Will The Banksters And The Corpocracy Eventually Own It All?

ilene's picture

Some of these numbers you probably already know, some are horrific. Michael sets out the problem, and a solution (throw out the tax code and start over), but what else is needed? - Ilene 

Will The Banksters And The Corpocracy Eventually Own It All? 29 Statistics About Extreme Income Inequality In America That Will Blow Your Mind

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse

Today, average Americans have less power relative to the monolithic corporate and governmental institutions that dominate our society than at any other point in U.S. history.  Sadly, this is not what our founding fathers ever envisioned.  Our founding fathers established a government "of the people, by the people, for the people", but what we have today is very far from that ideal.  In America today, wealth and power are very highly concentrated, and if you have neither wealth nor power than most of our politicians really do not have any interest in you. 

Over the past several decades, those with huge amounts of money and power have been busy rigging the game so that the rest of the money and power slowly but surely funnels into their hands.  If current trends continue, the banksters and the corpocracy will eventually own it all.  Below you will find 29 statistics about extreme income inequality in America.  Sadly, most of these statistics will be out of date in a year or two because wealth and power will be much more concentrated by that time.

If you are a "Kool-Aid drinking Democrat" you are going to be really upset by this article.  If you are a "Kool-Aid drinking Republican" you are going to be really upset by this article.

Most Republicans have been brainwashed into believing that "capitalism" means cheerleading while the big corporations hoover up money and power.

Most Democrats have no trouble with big corporations either because most establishment Democrats have been brainwashed into believing that large concentrations of power (whether governmental or corporate) are generally good.  Most Democrats just wish that big corporations were a little less greedy and were a little more "socially responsible".

Today, the big banks, the big corporations and the federal government are all in bed with one another and it is average Americans that always lose out.

Our founding fathers tried to warn us about large concentrations of power.  They attempted to establish a very limited central government, they wanted to keep us free from the tyranny of the big banks and they were very suspicious of large corporations.

In a 2010 article, Rick Ungar noted that corporations were very seriously restricted in the early days of America....

After the nation’s founding, corporations were, as they are today, the result of charters granted by the state. However, unlike today, they were limited in how long they were permitted to exist (typically 20 or 30 years), only permitted to deal in one commodity, they could not own shares in other corporations, and their property holdings were expressly limited to what they needed to accomplish their corporate business goals.

My how things have changed.

"Capitalism" is supposed to be about the empowerment of individuals and families and small businesses.

Instead, today "capitalism" has come to mean something completely different.  Today, the biggest, meanest concentrations of wealth devour everyone else with a big assist from the government.

At this point, average Americans mean next to nothing in the political process.  This point was eloquently made in a recent column by Robert Reich....

The unemployed are politically invisible. They don’t make major campaign donations. They don’t lobby Congress. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People.

Their ranks are filled with women who had been public employees, single mothers, minorities, young people trying to enter the labor force, and middle-aged men who have been out of work for longer than six months. You couldn’t find a collection of people with less political clout.

I would not normally quote Robert Reich, but he made a good point.  If you don't have an army of lobbyists or any money to give to them then most of our politicians don't really care what you think or how much you are hurting.

Just think about the amount of power and money that Exxon Mobil or Wal-Mart has compared to the amount of power and money that an average American has.

Our society has veered very far from the egalitarian ideal that our founding fathers once hoped for.

The corporate giants are so powerful that it is next to impossible for small businesses to directly compete with them.

Many banks and corporations have become so big that the world literally cannot afford for them to fail.

For example, three U.S. corporations control approximately 90% of the world’s grain trade.

So what happens if those three corporations collapse? That is something to think about.

But of course average Americans are never "too big to fail".  The big banks begged and begged for bailouts, but if you are late on your debt payments they may chuck you into prison.

Also, when wealth and power are so highly concentrated, economic rewards flow only to a few.  Corporatism (as opposed to true capitalism) produces a handful of winners and a whole lot of losers.

As I have written about previously, the middle class is being destroyed.  If current trends are allowed to continue long enough we eventually won't have much of a middle class left at all.

The following are 29 statistics about extreme income inequality in America that will blow your mind....

#1 In the United States today, the richest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#2 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.

#3 The wealthiest 1% of all Americans own over 50% of all the stocks and bonds.

#4 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#5 According to a joint House and Senate report entitled "Income Inequality and the Great Recession", the top one percent of income earners in the United States brought in a total of 10.0 percent of all income income in 1980, but by the time 2008 had rolled around that figure had skyrocketed to 21.0 percent.

#6 Between 1979 and and 2007, the average household income of the top 1% of all Americans soared from $346,600 to $1.3 million.  During that same time period the average household income for middle class Americans increased only slightly.

#7 According to Harvard Magazine, 66% of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.

#8 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world's population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.

#9 According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#10 The number of "low income jobs" in the U.S. has risen steadily over the past 30 years and they now account for 41 percent of all jobs in the United States.

#11 Since 1979, real median weekly earnings for high school dropouts has declined by 22 percent.

#12 During this economic downturn, employee compensation in the United States has been the lowest that it has been relative to gross domestic product in over 50 years.

#13 Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#14 Since the year 2000, we have lost 10% of our middle class jobs.  In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.  Meanwhile, our population has gotten significantly larger.

#15 Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult.  In 2010, the United States fell to seventh.

#16 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010. In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.

#17 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#18 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

#19 According to Moody's Analytics, the wealthiest 5% of households in the United States now account for approximately 37% of all consumer spending.

#20 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

#21 The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

#22 Approximately half of all American workers make $25,000 a year or less.

#23 The wealthiest 1% of the earth's population controls 39% of the wealth.

#24 It is estimated that over 80 percent of the world's population lives in countries where the income gap between the rich and the poor is widening.

#25 One year after the recent financial collapse the top 25 hedge fund managers earned a total of approximately $25 billion.  That breaks down to an average of $1 billion each.

#26 Bill Gates has a net worth of somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 billion dollars.  That means that there are approximately 140 different nations that have a yearly GDP which is smaller than the amount of money Bill Gates has.

#27 It is estimated that the entire continent of Africa owns approximately 1 percent of the total wealth of the world.

#28 The top 0.01% of Americans make an average of $27,342,212.  The bottom 90% make an average of $31,244.

#29 58 percent of the members of Congress are millionaires while only about 1 percent of the general population is made up of millionaires.

So what is the solution?

Well, our liberal friends insist that the solution to all of this inequality is to tax the rich and to distribute the wealth to the poor.

Well, there are three major problems with that.

Number one, when you raise taxes too high you eliminate the incentive to work hard.

Number two, when you make it too easy to depend on government handouts you create an underclass of economic parasites.

Number three, the big corporations and the ultra-wealthy have become masters at avoiding taxation no matter what the rates are.

Before you tax the rich too much, you might want to consider the consequences of doing so.

Why should someone bust his or her rear end to run a business and make a lot of money if the government is just going to come along and take over half of all the money that is made?

Personally, if I ever get into a tax bracket where over half the money I make goes to the government then I simply will not work nearly as hard at that point.

But if that starts happening on a large scale, then you have a significant loss of economic activity which hurts the economy overall.

Already, the top 20 percent of all income earners in the United States payapproximately 86 percent of all federal income taxes.

When the government "steals from the rich" and "gives to the poor", that also tends to create a large group of people that decides that it is easier to take from the government than it is to work for a living.

In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7% of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for 18.4% of all income.

At this point, U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

That is not even close to sustainable, but nobody wants to give up their "government benefits".

Today, 59 percent of all Americans receive money from the federal government in one form or another.

Yes, there will always be those that cannot help themselves and we should always have a "safety net".

But when you look around it doesn't take a genius to figure out that things have gotten completely and totally out of control.

Right now, an all-time record 44 million Americans are on food stamps.

Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.

The U.S. government is even handing out billions of dollars to homeowners that are delinquent on their mortgages.

This is not a formula for long-term economic success.

When people get addicted to government checks they never want to stop.

But this is not what the poor need.

What the poor need are good jobs that pay good wages.  Unfortunately, we keep shipping millions of those jobs overseas.  So now the Chinese economy is thriving and our formerly great manufacturing cities are turning into hellholes.

Handouts do not give people hope, dignity and a future, but jobs can.

Also, as I have written about before, the big corporations and the ultra-wealthy have become masters at avoiding taxes.  There is a reason why approximately a third of all the wealth in the world is held in "offshore" tax havens.

What U.S. corporations are able to get away with is absolutely amazing.

The following figures come directly out of a report by Citizens for Tax Justice.  These are combined figures for the tax years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

During those three years, all of the corporations below made a lot of money.  Yet all of them paid net taxes that were below zero for those three years combined.

How is that possible?  Well, it turns out that instead of paying in taxes to the federal government, they were actually getting money back.

So for these corporations, their rate of taxation was actually below zero.

If you have not seen these before, you are going to have a hard time believing some of these statistics.....

*Honeywell*

Profits: $4.9 billion

Taxes: -$34 million

*Fed Ex*

Profits: $3 billion

Taxes: -$23 million

*Wells Fargo*

Profits: $49.37 billion

Taxes: -$681 million

*Boeing*

Profits: $9.7 billion

Taxes: -$178 million

*Verizon*

Profits: $32.5 billion

Taxes: -$951 million

*Dupont*

Profits: $2.1 billion

Taxes -$72 million

*American Electric Power*

Profits: $5.89 billion

Taxes -$545 million

*General Electric*

Profits: $7.7 billion

Taxes: -$4.7 billion

Are you starting to get the picture?

I wish I could make $7.7 billion, pay no taxes and have the government give me $4.7 billion on top of it.

Our system has become corrupted beyond all recognition. We need to throw out the current system of taxation and come up with something entirely new.

In fact, the truth is that for most of U.S. history there was not a federal income tax at all.  But that is a story for another day.

If you believe in the U.S. Constitution and in the republic that our founding fathers established, then the very high concentrations of wealth and power in our society today should greatly concern you. Income inequality is not a "Democrat" or a "Republican" issue.  A vibrant, thriving middle class should be a goal all of us can embrace.

But I have a feeling a whole lot of "Democrats" and a whole lot of "Republicans" were deeply offended by this article.  Feel free to express your opinion by leaving a comment below.... 

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dalkrin's picture

Yes, there are vast disparities in wealth and income levels, both nationally, and globally.  They exist for a reason.  Not all people, and not all countries, are carbon copies.  If we are going to praise "diversity", we must realize that it also encompasses economic and financial acumen.  Wealth and income are not bestowed by some unseen mystical power, they are the direct result of hard work, frugal living, and generations of sacrifice, enterprise, and ingenuity.  Why should the lazy be subsidized by the reliable workers? 

Why should those who limit their family size and plan for the future be held back by those who have more children than they can support, and fail to safeguard their future in gratifying their shallow desires in the present?

Go to work, save, invest in a company or government you admire, and become a member of the productive class.  No progress would ever be realized in this world without us.

 

blindman's picture


the mind has its origin,
the culture and stations,
occupations.
.
god , sovereign, authority,
self staged in evolution, time
and development. heirarcy?
doing god's work.
while god's away ..
on business.
.
Tom Waits - God's Away On Business
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9mhsW5aWJM&NR=1

cranky-old-geezer's picture

Will The Banksters And The Corpocracy Eventually Own It All?

Yes it appears that way.

And the government is facilitating it.

FunkyOldGeezer's picture

However, regulatory and litigation barriers have also risen and are at least as important as taxation

That's lawyers added to the list when the revolution comes.

Seriouisly though, how did society allow itself to be so dumb as to NOT imagine that having sucha ramp up in lawyers wouldn't make life worse. THEY are the scum of the eath so far as I'm concerned. They care not about natural justice, or common sense, just the law (as argued about ad infinitum and thereby wrecked by them) and their (exhorbitant) fees.

Urban Redneck's picture

Law is an entire industry predicated on the principle that justice is a process and not an outcome.

Banking is an entire industry predicated on the principle that the outcome (profit) is existential and paramount, above law, morals, ethics, customers, country, etc.

and Investment Bankers are the ungodly spawn of these two species of demon.

e-recep's picture

regulatory and litigation barriers only make it harder for the smaller companies to grow and hence hinder competition. the oligarchs must be loving them.

e-recep's picture

so what is the 'solution' of the author? he does complain a lot but he does not offer a solution. so what's the point? how, for example, can you stop the job migration to china? he also says "too much corporate tax and the corporation will lose motivation". he certainly doesn't know of the corporate tax ratios back in the 50s.

Urban Redneck's picture

The 1950's are irrelevant to corporate decisions today.  In the 1950's the US could maintain a higher relative tax burden and still thrive, because it had the only intact industrial base.  However, regulatory and litigation barriers have also risen and are at least as important as taxation.

e-recep's picture

regulatory and litigation barriers only make it harder for the smaller companies to grow and hence hinder competition. the oligarchs must be loving them.

FunkyOldGeezer's picture

Exactly, Urban Redneck!

Having both Income tax and state sales taxes (plus import duties etc etc) is a complete con. It obfuscates real tax levels and is completely immoral.

Take petrol as an example.

In the UK the average Joe pays income tax.

If he or she then uses that already taxed income to buy petrol, the Government forces he or she to pay further tax in the form of VAT on a commodity that has been taxed at source, in some shape or form, via import duty/corporation tax/windfall tax/drilling licences etc.

BTW: How much of that money goes back into infrastructure?

FunkyOldGeezer's picture

Ron Paul is an idiot. No need for taxes if government fulfilled its proper role, etc.

The time the American Constitution was made, the US was a VERY different place and the population was how big?

MrBoompi's picture

The old "if you tax the rich too much they won't work so hard" is wasn't true when taxes WERE much higher on the rich and it isn't true today.

kevinearick's picture

they are welcome to it ...

Currency Introduction

So, for those who like the personal stuff, here I am … working for a multi-national with a domestic automated manufacturing operation, selling to Australia, set up to take advantage of the currency trade over the last years. Because the profit made on currency is variable and artificial, so is the behavior in the management line, and, while everyone is doing their best to provide the necessary variable gears, the irrationalities bounce off one another and grow, as they head to the bottleneck position, which just happens to be where I am, where a talented kid would normally be, and I am the third guy in two months, which tells you that there is a system problem immediately.

Today, the cut-off saw, which has an alarm on the line processor and self-recalibrates, made a miscut, was not corrected, and continued miscutting, while I was down at the load marking the original error as previously instructed. It’s a fast machine, I am nearing their decision to make me permanent, and everyone in the building thinks they have an information advantage over me. You know what happens. Half the people, from bottom to top, running similarly flawed systems find their way to my platform …etc,etc.

My point is this: we sample all critical operations in all segments, and all operations in many segments. We are aware of the problems, but they have to addressed by priority, and the middle class has been bred to resist change, and there are quite few resistors resisting the resistance. It’s easy to cry about a problem; it’s another thing to pick up the required tool and use it effectively. In August, all the corporate accounting projection equations will top out, and, among other things, you will learn, that due to the response to these rolling recessions, everyone at the top exchanging currency to stay ahead of the collapsing inverted ponzi pyramid, the entitlement contributor to receiver ratio has fallen to less than 1:1, from more than 11:1, and there is no real money in the pension accounts.

Not to worry though, there is still time to learn about currency. No one is going anywhere.

We dismantle our manufacturing base, "re-mantle" it in China, send the crap back over and shelve it for free until it sells, tie jobs to buying the crap on credit, and wonder why channel stuffing of crap grows exponentially. (courtesy of another  - “and then ship all the useless packaging & obsolete crap back across the Pacific to be "recycled"...)

August also happens to be when the Family Law virus completely encapsulates the global IC chip.

Akrunner907's picture

I don't think many Americans can afford to live on two dollars a day, but they better get started trying.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Proles deserve the worst you can do to them.

Carry on, oligarchy.

Are y'all hiring?

blindman's picture


politically, the time has come. shun all as self destructive,
uninformed, treasonous tools; those who self identify with
either the republican or democratic political "party goers".
fools for sure. this includes all m.s. media. treason it is,
and independents who are floating over from either party. all
treasonous criminals of the spirit of the law at the throat of a law based
government. campaign finance is all criminal and treasonous till
such time it is all openly and transparently publicly financed.
imo.
end the fed and investigate for treason and racketeering,
first step audit.

topcallingtroll's picture

The problem I see is that many of you closet socialists use the top one percent as your example of unfairness, yet when you devise policies against those evil rich people you cast a wide net and include the top ten percent in that evil rich category.

Pardon me if i remain wary and suspicious of your redistributionism.

Once you go below the top one percent you are talking about joe the plumber and other small, hardworking mom and pop businesses that usually pulled themselves in the top ten percent by their own hardwork and personal initiative. They get really angry when you say it is unfair that they keep the money they earned.

falardea's picture

The Rick Ungar quote says it all... the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad gave corporations personhood with the rights of you and I, except, you can't send a corporation to jail... hum funny that.

 

Considering coprorate officers have a fiduciary duty to put no other priority over that of profit, it's no wonder we're here now.  What kind of "captains of industry" do we get in a system like that?

It baffles my mind when I see people surprised by corporate activities that subjugate the law and hurt the communities in which they operate... Why should it baffle... aren't we the crazy ones who let these organizations exist in their current form and expect different results... what is the definition of crazy?

 

What if we could "lock up" a corporate brand... they break the law, we restrict them from using their brand in any market for a given time...  How many corporate officers would get golden parachutes when they are responsible for a brand prison term?

praps's picture

Land value taxation is the answer. Read Henry George.

Urban Redneck's picture

Functionally, land value taxation serves as a wealth transfer mechanism from the poor to the TBTF, and discourages long-term and capital investment.

The analogy to the current fucked up tax system would be Barrack Obama's 2008 pledge to the TBTF cabal - "If you liked George Bush and his policies, the you are going to love me."  

tip e. canoe's picture

Functionally, land value taxation serves as a wealth transfer mechanism from the poor to the TBTF, and discourages long-term and capital investment.

redneck, curious if you would expound more on this observation, as, if correct, would be the exact opposite effect than what H.George intended it to be.

Urban Redneck's picture

I don't see how it can work without sinking the ship-

1. Because not all land is equal.
2. Inflation serves as a wealth transfer mechanism from the poor to the rich.
3. Economies of scale, and capitalization, benefit those with scale and capitalization and harm those whose lack them.
4. Bankers will profit immensely by loaning capital to those seeking to generate a profit from land who lack the scale and capitalization to do so internally.

Random Observations-
The Duke of Buccleuch owns twice as much of the UK as the Duke of Westminster (260+k acres vs 130+k acres) However, over 300 acres of the Duke of Westminster's property is located in Belgravia and Mayfair (Manhattan socialite hos are nothing more than wannabe Sloan rangers)
My family used to own land in Cuba, in 1850 the nominal income from that farmland exceeded the nominal income from that same farmland in 2000 (not adjusted for inflation or priced in gold, and excluding the revenues from a power plant since built on the property)
The majority of the productive acreage in the US in private hands (and which generates the food supply) is currently taxed on the basis of land use valuation(which is itself, ironically, a complex subject which any redneck can discuss, but can make CDS seem straightforward).  However, the State's goal is inflation suppression, despite currency devaluation, without resorting to price controls. 

Some Math-
The US is 9,826,675km2, of which the federal government owns 2,630,000km2, which includes most of the 684,094km2 of water bodies.  State governments own 797,000km2 of land.  This leaves a maximum of 6,399,675km2 to divide the federal governments tax needs between.
Best case scenario, the US needs $2T annually and 100% of the land is utilized, then the tax would be $1265 an acre
Slightly more realistic but still overly optimistic would be that the US needs $3T annually and 66% of the land is utilized, then the tax would be $2845 an acre

Some Effects-
The military-industrial complex and the bankers pay $0 in taxes
The agricultural and timber complexes will ASTRONOMICALLY raise prices leading to unprecedented inflation
Since the acreage owned by the State is likely to increase significantly, the State and Capital class instantly become feudal lords with a huge population of tenant serfs
Subsistence agriculture booms, but many smaller land owners are sent back to the trailer park
Assuming current land use taxes are in the neighborhood of $3/acre then the tax rate increases range between 42,000% and 95,000%
Factoring in an elimination of income taxes (assuming 50% rate for small farmers) the tax rate increases range between 21,000% and 47,000%
The cost to the urban dweller in increased food and timber prices more than offsets what any income tax savings
Food Inflation destroys the dollar even before the contagion spreads to energy inflation

Ag1761's picture

Good article, makes one sit up and realise Greece kind of looks like a good place to move to.

 

Vendetta's picture

when they go back to their own currency, they will be a free nation again ...unlike the rest of the EU and the US.

Dirtt's picture

This same issue has been eating away at me all weekend.  If the stat that I heard this past weekend is true - that banking accounts for 40% of tax revenue - then (even if this isn't accurate) you are "dead on balls" accurate.  Scraping the entire system might even make the Banksters happy and We happy.  Isn't that the only way out?

Consumption tax is the answer.  I'm 100% sold on the concept.  Apparently so is Herman Cain.

A Consumption tax would drive productivity and release ungodly amounts of pressure in the system.

FEDbuster's picture

Consumption taxes or VATS disproportionately tax those with the least income under most plans.  If you were to exclude basics such as food, medicine, etc.. and target the wants instead of the needs, then it might be workable. 

I am more inclined to agree with Ron Paul, who says there is no need to have an income tax, sales tax or any other taxes on individuals, if we are willing to cut government back to it's role defined in the Constitution.

Urban Redneck's picture

The sales taxes in some states are already 50% of the highest VAT rates in Europe.

However, if one of the aims is to promote savings & investment (which leads to job creation), instead of consumption & debt, then consumption taxes are the most efficient vehicle.

Furthermore, consumption taxes can be better targeted that income taxes- e.g. tax gasoline more to reduce excess consumption (farm diesel is already taxed differently in most states).  Tax foreign oil more than domestic to promote balance of trade.  Tax fast food and processed food more than quality food and unprocessed food to promote healthier living and decreased healthcare costs.

 

FEDbuster's picture

Tax people's earned income to reduce workers?

Urban Redneck's picture

Or don't tax their unearned income???  I am not sure what you're asking or implying.

FunkyOldGeezer's picture

Tax consumption NOT earnings and make it simple to the point where there are no (or very, very few) exemptions based on their ability, or otherwise, to live. That way everybody pays something and it is a largely progressive tax.

The argument about low income families paying more as a percentage of income is true and to some extent makes it regressive, but there could be some form of tax rebate to poor families and I believe this would be much fairer than the present system. Anyone living the high life and large corporations (that by definition are likely to consume at an elevated level) would pay a great deal more to the Government as tax and no-one would get away with paying no tax whatsoever, unless they fled the country and lived elsewhere. It would have the added bonuses of (a) everyone knowing exactly what the rate of tax is, so no more shenanigans by the Government in the form of stealth taxes and the like (b) giving everyone of working age the necessary incentive to go and earn a bundle and (c) actually turning everyone back into (as free as can be) free men and women, with a large portion of their destiny very much in their own hands. It would also mean that everyone, from birth to grave would be potential taxpayers, thus aleviating some of the tax pressures on the productive wage earning demographic.

Of course, having said all of the above, if it were introduced it would have so many exemptions/loopholes added, as to make it useless within a generation.

Stuck on Zero's picture

There's another way in which the government is transferring all the wealth to corporations: inheritance taxes.  The farmer with 1000 acres in the corn belt cannot leave the land to his kids because of inheritance taxes.  Only a corporation can put together the wealth needed to buy the land and corporations do not pay inheritance taxes so it will stay in corporate hands forever or be broken up into small parcels.  How about an inheritance tax on corporations?  Every 70 years all the assets of the company are subject to inheritance taxes.

Dr. Acula's picture

>How about an inheritance tax on corporations?

How about cease commiting thefts? Two wrongs don't make a right.

 

falak pema's picture

disinheritance tax then...for all those lay offs...

Madcow's picture

congratulations - 

you are now the proud owner of a bankrupt and smoldering waste-land full of hungry and angry people with nothing left to lose. 

Dr. Acula's picture

Very true. The fascist oligarchs are indeed short-sighted. There's no telling what wondrous technologies the market could create, if it were unhampered.

Lord Koos's picture

I don't see tech as being "hampered" -- the US is still the leader in tech innovation.  What has been "hampered" is the American work force.

Dr. Acula's picture

>I don't see tech as being "hampered"

Then remove your blinkers. If a tech company is taxed $0.01, it is hampered. And if it is encouraged by taxation and arbitrary legal red tape and artificial labor and patent and environmental laws to move its manufacturing facilities offshore, then it is hampered. And if its workers have their income taxed and some capable workers at the margin choose not to bother working there then it is hampered.

>the US is still the leader in tech innovation.

This is completely irrelevant to my point that an unhampered market can achieve more than a hampered market.

Lord Koos's picture

"Already, the top 20 percent of all income earners in the United States pay approximately 86 percent of all federal income taxes."

I see this statistic quoted constantly by conservatarians.  It would be much more useful to see the tax rate for the top 1%, or even the top 5%.  While I'm sure some upper middle class Americans pay more than there fair share of taxes, I'm just as certain that the top few percent pay much less in comparison to their wealth. Those who benefit the most should pay the most. I also do not buy the meme that increasing taxes kills productivity and investment... in the 1950s and 60s both corporate and personal taxes were much higher on the top of the income scale, yet I didn't see the rich making fewer investments or starting fewer new ventures.

blunderdog's picture

There's some truth to it, but most folks put the lines in the wrong place.

I am just squeaking by in NYC--I live alone, earning below the median US household income at my full-time gig.

BUT...I have FAR MORE IN COMMON with my personal friends making low 6-figure incomes than any of us have in common with Soros, Buffet, the Koch brothers, Cheney, Dimon, Blankenstein, etc.

There's a small group.  You're not part of it. 

We can all keep fighting with our allies, but it's not going to win any of us the future.

11b40's picture

I, too, don't believe that high marginal tax rates cause any type-A personality to quit, slow down, or produce less.  After all, beyond a certain point, it's just a means of keeping score.  With a slightly different value system, people would brag about how much they paid in taxes and how much they were contributing to the general welfare instead of how much they can stuff in foreign accounts.  And another point...so what if someone did stop producing beyond a certain point?  Would someone else not step up and take his place?

When anyone starts with the argument about how much the top earners pay as a percentage of taxes, I simply ask why that is?  Of course, the answer is that they make most of the income and have most of the wealth.  Kind of like John Dillinger's answer the the question about why he robbed banks...'cause that's where the money is.

Urban Redneck's picture

INSANE GOVERNMENT POLICY, in the form of high tax rates, high regulatory hurdles, and perverse incentives motivated me to pack up and move to Europe.  I didn't quit, slow down, or produce less, but Uncle Sam will get nothing until he gets his act together. 

I am not a huge tax-exempt conglomerate, but the scale of the impact is exceeds the size of the enterprise (the multiplier effect works both ways, and works the entire length of the production, distribution, consumption chain).  Not only am I not paying US income taxes, or buying gas from a US station (and paying gas taxes and a share of the attendant's salary), or buying food in a US grocery store (and paying junk food taxes and a share of the clerk's salary), or eating in US restaurants (and paying sales taxes and a share of the waitress's salary), or banking at TBTF US banks (and paying fees to those banks for poor service and record banker bonuses).  And this only one person.

Then there is the rest of the business (SME <100 employees), since much of the sales and finance lines (as opposed to departments) were already foreign it's not a full expatriation, but the impact of moving the production and administration supply chain and support functions overseas exceeds the impact of the employees themselves. 

Now when the big companies do the same (as in the case of Haliburton or Transocean) the scale of the impact is truly shocking.  Then there are the equally impactful indirect expatriations like GE's divestitureof its advanced materials division to SABIC, or the lesser but still substantial effects of increasing foreign ownership of the US equity base (some of which is fortunately blocked like DP World & Unocal).  The peak oil crowd likes to throw up Saudi Arabia's increasing domestic oil use as a huge warning sign.  The warning is not that Arabs have an increasing fondness for cranking up the A/C- it's that they have been domestically building the very large industries that used to account for a huge percentage of their imports (or exports of domestic wealth), like steel, chemicals, agriculture, etc.  The increase in Saudi domestic petroleum consumption is correlated directly to the growth of electrical and water needs of large industry, and inversely correlated to import needs from the US rust belt.

In a world where shit needs to get done, if a government does not implement policies to get the shit done within its borders (and create wealth in the process) then the shit will be done and the wealth will be created somewhere else, and nation will need to export more of its existing wealth just to keep up with the Jone's accross the border.          

topcallingtroll's picture

If my next dollar is effectively taxed at 50 percent in total taxes i am less inclined to work for it if I have already put in a full week.

When we doctors quit working an average of a sixty hour week you will notice the unavailability of specialists and appointments.

Maybe you wont get that finger reattached if the accident happens on a weekend.

XitSam's picture

"Most Republicans have been brainwashed into believing that "capitalism" means cheerleading while the big corporations hoover up money and power."

No, although many liberals believe it.

I am neither Republican or Democrat.

Moe Howard's picture

Personally I am tired of other people telling me what I, my family and my peers think or believe.

When over 80% of the American people opposed TARP and the elite voted for it anyway, assumptions about what ordinary people think need to stop. We as a people have had enough, way, way back, but we don't have any power. Not just the poor. The working man and woman have a grasp on what is going on, however, their votes mean nothing to either party. They do what they want as a elite when they get in office.

The day I will believe in politics again is the day neither parties' presidential candidate has made a pilgrimage to Israel and the Bilderburgers. The international gangsters have their meeting this weekend and  I heard yesterday that Texas Governor Perry is going. That is a strong indicator he will be the R candidate. Who is the D - will it be O'Bama again, the blue lipped Irishman?

jesse livermoore's picture

i think you are right about Perry,   however I think things will get real bad for Barry he will fall hard in the polls and hillary will come to the  resue of the democrats

Texas Ginslinger's picture

One solution is to stop buying what you want, and just buy what you need.

Get out of debt, and stay that way.

Stay liquid...

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, I would only add to try and get off the grid and off the dole as much as possible.  You must do so with several like-minded neighbors.  No one will survive what is coming alone, financially or otherwise.

Moe Howard's picture

One of the few things I have seen you post that wasn't outright bullshit trying to stir the pot.

You have it exactly right.

First cut the addiction. Key is cutting up the Giant Bankster Credit [EASY DEBT] Cards.

After that it becomes easier.

Debt free 100% for a few years now, lovin' it.