashionable to grab (unearned) money from others and run like
I don't disagree with that, but the real problem, IMO, is the enormous
disparity in incomes for different kinds of work. Those aren't unions or
the government dictating multi-million-dollar bonuses to financial
traders. And there is nothing in that work that can be valued at 100 times
the value of, say, managing a manufacturing business.
I hope you realize I've never been in favor of management making unearned
money, any more than I'm in favor of some union dolt that can't pour piss
out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel. We have had
such bad examples of leadership for so long that many of the people in
question feel it's a right to take too much--after all, it's good for them,
so what's the problem?
Recent graduates of economics have such a distorted view of what
constitutes earning money that it should be criminally prosecutable.
That, of course, isn't going to happen----because we have the same
criminal mind set running the show. Sort of the fox watching the hen
Right now it's the free market that's producing the most egregious
examples, like the one above. Economists have nothing to do with it. Those
are business decisions made by business managers.
The point is that, at least for the past 40 years, the bottom line has
always been more important than earning the bottom line. Sears is a good
example, and a good example of how it can blow up in your face. When they
started treating customers as if they had no value, cutting quality and
raising prices, they lost their market share in droves. Near as I can
tell, it was because of their *clever* business practices, whereby you got
less for more money----and their service, which, at one time, was the best
there was, became extinct. They've paid one hell of a price for their
modern thinking, just as we, as a nation, are paying the price now.
The point is, just because a huge number of educated people (numbskulls who
don't get it) do the same thing doesn't make it right. Had these people
reigned in their greed and been happy with a modest profit instead of
millions of dollars in unearned income, perhaps, just perhaps, we'd still
have a serious piece of the production market today. All of us can't be
you, Ed. Some of us (myself included) don't have the education or the
ability to be a writer-----we actually turned out a product to earn our
living (not implying that you don't---but we did it on machines---you do it
with your education). Those of us that work with our hands shouldn't
expect to live like attorneys-----otherwise what incentive would there be to
better one's self?
We will, slowly, revert back to times when a select few controlled the
masses, if by no other means, taxation. We're screwed. We just
don't know enough to fall down.
I'll take doomsayers seriously when I see their predictions come true. How
many decades have you been predicting this? <g>
Likely only for the past few years, but that's because I'm making
observations. Looks to me like I'm right----what with an unemployment
rate that exceeds 10%, and millions of people losing what they have-----all
thanks to demanding unreasonable money, and living beyond their means
(thanks to the unearned money). Given the current set of circumstances,
I'd think you might consider that it's coming true. We've lived beyond our
means and worth, and it's coming home to roost.
- Re: Business as usual
- From: Ed Huntress
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