Sharing the Wealth (or not)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ScottXeno, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Well, really taxation effects pretty much everyone here. And i really prefer that when i have a job, i can say that i have helped the poor already.Better than have people doing crimes to afford food, don't you agree ? taxation doesn't need to be focused to the wealthy, as in Finland we tax almost everything and everyone, from alcohol to petrol and electricity. Food is also lightly taxated, though i hope that gets removed soon, there has been some talks about this. Taxation doesn't mean that you take only from the rich, you take from everyone that you can, within common sense, take.

    And really, the people who have huge incomes, won't feel the pain as much as you'd think. I have rarely heard any wealthy people complain about the taxes, taxes fund many things, like public health care, education and social welfare etc. So they benefit from it too. Education is free for the rich and poor. Its just something we are used to i guess, no political party wants to throw the welfare state system away completely. It is just so..finnish ? i really think that it brings more equality than it creates unequality.

    Only two things are certain in life, and thats death and taxes. :P

    Note: Finland was leftist during cold war, specially in the i guess its expected that the children and students of that era have some pretty left wing ways of thinking. :shrug:
  2. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Nov 4, 2007
    A mandate from the public procured by a democratic election of sorts? :roll:

    Also, successful? Really?
    So, a man born of a wealthy family, thus given the best education possible and a huge safety net, can be defined as successful, despite the fact that he just had the dumb luck not to be born into a poor-as-shit family?
    There are no equal opportunies there.
  3. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    I wasn't stating social Darwinism, I was on about the absolute, so yes, the sick and lame would be left for the wolves (in the most literal sense)

    gangs, leave them to their own devices, within their own structure the stronger will survive just because 'gangs' don't conform to our perception of societies norm doesn't mean it isn't a possible way of existing, what's different between a gang shooting up another gang or a business undercutting the market from another? our perception of what is acceptable.

    I don't advocate violence and as stated in such a world I'd probably be one of the first to die, I sure as hell don't have the skills required to live in a 'gang rule' situation.

    Sadly the way n which capitalism works is to reward the higher earners. Taxation (without extremes) is worth nothing to the socially underprivileged. The poor stay poor, the rich get richer the way in which finance works these days means that without initially having money or a ground shattering idea to make money there is no really way to accrue money.
  4. Loxley

    Loxley Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 11, 2003
    That is simple. The voters. The voters in the US and in all democracies vote and through that give the leaders of their country the right to run the country. Amongst the things they are given the right to decide is taxation.
  5. Roflcore

    Roflcore Mildly Dipped

    Nov 2, 2008
    Darwin talks about animals. and yes, in some cases humans are animals, but nevertheless social darwinism is just huge bs. doesn't matter if you stick it to jews or homeless people. it also says _nothing_ about the ability to survive. Society is not nature, do not forget that. Letting somebody die is not improving the genpool, its murder.
  6. horse

    horse Vault Fossil

    May 31, 2003
    didnt read tho whole thread, but i always considered begging actively on a train is one of the hardest jobs in the world. (just try to imagine yourself doing it). alsoplustoo, i am very fond of the idea of having a conditionless basic income for everybody, tho i havent read up on all of its background and consequences. quite a few people here in germany think it is feasible.
  7. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    I certainly don't advocate the targeting of any particular group for extermination, mearly that any being human/animal/plant should be able to survive under its own power and ability.

    A wolf thinks nothing of leaving a lame member of the pack behind to certain death. yet you state that a human being 'left 4 dead' (pun not intentional, still to get the game.) would be murder.

    Surely this has a lot to do with the human 'moral' perception of some obligation to help other human beings?
  8. Rad Blaggard

    Rad Blaggard First time out of the vault

    Nov 25, 2008
    Bullshit, if BEGGING was ANYWHERE near as hard as holding a job... well they'd QUIT begging and GET A JOB! Your chop-logic is amazingly entertaining. deedeedee

    [edit] Cause you see begging is ONLY hard for people who have DIGNITY, remove dignity and esteem and you have BUMS!
  9. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    My girlfriend works for the Belgian government, in a social welfare position. Basically, she takes care of the absolute bottom of the barrel: folks that have been scrapped from unemployment benefits, have no papers, suffer from cancer and don't have health insurance etc. etc. In other words: the poorest of the poorest. And an interesting note is: NONE of them is homeless. All have an appartment etc. provided by government money. A lot of them are the worst kind of profiteers imagineable: foreigners who moved to Belgium with the sole purpose of living off social welfare, lazy and/or crazy people that never worked a day in their life, etc. etc.
    So whenever I see a homeless person, the first question I ask is: how the heck CAN he even be homeless? The Belgian government takes care of absolutely everyone, including those who do not deserve it at all. The only way someone could be homeless or hungy in Belgium is if they actively avoid being taken care of by the system (happens, I guess), if they don't bother to go back to their appartment (happens), or if they are too lazy to even register themselves at the welfare agency.

    So if they're one of those, I say screw them.

    That said, there's something seriously wrong with wealth distribution in Belgium. Obviously, the welfare system hinted at above requires enormous amounts of money. Hence Belgium is something like the third worst country to live in tax-wise worldwide...
    And it's perverted. Seriously. The lower and middle-class people bear a very, very heavy burden, while the upper class gets away with almost no taxes. A hard-working lower middle class peon (like myself) pays 85% of its total year income on taxes (direct & indirect). That means that I work directly for the state 10 months a year, and only start working for myself in NOVEMBER.

    On the other hand, I do the accounting for plenty of rich people (250 000+ euro a year per person), and they pay SQUAT on taxes. Their direct taxes are procentually way lower, while they can avert most indirect taxes by claiming back their VAT tax from the govenment (since they invariably have a business, and invariably use their business' money to buy private stuff). For instance, I do the accounting for a hematologist (sp?) who earns 350 000+ euro a year, and through various (perfectly legal) financial structures (created by my boss) pays LESS TAXES THAN ME (absolutely speaking - i.e. I pay around 1500€ in taxes more a year then him).

    It makes my blood boil, really.

    Not that I am cross with them, though, don't get me wrong. For a Belgian, cheating out of paying taxes as much is humanly possible is not only a value, but practically necessairy for survival. And I surely can't blame them - in their position, I'd do the same. The problem lies with a whole string of incompetent, unresponsable, nepotistic and frankly borderline idiotic Belgian financial-and-other ministers, strechting back to somewhere around the 1960's; and an entire Belgian political culture built around clientilism and, even worse, Walloon corruption.

    I swear to God: as soon as I see a chance, I'm moving out of this shithole country. I might even move to the Netherlands.

    Also, cratchety ol joe, Social Darwinism and Eugenetics went out of style around 1945. So don't be an idiot. Your views contain nothing new, nothing noteworthy and, especially, nothing intelligent.
  10. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Animals don't have morals, or high intelligence thats the difference. Most animals lack the ability to understand exactly WHAT they are doing, it is natural for them. But we humans can understand what we are doing, so we don't have any reason or excuse to leave one of our own to die, and we can also help. Wolves cannot help other wolves with broken legs. We can.
    Social darwinism is useless, really, as it would lead to end of humanity as we know it.
    We humans would become mere machines, as now we are something bit more. Animals with logic, reason , intelligence and empathy. Take empathy away and we are no longer humans, not even animals. With out morals or empathy things become dangerous.
    I am really suprised how you could justify indirectly killing intelligent, highly self aware being, and one of your own species at that. One thing makes social darwinism odd, its logical in a sense but in the end it becomes unlogical. Death penalty is nothing more than sanctified murder. Killing is always "wrong" as it shows the lack of empathy and it lessens the genomes present in the gene pool. Indirect measures ARE NOT any more acceptable than direct ones.
    I don't hunt animals, its not necessary anymore as we have cattle for meat. We should kill what we have to, nothing more is logical. It is disgusting, i know, but it is the way we have devoloped our complex brains and meat is necessary to maintain that in the long run. So no one starts throwing "why do we have to kill animals if killing is wrong " nonsense.
  11. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    Sorry you feel this way, If it helps I am socially speaking pretty much on the bottom rung, I cant even claim benefits due to quite frankly illogical laws.

    I have an annual income of 0, my bills are paid for me (with the expectation I'll one day be able to repay them.. family) and thanks to the way things are for me at the moment, getting a job is VERY difficult, and not for trying.

    my previous posts were merely highlighting that as a global society we cannot expect that we can ALL survive, the numbers of people dying of hunger rise yearly despite the countless charitable donations to the cause. To what end does charity actually aid the ever growing crisis? I feel strongly for you when I hear of the taxation ridicule you have suffered and surely the system of 'help for all and any' has to be finite to some point? (immigration control etc) you work your ass off for 10 months in a year for nothing. I would have thought you could realise the message behind my thoughts. should not what we work for be ours?

    you statements concludes that by aiding the weak we are infact bettering ourselves and producing a better future, tell me then in this day and age with charities helping millions of people daily, does the future look bright? or are we all as it would appear being driven ever more by consumerism and the rule of the rich and as some would predict an inevitable conflict for resource?

    I personally have NO reason to aid a weaker person it doesn't help my life become better.

    (by the way folks, I'm deliberately playing devils advocate here, gotta get folks 'thinking' about what it means to exist)
  12. victor

    victor Antediluvian as Feck

    Dec 12, 2003
    I ate at a Burger King in Harlem once, sometime last summer. As I was finishing my meal, a homeless, worn out man enters the restaurant. He comes up to me and asks me for a dollar. I said I couldn't spare one, but that he could have my fries if he wanted. He refused. He said something like "I don't want your fries. Ah, screw it man" and left. Odd. If he wanted money for crack, wouldn't he also want food?
  13. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    I'd like to just add, that..

    back on topic:

    homeless people sometimes simply cannot be helped as their own personality limits what they as people are capable of,

    (please don't take any of my previous comments and statements as personal attack on anyone belief's.. I'm just exploring the depth of thinking over this subject.)
  14. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    Not for nothing. I work my ass off 10 months a year for one of the best social systems in the world.
    I never said I oppose the social system per se. It's rather comforting to know that if I, one day, lose my job, get cancer or get hooked on crack or something I will be able to reap the benefits of those 10 months a year I worked my ass off.
    What I object to is the fact that this social system is disproportionally paid for by those who can least afford it. If 'rich' people were to be taxed at the exact same level as I am, I'm pretty damn sure I would only have to work 8 months a year or less for the state. And that would make all the difference in the world.

    It is. Governments are, obviously, non-profit organisations, so you get back what you put in it - albeit indirectly. The problem is, however, that some people have to put a whole lot less in it to get the same back.
  15. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008

    you statements concludes that by aiding the weak we are infact bettering ourselves and producing a better future, tell me then in this day and age with charities helping millions of people daily, does the future look bright? or are we all as it would appear being driven ever more by consumerism and the rule of the rich and as some would predict an inevitable conflict for resource?[/quote]

    I personally have NO reason to aid a weaker person it doesn't help my life become better.

    (by the way folks, I'm deliberately playing devils advocate here, gotta get folks 'thinking' about what it means to exist)[/quote]
    i welcome all who want to come here and work, because Finland is around the size of Germany with 5 million people. More trees than people.Cold climate really isn't as immigration friendly as you might think. Larger gene pool, the better.
    What we work for should be ours ? well i have to say that might work in theory in some happy laa-laa-land, but in reality,we have to pay taxes to keep our society running. And i at least want to help those that need it, in form of taxes for an example. With out ANY help, our society and world would be having more problems than now, crime problems and dictatorships get born out of poverty. I am no saint, i have my own reasons for this. Sure taxes here might be high but at least i know that the money is used to help people, myself included. Countries have at some point coloniezed Africa. They haven't allowed their societies to grow and evolve naturally. In the end, if we don't help at all famine and death would simply grow. Yes, we can't save all, but we should
    try to minimize death and misery. And i know that world i bad place already, but i also know that it would be much worse place if we just let things go by and don't do anything.We would have large scale conflicts already.
    And war for resources are inevitable, as resources will end sooner or later. It is simply matter of time. It will happen, no matter what we do. Even if we change our way of living, there is very little we can do stop this. Iron isn't going to grow back, nor will oil.
  16. Nullifidian

    Nullifidian First time out of the vault

    Nov 4, 2008
    10 months? I work 12. Everyone else I know works at least 11 (most vaca anyone I know has is 4 weeks).

    I'm not really surprised at how people are ignoring much of the cause of homelessness. Many homeless around here have schizophrenia or other severe mental ailments. They are harmless to other people, but are unable to hold a job for any length of time or even to stay in a home; they simply wander off. It isn't through any real concious choice unless you consider a concious choice of "Do I stay and face the wrath of dingusdoogus the evil pingpong ball, or run and hide from his prying eyes in the alleyways of magicland?"

    Many of these guys are veterans. They don't receive aid because most veterans programs require a physical address to receive benefits. Oh the irony. The guys who need it the most can't get it because they don't have a home (which, if they had a home, clearly wouldn't need the benefits as much).

    Nonetheless, I never give money to homeless people. Never. I DO however give food and sometimes old clothing. Instead of giving a homeless guy a dollar or two, I'll stop at a fast food place and give him a couple double cheeseburgers. Sometimes I'll go through old clothes and instead of throwing them away, I'll drive to where some homeless folks hang out and give them some clothes. I don't put them in clothes drive bins because I've seen several occasions where people will pull up in an SUV and open up the bin and rummage through it taking stuff. Scumbags.

    As for the "redistribution of wealth", the healthiest economies and happiest, most prosperous societies have a more linear distribution of wealth. We currently have a Poisson distribution. Historically, such distributions of wealth are indicators of imminent, if not currently ongoing societal collapse and civil war.

    If anyone tries to bring up "but rich people worked hard for that money" they are full of it. People are not rewarded for hard work. They aren't even rewarded for the value of their work. They are rewarded for the PEOPLE THEY KNOW. Those in power will always stay in power. Ever notice how when some billionaire destroys a business and goes into massive massive debt, they somehow always wind up rich again immediately afterwards with barely a hiccup? It's because of who they know. Once at the top, you can never fall. The reason Ivy league schools yield the most successful people is because the sons and daughters of the most successful people go there. So if you go to an Ivy League school, you are either the child of a rich family (and thus will inherit both wealth and a no-show high paying job) OR you meet such people, make friends with them, and thus get a no-show high paying job because of that connection.

    Yes, I exaggerate. Not all jobs received in such a manner are no-show. Most aren't. But they are high paying nonetheless, and in reality do NOT require the skillset those who hold them like to claim. We do NOT live in a meritocracy; where those with the highest qualifications are rewarded the most. We live in the world of the old boys network.

    With SOME hard work and a whole lot more sociopathy, the low can rise up to a higher level. Otherwise, the low stay low or drop lower, and the rich consolidate more wealth while adding fewer new members to their ranks than the number who die.

    The reason for the trend is due to the nature of spending in society. The rich have a tendency to save, not spend, because beyond a certain threshold, quality of life does not increase with wealth. When money is saved or invested, it stays put. When money is spent, it is redistributed elsewhere. Economies are made strong via constant spending. The strongest economies are ones with the highest rates of movement of money. As a result, those who contribute the most to economic health are the middle class. While the lower class spend the highest percentage of their income, they do so invariably on necessities, like food and shelter. The middle class however spend a great deal on low level luxuries: satellite/cable TV, upgraded internet, movie rentals, video games, new cars, etc. The more they buy, the greater the demand for these items. The greater the demand, the more production needed. The more production needed, the more jobs needed to generate that level of production. The more jobs create, the more people employed. The more people employed and the more jobs available, the higher the salaries have to be in order to keep people due to job competitions. The higher the salaries and benefits, the more money people have. The more money they have, the more they spend.
  17. Herbert West

    Herbert West First time out of the vault

    Nov 24, 2008
    And why the bloody hell should there be? isn't equalizing everyone to the lowest common denominator (aka taking away opportunities from the wealthy and giving them to the poor) as forced and unjust as the other way around? What obligation do I, a middle-class reactor physics/radiobiology major have towards the poor, apart from the fact that my work will benefit society as a whole, and thus, also the oh-so-poor and oh-so-downtroddenen?

    Also, the current system is perhaps the _most_ equalizing in terms of opportunities. A rather poor bloke with enough skill or brain to become a skilled carpenter or a good mathematican can become that given state stipends and whatnot.

    And its not like life is, or should in any way be fair. Get over it.
  18. Jebus

    Jebus Background Radiant

    Jan 29, 2004
    I'd suggest your read the previous posts - just so you'll know what the hell you're talking about.
  19. Patton89

    Patton89 Vault Dweller

    Nov 21, 2008
    Talking about the united states ? If so next text is one you should read:
    True no real equality can exist in job market, nor should it exist as some jobs require specific skills and training. But "race", sex or religion/lack of religion shouldn't matter at all.There are states that don't accept atheists for some jobs. Also social security should improve.
    Like better public healthcare, and better minimum wages come to mind.
    American minimum wages are appalingly small compared to the cost of living.They haven't been raised properly. And what happens if the recession/depression causes family fathers to lose their jobs ? No good social security.
    Better public education is required, with stricter laws on creationism, it should NOT be taught in schools as it is religion wrapped in pseudo-science. The separation of state and religion exists. its in The Constituition of United States.
    No religion should be taught in schools, and there are creationist books in schools claiming that creationism is as valid as theory of evolution.
    Stipend system is not as good as almost or completely free higher education. That way, there is truly equal opportunity in area education for all.
    No system is perfect, and the american school system requires serious overhaul as it is now.

    Check PISA as it says: Finland, with an average of 563 score points, was the highest-performing country on the PISA 2006 science scale. United States performed BELOW the OECD average, with a score of 489

    Equlity is important, but it can't be achieved. But that doesn't mean system/society shouldn't strive for it. Get over it.
  20. Herbert West

    Herbert West First time out of the vault

    Nov 24, 2008
    Nope, I am Hungarian, and our country has/had a good educational system.

    For the rather interesting (for the lack of a less offensive word) laws in the US, well, no comment.