There's a simple solution to America's class inequality, suggests Hamilton Nolan of Gawker, and that's to limit income.
A $5 million upper limit on income, with 99% of income after that limit taxed, would provide enough incentive for hard workers to pursue success and money without giving them enough moral justification for moving abroad.
What Nolan doesn't consider, saysthe Atlantic's Derek Thompson, is that limiting income is a tax - a massive tax which would affect not only CEOs and investors, but also lawyers and doctors as well.
Another downside to the proposal is that it offers the upper crust reasons to leave the country and to seek out tax havens abroad. It could also turn investors with incomes just shy of the $5 million mark away from investing. Oh, and it may cause inflation, sending the prices sky-high while keeping the poor in the same social-strata.
Nolan's suggestion, though, seems designed as a provocation rather than a practical solution. Proposing to limit someone's wealth, to him, is a means to highlight America's tolerance for inequality, and to show that "there is no good argument as to why anyone needs more than that, while others are suffering in poverty."
Perhaps the author of this piece missed all the news stories yesterday about the wealthy, well-known French citizens who are leaving France to avoid this tax? Limiting income here will result in the same exodus, thereby limiting tax revenues. The more greedy governments grab for other people's money, the more those peole find a way to avoid tax increases. This includes the politicians themselves who have quietly told their personal accountants to take every tax break they can. Human nature cannot be changed.
The more of the rich people who leave the more the liberal establishment politicians are going to raise the taxes on the rest of us. This will make more people poor and will eventually eliminate the middle class altogether. This is a process that has been going on for years. When this happens we will not have the means or time to defend liberty. Which is also part their plan.
@Iron. Stop worrying about typing errors unless they the reader can't tell what you meant. The only time I worry about spelling syntax is if it changes the meaning. IOW- You're being too hard on yourself buddy :)
I wonder if Oprah would be OK with her income being taxed at 99%? Or Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet, or a large portion of Congress?..... I say to everybody who advocates higher taxes, there is an IRS form you can fill out to make any monetary gift to the Government. Also every one of these people can just take the standard deduction on their 1040 and pay more taxes.....But they won't.....They want the OTHER GUY to pay, not them.
The people have spoken, no maximum income. It's just not American. Though I wouldn't mind if we actually enforced the current taxes on the wealthy. Either way, we make something like 2.2 trillion dollars a year in taxes and our fiscal budget is always something like 3.5-8 trillion dollars. That's quite an increase in taxes if you're looking to break even. Maybe the answer isn't an increase in taxes but an increase in responsibility? Enforce the current taxes and decreasing defense spending is a start.
I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, it will just drive more businesses overseas. So if the fat cats won't get rich here, they will go where they can. On the same token, maybe government and municipal salaries should be capped at about $100-150k. While teachers are griping about how little they are getting, which I think may be over-exaggerated, there are superintendents getting up to $600k. While leadership for the schools and teachers is important, I must ask what supers do for education itself. In the old days, schools were completely independent. As for maintaining order, a paddle worked nicely for the most part. So why not just cap the money of the admins and spread it out evenly among the good teachers? Or why not keep the salaries they have now, but the rest of the money goes to incentives for the teachers and merit-based pay (with adjustments made depending on the type of students, where teachers who have to deal with disabled or disruptive students getting paid more).
As for private industry, why interfere? If anything, we should reduce regulations on large businesses so they can afford to keep jobs here. They are only going to make customers absorb losses and hire where it is cheapest to do so.
I can see why you have mixed feeling Fuschia. Wage/earnings ceilings are a bad idea in "open systems." What I mean by "open system" is a system that is open to outside competition. You understand this completely with regards to private industry and how US business owners have to compete with business owners in other countries. But you aren't seeing how our public sector exists in an "open system" too.
The NFL is a perfect example of a "closed system." There are no competitors outside of the NFL for players. There are other leagues but non of them are able to pay anywhere close to what NFL team owners are willing to pay to get players within the closed system of competition that the NFL is. Salary caps work.
I understand how you differentiate between public and private in your head. I'm guilty of falling for that trap too, but the reality is that school districts exist in an open system. Government, especially state and local governments, are in an open system too since they have to compete with the private sector for the best and brightest. My guess is that superintendents of small school districts aren't making anywhere near $600k. But I can't begrudge a large city school system for offering what they feel is needed to get the best qualified person to accept the position. Additionally, someone qualified to run a large school district would also be suited to comparable management positions throughout the private sector.
Bobolinsky, you certainly have good points, though hinting that someone is "falling into a trap" as bad form, as is implying that anyone has flaws when they merely have a different opinion. But I like chatting with you on here because you do help me to look at things from other angles. I am not sure the types of teachers attracted to the public school system are the types the private systems would hire. It almost takes a different breed of person. I don't consider that real competition because public schools must take anyone, whereas private schools only take those willing to pay and who can abide by the rules and pressures. A ghetto kid who wants to bust a cap in the teacher likely won't be in a private school.
I really think the public school system needs to be scrapped and started over, with the feds butting out for the most part. As for superintendents, the one here is among the top-paid in the nation, and while the next city over with the county seat is pretty big, it is not the biggest in the nation, and neither of the cities in this county are particularly dangerous.
I apologize if you took my "trap" comment in a way I didn't intend. I fall into them too and I try to avoid them when forming opinions. It's just that I like to point out when others have done so, and describing it as a trap is a good way to get people to perk up :) So I apologize for the misunderstanding. I'll take it into consideration and only use it when I don;t care if I offend. I don't want to offend you. Here's why...
"But I like chatting with you on here because you do help me to look at things from other angles."
Thank you. That's what I'm hoping to accomplish on this site. You just gave me confirmation that my work has been worth it.
I'm asking you to consider another angle with regards to teachers. Public schools don;t need to compete with private schools for teachers. They have to compete with employers that could use the various skills that teachers also have.
The saying goes that, "Those who can't 'do'...'teach'."
I don;t believe that's true. My mother proved that to me. Plenty of people decide on teaching for personal reasons unrelated to money. I applaud that and encourage it. There are teachers in both private and public schools who teach because that's what they want to do. I'm talking about the people who would be great teachers but also great engineers, entrepreneurs, or any of the other fields that appeal to them as well. If we want some of them to decide on teaching, it has to be worth it and the same goes for superintendents.
It's odd to me to be taking the position that governments should be able to offer competitive salaries to public sector employees but I am because it's true.
And you and I are in complete agreement that a lot of school districts could stand to be leveled and rebuilt from scratch. I put most of the blame on the teacher's unions. It was the teachers unions that were opposed to Scott Walker in Wisconsin the most. But the result of Scott Walker's actions led to fewer teachers having to be laid off and local governments being able to make budget. The state of Wisconsin also had to lay off fewer workers while also balancing its budget. Wisconsinites approved of Scott Walker overwhelmingly in the recall election and the only people who lost out were the teacher's union bosses who lost power.
Sorry I ran so long. It just sorta poured out. If you got this far, Thanks for reading it... If not? I don;t blame you ;)
What in the hell is this all about? A person has the RIGHT to achieve the level of success they are capable of...and to receive the pay they are offered. And to start a business and earn the amount of wealth it brings them. It is absolutely sickening how some idealogs want to force Socialism upon the rest of us. No one has a RIGHT to share what another person earns. That will take away the freedom of each person to seek and achieve success at the level he/she has EARNED.
Absolutely not. Let's consider this; in 1979 the Iranian Revolution occurred. Overnight Iran became a hard-line theocratic government and all of the educated and wealthy people (who contributed to economic growth ad success) were chased out of the country. Iran's national economy imploded by 1984. My point is, the hard-line theocracy that Iran became made it freedom-deificient. When a country deprives its people of freedom, and tells them how to dress or how much money they are allowed to earn, it destroys opportunity and eliminates incentive. Remember, the wealthy do invest in business and enterprise which does translate into jobs, which in turn, translates into promising futures. If the wealthy are being prevented from earning the amount of money the wish to earn, they don't need to have a revolution, they can just leave.