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'Out of an Abundance of Caution,' Says Bernie Sanders, 'We Should Expand Medicare to Cover Everyone in America'

I don’t have any issue with limiting consumption in creative ways using taxation and/or regulatory limits so I’m not talking about that. I looked at ~https://www.nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100 and I recognize a few companies but nothing all that big. To do what you are saying - to actually outlaw the ability to own stock in a company you don’t work at and to give an equal share of stock to all workers regardless of position or amount of time someone has worked there is going to be pretty disruptive. I’m not going to argue the morality of it but what you propose a) won’t happen politically as you have nowhere near the mindshare to pull it off and b) may not work either and there will be a spring back to the prior method with more reluctance to try incremental moves that I want to do and for which there is enough mindshare. So bottom line is I’m not interested in fully eradicating the ability to own assets outside of your personal property in places you do not work. I’d support any number of other reforms of the stock market (taxing to eliminate very fast trading), making it harder to make money by betting on certain companies losing money which adds instability and even a criminal motive for sabotage, and many more. But this country isn’t remotely ready for pure Democratic Socialism (the original kind, not the social democracies of Europe which we are ready to make moves towards - it’s just many of our lousy leaders aren’t ready).

We need to go back in time to before Clinton signed the URAA and we lost the right to regulate health care.

If we werent in the WTO and made all these commiments so msany we’re literally MARRIED to the for-profit system we could do whatever we wanted.

But now that we are in the WTO it would be bigamy and come with a huge fine to just pretend we had never gotten married and try to expand Medicare beyond Social Security ages. That kind of things is what unmarried countries do. We’d be likely to be hit with huge sanctions if we did that.

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How do you justify to yourself having power over someone’s ability to make a living? (okay, so your personal power is not much --but those who run the companies in which you’ve invested do have the power to eff with people’s lives, and your investment enables and even ratifies that.)

(Co-ops are all based on each owner-member having 1 share, and nobody thinks there’s anything strange about it, possibly because co-ops are meant to provide enduring benefit, not be built up and sold off for a quick buck)

As I just started looking into this, so I don’t have a good feel for the actual definitions. I imagine there are some rules as far as the government is concerned for a business entity to register itself in a particular category, but it seems that what some people call co-ops anyway can range in terms of rules.
I saw cases of partial outside ownership (but < 50%), and I thought I read that each worker’s share doesn’t have to be identical (but I don’t have a problem if they are now that I think I understand a share is just a fixed percentage of profit that an employee gets per year.

As you say, I don’t have any power in this regard (I have some stock - mostly in a 401k, but a little bit outside of that where I played around with investing in companies I thought were cool, some of which went belly up like VA Linux or crashed badly but are still around (Ballard Fuel Cell - huh, their stock has come up a bit lately, wonder why). Most of my money is stuck in my house so I sure hope the LA real estate market doesn’t crash. If I were the owner of a company and I had a direction I wanted to go in, I’m not sure what I’d do. On one hand, I can admire people like Ernest Bader who transferred ownership to workers in 1951 (~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Bader) and I believe this company is still one of the larger examples of a Co op. On the other hand, I can easily see some cases where you put a lot of work into getting a company started, hire employees and then your vision isn’t shared by the workers and they go in a different direction. Maybe more often the direction will be better, but again - I need to see the studies that show this is true often enough and at the scale of big companies to want to sign on to a movement to literally ban the publicly traded corporation or a private one. In terms of bosses being able to fire you, well we do have some labor laws and if those need revising, I’m open there too. But I don’t have any fundamental problem with the fact that I can be fired (hell, I’m sure you can be fired from a co op too).

I guess I’m done - you can have the last word if you want it.

We are American, we have to learn the hard way but thanks for trying to explain this. At least some may get it.

I see no reason why you would tax stock wealth any differently than other types of wealth. Any policy that taxes other types of wealth but does not tax stock wealth just moves that type of wealth over to stocks.

Also the issue of harvesting losses provides another reason that I don’t like the idea of just waiting for capital gains to happen: suppose you buy $600 worth of stock with 2/3 of the shares involved going up by $50 per hundred dollars and 1/3 of the shares going down by $50 per hundred dollar invested. Now I have made a profit of $100. I can sell one of the profiting shares and one of the declining shares that started at $100 (at $150+$50 = $200) and I will have no capital gains tax to pay since I lost as much as I gained on that $200 investment. I then keep $100 in my pocket and put the remaining $100 back into the market to bring my portfolio back up to $600.

Well physical assets like yachts only go down in value so you know you don’t have to sell off 2% of your yacht every year to pay taxes assuming you book this tax ahead of time as a cost of having a yacht (an insane overindulgence in my opinion). Having your asset go up in value is an issue with land tax and hence the move to Prop 13 in CA to bound how fast your tax payment can go up even though there is nothing you have done to live higher on the hog - you are in the same house, perhaps even on the same income.

Obviously if the rate is low enough when we are talking stocks, there is no issue. If everyone always has to sell 0.5% of the stock every year to basically pay the tax, after 25 years, they still have 90% of the shares and one could argue that companies or dominant family owners of companies shouldn’t last forever perhaps. But something like 2.5% is starting to sting, and I thought Bernie wants more than that for the unrealized wealth gains made during the pandemic. To me, those gains in stock wealth are just numbers in a bank and until you pull out of the bank and start spending, I don’t see it as a justifiable tax. It’s ok that we disagree on a few things obviously, but I’m mostly not planning on changing my mind on this and would prefer to go after more steeply progressive income taxes and a big fat carbon tax (some rebates maybe, but not revenue neutral).

Let’s be sure we are talking about the same “this”. I am saying that you shouldn’t treat different kinds of wealth differently because you can instantly convert one type into another (e.g. that is not an argument about the rate at which you tax including its progressively like exemptions on basic needs like housing).

If stocks have no wealth tax associated with them - but owning property does, then I can just buy stocks in property companies. Suppose I own one-percent of one percent of some company that owns an apartment building - they take care of the maintenance on it and send me a check every month for my share of the rents. I pay taxes on that rent and the apartment building goes up in value.
Tell me why my wealth invested in the property company should be taxed any differently than my wealth if I owned the same amount invested in property without going through the stock mechanism (I still take care of maintenance and collect my share of rents). In today’s world there are stocks that bundle up any kind of wealth you can imagine - there is just no reason to treat them differently.

Did you know that we traded away the right to regulate the relevant services more than 20 years ago. So Bernie was acting. He was pretending to be running but a he left out this important easy to verify fact that we had signed these rights away and needed to get them back, I think he was trying to give young people who are really likely to lose big under the current plans, the phony impression they had gotten due process.

Young people demonstrate, older people don’t.

The young people expect policy that TPTB have no intention of honoring especially when it comes to jobs.

@oldie

They don’t want us to pay less, they want us to pay more.

Why don’t people get that? Rich people want their high yields.

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I don’t know anything about property companies or really that much about any form of property tax other than the one I pay (about $12k a year because houses are so damn expensive in SoCal) and the modest property tax I pay on the two family cars. I thought about trying to read some of the many articles on wealth taxes now available, but I’m I not interested enough to drive down into this issue much further - as I have competing issues I’d rather study - mostly the GND discussion for which I’m reading ~https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/would-a-green-new-deal-add-or-kill-jobs1/ to respond about prediction of job creation.

I don’t agree with everything Yang said during the campaign (he was against M4A and I am very much for it), but I think he was right about the wealth tax when he says,

Other industrialized countries have cracked the code after trying numerous schemes, from a wealth tax to a VAT. And while I agree with a wealth tax in spirit, there is a reason why it has been repealed by almost all European countries who have attempted them. We should not be looking to other countries’ mistakes. Instead, we should look at the tax system in 160 countries like Germany and France that set up future generations for success, which is a value-added tax.

To which I would add we need a real carbon tax too (one of the points discussed in the Sci Am article).

I have little say in the matter - many of the candidates I like (e.g., Sanders and I would have said Warren before she pulled that ridiculous debate stunt) tend to want this, and I care about the other stuff they are also pushing more, so I will continue to vote for these types of candidates, but I think they are wrong and Yang is right.

Note that the inheritance tax is a separate but related issue. I haven’t made up my mind on that one yet - I’d need to understand better how it works now and how any proposed changes would work differently. But again, not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.

You can have the last word if you want it.

I appreciate your point. I wish he had gone third party after the 2016 election( he had to agree not to during the that election cycle). He could have led/organized a new party at that point; but too late now. He’s too old after this election for that.

He may be a good case for term limits-aside from all the real creeps that have been their too long and have too much power- even good people get their minds massaged into mud after too long on the hill.

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