Opinion Question
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No they should not

  Just because they have more money, doesn't mean anyone has a right to that money, whether it be the government or the poor. We are not a socialist country who takes from the rich to give to the poor. It doesn't work and should not be attempted. We need to redo the tax brackets, remove at least most maybe even all tax breaks, have everyone pay a fair amount and that's it. If you're still poor, well that's your problem. It may sound callous and mean but it's the truth. Your life is your own responsibility. Not anyone elses.
RedMoonlight says2013-07-02T17:53:13.537
Americans love to think that the rich have attained their wealth through "good decisions", and "hard work", but in reality this is not the case. Most everything in one's life, including the decisions one made, can be traced back to intrinsic advantages. I think you'd benefit from reading a little bit about the ideology of Fatalism.

EvanK says2013-07-02T18:14:01.650
I never said anything about how the rich attained their wealth. I said that the poor are not entitled to other peoples' money.
RedMoonlight says2013-07-02T18:44:09.967
But if the rich attained their wealth through unfair means (e.G. Circumstances beyond their control), then it is unfair for them to have more than the poor, therefore the poor are entitled to it.
EvanK says2013-07-02T18:56:24.777
No, they are not. People should be simply taxed, no more complicated tax brackets and tax breaks. It should be straight forward, everyone taxed the same amount, no matter how that money was obtained (assuming it was not illegal, IE, scams, robbery, etc), or how much was obtained. This idea of a robinhood-esque society is outrageous. If you want to live in that type of society, then move to one. America, however, was never intended to be that way.
RedMoonlight says2013-07-02T19:23:28.433
How America was intended is irrelevant. You assume that it's impossible that the intentions of the founding fathers were wrong in some respects. What matters in this issue is that we choose a just system of taxation. Are you aware that the US government DOES use a progressive income tax, for reasons such as those I have already explained? Now, this system is not 100% just as massive, unwarranted income inequality still remains, however, it is much fairer than the flat tax you propose. So, I don't need to move to one, because we partially live in one, though it could be better. Maybe you should move to a place like Somalia? I hear government restrictions are pretty lax down there.
EvanK says2013-07-02T19:33:12.463
The good old Somalia strawman. Haven't heard that one enough.

If we are truly equal, then we are to be equally responsible. I am responsible for myself and my family, if I have one. Nothing more. I am not responsible for the poor in this country, and neither is anyone else. If a person is poor, it is their responsibility to fix their problems. No one elses. Otherwise, we are not equal. We are saying that the money of some people doesn't really belong to them, but to other people. That is not true equality.

Income inequality will always exist. That's a fact. If you want to live in a socialist nation, go move to one. If you want to live in a country where the government dictates how much money you can have, go move to one. This country was not meant to be that way, and for good reasons.

Again, if you want socialism, go find one of the many countries that apply that system. I prefer capitalism, not unrestrained but certainly not overregulated, and I prefer having my own financial responsibility. I prefer to take care of myself and my family, without government redistribution and without stealing other peoples' money. While at the same time, not having my money potentially taken to pay for the well being of other people. If I'm feeling charitable, I will donate money. But it is no longer charity if it is forced. Leave my money alone.
RedMoonlight says2013-07-02T20:48:44.347
You bring up equal standards of responsibility. Standards of responsibility, however, are counter-productive to the idea, which you have not denied, that all men are equal. We are obviously not inherently equal, as is evidenced by the higher intelligence of some than others. The equality should lie in the OUTCOMES of individuals,This is the case because of the fact that some humans are better suited and more likely (due to circumstances) to be responsible than others. An irresponsible person's condition could stem from uncontrollable disadvantages such as dysfunctional upbringing, bad examples throughout life, or even lower intelligence, none of which are the fault of the irresponsible party. You may argue that whether or not one wishes to be responsible is his personal choice, but this begs us to inquire further, into one's ability to make this choice. A poorly brought up/unintelligent person would certainly be less inclined to choose to be responsible than someone who exploited these advantages. Therefore, to ensure true, fair equality, as I hope we can agree is the moral way, standards of responsibility for your situation must disappear.

While I admire MANY socialist and communist principles, the ideologies do have their issues, and I would not like to live in a socialist nation until humanity has progressed significantly further and the drawbacks of socialism are worked out. Until then, communism is flawed as well as capitalism. The relative superiority of one of these systems has no bearing on our argument.

It is nice and inspiring to believe in this capitalist, individual choice and responsibility theory. As I have proven in my first paragraph, the idea of responsibility for one's own life is unfair to the disadvantaged individuals who are less able to exhibit this responsibility and hard work as an advantaged individual. Supporting the dog-eat-dog view that wealth should not be redistributed is simply supporting the view that the intrinsically superior have a right to triumph over the intrinsically inferior, which, if I'm not mistaken, is a fascist principle.
EvanK says2013-07-02T21:07:40.317
It's one thing to have saftey nets for the select few who are truly in need of help, and another to redistribute wealth simply because a good deal of the population (a ballpark estimate of maybe 1/3) are too lazy to bring themselves up. I live around these people. They are content to continue working their crappy minimum wage job while receiving federal aid, some just not working at all while receiving federal aid, not wanting to improve their lives simply because there's no reason to. It's all being handed to them by the government. And while some really rich people "cheat" their way to success, a good deal do not. And again, it is not the responsibility of anyone but the individual to care for themselves, except for the physicially or mentally disabled. And I mean truly disabled, not the obese or those who claim to have these "disabilities" and can still actually worked, if they tried.

Sure capitalism isn't perfect. However, it is better than socialism or communism. It respects the rights of the individual, and leaves the responsibility of one's self up to the individual, not to the collective. My responsibility is myself and my hypothetical family, should it come to be. Not for the poor people. Whether I remain middle class, rich, poor, whatever. I will never be responsible for anyone but myself and my family. This goes for everyone.

It's nice and inspiring to hear about the wonderful blissful world of socialism/communism, where everyone is "equal" and no one goes hungery or homeless, but given the track record of those two systems, and capitalism when regulated in a smart manner, when given the choice, I will take the latter each and every time.
RedMoonlight says2013-07-02T22:37:24.637
There is no "truly" in need of help as opposed to not "truly" in need of help. There is only a spectrum of those less and more in need of help, based on their respective advantages, and the advantaged, the inherently gifted among them have a moral duty to help the less so, whether or not they believe it. I live in an economically disadvantaged area as well, and I'll tell you that most are not here due to laziness. My next door neighbor is a middle aged Mexican man, working two full time jobs to support his aged father, three children and wife, who also works hard according to her abilities. He labors endlessly at roofing and construction, being granted only minimum wage, while an owner who does nothing but fill out paperwork and sit in an air conditioned office watching him break his back, rakes in most of the profits. Is he in this position due to a lack of desire to work? Obviously not. After growing up in poverty, in a destructive environment, and being plagued with numerous economic and psychological disadvantages, he has been strong armed into debt by greedy, parasitic corporations leeching off of his desire for survival, and a better life, which he will likely never attain, though no fault of his own. And no, he is not illegal, a stereotype which many conservatives would be quick to accuse him of. His children are held back by their ethical duty to support the family, and their education and future suffers in a vicious circle. Many share this tale in Stockton, California, all over America, and all over the world. You may dismiss it as a sobstory, but if you are the type of person who simply ignores, I have nothing more to say to you. This is all too real and all too common to earn that judgment. What sets this man apart from the wealthy construction mogul? A couple of risks, due to business training early on, or intelligence? Or an inheritance? Nothing more than an intrinsic upper hand, which supposedly justifies him to feed off of the disadvantaged masses? The equal opportunity and "self made" men which you hold in such high esteem are an illusion, though you'll probably never see it.

I agree with you on one point, Socialism/Communism are unrealistic in the current state of the world, and don't have a great track record. However, the world is changing. The inevitable progress of humanity is creating an earth that is more liberal and socially conscious than the world of Soviet Russia, Maoist China, or even modern Cuba. In the coming centuries, or even decades, you may just find that Communism gets a whole lot more realistic.
alexcadell says2014-01-29T02:11:50.497
Just because you have money doesn't mean that you earned it, it could have been inherited or stolen, not that I'm saying that all rich people have stolen or inherited the money that they have. The rich are running the USA by rich people because they are offering presidents and senators by saying that they will fund their campaigns if they will vote for what the rich want. There are people who can't make money because they're so poor that they can't find any company that will let the poor people work for their business. And whats wrong with being taxed more, it's not like they are going to take all the money you make and have. Right know the wealthiest %10 are paying the majority of federal tax, and yet somehow they are still rich. And somehow, most of the poor are still poor and are getting poorer.
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