View Poll Results: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

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Thread: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

  1. #151
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    I would define it thus:

    any tax in which the rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    ...but it goes up relative to the assessed value of the house. That, by definition, is a property tax. If any tax in which the rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases is a progressive tax, then a simple property tax is progressive and homestead exemptions make it more so.
    Well, your definition would be a pretty useless way to analyze various tax options, no? Why would anybody care how it distributes the tax burden relative to some internal measure? For example, say we were considering replacing all other taxes with a tax on air. The more air you breathed, the higher the per-liter rate would be. By your definition that would be a "progressive tax", but obviously it would take a huge portion of the income of the poor and a microscopic portion of the income of the wealthy. So all the arguments against regressive taxes would apply to it. That's why people normally consider a tax "regressive" or "progressive" based on how it varies relative to income.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Oh, so now we're only talking relative regressiveness for the whole system? And we should avoid any increase in relative regressiveness to the system?
    We shouldn't necessarily. There could well be a change in the tax code that had advantages that outweighed the increase in regresiveness. Who knows, maybe the homestead exemption is such a case, I have no strong opinion on it. But you brought it up as evidence supporting your claim that property taxes were progressive. That isn't true (at least not going by the conventional relative-to-income definition), they actually make it more regressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    And hey, since now we're only talking about relative regressiveness, do you agree that homestead exemptions make property taxes more progressive?
    They make the system more regressive relative to income, more progressive relative to the total value of all properties held.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Are you admitting then, that the chart is progressive for up to 96-99% of income earners in this country?
    Yes. Not admitting really, that's what I've said from the beginning- the taxes are progressive up to the upper middle class, then regressive for the rich. Where the regressiveness kicks in in the range where people make their income from investment rather than by working. The tax system is progressive all the way to the top of the spectrum of people who make most their income by working. But that isn't how the truly rich make their money in general. Some do of course- CEOs, hedge fund managers, etc, but most don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Are you admitting that most statistically rich people are being taxed progressively?
    No, not even close. Like I said, the entire top 1% is on the regressive part of the spectrum. While there is no precise definition of who is "rich", certainly it would be within that 1% and probably more like the top 0.1%. They are all on the regressive part of the spectrum. The richer they are, the more regressive.

  2. #152
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Well, your definition would be a pretty useless way to analyze various tax options, no? Why would anybody care how it distributes the tax burden relative to some internal measure? For example, say we were considering replacing all other taxes with a tax on air. The more air you breathed, the higher the per-liter rate would be. By your definition that would be a "progressive tax", but obviously it would take a huge portion of the income of the poor and a microscopic portion of the income of the wealthy. So all the arguments against regressive taxes would apply to it. That's why people normally consider a tax "regressive" or "progressive" based on how it varies relative to income.
    A ridiculous metaphor. Air is not a financial asset. Housing is. And it is positively correlated with income.

    Besides, higher earners in general submit a lower percentage of their income to taxes. That doesn't mean the rate does not progressively increase relative to their income.

    It just means they earn enough to where taxes don't concern them.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    We shouldn't necessarily. There could well be a change in the tax code that had advantages that outweighed the increase in regresiveness. Who knows, maybe the homestead exemption is such a case, I have no strong opinion on it. But you brought it up as evidence supporting your claim that property taxes were progressive. That isn't true (at least not going by the conventional relative-to-income definition), they actually make it more regressive.
    Nonsense. As a general rule, people with higher incomes live in higher-valued homes, that are subject to higher property taxes. The fact that some people don't pay property taxes at all does not mean that property taxes are regressive. How can a property tax be regressive to people who don't pay it? I've already replied to your one argument regarding that point --- there is no motivation for landlords to raise rental fees as a result of homestead exemptions because it does not raise the absolute value of their properties. They would be more inclined to lower rates because they are paying less taxes on the home they actually live in. The only way your argument makes sense is if the property taxes rise relative to rent, not relative to each other. Thus far you've failed to reply to that, so I have no reason to believe that property taxes make the system more regressive relative to income.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Yes. Not admitting really, that's what I've said from the beginning- the taxes are progressive up to the upper middle class, then regressive for the rich. Where the regressiveness kicks in in the range where people make their income from investment rather than by working. The tax system is progressive all the way to the top of the spectrum of people who make most their income by working. But that isn't how the truly rich make their money in general. Some do of course- CEOs, hedge fund managers, etc, but most don't.
    So being in the top 95-99% percent of this country doesn't make you statistically rich? Doesn't make you a statistically very high income earner?

    If you're making $200-275k a year, you're still not top 1%.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    No, not even close. Like I said, the entire top 1% is on the regressive part of the spectrum. While there is no precise definition of who is "rich", certainly it would be within that 1% and probably more like the top 0.1%. They are all on the regressive part of the spectrum. The richer they are, the more regressive.
    You're still not answering my question. Being in the 95-99th percentile makes you statistically rich relative to the rest of the country, even if you don't feel that way in comparison to the top 1 or top .01 percent who are obviously very rich, and control the same share of wealth they did in 1922.

    Are you admitting that most statistically rich people are being taxed progressively?
    Last edited by Jeezy; 07-21-11 at 05:56 PM.
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  3. #153
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    While nearly one in five US children live in poverty. Its disgraceful and immoral!
    what is disgraceful is so many people breeding when they have no ability nor desire to properly raise their children

    using your logic no one should have any wealth when others are poor



  4. #154
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Besides, higher earners in general submit a lower percentage of their income to taxes. That doesn't mean the rate does not progressively increase relative to their income.

    It just means they earn enough to where taxes don't concern them.
    That makes no sense... You're missing something somewhere along the way. What we are talking about is what percentage of every dollar a person brings in ends up going to taxes. That percentage either increases or decreases the more money somebody makes. That is what determines whether the tax system is progressive or regressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Nonsense. As a general rule, people with higher incomes live in higher-valued homes, that are subject to higher property taxes. The fact that some people don't pay property taxes at all does not mean that property taxes are regressive. How can a property tax be regressive to people who don't pay it? I've already replied to your one argument regarding that point --- there is no motivation for landlords to raise rental fees as a result of homestead exemptions because it does not raise the absolute value of their properties. They would be more inclined to lower rates because they are paying less taxes on the home they actually live in. The only way your argument makes sense is if the property taxes rise relative to rent, not relative to each other. Thus far you've failed to reply to that, so I have no reason to believe that property taxes make the system more regressive relative to income.
    I'm not sure why you and I are parting on this... Lets try an example. Say that the property tax rate is 2%. Person A makes $100k/year. They have a $200k house. That means the person pays $4k/year in property taxes. That is 4% of their income.

    Person B makes $10m/year. They have a $2m house, so they pay $40k/year in property taxes. That is 0.4% of their income.

    4% is more than 0.4%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    So being in the top 95-99% percent of this country doesn't make you statistically rich? Doesn't make you a statistically very high income earner?

    If you're making $200-275k a year, you're still not top 1%.
    I would consider a household with an income of $275K upper middle class. Two people working in a major city make that much if they both have decent middle management type jobs and say 10 years of experience. That isn't what I am talking about when I say "rich".

  5. #155
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That makes no sense... You're missing something somewhere along the way. What we are talking about is what percentage of every dollar a person brings in ends up going to taxes. That percentage either increases or decreases the more money somebody makes. That is what determines whether the tax system is progressive or regressive.
    If a rate increases relative to an increase in the asset being taxed, then that particular tax is progressive. We're not talking about where the systemic burden averages out. We're talking about what makes a tax progressive. If a person in the top 1% pays a higher income tax rate than someone in the 5% below him, then that tax is progressive, even if the person in the 1% has an income that makes makes his tax burden less of a factor in his net yearly budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I'm not sure why you and I are parting on this... Lets try an example. Say that the property tax rate is 2%. Person A makes $100k/year. They have a $200k house. That means the person pays $4k/year in property taxes. That is 4% of their income.

    Person B makes $10m/year. They have a $2m house, so they pay $40k/year in property taxes. That is 0.4% of their income.

    4% is more than 0.4%.
    Way, WAY too simple. You're literally talking about two houses at the tax jurisdiction level, while ignoring:

    1) That people of higher incomes are disproportionately likely to own more valuable property, and generally live within the same areas, creating disparity in millage within areas in the same county. People in LA county don't all pay the same property tax. Often, people in the same city don't pay the same millage.

    2) The poorest third doesn't own a house (and you've still failed to prove that homestead exemptions move pari passu with rent).

    And that's not even getting into what people pay for commercial/business buildings in property tax.

    Yeah, it's possible for a McMansion to be in the same appraisal district as a regular home. But that's putting way too fine a point on property taxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I would consider a household with an income of $275K upper middle class. Two people working in a major city make that much if they both have decent middle management type jobs and say 10 years of experience. That isn't what I am talking about when I say "rich".
    Well it's nice that you'd consider it that way.

    But to regular folks, the term "upper middle class" becomes extremely deceptive when you're referring to someone richer than 95-99% of the total population, wouldn't you say?
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  6. #156
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by MusicAdventurer View Post
    There seems to be an ongoing theme set by some that generally, those who care about the greater good of society and propose that a fair share of taxes be imposed on the extremely wealthy, are actually extremely envious/jealous and harbor hatred for the extremely wealthy. Supposedly, this is the reason these humanitarians propose a fair tax on the extremely wealthy. So let’s see what everyone thinks.
    Conservatives tend to complain about being called racist without cause. This is the same sort of annoyance for liberals.

  7. #157
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Investors paying taxes in capital gains should pay just as much as everyone else.
    “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon

  8. #158
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    If a rate increases relative to an increase in the asset being taxed, then that particular tax is progressive. We're not talking about where the systemic burden averages out.
    Again, that definition makes the concept useless. When evaluating how good or bad a tax is, this business about how the rates relate to the quantity of the thing the tax is applied to doesn't help us at all. I prefer the definition I posted because it yields useful information- a tax that is progressive by my definition placed more weight on rich people and less on middle class people. By your definition there would be no consistent correlation at all to be drawn, so I don't see why we would use such a definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    1) That people of higher incomes are disproportionately likely to own more valuable property, and generally live within the same areas, creating disparity in millage within areas in the same county. People in LA county don't all pay the same property tax. Often, people in the same city don't pay the same millage.
    So you are speculating that maybe property tax rates are higher in rich neighborhoods? I don't know whether that is true, but regardless, it would not be nearly enough to counteract the effect from the ratio of house value to annual income. For most middle class people the ratio of house value to annual income would probably be, what, like 6 to 1 or so average? For a billionaire, it would be what? Maybe 0.1 to 1 or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    2) The poorest third doesn't own a house (and you've still failed to prove that homestead exemptions move pari passu with rent).
    I think the default assumption would be that it would be passed on. It is a condition that affects all sellers in the rental market. The market price would be cost (which would include property tax) + whatever profits they think they can get away with taking. If the cost go up $x for all of them, prices would generally follow. Could be the market would over or under correct a bit, but if you're contending that most of the cost ends up coming out of the landlord's profits, you would need a source for that because that is a pretty wild claim.

    Failing that, then that means we actually charge renters MORE property taxes indirectly than we charge home owners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeezy View Post
    Well it's nice that you'd consider it that way.

    But to regular folks, the term "upper middle class" becomes extremely deceptive when you're referring to someone richer than 95-99% of the total population, wouldn't you say?
    No that certainly doesn't sound deceptive to me... Considering 1 in every 20 people "rich" sounds crazy to me. Even attaching that label to 1 in every 100 sounds like an awfully melodramatic way to talk about it.

  9. #159
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    Investors paying taxes in capital gains should pay just as much as everyone else.
    that sounds good to people who don't understand investments or forget that anyone with a 401K or a pension is also an investor



  10. #160
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    Re: Does the average citizen harbor envy/jealousy, hatred for the extremely wealthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    that sounds good to people who don't understand investments or forget that anyone with a 401K or a pension is also an investor
    As one of those pensioners, I enthusiastically endorse taxing capital gains at the same rate as regular income. It can not come soon enough.
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