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Wealth Redistribution: Just or Unjust?

hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/4/2013 5:48:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
poverty =/= wealth inequality

If we were all equally impoverished, would crime be less?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?

2.1 Wealth does not affect trade directly. If I spend it, I don't have wealth, do I?
2.2 Not really.
2.3 No.
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?
My work here is, finally, done.
ConservativeAmerican
Posts: 1,676
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6/4/2013 7:48:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.

You are outlining subjective reasons why there should be wealth redistribution. Objectively, what makes me bound to my fellow man to make sure he eats? Even if I am eating caviar with fine wine and my neighbor has nothing to eat, why should I care? Why am I obligated to help me neighbor? This is reality, my neighbor obviously isn't contributing anything to society by sitting there and starving, maybe he should die of starvation then. America still allows for upward mobility, even the poor here are considered kings by most nation's standards, so I do not feel for the poor here.

When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.

Crime? Good, if the murder someone we can end their miserable lives and have it over with so the system can shrink in not giving them more welfare money, or we can make them useful by jailing them with enough labor to pay their way in jail and then some.

So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?

No, it just was too summarized. Half of my rebuttal was trolling, half of it was actually serious.

2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?

They should not interfere with the free market, as there should be no government besides a militia to protect our rights. The government should not redistribute the wealth. It is not a good justification.

3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?

None.
jimtimmy2
Posts: 403
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6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?

There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It isn't entirely true that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I don't know the numbers, but most studies show a good deal of income mobility over lifetime (mostly due to the fact that income tends to increase with age). Although, Income mobility is virtually impossible to measure in an accurate way (a lot of studies claim too but they don't).

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.
hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 9:14:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
poverty =/= wealth inequality

Did I say anything about poverty?

If we were all equally impoverished, would crime be less?

Just as you said, wealth equality =/= equal poverty.
On the other hand, total US household wealth ~55 trillion USD (@2009) . US population is ~ 316 million. If we simply divide the wealth equally, each person will possess ~174,000 USD. This amount of wealth will certainly eliminate all poverty related crimes.

http://www.census.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

2.1 Wealth does not affect trade directly.

There is only three way to redistribute wealth: estate tax, which amount to confiscation, income tax, and sale tax. The latter two affect trade directly.

If I spend it, I don't have wealth, do I?

Even if you spend, if your adjusted gross income (including capital gain) exceed your spending, you still gain wealth.

2.2 Not really.
2.3 No.

Since you are not a Supreme Court Justice, simply saying no does not hold much weight.
hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 10:19:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
@ConservativeAmerican

Your reasoning is perfectly fine. Of course you should enjoy your success - it is the main driving force of progress, which I have already stated. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "I am eating caviar with fine wine and my neighbor has nothing to eat".

But let me present a plausible scenario for you:
Imagine a society where the rich cares nothing about the poor.
Crime rate skyrocket. Out of every rich people, there are thousands of poor people, who are desperate, and they become more and more bitter, and their hatred of the rich is self reinforcing just as the wealth inequality.
And there is this guy, who promise equality for the mass, who promise equal education, equal wealth, equal standing. And he said, the only way to achieve that is to kill all those rich people and take that riches for the poor.
That is how Hitler, Stalin, and many others, came to power.

1) Crimes affect rich people too. And rich people tend to be more likely to becomes target due to their wealth. You can have private protection, but who would want to live in fear like that? Occupy Wall Street was a relatively peaceful protest (compare to the French Revolution, or the Soviet October Revolution), but it scared quite a lot people. Why is that? No rich person want to live in fear.

2) Rich people becomes rich because their product sells. Even for investment firms, their final goal is to sell products. To whom, may I ask? To others, including poor people. In fact, the poor spends almost entirely their income on necessities - foods, clothing, etc, while the rich spends a tiny portion of their income - the rest was (re)invested.
But consumer spending accounts for about 70% of US economic activity. So if the poor do relatively well, the rich do too.
Note that the reverse is not necessarily true.

3) I did not advocate equal wealth. I did not say that the current form of wealth redistribution make sense. I did not say that simply giving poor people money is a sane policy. But I said that may be at least some form of wealth redistribution make sense - some kind of "welfare state" policy, if you will.

4) At the very least, some of the richest have been giving back to society - in the form of charity. Some even gives close to all their wealth back (Bill Gates, for example). Was that simply because of good will? I think not. I think they know the importance of a good society - why is that, when one possess the same wealth, living in the US is far better than in Russia or Senegal, for example? They want America to remain as the best place on earth to live as far into the future as possible.

5) For some to be rich, others need to be poor. This is simply a Gaussian-like distribution curve - not all can be rich, only a (select) few. If some more people get rich, cost of living will be pushed upward. The result is, those whose income does not increase will become poorer, due to lower purchasing power.

6) Upward mobility of the US is largely the same as the previous generation, compares to a nearly threefold increase for Norway, Denmark, and more than two fold for Canada.
http://business.time.com...
This report confirm the self reinforcing aspect of *income*inequality.
http://www.pewtrusts.org...
Wealth inequality is even more pronounced, since people with low wealth tend to accrue large debt - mortgage and credit loan are the two largest items - even at high income, while people with high wealth has no debt, and thus, even at low income, still has high wealth. This was explored in detail in Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki - one of the finer financial book for layman.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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6/4/2013 11:41:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM, jimtimmy2 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?



There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It isn't entirely true that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I don't know the numbers, but most studies show a good deal of income mobility over lifetime (mostly due to the fact that income tends to increase with age). Although, Income mobility is virtually impossible to measure in an accurate way (a lot of studies claim too but they don't).

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.

The bolded IMHO makes for a strong argument for a large estate tax.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
thett3
Posts: 14,382
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6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 11:41:09 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM, jimtimmy2 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?



There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It isn't entirely true that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I don't know the numbers, but most studies show a good deal of income mobility over lifetime (mostly due to the fact that income tends to increase with age). Although, Income mobility is virtually impossible to measure in an accurate way (a lot of studies claim too but they don't).

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.

The bolded IMHO makes for a strong argument for a large estate tax.

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen
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hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 12:33:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM, jimtimmy2 wrote:

There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior

Interesting. How is public education ( or as you put it, over-funding education) "providing incentives for irresponsible behavior"? Can you elaborate?

and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

The term "genetically predisposed" is kind of racist now, is it not? Are you suggesting that irresponsible is a racial trait that belong to poor people?

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.

I only mention poor people and you immediately jumped into irresponsible behavior. Are you saying that all poor people are irresponsible, or as you put it, "genetically predisposed"?
hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 12:37:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

Why is this conversation suddenly turn to irresponsible behavior? Are you suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own irresponsible behavior? And what irresponsible behavior are you speaking of?
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/4/2013 1:21:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1) Relative poverty is wealth inequality by definition. It's a silly definition, yes, but nonetheless. If the OP was clearer this could have been easily redeemed.

2) Is the current distribution just? If not, then wealth should be redistributed into a more just system (if we (i) know what one is and (ii) it is feasible to be achieved).
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/4/2013 1:23:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:41:09 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM, jimtimmy2 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?



There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It isn't entirely true that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I don't know the numbers, but most studies show a good deal of income mobility over lifetime (mostly due to the fact that income tends to increase with age). Although, Income mobility is virtually impossible to measure in an accurate way (a lot of studies claim too but they don't).

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.

The bolded IMHO makes for a strong argument for a large estate tax.

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

No, you're just allowing injustice to occur. Which is unjust. Complaining about injustice when wealth is being redistributed, then not complaining about injustice when wealth isn't being redistributed shows that your interest is not in justice, but in redistribution. Which means you need an argument that doesn't appeal to justice to show that redistribution is wrong (which, in my opinion, is an impossible task).
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/4/2013 2:09:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 9:14:26 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
poverty =/= wealth inequality

Did I say anything about poverty?
You said "When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems". This implies poverty causes society to falter.

If they were relatively really poor, but had enough to survive and be comfortable, why would their "poorness" drag down society? It goes against your argument that wealth inequality hurts society, when the main culprit is poverty (people can't eat, they resort to dire means to feed themselves).

If we were all equally impoverished, would crime be less?

Just as you said, wealth equality =/= equal poverty.
On the other hand, total US household wealth ~55 trillion USD (@2009) . US population is ~ 316 million. If we simply divide the wealth equally, each person will possess ~174,000 USD. This amount of wealth will certainly eliminate all poverty related crimes.

I did say that; however, I stated a hypothetical counterargument. If everyone could barely feed themselves, but all were equally poor, would there be less crime or more crime than a society where some have a little (some of them have too little) and others have too much?

http://www.census.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

2.1 Wealth does not affect trade directly.

There is only three way to redistribute wealth: estate tax, which amount to confiscation, income tax, and sale tax. The latter two affect trade directly.

Income and sales taxes affect trade, but they do not effect wealth, generally. They affect income, which is used to increase wealth, not maintain it.

If I spend it, I don't have wealth, do I?

Even if you spend, if your adjusted gross income (including capital gain) exceed your spending, you still gain wealth.

My point is, if I spend my money, while you save yours, should you be penalized? If so, what good is it to save?


2.2 Not really.
2.3 No.

Since you are not a Supreme Court Justice, simply saying no does not hold much weight.

WTF?
You have not offered a reason why inequality is inherently bad, therefore, it is not justified. I did not simply say no, I gave my reasons, and answered your question using said reasons.
My work here is, finally, done.
hereiam2005
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6/4/2013 3:14:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 1:21:29 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
1) Relative poverty is wealth inequality by definition. It's a silly definition, yes, but nonetheless. If the OP was clearer this could have been easily redeemed.

I am new - and not familiar with this kind of semantic definition. But thanks for pointing that out!

2) Is the current distribution just? If not, then wealth should be redistributed into a more just system (if we (i) know what one is and (ii) it is feasible to be achieved).

I think the point is not whether Wealth Redistribution (WR) is just - forced wealth redistribution can hardly be justified. I think justifying the forceful retrieval of one's rightfully earned properties to pay for another who has not earned it is a rather difficult task. One may argue by the social contract theory: one does not get rich by oneself, and should give back to society if possible, but this is rather shaky.

The point of the discussion how to address WR in an acceptable (to as many people involved as possible) and efficient manner - the argument that WR create incentive to be lazy is valid, which can be clearly seen in immigration plagued French welfare system.
wrichcirw
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6/4/2013 3:56:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 12:37:28 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

Why is this conversation suddenly turn to irresponsible behavior? Are you suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own irresponsible behavior? And what irresponsible behavior are you speaking of?

The way I was originally framing this was that large estates tend to form because of the industriousness of the individual (debatable, I know, just go with this assumption). This industriousness has nothing to do with the individual's progeny, who may be lazy, bastardly, drunkardly, <insert your bad -y word here>, etc.

By not having an estate tax, you are essentially rewarding someone who had little to nothing to do with the estate by allowing them to keep the estate. This would be subsidizing irresponsible behavior IMHO.

If the progeny were responsible and industrious, they'd be able to create their own estates, perhaps bigger, perhaps better, than their industrious ancestors, regardless of their inheritance.

And yes, this is the INCEPTION argument, lol.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
hereiam2005
Posts: 64
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6/4/2013 4:07:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 2:09:57 PM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
At 6/4/2013 9:14:26 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
poverty =/= wealth inequality

Did I say anything about poverty?
You said "When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems". This implies poverty causes society to falter.

If they were relatively really poor, but had enough to survive and be comfortable, why would their "poorness" drag down society? It goes against your argument that wealth inequality hurts society, when the main culprit is poverty (people can't eat, they resort to dire means to feed themselves).

Few people actually understand the severity of US wealth inequality. In fact, 25 percent of US population, which is around ~ 78 million people, has close to *zero* net worth (some even have negative net worth). Note that this data was compiled before the depression. This is mainly due to debt - mortgage and credit.
http://upload.wikimedia.org...

When depression occurs, people lose jobs - in fact, mass firing is one of the most popular, and effective act by corporation to reduce spending, during depression. People with low wealth tend to hold low skilled jobs, which is among the first to be fired. People who have no job have no income, absent WR.

Poverty is defined based on income level, which is deeply flawed in a depression. People with zero net worth *cannot* absorb the impact of a depression - this is not chronic poverty, these people have jobs during booming economic, but lost it during depression. Absent WR, the US would have tens of millions of newly created impoverished people. Are they not a very large number of very poor people?


If we were all equally impoverished, would crime be less?

Just as you said, wealth equality =/= equal poverty.
On the other hand, total US household wealth ~55 trillion USD (@2009) . US population is ~ 316 million. If we simply divide the wealth equally, each person will possess ~174,000 USD. This amount of wealth will certainly eliminate all poverty related crimes.

I did say that; however, I stated a hypothetical counterargument. If everyone could barely feed themselves, but all were equally poor, would there be less crime or more crime than a society where some have a little (some of them have too little) and others have too much?

This is, I believe, straw man fallacy: if equal poverty does not reduce crime, does not means equal wealth also does not reduce crime.


http://www.census.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

2.1 Wealth does not affect trade directly.

There is only three way to redistribute wealth: estate tax, which amount to confiscation, income tax, and sale tax. The latter two affect trade directly.

Income and sales taxes affect trade, but they do not effect wealth, generally. They affect income, which is used to increase wealth, not maintain it.

Well my original point is that Should the government interfere with free trade. Tax, especially sale tax, which is used to generate cash flow for Wealth Redistribution, does interfere with free trade, so I don't understand your point.


If I spend it, I don't have wealth, do I?

Even if you spend, if your adjusted gross income (including capital gain) exceed your spending, you still gain wealth.

My point is, if I spend my money, while you save yours, should you be penalized? If so, what good is it to save?

No, I have never said that one should be penalized for prudence.
This is why Wealth Redistribution should be very carefully considered.
Sale tax on luxury good, very high price housing unit, and imported product can be a good source of Wealth Redistribution that few people would object. The key here is to find the least objectionable method of Wealth Redistribution.



2.2 Not really.
2.3 No.

Since you are not a Supreme Court Justice, simply saying no does not hold much weight.

WTF?
You have not offered a reason why inequality is inherently bad, therefore, it is not justified. I did not simply say no, I gave my reasons, and answered your question using said reasons.

My apologies, I should not have said that.
Stephen_Hawkins
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6/4/2013 4:49:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:14:51 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 1:21:29 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
1) Relative poverty is wealth inequality by definition. It's a silly definition, yes, but nonetheless. If the OP was clearer this could have been easily redeemed.

I am new - and not familiar with this kind of semantic definition. But thanks for pointing that out!

2) Is the current distribution just? If not, then wealth should be redistributed into a more just system (if we (i) know what one is and (ii) it is feasible to be achieved).

I think the point is not whether Wealth Redistribution (WR) is just - forced wealth redistribution can hardly be justified.

Sure it can. Why can't it be? Someone is dying. They need food. You see someone else with food. You're perfectly justified to take the food and give it to the other person, in order to maximise (in actual fact promote) the general liberty.

I think justifying the forceful retrieval of one's rightfully earned properties to pay for another who has not earned it is a rather difficult task. One may argue by the social contract theory: one does not get rich by oneself, and should give back to society if possible, but this is rather shaky.

Again, I don't see it. If you sign a contract saying "If I earn X amount of money, I will help by donating Y", then you have a moral obligation to do so, as well as the politics of society rests on this being (in general) fulfilled. I think not only is this in many cases a perfectly reasonable principle, and one we have in society, but also a morally good one - in fact it is a moral imperative for a society to help the weakest in the community. Otherwise, it's not a community, but instead coercion of the rich to exploit the poor.

The point of the discussion how to address WR in an acceptable (to as many people involved as possible) and efficient manner - the argument that WR create incentive to be lazy is valid, which can be clearly seen in immigration plagued French welfare system.

Valid, yes. True, no. Let's take the UK, which is well seen as a much more generous welfare state than the French to unskilled immigrants. 1.2bn pounds goes fraudulently or unfairly to people who don't deserve the money. In other words, the "laziness" value can be approximated at 1.2bn. But let's increase that to say "2bn based on the principle that there is a little of the money that goes about unjustly (we have a welfare-to-work programme so most of it goes into getting other people jobs, and is withheld if people don't get a job. Therefore, a massive increase more than 80% is irrational). The media repeatedly and endlessly big this up and pointing out the cases of these people leeching off of society.

Now, an estimated "5bn does not go to people who deserve the money. In other words, of the welfare-to-work programme tailored to get people into work, "5bn of that isn't helping people get into work as it is not being claimed because of the horrid stigma people attach to it because some argue "welfare makes you lazy", pushing these people into poverty, reducing their chances of getting a job and reducing their positive liberty.

Moreover, an estimated whopping "120bn is avoided and dodged by giant corporations. That's 24x bigger than the money not claimed by those deserving. That's more than 60x bigger than the individuals who are being "lazy". Take that in perspective now.

Welfare Distribution doesn't make people lazy - no statistic has proven this or justified this. People not claiming when they should in every nation outnumbers people claiming when they shouldn't. In reality, the majority of people who are on long term unemployed are ignored by businesses, and it is only the state which is the bulwark of starvation and poverty.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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Noumena
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6/4/2013 4:58:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think looking at whether the original distribution of wealth is just or not should be a pre-requisite for deciding whether redistribution could be just. Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument for example serves as a pretty good reductio of redistribution of outcomes predicated on free choice. Of course the problem with people who subscribe to Nozick's entitlement theory (right-libertarians, Ancaps) is that they quietly overlook the scope to which unfree choices have influenced the current distribution of wealth.

I don't see anything wrong with wealth redistribution if the current distribution is unjust (I would argue in our society it largely is). The real problem that comes next is (a) how to decide to what extent it is and (b) how to actually redistribute without opening the flood gates to abuse. That part I'm still working on ;)
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Stephen_Hawkins
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6/4/2013 5:00:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:14:51 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 1:21:29 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
1) Relative poverty is wealth inequality by definition. It's a silly definition, yes, but nonetheless. If the OP was clearer this could have been easily redeemed.

I am new - and not familiar with this kind of semantic definition. But thanks for pointing that out!

Not sure if I said this here: the difference between relative and absolute poverty is quite a nice one to remember. The former is a problem in MEDC nations. The latter is a problem in LEDCs.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wrichcirw
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6/4/2013 5:17:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:58:23 PM, Noumena wrote:
I think looking at whether the original distribution of wealth is just or not should be a pre-requisite for deciding whether redistribution could be just. Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument for example serves as a pretty good reductio of redistribution of outcomes predicated on free choice. Of course the problem with people who subscribe to Nozick's entitlement theory (right-libertarians, Ancaps) is that they quietly overlook the scope to which unfree choices have influenced the current distribution of wealth.

I don't see anything wrong with wealth redistribution if the current distribution is unjust (I would argue in our society it largely is). The real problem that comes next is (a) how to decide to what extent it is and (b) how to actually redistribute without opening the flood gates to abuse. That part I'm still working on ;)

I think the estate tax is the best way. If estate holders have a qualm with large-scale government confiscation of their life's work, then they have the option to engage in large-scale philanthropy to offset. If they want their progeny to be engaged in their life's work after they die, then they can have their progeny be stewards of this philanthropy project.

In the end, no one carries their wealth with them when they die, so there is a certain justice to making the end-point of life the point of redistribution.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Noumena
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6/4/2013 5:22:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 5:17:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:58:23 PM, Noumena wrote:
I think looking at whether the original distribution of wealth is just or not should be a pre-requisite for deciding whether redistribution could be just. Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument for example serves as a pretty good reductio of redistribution of outcomes predicated on free choice. Of course the problem with people who subscribe to Nozick's entitlement theory (right-libertarians, Ancaps) is that they quietly overlook the scope to which unfree choices have influenced the current distribution of wealth.

I don't see anything wrong with wealth redistribution if the current distribution is unjust (I would argue in our society it largely is). The real problem that comes next is (a) how to decide to what extent it is and (b) how to actually redistribute without opening the flood gates to abuse. That part I'm still working on ;)

I think the estate tax is the best way. If estate holders have a qualm with large-scale government confiscation of their life's work, then they have the option to engage in large-scale philanthropy to offset. If they want their progeny to be engaged in their life's work after they die, then they can have their progeny be stewards of this philanthropy project.

In the end, no one carries their wealth with them when they die, so there is a certain justice to making the end-point of life the point of redistribution.

Meh. My point is that wealth redistribution is just only if the original distribution is unjust. I highly doubt every person who would be subject to an estate tax came upon their wealth unjustly. The problem is finding a coherent identification mechanism, one that can discriminate between just and unjust holdings i.e., not a universally applied law based merely on wealth level. Of course I'm not so sure such a mechanism even exists. #apathy
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
wrichcirw
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6/4/2013 5:31:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 5:22:16 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 6/4/2013 5:17:03 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:58:23 PM, Noumena wrote:
I think looking at whether the original distribution of wealth is just or not should be a pre-requisite for deciding whether redistribution could be just. Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument for example serves as a pretty good reductio of redistribution of outcomes predicated on free choice. Of course the problem with people who subscribe to Nozick's entitlement theory (right-libertarians, Ancaps) is that they quietly overlook the scope to which unfree choices have influenced the current distribution of wealth.

I don't see anything wrong with wealth redistribution if the current distribution is unjust (I would argue in our society it largely is). The real problem that comes next is (a) how to decide to what extent it is and (b) how to actually redistribute without opening the flood gates to abuse. That part I'm still working on ;)

I think the estate tax is the best way. If estate holders have a qualm with large-scale government confiscation of their life's work, then they have the option to engage in large-scale philanthropy to offset. If they want their progeny to be engaged in their life's work after they die, then they can have their progeny be stewards of this philanthropy project.

In the end, no one carries their wealth with them when they die, so there is a certain justice to making the end-point of life the point of redistribution.

Meh. My point is that wealth redistribution is just only if the original distribution is unjust. I highly doubt every person who would be subject to an estate tax came upon their wealth unjustly. The problem is finding a coherent identification mechanism, one that can discriminate between just and unjust holdings i.e., not a universally applied law based merely on wealth level. Of course I'm not so sure such a mechanism even exists. #apathy

I suppose the main point I was making was that wealth was going to be redistributed anyhow when one dies. At such a point, does it matter that much how the person came to wealth? I would contend it doesn't...that person is dead, and at that point it becomes a societal matter.

In this sense, I'd be very much for an estate tax, and very much against most other forms of redistribution.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
hereiam2005
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6/4/2013 5:52:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:49:37 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/4/2013 3:14:51 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 1:21:29 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
1) Relative poverty is wealth inequality by definition. It's a silly definition, yes, but nonetheless. If the OP was clearer this could have been easily redeemed.

I am new - and not familiar with this kind of semantic definition. But thanks for pointing that out!

2) Is the current distribution just? If not, then wealth should be redistributed into a more just system (if we (i) know what one is and (ii) it is feasible to be achieved).

I think the point is not whether Wealth Redistribution (WR) is just - forced wealth redistribution can hardly be justified.

Sure it can. Why can't it be? Someone is dying. They need food. You see someone else with food. You're perfectly justified to take the food and give it to the other person, in order to maximise (in actual fact promote) the general liberty.

Its unconstitutional.
In the Bill of Rights:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges ... of citizens ... nor ... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny ... the equal protection of the laws.

property and equal protection being the keywords here.


I think justifying the forceful retrieval of one's rightfully earned properties to pay for another who has not earned it is a rather difficult task. One may argue by the social contract theory: one does not get rich by oneself, and should give back to society if possible, but this is rather shaky.

Again, I don't see it. If you sign a contract saying "If I earn X amount of money, I will help by donating Y", then you have a moral obligation to do so, as well as the politics of society rests on this being (in general) fulfilled. I think not only is this in many cases a perfectly reasonable principle, and one we have in society, but also a morally good one - in fact it is a moral imperative for a society to help the weakest in the community. Otherwise, it's not a community, but instead coercion of the rich to exploit the poor.

No one did really signed said contract. Which is why I said this was rather shaky.


The point of the discussion how to address WR in an acceptable (to as many people involved as possible) and efficient manner - the argument that WR create incentive to be lazy is valid, which can be clearly seen in immigration plagued French welfare system.

Valid, yes. True, no. Let's take the UK, which is well seen as a much more generous welfare state than the French to unskilled immigrants. 1.2bn pounds goes fraudulently or unfairly to people who don't deserve the money. In other words, the "laziness" value can be approximated at 1.2bn. But let's increase that to say "2bn based on the principle that there is a little of the money that goes about unjustly (we have a welfare-to-work programme so most of it goes into getting other people jobs, and is withheld if people don't get a job. Therefore, a massive increase more than 80% is irrational). The media repeatedly and endlessly big this up and pointing out the cases of these people leeching off of society.


Now, an estimated "5bn does not go to people who deserve the money. In other words, of the welfare-to-work programme tailored to get people into work, "5bn of that isn't helping people get into work as it is not being claimed because of the horrid stigma people attach to it because some argue "welfare makes you lazy", pushing these people into poverty, reducing their chances of getting a job and reducing their positive liberty.

Moreover, an estimated whopping "120bn is avoided and dodged by giant corporations. That's 24x bigger than the money not claimed by those deserving. That's more than 60x bigger than the individuals who are being "lazy". Take that in perspective now.

Welfare Distribution doesn't make people lazy - no statistic has proven this or justified this. People not claiming when they should in every nation outnumbers people claiming when they shouldn't. In reality, the majority of people who are on long term unemployed are ignored by businesses, and it is only the state which is the bulwark of starvation and poverty.

French system is one of the most generous Welfare system for immigrant, not only unskilled labors, but those who simply does not work, which came from her former colonies.
1) Education is essentially free, even most form of higher education. In fact, I have personally been to France for 4 years to enjoy this particular kind of welfare.
2) One can get income (state sponsored allowance) simply by giving birth.

"Any French or foreign person residing in France with one or more dependent children also residing in France, is entitled to family benefits for those children"
"Child benefit, (127.68 Euro) for two children and (163.59 Euro) for each additional child. The rates increase for each child except the eldest in families with fewer than three children"
"Family income supplement, payable to families with at least three children aged between three and 21 years, for 166.18 Euro." Note that a 21 years old is considered a child in this law.
Further, they have social security, medical insurance, housing allowance (about half of actual rent, even more for French citizenship holder).
http://www.cleiss.fr...

Do keep in mind that this was recently cut back. Previously one earns "an allowance of 2,000 euros per adult and 1,000 euros per child."
http://www.eutimes.net...

Due to this welfare system, and the French's choice to blanketly gives citizenship to former colonies, many immigrant families simply give birth, in some case with more than ten children, to enjoy relatively worry-free life (for around 20 years if one plans ahead). I have personally been to France, and have confirmed this.

Oh, and please note that currently 1 Euro worth around 1.31 USD.
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Stephen_Hawkins
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6/4/2013 5:54:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 4:58:23 PM, Noumena wrote:
I think looking at whether the original distribution of wealth is just or not should be a pre-requisite for deciding whether redistribution could be just. Nozick's Wilt Chamberlain argument for example serves as a pretty good reductio of redistribution of outcomes predicated on free choice. Of course the problem with people who subscribe to Nozick's entitlement theory (right-libertarians, Ancaps) is that they quietly overlook the scope to which unfree choices have influenced the current distribution of wealth.

I don't see anything wrong with wealth redistribution if the current distribution is unjust (I would argue in our society it largely is). The real problem that comes next is (a) how to decide to what extent it is and (b) how to actually redistribute without opening the flood gates to abuse. That part I'm still working on ;)

The thing is, Nozick argues against something that no-one is arguing for. Patterned egalitarianism (a constantly re-equalising equality). Set up a fair equality, add in educated citizens, and then any result is just (within reason - natural disasters and similar being exceptions), or at least, any exchange is just.

However, I think you can coerce someone without using physical violence (i.e. excessive negotiating power is used by many to cause extreme injustice), which is a severe problem in itself to the generalisation made from the thought experiment.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
hereiam2005
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6/4/2013 6:00:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Might I add that I used to spend just 50 Euros per month on food back then (~2006) (The rent was quite high, on the contrary). Oh those crazy days...
thett3
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6/4/2013 6:16:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 12:37:28 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

Why is this conversation suddenly turn to irresponsible behavior? Are you suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own irresponsible behavior? And what irresponsible behavior are you speaking of?

I was addressing Wrich's argument. And yeah a lot of poor people are poor out of their own inferiority or stupid decisions. Obviously there are numerous exceptions but if you're trying to make the argument that an individuals wealth doesn't correlate with their merit, you're wrong
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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6/4/2013 6:18:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 1:23:20 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:41:09 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 7:49:19 AM, jimtimmy2 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 4:22:07 AM, hereiam2005 wrote:
In capitalism, wealth inequality is considered one of the its main pillar of progress - most American aspire to be rich.
However, wealth inequality tend to be self reinforcing. Really rich people tend to stay rich, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to inheritance; and (really) poor people tend to stay poor, and so are their offsprings, mainly due to poor education. The more sophistication the society, the higher the barrier of entry to being rich, and thus, the reinforcing trait of wealth inequality becomes even more pronounced as capitalism progress.
When a large number of people are really poor, they tend to drag down a society: crime, unemployment, and all sorts of social problems.
So my questions are:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?
2: Should the government interfere with the free market? Should the government participate in some form of "Wealth Redistribution"? Is this a good justification for some form of Wealth Redistribution?
3: If it should, how much "Wealth Redistribution" should it do?



There wasn't a fallacy per say in your argument, but there are a lot of incorrect statements.

It isn't entirely true that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. I don't know the numbers, but most studies show a good deal of income mobility over lifetime (mostly due to the fact that income tends to increase with age). Although, Income mobility is virtually impossible to measure in an accurate way (a lot of studies claim too but they don't).

It is true that poor families that are poor relative to their age group tend to have kids who are poor too. This is not because of "underfunded" public education. On the contrary, we probably put too many resources towards education. It is because of programs that exacerbate poverty by providing incentives for irresponsible behavior and, to make matters worse, these people were already genetically predisposed to take part in more irresponsible activity.

Does this justify redistribution?

No. In fact, existing redistribution is a big part of the problem. Subsidizing irresponsible behavior doesn't help anyone.

The bolded IMHO makes for a strong argument for a large estate tax.

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

No, you're just allowing injustice to occur. Which is unjust. Complaining about injustice when wealth is being redistributed, then not complaining about injustice when wealth isn't being redistributed shows that your interest is not in justice, but in redistribution. Which means you need an argument that doesn't appeal to justice to show that redistribution is wrong (which, in my opinion, is an impossible task).

Don't tell me where my interests lie. My family and I would benefit immensely if wealth was redistributed. Your argument makes literally no sense--I can't appeal to justice to argue wealth redistribution is wrong because....why exactly?
DDO Vice President

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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

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"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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6/4/2013 6:20:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 3:56:05 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 6/4/2013 12:37:28 PM, hereiam2005 wrote:
At 6/4/2013 11:52:04 AM, thett3 wrote:

How? You aren't "subsidizing" irresponsible behavior by allowing it to happen

Why is this conversation suddenly turn to irresponsible behavior? Are you suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own irresponsible behavior? And what irresponsible behavior are you speaking of?

The way I was originally framing this was that large estates tend to form because of the industriousness of the individual (debatable, I know, just go with this assumption). This industriousness has nothing to do with the individual's progeny, who may be lazy, bastardly, drunkardly, <insert your bad -y word here>, etc.

By not having an estate tax, you are essentially rewarding someone who had little to nothing to do with the estate by allowing them to keep the estate. This would be subsidizing irresponsible behavior IMHO.

If the progeny were responsible and industrious, they'd be able to create their own estates, perhaps bigger, perhaps better, than their industrious ancestors, regardless of their inheritance.

And yes, this is the INCEPTION argument, lol.


How is allowing people to spend their own money as they see for subsidizing/"rewarding" bad behavior?
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
dylancatlow
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6/4/2013 6:24:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?

Btw, false arguments do not necessarily contain fallacies. "The earth is a cube" does not contain fallacies, for instance, despite being obviously erroneous.
dylancatlow
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6/4/2013 6:26:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/4/2013 6:24:38 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
1: Was there any fallacy in my argument?

Btw, false arguments do not necessarily contain fallacies. "The earth is a cube" does not contain fallacies, for instance, despite being obviously erroneous.

However, your implied argument "Wealth redistribution is just" does not follow from your premises. So you made a non sequitur.