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Call for 'Emergency Charity Stimulus' as Billionaire Wealth Soars and US Nonprofits Sink

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/03/call-emergency-charity-stimulus-billionaire-wealth-soars-and-us-nonprofits-sink

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What a stupid idea. Just raise their taxes.

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You could take 20 billion from Jeff Bezos to developer a vaccine for Covid-19 for the world and he would still be the richest man on the planet.

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Since this money already is just sitting there and not being used, this sounds like a good idea to me. Of course, increasing the taxes on top earners would be a good corollary action.

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If the rich actually gave a shit, we wouldn’t be talking about this

But if they did, then they wouldn’t be rich, would they?

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Hi Hen’s Teeth:
And–imit the amount of donations they give to candidates. If the candidates keep sucking up unlimited finds from the rich guys who pay no taxes–I don’t think anything wiII ever change. : (

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NYC’s gone from a paltry 105 to a measly 119 billionaires, partying on their super yachts or buying Tolkein sets in New Zealand. They contracts with both parties to rob, indenture or incarcerate us. They’re not about to PAY us for anything!

~https://gothamist.com/news/after-talking-all-day-long-rich-new-yorkers-hamptons-cuomo-says-he-cant-raise-their-taxes

~https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/world/coronavirus-covid-19.html

About 1932, Youngstown, Ohio had all the steel mills totally idle. The mayor wrote an article published in the Atlantic. he wrote that the local charities and churches had used up their cash assisting unemployed families. The county and city could not help because no on could pay their property taxes. The state of Ohio could not help because the entire society was in dire straights. He continued that only the federal government with unlimited borrowing power could bring relief to the peoples.

still true today in 2020.

The super rich donations are not to help grandma pay the electric bill. They want their name on the building, accolades and huzzas from their friends, family and employees. Notice the long list of family foundations sponsoring PBS news hour.

The billionaires are licking their chops at purchasing much more at 50 cents cash for one dollar true value. Land, patents, commercial properties, logistics, transportation, etc.

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What’s wrong with increasing billionaire’s taxes? Why not go back to what it was between 1935 and 1981? 70 to 90%.

That’s not how it works. You can’t just take $20 billion of Jeff Bezos’ wealth because it’s just the stock value of Amazon. It’s not cash. This is one of the main fallacies when people suggest these things. If you forced Bezos to give up $20 billion of his wealth you’d be forcing him to sell $20 billion of his ownership in Amazon, which makes no sense.

That’s not how the taxes worked. First, there were numerous loopholes that resulted in the effective tax on income being about the same as it is today. Second, and see the first point, the tax is on income, not wealth. They’re two very different things. Billionaires’ wealth is mostly in the value of equity assets. That’s not income and was never taxed at 75% to 95%, which wouldn’t make any sense. That would be a 75%-95% wealth tax. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

Plus, this article is insane. It finishes with this doozy:

“Just as we don’t want an economy that produces billionaires, we don’t want a charity sector that creates billionaire-controlled foundations,” Collins concluded.

Want to find a way to get normal people to dismiss your article in entirety? Post a ridiculous quote like that.

So what’s your solution to billionaires, Collins? 100% wealth tax once their net worth reaches $1 billion? Ok. Let’s actually think about that in practicality. I’m a successful entrepreneur. Let’s say I’m Bill Gates. I’ve built up a company that’s revolutionary and can change the world. It’s quickly valued at more than a billion dollars. Oops, that’s too much. I immediately sell $1 billion of my stake and retire. Microsoft never becomes the revolutionary company it is today, that has drastically improved the livelihood of nearly all 8 billion people around the globe. Great job. At least we stopped one person from being worth “too much.” We should’ve used this idea on Henry Ford too so that we would still be using horses and buggies today. No cars, but at least Henry Ford wouldn’t have been worth “too much.”

But back to the proposed solutions at the end of the article. Let’s be careful here. If you like the fact that wealthy people (let’s not just focus on “billionaires” to trigger everyone) donate a portion of their earned wealth to charity, then do kill the goose. Some of these ideas, like many progressive tax-and-wealth-related ones, are backwards looking. They forget that they change future incentives. If the stipulations for charitable giving become too punitive, people will simply donate less.

It was to show how inequality has gone insane under crony capitalism, not a program of taxing etc.

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The effective tax rate was much higher on the very rich than it is today. They paid more, my father was one of them. The United States was the world’s greatest creditor nation. Simply by raising the richest tax rate to 39% on capital gains and dividends, and making some painful cuts, in 1993, Bill Clinton balanced the budget, the only administration to accomplish that in almost living memory. I watched my father writing out checks for $50K to the IRS in the 1970s. That would be about $300K in taxes today. Period. They paid more back then than they do now.

You grossly oversimplify the economics of research and development and economic development and supply and demand, not to mention historic shits beyond human comprehension. The communists were in space before we were.
The micro-processor was invented years before there was a need for it so it was not revolutionary at its time.
As for Henry Ford, Mercedes Benz beat him by 23 years. The greedy free market doesn’t explain the whole story although I’m sure you’d like to simplify things so.

And recall, had the Senate’s then expert on technology not pushed to provide R and D funding with tax based appropriations, to the creators of the internet, who knows when that invention would have finally revolutionized the world. Thank you Sen. Al Gore.

It’s even more simple: costs are public profits are private. Bill Gates, for example, has profited from slavery i.e. prison labor.

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What are you even remotely talking about?

Microsoft has long benefited from the use of prison labor i.e. slaves. So you’re obviously cool with profiting off slavery.

what slaves are you talking about?

Prison labor = slavery. Any company that benefits from prison labor such as Microsoft, Victoria’s Secret, and Microsoft, has benefited from slavery which is what prison labor is.