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The end of capitalism .!

D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Someone working hard at a job earns (say) £200,000 pays tax at 40%.

As against someone who doesn't work at all but has large inherited investments which brings in £200,000 pays tax at 20%.

If I've got the tax correct - is that inequality or envy of a wealthy individual?
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
Your numbers are too small for the argument being made by the French chap here-
Inequality: Capital in the long run | The Economist
What he seems to be saying is that as wealth is concentrated within a decreasingly small elite the possibility of upward mobility through income is necessarily decreased. The ultimate conclusion of this is an ever increasing wealth gap between a small elite and the rest of the population with the added consequence that, as this elite accumulates more wealth, they also acquire very real political power and thus bend democracy to suit their will. Did you listen to the show, really good discussions about the state of modern capitalism .
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
I like to read stuff on a forum, not look at pictures; also my poor old laptop doesn't like moving pictures!

So thanks for the Economist article. Quite agree with it in general, but I think all this has been covered in another (now old) thread - 'Five families own more than the bottom 20%. Inequality in the UK today'.
 

sidicks

Banned
Your numbers are too small for the argument being made by the French chap here-
Inequality: Capital in the long run | The Economist
What he seems to be saying is that as wealth is concentrated within a decreasingly small elite the possibility of upward mobility through income is necessarily decreased. The ultimate conclusion of this is an ever increasing wealth gap between a small elite and the rest of the population with the added consequence that, as this elite accumulates more wealth, they also acquire very real political power and thus bend democracy to suit their will. Did you listen to the show, really good discussions about the state of modern capitalism .

To some extent I agree, BUT:
Wealth accumulates from the successful saving and investing of income that has already been taxed.

And income that derives from that wealth is already taxed.

Applying further taxes on already taxed income does not seem fair, and would discourage saving and investment (which is exactly the opposite of the types of behaviours that we need to encourage).
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
I like to read stuff on a forum, not look at pictures; also my poor old laptop doesn't like moving pictures!

So thanks for the Economist article. Quite agree with it in general, but I think all this has been covered in another (now old) thread - 'Five families own more than the bottom 20%. Inequality in the UK today'.
It's a radio show bud, just listening involved. Check it out.!
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
To some extent I agree, BUT:
Wealth accumulates from the successful saving and investing of income that has already been taxed.

And income that derives from that wealth is already taxed.

Applying further taxes on already taxed income does not seem fair, and would discourage saving and investment (which is exactly the opposite of the types of behaviours that we need to encourage).
Firstly, this assumes that taxes are paid in the first place and are applied in an equitable manner. If you have the political classes at your beck and call as us suggested, the tax system will inevitably be bent. In your favour..
Secondly, we are talking about the incredibly super wealthy whose control of wealth is actually inhibiting the financial betterment of everybody else according to the author in question. This concentration of wealth in such few hands is crippling the progress of western civilisation and some sort of corrective should be applied. His tax system seems to be the obvious option though, as the speakers on the show pointed out, the elites with all the wealth and associated power will do their utmost to stop this happening.
 

sidicks

Banned
Firstly, this assumes that taxes are paid in the first place and are applied in an equitable manner.

That has to be the default assumption, otherwise this is about tax evasion not wealth taxes!
(Ie it is not fair to justify a tax on wealth (on which taxes have been paid) on the basis that some other wealthy people have NOT paid the appropriate taxes.

If you have the political classes at your beck and call as us suggested, the tax system will inevitably be bent. In your favour..
Secondly, we are talking about the incredibly super wealthy whose control of wealth is actually inhibiting the financial betterment of everybody else according to the author in question.

Define 'wealth' - what is included and what is excluded?
Define the 'super wealthy'. At what level does tax apply and at what rate? How much would this actually raise in practice, given the mobility of the "Super wealthy"? (Plus of course of they did leave the Uk to avoid wealth taxes we'd also likely lose their income taxes too.

This concentration of wealth in such few hands is crippling the progress of western civilisation and some sort of corrective should be applied.
Emotional rhetoric - how and why / where?

Public debt and unfunded liabilities are certainly going to cripple western economies if nothing is done. How do we address that...

His tax system seems to be the obvious option though, as the speakers on the show pointed out, the elites with all the wealth and associated power will do their utmost to stop this happening.

It's very easy to ask other people to pay higher taxes - doesn't necessarily make it fair or reasonable though...
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
I suggest you read the book if you want these questions answered.
Can I assume you don't see a problem with the increasing wealth disparity and are happy that democracy is controlled by those who own most of the wealth .?
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
I suggest you read the book if you want these questions answered.
Can I assume you don't see a problem with the increasing wealth disparity and are happy that democracy is controlled by those who own most of the wealth .?

Democracy is not 'controlled' by those who own the wealth. Nobody is buying my vote. Are they buying yours?

And the so called increasing wealth disparity you refer to is contrary to the evidence that inequality has been falling at its fastest ever level.
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
Income and wealth are different disparities. Wealth does not buy votes it dictates policies.!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Income and wealth are different disparities. Wealth does not buy votes it dictates policies.!

That doesn't actually answer Squiffy's question at all.
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
I believe it does.
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
I think this comment from the second link sums it up pretty well-

His central idea is that capitalism will tend toward inequality, and the only way to ensure it doesn't is heavy taxes on capital. That or some serious bargaining on the part of organised labor.
Perpetually accelerating growth can't fix the problem. Firstly, unlike growth of past centuries, today's growth is disproportionately doled out to the wealthy anyway - technological advances make it possible to make much, much more, no human workers needed, and the wealthy find ever cleverer ways of snatching up the money that would have "trickled" down. It's a win-win for the capitalists - recession-esque low-cost labor without the trickling of their excess profits.
Second, past a certain point, traditional economic "growth" is just ridiculously unnecessary. What happens when we can produce enough, materially, to feed and clothe and house every person on this planet, and then some, but yet most of that wealth is in the hands of the top 5 or 1%, so people go hungry and homeless anyway? Any economic system that pushes for abject poverty in the face of overwhelming material abundance...is just silly. Not to mention cruel. In the words of the internet, we're "doing it wrong
 

sidicks

Banned
Second, past a certain point, traditional economic "growth" is just ridiculously unnecessary. What happens when we can produce enough, materially, to feed and clothe and house every person on this planet, and then some, but yet most of that wealth is in the hands of the top 5 or 1%, so people go hungry and homeless anyway? Any economic system that pushes for abject poverty in the face of overwhelming material abundance...is just silly. Not to mention cruel. In the words of the internet, we're "doing it wrong

Which economic system does that???
:confused:
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I believe it does.

No- you've tended a vague assertion that the wealthiest are distorting the fabric of democracy. Squiffy asked how his vote was being bought and you failed to answer the question. On the understanding that the democratic option freely and legally exists to liquidate the 'rich' and yet goes absolutely nowhere in elections, you will have to answer how the 'rich' are buying votes because something is missing in your assertion.
 

sidicks

Banned
No- you've tended a vague assertion that the wealthiest are distorting the fabric of democracy. Squiffy asked how his vote was being bought and you failed to answer the question. On the understanding that the democratic option freely and legally exists to liquidate the 'rich' and yet goes absolutely nowhere in elections, you will have to answer how the 'rich' are buying votes because something is missing in your assertion.

Hasn't the amount of tax taken from the top x% increased substantially over the last 30 years?

If the 'wealthy' are distorting democracy, they aren't doing a very good job!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
There's two separate points to be addressed. The first is that for wealth to pool right at the top, wealth must itself be finite and I'm not convinced that this is the case. At an extreme end, Mark Zuckerberg is now fearsomely wealthy but I don't think you can argue this wealth was taken from anyone rich or poor- it simply didn't exist beforehand. At a (much) more terrestrial level, I have closed the accounts on my second year of self employment. Some of my earnings stem from me tendering and securing an existing job where it could be said I 'took' wealth from the guy that had it before but the rest has been carved out from new locations- it hasn't been 'taken' from anyone.

The second is the hopeless subjectivism of 'fair' and the nature of ownership. If somebody owns a three story townhouse in Mayfair, they have an asset of immense value- something worth more than the majority of UK subjects will own in a lifetime. If you seek to redistribute the wealth it represents, how do you do it? If the 'Mansion Tax' results in it being sold, you still need another multimillionaire to realise the wealth of it. If you divide it amongst the populace like the world's worst timeshare, it is valueless- "good news love- our weekend in the second bedroom has been booked in for June 2067."

I'm not saying that everything in the world is perfect- far from it. My problem is that the 'solutions' I see posed are riddled with assumptions, half truths and a fundamental blindness to the nature of how we view and accrue assets. I'd also be reticent to take advice from the citizen of a country that is having rather more significant issues than we are.
 
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BISHI

Distinguished Member
No- you've tended a vague assertion that the wealthiest are distorting the fabric of democracy. Squiffy asked how his vote was being bought and you failed to answer the question. On the understanding that the democratic option freely and legally exists to liquidate the 'rich' and yet goes absolutely nowhere in elections, you will have to answer how the 'rich' are buying votes because something is missing in your assertion.
If you don't understand how powerful lobby groups work,how they get their way by bank rolling political parties then your understanding of modern politics is worryingly flawed. West not have the extremes apparent in the USA but we tens to be dragged along in Uncle Sams wake. Your individual vote, our collective votes only opens the door to number ten, once sat at the desk it's those with wealth and the subsequent that have the power to influence policy.
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
Which economic system does that???
:confused:
The richest people on the world live in the most successful capitalist state that has ever existed, yet vast swathes of that state exist in poverty akin to those in the third world.
Can you explain this.?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
If you don't understand how powerful lobby groups work,how they get their way by bank rolling political parties then your understanding of modern politics is worryingly flawed. West not have the extremes apparent in the USA but we tens to be dragged along in Uncle Sams wake. Your individual vote, our collective votes only opens the door to number ten, once sat at the desk it's those with wealth and the subsequent that have the power to influence policy.

I understand lobbying just fine thanks. I understand it sufficiently well that I'm able to recognise that 'powerful lobby groups' are not simply a corporate, capitalist function. Unite exerts far more influence over the Labour Party than any single body or organisation does over any other political party in the UK for example.

The richest people on the world live in the most successful capitalist state that has ever existed, yet vast swathes of that state exist in poverty akin to those in the third world.
Can you explain this.?

Capitalism sadly has winners and losers. This does tend to place it above rival systems which tend to exclusively deal in losers however.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
The richest people on the world live in the most successful capitalist state that has ever existed, yet vast swathes of that state exist in poverty akin to those in the third world.
Can you explain this.?

Yep, that is easy to explain.

It is emotive hyperbole, with no basis in fact.

Vast swathes of people in the USA exist in poverty akin to the third world.

Really?
 

sidicks

Banned
The richest people on the world live in the most successful capitalist state that has ever existed, yet vast swathes of that state exist in poverty akin to those in the third world.
Can you explain this.?

Your original claim was pretty ridiculous:
"Any economic system that pushes for abject poverty in the face of overwhelming material abundance."

But you are now getting even more preposterous.
:(

I'm not sure you'd find too many people in the US wanting to swap for a third world lifestyle.
 

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