There's no good reason to take it to that level yet, Trotsky. I do think the left-wing has been very timid. I think it's been so timid that it hasn't even tested whether or not it can succeed with much milder pressures than the ones you describe.
lol, I'm not Trotsky. If we're talking Russians, I wish to take the Tolstoy path. I wouldn't even say I'm a true liberal per se. Just chiming in on what I think "works".
Your fair and my fair, not to mention everyone else's, are quite different.
And as such, an appeal to some unknowable fairness can't be the basis for any logical discussion of tax policy.
Then I would say I did fairly well at answering your question: "...he seeks to illuminate the prejudiced nature of such discussions." I hit the nail on the head. Yours was a rhetorical question. Further, I think my definition of fairness, although pertinent to the general notion and not necessarily an answer to the contextual question regarding tax policy, is quite good. Ultimately, any direct answer to your question would simply be an expression of opinion, much as your own ramblings about fairness were.
I agree, we cannot establish a universally agreed upon notion of a fair state, but by the same token, any decision we make on the matter will ultimately be subjective in nature. If we decide to push for the set of policies that maximize GDP, for instance, then we are subjectively valuing GDP over the forgone alternatives.
The real question you must ask yourself is: Can 5% of the population expect to continue to consume such an inordinate share of production? I make a lot of money, and a large share of my yearly salary fills my 401k and other investments (my average annualized ROR in 2012 was ~25%, btw). I don't need all this money. Should I start spending it on BMWs and other luxury goods? Maybe when I drive by I should chastise the minorities who weren't lucky enough to have been born with a capacity for or a family/culture conductive to book learnin'? I work 50+ hours a week (forget that I fucking love my job and the high that comes with being successful); those lazy fucks should work harder and apply themselves!
You want to hear something funny? My step mom, who is the Director of Finance and Administration for Neurosurgery and Neurology at a prominent Bay Area University Hospital, makes more money than many of the researchers and doctors who work there. Hahahahahaha. I bet she adds more value to society than they do. Also, my dad, who sits on the Board of Directors for a billion dollar corporation, makes more money in retirement than many people will make in their lifetimes. I bet he's worth it too.
We live within a system that absolutely doesn't facilitate equity and fairness. And yes, there are cheats and lazy fucks on both ends of the spectrum. There will always be people who will take advantage of the generosity or stupidity of others, but it is inexcusable to allow such a state of affairs to continue.
So, my personal opinion is that the tax policy isn't progressive enough. Folks like you and me and my parents aren't paying enough; either that, or our salaries are too high to begin with. Do you really need all that monetary incentive to do what you do in life? If, growing up, you expected to be paid less, or pay more in taxes than you currently are, would you have decided to work at McDonald's instead of study law?
Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
Homelessness, poverty, hunger and war are never going away.
We can only minimize the affect they have.
Do you know the difference between affect and effect? :P
I don't care as much about taxes as I'd like to see workers have more protections and better wages and that environmentally sound practices be enforced. I really don't think investors and executives have any business making profits when they are passing the costs of doing business along to tax payers because they will not adequately compensate their employees or deal responsibly with the waste they produce.
I think we ought to require this no matter where a product is manufactured/grown. We don't have to let them sell their stuff here if they can't manage to carry their own weight. There are companies that manage to do things right, so I'm confident the gaps can be filled.
If people are being paid adequately, then they can buy stuff and they can be taxed and the tax burden on the rich will not have to be so disproportionate.
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” ~ John Rogers
Haha, I knew I wasn't crazy. I think I read some stuff about your experiences in a thread about a girl you were interested in or something; could have sworn I heard some stuff about law school. Come to find out you're like me, can't decide what the fuck you want to do in life. /cheers