Here's an interesting web page about wealth inequality

and a link to a video showing an example of wealth distribution using beans

I like the idea of taxing wealth as much as work as a starting point

Here's another interesting article about changing income distribution through taxation.
How to double the income for millions of American workers


See Wealth Distribution blog

Views: 8

Comment by Matt on April 11, 2010 at 3:03pm
I think we have taken capitalism too far. Every person deserves to make it in this world no matter the social class. Sadly not even that is true true these days as only 10% of the population ever goes up the economic social ladder. I personally think there should be some kind of $ amount cap on the highest paying jobs, there is no reason why anyone should be making $20,000,000 a year just because they are a CEO. Our greed has grown out of control, and because of that our greed owns our politicians. Wealth will never be redistributed under our government because it would take a national effort to get it done. The debate will literally be the rich and poor v.s. the middle class, and the middle class will be pulled all over the place because no one in the middle class really share many of the hardships that other haves. Some in the middle class have dropped from the wealthy, others have moved up from the bottom, some will have been there their entire life, and their parents before them. This is probably why the middle class gets screwed over so much, because there isn't much of a unifying aspect in it.
Comment by B. on April 11, 2010 at 9:35pm
Interesting, but I am generally not for increasing taxes for the rich -- even the extremely rich.

I think a more equal distribution of wealth would be a good thing, but forcing it by taxes just strikes me as stealing.. I don't think we have a right to other people's money, even if they have lots of it.

That said, the concept of having any sort of income measurable in tens of millions is a figure that I can't really wrap my head around.. Yes, they have change to spare, but I'm concerned about people making six-figure incomes -- namely early six-figures -- which qualify as "wealthy" enough to be taxed like the rich, but it just drags them down to mediocre incomes again.
My expected earning potential when I'm finished my school is about $150,000 (hopefully) and being taxed 33% or more, whatever it will be here in Canada, is a bit of a cruel joke. There's no reason I should be working for free one-third of the time.

I would rather just work only two-thirds of the year and keep all my income from that (not actually possible, would still be taxed like crazy).
Comment by Chetan D on April 11, 2010 at 10:05pm
B, you're forgetting the investment me and every other Canadian is making in providing you with the tools to become a professor. Yes, you pay your portion of it- the hard work, perhaps your own tuition fees.

But the infrastructure that goes into providing your education (and mine) is all public money. When Canadians invested money in you, they took a risk- and they want a return a return on that risky investment. And every Canadian invests on everyone else.

There really is no such thing as free-market economy. There's a state sector- whereby all the research and development that goes into providing the basic foundations of technology is funded by the public sector. Consumers of this sector are the students and professors who go on to use their ideas but nonetheless the public opportunity to create large scale enterprises and multinationals.

The rich are taxed more simply because the return on the investment from them was a lot higher. Just as you can demand higher interest from a bank for depositing a lot more, Canadians can demand a higher tax from those investments that have paid off well. It sucks to be labelled as mere investments- a random sampling, but that's what you and I both are.

If the rich aren't taxed in the way they should be, we wouldn't have a Canada that we can boast around in the world- one with a better social security and health care system.

I know people from the Scandinavian countries- the least religious and also the most highly taxed in the world. They hate the taxes in their country. But on the flipside they get free education, free health care and pretty much free everything that makes your life a happy one.
Comment by B. on April 12, 2010 at 10:43am
I can understand that point of view, BUT taxing me more than lower-income earners -- especially the equally educated -- is essentially punishing me for succeeding academically & professionally.

Many, many students go to university and graduate only to enter very average income jobs ($40K - $60K) -- earnings they may/probably would have reached without a degree. They will not be taxed as much as I am, even though our Bachelor's degrees are totally equivalent in cost. We were "invested in" the same amount, but I'm going to end up paying double what they do in order to make up for their deficiencies.

I believe in a flat tax rate. The rich still pay more dollar-wise in that system. I believe in taxes for healthcare and infrastructure, but I generally don't support much of what the government will be spending my money on.

I don't recognize an obligation to my government or fellow citizens simply because I succeeded at my education. I paid for my school myself, and I would have paid 2-3x what it cost to attend -- especially if that meant we could shave a few tax dollars off at the end.

Progressive income tax is robbery. It makes no sense, and it's grotesquely immoral. I absolutely would consider a lower-paying teaching job (ie. $90,000 at a college or smaller university) in order to avoid the taxes that would come with being in the higher income bracket. It's not worth it to work those extra hours if I'm only going to receive a fraction of the pay.

There is very little incentive to make $100,000 - $300,000ish a year, because you just get screwed. Unless you're below that or well above that income, you're basically carrying everyone else's weight.
Comment by Chris G on April 17, 2010 at 3:29am
B see my blog on Wealth Distribution
Comment by B. on April 17, 2010 at 10:14am
That didn't tell me anything, Chris. What's you're point? I'm not disagreeing that the "unequal" distribution exists, I'm just saying that if you're going to make it work to your advantage, make five-figures or make $500,000, don't fall in between.
Comment by Chris G on April 20, 2010 at 11:34pm
My point is that people don't know how wealth is distributed and when they hear politicians talk about tax cuts they think it applies to the general population when it really only applies to the top 10%.

I heard a warehouse worker say he refused a raise because he would have to pay more tax. He probably only earned $12.00/hour and turned down less than a quarter/hour to keep from paying more taxes. This just goes to show how little people understand the tax system. It's insane. Earning $90,005 is better than earning $90,000.

Should someone who works for $50,000/yr pay the same % as someone who makes $500,000/yr? Should someone who makes $500,000/yr pay the same tax as someone who collects $1M/yr in interest income? Should someone who lives off interest income pay less tax than someone who earns a wage? In the U.S that's the way it is. Should someone who makes $300,000/year and probably lives comfortably pay the same tax rate as someone who earns $40,000/year and worries about taking a sick day off work?

Surfs and tea partiers think rich people provide jobs and therefore shouldn't be taxed.
Comment by B. on April 21, 2010 at 12:13am
I know how my taxes work -- I file them. I see the cut-offs and income earned over $100,000 is taxed at something ludicrous like 39% (I'm not sure of the exact number, because I've never actually gotten to file in that bracket. Well, not yet anyway).

Earning $90,005 is NOT better than earning $90,000 if that extra $5 means you'll pay additional taxes. Then it is NOT $5, it is $2. Is it worth doing $5 worth of work for $2? Not for me. The time off is worth more than $2 for me.

YES someone how makes $50,000 should absolutely have the same tax rate as someone that makes $500,000.
YES someone who makes $500,000 should absolutely have the same tax rate as someone that makes $1 million on interest.
YES someone that lives comfortably on $300,000 should pay the same tax rate as someone that earns $40,000 and is oh noes so worried about taking a sick day.

If you want more money, earn more money. Period. I do not sympathize with people that whine that they are struggling.

Maybe we weren't born into wealth, but I think the only thing standing between you or I or any person and a $300,000/yr salary is ambition. If you or Mr.Average-Person is too lazy or stupid to work for it, then it's not my -- or anyone else's -- responsibility to pay for your/their deficiencies.

It's not that I don't think rich people should be taxed -- I just don't think they should be robbed. They can pay the same percentage as anyone else.
Comment by Chris G on February 8, 2011 at 2:43am

Here's something to think about:

 

The poor are generally seen as deserving lower tax rates because, the poorer you are, the more of you income you spend on “necessities,” and the richer you are, the more of your income you spend on “Luxuries.” So if a dollar in taxes has to be taken from someone, it’s fairer to take it from someone who will then have to reduce their luxurie consumption  

Comment by Chris G on April 19, 2011 at 9:32am

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