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Letters to the Editor

Warren wisdom

October 4, 2011

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To the editor:

I did not see this quote of Elizabeth Warren’s in the Journal-World. I may have missed it, and if so, it’s worth printing and reading again. It follows:

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

“But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

“But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Elizabeth Warren set up the Consumer Financial Protection Agency for Obama and should have been appointed to run it. Wall Street knows she wouldn’t play footsie with them and lobbied heavily against her nomination. The GOP promised to vigorously fight her nomination. She is now a candidate for Ted Kennedy’s former Massachusetts Senate seat.

Go Elizabeth!

Comments

mustrun80 3 years, 3 months ago

You and the other lawrence lefty socialists love this quote - and class warfare. Do you not notice how ridiculous it is when she keeps saying "the rest of us" paid for? Do those who take risks to start businesses and give others jobs not pay taxes along the way to pay for all of those things? Why YES they do. Oh, plus they've given people jobs to pay their mortgages.

But much easier, and emotionally gratifying, to vilify the proverbial factory owner isn't it?

It's like these people are actually college professors lecturing in class, only the scary thing is they have way too much power in government. I envy you really, to be an adult and be this naive must be pure bliss.

meggers 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but when business are able to take advantage of countless tax incentives and loopholes to reduce their tax obligation to a mere pittance, they are not paying their fair share of the infrastructure necessary to maintain that business.

The same applies to Brownback's 5-year tax holiday for people moving to rural counties. Just who do you think has been and will continue to pay for the infrastructure these folks will enjoy? Who do you think will pay to expand that infrastructure to accommodate the increase in population? You got it- "the rest of us".

Class warfare has been occurring in this country for the past 30 years. Another term for it is unregulated free market economics.

meggers 3 years, 3 months ago

Who said that business owners should just go and get a government job? I didn't, and Elizabeth Warren didn't, either.

Nobody is trying to demonize the rich. That's a big fat red herring. Warren is simply pointing out that there would be no infrastructure for business, if the rest of us were not there to fund the services they require to exist and turn a profit to begin with. Surely, you recognize that the taxes paid by one business do not even come close to supporting the infrastructure that allows that business to prosper. The rest of us pay for that.

Asking businesses and corporations to pay their fair share of our collective infrastructure is not a radical liberal idea.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Why is it when someone disagrees with you they must not understand your point? Maybe you don't understand what the reality is. Fox News is not Fair and Balanced no matter how many times they claim it is. The wealthy in this country are not being exploited by the EPA and school teachers no matter how many times the Kansas Policy Institute claims they are. Open your eyes.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 3 months ago

You both have the point but you don't see it I think. The rich want to start a new business, so they ask the local government for a tax abatement. They get it. So the rest of us pay the taxes that allow this company to prosper.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Once the employees have been paid for their labor, it's then "their" money, isn't it?

So, taxes that employees pay aren't paid "by the company", especially property, sales, etc. taxes.

If you disagree with that, then money paid to corporations by their customers is still the customers money as well, and the corporations shouldn't be free to spend it on political advertising the customers may disagree with, right?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree that Warren's comments are flawed.

The factory owner wouldn't have any money without employees, or customers, of course.

There is a whole level of investing that has no concrete relationship to start ups, or job creation (except for brokers, luxury automobiles, etc.) - when somebody invests in the stock market, none of that money actually gets to a business (unless it's an IPO or a new issuance of stock).

It's a secondary, tertiary, or higher realm in which money flows from individual to individual with little connection to anything concrete, like an actual business.

That's a very different kind of investment from somebody lending money to an actual business.

Whether or not somebody made "great decisions" in order to get to that point is debatable - many people simply inherit a lot of money.

And, if they invest in the stock market, etc. it's not the kind of job creation you're discussing.

The issue of "fair share" is always difficult - I think there's actually no good way to determine what would be "fair" - different systems and ideas have different positive and negative aspects, and none are convincing to me.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I have no envy - my life works well.

I was just commenting on your "great decisions" line, which ignores the obvious reality of inherited money.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes.

I suppose the infrastructure would be limited to the electronic trading devices and systems, and however the money gets transferred.

Also, of course, the traders use the roads, etc. to get to and from work.

But, I'm not sure I like where I think you're going here :-)

Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. " -- Abraham Lincoln, progenitor of the lefty, socialist party.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Mustrun80, nobody "gave" me a job. I earn my pay. My work adds value. You overestimate the "risk" that entrepreneurs take. What about the risk the public takes when companies are allowed to dump toxins into the air or water? I guess it is easier for you to vilify college professors and government officials than to drill down and understand that the Koch Brothers have bought state governments across the US and the US House of Representatives. I think you are naive and have been brainwashed by the Kansas Policy Institute and Fox News.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not saying entrepreneurs don't take a risk. What I am saying is that the big businesses like Koch Industries, Bank of America, Countrywide Mortgage, Tyco, BP, etc pass off a lot of their risk to society as a whole. There is at least some degree of "privatize profit" but "socialize risk." We all saw that play out during the financial meltdown. Wall Street doesn't share profits when they make money. But if the blow their whole wad in Las Vegas style gambling, they expect the rest of us to bail them out. We had to do it too because we allowed banks to grow beyond state boundaries even after the S&L scandels of the 1980s/1990s. I'm also talking businesses like BP that underinvest in safety and equipment and then dump massive amounts of oil into the environment that belongs to all of us, not to them. They did that not as an honest mistake but out of greed and contempt for the rest of us 99%.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

What the hell are you talking about? Your above post doesn't even make sense. It appears you are blaming government for the actions of private companies. It also appears you believe there is a "free market." There is no such thing as a "free market." Free markets are an abstract concept dreamed up by economics professors. Free markets require all actors to have perfect knowledge. This is, of course, not possible. Free markets also require a level playing field. This, of course, doesn't exist either. Private firms "gamble" on how much to invest in environmental protection and worker safety. This is why the radical right clamors for tort reform...oh the poor businesses that screwed people over can't afford to pay these "outrageous" settlements. What I think is outrageous is that they don't do what is right. Corporations only exist because civil law allows them too. The fact that we allow corporations to insulate the owners from personal liability demonstrates to me that the corporations first obligation is to serve the interests of society, not of shareholders, which should come second. Societal interests would include: don't pollute, pay a fair/decent/living wage to employees, essentially be "good corporate citizens." I don't really like that term as it implies businesses should be allowed to vote, but you get the point.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Elizabeth Warren's sophomoric rant is a disgrace. There has never been a clearer statement than hers as to why liberal Democrats should never be put in charge of running this country.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Elizabeth Warren's position is actually much closer to that of the real Cato the Elder than yours is, cato_the_elder. The real Cato the Elder was very much in favor of paying back to his society. As a public official of Rome, he actually confiscated the property of rich men who flaunted their wealth instead of living modestly and investing it to the good of Rome. Elizabeth Warren doesn't want to confiscate the excess property of the rich--just get them to pay reasonable taxes on it so our country as a whole will prosper. I guess her quotation hit a nerve with you, cato_the_elder, if the best you can do to refute it is call her names.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

You know nothing about Cato and his place in Roman society. You are a pseudo-intellectual forced wealth redistributionist, as are Elizabeth Warren and your pal Marxist Jimo below. As a forced wealth redistributionist, your credibility is zero.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

I got my information about the real Cato the Elder directly from the ancient sources in the context of scholars' writings, so I think that I know more about him than you do. You just want to ignore what Cato really stood for in order to cling to the image right-wingers have created for their own purposes.
I see that you are still just calling names, because you can't cope with the actual positions Elizabeth Warren, or Jimo, or I have taken. Instead of constructing cogent arguments to refute what we say, you totally misrepresent our views. That's plain to everyone who follows these forums.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that what Warren said is gibberish. She's a forced wealth redistributionist, just as you are. The infliction on America of the policies that she and others like her advocate is exactly why we haven't yet recovered from the ills of the subprime crisis, which was caused by government itself.

By the way, I've read more Latin and Greek in the original texts than you've ever heard of. Do you read Latin? Do you read Greek? Since you've consistently perverted the views of Jesus Christ on this forum, do you read Koine Greek? Surprise me.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Sure do, cato_the_elder! And certainly with greater understanding.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Not based on the drivel you regularly spew here. Jesus Christ never advocated forced, state-coerced wealth redistribution, as you do.

Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

This from the fool who said "The notion that the Bush administration is responsible for the state of our economy when Obama took over is the biggest lie promulgated by the Hard Left in my lifetime."

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

And this is from Jimo the Marxist fool who said, "The only feudalism we have in America is the concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of a few."

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

cato_the_elder, Jimo is not a Marxist. A Marxist would not attribute "feudalism" to capitalists in the US; that's in direct violation of one of the most basic principles of Marxist theory. According to Marx, human society progressed sequentially from an economic based on slaveholding, to an economy based on feudalism (lords owning lands farmed by serfs, as Marx defined the term), to capitalism (the bourgeoisie owning factories where the proletariat produces the goods). Jimo never claimed to be a Marxist, so he's entitled to use the term "feudalism" in a non-Marxist manner. But before you label someone a "Marxist" in a pejorative manner in a public forum, cato_the_elder, you ought to educate yourself as to what Marx actually said. Otherwise, you just make yourself look stupid, and I would like to think that you're not.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

I've read Das Kapital in depth at various stages of my life. What Marx advocated has produced more human suffering in the world than anything else ever written by any other human being.

Your often-expressed views on forced wealth redistribution, which Jimo also advocates, make each of you Marxists and, therefore, enemies of human freedom. You apparently either enjoy that or are too ignorant to realize it.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, you might have read Das Kapital, but clearly you didn't understand it.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

I understand Marx quite well, thank you, which allows me to identify a Marxist when I see one - and that includes you, my friend.

Larrytown 3 years, 3 months ago

Excellent, excellent quotes from Elizabeth Warren. She definitely gets it. Unfortunately, her comments are all so true and certainly frowned upon by the rich (aka Republican donors). Thereby, no nomination. Just your typical political BS.

Some day, my hope is that the lower and middle class (the ones that vote straight-line Republican) wake up and vote with their wallet and the betterment of the society. We shall see.......

Thanks Ms. Matchett!

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

Outstanding piece Liberty. Thank you.

independent_rebel 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the buisness owners should stop paying wages and salaries and instead just hand over that money to the government so the government can spread the money to the lazy who refuse to work and the illegal who come to mooch?

Excellent reading.

independent_rebel 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the buisness owners should stop paying wages and salaries and instead just hand over that money to the government so the government can spread the money to the lazy who refuse to work and the illegal who come to mooch?

Excellent reading.

Larrytown 3 years, 3 months ago

Attached is a 2-minute youtube video of Elizabeth Warren. WARNING....for those with a weak stomach for common sense/rational thinking....do not watch.

Enjoy!

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

Liberty One, how is Warren's speech not rational? Do you disagree that the entire public paid for Interstate Highways through the federal motor fuels taxes? Do you disagree that the entire public paid for education through local property taxes? A true champion of liberty would be for the middle class and the working class, not the elite/leisure class that inherited everything and contributes nothing. Paris Hilton comes to mind.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

I did read the link. I laughed out loud as it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

rtwngr 3 years, 3 months ago

Elizabeth Warren is a liberal, communist. Can anybody out there see how murdering the factory owner, stripping the wealthy of their money, turning it all over to the government, and "spreading the wealth around" worked for Russia? Have we learned nothing from history when every single socialist or communist regime has failed miserably.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

What an absurd leap.

I haven't seen her, or anybody else, for that matter, advocating for murdering factory owners. Nor does she advocate stripping the wealthy of all their wealth.

In fact, she says "Keep a good chunk of it".

Exaggerating somebody's ideas in order to refute them is not a very useful way to discuss things, in my opinion.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Not sure what you mean there - she isn't portraying anybody else's views in an exaggerated light.

But, yes, I think the idea that "the rest of us" pay for things is simplistic and incorrect - we all pay for things through taxes.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

rtwngr,
Maybe you should move to Russia if you don't like the idea the rich having to pay into the system. Over there, the megarich barely pay anything in income tax or business tax, and nobody nags them to donate to the poor or share their wealth with the less fortunate. Where did these megarich Russians come from? They were the Communist Party bosses before the collapse of the Soviet Union, who even then lived in a style unavailable to ordinary citizens. So the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted from its failure to abide by its own principle that workers should be the ones to benefit from their labor. Why do you have a problem with the idea that ordinary working people should share equally in the wealth that they are producing? Why do you think that the lion's share of the profits ought to go only to the people at the top, and not to the people who actually produce the goods and services?

Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

"We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy....Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?" -- Ronald Reagan, liberal, communist.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Most new "private enterprise" business ventures come with tax incentives that in reality are billed back to taxpayers in some fashion. We might ask ourselves why is USD 497 handing out tax breaks?

Thanks Julie Matchett. Absolutely she was the author of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. A quite smart woman indeed. She also was a voice of warning long before the Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank home loan scandal wrecked the nations economy.

Elizabeth Warren saw the Bush/Cheney economic train wreck coming.

Elizabeth Warren needs a President with backbone who has history of protecting taxpayers and consumers. Yes a President who would stand by her side who might demand more teeth into this commission to prevent watering down.

That president would be a person of sound economic background,legal background,constitutional knowledge and political background. A person that would put American jobs first for that equals new substantial economical growth.

Elect Ralph Nader for President a person who is for the people and taxpayers of this nation!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

The repub party is dead!

Reaganomics aka Wreckanomics was the end of the republican party. Shining examples of no more republican party for which Reagan/Bush set the stage in the name of criminal led politics goes like this:

  1. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan Scandal
  2. Iran Contra = Secret weapons deal with Iran to funnel large numbers of weapons to the dictator led rebels in Nicaragua
  3. Initiating a military campaign in the oil rich nations that has yet to seen an end
  4. Bush/Cheney expanding the military campaign beyond belief
  5. Bush/CheneyWall Street Banks Home Loan Scandal
  6. Bush/Cheney $700 Billion bailout in which Citicorp,Bank of Ameica and AIG were the only institutions truly at risk NOT several institutions that were MISLEAD to believe.
  7. Bush/Cheney economics that killed 11 million jobs,retirement plans,medical insurance plans which in the end destroyed USA economics.

All of the above were accomplished by republican "business people" posing as republicans yet in real life are lying, dangerous and criminally insane RINO's. RINO leadership do not want republicans in office.

Support Elizabeth Warren for US Senator absolutely! I believe she dislikes criminally insane politicians.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

You posted this twice in less than half an hour......

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

"I believe she dislikes criminally insane politicians."

Then it must be pretty difficult for her to look at herself in the mirror.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Ms. Matchett, but the buck-5 the rest of us through into the kitty doesn't afford us special privileges to someone's business that they risked life savings and sweat equity into. If you want "pay it forward" money from someone else's hard work = INVEST.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

What do you call the Wall Street bailouts, jaywalker, if not "special privileges" for the wealthiest investors? The government--that is, we the people--stepped in to rescue them, because they couldn't face the consequences of the "risk." What did the bailed-out corporations do? They used our tax money to give huge bonuses to their corporate executives. Who didn't get a bailout? The ordinary people who invested their retirement money in the stock market. The pension funds that lost much of their equity. These people worked hard; they invested, just like you say they should, jaywalker, only to see the rich get richer and themselves get poorer. What's fair about that?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry you're bitter, voe, I lost money, too. But that's not the point or what we're talking about.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

jaywalker, I'm not speaking of myself. But I do have compassion for the many people who are in the position I described.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

That's great. So do I. But that doesn't change the fact that wasn't the subject at hand. Nor do those recent events mean that the stock market and Wall Street are inherently evil and investment is no longer an option.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

No, but it's quite risky these days, wouldn't you say?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

through oughta be threw; not enough coffee yet.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow, Warren's quote certainly stirs up the Cult of Hero Worshippers.

madameX 3 years, 3 months ago

Really, people? Someone says something expressing the reality that a well-run society makes increases the likelihood of success for those who make an effort to be successful, and the opinion that said successful people have some kind of obligation to make a contribution to the continuation of said society and you give the most knee-jerk, stereotypical "Grrr... liberal..... grr, progressive... grr... something else that's bad... I know! Commie! GRRRRR!" reaction. Come on, if you want to rebut a quote, then rebut the quote, but name-calling is not a rebuttal.

The point of the quote is that success does not occur in a vacuum, and that when hundreds or thousands contributed to the success of an individual business it's unreasonable for the owner of said business to suddenly pretend that it was him, standing all alone, who achieved what he achieved, and therefore it should be him and him alone who gets to enjoy the rewards.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"The point of the quote is that success does not occur in a vacuum,"

True enough, but this strikes at the very heart of Republican hero worship, and everything that Mises, Rush, the Kochs and Fox News espouse.

gudpoynt 3 years, 3 months ago

you're the most annoying person on the Internet

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Liberty_One can't think of anything to say against Elizabeth Warren, so he just posts the same link again and again--this is the third time at least. It's pretty rare that Liberty_One is reduced to speechlessness, so thank you, Julie Matchett and Elizabeth Warren.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

I read it; I just didn't find it convincing. More an attempt to distort what she said, rather than counter what she actually is arguing. I'm puzzled why you recommend this link so highly--it's so clearly tendentious.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Is that how it works? Him and him alone enjoys the rewards? Not the city and county he pays taxes in? Not the people he puts to work and families that get healthcare? Not the consumer with the product? Not much point to have roads built that lead nowhere.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Business owners don't put people to work to do them a favor. Those employees are producing a profit for the business owners, or they wouldn't keep them on. So what's wrong with expecting the business owners to share a chunk of the profits with the employees instead of pocketing it all for themselves? What's wrong with asking business owners to contribute a chunk of their profits to pay for the public services that allow them run a profitable business? Right now, too many employees aren't earning a living wage, and because their employers don't provide them with health insurance, the costs of the employees' health care end up coming out of the public funds. Right now, the taxes businesses pay don't suffice to cover the cost of the public services the businesses depend upon, and those services are getting cut, starting with the ones the employees--but not the employers--use. That state of affairs might be acceptable if the business owners were in the same financial bind as their employees, and some small business owners are. But too many wealthy business owners are agitating for ways to pay their employees less, deny them benefits, and pay less towards public services, all while they get richer and richer. That's what Elizabeth Warren is talking about.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

You're assuming that business owners are making a profit. Some are, some make just a little, some lose. If you're expecting to share in the profits, are you also ready to share in the losses? Some businesses, like restaurants see a very high failure rate. Some succeed, and a very few succeed wildly. You wouldn't think it fair to expect to share in those that profit while not sharing in those that fail, would you?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

It's an interesting concept. It might even be illegal. But the reason it's in the news is that it's new. I've never heard of such a thing. I'm not sure it's fair to assume things like this are happening. What is much more common, is employers paying below minimum wage (it's allowed in many places) specifically because we know that servers are getting tips and then not reporting it on their taxes. It's become so common that it's the standard in the industry. Everyone knows about it, including the IRS.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

But it's not 15%, it's 8%. So the server only loses out if everyone is a cheapskate. And those that pay cash, well, we won't talk about that.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If businesses fail, the employees lose their jobs - that seems like sharing in the failure to me.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Really? You think a waitress or a cook losing a job is equivalent to a person investing tens of thousands of dollars, maybe more, and then losing it. Heck, that server, that cook might just quit, walk across the street to another restaurant if they are paying a dime more per hour. The times we live in now see people move from job to job. The days when employees work for one employer for many years, well, they've largely come and gone. Yes, losing a job if the business goes under probably does cause some problems for employees. But they're not even close to that of the owners. And voevodo's original post dealt with society sharing in the profits made by companies. I wondered about sharing in the losses. And I think society does protect the employees, it's called unemployment.
BTW, Jafs, I added a little note to yesterdays discussion about tax loopholes. It was made somewhat tongue in cheek, but I'm not sure if you saw it. Check it out.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I didn't say it was "equivalent", I said it was "sharing in the failures".

Their gain if the business succeeds is also generally not "equivalent" to the owner's success.

I think you have a somewhat distorted view of how great employees have it, especially right now.

Yes, those days are gone, largely because businesses stopped offering decent wages/benefits, and started trying to cut corners as much as possible, which greatly cut into employee loyalty.

And, there are various protections for owners as well - like bankruptcy, which nails the creditors.

I understand that small business owners who invest a lot of their own money into a business are taking a risk, of course.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

jhf was the one discussing "equivalence", not I.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

jhawkins, in fact when businesses lose money, they get a tax break for their losses. When they go bankrupt, the creditors end up receiving only a fraction of what they are owed, and they get a tax break for the bad debt. And the former employees end up on public unemployment insurance. The public have to make up the loss of tax income from failed businesses through higher taxes and/or lower levels of public service. That's how the public shares in the losses.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Most of what you say just doesn't work like that. They get a tax break on losses. How does that work? If it's losses, negative profits, no tax would be owed. Just like people who earn zero dollars. No taxes are owed, so there would be zero break. What you're saying is that we will lower your taxes to zero from the zero you owe. It doesn't make sense. Bankruptcy assumes debt. Many times, individuals have invested monies from themselves and investors. That money is simply lost. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that often does not place. The public has to make up for lost taxes. They shouldn't have budgeted their tax base on the assumption that a business would provide tax money since there is no guarantee the business would succeed. No business is guaranteed success.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"Business owners don't put people to work to do them a favor"

View the employer-employee relationship as cynically as you want, but it takes the former to afford the latter.

" So what's wrong with expecting the business owners to share a chunk of the profits with the employees instead of pocketing it all for themselves?"

If that's how the owner wishes to operate, cool. I implemented profit sharing in my business. But it's not the law of the land, nor does any employee have the right to expect such.

"What's wrong with asking business owners to contribute a chunk of their profits to pay for the public services that allow them run a profitable business?"

They already do, and often it's exponentially more than any employee pays out.

"the taxes businesses pay don't suffice to cover the cost of the public services the businesses depend upon"

That's a crock. Public services are being cut due to mismanagement by state government and because more than half of state and federal budgets are spent on entitlement programs government has implemented. But go ahead and keep sticking that hand out. Sounds like a pan handler mentality to me.

" That state of affairs might be acceptable if the business owners were in the same financial bind as their employees, and some small business owners are"

In other words, "I'm poor, he's not, I want what he has even though I didn't pay the expense of his education, didn't put in the time, effort, and capital to get the business up and running, didn't struggle for 5-7 years on average taking no salary for myself while waiting to turn a profit, don't share in the risks involved in any way."

Sorry, but you're not entitled to anything just because someone has more than you do. Don't like it? Grow the stones to start your own company and then you can distribute money as you see fit.

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

And then everyone wonders why jobs go overseas!! You see - it's much less expensive to pay for roads yourself or security to protect against marauding bands than it is to pay the oppressive taxes and regulations in this country!

If this is the social contract that comes with doing business here it's no wonder so many businesses are leaving!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it is much cheaper to produce goods if you don't have to worry about destroying the environment or be concerned about the safety of your workplace environment for workers, you can pay them slave wages, and you don't have to provide workers with any sort of access to things like healthcare. Just chew 'em up and spit 'em out-- there's always someone somewhere desperate enough to take however little they can be given. That's the magic of the market, dontcha know?

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

There's a big difference between having a safe workplace and an OSHA compliant workplace.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to be 100% OSHA compliant. As a matter of fact, they are required to find three items in every workplace that they visit. OSHA has come out with something like 21 new revisions to the regulations since 2008 after having new ones about every 18 months before then. That statistic came from my OSHA 10 instructor.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not going to defend everything that OSHA does, or has done.

But it's one thing to say that there are problems with OSHA, and completely another thing to rail against regulations in a very non-specific manner, and try to paint any and all regulations as the source of all evil, ignoring the fact that without them workplaces in this country would be considerably more dangerous than they currently are.

Does complying with them cost business owners money? Sure, that's why the trend over that last several decades has been to move to places where there are fewer or even no regulations.

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Nobody's doing that though. OSHA has made some very important changes in workplace safety and saved a lot of lives!

But how are businesses and decision makers supposed to plan to allocate their capital with all this uncertianty? The US has high taxes and lots of regulations. The tax rate is constantly changing, and the regulatory environment in the last decade is drastically different than it was before.

I run a small business on the side and am constantly getting confused by the tax code and the structure of it. Every time something changes with the tax code or is talked about changing I don't know how to react and what to do about it. All this time I spend is time I'm just trying to avoid spending money, not making money!

People keep wanting to raise taxes. My income is taxed at almost 50% the way it is as self employment income. Go ahead and raise them, I'm not taking a pay cut. I'll just do less! I don't need to give up my evenings to make sure some welfare momma can afford cable TV and a cell phone!

You see, I don't have to hire that trim carpenter that is putting new trim at my house or that painter to paint for me, or even the guy that put new hardwood flooring in a month ago. I can make less money and not pay any taxes on the savings and still end up at the same point. They are all the same way, they have to charge $80/hr to try to pay expenses and taxes to go home with $25 or $30 per hour. I have to make $160 to pay for an hour of his time.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't you have an accountant? I would think they are the ones to help you understand the tax code, changes in it, and the best ways to proceed.

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

See, this is the problem. Accountants are very poor at tax planning. Tax planning is often very subjective and confusing, and a good tax planner needs to intimately understand your business and they cost about $200-$300 and up. Why?? Because they are worth it!!

Taxes are so confusing that these people can make money LEGALLY minimizing the taxes we have to pay.

Yes, I have an accountant. I don't yet have a tax planner because I don't yet make enough money to make it worthwhile.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Corp America does not live without tax dollar incentives from a variety of sources. Can we say tax dollar moochers and corrupt elected officials?

USA special Tax codes make it profitable to outsource USA jobs. Can we say screwing America by the ultimate flag wavers?

For example: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

The trouble with elected officials = go to the CEO"s of any industry and developers for advice!!!! too often!!!! Then the elected officials walk away still uninformed.

One answer to problems such as this: CUT OFF special interest financing of elections! YES even at the local level.

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Bribery of elected officials is the most stinky of all bribery!

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

merrill, the Mope in Chief pretty much killed the public campaign financing business by opting to receive hundreds of millions of dollars of untraceable and probably illegal cash donations in 2008. Expect him to double down on that for the 2012 election.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

A president is not the dictator the people are! It is up to the voters to make the substantial demand for change by the will of the vote. A majority of elected officials are afraid of public campaign financing for they know remarkable change would take place.

Selling Out: How Big Corporate Money Buys Elections, Rams through Legislation, and Betrays Our Democracy (ISBN 0-06-052392-1) (2002)

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

About the Book "Selling Out"

Selling Out: How Big Corporate Money Buys Elections, Rams through Legislation, and Betrays Our Democracy (ISBN 0-06-052392-1) (2002)

With CEOs and corporations currently under fire for years of outrageous deception and fraud, the time is long overdue for an accounting of just how grievously special-interest money has infiltrated our political process. Now, longtime political watchdog (and recent political candidate) Mark Green offers just that.

In "Selling Out, Green exposes the truth about the poisonous role money has come to play in our political culture -- a role that has too long been conveniently overlooked. The practice of trading campaign donations for political favors, he reminds us, is as old as the nation itself.

And yet in recent years the American political landscape has become an open market, where influence is bought and sold wholesale, with little accountability and no apparent shame. How did Enron and so many other corporations buy political protection? Why do legislators pay more attention to contributors than to constituents?

"Our textbook system of checks and balances," answers Green, "has devolved into a system of checks, checks, and more checks-and few politicians bite the hand that funds them." Government today, he argues, is a system that produces loopholes and subsidies for the 1 percent of Americans who can afford to be big donors -- and produces exorbitant health-care costs, uncontrolled pollution, and underfunded schools for the rest of us,

As a candidate who himself raised $16 million in his campaign for mayor of New York City, Green has seen the political process as both critic and participant. Drawing on interviews with dozens of other major players and his own lifelong crusade for better government, he highlights an array of eye-opening case studies linking money and results -from how senators favor big-industry polluters over their own constituents to how the wealthiest have won big tax breaks even as CEOs' salaries have increased ten times faster than their employees'.

And the solutions Green offers are both bold and practical, and in some cases are already working, at the local, state, and national levels, to return power to the American people.

Fast-paced and impressively researched, provocative in its commentary and conclusions, "Selling Out is sure to inflame anyone who's stunned by the latest scandals-or who's curious about how so many have gotten away with so much for so long.

http://books.google.com/books?id=AW_1T9zBboEC&pg=PA344&lpg=PA344&dq=Selling+Out+by+Mark+Green&source=bl&ots=-jFwI0d-Db&sig=eK1SrUq3mtIMONVtC6t5DtlBg14&hl=en&ei=aUqLTqTHEYWFtgeJxcSiAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=Selling%20Out%20by%20Mark%20Green&f=false

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Is everybody enjoying the propect of getting charged Durbin fees for using your debit card?

1southernjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't use credit cards. Pay with cash for every possible purchase. Have one cheap checking account and pay your utilities by direct withdrawal.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

There a new thing called the internet, ag. You can find the breaking news on it. Check it out some time.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

If you're referring to the people that don't pay federal income tax, then it includes some rather rich people as well as poor ones.

And, unless all of the roads are paid for solely by federal income taxes, they're also paying for the roads through local, sales, state, gasoline taxes and tolls.

Think what a wonderful place it would be if everybody in America made enough money so that paying taxes wouldn't be an undue burden for them, and rich people stopped trying to pay as little taxes as possible, through a variety of legal (but perhaps not moral) loopholes.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

"Rich people stopped trying to pay as little taxes as possible" Doesn't that describe everyone? I take every legal deduction I can. When I owned businesses, I hired an accountant to do the same thing. In that case, the rich, the poor and everyone in between are behaving in exactly the same way. I can't really blame the rich for behaving in the same manner in which I behave. The only way to eliminate that behavior is to eliminate the deduction, the loopholes. And once we have one deduction, or loophole, then we'll have two. And then three. Did anyone say flat tax?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure it does.

We take the standard deduction, rather than deducting everything - it's simpler, and not worth the trouble even if it saved us a little on our taxes to do so.

There are probably many people who choose similarly.

I agree about eliminating the loopholes, of course.

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Why don't you think the standard deduction is a loophole just like the mortgage interest deduction?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Can anyone explain the difference between a loophole and a legal deduction? Or is it a legal deduction if I take it and a loophole if someone else takes it?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's a good question.

I'm not sure there's an easy answer to it, but there is some sort of distinction.

Deductions are things that are meant for people to take, while loopholes implies a way to get around the intent of the laws, while utilizing the letter of them.

For example, it was possible for many years to take early SS benefits, and then when you reach full retirement age, to return them and take full benefits. People who could afford to do it could do that, invest the early benefits, make some money, and return them, then getting full benefits. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intent of the law - to provide an interest free loan to well off folks so they could make some money from it.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Just playing a little devil's advocate here, but if it's the intent of the law to punish criminals, then all those little rules we have, like Miranda, like the 5th Amendment, those are loopholes, right?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

:-)

Except that they exist in order to protect our civil rights, which is also an intent of our system.

Our system is designed with checks and balances - it's not designed to allow the state to have too much power.

But you know that, I'm sure.

I thought of another example - a businessperson goes on what is essentially a social outing for dinner. At that dinner, they mention some business thing for about 3 minutes, but the rest of the evening is purely social. Then, they deduct it from their taxes as a business expense.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

That, like the server who doesn't pay taxes on tips and the cook who goes across the street for the dime per hour more, happens all the time. How about a business that rents a luxury box at the ballpark and then entertains clients there. Lot's of stuff like that going on. One man's deduction is another man's loophole. That's why I advocate for a flat tax with no deduction, no loopholes. Let's get off that slippery slope.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

jhawkins asked if everybody doesn't take advantage of every deduction they can in order to lower their taxes.

My response is that I don't think that's true.

We, for example, choose the standard deduction rather than itemization, even if itemizing might save us a little bit on our taxes.

And, I'm sure we're not the only ones who choose simplicity over saving a little money.

imastinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Lots of times the standard deduction is the best way for folks that rent a house. They can't get enough deductions to itemize without a mortgage.

I disagree with your definition of "loophole."

Democrats are complaining about loopholes for the rich and they want to limit perfectly legal deductions. That's all the jobs bill does. The deductions will be allowed with a lower income but are phased out for a higher income.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

We currently own, so that wouldn't apply for us.

You have the right to disagree of course - I was trying to respond to jhf's question, which I think is a good one.

Depending on what the deductions are, it might be quite reasonable, and in accordance with the intent, to allow them for lower incomes but not higher ones.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

You're missing the point there - the reason that 47% (and that figure includes rich people) don't pay federal income taxes is that many of them don't make much money.

I suggested that it would be a good thing if people made more money, enough that they could in fact pay taxes without it being an undue burden.

That's somewhat the opposite of your statements.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 3 months ago

Jesus, keep a few in the chamber, right wingers.

What are you going to have left when a real communist comes around?

Dispersant 3 years, 3 months ago

If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

Dispersant 3 years, 3 months ago

If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm starting to think that the little darlings camping on Wall Street have watched Fight Club while stoned too many times.

lunacydetector 3 years, 3 months ago

so....elizabeth warren sounds a lot like many of our local no growthers....this is why businesses do not come to lawrence anymore. a proven loser philosophy.

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