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Eat the Rich Parte Deux : Swingers Discussion 2120411011
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TOPIC: Eat the Rich Parte Deux
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Taxes suck.

As they creep progressively higher, rates could get high enough to disincentivize me from working. But I haven't seen any such rates in place since Reagan flattened the code.

Everyone's situation is unique. Yes, adaptation is a valuable skill.

Amherst Canada
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Maybe some people will actually invest in their business, rather than building 40,000 sq ft homes with moats and drawbridges...

;-)

Fullerton CA
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I'm not suggesting that I'm teaching anyone a "lesson", per se. My point was that, as I've pointed out before, people react to changes imposed upon them. Some can adapt better than others.

Paul Krugman wrote his lovely piece today about the bullshit "91%" tax bracket that we had in the 1950s. He of course (like those on here who bring it up) always neglect to mention that "income" was calculated differently in those days, and practically nobody - even tycoons - paid more than 20-something percent income tax, because they could write off so much. He knows it's bullshit. So do those here who repeat it. But they are willing to spin bullshit because they know the number of people who understand how and why it's bullshit are very small.

The higher the tax rate, the greater the incentive to find ways to bring your taxable income down. Imagine for a moment that we really had a 91% income tax rate (neglecting other taxes to keep it simple). Imagine this kicks in at $200k in income. Once I've made $200k, I have choices:

1. Stop working, as I have almost no incentive to work anymore.

2. Keep working because it feels so good.

3. Find ways to make the money "go away" so I can live like a king while not making much income.

This is what people became expert at in the days of the 91% bracket. The Rockefellers were famous for this - they lived like Sultans but had practically no income, because they moved all their money into tax deductible trusts etc while enjoying the benefits paid out by said trusts.

A simpler example is this: I make an extra $20,000. I *would* pay $18,200 in taxes on that money. Or, I could pay my brother $20,000 to paint my office. My brother then could give me a lovely $12,000 Christmas present, cause, you know... keeping it in the family. It only "cost" me $1,800 (since that's all there was for me to keep anyway). But it "cost"* the government $18,200, minus whatever taxes my brother pays (who probably also pays it forward to someone).

Or, instead of flying coach on a business trip (spending $500, "costing" the government $200 in lost taxes and costing me $300), I think I'll fly first class, spending $2,000 ("costing" the government $1,800 in taxes and costing me $200). The higher the tax rate, the more incentive there is to blow it on things, all on the taxpayer's dime. There is no incentive AT ALL to keep costs of business under control. Quite the opposite.

Go ahead, Paul. Gimme a 91% tax rate. The rich will still live like Gods, so will their families, and the vast majority of voting morons won't have the slightest idea why. And so will you - since your primary line of work is flying around giving speeches and TV appearances. Paul is not stupid. He knows this.

*the oft-repeated double-speak where all money the government doesn't take is "spending" and all money the government does take is "saving".

Chesapeake VA
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I got what you're saying immediately VA. Paine Webber hasn't been able to find a suitable replacement for hubby for the past 15 years. Sure they're trying, but just unable to find someone that is as good at what he does. They continue to offer him literally the world to come back.

Rumson NJ
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Va, perhaps one day we can start a thread called "Mundane and Petty Bureaucrats" and compare notes as to who has encountered and been impacted by more. Throw in environmental NGO's and university stuffshirts chasing grant money on whatever happens to be the latest alarmist fad of the day

Suffice it to say, I hear your pain, dude.

And like you and plenty of others, I will make many business decisions in the next year based on tax rates, interest rates, currency swings, natural resource quotas, opportunity costs and, yes, how much time I might want to devote to myself and not worry about making money and paying taxes.

It would never occur to me that I am teaching anyone a lesson, though.

I will take you at your word that you offer our economy certain skills that will not be easily duplicated. I believe you (and Ghost) that people beat down doors to benefit from your knowledge and talents.

But I am pretty sure I'm right that it ain't perpetual motion.

(Or is it?)

Amherst Canada
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"Someone will ALWAYS, ALWAYS pick up that slack at some point... Economics 101 VA"

Someone will always pick up the rake that the disgruntled groundskeeper threw down at Yankee Stadium.

How many people are there who can pick up the bat that Babe Ruth drops in frustration - no matter how much you pay them?

Chesapeake VA
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I'm sure you're going to tell me I am thinking too much of myself here, BUT:

1. I'm not a chemist anymore. Haven't been in 2.5 years. 2. My spot at the plant remains unfilled. They have interviewed many and cannot find a suitable replacement. The job I did was unique. They have nobody to do it anymore. 3. The continuous manufacturing throughput I kept an eye on and kept running for 4 years without a (unplanned) shutdown no longer has my eye, and has suffered extremely costly shutdowns on multiple occasions since then. 4. This dramatically increased the cost of products from one of the production buildings. It was now cheaper to import from the UK. That building shut down in 2011 and they laid off 80 people.

I'm telling you - nobody has picked up the slack I left behind over a year ago with the DOJ and the CA Atty General. *nobody* This has been made very clear to me by those offices, and from those I still have contact with within them.

Chesapeake VA
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"and we know that there is an extreme shortage of people who can do it."

Which is why Ghost Jr is majoring in chemistry and blowing up the curve at Stoneybrook U....

My daughter is another story altogether; AS from FIT and now on to two years at Geneseo, for polysci/Int policy, she has her eyes on GWU for graduate work..

...and you think I'M bad?

HAHAHA

As to someone else taking up the portion of the economy you discard: Someone will ALWAYS, ALWAYS pick up that slack at some point... Economics 101 VA

I'm sure you are one of the best there is in what you do, consider that THIS may have more to do with how you experience your demand. I learned this a lot of years ago when I could not fathom why I was being offered so much for what I did from companies in most countries I worked in. I figured it was because there was an incredible demand for what I did, someone sat me down and told me that is WAS a demand, for what I did better than anyone else.

My perception was skewed because I was living within it...

East Fishkill NY
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"Your or my declined wages should get picked up by others"

On that part you are wrong. Hence, the "arrogant" part.

I have said this bit before - I am damn good at what I (currently) do. We can just about write our own ticket for government contracts, which we no longer accept. One of my fraud cases is turning into one of the biggest government recovery cases in history. Since it is still ongoing, I am not at liberty to comment further. But my spots working for governments remain unfilled, and we know that there is an extreme shortage of people who can do it. We were contacted recently by the Dept of Energy, of all people, asking for our consulting to utilizing their supercomputing power to data-mine. Sounds cool, but no thanks. I committed to working for private industry only a little over a year ago, honoring only to complete unfinished projects under the terms of the previous contracts.

We've hobnobbed with important people in Washington (and state governments) and I absolutely hate these corrupt, self-interest-serving assholes. I have pissed off a lot of people by refusing to play ball according to government rules, but this doesn't stop them from pounding on our door offering us the moon for our help. I don't want their fucking moon. I'll build my own, thanks. "They can go pee up a tree", to quote Mrs. VA's "Sitty" (Arabic for "grandmother").

Chesapeake VA
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Interesting post, Va, insofar as you have explained why in response to the past and anticipated future economic climate, particularly with regards to taxes, you have sold a business, rearranged your work relationships and are transitioning to a new strategy that will have you make your living by managing your investments.

Sounds like smart adaptation and possibly an opportunity for some personal growth. Kudos.

Not sure I follow why anyone or you would feel arrogant about any of it, don't get the parting fart.

I imagine most folks with business experience have made similar decisions governed by shifting government attitudes about this or that. I could tell several stories similar to yours - going from wage earner to subcontractor from entrepreneur to passive investor, from one country to another - all and back again.

Your or my declined wages should get picked up by others; our capital investments should yield spinoff benefits to the greater economy; even in the highest taxed jurisdictions, there are usually offsetting advantages that can be utilized by some person or entity in some industry.

You are likely a fine chemist and wise investor, Va. I am sure you do not fancy yourself John Galt, having invented a perpetual motion machine.

Amherst Canada
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TOPIC: Eat the Rich Parte Deux