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Stossel: How the Working Rich Improve Our Lives

Democrats complain GOP tax plan mostly helps rich people who already “take” wealth from others. Do they, really?

Bernie Sanders and others on the left want higher taxes on "millionaires and billionaires." Would that be a good idea? Most rich people became prosperous by creating wealth, not taking it from others.

Jim Caruso took over a bankrupt brewery and turned it around by inventing creative craft beers. He now employs more than 100 people. The company he runs, Flying Dog Brewery, is worth millions.

Caruso had a good answer when John Stossel asked him about the "unfairness" of some Americans having so much more money than others. The top fraction of earners does now own almost half of America's assets.

Caruso pointed out that Steve Jobs was worth $10 billion when he died. But since Apple sold more than 2 billion devices, Jobs collected just $5 per device. "I think Steve might have been underpaid here," he says.

Most on the left don't see it that way. "The feeling tends to be that somebody like Steve Jobs took something away from everybody else," Caruso says. "What did Steve Jobs take? He had this idea, wouldn't it be great to have a thousand songs in your pocket... one of the most massively important tools for productivity and communication in life."

Stossel says Jobs, and all entrepreneurs (if they don't partner with or freeload off government) create far more wealth than they take.

Produced by Maxim Lott. Edited by Joshua Swain.

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  • Ken Shultz||

    Stossel looks so glib in that photo!

    He didn't lift it, of course. We're all just plugged into the same cultural reference.

    Still, that means Stossel has some natural glib in his heart.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Give me Gliberty or give Tony death!

  • CE||

    Glibertarians unite!

  • Peter Duncan||

    Dyslexics untie!

  • DrZ||

    What is you want sysdlexics to do?

  • Sevo||

    "Dyslexics untie!"

    Is there a Dog?

  • Peter Duncan||

    Dog is my copilot.

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Is this the correct place to argue about whether or not Steve Jobs was actually responsible for any innovation at Apple, or just took credit for other people's work?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Entrepreneurship is about creating a mix of land, labor, and natural resources, of which labor is, obviously, a part. If he took other people's innovations and put them to work in the marketplace, then that's what entrepreneurship is all about.

    From Wozniak in the garage to Jobs' last days on earth, he did that as well or better than anybody. Whether he actually made the discoveries or invented the innovations himself is sort of beside the point. He brought those innovations to market.

  • Hank Stamper||

    I would also point out though that Steve's wealth was mostly from pixar.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe think of it this way:

    If anybody else could have brought the same innovations to market but didn't, doesn't that speak to Jobs' abilities?

    And Jobs didn't just do it once.

  • CE||

    That's how it works when you're the CEO. You hire the people who hire the people who innovate, and make the tough calls on what markets to pursue and which projects to end, and set the standards you will hold people to. Then you get the credit (or the blame) for how well (or poorly) your company does. No one thinks Steve Jobs was inventing stuff -- Wozniak did that, and then dozens, hundreds, and thousands of other engineers.

  • Magnitogorsk||

    A lot of people think he invented stuff. I was commenting specifically on the weird cult of personality surrounding Jobs

  • Sevo||

    Magnitogorsk|11.28.17 @ 2:54PM|#
    "A lot of people think he invented stuff. I was commenting specifically on the weird cult of personality surrounding Jobs"

    I had dealings with him at Apple, Next, and at Apple again. AFAIK, he 'invented' no hardware, nor wrote any of the Apple software.
    He had visions of what the hardware and the software should be, and the ability to sell that to the people he worked with as employees or suppliers. And the ability to make that so attractive to the consumer that they paid margins far above his competition; he made every other provider a commodity while making Apple a brand.
    Eisenhower didn't win WWII, but he may have been the person who made it happen; I see Jobs as the same.
    And he remains one of those people who, the closer you get to him, the further away you want to be.

  • Henry Buttal||

    Well said. I had dealings with him at the peak of his snake oil phase (Next), and also later had interaction with Gil Amelio after his "500 days..." phase, so my perspective of Jobs is less fan boy. No doubting his drive or capability, but he left a lot of casualties- didn't he strip off a lot of the employee ownership at Pixar on the way to selling it for big bucks?

  • Cloudbuster||

    NeXT wasn't snake oil. It was a fantastic machine, ahead of its time. It just didn't work out. You can't win them all.

  • MarkLastname||

    I don't know. I'm fairly sure though that the government wasn't planning on giving the taxes the extract from him to those who deserved it.

  • Heraclitus||

    Yep. Jobs was good at getting these products on the scene faster than other companies but it is a myth that without Apple and Jobs we wouldn't have the tech that we have now. Like pretty much every other invention, he stands on the shoulders of giants. Let's face it folks, if Jobs never existed you would still have mobile devices that store lots of music.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Almost certainly, but in this world, it was Jobs that grabbed the opportunity and ran with it. If what happened elsewhere in the multiverse is important to you, start writing for DC or Marvel comics.

  • Tionico||

    Learn about Dale Carnegie.. the steel magnate a hundred or so years back. Read his life story. What did he start out with? Not much. He was accused of being a very smart chap by someone who admired all the industry and wealth he created. He responded no, I'm not very smart. But I surround myself sith smart people....

    all he ever did was align various individuals, lands, resources, and put them together in ways that got things done. Millioins of lives were far better off because he simply lined things up in ways that brought about better results, the sum of the parts being worth infintely more than the individual bits and pieces.
    And THAT is the stength of capitalism.. men putting money, time, land, equipment, time, together to make the economy grow.

    ever see a poor man make money for anyone else? No, I haven't either. I've seen lots of poor men TAKE money FROM others.. every day at roadsides wherever I go. I'll bet THOSE poor guys are glad SOMEONE has some money.....

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Listen: under capitalism some people get very rich. And I'm not rich.

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    If you don't understand that, then you're a heartless asshole and I hate you.

  • Holmes IV||

    Relevant username is relevant. Well done.

  • Sevo||

    VERY nice!

  • mashed potatoes||

    To be fair, the wealthy largely own capital and most Americans hold wealth comes from their wages.. and the Fed providers capital owners a windfall by overvalueing capital and undervalueing wages with its inflation targets and stimulus policies.

  • Rich||

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The code talker thread is below.

  • Sevo||

    And the stupid talker post is above.

  • SmartAssX||

    I mean this is a pretty shitty and shallow argument. Steve Jobs being probably the worst example considering people get paid less than a dollar a day to manufacture the phones. Do you think they deserve to be so under paid?

    I think any one with billions of dollars should take a step back and pay there employees a little bit better imo. Im in favor of people with great ideas and products getting a larger sum I just think its fucked up how little the trickle down goes.

  • Just Say'n||

    Cosmotarian are so adorable.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    People working in an iphone factory make less than one dollar per day? Cite please.

  • SmartAssX||

    Well it was a controversy back when the ipod was out. A quick google search of recent reports say that they are making ~$5-6 a year now. Sooo yay? Success? Im kidding that's shit.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I presume you meant per day.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I did a quick google and found Chinese Apple workers make around $2/hour and work about 9 hours/day. Plus lots of overtime.

    So, Smartass. Are you just here to lie or is it nap time?

  • ace_m82||

    They always have the option to do other things, like not work for that much. Apparently, their time and effort is worth less to them for $5-6 a day.

    Either way, they benefit, though not as much as you want them to. So are you willing to pay significantly more for your iPhone? After all, YOU said they weren't paid "enough" (whatever that is). The workers thought they got paid enough, or they wouldn't work for that much!

  • EscherEnigma||

    The workers thought they got paid enough, or they wouldn't work for that much!
    By that logic, everyone that doesn't quit when they don't get the raise they asked for obviously thinks they do get paid enough, and were just lying when they said they deserved a raise.

  • ace_m82||

    They do get paid enough. Enough that the think it's worth their time/effort to keep working there.

    I mean, everyone I've ever met thinks they don't get paid "enough" (by their own standards), but very few of them actually quit because it's not worth it for them anymore.

  • Tionico||

    but when one considers the cost of things like rent, food, fuel, clothing, etc, in the economy where they work, sometimes $2/day is far too much. There is such a thing as a cost of linving, and it changes from place to place. Seattle and San Francisco are VERY expensive.... for everything. Always. So twennybux an hour is, for many, not enough. On the other hand, move to Enterprise or Ontario Oregon, that $20/hour is way up on the high side of the fat hog. Now, move that same wage earner to Nogales, Arizona, and he just got a huge payraise at the same number. Across the magic imaginary line into Nogales Mexico, he's rich.

  • BYODB||

    Of course, let us not ask ourselves why they're being produced in those overseas factories in the first place. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the comparable rate of pay you would need to shell out for an American worker to do literally the exact same process.

    With free trade, we'd be paid the same amount as a Chinese worker to do the same job. Progress? Probably, but something tells me American's don't want that.

  • MarkLastname||

    How much one 'deserves' is subjective. The worth of their labor is the marginal value of what they produce.

    And that's just an idiotic statement. If the market value of the average American laborer were $2 the 7.50 minimum wage would leave most of us unemployed while our erstwhile employers pay the Chinese to do everything. The American workforce makes more because it's more skilled, educated, etc. Maybe one of these days try not lying.

  • MarkLastname||

    This was in response to EscherEnigma.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And that's just an idiotic statement.
    Intentionally so, yes. The point that the statement I was responding to, that the workers are obviously being paid enough because they still work there, was similarly idiotic.

    Fact is, the world, and the economic decisions of the individuals who inhabit it, are way more complicated then such a pithy statement that says that if you can get someone to agree to an exchange then it was obviously a fair exchange.

  • ||

    if you can get someone to agree to an exchange then it was obviously a fair exchange

    I don't know about fair, but the exchange obviously left both parties better off than they were before the exchange (assuming no physical coercion or the credible threat thereof by the parties involved in the exchange).

  • Grooveman||

    Americans want cheap prices, period.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wealth is not money and money is not wealth.

  • MikeP2||

    "how little the trickle down goes"

    Perhaps you are ignorantly considering only wages and tax as the mechanism of trickle down, instead of the far more traditional charitable routes for the wealthy to give back to the community
    Look around your neighborhood and recognize how many public works were funded solely or in part through charitable donations.

    Three wings of my local, nationally-recognized hospital were funded through multi-million dollar donations by local businessmen in the later part of their lives, asking nothing more than their name on the plaque. My preemie son benefited from one of those wings, enjoying world-class NICU facilities.

    So you can go stick that ignorant trickle-down comment up your arse.

  • Tony||

    So if charity is sufficient to make a decent society, why is there still poverty?

  • Rich||

    Oh, that's easy -- People don't give their fair share.

  • Just Say'n||

    World poverty declined by more than 50% in the first ten years of the aughts. The expansion of capitalism has benefited everyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    So if charity is sufficient to make a decent society

    You sure are good at slaying men of straw.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So if government is the only way to solve poverty, why is Venezuela starving?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Because charity isn't sufficient to make a decent society. Hard work, self-reliance, etc. are needed in spades. But those are grossly disincentivized by a socialist welfare state.

  • Microaggressor||

    Those traits are just supplemental. The only real prerequisite to curing poverty is for the poor to have access to property rights. One of those is self-ownership; they require the right to sell their labor (labor regulation typically the only thing standing in the way), to accumulate property without it being taken away, so they can use that to invest in their own human capital (education, skills) or become capitalist entrepreneurs themselves.

    The welfare state doesn't achieve this because it doesn't remove the barriers to acquiring consumer-demanded skills, and attempts to replace this natural process with artificial ones (government job training programs) that are divorced from the goal of satisfying consumers and replaced with the goal of satisfying bureaucrats. All these smoke and mirrors create the illusion of "helping the poor" while in reality only entrenching them in poverty. That is why the Tonys of the world can politically colonize the less fortunate, make their lives worse in the long run, while patting themselves on the back for how generous it makes them feel.

  • ace_m82||

    Non Sequitur, there can still be "poverty" (Poor in the US still have things like a TV, a car, and AC) in a "decent society".

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    When I hear about "the poor" in America, I'm reminded of the lifestyle of Louis XIV. He was throwing a party at Versailles where the WINE FROZE. He had no TV, A/C, internet, CDs, DVDs, etc.

  • Zeb||

    In part it's because "poverty" (in the US and other wealthy countries, at least) is defined as the portion of the population with the lowest incomes.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Tony:
    "So if charity is sufficient to make a decent society, why is there still poverty?"

    Because we're retarded utopians looking for a future without poverty, of course.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    "why is there still poverty?"

    Because we constantly move the goalposts on the poverty level.

  • Tony||

    But any improvement of the lives of the poor is mostly due to charity?

  • MarkLastname||

    No, improvement in the lives of poor people is mainly due to the prices of necessary goods declining thanks to investment and innovation.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Necessary AND unnecessary - internet, TV, DVDs, CDs, A/C, refrigeration, cars, etc.

  • Microaggressor||

    All of that is a drop in the bucket compared to consumer surplus.

    It's deceptive to call this effect "trickle down" because nothing has to "trickle down" and yet it massively benefits the poor. If I invent a new method of mass producing bread that causes the price to plummet, I will get rich and the poor will have significantly more purchasing power. I did not benefit at their expense, and they did not benefit at my expense, rather it was mutually beneficial. That's what Stossel is getting at in this video.

    Widespread belief in the fixed-pie theory of wealth is dependent on general ignorance of basic economics. This is what Reason should be focusing on, and Stossel does a pretty good job but it's not enough.

  • John||

    The biggest thing that people like Tony and his ilk do not understand is that both sides benefit from a trade or else it would not happen. All they see is you seeling the bread and benefiting from it. Their shallow and stupid minds never consider how much the person buying the bread is also benefitting.

  • Microaggressor||

    Look at their attitude toward things like Walmart and it's plain as day that these upper-middle-class suburbanites have no idea what it's like to be poor and what the poor depend on.

  • John||

    And have never worked a real job in their lives. They are always bemoaning the death of the mom and pop store to the evil Walmart. If they had ever worked actual jobs, they would know that mom and pop stores run on such small margins they necessarily pay their employees dirt and often are the worst types of employers to work for. Walmart, in contrast, pays their employees well and treats them well enough that people often make careers in the company starting out stocking shelves and ending up managing entire stores. Walmart offers its workers a career if they want it.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Saw an article in Forbes a few years ago said that WalMart pulled over 100,000,000 Chinese out of poverty, and moved, like a dozen million American poor into a lower-middle class life style through increased purchasing power.

    Free trade is fucking awesome.

  • DarrenM||

    But they were working for slave wages, so we have to get rid of those jobs because it's not fair. It's better if they have no jobs at all. /prog logic

  • CE||

    Charity? Steve Jobs gave back by giving people the option to buy the iPhone, and other people the option to work for him. Successful entrepreneurs should focus on putting their money to productive use -- let the idle grandchildren of the industrial giants focus on how to give the wealth away.

  • John||

    Steve Jobs created a company that gave hundreds of thousands of people an opportunity to make an honest living and in some cases get rich. That good outweighs anything he could have done by giving his money to charity. I will never understand why some people can't see that.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well it used to be understood in libertarian circles as axiomatic, but we've evolved.

  • Azathoth!!||

    " I just think its fucked up how little the trickle down goes"

    But how far does it go?

    The worker getting the equivalent of at least $18 a day is getting a large amount of money within his local economy--it's not much here, but there it's good money

    So he can expand his life--he buys lunch from a street vendor two or three times a week--trickling to the cooks and servers
    He buys better clothes and shoes, trickling to the salesmen, shoemakers and clothesmakers

    And THOSE people now have added income from the workers from the Apple factory spending money with them, so THEY have more money to spend, which allows them to expand their lives.

    And that's just in China--this same thing happens with all parts of the supply chain, from the people mining the raw material to the pretentious lefty twat in the Apple store--there are shoals and shoals of ways the money is moving that aren't simply boss-work-wage. That's what 'trickle down theory is--how the movement of wealth creates more wealth

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > people get paid less than a dollar a day to manufacture the phones

    Uhhhh, NO. Wages in China, are in the hundreds of dollars/month, and rising constantly.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Do you think they deserve to be so under paid?

    I think someone said "We'll pay you a dollar a day to manufacture these phones." And they said "Looks better than any other alternative I have. I'll take it!"

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I mean sure we're going to have to raise YOUR taxes to give all those rich people their tax cuts, as well as continue to explode the deficit, but don't those rich people deserve it after everything they've done for you, you ungrateful bastards?

  • John||

    We should not be raising anyone's taxes. But, they are not raising taxes to pay for anyone's tax cut. They are raising taxes to pay for their spending. Not taking money from people is not the same as spending. So, cutting taxes are not something which are ever paid for.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... so in the Republican tax plan, the individual tax cut and expansion of the standard deduction aren't phased out in a few years thus leading to higher taxes on most Americans, while the tax cuts for corporations and pass-through are permanent?

    When did that change?

  • John||

    No. But I didn't say that it did. Try reading what I said again. Which part of "we should not be raising anyone's taxes" did you not understand. My point is that no one's taxes are being raised to pay for cutting other people's taxes not that no one taxes is being raised.

  • EscherEnigma||

    To quote you: But, they are not raising taxes to pay for anyone's tax cut.

    The changes made to income taxes are being phased out in a few years for one reason and one reason only: to reduce the fiscal impact of the tax bill allowing them to make the corporate tax cuts permanent.

    So yes. Under the Republican bill, my taxes will go up so that they can make corporate taxes go down. This isn't complicated.

  • MarkLastname||

    Corporations don't pay taxes: people pay taxes. When you tax a corporation, you're taxing employees, customers and investors; the majority gets passed on to customers and employees, most of whom are not rich. It's a myth even most Democratic economists reject that corporate taxes are principally a tax on the rich.

  • John||

    A tax cut is not spending money. To say it is, is to assume that all your money belongs to the government and any amount you get to keep is the same as the government spending money. That is bullshit. Those tax increases are just that increases. That money finances spending. Someone keeping what is rightfully theirs is not spending.

    It is simple logic. Why are you too dense to understand it? Did your parents drop you on your head or something?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yes, your disagreement with terminology is not new. Still doesn't change that the (current) Republican tax plan literally raises income taxes to allow them to lower taxes on corporations.

    @MarkLastname
    ... and? John isn't arguing that a corporate tax-cut will "trickle down" to everyone else, thus negating the planned tax increase, he's arguing that Republicans aren't balancing the corporate tax-cuts with income tax increases.

  • John||

    If you want to bitch and moan about the GOP raising taxes, go right ahead. I won't disagree with you. But that doesn't make them lowering other people's taxes any less positive.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you read my posts, it's very clear what I'm "bitching and moaning" about. And it's not actually the GOP tax plan. It's your disinformation campaign regarding it.

  • Sevo||

    "Still doesn't change that the (current) Republican tax plan literally raises income taxes to allow them to lower taxes on corporations."

    It's a shame that stupidity is hard to cure.
    Listen: Corporations DO NOT PAY TAXES. NONE. CORPORATIONS DO NOT PAY TAXES!
    Is that clear, you idiot?

  • DesigNate||

    No, they are raising your taxes to pay for their spending.

    What's so hard to understand about this?

  • Tionico||

    fact is, some eighty percent of FedGov spending/waste (same thing, most times) is illegal and should end. Net week. (no, I won't hold my breath on that one). If THAT were to hapen, just think... they could cut taxes by 75%, th economy would suddenly take off like a rocket, and the only ones who woi;d "suffer" from all that wonderment would be the millions of former incompetents who can no longer slop at the public trough because their "jobs" (welfare payments) no longer exist. THEN tjey'd have to figure out how to make themselves useful and PRODUCTIVE, giving value for the hours they would spend in someone's employ. They might even have to learn how to use their work computer for things other than solitaire, surfing the net, porn, youtub,e etc.

  • Cloudbuster||

    They are raising taxes to pay for their spending

    As if anyone's really paying for the spending. Half of what the government spends is fabricated from thin air and charged to subsequent generations.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You deserve your welfare. After all you earned it.

  • John||

    Everyone talks about the robber barons of the 19th Century but they never mention the things they either created or helped make possible and all of the value to civilization that brought. Rockefeller, for example, basically invented petroleum refining. He got rick initially and took over the oil refining industry because he figured out how to use every part of oil and turned what was waste product into something valuable. Ford gave the world the moving assembly line and access to cheap consumer goods that came with it. Andrew Carnegie made the Bessemer steel process practical to be used on a huge scale, thus making railroads and skyscrapers possible. Those three men did more for humanity than ever do gooder help the poor type in history combined. They didn't get rich because they robbed people. They got rich because they provided something of tremendous value. They are only hated by people who are either too ignorant to understand their contributions or are just envious that they can't made the same or any contribution.

  • sarcasmic||

    They are only hated by people who are either too ignorant to understand their contributions or are just envious that they can't made the same or any contribution.

    I have found that it is literally impossible to get through to the haters because they surround themselves with an impenetrable wall of fallacies. Money is wealth, wealth is money, zero-sum economics, profit is theft, labor theory of value, etc...

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    The haters think you are a snob. *hugs Sarcasmic* I know better.

  • DarrenM||

    If wealth creation was zero-sum, we'd still be living in caves.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    To think what Zuckerberg and all the current elites want to do to improve humanity gives me nightmares. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  • John||

    I do not and never will begrudge Zuckerberg his money. There is nothing particularly profound about Facebook but he thought it up and did it. He deserves whatever money it makes. I do, however, begrudge him thinking that gives him the right to tell others how to live or the ability or authority to re-order society.

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    Exactly. The problem with today's elites is that they are too invested in keeping the lower classes down. Keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind. Making money and then spreading it on the lower class toast like butter(avocado for you Crusty) is how to do it, just not for free. Free shit is never really free.

  • Tony||

    I do, however, begrudge him thinking that gives him the right to tell others how to live or the ability or authority to re-order society.

    Same with the Koch brothers of course.

  • John||

    The Koch brothers and they're $15 million of political money. And the Koch brothers are not telling anyone how to live. They are just trying to get vicious evil half-wits like you to stop doing so.

  • EscherEnigma||

    When they repeatedly sponsor donate to so-cons, repeatedly and over the course of many years? Yeah, they really are trying to tell folks how to live.

  • Just Say'n||

    Cosmotarians are so adorable

  • Just Say'n||

    The Kochs are telling people how to live, because they donate to social conservatives who are asking not to have the government impose rules on the way they live. Wait, that makes no sense.

  • sarcasmic||

    because they donate to social conservatives who are asking not to have the government impose rules on the way they live.

    Well, yeah. When you fight against those who impose their will on others then you are imposing your will on the imposers, which is an imposition. Thus liberty is tyranny.

  • Tony||

    I don't think you guys actually believe this self-congratulatory nonsense horseshit.

    "I call the radical laissez-faire ideology I want to impose on the whole country 'freedom,' so it's not actually an imposition, guys, geez."

  • sarcasmic||

    "I call the radical laissez-faire ideology I want to impose on the whole country 'freedom,' so it's not actually an imposition, guys, geez."

    A lack of imposition is an imposition! Liberty is tyranny! Freedom is slavery! Deregulation is regulation! Not telling people what to do is telling them what to do! Aaauuugghhh!

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I don't want to tax the rich to subsidize my own security.

    It's because I love poor people so much.

    No really. It's true.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you have to lie about what social conservatives are up to, that should probably be a big red flag that you're not arguing in good faith.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And when you neglect to mention all of the solibs that the Kochs also support what does that say about your honesty?

    Don't worry, you get to keep all of your free government bennies.

  • Drake||

    Ah, right. So basically you're saying that socons support legalizing drugs, gambling, prostitution, porn/snuff porn, gay marriage, etc. You literally just said that. Good to know, thanks tutz.

  • Drake||

    Just Say'n|11.28.17 @ 1:05PM|#

    The Kochs are telling people how to live, because they donate to social conservatives who are asking not to have the government impose rules on the way they live. Wait, that makes no sense.

    Ah, right. So basically you're saying that socons support legalizing drugs, gambling, prostitution, porn/snuff porn, gay marriage, etc. You literally just said that. Good to know, thanks tutz.

  • DarrenM||

    If your thinking is skewed (or nonexistent) enough, it makes perfect sense.

  • EscherEnigma||

    We've had this discussion before, Just Say'n. I'm not a libertarian of any sort. Trying to insult me by calling me a "cosmotarian" is pointless.

  • sarcasmic||

    I always get a laugh when I listen to NPR in the car and hear them list off sponsors that include the Koch brothers.

  • John||

    The Kochs also sponsor the hell out of PBS and things like Operas. Why do Progs hate Nova and the opera so much?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Why do Progs hate Nova and the opera so much?

    They know in their hearts it's BOOOOOORING

  • Tony||

    You just fucking said you begrudge Zuckerberg for trying to do socially engineering. The Kochs want to do exactly the same only to a much more radical degree. You are this big of a goddamn hypocrite just to annoy me, aren't you?

  • EscherEnigma||

    John also thinks that minorities shouldn't boycott businesses that refuse them service, so I'm not sure what you were expecting Tony.

  • John||

    How would minorities boycott a business that refused to serve them?

    I hope that was a joke because if it was it was a good one.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Seriously dude? You've repeatedly argued that businesses should be free to discriminate, but that boycotting businesses for discriminating is economic terrorism. Go back to just about any thread about that Colorado baker for the last few months and you'll see you and Hazel going back and forth over this.

    And to be clear: you never limited your objections to saying that there shouldn't be legal consequences to discrimination. You said there also shouldn't be social or economic consequences.

  • John||

    Seriously dumb ass. Go back and think about this. How is it possible for minorities to boycott a business that will not serve them in the first place?

    No, economic boycotts are idiotic and destructive to a society. It is nothing but tribalism. Once society stops making your economic decisions based on well being and start making them based on tribalism and personal prejudices, they are going to be very poor very quickly.

    And social and economic consequences are nothing but another way of saying society putting a boot on your face rather than the government. Sorry, but your boot on my face is no better than the governments.

    Lastly, you are committing a fallacy here by pretending that economic boycotts can only happen in response to discriminatory behavior. No, once you start the boycott trend rolling, people start boycotting for holding an unpopular opinion. It is nothing but a recipe for an unfree, poor, stupid and oppressive society. There is more to freedom than government.

  • EscherEnigma||

    How is it possible for minorities to boycott a business that will not serve them in the first place?
    Same as everyone else: by talking.

    Lastly, you are committing a fallacy here by pretending that economic boycotts can only happen in response to discriminatory behavior.
    [Citation Needed]
    Pretty sure I haven't said any such thing. I've said what you think minorities shouldn't do in the face of discrimination, but I have said nothing regarding the nature of all boycotts or my own thoughts on the subject.

    That said, you've never given a good answer as to what I should do when faced with discrimination. You don't want me boycotting, you don't want me telling anyone about what happened, you don't want me giving a negative Yelp! review. As near as I can tell, I should just shut up and never acknowledge that it happened.

  • John||

    If the business refuses to serve you, you can't by definition boycott them. There is no business to withhold.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So you're just going to ignore the actual details of the cases that you've been arguing for months then, eh?

    Interesting.

  • John||

    The Kochs want to ensure the government leaves me alone. The Kochs are not telling me how to live. Idiots like you and Zuckerberg are. God you are stupid Tony. I mean you are just a fucking moron.

  • Tony||

    The Kochs very much want to tell you how to live. It's a laissez-faire program, but nobody actually wants to live under such a regime. This is like me saying it's OK to impose socialism on you because it maximizes your freedom. You don't get to disagree!

    Also, and this is no exaggeration whatsoever, you are the biggest hypocrite in the cosmic history of sentient beings.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Tony:
    "This is like me saying it's OK to impose socialism on you because it maximizes your freedom. You don't get to disagree!"

    And that is in no way how socialism works.

  • Tony||

    It's not how libertarianism works either but you think you get to simply assert that it's something everyone automatically wants.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Libertarians just want to force their way of thinking on everyone else.

    Unlike socialists, who truly embrace freedom and give everyone choices.

    Duh.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    The Kochs are trying to socially UNengineer. They're trying to decentralize the decision-making process. Zuck is trying to centralize the process in groups of people that he agrees with. Heads up, Tony, it'll never, ever be you. The Kochs want to give/recognize YOU more decision making power than your fellow prog-tards would ever give.

  • MarkLastname||

    The Koch brothers have actively supported gay marriage, legalized marijuana, criminal justice reform, and loosening if immigration laws. They've done more for "social issues" than you - or even most lefty billionaires - ever will.

  • Tony||

    And they support Nova. Good for them. They also spend lots of money to primary Republican politicians who don't do their bidding. That's a different category of, uh, charity, because it fucks with democracy.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Unlike Saint Soros or Archdeacon Steyer or his worthiness Bloomberg, right?

  • Tony||

    Like I'm gonna just hit that T-ball off the stick. Do I look like John? Money in politics is a big issue on the left.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Money in politics is used for speech. What do you have against the 1st Amendment?

  • DesigNate||

    He hates that his political opponents can use it?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I'm an authority on what democracy is supposed to say.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My doubt is that this is anything recent at all. Noblesse Oblige is a concept that goes back a long ways. The rich elites have almost always done things to attempt to corral the poors into doing things they believe are right. I don't believe that is recent, and I don't believe that is unique to modern wealth.

    It's one more reason to fight for limited government powers, limit the powers to control by at least a little.

  • BYODB||


    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."

    ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)


    It almost sounds like Mr. Lewis met Tony.

  • ipatrol||

    To say that the world improved does not itself prove there was not evil about. Most swords in history have two edges.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Have I mentioned I like Stossel?

  • Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid||

    And his sweet 'stache.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... this focus on the "working" rich is a bit deceptive seeing as y'all are against taxing the non-working rich as well.

  • Just Say'n||

    ^ Modern 'libertarian' party

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And this invalidates his point how? Or perhaps your claim of non-working rich is just as deceptive.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I didn't mean to suggest it invalidated his point. But it is a part of deceptive marketing that avoids lying, but points an uninformed reader to false conclusions expected to benefit the writer.

    That is to say... if a non-Libertarian/libertarian or someone who is unfamiliar with libertarian/Libertarian ideas regarding taxes sees this, they're likely to assume that by calling out the working rich as a group that shouldn't be taxed, that the non-working rich should be taxed (after all, if neither should be taxed then it's an irrelevant distinction). For a non-Libertarian/libertarian, that idea: tax the idle rich but not the non-working rich, is probably more acceptable then the idea of not taxing any of the rich, and thus likely to create a false impression of consensus.

    It's not a lie, but it is deceptive, and I very much doubt it was an accident. Reason is very interested in creating the impression that more people agree with Libertarian/libertarian ideas then actually do so.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Concern troll is concerned. Got it.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Short answer: sure, why not?

    Long answer: sort of? I'm not concerned per se, I'm just noticing. A person, regardless of political inclinations, should be observant of the world around them, and notice when others are trying to manipulate and persuade them. While the overt attempts are easy enough to notice, the subtle attempts should not be ignored because "of course any smart person would see through this".

    It's not so much about concern, it's about observing. Disregard if you like, I genuinely don't care. But a wise man (which you may or may not desire to be) should notice what their friends do as much as their enemies.

  • MarkLastname||

    Most rich people work.

    And btw, the capital gains tax shouldn't exist either, and that's the one that mainly taxes the non-working rich. Capital gains taxes mostly get passed on to employees and consumers just like corporate taxes. I think Stossel likely agrees.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I noticed that as well. Felt like his adjective choice made a clear delineation. I'd be curious to here his opinion of the idle rich.

    That being said, I'm for general low taxes all around, but don't have any particular fondness for idle rich.

  • Zeb||

    For the most part, the idle rich own lots of capital as well. Capital that is out there in the world creating wealth.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sure, that's more of a personal distaste issue.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    It's totally awesome how we parse out who deserves what wealth.

    Because, really, we're all about "earning" and "deserving."

  • IceTrey||

    It's amazing how people think Jobs or Gates have billions in actual dollars. Like they are Scrooge McDuck swimming in gold coins.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    What "people" are you referring too? I want to mock them too.

  • CE||

    Everyone (here) loves the working rich, naturally. But what are the idle rich, chopped liver paste?

    Someone has to be the customers for fine polished monocles and walking sticks and top hats, and to provide career opportunities for orphans.

  • John||

    There is a lot of truth to that. I never understood how people could consider being rich some kind of a slur against them.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    You leave my jealousy out of this.

  • John||

    I am jealous of people who get laid a lot or have some great fortune fall into their laps by dumb luck. I have never been jealous of people who have a lot of money. Money is not a measure of your worth as a person and certainly no guarantee of happiness. Not that I wouldn't like more money than I have. I just don't see having it as something that is worthy of envy.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Any child can tell you how unfair it is for things to be an equal.

  • mtrueman||

    "Stossel says Jobs, and all entrepreneurs (if they don't partner with or freeload off government) create far more wealth than they take."

    What exactly did Jobs create? I know he was responsible for the rounded corners on the iphones. I'm sure a newly graduated industrial designer could have come up with the same concept for significantly less than $US 10,000,000,000.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And exactly what wealth did he take?

  • MarkLastname||

    He took what he didn't donate to mtrueman's bank account. If Jobs had just given his fair share, trueman wouldn't have had to get his lobotomy from an unlicensed vet tech and might only be half as moronic.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's amazing how little time we spend bitching about how much some oversized mouth breather makes doing something with an inflatable ball or some pretty, crystal-embracing, line reader makes and how unjust ticket prices are.

    It's almost as if those transactions are voluntary and somehow anthropomorphizing them makes it all better.

  • John||

    Whenever people bitch about how high paid athletes are, I just ask them who should get the money made by professional sports if not the athletes? Bitching about athletes, who are the best in the world at something people are willing to spend time and money to watch, getting paid a lot of money never made sense to me. They get paid because they produce a lot of revenue. If they didn't, they wouldn't get paid.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I think athletes and actors are vastly overpaid but they earned it. It people are stupid enough to want to pay for their tickets and streaming packages and overpriced sweatshirts, that's their idiotic choice.

    I just find it amusing how easily most people demonize unglamorous rich ppl and so freely give a pass to those they pay to see on a screen.

  • mtrueman||

    "It's amazing how little time we spend bitching about how much some oversized mouth breather makes doing something with an inflatable ball or some pretty, crystal-embracing, line reader makes and how unjust ticket prices are."

    They work very hard for a living. People who do a cat walk in fancy clothes work hard too. And they deserve what they get. But they are not truly rich as long as they rely on an income. The creme de la creme rely on their assets and their ability to hire experts in spiriting away wealth legally to places like Panama. People like Clinton, Putin and Trump. It's ridiculous to compare them with fashion models and football players, even really famous ones.

  • mtrueman||

    It's the value of what he created wherein lies the question. Jobs got paid a lot more money for his creation of the rounded corners because of his status as owner, not creator. There's plenty of industrial designers who could do their rounded corners for a fraction of the money Jobs received, essentially because they are employees, doomed to play a subordinate role in the theatre of the working world.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Your ignorance is the best point I've ever heard.

  • IceTrey||

    The highest valued company in world history.

  • Microaggressor||

    Steve Jobs was rewarded for the service of taking that new technology and putting it in consumers' pockets by mass producing them. It's true that he didn't invent the things, but absent a businessman turning it into a consumer product, this technology would still be toys for rich people that the masses don't have access to. And I'm sure, to you, that's the preferred outcome, right?

  • mtrueman||

    "And I'm sure, to you, that's the preferred outcome, right?"

    Apple is not really my bag, but I do have respect for the integrity of products they make and recognize their stylishness. It's the walled garden aspect of it that puts me off. Also I'm happy with cheap and old hardware. I'm typing on second hand computer that has lost its disk driver and is runny puppy linux offa USB.

    Sure the businessperson plays a vital, even key role in bringing things to the market, but I doubt his contribution merits such an overwhelming discrepancy in the pay of his subordinates who also contributed their time and energy to the effort. As I said before, if a businessperson comes up with rounded corners, he gets a billion. If a designer does the same, he gets a fraction. Same work, it's a matter of status, one's position in life. It's danm near feudal if you ask me.

  • I'm Not Sure||

    "As I said before, if a businessperson comes up with rounded corners, he gets a billion. If a designer does the same, he gets a fraction. Same work, it's a matter of status, one's position in life."

    Not every businessperson gets a billion dollars for his work, you know. A lot of them work 70-80 hour weeks running their businesses for a whole lot less. And that designer? Nobody's forcing him to take a job for a regular paycheck and paid benefits. He's free to quit at any time to start his own business and go after that billion dollars.

  • mtrueman||

    "Not every businessperson gets a billion dollars for his work"

    Of course not. But you miss my point. He doesn't get the money from his work, but from his status as owner.

    "A lot of them work 70-80 hour weeks running their businesses for a whole lot less."

    They are no doubt very driven, hard working, capable people but 'a lot of them' enjoy every minute of those 80 hours. A lot of them love the thrill of the chase. That kind of courage and commitment deserves to be rewarded but it's the proportionality I'm questioning.

    "He's free to quit at any time to start his own business and go after that billion dollars."

    Seems a little drastic what with baby needing new shoes and all. How about this underpaid designer at least ask bossman for a raise first?

  • I'm Not Sure||

    "He doesn't get the money from his work, but from his status as owner."

    It's possible a business owner can earn more than his employees? This is hardly news. Wild-ass guess... that's why a lot of people go into business in the first place- to do better for themselves than they could as someone else's employee.

    "That kind of courage and commitment deserves to be rewarded but it's the proportionality I'm questioning."

    If it's not your business, you don't get a say in how the profits (if any) are allocated. You're concerned about proportionality? Start your own business and pay your workers more.

    "Seems a little drastic what with baby needing new shoes and all.

    It's not the businessman's responsibility to assure that his employees' needs are met. If his compensation is not satisfactory, the worker is certainly free to take another job that pays better.

    "How about this underpaid designer at least ask bossman for a raise first?"

    How about. Nothing stopping him, if he feels he's underpaid. What you think about his pay is irrelevant.

  • mtrueman||

    "you don't get a say in how the profits (if any) are allocated. "

    You're making my point for me. That right is reserved for the owner, because of his status as the owner, and for no other reason. It's feudalism all over again.

    "What you think about his pay is irrelevant."

    Why do you keep raising the issue, if that's the case? Is that yet another straw man I smell?

  • I'm Not Sure||

    "That right is reserved for the owner, because of his status as the owner, and for no other reason."

    I'm not sure why you seem to think property rights are a bad thing.

    "Why do you keep raising the issue...

    Because you keep raising the issue of workers being underpaid.

  • mtrueman||

    "I'm not sure why you seem to think property rights are a bad thing."

    Just not the only thing. I am an egalitarian and I reject dividing society into master and servant.

    "Because you keep raising the issue of workers being underpaid."

    Read what I wrote earlier: if a businessperson comes up with rounded corners, he gets a billion. If a designer does the same, he gets a fraction. Same work, it's a matter of status, one's position in life. It's danm near feudal if you ask me.

    My emphasis is not on how poorly the designer is paid. Some do very well, as has been pointed out on this page. I don't begrudge them it and I don't particularly envy them. I mentioned an underpaid designer in an emotional appeal to beg you to consider to have our employee humbly, even abjectly ask for a raise instead of foolishly walking out the door, a move I'm sure you'll agree he would live to regret. My emphasis, as I said before is on size of the discrepancy. ie too big for my tastes. A sense of proportion is essential to happiness and justice.

  • DarrenM||

    You're free to "reward" them yourself.

  • Grooveman||

    When Jobs came back to Apple the second time its market value had shrunk to $1 Billion. When he died it was valued in the neighborhood of $650 Billion and is now north of $800 Billion. During his first few years back at Apple, he took $1 a year in salary. But of course he did get stock options. He was reportedly worth $7 Billion when he died. That would be 1.7 percentage of the value of the company he built. I would say, as a shareholder, he was vastly underpaid. And the designers that created the products under his guidance, mostly are all millionaires. So hardly un-rewarded. And he revolutionized how we do most everything. Remember that Bill Gates told Jobs that both the iPhone and the iPad were destined to fail.

  • mtrueman||

    " I would say, as a shareholder, he was vastly underpaid. "

    Well, everyone is going to have a different opinion on that. But you are making my point. It is his status as a shareholder that makes him rich, not his contributions to design, or leadership qualities, all of which are available for hire in the job market for a fraction of what Jobs got. It's possible to imagine another shareholder who made out equally well without setting foot in the factory or ever touching the products, fine as they are.

  • Brian||

    Yeah, these are all features of capitalism: someone got rich on Apple just by providing initial capital investment, with the risk of total loss.

    Some people got rich both exchanging labor for money and ownership.

    Some people didn't get rich, but did exchange labor for money, without risking any capital investment, but then, not getting any potential rewards, which actually is the best result in a lot of cases for a lot of people.

    Others got rich on ancillary concerns, like the supply chain.

    These are all features, even though some people consider them bugs.

    For example: that's a great blog site you've got going, and I'm sure you've done a lot of interesting things, and your stories about doing "cheaper Apple" sound really nice. However, It's probably a good thing that markets give us Apple anyway, and you get to give us... your blog, fine as it is.

    I am sure that Apple would have loved to have had you instead of Steve Jobs, though. Too bad all around. Shucks.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yeah, these are all features of capitalism:"

    They are features of feudalism too. Where one's station in life, whether master or servant, determines the rewards meted out.

    "I am sure that Apple would have loved to have had you instead of Steve Jobs, though."

    I'm pretty even tempered and mellow and have an untroubled personal life, so there's that. Otherwise I would have directed my minions to make things more like my laptop computer and less like a MacDonald's cash display. I have an Android cellphone and I'd love to write, edit, save and run little scripts in Ruby or Clojure, for example. Not possible, it seems.

  • Lester224||

    Some working rich improve lives for the non-rich more than others.

    Compare entrepreneurs who open new businesses vs. high speed traders who contribute to market volatility.

  • John||

    Sure but there is nothing you can do about that. And I am not even convinced that high speed traders don't serve some function. If you want to get into the business of deciding whose money is properly earned and whose is not, you might as well just be honest and become a socialist.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sure but there is nothing you can do about that.
    While sticking absolutely to libertarian principles? Possibly.

    But if you aren't an extremist, then it's trivial to come up with tax schemes that de-incentivize high speed trading while leaving others largely unaffected.

    Whether you morally/philosophically agree with those schemes is entirely separate from whether or not you can implement them.

  • John||

    Sure you can. But you better be pretty damn sure high speed traders are doing harm. I am very skeptical you can say that.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And I'm skeptical that you can follow a conversation if you think I'd care to say that in this context.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Actually the burden is on you to show why reducing the efficiency of the spread of market price information by punishing high speed trading does not harm everyone.

    Now if you want to argue about the special, restricted access Goldman gets by colo in the exchanges, well that's a different story.

  • John||

    No. You are just stupid and dishonest. What I am saying is perfectly rational and a proper response to your point. Can you tax high-speed trading and make it unprofitable? Sure you can. You can tax anything into bankruptcy. But to say that is a good idea, you have to be able to say with some certainty that high-speed trading is a bad thing. And no way in hell can you say that without knowing all the second order effects of it, which you can't fully know.

    I would listen to you if you had any point other than to show you are a douchebag. Y

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... you know what? Here's a challenge to both you and skippy.

    Where have I said it's a good idea to de-incentivize high-speed trading? Where have I said that high-speed trading causes harms? Where have I said anything about whether any such schemes should or should not be implemented?

    Where?

    Gimme a quote.

    Face it, you can't. Because I didn't make any such claims. I said that you could de-incentivize high speed trading, and then immediately followed that up by pointing out that the debate over whether you should was an entirely different one.

    So no, I'm not going to defend statements I didn't make.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Again you struggle with that honesty thing. What did you actually write?

    But if you aren't an extremist, then it's trivial to come up with tax schemes that de-incentivize high speed trading while leaving others largely unaffected.

    So you claimed that it could be done as long as one isn't an "extremist." I so love the pirouette from the purist concern troll above to the pragmatic dealer now though. It's a nice touch.

    Still the burden is on you to show how limiting a voluntary trade benefits anyone outside of the benefit that a mugger receives by his trade with his victim.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Seeing as the very next paragraph explicitly says that the *ability to* de-incentivize with tax policy is irrelevant to whether we *should*, I think you missed important context that would have steered you clear if your erroneous conclusion.

    That is too say: if you aren't an extremist about *tax policy*, you can easily devise such a scheme.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I think that Michael Lewis did a pretty good job of explaining what HF traders actually do for their money in his book *Flash Boys.*

  • MarkLastname||

    High speed trading isn't harmful: it's beneficial. Improving the efficiency of capital allocation is a good thing. Opposing that is the height of leftist idiocy. While we're at it, let's ban faster delivery truck since they might deliver goods to consumers faster, giving their owners an unfair advantage.

    As with the idea of banning short selling (cough Jon Stewart), it illustrates that many leftists plainly do not know what a stock market is.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Naked shorting being the exception to the rule because it is essentially fraud.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    HF trading is beneficiary to fraud. The fraud being perpetrated by the broker that sells his book to the HF trader, the victim being the buyer/seller using the broker to effect a trade. The HFT, using his position - literally, his computer is adjacent to the exchange's computer, lowering the time it takes for the electrons to travel to it - essentially front runs the trade, bidding the security away from the buyer/seller by as much as 2-3%. HF trading does NOT lower spreads, it increases them.

  • Lester224||

    HF trading is not inherently bad. It's efficient and brings profits to investors who can afford the hardware (large firms and sophisticated day-traders). Sometimes it is used in a predatory manner. However, it just does not have the "multiplier" positive effect on an economy that Stossel is lauding here. Not all the "working rich" are "job creators".

  • mtrueman||

    " If you want to get into the business of deciding whose money is properly earned and whose is not, you might as well just be honest and become a socialist."

    Because there are no immoral ways of earning money? Are you just blathering or have you thought this through?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > high speed traders who contribute to market volatility

    Actually, high speed traders make their money by essentially front-running.

  • Heraclitus||

    Wait, is this idiot saying that without Steve Jobs we wouldn't have had mobile devices that store lots of music? This is the fundamental problem with Stossel's argument. Jobs didn't make those phones. Thousands of employees toiled on sweatshop floors. Thousands of engineers collaborated on it. And then there are all the subsidized educations that his employees brought with them. The list is enormous. So saying Jobs deserves 5$ per phone is idiotic and offensive. It ignores the millions of people who made Jobs creations possible. If Trump had his way he wouldn't get access to those cheap Chinese factories, for example. He needed the US government to smooth the way. He needed the Chinese government to depreciate the Yuan.

  • John||

    And all of those people were compensated. Thousands of people had jobs and a way to earn a living thanks to Jobs' company. The only thing offensive here is your claim to be able to judge who deserves how much money. Who the hell are you to say Jobs or anyone else does or does not deserve their pay?

  • John||

    Wait, is this idiot saying that without Steve Jobs we wouldn't have had mobile devices that store lots of music?

    If idiots like you got their way and said they didn't deserve the profits that came from those things, no we would not have. The only reason Jobs was replaceable is because someone else would have stepped up and made the money if Jobs had not. If you make it so Jobs can't make that money, then no one else is going to step up and take his place. No, yes you idiot, take away Jobs money and with it the ability to make a money on these things and we would not have had any of that stuff.

  • Praveen R.||

    Jobs deserved his money. He willed the others into making that phone. What I have a problem with Jobs in the past was how he stiffed some of his employees on shares. I think Gates did a better job enriching his employees.

  • Longtobefree||

    It is impossible NOT to benefit the rich if taxes are cut. The rich pay the damn taxes.

    According to our infallible friends at the IRS, "The top 10% paid 70%, earning 46% and the top 25% paid 86%, earning 67%"

    If any taxes are actually cut, the "rich" will benefit. It is tough to be a democrat.

  • Tony||

    That's why tax cuts are an especially inefficient way to produce economic stimulus. Although that can't be the reason given for the current effort. What is the point of the current tax cut effort again? Because it's the one thing Republicans supposedly can agree on and it's *something*? Is that right?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, much more efficient to take from the members of society who have demonstrated the ability to be productive* and give it to the members of society who have demonstrated an inability to be productive. Because as we all know the key to future prosperity is to consume all that you make as soon as you make it.

    *This would NOT include most of the petty tyrants that you worship in government with their crony friends.

  • Tony||

    Such a lame argument for reasons I believe someone articulated above. Are we supposed to poke around people's private lives to make sure they're spending time doing something you approve of? Of course not. You are using "productive" as a complete synonym of "wealthy," even if a person does nothing but sit on his yacht all day throwing bread at seagulls.

    Taxes are how we pay for public services. You want to cut taxes, cut the services they pay for. But don't be a pussy about it like the GOP and pretend that it's economic stimulus and a jobs program and free lunches all around.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Welfare isn't a service any more than mugging is a service. I would be more rhan happy to cut them by over 50% of the federal budget. You wouldn't be happy with the results.

    And since taxes predominantly tax income then yes they are a measure of productivity.

    The very fact that you think the government can stimulate anything shows your stupidity. Broken. Window. Fallacy. On the other hand deadweight losses are a real thing and that is exactly what tax cuts attack.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > demonstrated an inability

    Or unwillingness.

  • mtrueman||

    "Because as we all know the key to future prosperity is to consume all that you make as soon as you make it."

    You know the average household debt? The key to future prosperity is clearly consuming more than you can make before you made it.

  • mtrueman||

    "The top 10% paid 70%, earning 46% and the top 25% paid 86%, earning 67%"

    That's income tax. Only suckers who work for a living pay that.

  • Sevo||

    Imbeciles like you post piles of shit like that.
    Fuck off, imbecile.

  • mtrueman||

    One born every minute.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
    "Spouting nonsense is an end in itself."
    Fuck off, imbecile.

  • Praveen R.||

    I have no problem reforming the tax system. I do think people who become rich by virtue of hard work and/or ingenuity deserve their money. But I do think we have way too many execs these days that get too much compensation for what they offer a company and the board rigs it for them where they get huge pay and benefits but do not lose out when things go wrong. So if we are going to reduce taxes, then maybe their pay should be adjusted since they no longer have to pay the same level of taxes if the new tax bill passes.

  • DarrenM||

    I'd love to simplify the tax system, but it would never last. Politicians make their living by slipping in more deductions or subsidies for favored constituencies.

  • Lester224||

    It's called crony capitalism.

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