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Old 09-24-2021, 03:44 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by Enoch Root View Post
Thread topic: How The Rich Avoid Paying Taxes

Author: MathGod
You asked me to propose solutions, so I did. Now you're complaining that I did what you asked me to do.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:10 PM   #302
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Sorry Enoch, the bolded is an outrageous statement and shows a lack of understanding to what most low income families truly go through. It is not at all fair to say the barriers to success are small. As someone who went to private school, had my university paid for, and had every leg up in the world, I can say when compared to my peers I certainly was starting from a huge advantage. That advantage cannot be overstated.

Are there cases of low income individuals being able to be successful? Absolutely. But statistics show that they are far more likely to not graduate university.

As for mom and dad working hard, for sure - they should be able to pass some wealth down to their children. However, I believe to an extent anything over and above a threshold should get taxed heavily. Jury is out on what that threshold could or should be.
One could argue that higher taxation on inherited money will result in the generation inheriting the money to actually have to work a bit harder in order to 'live' as they won't have an entirely funded free ride.

I also think it really comes down to what people do with the money.

If you invest it in businesses and create economic activity, you get taxed less. If you use it to buy 3rd and 4th homes, you get taxed more.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:11 PM   #303
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This is superficial in the extreme. If an average inheritance is like $5000, I would certainly expect it is spent quickly.

If you're like a friend of mine who inherited about $50M in real estate, none of the principal has been spent and he's worth about double that now.
In my opinion, anything over $1M - $5M in inherited real estate or assets should be taxed significantly.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:20 PM   #304
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Just wondering.. did you watch the video? One of the loopholes is that guys like Musk and Bezos are able to borrow using their unrealized stocks as collateral, which gives them liquidity without taxation and allows them to further buy things, real estate, etc. and just continue to increase their wealth.

The plebes on this site will never be in a situation where we can do the same thing. The biggest issue I have is with wealth hoarding. There should be some limits on things like this. You get to a certain point and your actual wealth is meaningless to you.

Additionally, these billionaires should be investing in projects to do things like revolutionizing energy, transportation, fighting climate change, etc. instead of going to space. Space travel is meaningless while our planet burns.
Again, I am completely in favor of increased taxation on billionaires who use their money to do anything else with other than invest in business or create jobs.

I also know they are all finding unique ways to fund the purchases of their billion dollar yachts & fancy houses. To me that is part of what we get with the super rich.

On the other hand, Bezos has helped created Amazon which has probably resulted in trillions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in taxation. We can argue the way the company is run and how it treats employees isn't right, but that is an issue for a different department, and I'm all for increased worker right and better working conditions.

The problem is part of that creation makes him insanely wealthy. Thankfully he is choosing to spend part of that money on Blue Origin & hundreds of other endeavors that are creating jobs.

Your point about space travel is completely moot and quite ignorant. The space race has resulted in significant positives for human kind.

If you need an example, Starlink, which is happening because of some rich billionaires space endeavors, is bringing high speed internet access to parts of the world that have up till now not had that privilege. That alone should help create jobs and revitalize communities, increased educational opportunities, etc, etc.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:22 PM   #305
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The issue is that in order to become rich, you have to already be rich or have access to riches.

95-99% of people aren't and can't.
This isn't true.

To become 1% rich, it might be true.

But most 'normal rich' people are self made, and come from not being rich.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:59 PM   #306
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This isn't true.

To become 1% rich, it might be true.

But most 'normal rich' people are self made, and come from not being rich.
1% rich isn't that rich. 1% rich can be pretty normal.

To join the ranks of the top 1% income in Canada, it's something like $250k per year.

1% net worth in Canada is under $10mm... Sure, that's a lot of money, but probably closely tied to real estate (not liquid) and doesn't leave the hookers and blow kind of inheritance to you kids like some here imagine.

From Succession:

Greg: I'm good, anyway, cuz, uh, my, so, I was just talkin' to my mom, and she said, apparently, he'll leave me five million anyway, so I'm golden, baby.
Connor: You can't do anything with five, Greg. Five's a nightmare.
Greg: Is it?
Connor: Oh, yeah. Can't retire. Not worth it to work. Oh, yes, five will drive you un poco loco, my fine feathered friend.
Tom: The poorest rich person in America. The world's tallest dwarf.
Connor: The weakest strong man at the circus.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:08 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by Azure View Post
On the other hand, Bezos has helped created Amazon which has probably resulted in trillions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in taxation. We can argue the way the company is run and how it treats employees isn't right, but that is an issue for a different department, and I'm all for increased worker right and better working conditions.
Did you factor in the lost economic activity, lost livelihoods, and lost tax dollars from all the companies that Amazon put out of business?



For those who don't have time to watch the video, basically the gist of it is that Amazon has used its immense wealth and influence to price-poach businesses into oblivion, resulting in their demise, and gobbling up the market share once held by those businesses. Eventually the company became so big and influential that it became basically impractical for companies to not list their products on it; Amazon would then take your business idea and do it better than you, putting you out of business. Rinse & repeat endlessly. The end result? Amazon has become a global near-monopoly on... well... just about gosh darn everything.

This is the part where economic experts come in and scream at anyone who suggests that anything be done about Amazon's overwhelming influence & power. They'll scream at you that it'll hurt the economy if poor wittle Amazon doesn't get to do everything it wants (of course they'll never acknowledge that there was a time before Amazon existed when the economy was doing just fine). And don't forget, you're a Dunning-Kruger hippie if you dare suggest that Bezos built up his wealth via vicious, predatory, arguably psychopathic means...
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:18 PM   #308
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Yeah, 'rich' is a term that is used to quickly sometimes, I don't think someone worth a net worth of $1-2M is 'rich', I think they are financially secure. I think someone is rich when they have more money than they will spend in their lifetimes. I would say that is >$10M

It might be interesting to try and develop some categories, which might also aid the conversation (because people are often discussing very different things right now).

I'll start. Here is how I would categorize it:

>$1M: Financially Secure - have built enough wealth to take care of their own future and retirement.

>$10M: Rich - have accumulated wealth beyond their own needs. Will very likely leave a significant inheritance to the next generation.

>$100M: Ultra Rich - uses for money change, lifestyle is significantly different. They tend to largely associate with other people in the same group. Live globally, and could move their assets out of the country at any time (other than active businesses)

>$1B Obscene Rich - all the characteristics of the Ultra Rich, but at completely different levels. Their lifestyles share little with most other people.

>$10-100B - Unicorns. They need to - collectively - be better stewards of the world that has made them kings and queens.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:21 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Mathgod View Post
Did you factor in the lost economic activity, lost livelihoods, and lost tax dollars from all the companies that Amazon put out of business?

For those who don't have time to watch the video, basically the gist of it is that Amazon has used its immense wealth and influence to price-poach businesses into oblivion, resulting in their demise, and gobbling up the market share once held by those businesses. Eventually the company became so big and influential that it became basically impractical for companies to not list their products on it; Amazon would then take your business idea and do it better than you, putting you out of business. Rinse & repeat endlessly. The end result? Amazon has become a global near-monopoly on... well... just about gosh darn everything.

This is the part where economic experts come in and scream at anyone who suggests that anything be done about Amazon's overwhelming influence & power. They'll scream at you that it'll hurt the economy if poor wittle Amazon doesn't get to do everything it wants (of course they'll never acknowledge that there was a time before Amazon existed when the economy was doing just fine). And don't forget, you're a Dunning-Kruger hippie if you dare suggest that Bezos built up his wealth via vicious, predatory, arguably psychopathic means...
I agree. Amazon is a HUGE net negative for society. It has put countless businesses out of work and transferred that wealth largely to a single individual.

Bezos and Amazon can burn in hell.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:30 PM   #310
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This isn't true.

To become 1% rich, it might be true.

But most 'normal rich' people are self made, and come from not being rich.
Warning: more YouTube videos. Don't open if you hate YouTube videos.

Spoiler!
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Just for fun, let's say Beijing magically reduced its greenhouse gas emissions to zero. That would reduce global emissions by less than 1%! What's the point? So good news, Beijing! Your residents no longer have any ethical or moral duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions! Rinse and repeat as may be convenient for whichever political unit you live in! ()
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:40 PM   #311
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Warning: more YouTube videos. Don't open if you hate YouTube videos.

Spoiler!
I donít think anyone hates YouTube. I think they hate when people just post a video without and comment or context.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:45 PM   #312
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I donít think anyone hates YouTube. I think they hate when people just post a video without and comment or context.
Most of the time the context is easy enough to figure out from watching it.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:48 PM   #313
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Yeah, no surprises here.

However, correlation isn't causation. Maybe the reason that having rich parents is advantageous could be that they have passed on good genes to their children?

Regardless, there is no doubt that having rich parents is advantageous, but again, what should we do about that? Punish them?
As I’ve said already, the degree to which having rich parents ensures rich children varies substantially by country. It matters less in Canada than in the U.S. But more than in Denmark. So there must be social mechanisms that strengthen intergenerational wealth stickiness and mechanisms that weaken it.

Schooling is a big one. In highly stratified countries like the U.S. and UK, parental income plays a bigger part in educational attainment than in Canada. Schools vary dramatically in quality depending on community and neighbourhood.

That has traditionally not been the case in Canada. But we’re going down that road. My kids go to different schools - my son a GATE/science school in an upper-middle class neighbourhood, and my daughter a regular school in a middle/working class neighbourhood. The difference in parental involvement and fundraising is dramatic. One schools has dozens of parents running fundraisers and donating thousands of dollars to buy iPads and build a courtyard garden. An active committee of educated parents who engage with the school over curriculum and and field trips. The other a handful of parents doing bottle drives to try to buy library books. One parent committee has literally 10 times the money as the other.

And those schools are both in the public system. When you bring in charter and private schools, the differences in parental resources brought to bear on education get even starker.

This was not always the case in Canada. This is new. We’re aping the social norms of America’s upper middle class, and we shouldn’t be surprised if they yield the same ugly inequities and divisions.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:16 PM   #314
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Yeah, the videos are great, and I fully agree that luck is a factor. The question though, is what to do about it?

And the thing is, despite luck, despite the amount that individuality plays or doesn't play, you still need to motivate people to work hard and achieve. You need a rewards-based system.

Life isn't fair.

But let's also keep something else in mind. Despite the factors that those videos discuss, hard work and talent DO affect results, It isn't entirely luck. So again, rewards , in order to motivate, are important.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:21 PM   #315
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Pick a company other than Amazon. It doesn't matter. The point is still the same. There will always be rich people, and we need to find unique ways to get the rich people to invest their money in more economic opportunities, and not just by another yacht.

I agree that we need to find ways to help people have equal opportunity. I think there definitely isn't enough of that.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:27 PM   #316
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^ these 2 posts are perfectly reasonable and well put. We've found some common ground after all. Cheers.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:35 AM   #317
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To me, the key issue is what I think Cliff and others are getting at - we want to ensure that there is upward mobility for people born into lower income families. But simply taking a bigger chunk at the end of a wealthy person's life won't accomplish that without proper programs. In my opinion, we should try to improve low income kids prospects as early as possible.
Thatís half the equation. But since we canít all be above average, the other half is ensuring downward mobility too by limiting how much the mediocre children of the affluent can benefit from their parentsí money.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:13 AM   #318
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1% rich isn't that rich. 1% rich can be pretty normal.

To join the ranks of the top 1% income in Canada, it's something like $250k per year.

1% net worth in Canada is under $10mm... Sure, that's a lot of money, but probably closely tied to real estate (not liquid) and doesn't leave the hookers and blow kind of inheritance to you kids like some here imagine.

From Succession:

Greg: I'm good, anyway, cuz, uh, my, so, I was just talkin' to my mom, and she said, apparently, he'll leave me five million anyway, so I'm golden, baby.
Connor: You can't do anything with five, Greg. Five's a nightmare.
Greg: Is it?
Connor: Oh, yeah. Can't retire. Not worth it to work. Oh, yes, five will drive you un poco loco, my fine feathered friend.
Tom: The poorest rich person in America. The world's tallest dwarf.
Connor: The weakest strong man at the circus.
By 1% rich I mean Bezos rich. But even then, if you look at say the 5 richest people in the world, I believe they are all self made.

Bezos himself came from nothing.

Also, those kinds of rich people tend to have a ton of assets tied up in stock of companies that are worth a lot, and things like real estate are sideline.

Though someone like Bill Gates who has been 1% rich for a lot longer now owns a lot of land and other stuff.

I do not believe Musk owns that many assets, and most of his wealth is tied up in his companies stock value. Bezos might be the same thing.

So if Tesla & SpaceX stock would crash tomorrow, Musk wouldn't be that rich anymore and would probably start defaulting on some of his IOUs.
The ability to sell stock is what keeps giving them liquid.

But even that might be wrong, as Musk doesn't necessarily sell his stock to fund Tesla as an example.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:45 AM   #319
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By 1% rich I mean Bezos rich. But even then, if you look at say the 5 richest people in the world, I believe they are all self made.

Bezos himself came from nothing.

Also, those kinds of rich people tend to have a ton of assets tied up in stock of companies that are worth a lot, and things like real estate are sideline.

Though someone like Bill Gates who has been 1% rich for a lot longer now owns a lot of land and other stuff.

I do not believe Musk owns that many assets, and most of his wealth is tied up in his companies stock value. Bezos might be the same thing.

So if Tesla & SpaceX stock would crash tomorrow, Musk wouldn't be that rich anymore and would probably start defaulting on some of his IOUs.
The ability to sell stock is what keeps giving them liquid.

But even that might be wrong, as Musk doesn't necessarily sell his stock to fund Tesla as an example.
I don't know what any of this means... Your previous post that I quoted specified "1%" and I just wanted to point out that the top 1% in both income (~$250k) and net worth (<$10mm) in Canada isn't actually that rich, at least in a masters-of-the-universe sort of way.

So now you want to "look at say the 5 richest people in the world"? That's the top .00000006%...

If we're going to have a reasonable discussion around practical ideas and solutions, it would help to keep the goal posts stationary.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:46 AM   #320
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Didn’t Bezos’ parents kick a few hundred k into Amazon at the start?

That certainly isn’t nothing. It’s not never having to work but in order to be Gates or Bezos you have to be the right position at the right time and that requires a certain upper middle class base that is not available to all.
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