I quite like the idea of reducing corporate tax based on employment,though that doesn't help the individual billionaire, I guess.I am i believer of tax relief per job made. That way rich people are encouraged to hire more.
Also in some cases,F***ing over employees. That riles up the French a lotHe can't, it's purely academic. The French have had a bee in their bonnet since before the Revolution. If I were to go after anyone it would be to monopolies that use their dominant position to profiteer. Especially in the field of medicine.
For the most part billionaires made their money providing what the people wanted on a large scale (that includes hedge fund managers). Note I didn't say provided value because that is subjective in as what is considered value to one could be the opposite to another.
I mostly agree with everyone on this thread, but I feel like the top 10 or 15 guys in the Bezos stratosphere (50B+) should have some sort of obligation to do more - not necessarily tax wise.
Don't sit here and talk about buying Porsche's or whatnot; these guys literally can't spend their money in 20 lifetimes even if they live every day like a degenerate college student who just won the lottery.
I wouldn't want the feds to take their money, cause that won't help with anything. but I do think that they should contribute directly more, somehow. I know they already are, but I just personally feel like at a certain point, it gets kind of ridiculous.
Actually they could increase their pay to employees. I doubt Bezos would even notice if all Amazon pickers and packers had their salary doubled and all their health insurance paid, and sick leave so they no longer have to work and be worried about the expense of an ambulance when they collapse form exhaustion on the floor. Billioaires ca only spend so much, the extra ages would trickle up through the consumer sector and encourage more b2c and b2bs.Here's the problem though...
Anything they do to contribute more, at least in ways that actually positively impact our lives, is only going to increase their wealth. Then people will only be more angry.
So while they would be richer in absolute terms, the lower ratio and lower income equality would reduce the anger.
Just to play the scenario out, Pikety is French, their debt is just under €2 billion so a 90% asset tax on 10 billionaires would pay that off with a nice surplusLet's do a small though experiment here. Let's say Pikety is 100% right, and that we should tax every billionaire out of existence. Better yet, instead of taxing them on their business income let's round up all the greedy billionaires in the United States, throw them in jail, and confiscate all their assets - their planes, their fancy cars, their cash, their gold, their real estate, their companies, everything.
If we were somehow able to liquidate everything they owned (unlikely) we would collect a whopping $2.7 trillion (see List of Americans by net worth - Wikipedia).
Not bad, right? Until you realize how much our government really spends...
Our most recent federal budget is set for $4.75 trillion this year alone, and the federal debt is over $22 trillion. And that doesn't even include all the state, county, and municipal debt we hold either!
At the current rate we're running, all the money we confiscated would last us a little shy of 7 months (2.7/4.75 * 12). After that, we'd be back to broke. Except now, all the jobs are gone, the economy has imploded, and we're such an economic crisis that the Great Depression would look like a joke.
No matter how you slice and dice the money, there simply are not enough rich people out there to fund the types of policies we're proposing. Taxing the rich is no quick fix.
Sure you can argue about moral imperatives and the like (I too would love to see Jeff Bezos give more of his money to charity) but the only way we're going to get ourselves out of the problems we've created for ourselves is by innovating. And the best way to do that is by creating new businesses and designing new products to fix the problems we have - and thereby creating wealth for everyone in the process.
It is amusing how the industrial revolution started after the steam engine patents expired.The idea that billionaires are evil is lame zero-sum thinking. I don't think they hurt the economy at all; on the contrary, their activities are organizing more people and resources than anyone else. How many people depend on one billionaire for their livlihood? How many people's quality of life is improved by one billionaire's products?
That said. There is something to the IP arguments in this thread. Maybe look at this a different way...
Most billionaires are this rich because governments grant them monopoly rights - over a drug, a technology, a trademark, etc.
That being the case, isn't it strange to ask governments to solve the "problem," if you see it as such, through taxation?
It's like if I was starting houses on fire, and you asked me to fix the problem by pouring water on the houses after I start them on fire. One person or entity shouldn't be both the cause and solution to your perceived problem; it's illogical.
Either the granting of monopoly rights for innovation is ok, or it isn't, or it should be improved. That's where the conversation should be. The idea of "fixing" the innovation-reward system through taxation is ludicrous. It's asking the arsonist to douse fires.