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'Tax the Hell Out of Me,' Says Young Millionaire Google Exec at Prospect of a President Bernie Sanders

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/28/tax-hell-out-me-says-young-millionaire-google-exec-prospect-president-bernie-sanders

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This young man is the real deal and should be honored. Now…if all the other millionaires and billionaires had his SOUL…

Bernie people: Get an ad with this young man…STAT!

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Sorry, this virtue signalling always bothers me. They’re really saying “tax the hell out of everyone else.”

Anyone who feels they aren’t paying enough in taxes is always welcome to send as much additional money to the treasury as they wish, there’s nothing stopping them. They just want to make sure everyone else is paying for their “virtue”.

By way of example, in MA, there is an “optional” higher state tax rate that people can pay if they so choose. Fewer than 1% of taxpayers choose to pay it.

If you mean the 1% then what’s the problem? If you mean he is referring to “EVERYONE”, literally, then I disagree.

Getting the jet set to agree on paying higher taxes as a group, or an organization would work better than forcing it down their throats. I think the latter will be needed.

The face of a Patriot.

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I was going to be brilliant and foretell the imminent arrival of one of our house libertarians to share this exact trope — but I wasn’t quick enough. Excellent power of observation and reaction time, sir.

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So, give money to the Treasury but keep society basically as it is. Talk about missing the entirety of the damn point. His tweet about not earning a lot of the money is accurate. He seems very intelligent and he has done a lot at such a young age, but the fact of the matter is that Jeff Bezos did not create all of the wealth he has with his own hands and mind. He necessarily got most of it because the way we have designed institutions (Amazon and the Washington Post in particular) and our society allows him to suck up tons of value that others within his institution produced, unless you want to be silly and argue that he created all his wealth with his own hands. In the modern economy, it is also undeniable that people make tons of money by externalizing costs off onto future generations, those less powerful than themselves, society at large and the environment. Many make profits by harming others, war profiteers. Many hire lobbyists, so the state works for and benefit them. Many make profits by doing things with no social worth, like high frequency trading and financial speculation. Just giving money to the Treasury overlooks the obvious point that it isn’t about just giving money to the damn Treasury, it is about actual structural changes, and the rich getting taxed at a much higher rate is one part of overall structural changes that need to happen. Even if technically the money at the federal level isn’t used in order to spend, it can be used to lessen wealth inequality and unearned wealth and income, which now dominates our society.

And to be clear anyway, the taxes to the Treasury don’t technically pay for spending like your taxes at the state and local level does. The state does not use your tax dollars and doesn’t need your tax dollars to spend, even though politicians have created a wide range of rules (decades ago, when we were on the gold standard) that make it harder for the state to create money when it wants. They have done so because private financial capital benefits from the way we currently create money. But, in the modern economy, there is no reason why the state at the federal needs taxes or borrowing in order to spend, and spending and taxation at the federal level are not linked in the way they are at the local and state level in the US. Cause the state of California and the city of Los Angeles do not create the money their citizens use.

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Than you for your comment. I don’t understand what you mean, however. Please define “virtue signaling.” Please also define “virtue.” Next, please state clearly the difference between virtue signaling and virtue.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Do you mean to say that the Google executive in question has no virtue? That his display of apparent virtue is fake? That he is really just venting a psychological need? How would you go about testing this hypothesis? Is it falsifiable? Do you have knowledge of the executive’s true thoughts and sentiments?

Does real virtue exist? Or only virtue signaling? This strikes me as a dangerous hypothesis — the idea that all virtue is reducible to a psychological need to display virtuous character traits. Does the Ring of Gyges render all its wearers into virtue signalers?

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“Virtue signaling” is just one more of those trendy new moral crimes people are publicly shamed for these days.

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This poster doesn’t care about others in the same way the left does, and so it is hard for him to wrap his head around people that support things that require personal sacrifice and that some of this is not voluntary in a society as inequitable as ours. In fact, a lot of the wealth that was taken by the rich was itself not voluntary. Workers, for example, at Amazon didn’t volunteer to be paid low wages, which left a larger surplus to give to Bezos. Bezos is more powerful than they are, fights against them having unions and so wants the current power differential to remain, and so their wages are lower and the surplus given to him and the other owners is greater. I never was asked by WWSmith about driving his car and spitting carbon into the air, but he does it. Larry Summers argued that there wasn’t enough pollution in poor countries, he said it was only fair that capitalists be allowed to dump more pollutants in poor countries. Did the poor people in those countries ever get asked about that? So, what the hell is voluntary about any of it? It is all about power, who has it and who doesn’t, and it always has been.

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What a wonderfully grand way to begin a discussion on virtue, Kudo’s to you.

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Posting error.

“The very rich get money not from earning it each year, but from spending wealth that they have already made,” said Pearl–many don’t even earn their wealth such as investors. They make money off those who actually do the work.

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It’s interesting how that word was co-opted* by the predatory rich. It used to mean the anarcho-syndicalist tendency, but now we’re forced to specify “left libertarian,” a terrible waste of a syllable.

  • “The oldest exercise in moral philosophy is the search for a justifcation for greed.”
    –John Kenneth Galbraith
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Because the country is drowning in negativity and cynicism maybe?

Understood. I was actually going to use the modifier “right” to delineate my libertarian, but it felt clunky.

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NO! Why should he not wish to maximise the giving of the scurrilous economic elite, when he has to step over the bodies of the homeless, the countrty’s infrastructure physical, social and spiritual has been vitiated by ‘legally’-legitimised, billionnaire tax cheats, who even use charities to minimise their taxes.

He obvioulsy still retains a sense of shame in a country where a dog-eat-dog ethos has become a religion. J K Galbraith had it right when he remarked :slight_smile:

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

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I always find it amazing how people can see into the psyches of people they’ve never met…