How the fortunate 400 got so rich

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rabble
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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby rabble » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:59 am

Comrade wrote:At least you finally admitted (albeit to Snowqueen) that your premise was not 100% accurate, and that was my initial point.

No I didn't. My premise is that we can't follow income generated by accumulated wealth, and that is completely accurate.

I understand how that would confuse you.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:07 pm

rabble wrote:
snoqueen wrote:
I just gave you a specific example that shows how your assumption is not always the case and you didn't resond to that at all.

So, under your premise, exactly HOW is the income a farmer receives from selling his crop easily hidden?


On this one, I agree with Comrade to some extent.

1) All personal wealth does not generate income all the time.
Corollary: some personal wealth not only fails to generate income, but its valuation can decline. A farm can lose value, for example.

That's risk, and it's part of our system even when the results are sad and out of control, as with farmers in Wisconsin this year.

But,

I agree with part of that but since we're talking about the Fortunate 400, I have to take issue with the use of the family farm as an example. I can't accept the fact that any of them live on their farms.

I believe they OWN quite a few factory farms and have foreclosed upon many family farms, but the use of "the farm" and "this year's corn crop" as examples of how difficult it is to hide income from accumulated wealth is not valid.


Actually, there are some land barons out west with hundreds of thousands of acres that belong to this group and do live and work on their land. My example is true and valid.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:10 pm

rabble wrote:
Comrade wrote:At least you finally admitted (albeit to Snowqueen) that your premise was not 100% accurate, and that was my initial point.

No I didn't. My premise is that we can't follow income generated by accumulated wealth, and that is completely accurate.

I understand how that would confuse you.


That was NOT your premise. Go back to the third post on this thread. That is NOT what you said. You said income and wealth are tied together and could not be separated.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby HawkHead » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Rich Schultz wrote:If the income produced by wealth is so easily hidden why do the top 10% pay 70% of the income tax?


Because we have a progressive income tax structure in the US of A!

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby HawkHead » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:47 pm

snoqueen wrote:
The deal with the tax code is it has to be written to cover a wide variety of real-world situations, foreseeable and not, favorable and unfavorable. And given human nature, people will try to find ways to bend the regulations or get creative with their application.

All of which doesn't change the reality that those with great wealth are in a position to help support the country that made it all possible for them, as some of them are well aware.


I deal with lowering peoples tax liability all of the time. The best example for small business owners is the ability to use cash basis accounting verse accrual basis accounting.

In cash basis I get to deduct expenses as paid. So with a farmer that has a large gain we will prepay all of their seed, hay, fertilizer for the next years growing season to deduct against this year's income.

With the increased Sec 179 depreciation and bonus depreciation amounts the last few years business owners can deduct up to 100% of all new equipment purchased by the business.

That's just a few examples to legally reduce your current year income.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby rabble » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:49 pm

Comrade wrote:
rabble wrote:
Comrade wrote:At least you finally admitted (albeit to Snowqueen) that your premise was not 100% accurate, and that was my initial point.

No I didn't. My premise is that we can't follow income generated by accumulated wealth, and that is completely accurate.

I understand how that would confuse you.


That was NOT your premise. Go back to the third post on this thread. That is NOT what you said. You said income and wealth are tied together and could not be separated.

Oh, that. They can't. Because you can't know how much income the accumulated wealth is generating, you can't separate it from income.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:01 pm

Here we go again allowing ourselves to be distracted from the real question, which is about how very rich people got so rich.

Why is the question important?

Two reasons: one having to do with how their tax liability should be computed, and the other having to do with what kind of president Mitt Romney would be given the fact that he's very rich, and how he got that way clearly says something about how he has operated in the past and might operate in the future.

This link addresses the second of these reasons:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plu ... ml?hpid=z3

It's Greg Sargent saying the following:

The set of facts we know now are enough for the Obama campaign to make its argument, which is that Romney’s business background was not as a job creator, but as a pioneer in wealth creation. He built a wealth creating machine that went on to play a key role in facilitating the practice of outsourcing and in shipping American jobs overseas — and by extension, a key role in the larger story of what’s happened to the economy and the American middle class.


You don't have to show exactly how much wealth he has, how much taxes he paid, or whether he ever acted illegally to draw any of those conclusions.

He got so rich by shipping American jobs overseas, as the very first sentence of the article states:

Under Mitt Romney, Bain Capital — which he co-founded and helped build into a money-making powerhouse — invested in companies that were pioneers in facilitating the practice of outsourcing.


Looking around, we can see he wasn't the only very rich person using those practices.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:31 pm

Romney also hides his money in overseas accounts. He has only released last year's returns, but they show he stashes his money in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and in even more secret Swiss bank accounts. Why the secret accounts? What is he hiding? How does that help create jobs in the U.S?

What would a decades worth of Romney's IRS reports show? If three offshore accounts show up just in the last year when he was running for president, his time at Bain would be even more interesting.

BTW, when he dad ran for president, he released ten years worth of returns. Other candidates have since done the same... until Mitt.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:32 pm

snoqueen wrote:Looking around, we can see he wasn't the only very rich person using those practices.


Imagine if these people with all the wealth would put as much effort into creating jobs as they do making themselves even richer. People keep blaming the gov't, but it's a two way street. They keep making more and more money, yet they don't invest it into their very own companies to create jobs and spur growth. I have no problem with people being wealthy. I have a huge problem with greed.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:04 pm

[quote="

That was NOT your premise. Go back to the third post on this thread. That is NOT what you said. You said income and wealth are tied together and could not be separated.[/quote]
Oh, that. They can't. Because you can't know how much income the accumulated wealth is generating, you can't separate it from income.[/quote

Yes THAT. Your words and YOU said them. I showed a specific concrete example of HOW that is not always true. Snowqueen agreed with me. You agreed with Snowqueen, but then in true asshole fashion insisted that you don't agree with me. That doesn't even make sense, and here you are right back here insisting on an erroneous premise. There is nothing left to say.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Snowqueen actually makes a good point here about what is important.

It is important to know HOW the rich made their money, but I would phrase it a bit differently.

Namely, how is wealth created, and secondly why is it important to know?

If those two questions can be answered, then you can analyze the effectiveness if current economic policy and whether or not there are better ways to improve things for everyone.

In that context, whether or not Rommney's has money oversees disclosed on his tax return is unimportant.

A more productive discussion would be how we can create an economic environment that is conducive to growing wealth.

Rommney's experience could be helpful in that regard. We already know the extent to which Obama is not able to do this. You might not agree, but the debate should at least take place.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:43 pm

HawkHead wrote:
Rich Schultz wrote:If the income produced by wealth is so easily hidden why do the top 10% pay 70% of the income tax?


Because we have a progressive income tax structure in the US of A!


Actually you are contradicting yourself. Your answer would indicate that their income is NOT easily hidden.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby snoqueen » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:01 pm

A more productive discussion would be how we can create an economic environment that is conducive to growing wealth.

Rommney's experience could be helpful in that regard. We already know the extent to which Obama is not able to do this.


Well, Romney's experience (according to the article I linked) shows how he (and others) were able to create wealth, but at the expense of American jobs. That was the main point.

Why we would want to create an environment with more of the same isn't clear to me, and why a person who did this ought to be made President of the whole country isn't clear either. He did a lot of harm to the American middle class by the choices he made in order to build up his own wealth.

Obama has had some luck stopping the free fall (for instance, General Motors is making cars in the US and employing workers, which wouldn't be so without government assistance) but without more stimulus money what else can he do? Without better regulation of the financial markets (and/or a miraculous resurrection of Glass-Steagall) we're perpetually at risk for another avoidable catastrophe like the mortgage meltdown, and the legislature isn't about to pass him a bill that will help. He can't get money for infrastructure repair and buildup, which ought to be a slam-dunk because we need it regardless of who's in the presidency. He seems to be trying to pull us out of the war in Afghanistan, which would stop a big drain on the national budget, but what about seriously cutting military spending? The president signs the budget (or not), but he can't tell the legislators what to put in it.

Why would Romney, whose past experience shows he's got the background of someone who left a lot of good American jobs in the ditch, be better?

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Comrade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:01 pm

I don't necessarily agree with your conclusions.

Firstly, your assertion that Obama helped gm with his involvement is erroneous. There is nothing he did that could not have been accomplished in chapter 11 bancruptcy reorganization. That is after all what that code of law is for. The assertion that gm would have been liquidated without his involvement is false. Moreover it set a very bad precedent.

Secondly, you have to take the sum of what was accomplished by Rommney's at Bain and consider that on its merits instead of dividing things up and cherry pick what you don't like in an effort to promote an agenda. That is not intellectually honest.

We're jobs lost under Bain control? Yes. Same is true under Obama. Were jobs exported by Bain? Yes. BUT in doing so, how many we're saved and then created by a concern that became profitable and prosperous and went on to pay taxes?

Under Obama, stimulus money was also used that ended up in jobs being created overseas.

How can an objective person condemn Rommney for an act while giving credit to Obama for doing the same thing?

Personally, Rommney is not my first choice, but he does have some experience and success in turning things around. It is my judgement that Obama is not able to do this. Just one week ago while making comments in Ohio about yet another awful jobs report, he claimed we were moving in the right direction. I don't think that is true. We aren't moving in the right direction. We aren't moving in any direction and have been stagnating for more than four years.

Moreover, these comments follow a few weeks prior when he said the private sector was doing just fine. It isn't. I have very little faith in him at this point. If he cannot even define the problems, he will never solve them and hid record is showing that reality.

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Re: How the fortunate 400 got so rich

Postby Meade » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:31 pm

HawkHead wrote:I deal with lowering peoples tax liability all of the time.

Is "lowering peoples tax liability" the same thing as tax avoidance?

Doesn't progressive taxation create more work for tax accountants and lawyers? If so, does that work create net wealth?


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