Homelessness Tax Would Target Rich Tech Sector in San Francisco

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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  2. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    If the rich wrote the laws, then why did they write them in such a way that they pay almost all of the taxes? Did they just voluntarily say "yeah, I totally think I should pay higher percentages of taxation than everyone else; that makes sense." Did they write the laws saying that they should be threatened with imprisonment if they don't pay taxes that are used to create safer spaces for homelessness and lack of productivity to be supported more and more?

    There's no question that the rich are spending more and more money trying to lobby congress, but to imply that they wrote all our laws is obviously not true. The tax breaks for oil companies--pushed by the rich--are merely a response to the overtaxation of everything in the first place. They're trying to get out from under these stupid laws that basically only target them. I suspect what the rich have learned over time is that rather than pushing back on badly-written laws that are oppressive to them, it's just much easier to "play the same game as the oppressors" and just make your own laws that exempt you from the bullshit laws that were created in the first place.

    Also, as a totally separate point--I'd rather have the smartest, most productive members of our society influencing our laws than anyone else. That's for sure. The capacity for people to always think they are smarter than everyone else, even when those "other people" are the ones that actually drive innovation and production of most of what we have, is fascinating.
     
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  3. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    It's not about how hard people work--"hardness of work" has nothing to do with it. It's about productivity. There are plenty of people in the world who work hard, and when you add all that hard work up, produce almost nothing. Likewise, there are people who work shorter days in a nice air conditioned office, and produce tremendous value for people.

    For example, consider a mutual fund manager who drives incredible profits for the shareholders, so that those shareholders can all have comfortable retirements and a nest egg to leave behind to their children, who in turn can live comfortable lives. That mutual fund manager is being incredibly productive--he's literally enhancing the lives of dozens/hundreds/thousands of people, enriching their livelihood and enabling them to be happier and more secure. And she/he did all that without lifting a shovel.

    Productivity and impact--that is what's rewarded in a capitalist society. Not "hard work".
     
  4. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think its more of a fuction of people reporting the issues then it being a new issue that just cropped up. San Deigo to the south (which has much better weather IMO) has the same homelessness issues that SF has.

    Oddly enough, NYC doesn't seem to have these issues and is a larger then both of them-but the climate isn't as nice (I live 50 miles or so south of it), but is also very expensive to live in or around.
     
  5. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    This post is pure GOLD.

    I could rant about this forever, but he put it into words better than I could ever dream of doing. So there it is.
     
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  6. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    Oh...

    For every person who works hard and puts nothing like you say, there's his/her supervisor doing even less and getting paid twice as much.

    Productivity is that nice word that people love to throw about but, for anyone who was ever on the terrible end of a job search and/or labor relation, workplace politics have the last word. Hell, sometimes it has all the damn words on the matter..

    When I lived in the Yukon, people were camping in vans. Come winter, some disappeared, but some were around there still, and -49F was not a rare temperature to have. That's some hardcore lazy bums!
     
  7. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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  8. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Maybe they should of used money for citizens instead of the illegals?
     
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  9. Decibel

    Decibel 2[H]4U

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    CA doesn't need a bailout.

    We're talking about the 5th largest economy in the world. They have tens of billions in a rainy day fund and a projected $6 billion budget surplus in 2018.

    A lot was learned from the recession.

    *

    I live in a college town in the south. Homeless are drinking and using drugs on the streets here too. They're camped out in the woods and under the bridges downtown. The only thing keeping it from being as ugly of a problem as in CA is that we have more tress for them to hide in.
     
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  10. tempertantrum

    tempertantrum Limp Gawd

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    A lot of those homeless people *have* jobs, or are students - many of them practically live at work or school. Even the cheaper areas around the Bay are expensive. Part of the problem is that so many people are trying to be where the money and jobs are, but there's no room for new buildings, no way to spread out. The other part is that people simply don't get paid enough. The people with the money know that people with the brains are so desperate to get a job, they will do almost anything, including work for nothing (interns) or living out of their car or a friend's couch... or even the streets.

    People make such ridiculous assumptions about people who are homeless - as though they want to be there. Usually, it's circumstances out of their control, whether it's unforeseen financial trouble, illness (physical or mental) or just doing the best they can, they don't want to be there.
     
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  11. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Why does the supervisor get paid twice as much? Is it that the supervisor is having twice as much impact? If they are, then they deserve twice as much. If they aren't, then the business is run poorly and someone should reduce that supervisor's pay or hire someone else to be supervisor for cheaper.

    I won't pretend to suggest that every person is paid what they should be paid. There's all kinds of people who are paid disproportionately to the impact they are having. No disagreement here. I'm only stating that "hard work" and what you produce aren't necessarily the same thing. (although it's rare that a person who produces a lot is able to do that without hard work--hard work is usually a precursor to high impact. It's just not always a predictor)
     
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  12. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    That is actually, false. Not everyone pays federal income taxes, and some do indeed take federal taxes instead of paying into it. You are incorrect here. Sorry, but as someone that works in tax, I feel the need to correct you.

    Roughly the bottom 40% (which the beer YouTube was quite spot on about) either pays $0 in federal income taxes or they get a refund. Obviously the higher towards 40% are more towards paying $0, while the lower percentage is taking more. Generally speaking we have tax deductions such as the standard deduction (Now $12,000 each, $24,000 for married). That initial $12,000 in income you make is not taxed. Add on top of that we also have child tax credits of $2,000. That means for every child that you have you can cut $2,000 off your income tax bill - and it is partially refundable. There are tons of other deductions and tax credits that the poor can take advantage of (I don't know them all because I've never taken them). You get the picture.



    (Note: Federal Income Taxes is SPECIFICALLY for federal income taxes. This doesn't include Social Security / Medicare that is paid)
     
  13. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    Got it. Translation: "I want what they have!" Great mentality there - always being jealous of other people's success instead of using that to encourage self-growth.
     
  14. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    I don't see jealousy of success and self-growth as opposites, as you're presenting them. I think people should be jealous of others' success, to the point where it spurs them to grow themselves. Why not strive for high success as modeled by others?

    Edit: Did you mean to use the word "instead"? Maybe I'm misreading what you meant...
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  15. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    Thats one of the biggest problems right now with our culture. It's the victim culture mentality. It's not "What can I do to be successful?" it is now "What forces are keeping me from being successful so I can spend my time blaming them?" In the rise of social media do you not also see a steady rise in people that are always acting like a victim?

    If you're constantly told that you can't do anything, what do you think the result will be? This is why we continue to have ignorant lazy people because they are constantly told misinformation such as the rich need to pay more in taxes. That couldn't be further from the truth when the bottom 40% literally pay nothing (and the bottom actually take from the pot instead of contributing to it). When 40% of the country is contributing nothing but telling others that are above them that they need to contribute more - what do you think the end result is? More people joining the bottom obviously.
     
  16. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    As much as we are told to believe otherwise, most businesses aren't beacons of rationality. There's quite a lot of leeway between "earning the most you possibly can" and "going broke". It's in that grey area that all sorts of irrational behavior happen, and that's more often than not the case. Still, as long as it's profitable, all is good. There's a reason why some of them are caught with their pants down whenever some disruption happen, or some absolutely rational decision turns out to be its demise.

    I agree with you that "hard work" has nothing to do with anything. But I also know that the most productive employees aren't necessarily the ones getting the fair share of what's being produced. There IS a lot of politics, unfortunately.

    There is a reason why the same business owners that want a dog eat dog world for labour relations are the first ones to join a business association...
     
  17. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Completely agree.

    And to add to it, the reason why I think step #1 is to "stop vilifying the rich" is because we will be unable to make any progress towards self-improvement until we pass this first step. If the rich are the enemy, then they are the oppressors and we are the victims, and every solution to every problem will reduce to "let's tax/fight the oppressors". We'll never grow up into anything useful until we stop picking a random enemy and blaming everything on them.
     
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  18. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Now we're definitely in agreement. :) I *hate* rich people who try to tilt the playing field in their favor, and this sometimes does actually happen. I believe in equal opportunity for all, and any rich person who tries to stack the laws in a way that gives them an exclusive benefit that can't be challenged is downright evil. I may come across as being appreciative of the rich--which I definitely am--but "the rich" is not a ubiquitous group of people. There are good and bad people in every category. Fairness is absolutely essential.

    The example that often comes to mind is the billionaire who owns the Ambassador Bridge. He is trying desperately to block a second bridge from being built that would compete with his bridge, even though the second bridge is totally being built legally and the land was appropriated legally, etc. Basically, he's trying to prevent competition by using the legal system to hard-block anyone from challenging him. That is the kind of rich guy behavior that we need to take a stand against. He's not evil because he's rich; he's evil because he's trying to prevent anyone else from becoming rich. That does happen sometimes, unfortunately.
     
  19. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's the middle ground, which is where I found myself since I moved.

    It's the acknowledgement that you can always do more to be successful, but you're still going to deal with people and things that are keeping you from getting there, for a phletora of different reasons... racism, envy, hatred, just plain evil, so on.

    Both ends of the spectrum are deluded. There's no such a thing as a poor victim of circunstances point blank. There's also no one that's fully in charge of its own destiny.

    Again, it's in this middle ground that some try and make things better, while others want to tilt the balance to the edges to suit their particular agendas.

    Don't forget that what they should pay in theory and what they end up paying are completely different things, and that's on purpose.

    Most of the time, your regular rich guy pay less than your regular well-off guy, which will in turn blame the poor fella that is pretty much happy to keep rent and food on the table paid for, and scrape by to deal with the rest, for not paying his share.

    It's not nice to be on the bottom. But then again, sometimes people just use the oh-so-revered business logic, cost to benefit. Huge effort, lots of injustice, and no guarantees at all... screw that, welfare it is.

    Then again, if any of you guys are on the beautiful people demographic, I won't expect you to understand that. That's because where I come from, I was there too. But when the table turns and you see how irrational some people act just because you don't tick a particular box - which triggers their prejudice - your mind would change real quick.
     
  20. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    "It's not all rich people, it's just the bad ones."

    If that statement does not send chills up and down your spine, you're either numb or evil.
     
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  21. cdr_74_premium

    cdr_74_premium [H]ard|Gawd

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    Where I come from, that's basically how it is. Rich people always win.

    Yet, we always heard that developed countries were different, that would never happen there. Rule of the law. And that's why they are nice, we heard.

    Unfortunately, not only it does happen, it is becoming more commonplace as time goes by, which is a disaster. To top it off, people are getting more and more radical, which prevents any sort of reasonable middle ground solution to appear. So we have full blown communism on one side, and feudalism on the other.
     
  22. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx 2[H]4U

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    True - But there is a flip-side to that coin: The only thing that stops people a lot of times with competing is government regulation. I'm not sure if that is the case here - but you get the picture.
     
  23. farscapesg1

    farscapesg1 2[H]4U

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    You know.. I'd be okay with something like this given a few conditions...
    1) It applies to all businesses - Why doesn't the tie-dye shop owner put their money where their mouth is. Make it a flat tax against all company earnings.. not just the the biggest 400. If they aren't willing to put up .5% then they shouldn't expect anyone else to.

    2) Temporary - The tax is only valid for 2 years before a re-evaluation is required. During that 2 year period, the 7500 homeless number needs to be reduced by 1/3. Failure to meet that goal requires the state to issue a tax credit back to the companies equal to the amount received and the project ended.

    3) Plans and regulations need to be in place before implementing - This one is a little rough and feels a little "gestapo" but every homeless person needs to be rounded up and interviewed/processed.
    • Employed above minimum wage but living homeless or in a car (able to actually afford housing) - fined for vagrancy and wasting taxpayer's money
    • Employed but unable to afford even subsidized housing - Sent to a retraining facility to learn a skill/trade to make a living, provided housing and job location assistance (nation wide) during that time only.
    • Drug user - sent to a rehabilitation clinic to be cleaned up, then sent to retraining facility with locked down housing (not much better than a prison cell) and job location assistance.
    • Mental illness - Probably the hardest one IMO because there may just not be any socially-productive solution. If they can be successfully treated (medically or psychologically), treat them, train them and get them in the workforce. If not permanent psychiatric care is the only humane option (constant drain on the society), otherwise .....

    4) Relocation - The SF area is just too darn expensive. I'm not talking about a 1-way bus ticket. This requires inter-State cooperation to assist finding jobs in other cities/states that match their skill sets. Any SF resident can actually apply and receive up to $25k moving expenses, based on their current situation. Obviously, someone that is already homeless doesn't have all the stuff to move across the country so they don't require as much assistance. Basically, moving expenses plus 3-6 months housing expenses on the far end. One time option... no driving back and getting it again. Recipients are fingerprinted, documented, etc. for no recurrences.

    5) Financial training - Part of the retraining process also requires financial training. Someone earlier in the thread said that "normal" people couldn't afford to relocate. I don't agree in that the "normal" person should be capable of building and maintaining an emergency fund, even living "paycheck to paycheck". Don't buy that weekly beer, daily McD's coffee, pack of cigarettes, etc. and put that money back to a separate savings account. 6 months worth of expenses goes a long way when needed.. or handles a lot of unexpected issues.

    6) No relapses - Recipients under the plan forgo any welfare benefits for 10 years. By this point they have been cleaned up, trained, and assisted with job placement/relocation. If they can't make it work after that.. my sympathy has expired. However, life isn't black and white so some exceptions would probably need to be put in place (medical catastrophe level).

    None of this directly addresses the housing issue, but by offering relocation options out of the city/state it may free up some of the housing that is in short demand. Of course what city/state would willing help their tax-base leave I have no idea :p

    It also doesn't do anything with the low-paying jobs, but really if you are expecting to make a living as a 30-year old flipping burgers at Burger King... sorry but you are crazy. That's the job of the high school student for some extra spending cash while living with mom and dad. Same goes for the Chili's waitstaff.. that's for high school and college students. Your a 30 year old man or woman that should have job/career with responsibilities and a future.. not just pulling a weekly paycheck. The only way you should be working in fast food or low-end restaurants is a management position at that point. Yeah.. I know that's going to twist some panties with the "I don't live to work... I work to live" crowd :p I'm sick of seeing the "I'm looking for a job from 8-3, no retail/warehouse/outside, minimum $15/hour and I have no skills" people looking for jobs (in Tennessee, can't imagine what SF peeps are looking for). Just don't be the person that's out there "I've worked fast food for the last 10 years.. what fast food place is hiring?.. hell dream a little and at least look for a Chili's at that point :LOL:
     
  24. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Why? I think the majority of rich people (top 10% let's say) are not bad. They are productive members of society, adding lots of value to mankind, and getting rewarded for their efforts. I think the "bad ones" are a minority, and those ones should be opposed because they are deliberately trying to create an unfair playing field.

    How does that make me numb and/or evil?
     
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  25. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    That's why I'm generally not a fan of government regulation. I often hear that governments are vital because they prevent monopolies. It's hilarious--governments create monopolies far more than they prevent them, with their stupid regulations that often guarantee that market entrants have no reasonable path to compete.
     
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  26. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    A few points:

    I was referring more to the past 30-40 years than when the laws were written. If you haven't noticed, the rich have recently rewritten the laws to give themselves tax breaks. They had big ones under Bush, Obama made them permanent, Trump's tax cut is a huge windfall for them.

    You ask why did the laws get written that they pay so much to begin with? It was a response to the Great Depression where everyone was universally pissed at them for crashing the economy. FDR explained it to them as saving capitalism, because without them, the solutions would have been even more extreme, such was the resentment from the Great Depression.

    I'm glad you agree on your point on wanting the smartest, most productive members of society wanting to have more influence our laws being a SEPARATE issue from the rich influencing our laws. Those aren't the same things at all. From my experience, if you had to choose one trait, I'd rather have someone with a strong moral center running things than necessarily the smartest. An idiot with his heart in the right place can make mistakes and even make things worse for a time, but they can also correct course if they do and eventually steer things in the right direction. A genius who is only out to enrich themselves can make things horrendous for the majority, make things fantastic for themselves and others in their class, be tremendously effective at it, and see no need to change anything. In short the most important trait is to determine whether someone is working for the good of the people or not. If they're not, then everything else is irrelevant.
     
  27. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wasn't aware people working full time was considered "contributing nothing." You're making it sound like they're all sitting at home watching TV. The majority of poor are working. The fact that they don't earn enough to qualify to pay federal taxes I see as a much larger systemic problem. I somehow don't see calling people who area already working as lazy anot not contributing as the solution.
     
  28. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Yes, I know that the rich have influenced changes in laws that get them tax breaks--I tried to point that out in my post that you quoted. It seems reasonable to me that they want to give themselves tax breaks, since they pay so much tax--I don't think that's wrong. It seems very reasonable (at least to me) that they want to stop funding 70% of the country when they only make up 10% of the population. Note: the trump tax cut was not just a huge windfall for them--it was a pretty big windfall for almost everyone. I haven't read the full tax act, but I've read over 200 pages, analyzed the brackets, and tried to ascertain the changes. A wide swath of people will benefit--nearly everyone to be honest. The biggest problem with those tax cuts is that it wasn't accompanied by a corresponding reduction in spending. (a major concern that will mute the benefit of the cuts to all involved)

    I agree that the best decision makers are the ones with a strong moral center. The only question, then, is "what does a strong moral center look like?" I suspect we disagree on what is moral vs. not. I tend to believe that taking money earned fairly by one person, and giving it to someone who has not earned it, is fundamentally immoral. It would seem that I'm in the minority on this subject, in these modern times. To me, much of taxation is basically just state-sanctioned theft. It's always amazed me how people don't see it that way--that somehow when the theft is done by the government then it's OK.
     
  29. XvMMvX

    XvMMvX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah no... I worked for what I got and no one gave me shit because of who my daddy was. You severely overestimate just how much of an insurmountable challenge people can make of living... it is so easy to be average it is comical.

    Maybe take all that money you spend on pcs, home theater gear, etc and send it to San Francisco... you don't really need that stuff anyway. Oh wait... that would be your money and not other peoples money.
     
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  30. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's always the answer isn't it. Tax the rich cause they can afford it.

    Hell why not take it to it's logical limit, no one needs more that X amount of dollars so if you make more than X, that's all taxes, just give it up, how dare you strive to succeed?

    Instead of taxing the rich more, how about you just cut government spending to cover it?

    Put all those government jobs on the chopping block and take the money you are saving to pick those people up.

    And when you can't cut any more, then the government is as shrunk as it can shrink, that's when you know you have done all you can do and the helping hand is all out of give-me.

    Then you look at how much you were able to cut and give, and that's how much you lower everyone's taxes and still cover the Federal Government we need, not the Federal Government that has become a huge fat turd.


    Two birds with one stone.
     
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  31. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's a separate issue, but I suggest you look at what the tax cuts will be for individuals down the road, not just this year. It's going to lead to an increase for the majority of individuals in the long term, specifically those that are NOT rich.

    As for your argument, it's presented in a simplistic way. First, taxes are not theft, they're the RENT for living in a country. Everyone benefits from having roads, being able to drink clean water, living in an environment where police and fire services will respond to an emergency, etc. These things aren't free. You're born into the world taking advantage of these services. To not pay anything for them after having benefited from them would be freeloading. The only people who do not pay taxes are ones that are so poor they can't afford any of them, the general idea being it would literally be taking food out of their mouth. If their situation changes and they can, then they do.

    As for the moral center question, I look at outcomes. If people are going homeless, need medical care, or aren't getting enough to eat in a country that has a plethora of resources, then that's a bad system. Defending systems that deprive large portions of the populace of basic needs (regardless of the reason) I don't see as particularly moral. In fact, I see any system where you can work full time and not earn enough to put a roof over your head as barbaric, but I realize that's an outlier view here. I see making sure everyone can have their basic needs met as the goal. I'm less concerned with how we get there so much as we get there. If we can get there without more taxes, great. If taxes are the only way we can get there, great. What I'm against is not fixing the problem.

    Your ideology works well in a vacuum, but reality isn't like that. You go too far in the direction you're describing, you end up with something like the French Revolution where the aristocracy was executed whether they came by their money ethically or not simply because the majority of the populace was starving. All these high taxes you keep referring to were an answer to PREVENT going down a similar road in the US after the Great Depression. In an alternate timeline, instead of high taxes, the US would have gone full socialist in the 30s and begin nationalizing industries. The need for people to have their basic needs met is a force is like a river. You can't stop it, you can only divert it in various directions. The more it's dammed up, the more pressure builds for it to spill out somewhere else.
     
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  32. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I like laws and policies to be applicable to all and fair. however do you also hate poor people who try to stack the playing field in their favor? I ask because what I have learned is that most people try to stack the playing field in their own favor period, doesn't matter if they are rich, poor, middle class, black, white, green. Right and wrong aren't even a consideration to most people but they will certainly try to play off what ever they are doing as right. At some point you have to accept that because the vast majority of people are doing this its just a matter of fact in human behavior.

    Also have you considered that most rich people who are stacking the deck in their favor don't consider what they are doing to be wrong? They are often actually convinced that in the long run its the best thing for society and many of them have just such an argument. Even people who push for social services are often being selfish. People who are powerful and educated often know one of the universal truths of society, it is that if you do not keep the masses and poor people sufficiently taken care of they will rise up, kill you and your whole family and anyone like you, and reset a new society. So keeping them reasonably fed, sheltered and taken care of is actually a very selfish endeavor, one the poor people happily accept.
     
  33. phatbx133

    phatbx133 Gawd

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    Ban all sanctuary cities !, No place for them...WTF !
     
  34. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    As for how selfish it is, it really varies on the person and their background. Some people just don't want to see others suffer and think it's nuts to let it continue if it can be prevented. Others (probably the majority of people are in this category) don't give it much thought until they can see it with their own eyes, then they care a lot. Some do the mental calculus like you're describing with that being their prime motivator (while it's true, I'm guessing only a small minority have this as their primary motivator). Others just don't give a shit any which way and / or else are genuinely ignorant of the problem.
     
  35. NKD

    NKD [H]ardness Supreme

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    LOL good points. I honestly don't think people that are working low wage jobs are on their own living there. Almost all have support system and almost all live with families and likey are living with their families. Other than that it really wouldn't make any sense lol. People forget there are people that live in SF for ages and families living there. Some don't even sell they have been there for a while lol. Plus the problem is SF can't really expand and since the housing prices are increasing it means there is demand there and low supply and they are still selling or pricing would have dropped already. The thing is people do make a lot of money there so its becoming a city of the extreme rich and those who have been there for ages and extreme poor those who likely never recovered from their downfall. Also I am wondring if homeless are just migrating to SF, I wouldn't be surprised. May be thats where they see the most benefit, I mean if you are homeless would you rather be in the bay or in the valley where I am at. I honestly rarely see any homeless here anymore, either my city is doing an epic job or they all went to SF.
     
  36. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    That is totally evil. Your statement means that you get to decide what is right and fair. Those who do not share your values are therefore targeted. How? Their wealth is taken. And then you, in your beneficence, bestows that stolen wealth upon those whom you deem worthy. That is the essence of your belief system. It is NOT an economic system: it is looting. You espouse the belief that "bad" people don't deserve whatever it is they have attained.

    You take your morality and deem it better than others' and then use that morality as a test. If they fail your test, you take their wealth. They are not worthy. That is the essence of liberal elitism.

    Instead, you should look at the "rich" and notice that they have been successful. Rather than tear them down, you should see how it is possible to emulate them: if not in the path they took, then in the destination.

    What system is it that would give a group the power to gang up on an unpopular individual and take their property?
     
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  37. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    I do appreciate the debate here, and that you're not resorting to name calling and simply trying to have a rational argument. Thanks for the civility, tetris42!

    Some of the services you listed (such as police), I'm fine with being taxed for. My moral argument for that is the following: our society should run on the premise that all people obey the same rules, and abide by the same laws, and we need someone to enforce and protect those laws or society itself will not function as we wish it would. Similarly, the military essentially protects our constitution and preserves our ability for capitalism to thrive. So taxation for police and military seems to be within the reasonable limits of what government should be doing.

    Things like fire services and roads are more debatable. Imagine for a moment that we did NOT use taxes to pay for fire houses and roads. Imagine also that we stopped vilifying the rich (just bear with me here), and instead we celebrated their success and also the prosperity that they often bring to our communities. In this newly-imagined world, could we simply "ask" the rich to build us a firehall? (I say "ask" because today we don't ask--we force). Might the rich say "yes"? Wouldn't the rich want fire protection for their homes anyway? Wouldn't they want to have the fire hall named after them as a way to honor their contribution, and might that be a nice carrot to dangle to get them to voluntarily help us all out? Such an idea is almost unthinkable today because we're almost in a state of war with the rich, but in a society where our culture appreciates and exhalts success and productivity, I suspect that the rich folks around us might be much more willing to lend a hand.

    You might say "but what if the rich person says no?" Well, the answer to that is simple--then the rest of the community will need to build that firehall, and maybe those firemen don't go to the rich people's house when it's on fire. I really think this would be a rarity, because the rich want roads and fire protection just as much as the rest of us do. Think about it--rich people drive ~70% of our GDP/production. You think they won't voluntarily pay for roads? I honestly think that if we stopped gouging these people with forced taxation and actually venerated their success, we would end up with voluntary roads and fire halls and all kinds of stuff, and at the same time we wouldn't be committing forced theft on our fellow citizens. You may think this is Utopian, but I do not--many of the railroads laid across this country were built by rich people who needed to transport goods (because they are productive people who require mechanisms that allow that productivity to happen) , and there's no reason to think that this couldn't work in modern times.


    I mostly agree with you. I think the reason people are going poor and hungry in a country with so much is precisely because our system and culture vilify rich/successful/productive people. The lack of taxing the rich isn't the problem--I think it's the exact opposite. We've been heavily taxing success for a while now, and that only leads to one thing: a climate where successful people no longer feel a moral or civic duty to help others. Why would they want to help the poor? There is a knife labelled "poor" in their backs at all times. They are vilified and reviled by everyone--they are slammed as the source of all evil, even though nearly everything--from the asphalt mixtures we drive on, to the injection-molded light switch covers in every building, to the very computers we're typing on right now--were envisioned and risked and created by these people.

    I want the same thing you and many others do--comfort for all, freedom for all, prosperity for all. Not just the rich. I just think that the reason we don't have this--in part--is because we've declared war on the most productive members of society.

    I'm very much worried about another French Revolution. I believe that's exactly where we're headed, which is why I'm advocating for a reversal of direction. The high taxes will only lead to a repeat of the French Revolution--they will not stave one off. The reason is this: the masses will always ask for more, and thus produce less, and thus have less. This self-feeding loop will continue, with productive members of society being blamed more and more, and taxed more and more, until not even the 1% can carry our demands. Then, the revolution will happen--the people who produce nothing and take no personal responsibility for their own situation will realize that that the rich have nothing more to give, and they will slay their own golden gooses.

    My ideology (if you want to call it that--I just think of it as logical reasoning) is not some thing that "works in a vacuum". It's the foundation for how this country rapidly became the alpha society of planet Earth. It's already proven to work, and little by little we are deviating from our own constitution, our own pedigree of freedom and adherence to the idea that production and success are the highest values of society, and we're slowly sliding into a place where we'll fail. The ideas I'm spouting here are not my own, nor are they new--they're just "business as usual" in the United States for anyone living here in the late 1700s, 1800s, and much of the 1900s, when the country bristled with success.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  38. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Huh? How am I suggesting that those who don't share my values should be targeted? I'm speaking against the theft of wealth. Whose wealth am I somehow advocating should be taken from them? I advocate no such thing. I don't think anyone should forcefully take/steal the wealth that has been earned from anyone else. I think you're confused as to what I'm saying here.
     
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  39. Captain Canada

    Captain Canada n00b

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    Yeah, I'm aware of that. We have an almost infinite capacity to justify immoral things for the argument that it's "better for society in the long run". Such a totalitarian viewpoint. Both rich and poor people make this mistake.

    I also very much agree with the charity-is-selfish argument. It is selfish! And there's nothing wrong with that. I donate to charity; I do this with my own money, which I've earned, and I do it because I don't like living in a world where certain people are suffering. That's a selfish reason--and it's perfectly fine. It's my money. If I want people to starve less, and am willing to give them money voluntarily to help them, who would ever argue with that?

    I should also add: I'm not entirely immune to the needs of disadvantaged people. I have an autistic son, and I have no idea if he will be a productive member of society or not. (too early to tell) The one thing I know is this: he is NOT some random rich guy's problem. He is my problem (to some extent since I'm his father), and he is his own problem (when I'm too old or dead to take care of him), and there is no rational argument I can come up with that leads me to believe I should be able to forcefully take someone else's money and give it to my son. It's fundamentally wrong to do that--no matter how autistic my son is, or how rich the person I'm stealing from is. If a rich person wants to voluntarily help my son one day, then bless him/her for doing so. But I don't expect it, and I certainly don't feel entitled to steal it from them if they decide not to be so kind.
     
  40. joikd

    joikd [H]Lite

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    If you build it, they will come...
     
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