Feds and state declare open season on tax reform!

Comments

Tom Garrett 3 years, 2 months ago

I lied.

It isn't open season on tax reform, but wouldn't it be great if it were?

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 2 months ago

Only if they didn't charge an exorbitant hunting license fee. :) I saw an interview on U tube a while back where a fellow asked Harry Ried about income taxes and then asked why they say they are voluntary? Reid responded that they were voluntary and interviewer then asked 'does that mean I don't have to pay them?' To which Ried responded, something to the effect of 'No, as a responsible American you should pay your taxes.' The interviewer then said, but if they are voluntary I don't have to pay taxes. Reid responded then you go to jail, the interviewer then said, if there is a penalty for not paying them then they are not voluntary...

That exchange was enough to convince me that our government is totally out of control and out of touch with their role in the only Country in the world where freedom, true freedom exists.

Watch Cspan, listen to those fools (my opinion) shout each other down in the name of the "middle class families". Who are the middle class? I thought the class war really ended with the sinking of the Titanic. Americans who work in Phoenix and average $40k a year, or do the same job in Baltimore and make $70k a year, or do the same job in NYC and make $100k a year, are they middle class, lower class, upper class? ....Who determines?

Our elected politicians have determined that there are rich folks (greedy) and regular folks( work hard) and poor folks (don't work but need a break) and these politicians have also decided that they are above all of that. As a result they have piled entitlement on top of entitlement upon the taxpayer. Look at the word...Entitlement....Who is entitled? Answer...No One. We are only guaranteed the right to pursue happiness, not be happy.

Currently there is a lot of talk about union workers and what they are entitled to. With the exception of the public sector, I say any agreement they work out between the Owner investors and the workers producers is between them. If both sides agree that is great. However, if you are paid by taxpayers you have two choices. Work or Quit.

Another lightbulb moment. In the name of fairness, government decided that workers should be 'entitled' to a minimum amount of earning. How did they decide that? The minimum wage law is a joke ( see reference to geography above). Notice that the latest increase passed just before our economy sank into a massive recession. Unions supported that law and as soon as it passed all of their members went for, and for the most part got, raises. End hourly pay scales.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 2 months ago

Here comes part two: If you want to increase productivity, increase government revenue, create more wealthy people in the country paying more in taxes, then make commission work the law of the land. People who currently work only on a commission basis know that their income is based solely on their ability to produce. I do not believe there is a single job in America that could not be converted to a commision position, piece work if you want, and the end result would be simple, IF YOU do not produce, you do not survive. Watch how people learn to produce. For example churches live off commissions. They pass the plate and use the offerrings to pay the help, provide charity to those in need and pay the expenses of the building. If churches can do that, Why can't all of us do that? Anyone who wants to help the crippled and mamed, the down and out, etc. should reach into their own pocket and help. And that brings us to taxes. If the whole country were on commission, what would the job of President, Senator, and Representative be worth? The answer is nothing. The role of Leader/Congressman would be one of temporary status and solely volunteer. It would also eliminate most all beauracracies because they don't produce anything. If we the people were all on commission, Then we should give the government a commission for keeping us safe and protecting us from the bad guys who would endanger our way of life. The governments commision would be the same percentage we get as workers, and investors and owners of businesses.

I am ready to debate this philosophy and the debate will likely be a good one.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 2 months ago

Do you remember when all the price fixing investigations were going on? 1970's I think. The Realtors in the valley had to prove they weren't all charging the same commission. The concrete plants had to prove they weren't all charging the same price for concrete? There were other businesses involved but I was in real estate and my husband sold concrete so I was involved in both going thru boxes and boxes of files. What a bunch of crap and expense for nothing.

I remember when Levi Strauss made all the stores that sold Levis charge the same price for every pair of levis, no matter what size. Little kids or the biggest size they sold. That was back in th 50's and 60's now they can sell them anyway they want. If a store tried to sell them under what the Levi Strauss Co. said they lost thier franchise. Will everyone get paid the same commission or on a sliding scale? How do they split commission with company?

Thought I would throw that all in to stir the pot.

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Dan Varnes 3 years, 1 month ago

QUOTE: "I do not believe there is a single job in America that could not be converted to a commision position, piece work if you want..."

Police officer? I don't think that would work out too well.

It HAS been tried. 15 years ago, a small Ohio town council gave a police cruiser to an officer and said "Enforce our traffic laws. We'll let you keep 50% of any revenue that you generate in citations." The enterprising officer made well over $150,000 before the townspeople finally got sick of it, booted the council and stopped the program.

Fireman? Should they only be paid when they actually put out a fire? This concept has been tried, with predictable results. Out of work firemen have been caught starting fires to "make work" for themselves. I believe it happened recently up in the White Mountains area.

OK. I gave two professions where "piece work" doesn't work. There are certainly many, many more.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Marley, If you don't learn from the past , you don't learn at all. Keep sticking your finger to a hot stove. 'Back when' does effect what happens now and in the future. I have never claimed to be an expert on anything, but I haven't lived with my head stuck in the sand or had tunnel vision.

Now to the minimum wage that Dan mentioned. It is a big joke. Go into several restaurants and ask the waitresses how much they are paid by the hour. They are not paid minimum wage. Some are paid as little as $2.35 an hour. They depend on tips. A lot of the large chain restaurants take each waitresses tickets and figures a 15% tip on it and puts that in as pay for IRS even tho they may not have receieved any tip at all. Granted some waitresses will make a lot more than what is turned in but some don't. To me a tip should be for good service not to help the restaurant pay wages.

I believe income taxes should be a flat rate not a sliding scale on how much you earn. Also one sales tax, not every community set up thier own. How will we ever get 50 states, thousands of towns to agree on the same sales tax? Harder question, how would we ever get the big govt. to agree on the income tax?

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

I feel like a babe in the woods on this subject, so my comments will be peripheral.

"Rich people would be paying a hell of lot more than the average or even poor people."

I hate to be a cynic, but as I watch what all too many, but not all, rich actually do (lie, cheat, steal, pay off politicians, use undue influence, control elections) I suppose they would just buy anything expensive out of the country, or find some other way to get around paying their fair share. They don't pay it now. Why should we think they'll change? Most taxes are paid by people who make enough money so it's worth the effort of the government to gouge some out of them, but not enough to hire a bevy of crooked lawyers and tax consultants to get out of paying anything.

"Police officer? I don't think that would work out too well."

:-) Brings up quite a picture.

"It HAS been tried."

And reading a little farther one, I see it did.

"If you don't learn from the past , you don't learn at all. "

Well said (but since I'm one who is old enough to have lived in the past I may be a bit biased.)

"To me a tip should be for good service not to help the restaurant pay wages."

Pat, whenever you give some--by not means all--wealthy people a chance to squeeze employees they do it. That's why I support unions. I know that they have some down sides, but a look at the history of this country just before they became widespread shows that they do more good than harm.

I have said this all my life, and it is one of the creeds by which I live: All jobs, no matter what they may be, should involve a written contract which clearly spells out the responsibility of each party.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

By the way, Dan. I see you're going to have a hard time keeping this strong on target. But just work at it. You'll get where you're going.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Union wages. $70.00 an hour to put a bolt on a car frame going by on a conveyor. Yes Marley, I have been thru a car assembly plant in Freemont Calif. Was amazed. A bare frame starts out on conveyor with the parts on another conveyor. The parts were all painted to match the cars. They were not all the same style or color. I walked beside one all the way. When they got to the end of the building the car was together, no upholstery. They put in a gal of gas, oil and grease where it was needed, turned a bucket upside down for a drivers seat and drove it out the door. I was almost afraid to get in my car and drive it home after seeing how fast and sometimes careless how they are put together.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat, corruption is a problem created by greed. Greed is wanting all you can get at others expense. One of the problems of Government, is that they keep trying to pass more laws to make everyone happy and they don't (make everyone happy) More on this later. Marlene, living in the past is what makes the present. Unless you know how to live in the future and then you already know the answers to this. And Yes that was my intent regarding the tax thing but not all of it as I just learned. By the way I'd be curious to know when your past began? Dan V. I actually have an answer to your concern about police officers on commission. They actually are but we don't look at it that way. More on this later. ( and yes firemen too.) Back to Pat, There should be no minimum wage. That was my point. Waiters and Waitresses should work only for tips. By the way the term was To Insure Promptness and was given up front not after the meal. More on this later. Tom, the reason this string may wander is because our country has wandered. We the people, became lazy and greedy and complacent and indifferent. Life after WWII became very very different. Remember when Roosevelt froze the wages right after the war, Businesses couldn't compete for the soldiers coming home with wages so they had to offer other incentives, thus health insurance (employer paid) came to be. Thank you Government.

Okay, I had a long day today and this is just a quick response but If you keep an open mind and open heart, I'll bet we can come up with some solutions. I'll come back and respond tomorrow afternoon but until then think about this. Many years ago I read a Science Fiction Novel by Robert Heilin (?) where income in the future was based on time credits not cash........interesting concept. survival based on your ability to produce. Back tomorrow.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Dan, Why should waiters and waitresses work only for tips? You wouldn't. No one else does. They do a lot more than take an order and deliver the food, take all the complaints that should be aimed at the cook and keep smiling if they want a tip. I don't have time to tell you all some of them are required to do. Not all restaurants have bus boys and girls and if they do the waiters split thier tips with them. Yes Marley, I have been a waitress, bar tender, and owned a restaurant and bar six years. So you might say I am an expert on this. (: I also washed dishes and scrubbed toilets and urinals cleaned the floors, ordered the liquor and was bouncer a few times.

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Michael Alexander 3 years, 1 month ago

A consumption tax - taxes paid only on what you buy - is the surest way to create a vibrant and robust underground economy. Not sure who said it first, probably an old Soviet reformist, but I'm saying it now.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

"A consumption tax - taxes paid only on what you buy - is the surest way to create a vibrant and robust underground economy.'

Hi MJ. I agree. I don't think a sales tax is the answer.

Folks, I don't know what the answer is regarding taxes, but I do know this: If we could just somehow get a handle on the salaries paid to executives who do essentially nothing, we would be on the way to a solution. Why? Because what Dan said about greed is right; greed is the root problem to almost everything that's wrong with this nation right now. And if we could siphon off some of the money being paid to the highest paid and put it in the hands of workers, who actually pay their taxes, we'd be a lot better off.

Okay brace yourself. Here's a statistic that will knock you right out of your chair when you read it.

But before you read it, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. By what percent has your salary increased since 1980?

  2. By what percent has the salary of workers in industry increased since 1980?

  3. By what percent has the salary of the average working stiff in Payson increased since 1980?

Now read this: "According to Business Week, the average CEO of a major corporation made 42 times the average hourly worker's pay in 1980. By 1990 that had almost doubled to 85 times. In 2000, the average CEO salary reached an unbelievable 531 times that of the average hourly worker in his own company."

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat, I would work only for tips. Why wouldn't I. If my intent is to become financially independent and make all the money I can, then I certainly would not want to be constrained by wages. I'll wager most waiting on tables make a lot more than they declare and they should because Income tax is unfair. The most money I ever made in my life was working for commissions. No salary, no guaranteed wage. Only what I could produce. I not only made myself a lot of money but created income for others because of my sales. When a waiting person takes an order, they have the opportunity to suggest food that's on the menu. The customer may or may not take advantage of the suggestion but if they do that's the potential of more money in the owners pocket and the potential of a greater tip. Bottome line is with that order, a Cook, A dishwasher, A cashier, all get a job. Janitors too.

Michael, I respect your logic about driving income underground, but I believe that's because of Income taxes, and not giving your fair share. We started off as a free people giving our 'fair share' because it was morally right. Government changed and it changed us. Michael, am I correct in assuming you are associated with Alexander Construction? If so please tell us how you decide what your employees are worth. If you are not, would you explain your income and how you work for it. Don't need numbers.

Thank you Tom for agreeing about the greed issue but it goes deeper than that. The government made greed easier than honesty because of the Income tax and looking for ways to cheat. As to your CEO's.......How many employees are they responsible for? When I was in direct sales, meaning door to door and worked into management, my income was determined by how successful my salespeople were. They lived on commissions only, I received a commission on their commission. The more successful my salespeople were, the more successful I was. WHY is that wrong. I do not say that CEO's are greedy if they get a piece of the pie of success, they earned it. Okay here's the formula:

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Continued: I take $1000 of my money and I create a product for $200. I rent an Office space, Hire an office manager, who starts as receptionist and whatever else is needed. I promise to pay them 5% of each sale created and paid for. I then go out and sell the product I created for $450 showing the customer value and return. After a time, I find response to my product is growing and I need to hire more sales people because of demand for my product. I also have to reinvest all of my profit into a factory that employes people who create more products which mean more salespeople. My office manager is now overseeing all of my employees, overseeing the manufacturering and finding me larger space to do business. It's more than they can do by themselves so they hire more help. Within the course of a few years my business is doing a Billion a year . I sell, go public, tell the office manager who is now the CEO, go baby. 5% of a Billion is cheap for what they have done. The thousands of people employed may not understand, but they are employed and making a wage and have the same opportunity as hypothetical me. Income has to come from the top down, it will never increase coming from the bottom up. Investing and taking a risk is not an easy thing to do. But entrepenuers do it every day. They do it because of the potential of profit and are not afraid of the losing. Heard this quote years ago...." If we fear what we would lose, instead of attempt the goal of gain, then we will surely lose it all." If my goal were to create a million jobs in America and wanted to get .03% commision on those jobs, would I be a greedy S.O.B. If I succeeded?

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Varnes, I promised you this. You may have seen previous posts where I have declared my utter distaste for taxes. Hopefully you have seen my posts offering alternatives. In a commission world, Taxes would be different because income would be different, as Mr. Alexander pointed out above, the underground economy might prevail except for the fact, in my opinion, that people still want to be safe and secure in their life and property. A consumption tax works well in the private sector and provides government with the essential income to provide basic services. The problem has always been where does that money go? As much as I hate saying this, if my perfect world existed, then a public safety tax would be needed. We used to rely on volunteers to help us. Firefighters, and law enforcement. In fact in the way back years of the west, the Sheriff was also in charge of collecting the taxes and got a commission for doing it. I will probably get some flack for this but I'm going to say it. We don't need as many police officers as we have. My reasoning is based on my observations. Payson police seem be a reactive and not a proactive force. They go and arrest following a complaint, but what have they done to prevent the arrest in the first place. That said, the population wants to be safe and secure. I believe they are willing to pay a tax to that end. The collection of that tax is the budget of the Public Safety Sector of the Government. It should be used only for public safety. It should be equally distributed between the Police and Fire Department based on need.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

The commision factor. Since there is no productivity created by these jobs, they must be paid on results of the tax. Just like we are currently asking of our teachers, results oriented results are the requirement for pay. The measuring stick is simple are we safer each month, quarter or year than we were the year before. If yes, raise the tax and reward, if no, make them work harder. (I'm going to get a lot of flack for this I know, but having been a policeman, I know when you work and when you really work. 'Cops' want the action because that's the glory, but the routine is the job. Cruising the residential areas because you know what the area should look like and when it doesn't. Watching the traffic because the little crimes, red light violations, stop sign violations, failing to yield violations, mean people are losing respect for the law and it must stop. Police officers are not the equivalent of the Army or the National defense. Their job is keeping the peace. Do they have a lot to do? You bet they do. They may need focus. I say that because just a couple of decades ago it didn't take a swap team to handle a 415 family. A couple who got loud enough in their debate to arouse the neighbors. One or two officers would respond, talk the couple down, no one went to jail, usually, and officers went back on patrol. I am going to ask you a question. What are the three most important places, in priority, where your tax dollars should go?

Some suggestions. Public Safety, Police and Fire. Transportation (roads and easements). Planning and Zoning. Government administration. I'll wait for your response before going on. I know where my priotities lie but we may differ on where we get the money. It,ll be that money that determines what you choose.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you. I want Fire and Police. Better planning and zoning. Don't zone one lot at a time. Zone large areas. no conditional use permits. Wastes time and money. Enforce the ordinances we have and stop making new ones. Stop building parks and places for parents to dump thier kids and have free baby sitting. There are plenty of things for kids of all ages to do in Payson now. Take better care of the ones we already have paid impact fees for. I can think of lots of ways to save money but don't know where to get it from, except for one. Star Valley has them. Speed cameras. There are lots of ways to cut costs. Consultants for one thing. Less town vehicles. Have one person that does all purchasing for the town. Not every dept. buying what they want.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

"WHY is that wrong."

It isn't, of course. What could be wrong with people getting paid for what they do?

"if they get a piece of the pie of success, they earned it."

But there, Dan, unless you meant something different from what you said, my opinion would be that you actually are wrong. If corporate executives were getting paid for what they do most of them would make less than the janitor.

The figures I posted came from "Business Week," a magazine which is certainly no proponent of leftist or anti-business ideas. It is one of the best news outlets in the country regarding business, of which it is a leading light. If Business Week is worried about the pay of corporate executives, you can rest assured it is because of the weakening effect that pay has, as well as the depressing effect it has, on American business and industry.

The problem with corporations and the problem with the government are so much alike that it is makes one suspect they both stem from the same problem. It all boils down to the same thing: People spending money which isn't theirs.

The government is bad enough, but corporate executives are even worse. They are spending other people's money in the worst possible way--by giving it to themselves in salary and perks. The money is not theirs. It belongs first to people who invested their money instead of wasting it, and who deserve a fair return, and then to the workers and administrators who actually contributed to the success of the company, and so deserve to earn a decent wage.

Until we somehow or other get corporate earnings into the hands of those who earned it there is no way we can correct the tax structure. Why? Because of the way executives hide what they make, there is no true way of taxing them, or anyone else, in a fair and equitable manner.

By the way, Dan, you have said over and over again that the current tax system is "unfair" and so must be changed, but in my debating classes I was taught to be wary of any statement which--as they defined it--"begs the question."

What does that mean in this case? It means that the original statement assumes, not just that the tax system is "unfair," but that we all agree on just how it is unfair. In the first place, many people may not agree that the system is inherently unfair, even though they may very well agree that it needs changing. And even those who may look upon it as unfair in some way may argue vehemently with each other on just how it is unfair, because they see what needs to be fixed in very different ways. If we are using different definitions of "unfair"--and from reading the comments so far I suspect we are--then maybe we should first talk about how and why the tax system is unfair, and then, having agreed on that much, try figuring out how to change it.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

I will plead ignorance when it comes to where the Corporate leaders of America come from. I assumed, perhaps ignorantly, that they have come from the sales field. I say that because in that field commission is a way of life and it would make sense to negotiate a salary based on the profit of the company. If the CEO creates the profit he is entitled to the commision. The problem comes in when those who do the hands on work don't feel they are getting a fair share of the wealth. I agree that's a problem. That's why I suggested commisions. Employees who get a piece of the action of the work they do will do better than workers who pay a group to get them a wage that allows them to contribute to the groups well being and elect politicians (UNIONS)

Okay, here is the heart of the issue. Are coporations being run by sales people or con men. The hardest lessons to teach incoming commission employees was this; don't do this for money, do it because you believe in it. The money will follow. If you chase the money, then you may say or do something that benefits you but not your client and you have failed. You may have made money, but it will not last. As my friend Zig Ziglar has said many times, Selling is easy, Believing is hard. If we go back 30 years one of Americas greatest salesmen was Lee Aiacoca(?). He believed in his dreams for the consumer. When he worked at Ford he took a going nowhere compact economy car, the Falcon, used the same parts with a different look and created the Mustang. That's what saleman do. When he went to Chrysler he told the American public..."cars are changing and sticker shock is coming". it was the first time cars went over the $10,000 price line. There was no fear, It was truth. He borrowed from the government and paid it back The auto industry changed. Front wheel drive became the transition to the future of automobiles in this country. I don't believe anyone can say with a straight face that Lee Aiacoca (?) wasn't worth every penny he was paid.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom, I truly respect your thoughts, but please expain how coporate executives spend ' other peoples money" The only money at their disposal is money paid by consumers for the products they purchase. The shareholders have invested in the profit and sometimes get a return in the form of dividends but I find no one elses money being used by Corporations. (If the government stays out of the picture.) As for the hiding of assets by money makers, who does not try to get all the deductions they can when filing their tax returns. The problem is not the loopholes, it's the whole tax system for making the loopholes. Right now we are looking at regular gas at $3.29 a gallon. Everyone would like to scream at the Oil companies because of all of the billions of dollars they make. The truth is the Federal Government collects more money in taxes on each gallon of gas then the Oil companies do in profit. However, that having been said, the Oil companies are entitled to charge whatever they want. It is a free economy. If people are willing to pay for the product they will keep charging what they can get. When the public is no longer willing to pay the price, they will stop. Tom your next question is so right on. The tax system is unfair because.....! I believe the tax system is unfair because it cheats the poor. Our system rewards them for not achieving. I gives them breaks for not working and contributing to society. Our forefathers intentions were to make being poor as uncomfortable as they could be and thus encourage people to go and seek wealth. The wealthy are creating a lot of taxpayers and because of that have been given a pass. That should end. It doesn't end by making them pay more taxes because they are rich. It ends by them paying the same as everyone else. The whole point of this freedom is that we are and we have been proclaimed as the land of opportunity. Anyone not jumping in and going for it is a drag on it. That's why EVERyONE should be paying an equal share of taxes. All that we currently hear about the middle class is Unions talking. Further more the word 'FAIR' should never enter into a conversation about America. Fair is a loser statement made by victims who believe they should be compensated for not getting what the producer gets and was created by lawyers who prey upon them and encourage victimization. Not politically correct but what I believe.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

A perfect world. No lawyers, no CE0s, no unions, no politicians, no taxes.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

"I don't believe anyone can say with a straight face that Lee Aiacoca (?) wasn't worth every penny he was paid."

Try George Will. He thinks Iacooca was useless. But then I think George Will is useless, so i guess that comes out as a toss-up. (Will thinks Iacocca was useless because he gave himself large raises while his company was going broke. The truth of that position I do now know and have not had time to look into. If you want, I'll dig up the quote and you can investigate it. Might be an interesting thing to do.)

"The only money at their disposal is money paid by consumers for the products they purchase."

That money belongs to the people who create it by the sweat of their brows, and even more so to those people who own the company--the investors. The only person who definitely does NOT have a direct claim to a disproportionate part of it is some executive.

Look at it this way: You start a company. It flourishes. You profit. You probably also pay your employees a fair wage. At least I hope so, as much for your sake as theirs. But if your office manager gives himself a 531% raise, you boot him out in the street where he belongs.

Dan, you have an interesting view of how the nation runs welfare programs.

I suspect mine is a little different. I don't really think we pay the poor to do nothing. I do think that we have a welfare program that was intended to one thing and instead does another. The intended purpose was to make sure that there was a floor under everyone, some point that they would not fall below.

That's a good thing. I would support a program which actually did that, one where we, as caring people, would make sure that no one goes hungry and homeless in this country unless that circumstance was well deserved. I think we have enough money to do that.

But what often happens is that when you try to take good intentions and write them into laws that say when, why, and how people will be helped you end up creating a situation where the lazy and greedy look at the law, see how to make an end run around good intentions, and end up with an "entitlement."

Therefore, what I believe is that the only thing such laws should say is that we will look at each case individually and do what is right. I'd rather leave it that vague, trusting that we would in the long run be better off with vague laws, than with ones--like the ones we have--that cannot possibly foresee every circumstance and are therefore doomed to failure.

Dan, in reference to "land of opportunity" you know what you would love reading? Dig up a book on Ben Franklin's writings and see his advice to people in Europe who were thinking of coming here. They are an eye-opener. I know you would get a lot out of them.

I'm not arguing with you here, but you keep saying "an equal share of taxes" and I'm not certain what you mean by that.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Some people get on welfare, learn how to work the system and never work a day in thier life. Then the idea passes on to thier kids and generations to come.

There was a woman in Tonto Basin that used Gila county by the system and once a week went to Happy Jack and worked the system in Coconino county. Wonder how many others do the same thing?

There should be a time limit on how long a person can be on any kind of welfare, except for the elderly or disabled. Proof of disability. Not just say my back hurts.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom give me a title and I'll find Franklins book and read it. But wasn't it Franklin who pointed out that poverty should be uncomfortable and therefore avoided? I'm just finishing 'The 5000 year leap' absolutely amazing, wish I had known of it earlier. As for the equal share of taxes. Is there any group or class of American that is entitled to pay less than any other person for the right to the freedoms of America and to support the minimal Goverment? (you noticed of course I said minimal) Is there any group of class of American that is obligated to pay more than any other person. etc.? I believe the answer to both is no. If I am poor, that does not excuse me my obligation to support the country. If the tools, ladder, hand up are available for me to rise above poverty and I take advantage of them and do so, then I am in debt. Debts must be paid. There is no free ride. If I am rich through the fruits of my labor than I am obligated to support my country in direct proportion to everyone else. No breaks, BUT no punishment as well. After all the point of the free enterprise system of capitalism in this country is to get rich. That's why everyone wants to come here. The illegals aren't coming here to be poor, they can do that in their own country. ( don't give them hand outs from the taxpayers and treat them like our chronic poor). Continues next.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Now the issue. What kind of tax? It should be the same for every citizen. Every citizen must contribute to the support of freedom. It should not be possession based. Property tax is an abomination. Government should not have the right to take private property and especially when it involves a government tax on that property. Estate taxes are an abomination. Wealth accumulated and taxed along the way should not be double taxed and family should not be punished because of the success of the provider. Profit on investments which are taxed is an abomination. The point of capitalism is to make money and therefore reinvest in the countrys future. Only the rich can successfully invest in America, why should they be punished for doing so? Remember, Investment is not without risk. So how does the government get money to do the limited things we granted them power to do? Tax how we spend, not what we earn. I am not talking about a value added tax that multiplies each time and item is sold. When you do that you build inflation into the equation and everyone loses. A national sales tax on everything but food and medicine. The percentage could be worked out based on the GDP and budget of the FED, which must be reduced, All other taxes from Washington, go away. If the Gov. doesn't have enough money to support a beauracracy, it goes away. Probably didn't belong there in the first place. And here's another thought that will probably require another string, Get rid of the Federal Reserve and go back to the gold standard, open up the vast oil reserves and quit trying to run the middle east out of oil We have all we need right here. I was recently told that we also have enough gold in reserves to pay off the National Debt.

This is hypothetical. Every citizen pays one penny on every dollar they spend. That is equal share taxes. Some won't like this next statement but....corporations would be exempt. They would only pass it on to the consumer and that would raise the price of the product. Every corporate employee would pay. All individuals would pay.Businesses would not. Why? Because the business would be looking to provide a product or service the people want or need and therefore create demand. What they purchase to make their product or service happen would be minor to the successful sales of their final consumable. I am still considering whether or not to charge a tax on services at the Federal level. My gut thought is to leave that to local government. Tom, does that help you understand what I mean by equal share of taxes?

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat,

The way I figure it, the best way to run a program like that is to look at each case individually and then do some checking up on the person as time passes. As few rules (laws, regulations) as possible accompanied by good old common sense.

Dan,

Thanks for your explanation. It helps me to see where you stand.

"If I am poor, that does not excuse me my obligation to support the country."

Looking at that comment I can perhaps help you to understand where I stand. Here's the way I see things. There are many things which we can either do or not do. I'm not talking about things like--say--national defense, which is a must. There are many things we do which we could stop doing, and we would only be somewhat worse off than we are.

Nevertheless, the majority of Americans prefer to see those things done, even the most conservative among us. I'll cite an example: federal grants for studies which involve the cure and treatment of disease. We all know that those grants have worked to effect some wonderful new treatments, and that without them those treatments might still be decades in the future, or might never happen at all. This is the kind of thing which precisely fits the "contemplative government" our republic-minded founders had in mind when they set up our nation, something that benefits all of us and which some of the citizens of our nation come together to fund willingly and voluntarily.

Such grants are expensive, and they fall beyond the rock-solid necessities, so only those who can afford to pay taxes to support them should do so. The working class should be exempted from paying for such things. Given a free choice they would, by and large, vote against them, simply because they do not have the cash to support them. And so they will benefit from something for which they do not pay. They would pay if they could, but they can't. So the rest of pay. It's nothing more than a logical, and proper, extension into government of the Christian sentiments on which this nation is founded.

In the day of Franklin, for example, he and other private citizens created the first fire company and the first free public library in Philadelphia. They did not ask the poor to contribute even though they would benefit. They created those services out of a belief that for those who could afford it the roll of government goes beyond the rock-solid basics.

I agree. I do not agree with programs that carry that idea too far, that are created by leftist politicians like Obama, who seeks to socialize the nation, or with programs are shoved down the throats of citizens during a time of temporary majority.

That's about where I stand. I just can't see my way to the position that we are all equally responsible for programs which go beyond the rock-bottom level of government. Looking at history I don't think that's where out founding fathers stood.

Have to post this without editing, so forgive any typos....

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom, wish I could post without typos, tried it once, never again. :-) I very much appreciate your belief in the betterment of people through grants that find causes and cures. Our difference of opinion is probably no more obvious than right here. In a perfect world, the government would grant money to a foundation for research based on their hypothesis of a cure for a disease. There would be oversight, reasonable salaries and reasonable expenses and should there be positive results....wait for it.....Then the tax payers would benefit, not some corporation, or foundation. When Franklin went out to find private contributions to fund projects it was with the belief that those who took advantage of the resources would eventually become contributing members of society. All too often the good intentions of government have the exact opposite effect on the lives of it's people. Today, Good intentions have created an obligation of $14,000,000,000,000.00 +. We can only pay that debt, if we take back from the Government, the Mama watches over us mentality and stop trying to be everything to everyone. Given the opportunity to rise above mediocracy man will. He always has.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Dan,

If you ever find out how to post without typos, keep it a secret. Then you and I will develop a computer program that does it and we'll be able to tell Bill Gates that he's now the third richest guy who ever had a good idea for a computer. :-)

Anyway, nobody looks at typos (nobody worth talking about anyway). They are just the way things are. Remember now, I have written entire books, and I have have NEVER been able to avoid typos. I'll give you an example. The publisher of the novel that just went on the market sent me an e-mail at the last minute and asked me to cut the synopsis down to just a few dozen lines he could put on the back cover. So I did. Then, in absolute horror a few days later, I saw that I had said, "...she's damned if she'll leave it just because some cretin has a callous on his dialing finger..." Now I now the difference between callous and callus. So does everyone. Thank God (!) I was able to catch that before it got printed on the back of a couole of thousand books.

The problem is we all have trouble seeing our mistakes because when we read the sentence we read it as we intended it to be. Happens all the time. Just look at this classic example of how we screw up, "Pass me the the Butter." They say that 9 times out of 10 you will miss that mistake.

Did you catch it?

So don't worry about it.

"All too often the good intentions of government have the exact opposite effect on the lives of it's people."

Yep. "Unintended consequences." They say that's one of the big problems.

I agree entirely. We have to stop deficit spending. We have to take a close look at what we are doing and cut things that are truly a waste.

Just look at this quote from a recent Roundup article:

"The state department of education has about 540 employees, but fewer than 10 percent of those employees are paid out of the state’s general fund. The rest are all working on administering federal grants to the state and local districts."

That means that in real costs, those federal programs require us to hire and pay somewhere over 490 employees. If they only make $30,000 apiece, plus benefits, a VERY low number, we are spending almost $15,000,000 a year for those employees. That's a cost the system simply cannot bear. There has to be a better way!

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Grants for medical research. How many millions of dollars and time was given to find a deterrant for polio? Who found it, a man named Salk in a little lab on his own ! The more money given for research will only make more jobs.. Prolong the pain and misery. Stop fooling yourselves, they will not find cures. They would be out of a job . The following is an opinion from personal experience in my extended family. All I see the medicine companies do is make and most drs. use is something to cover up the symptoms, not find out what is wrong or cure it. There are exceptions for some of the Drs. There are a few here in Payson.

I just got home from Scottsdale after going to a new Dr. He did not want to let me talk only wanted to start me on pills. Read a little medical history, one lab test, that he hadn't ordered but didn't want any explanations. What an a--. Didn't want to know why I feel the way I do or why I was in the ER at Baywood Hosp. last night with my blood pressure high and at one time 211/161. Said I needed to talk to a social worker. For that he charged Medicare $300.00
Guess I have vented long enough. Have to watch my blood pressure.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow, Pat! Watch your blood pressure is right! Those are big numbers!

That doc sounds like a few I've heard about. I'm glad there are more of the other kind.

As for research, Pat. I know it sometimes seems as though we are getting nowhere, but when you look at the number of things we just don't worry about any more it's a big number.

Lolly's cousin, Fay, over in Hawaii was having angina pains, went to Oahu, had an exam that found a small, partly blocked artery, and had a stent put in the same day.

Talked to her on the phone yesterday, just three days later. Problem gone. No pain. No nothing. Walking around and acting same as usual. And the stats show that a stent is as successful for a small, only partly blocked artery as heart surgery would have been a few years ago.

I have a friend who had an operation for the exact same problem just eight years ago. Ribs cut out. Ribs stretched. Vein stripped from his leg. Hours on the table. Weeks an week of pain afterward. And no better guarantee than the stent procedure.

And look at smallpox. Used to kill 400,000 people a year in Europe alone back when we first became a nation. And it was responsible for 1/3 of all blindness, something a lot of people don't know. About half of the people who got it died. I can remember reading in high school in 1949 that there were 50 million cases a year wordwide.

The day I left Karachi 27 people died of it in the city. That was an everyday thing.

And today? Zero!

You've got to say that's progress.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom, Feb 24 1:45pm Your typo. Please pass the butter. (: Butter.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Dan,

Would you say we slightly slipped off the subject? Maybe it was the butter. ;-)

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Mikey Kerns 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom: “Pass me the the Butter.” "Pass me the butter." Extra "the" should be deleted, and "butter" shouldn't have been capitalized. And I agree with Pat - a "please" should have been in there someplace.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat,

The extra the is what people miss. Why I don't know. It's just one of those things, I guess. (Just one of things I don't know. And when you type something yourself it's even worse.

But the best part of this discussion is that is reminded me of something that happened back when I was in my twenties.

For a short while I worked for a guy called Morris Fishman. Quiet guy. Never swore.

He recounted what happened when he returned from Korea after 18 months in the Army and married his childhood bride. I'll put it in his words.

"There we were at the wedding table after the ceremony. It looked like the Last Supper, a long table filled on either side with laughing, talking people from both families. I was eating, happy as could be, and thinking of nothing in particular. All of a sudden everything stopped. The room grew as quiet as the tomb. I looked up and everyone was looking at me. Then, little by little the conversation started up again. After the dinner my new brother in law came over and asked me something."

"Morris," he asked, "are you aware that right in the middle of the dinner you looked at your new mother-in-law, smiled, and said, 'Pass me the f------g butter, will you?'"

Army, you see. Bad habits stick with you for a while.

True story. I split a gut when Morris told me about it.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

He tells me he said, "will you?"

My guess is that by the time he got to the "please" or "will you" part of the sentence no one was listening any more. :-)

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Tom for allowing me this rant. It should likely come to an end now, probably because I couldn't stay closely attached in my responses, but more so because of natural philosophical differences. I was given a passage from a book about Davy Crockett about when he served in the U.S. Congress or perhaps a biography I don't actually recall. My friend was pointing to this passage to show that the FED has been trying for years to get into the "pass out the dole program". The plead in government was to help out with financial aid for a disaster that had happened. All in Congress thought it a noble exercise and voted to approve funds, including Crockett who even made an impassioned speech on the subject. When Davy went home to campaign however, he found that many influencial voters in his district were disturbed by his vote and asked him where he got the authority in the Constitution to do what they (Congress) did? Bottom line, they didn't have the right. People don't pay taxes to help the less fortunate when disaster strikes, that's something we are supposed to prepare and get ready for'. People don't pay taxes to help people get by when times are tough and they don't have a job. People don't pay taxes to tell schools what to teach. People don't pay taxes to have people tell us how to protect children, seniors, minorities, trees or water or oil. Some people who don't pay taxes want us to pay taxes for these things but I believe that People pay taxes to the Federal Government to protect and defend. Everything else should always come out of the pockets of those that believe the cause is just. That's where I stand on Taxes and our Freedom. Dan

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

I understand your opinion, Dan. And I think that everyone, except someone occupying an extreme position on the other side of the aisle, would agree that there is truth in it.

But...

Why the $#@@! is there always a but? :-)

I suspect that even you would agree that your position takes a honest view of matters and carries it farther than most people are willing to go.

I'll just take one comment out of the many you made and show you why I think that's so.

Take, "People don't pay taxes to help the less fortunate when disaster strikes, that's something we are supposed to prepare and get ready for."

I think that if you look at the way we react as a nation when someone, almost anyone and almost anywhere, is in big trouble because of some disaster you'll see that we are a very caring and generous people. We almost immediately begin sending aid wherever it is needed, and often in great quantity. Now that costs money--tax money. And yet you would have to look very hard to find even a few people who would complain about it.

So the conclusion is that we do pay taxes to help others when we feel that help is justified. What we don't want to do is to pay taxes to help people leech off us.

The problem is finding ways to separate the two. We're not doing a very good job of it right now, and extremists like Obama don't help much. I look at what was once "Merrie Olde England" in horror when I see what rampant socialism has done there. And like you, and the vast majority of Americans, I don't want to see it happen here.

I'm done with my reading on term limits, and it will take me about three more days to complete writing the posts. Perhaps in that string we may be able to find solutions to some of the ills that trouble all of us.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

What country sent us money, Drs. or any kind of help when Katrina hit? Who is sending us money or any kind of help now with all the floods, tornadoes and snow? Why are we supposed to be the protectors, peace makers, food providers, builders for all the rest of the world? Charity begins at home or so I heard when I was growing up. Charity for people that can't help themselves not for the ones that won't. No I am not a Scrooge. I believe in taking care of our own first. United States of America. If we did that we would have plenty of money for what we need.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat,

You ask a good question. I suppose the answer is that the world sees us as the wealthiest nation in the world and just doesn't think we need help. Personally, I'd like to see that view of things get back to being as true as it used to be. :-)

Dan,

Just a suggestion. I think that maybe the subject of taxes is general was so wide that it was too much for a single string. Why don't you try this approach? Taxes--new ones, old ones, ones that are being increased, and ones that are being cut--come up all the time. As that happens you'll have a chance to post a new string and put your stamp on the discussion, and since the discussion will be more narrow you'll be able to show why and how your view should prevail.

That way, over time, you may be able to make a difference by showing in specific cases how and why some taxes are very wrong--or even very right.

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Jack Jasper 3 years, 1 month ago

Doesn't anyone wonder why so many billionaires have evolved? And why anyone needs this kind of money to live in the most extravagent lifestyle? Could it be that these kind riches create the power to allow this system to expand? If so,and there is no FIX in sight then it seems that we are headed for the NEW WORLD ORDER. Then God help whats left of middle class america!!!

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

If there are lots of billionaires out there they may have inherited some to begin with or like Bill Gates they figured out at way to make money. Nobody gave Oprah anything, but she certainly gives back a lot. They aren't all dishonest. Luck and hard work will get you somewhere. Sitting on your rear and whining is not going to get you anything. Yes, I know you and know you are retired. Jack stop complaining because some people have more money than others. Maybe they deserve it and maybe they don't but we aren't going to change it.

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don evans 3 years, 1 month ago

The American "Middle Class" that I consider myself to be part of, has it pretty damn nice as compared to the rest of the world. I have a house that is paid for, I have two cars that are paid for, we have food on the table, take a nice vacation once a year if we want, and have a doctor to visit for NON emergency ailments. We both worked for all of it and earned it. We try to live by the rules, some are good, some not. All in all our middle class life is pretty good. In my opinion, to many people have unrealistic material expectations, go for the wants instead of the needs. Then they get into a bad financial situation, all their choices. Don't tell me how the American middle class has it so bad for the most part. It's all relative. If some guy makes himself a billion bucks by the rules, I don't expect him to bail me out from my own bad choices. Class warfare is the cry of the liberal professional politicians and their socialist supporters.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat,

First of all, I was glad to see you agreeing with Don for once. :-)

And Don,

I feel the same way you do about how well off we really are. I sometimes look out the window at some small animal in my back yard and think what a hard life it has. Over 95% of its time spent just trying to eat enough to stay alive. Out there in the cold, and rain, and snow, and general, all-around misery. How lucky humans are!

And compared to most of the humans in the world, how well off we are!

But Jack has put his finger on a question we all need to be asking. What has changed that makes it so easy for a few to accumulate so much wealth, wealth that goes so far beyond anything anyone could possibly need?

Why do we have to ask that question?

Because we are seeing the other end of the spectrum too. We are seeing people who, no matter how hard they work, live on the edge of disaster. Oh, I'm not talking about lazy, useless leeches. I'm talking about hard working Americans. I'm talking about people who work with their hands and who right now are one step from losing everything they have while others have so much they couldn't spent it if they spent a million bucks a day for the rest of their lives.

There is nothing wrong with people having the opportunity to become rich. If that's what you want, go for it. But opportunity is basic in this nation, and we are rapidly losing it.

So the question is not, "What's right and what's wrong?" The question is, "What has changed since the turn of the 20th century which has made it so easy to accumulate millions of dollars sitting behind a desk doing nothing, or to accumulate billions of dollars, period.

It is NOT some great plot. It is NOT evil people getting together and trying to turn America into a land of an incredibly wealthy few and a downtrodden many. That may be where we are headed--the numbers prove it--but it is not the result of some plot.

So what is it?

Technology.

Say what?

Yep, technology.

Back a hundred years ago it was very difficult to amass a great fortune. Or perhaps I should say it was possible to amass a great fortune, but "great fortune" was defined in millions.

Back then most corporations were owned lock, stock, and barrel by very wealthy men. And the wealthy, but not "very wealthy" got in a few strokes too; they invested what they could, but they had little if any control over the corporations in which they invested. But few ordinary citizens were able to invest much. The system just wasn't built for it.

Remember all those books and films about someone fighting to "control" the corporation? Trying to join with someone else and push out the former controlling stock owner?

Don't hear much about that anymore, do we?

Why? (more)

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Small investors make up the overwhelming majority of investors. The days of the "stock market barons" is ended. Today is the day of the corporation executive--AKA blood sucking leech--who is draining away the profits that should go to the investors, and the salaries that should go to the workers.

In real money, every generation of Americans has made more than the one before it--except this one, and the one just before it. In real dollars, the average worker today makes less than someone made in 1960. That, folks, is FIFTY years ago!

That's why we see creeping socialism. The liberals are beginning to gain power because a working man can't make an honest buck anymore. So they are trying to tax us more and give the money to people who should be earning it, but can't. That doesn't work.

So WHY is this the day of the bonus sucking leech? Easy. If the board of a corporation is made up of wall street barons who have a lot of their money invested in the company they are not going to let some CEO scoop it all into his pockets. But where the investors are small, and essentially powerless, and the board and the CEO are hand in glove conspirators, you're screwed.

Want to complain about something?

There you are!

Why does it worry me so much.

The feds are borrowing money by the bushel-basket to make up for what is going into the coffers of the far-too-rich.

The whole nation is propped up by loans made to us by places like Japan and China. We are living in a house of cards. One breath of wind and down it comes. Not just a recession or a depression, but a complete collapse of the entire system. No money coming in social security checks. The dollar worth three cents. No one working. Nothing.

I'm lucky. I'll probably die before it happens. But happen it will.

If we don't do something about it--and soon!

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Jack Jasper 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm certainly not complaining about regular people making money.It's the super,super wealthy that aught to bring a question to any thinking persons mind. All these billionaires didn,t inherit it.,but everyone should wonder if they got it legally.It's quite possible {maybe probable} that underhanded or illegal methods were used.because this is more money than most people can even IMAGINE. These greedy ones could easily solve our budget problems and it would hardly hurt them at all!!!!! Of course we all think it will.

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

Quoting from the Fiddler on the Roof..."If I were a rich man..." . Were I fortunate enough to create a means by which I could make a lot of money, put a lot of people to work, create an ongoing need for my product or service which took on a life of it's own because it became an instrument where ordinary people could create wealth...... Why would I allow some lazy, worthless, SOB tell me that my profit belonged to him and the rest of his so called society because they were entitled to be taken care of? If you don't do it, you don't get it. .....If you want it, work for it.....don't get paid enough, work harder. and this is the most important of all because it leads to becoming that person who is despised by those who have not.....IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME. The individual, not the collective, is responsible. You can't be a victim, You must be a Victor.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Jack, Why do you think the haves should give and take care of the have nots that sat on thier rears when they were younger?
What is wrong with being super wealthy? Perhaps when they were younger they were saving thier money for needs and not spending on wants. When things starting going down hill a couple of years ago you should have driven the streets of Payson and looked at all the houses for sale that had boats, 4 wheelers, jet skis, camp trailers, extra cars and all the other toys you can think of for sale in front of them. Don't try to play if you can't pay. Why do you think if someone has money they had to have gotten it illegally? I don't think I know any billionaires but do know quite a few millionaires that worked damn hard for thier money. They deserve every penny of it and have the right to spend it anyway they want. It is thier money.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat, Dan,

Jack is right. He's not saying that the super-rich are doing something evil. He's just concerned about the fact that somehow or other it has become possible for someone to earn an amount of money out of all proportion to the value of one human being.

It's a legitimate concern, and like it or not we are going to have to do something about it. If we don't do something the trend will continue until we end up with just two classes of people, and the %$#@! government responds by turning this nation into a %$#@! socialist state. Obama et al are a symptom of the disease.

So where does the problem lie?

Greed? Power hunger? Lack of moral fiber? Some other "evil?"

Sorry, people are pretty much the same now as ever. There have always been John Jacob Astors et al. Whatever such people are, they have always existed. Furthermore, what they do, though it may not be the nicest way to act, is legal. We all know that Microsoft deliberately makes operating systems obsolete to force us to buy, buy, buy. And we have all been exposed to dozens of tales of power and money hungry barons of industry. The tales of beaver hunters doing everything they could to each other are nothing new.

So what? Can't change human nature, and it ISN'T human nature that has created our current problem.

So where's the beef? How did things become such a mess?

Easy. The same technology that has improved our lives by controlling the flow of gasoline into your engine so that it will last 200,000 miles instead of 40,000--the computer--makes it possible to manipulate business from afar with speculation, over-control, and what basically amounts to rampant gambling.

A hundred years ago Bill Gates could only have become a millionaire. He could have applied the same business methods he applied today, worked his butt off, and been as greedy and amoral and they come, but the system simply did not allow the type of control and speculation it now allows.

The exact same forces are at work in corporations, allowing executives to pay themselves the money that should be going to the investors and the workers. There is a subtle coordination between corporations that has essentially eliminated competition and turned capitalism into something that would cause a John Rockefeller or and Andrew Carnegie to hell "Fou!" What we have now is no longer free trade. It doesn't even come close to being "free." It is so manipulated it makes a mockery out of capitalism. And, lest you forget, this nation is not only founded on freedom, it is also founded on free trade.

So Jack is right. Something is wrong. But it's not a change in people; it's a change in technology.

We can't get rid of the technology.

And who would want to?

So we have to adjust the system.

How?

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Jack has implied that billionaires have done something illegal more than once. If I started a corp with a good idea, I would expect to pay my employees a fair wage, but why should I not keep the largest share my self? I am not talking about corps. that have stock holders. I don't want anyone telling me what I can or can not do with my money. If I had the brains and get up and go to make it , It is MINE. Call it greed or whatever. I have 3 kids, 5 grandkids, and 7 great grand kids that will have a start to become another billionaire. You blame technology. Someone came up with the idea, so why shouldn't they keep the lion's share?

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Jack Jasper 3 years, 1 month ago

It appears that Pat does not know the GREAT difference between a millionair and a billionair. And it is GREAT.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Jack, I do know the difference and it don't make no difference if you get it by honest, hard work. It is yours to do with what you want.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

"Jack has implied that billionaires have done something illegal more than once."

Maybe so. Maybe so.

And you know what? I suspect that if anyone took a really good look at some of them we'd find that Jack is right. But so what? That's not the point. The point is that it is dangerous to the economy to have too much money concentrated in too few hands. Not that those hands would do something wrong with all that money, but that the economy is too fragile when there isn't enough wealth in the hands of the many. One hiccup and down we go. You just saw it happen.

"If I started a corp with a good idea, I would expect to pay my employees a fair wage, but why should I not keep the largest share my self?"

Pat, God bless you, no one is opposed to the guy who owns a company keeping as much as he wants to keep. It's HIS company. Let him have all he wants, the more the merrier.

At least that's the way I feel about it. The only people I have a problem with are the leeches who sit behind a desk of a company they DON'T own, dragging in paychecks that are for ten million times what they're worth. Those people are the worst drag on the economy we have. They siphon off money that should go to investors, who own the company and workers, who create the wealth.

"You blame technology. Someone came up with the idea, so why shouldn't they keep the lion's share?"

Sorry, Pat. I didn't "blame" technology. I think the technology we have is great. There's no question of "blame." The blame, if any, lies in the fact that our new technology makes it possible to speculate in ways that were simply unknown a while back. So speculators in real estate were just recently able to bring down the entire world economy. Not too long ago that would have been impossible. The speed of communications makes it too easy to respond too fast.

What we have now is dangerous. It makes the nation, and the world, vulnerable to disasters that can happen again, and again, and again. So we need to do something to get things under control.

What?

You tell me.

By the way, folks, when you see me picking on Bill Gates it's not because he swiped an operating system (CPM) from Gary Kildall and became rich renting it to IBM. It's because of the unfair business practices of Microsoft.

And I only mention Microsoft by name because it's a name everyone recognizes. It would be possible to point out many of the same abuses in other companies as well.

And don't forget, I am NOT anti business.

Personally, I'd like to meet Bill Gates. I think I'd like him.

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Jack Jasper 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat---no one ever became a billionaire with hard work.IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom, If you go back and read my post you will see that I said " I was not talking about corp. with stockholders." I think it was Dan that was blaming technology.

Jack, I am not going to argue the point about a person not becoming a billionaire with hard work. Of course he would have to have employees that were willing to work too. I don't begrudge any one making money honestly. More power and money to them !

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don evans 3 years, 1 month ago

Tom, no offense is intended by me. But your statement "The point is that it is dangerous to the economy to have too much money concentrated in too few hands. Not that those hands would do something wrong with all that money, but that the economy is too fragile when there isn't enough wealth in the hands of the many." made me chuckle. Who has the most money and dictates how it's accumulated and spent? (Poorly I might add) The US Federal Government!

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

Pat,

Gotcha.

Don,

I'm laughing right along with you, but--like you, I'll bet--there are some tears with that laughter.

What we are seeing with the government is a mirror image of what's wrong in the private sector, namely people spending someone else's money.

You worked hard for your money. So do a lot of people. And that includes a lot of people who rake in megabucks. We just need to find some way to handle the changes that have come about through a technology that is screwing things up at the moment. Trouble is, I don't know who the devil we can trust to make the changes. Every time someone in government says he's going to "reform" something we end up with laws whose true purpose are to push the envelope farther to one side or the other.

I feel like--who was it? I forget--the Greek who went around with a lamp, shining it in faces, and saying, "I'm looking for an honest man."

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Dan Haapala 3 years, 1 month ago

WOW, It's true. It's never over til it's over. Wealth comes to those who do. Poverty comes to those who do not. Government both helps and hinders both. Wealth is not the evil of today and poverty is not the pressing issue to be solved. Government is the reason for the season but every problem that exists in this world is the result of the Government determining the fix. Who among us would say no to changing places with the wealthiest of Americans? The problem is that most of us, who have never created wealth, or put people to work, would lose that wealth quickly. The stories about Lottery winners is the perfect example. All of us want, not all of us know how to create, that is what is lacking in our schools and in our society. That comes from true Entreprenuers. Most are self taught, they understand the system. Want to be rich? Make ten people rich and get a piece of the action. Create a need and make it affordable then find a marketing plan that includes hiring people to sell it. You will never, should never, become comfortable going to work, working for a wage, paying for retirement and quitting the system at age whatever. The "pursuit of happiness" is your only guarantee, and contributions is your obligation. Want to be a billionaire? Find something people want and sell a billion of them for a dollar. It's just that easy.

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Pat Randall 3 years, 1 month ago

Oprah did a pretty good job. Isn't she listed as one of the billionaires. She started from nothing. Look at all the money she has given away. The schools she has built and lots of things we haven't heard about. Takes a woman to get things done.

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Tom Garrett 3 years, 1 month ago

"Who among us would say no to changing places with the wealthiest of Americans?"

My hand is up. And yes, I am dead serious.

"Takes a woman to get things done."

Tsk! Tsk! Gender prejudice. :-)

Dan,

Just in case you have misunderstood my point of view--which I don't think you have--I am only worried about the fact that our communications technology is ahead of the power curve, while Wall Street et al is still running on 19th century rules.

I hate the hell out of having the feds mess with things, but to the extent that feds/r/us we need to take steps to end the rampant speculation with other people's money. In some cases we need to rid ourselves of the federal rules that make it possible. In others we need to find reasonable regulations regarding what traders are allowed to do. Right now they can take your mortgage, sell it to someone who sells it to someone who sells it to someone, who guarantees the money, but really doesn't, and take the accumulated money (much of which doesn't even exist) to speculate in anything they want, the main purpose being to "corner the market" and artificially drive up prices so they can rake in billions in profit from something that should in the first place be illegal. They are using your property, your money, and your future to become rich by pitching pennies at the global level. That's not business; that's just plain gambling. And if someone wants to gamble, let it be with his own money.

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