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(CNBC)   If you want a preview of what rich Americans will do while their country burns, look no further than Greece   (cnbc.com) divider line 197
    More: Asinine, Americans, Greece, industrialists, greek banks, charitable organizations  
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12540 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 May 2012 at 1:19 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-24 04:13:59 PM

cman: Electing Neo-Nazi's is a very, very scary thing


And seems to occur pretty regularly when income inequality gets large enough in a country. Hell, the ur-Nazis rode to power on just such a situation.
 
2012-05-24 04:16:05 PM

umad: Now, with the country's top vote-getter, the leftist firebrand Alexis Tsipras, talking more and more about nationalizing companies and industries and, in the words of his top economic adviser, "taxing the rich," there is even more incentive to lie low.

I just can't imagine why the rich wouldn't be chomping at the bit to take advantage of such a tempting offer. Who knew people would get so defensive when you want to take everything they own? I guess you learn something new every day.


Does that include their rubber duckies?

I want to be sure we draw a line somewhere.
 
2012-05-24 04:16:40 PM
GAT_00 The Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So in other words "yes". I just wanted to add the idea that it was impossible to support the wants and needs of every person in the society on the backs of the few. Not enough coffee.

When the few have more combined wealth than all of the many, then yeah you can. It's called society. It's worked for quite a while, until modern conservatism came along and told us that we're doing it all wrong and we need more fedualism.


No, expecting the wealthiest people to keep paying for programs without any reform is not going solve problems in the long term. Not in Greece or in any other country that is facing serious levels of debt. If the Greeks want to combine higher taxes on the richest citizens, while also giving up on the idea that people can just retire in their early 50s, they may be on to something.
 
2012-05-24 04:18:11 PM

lordaction: The left always says "pay your fair share" but that is completely subjective. The phrase means nothing. What makes it ironic is that liberals don't pay taxes and complain the payers should be paying more.


Hello! I am a liberal. I pay taxes. I also support tax increases, even on myself if necessary so that I may continue living in a decent society.

Don't be so quick to dehumanize and strawman your opponents, it makes for an awfully dull debate.
 
2012-05-24 04:18:28 PM

SurfaceTension: Someone (Goldman Sachs?) is going to profit hugely when Greece (credit) defaults (swaps).


Greece has been in technical default since March. At least some of the swaps were already triggered.
 
2012-05-24 04:27:14 PM

GAT_00: The Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So in other words "yes".

I just wanted to add the idea that it was impossible to support the wants and needs of every person in the society on the backs of the few. Not enough coffee.

When the few have more combined wealth than all of the many, then yeah you can. It's called society. It's worked for quite a while, until modern conservatism came along and told us that we're doing it all wrong and we need more fedualism.


this isn't a problem of the wealthy. this is a problem of BS governance not doing what it needs to do and now everyone crys, "Why aren't the rich helping?!?!"

Get it together Greece. If you have a tax structure, enforce it. You can't cry about socialist policies not working and blame capitalism for it.
 
2012-05-24 04:29:01 PM

SlothB77: so let's get this straight.

Rich businessman in the country say current debt levels are not sustainable and to curtail government spending on the welfare state.
Government continues to spend exhorbitant amounts maintaining welfare state, while the economy sputters and job growth flattens.


See, this is why I advocate a works program. Greece has to have some public works projects available that citizens can be hired for.

Hell, when I visted everything I saw was in ruins.

/try the veal
 
2012-05-24 04:30:20 PM

Fubini: SurfaceTension: unlikely: You say this as though the current state of Greece isn't actually the goal or intent for most of the wealthier elements and the politicians they've purchased.

I am about as far from being a conspiracy theorist that there is (Oswald acted alone, UFOs were experimental and spy aircraft, planes brought down the WTC buildings, etc) and something to me has not seemed right about this whole Greece thing. Someone (Goldman Sachs?) is going to profit hugely when Greece (credit) defaults (swaps). And honestly, with that much money at stake, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that there were people behind the scenes doing the best they can to make sure it happens.

The problem is that Greece having massive default pretty much spells the end of the EU as it stands. Anybody pursuing that would also know they're pursuing a partial collapse of the European economy, and good luck poor countries ever getting into the EU.


And what was the take away from the 2008 banking crisis? For ultra wealthy investors, that there's a lot of money to be made when institutions fail.
 
2012-05-24 04:31:18 PM

YodaTuna: I also support tax increases, even on myself if necessary so that I may continue living in a decent society.


But you don't live in a decent society.
 
2012-05-24 04:31:35 PM

Mentat: Cythraul: How do you say, "you can't tax the job creators" in Greek?

A thousand objectivists of the Randian empire descend upon you. Our derp will blot out the sun!


Then we shall capitulate in the shade!
 
2012-05-24 04:37:45 PM

Splinshints: BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber

I don't think you understand how averages work.



Are we about to witness the next Rotsky?
 
2012-05-24 04:50:00 PM

jvl: Diogenes: Seems to me that's a large part of the problem. Everyone saying "It's your problem." No one wants to share in the solution. And that's not class warfare. What we're seeing in Greece is.

WTF. The problem with Greece is that EVERYBODY fails to pay taxes. This isn't a 1% problem -- it's a 100% problem.


Yeah, but the difference is that the poor fail to pay taxes by engaging in barter and the black market, but the rich fail to pay taxes because the law does not require them to do so.
 
2012-05-24 04:51:10 PM

sharpie_69: Splinshints: BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber

I don't think you understand how averages work.


Are we about to witness the next Rotsky?


*sigh* Somebody, please post an example and stop this --- oh, fine.

Person #1's IQ = 30
Person #2's IQ = 35
Person #3's IQ = 40
Person #4's IQ = 45
Person #5's IQ = 100

If "average" is the arithmetic mean, the average IQ of this sample population is (30+35+40+45+100)/5 = 50.
80% of the population's IQ is below average.

That's a lot of derp.
 
2012-05-24 04:52:34 PM

mycatisposter: The lazy folks that leach off of the producers are certainly not to blame. It's those damn rich people. They must have all inherited it from other people that simply inherited it from royalty or something.


Well there's your problem. You have no idea of who "the producers" actually are. Can a factory function without the overpaid CEO? Yes. Can a factory function without all the underpaid workers? No.

Now tell me who the producers are...
 
2012-05-24 04:56:35 PM

K.B.O. Winston: Who knew people would get so defensive when you want to take everything they own?


Yes, thieves do tend to get pissed off when you take the stuff they stole from you back. Which is why you sometimes have to shoot them while doing so.

/ No it isn't that simple.
// But it it ain't as simple as you want it to be either.
 
2012-05-24 04:58:21 PM

MugzyBrown: Beluga Heights: don't dispute that. Although since the rich have gained the most by society

This thinking is so idiotic.

They didn't 'gain from society' they provided a good or service to society that society glady traded their money for.

If I invent a breast cancer cure and make $1B curing breast cancer, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me?


If I invent a shiatty investment product by packaging a bunch of bad investments together, get Moody's to give them a good rating, and make $1B, while many other folks get farked, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me?

\it's so cute that you think the super-rich actually invent or produce anything
 
2012-05-24 05:01:56 PM

CheatCommando: K.B.O. Winston: Who knew people would get so defensive when you want to take everything they own?

Yes, thieves do tend to get pissed off when you take the stuff they stole from you back. Which is why you sometimes have to shoot them while doing so.

/ No it isn't that simple.
// But it it ain't as simple as you want it to be either.


(Psssst.... DId you notice that line came from the post I was replying to? That my entire contribution was the rubber duckies bit? Also, do you know why we're whispering? I forget.)
 
2012-05-24 05:13:31 PM

CheekyMonkey: If I invent a breast cancer cure and make $1B curing breast cancer, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me?

If I invent a shiatty investment product by packaging a bunch of bad investments together, get Moody's to give them a good rating, and make $1B, while many other folks get farked, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me?

\it's so cute that you think the super-rich actually invent or produce anything


Seriously. Does he think some rich guy wearing a tuxedo is sitting in his basement at a microscope curing cancer? We might as well argue whether super-heroes should pay higher taxes.
 
2012-05-24 05:32:37 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago?


Yes, there have always been rich and poor for as long as the idea of capitalism has existed. The problem is not that there are rich and poor, the problem is that there are too many at either end and too few in the middle.

Consider society as a child playground teeter-totter. If you take a bunch of rocks and place them along the board so that there are more in the middle than at either end, the ride becomes more stable and easier to balance.
Now move all the rocks to the ends and try the same thing.

The wider the disparity between rich and poor there is, the more unstable the society. That's how revolutions start (see: france, russia).
 
2012-05-24 05:35:41 PM
just for sh*ts, giggles and grins, I want to see Greece totally implode. The poor drag the rich, out into the streets, kill them, and take what is now worthless. This will portend the fate of our society.

/got guns and bullets. Bring it.
 
2012-05-24 05:45:02 PM

rewind2846: Yes, there have always been rich and poor for as long as the idea of capitalism has existed


Fixed that for you.


Caveman X had more hides/stones/spears/hot cavewomen/etc than caveman Y. It has nothing to do with capitalism per say, there are always those with more than others.
 
2012-05-24 05:53:47 PM
I can't look to Greece because my view is blocked by California.
 
2012-05-24 05:58:56 PM

Beluga Heights: MugzyBrown: Beluga Heights: don't dispute that. Although since the rich have gained the most by society

This thinking is so idiotic.

They didn't 'gain from society' they provided a good or service to society that society glady traded their money for.

If I invent a breast cancer cure and make $1B curing breast cancer, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me?

Tell me why it's so idiotic. In the 1880s my family secured some oil fields in south Texas. To this day, we own them. I have all this money because people have needed oil for decades. I give you the gas to get to Kroger to buy cabbage. Without me, you'd have to walk. Therefore I'm a billionaire. You're welcome.

Pretending that all rich people benefit proportionally to the services they provide is what rich people believe but is frankly cute, stupid, and wrong.


Did your family steal the land from Mexico or the Caddo Indians?

/they probably hated to pay taxes as well.
 
2012-05-24 06:13:14 PM

midigod: Goodfella: That's why they call them revolutions: because it always comes full circle.

[img.search.com image 200x150]


Whar Gary Busey in drag ? Whar?
 
2012-05-24 06:17:36 PM
I'm pretty sure the wealthy in America actually WANT a Greece style situation here. They have spent the last 30 years creating it with GOP policies. Siphoning the wealth out of the general populace, setting up family dynasties and creating oligarchs. They call it "freedom", but it's really only freedom for the ultra-rich to loot the working man.
 
2012-05-24 06:23:09 PM

neongoats: I'm pretty sure the wealthy in America actually WANT a Greece style situation here.


At least the part where they write their own tax-exempt status into the constitution, yeah. It would save Mitt Romney a whole bunch of trips to the Cayman Islands.
 
2012-05-24 06:53:32 PM

BgJonson79: Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus:

So how do we fix it, when about 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber? As society becomes more complex, "regular" people won't be able to keep up and more and more people will have to be provided for since they won't be able to provide for themselves.


Uhhhhh. Want to try again with that one?
 
2012-05-24 06:53:53 PM
How does it feel to want?
 
2012-05-24 06:54:48 PM
I'VE GOT THE SOLUTION FOR GREECE..................


www.canyoncountryzephyr.com

Really all they need is this guy and all their problems will be solved because he's so awesome. I'm mean look what he's done for our economy. Plus Greece already has a large welfare population and public unions that are out of control.
 
2012-05-24 06:56:01 PM

Nezorf: BgJonson79: Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus:

So how do we fix it, when about 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber? As society becomes more complex, "regular" people won't be able to keep up and more and more people will have to be provided for since they won't be able to provide for themselves.

Uhhhhh. Want to try again with that one?


Scroll up -- it has been covered. And yes, you can have 80% below average...
 
2012-05-24 06:57:46 PM
Start by offering those Greeks no safe harbor in the US(beyond what is needed to track them). Then use the DoD to legitimately and constitutionally track them & their assets down. Finally, repatriate towards the Greek government and see to it that all parties share in the austerity, not just those who can afford to evade.

Greece may be the top player when it comes to tax evasion, but those skills won't help you against the top military & intelligence departments in the world. Those departments belong to the United States of America, where jurisdiction is a quaint concept.
 
2012-05-24 06:58:35 PM
Im still waiting for all the IRS to audit the 7500 pizza places owned by Greeks throughout the Philly Area-most who grew up in Upper Darby PA.

/great card games with those guys
 
2012-05-24 06:59:59 PM

neongoats: I'm pretty sure the wealthy in America actually WANT a Greece style situation here. They have spent the last 30 years creating it with GOP policies. Siphoning the wealth out of the general populace, setting up family dynasties and creating oligarchs. They call it "freedom", but it's really only freedom for the ultra-rich to loot the working man.


DERP!!!!
 
2012-05-24 07:14:17 PM

sharpie_69: Nezorf: BgJonson79: Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus:

So how do we fix it, when about 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber? As society becomes more complex, "regular" people won't be able to keep up and more and more people will have to be provided for since they won't be able to provide for themselves.

Uhhhhh. Want to try again with that one?

Scroll up -- it has been covered. And yes, you can have 80% below average...


Damn that took forever to post. Stupid mobile fark.

It never was fully covered. The statement is kind of a misnomer, unless BgJonson79 is assuming a non-normal distribution, using binned or ordinal statements of intelligence. Oh well.
 
2012-05-24 07:21:50 PM

sharpie_69: Scroll up -- it has been covered. And yes, you can have 80% below average...


You can, but you don't. In a room containing eight teabaggers and two mentally challenged toddlers, yes, you'll have 80% of the group below the average intelligence of the group. But (provided you think IQ has any sort of authority at all here) measured intelligence has a Gaussian distribution, with the same mean, median, and mode. And in such a distribution you don't see 80% below the average.
 
2012-05-24 07:22:06 PM

SlothB77: Rich Businessman say FU and leave. With their money


And where exactly are the rich businessmen going to flee to that will protect them as well as the US Congress?
 
2012-05-24 07:40:23 PM

FARK in FL: I'm mean look what he's done for our economy.



I KNOW, RIGHT??? Unemployment is down, the stock market is in great shape, a depression as averted - what a failure!
 
2012-05-24 07:52:54 PM

CheekyMonkey: jvl: Diogenes: Seems to me that's a large part of the problem. Everyone saying "It's your problem." No one wants to share in the solution. And that's not class warfare. What we're seeing in Greece is.

WTF. The problem with Greece is that EVERYBODY fails to pay taxes. This isn't a 1% problem -- it's a 100% problem.

Yeah, but the difference is that the poor fail to pay taxes by engaging in barter and the black market, but the rich fail to pay taxes because the law does not require them to do so.


Only some of the rich, like shipping magnates, are exempt from tax through the law. The biggest problem in Greece is that they don't even have a proper infrastructure to collect taxes from what we would consider the upper middle class to the "lower rich." Income is self-reported. Assets are self-reported. Tax cases average a decade to resolve, and the tax man can be bribed.

Greece has a very big cultural problem they need to solve, and it isn't just the rich who are taking advantage of the system. The whole country is.
 
2012-05-24 08:00:31 PM
Proof that if you elect stupid people, stupid things will happen.


/vote neo-con
 
2012-05-24 08:03:52 PM

Lsherm: Only some of the rich, like shipping magnates, are exempt from tax through the law. The biggest problem in Greece is that they don't even have a proper infrastructure to collect taxes from what we would consider the upper middle class to the "lower rich." Income is self-reported. Assets are self-reported. Tax cases average a decade to resolve, and the tax man can be bribed.

Greece has a very big cultural problem they need to solve, and it isn't just the rich who are taking advantage of the system. The whole country is.


Then start by increasing enforcement to painful levels across everyone. No exemptions, no opportunity for secondary markets to form, and make it painful to even try. If you want austerity to happen, it happens for all.

Then offer assistance to the Greek government to catch anyone who tries to hide any assets offshore; repatriate anything that is even so much as suspected as "flag of convenience" or otherwise a tax dodge.
 
2012-05-24 08:14:28 PM
What rich Americans will do?
If you haven't started already, you're not paying attention Mortimer!
 
2012-05-24 08:17:58 PM

sethstorm: Then start by increasing enforcement to painful levels across everyone. No exemptions, no opportunity for secondary markets to form, and make it painful to even try. If you want austerity to happen, it happens for all.


A good idea, but how can you implement that in a country where the shipping magnates managed to write their tax-exempt status into the farking constitution? Do you detonate the constitution and start from scratch?
 
2012-05-24 08:24:23 PM
So, the wealthy ruling class who '"achieved" that status by exploiting labor and dodging taxes won't help out? Wow, I'm surprised.
 
2012-05-24 08:29:46 PM

CheekyMonkey: mycatisposter: The lazy folks that leach off of the producers are certainly not to blame. It's those damn rich people. They must have all inherited it from other people that simply inherited it from royalty or something.

Well there's your problem. You have no idea of who "the producers" actually are. Can a factory function without the overpaid CEO? Yes. Can a factory function without all the underpaid workers? No.

Now tell me who the producers are...


So how do you keep people from lining up to take the jobs of the underpaid workers that refuse to work?
You have no idea haw the labor market works. I employ people that stick around. If they don't, someone else always comes looking to replace them. Without me, those folks have one less option to put food on the table.
 
2012-05-24 08:41:24 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: A good idea, but how can you implement that in a country where the shipping magnates managed to write their tax-exempt status into the farking constitution? Do you detonate the constitution and start from scratch?


'Detonate' is typically one of the keywords, yes. Greece is familiar with that kind of thing given the people they have as neighbors.
 
2012-05-24 08:55:02 PM

FARK in FL: I'VE GOT THE SOLUTION FOR GREECE..................


[www.canyoncountryzephyr.com image 300x362]

Really all they need is this guy and all their problems will be solved because he's so awesome. I'm mean look what he's done for our economy. Plus Greece already has a large welfare population and public unions that are out of control.


We have one of the best performing economies in the Western world at the moment (not including Canada) and yet people still think we're an economic failure.

It's hard to reason with people.
 
2012-05-24 08:58:39 PM

sethstorm: Lsherm: Only some of the rich, like shipping magnates, are exempt from tax through the law. The biggest problem in Greece is that they don't even have a proper infrastructure to collect taxes from what we would consider the upper middle class to the "lower rich." Income is self-reported. Assets are self-reported. Tax cases average a decade to resolve, and the tax man can be bribed.

Greece has a very big cultural problem they need to solve, and it isn't just the rich who are taking advantage of the system. The whole country is.

Then start by increasing enforcement to painful levels across everyone. No exemptions, no opportunity for secondary markets to form, and make it painful to even try. If you want austerity to happen, it happens for all.

Then offer assistance to the Greek government to catch anyone who tries to hide any assets offshore; repatriate anything that is even so much as suspected as "flag of convenience" or otherwise a tax dodge.


That's what they're trying to do NOW, but you can't correct decades of cultural behavior in a few months, particularly if your government employees can still be bribed to look the other way. Government employees, a huge percentage of the employed Greek populace compared to other countries, also aren't accustomed to paying taxes. Those are the same people who are now supposed to be enforcing collection measures on the rest of the country.

I seriously doubt they can turn it around fast enough to matter.
 
2012-05-24 09:05:42 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: A good idea, but how can you implement that in a country where the shipping magnates managed to write their tax-exempt status into the farking constitution? Do you detonate the constitution and start from scratch?


At this rate, the entire tax code would have to be uprooted. If that means rewriting their Constitution to have a flat tax, fine. 5% of all income for all people, paid once across all earned income. In exchange for such generous terms, strict enforcement would be required; this could come in the form of assistance between the Greek government and any government capable of a worldwide disregard for jurisdiction - typically the role of the US.

The United States could offer the Greek government assistance with an effective nullification of that provision. Any of their non-Greek assets would exist outside Greece at their own risk. For any Greek-controlled vessel with a convenience/non-Greek flag on the ship, it means they become potential artificial reefs or Greek assets.
 
2012-05-24 09:06:37 PM

Parthenogenetic: sharpie_69: Splinshints: BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber

I don't think you understand how averages work.


Are we about to witness the next Rotsky?

*sigh* Somebody, please post an example and stop this --- oh, fine.

Person #1's IQ = 30
Person #2's IQ = 35
Person #3's IQ = 40
Person #4's IQ = 45
Person #5's IQ = 100

If "average" is the arithmetic mean, the average IQ of this sample population is (30+35+40+45+100)/5 = 50.
80% of the population's IQ is below average.

That's a lot of derp.


As your sample size gets bigger IQ scores approach a standard distribution. OP wasn't referring to a small group of deliberately chosen scores.
 
2012-05-24 09:08:32 PM
Jesus, this thread is still here? This article doesn't really amount to saying much other than that the rich in Greece are paying less than their "fair share" in taxes. Great, call for higher taxes then. This BS about the rich "needing" to give away all of their money to help out the poor is ridiculous. You think that giving a begging homeless guy $20 will make him think twice about stabbing you and taking your wallet later that night when you cross his path in a dark alley? Please. Greece's government is going down, like it has dozens of times since it got its freedom in the 1850s. That such an unstable nation was ever allowed into the Euro in the first place is laughable. Just let Germany annex them and be done with it.
 
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