The Instigator
htedrom
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Tax rates should be raised on the rich

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,606 times Debate No: 15545
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)

 

htedrom

Pro

Hi all, just signed up! apologies in advance for the mistakes in form I'm bound to make.

Definitions:
The Rich: top 10% income bracket and above
Tax rates: marginal effective tax, which includes capital gains, etc
rates http://en.wikipedia.org...

The argument: I intend to argue that low tax rates on the rich are a symptom and cause of wealth inequality, which is undesirable from a social or economic perspective, and thus against the long term interests of the rich and the poor alike. (ie: The rich should want the government to tax them more)
socialpinko

Con

I await my opponent's opening arguments.
Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
htedrom

Pro

Thanks for the debate!

so in a nutshell, while I'm a fan of the capitalist system and market economics, government intervention is required occasionally to correct market failure- that is, where the market outcome is not the socially optimal one.

Taxation is a case in point: while deregulation and the decline of the welfare state are both trends in government, the rise and fall of 'supply-side economics,' skill polarization in labour markets, globalization, and the increased pace of technological change have all combined to produce a 'market outcome' of both high inequality in terms of wealth distribution and tax rates on the rich, by both relative standards (comparing the rich today to the poor today) and historical standards (upper bracket marginal effective taxation rates are lower in the US and Canada since any time since 1929, and will soon surpass even that water mark)

This is a problem because inequality is linked to nearly all social and economic ills... on the societal level: poor health, more crime and violence, poorer responses on life satisfaction surveys, etc. economically, the disappearance of the middle class and rise of a wealthy elite has significant and negative repercussions for the economy as a whole.

Raising the METR (marginal effective tax rate) on the rich is a direct policy tool in order to redistribute wealth to bolster the middle class, and nip the rise of the super-rich before the damage to society and our economy becomes insurmountable.

If you want specifics, I wouldn't even be opposed to a virtual doubling of the existing rate, though the exact increase would depend
socialpinko

Con

I kind of understand. Poor people are getting poorer and rich people are getting richer. It is not good for society if poor people get poorer so we should take more money from rich people on the sole basis that they make more money.

Why is it up to the rich to support the poor? Rich people are more likely to not use social benfits like food stamps or public transportation so why should they pay more for programs which they are less likely to use?

It is not up to the rich to help the poor simply because they are rich. This is class warfare at it's worst.
Debate Round No. 2
htedrom

Pro

Thanks for the response, and excellent point.

No, the rich have no obligation to pay more simple because they're rich.... nor, as you say, does it make sense for the rich to pay more for services they never (or rarely) have to use. However, massive wealth inequality such as we are seeing now is against the long-term interests of :everyone: in society, because the social and economic conditions that allowed the super rich to become super rich in the first place tumble down.

The life satisfaction surveys, social mobility indicators, and health indicators correlated with high inequality are not only worse for the poor. Wealth inequality leads to general social malaise, for the rich and poor alike.

In effect, it is in the interests of the rich to prevent society from becoming too unequal as much, and perhaps more so, as it is in the interests of the poor.
socialpinko

Con

"However, massive wealth inequality such as we are seeing now is against the long-term interests of :everyone: in society, because the social and economic conditions that allowed the super rich to become super rich in the first place tumble down."

You never elaborated as to why wealth inequality is against the interests of the rich.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Wealth inequality leads to general social malaise, for the rich and poor alike."

So your argument is that the rich should pay higher taxes in order to keep the poor from rising up? This seems more like tribute to me.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by wolfhaines 6 years ago
wolfhaines
Having uneducated and unhealthy employees is not good for business'. Productivity is linked to happiness and well being. It is therefore in the intertest of the rich to provide the state with enough funds to keep their workforce ticking over. Let's not forget that society relies on each other. Who cleans the house of the rich? Who collects their rubbish? Who cares for them when they get ill? Who builds the products they so lavishly purchase? The rich do not live in a bubble of wealthy people, as much as they like to think they do, they rely upon the rest of society, including the poor, so they have to give back proportionately what they earn so unproportionately. Having $6billion in the bank is ridiculous, it is enough to eradicate poor living conditions in most small countries around the world. Why should they hold on to it while the society they recieved the money from struggles?
On the other hand- high taxation stunts economic growth. Dilemma. Unless you taxed personal income, but kept business tax low, perhaps?
Posted by htedrom 6 years ago
htedrom
hey freedo, thanks for the link, didn't see it! What I'd say there is what someone else brought up in the thread; the rich can't simply 'raise prices' in response to raised personal taxes (and not even always with corporate taxes), such is the glory of capitalism and competition ;)
Posted by htedrom 6 years ago
htedrom
what's the BOP?
Posted by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
@rogue- Pro had te BOP on this debate and failed to show conclusively why the rich should be taxed higher. I was merely pointing out problems in his argument.
Posted by htedrom 6 years ago
htedrom
ah sorry didn't read 'corporate' - no, it doesn't include corporate taxation. going for an argument about wealthy people not wealthy corporations....notwithstanding any understandable confusion on the distinction heh
Posted by htedrom 6 years ago
htedrom
marginal effective tax rate includes the progressive income tax rate, capital gains taxes, property taxes, etc. It's a measure of what you're paying to the man, save consumption taxes.
Posted by CiRrK 6 years ago
CiRrK
are you arguing just progressive personal income taxes, or corporate, capital gains and dividend taxes as well?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
htedromsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't argue his side. He used his round 2 to only ask a few questions and didn't bother to try to refute anything that Pro put forward. This would leave him making an arguement in round 3 which would be horribly unfair, as Pro would never get a chance to argue back.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 6 years ago
THEBOMB
htedromsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had arguments con didn't. Pro has to win...
Vote Placed by Dmetal 6 years ago
Dmetal
htedromsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: con inserted his own assumptions within the discourse as if they were self-evident.
Vote Placed by mongoose 6 years ago
mongoose
htedromsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro actually made arguments. Con's last round consisted of only 3 actual sentences, not including quoting and "Vote Con." They didn't refute, but question, without giving reasoning for the questioning. Con had NO ARGUMENTS. And wikipediaa was the most reliable source used.
Vote Placed by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
htedromsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con slacked and just said "Pro didn't do a good job"