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There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Successful. Bernie Never Said There Was.

#1

There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Successful. Bernie Never Said There Was.

Ben Cohen

Leading up to Tax Day, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported that under Trump’s new tax plan the number of corporations paying effectively zero in taxes, or even less than zero, had doubled. Let me repeat that.

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#2

The hyper-financialized capitalistic system spreads the power decision makers (who gets the money) so far from the worker (who pounds the nails) that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” has long been amputated. The utility of money as a store of real value has been eradicated by greed. As Honorè de Balzac said, “behind every great fortune is a great crime.” The CEO-pay-to-worker-pay is a straight forward and easy-to-understand metric by which to describe the problem. What should be the maximum? I don’t know, but do know that it should be substantially lower than it is today. When the rich have to hire personal protection it should be clear that their actions are unacceptable to civilized morals. They should not be allowed in public absent a good hounding. Lock them in their towers and gated communities until they see the error of their ways, which they surely won’t. They may take a try at philanthropy, but we should not be fooled by such crumbs. Tax the hell out of them and then send them to hell.

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#3

In the US at least “success” is defined by how rich one is. Seems like there are a lot of rich people out there who are miserable.

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#4
  Bernie’s not a billionaire at least, but his F-35 weapons manufacturing plant

and worse; his lamb like silence at the slaughter of anti-war truthful publisher/
journalist, Julian Assange, reveals a servility to the military-industrial complex,
that may cost him millions in votes, and misery.

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#5

Greed Kills. War kills. The MIC kills.We need real jobs to help people. Stop the war machine.

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#6

“Money is power, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

There is such a thing as eating too much, drinking too much, and having too much money and power.

Direct Democracy is Economic Democracy.

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#7

We obviously need that intelligent Jeopardy player WATSON, to be cloned and then CEOs are all Watsons. This is truly a wonderful idea because WATSON, will never steal, nor have affairs on the side, nor owe anyone anything. Program. the mind of Socrates into WATSON, and I bet America would be a lot more fair, and certainly more ethical! Finally we could see a real trickle down of ETHICS. Besides, WATSON has no need to spend money to impress anyone. : )

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#8

yes but being miserable when you are rich is much easier than being miserable when poor … look at our homeless population … its disgusting, we don’t take care of our fellow man/woman in this country … we leave them on the street to die … we do this to our veterans also

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#9

A return to Eisenhower tax rates would be a good start:
During the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency, from 1953 to 1961, the top marginal rate was 91 percent. (It was 92 percent the year he came into office.)

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#10

Oh, pfffffffffffft.

Of course there is something wrong with being very wealthy. It does mean that you enrich yourself at the expense of others. You could give the money away; you don’t.

However, the criticism of socialists, communists, and FDR liberals based on the idea that they should not have money is hogwash for another reason.

None of the suggestions of socialism or communism or economic egalitarianism in any common form state that one person should simply give away his or her wealth while the larger system stays as it is. The suggestion is that the wealth be split all around.

For some reason, this must not be simple, given how often it is overlooked. So let’s try to make it simpler. A bunch of us are sitting around, some with money and some without. The proposition goes out that those that have money should chip in and everybody should get a dinner–from each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her needs.

Someone counters, for whatever reason, that the person who suggested that should simply give up his money and the project should otherwise be shelved. He refuses to do so, of course, and he is then called a hypocrite. The accusation just does not begin to make sense.

On the other hand, that does not at all mean that there is nothing wrong with being rich. The point is not that the individual rich people are necessarily particularly evil, nor that impoverished people are necessarily morally superior. The point is that unequal wealth–and, therefore, the wealth of unusually wealthy people–is terribly damaging to a society. It wounds and kills and numbs and enslaves people all around it.

But the solution is not that Bill Gates should toss his money to Jeff Bezos or vice versa. The solution is that in any of many ways, such wealth should be disallowed.

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#11

This article is muddled.

There are two issues here. One is much more important because many people, like Ben Cohen, seem to be unaware of its evil. The issues have to do with absolute wealth – the less well recognized problem – and secondly and more obviously, with what some people do with outsized wealth.

Regarding absolute wealth: the very existence of billionaires in a world where people are literally dying of starvation, where people sell their bodies to survive, where people sell their souls and their dignity only to be able to barely squeak by, is an immoral, unacceptable situation.

So Ben Cohen’s statement “There’s nothing wrong with being successful” is flawed, because of the possibility to allow for this state of affairs, as it exists today.

For the sake of argument, the “successful” billionaire, or the extremely wealthy individual, who does NOT use their wealth to damage others, who does NOT pay their employees slave wages… STILL represents an immoral, intolerable situation.

The absolute level of wealth owned/controlled by the ultra wealthy is a problem. It should not be allowed. This “success” is wrong in and of itself, given the wider context.

Secondly, and much less controversial, is that of course when people & corporations use outsized wealth to enhance or maintain that wealth imbalance, and/or to DO WRONG (oppress people, advance corruption…it’s a very long list…) that is wrong. It is immoral and should not be tolerated.

But we all know this. It is the first evil that more people need to wake up to, because even in a world where the second problem doesn’t exist, a world where large numbers of people are starving while billionaires and very wealthy people are considered to be nothing more than “successful” or in an enviable position – or even worse, are looked up to and considered to be almost god-like, as is the sad state of affairs we have now – is a world that we cannot allow to continue on as is.

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#12

No one unless someone has the cure for all diseases and pollution , world hunger, animal abuse should make that kind of money!

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#13

MOST of the talking heads on M$M, who are railing on Bernie about making money on a best selling book, have a significantly higher annual incomes, and are richer, than Bernie ever will be. And, Bernie has been paying his fair share of taxes or they would be harping on THAT - and they’re not.

Bernie has never said that making money or being rich is a bad thing. It’s about being responsible with your oblations to the Nation.

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#14

If you in your work and activities increase our aggregate economic pie more than you take in income, you are a net contributor to our society. If you contribute less than you take, you are a net taker. From this perspective, the wealthy are almost all takers.

Michael Jackson made way more on his album Thriller than did the discoverer of penicillin on his contribution, but who’s was the greater contribution?

While Wall Street performs some necessary productive functions, much of the activity of Wall Street that enriches its players, in the aggregate contributes not a wit to the economic pie, it just speculates and redistributes and in the process takes from the pie to help impoverish the rest of us - bad luck, your pension will take a hit, or you’ll have a 24% interest rate on your credit cards.

What’s the real benefit to society of a guy making millions heading a health insurance company? My guess: If the heads of all insurance companies with competent managers making a few hundred thousand a year, overall we would only gain. Those guys in the aggregate are just drainers.

Opposition to extreme wealth is not the politics of envy, but an opposition to being taken for a ride and impoverished. The Lord cannot have his castle without penury for his serfs, and that’s not right

A good start to a solution would be a return to the tax rates that Ronald Reagan bought to an end, with a recognition that the takers’ voodoo, trickle-down, “will pay for itself”, Trumpian economics is a scam for the wealthy.

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#15

If the person did, making that kind of money would bring back all the diseases and pollution, the world hunger, and probably the animal abuse as well.

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#16

The real question, of course, isn’t Bernie’s income. No one begrudges a man making a tidy profit off of his own labor and ideas. The question is why he isn’t voluntarily paying the “fair share” higher tax rate he thinks is the moral obligation of millionaires like himself. Set an example for the rest of the country. Voluntarily pay a higher tax than is (currently) legally required. What better way to seize the high ground?

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#17

Warren Buffet and others talked about that. Bernie makes chump change compared to WB. Did WB actually voluntarily do it? I doubt it.

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#18

It already is happening!

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#19

That is true, and the way our country treats our veterans and soldiers is egrecious. We all need to donate to shelters, and food banks etc. It’s a good feeling. No one in this country should be homeless.

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#20

Yes, it has not stopped happening. We can’t afford rich people.

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