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12523 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 May 2012 at 1:19 PM   |  Favorite    |   share:    more»

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άλμα, μπορείτε μαλάκες

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.

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

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

Herpus derpi moranus.

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!

So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

I thought Nero was Roman?

vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

And the rich hoard their money and refuse to help society. Same here.

vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

No the problem is that people can't (or wont) afford to pay enough taxes to support a welfare state.

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!

TONIGHT....WE DERP IN HELL!

The Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

No the problem is that people can't (or wont) afford to pay enough taxes to support a welfare state.

Can't it be both?

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.

Let someone else make the sacrifices and leave me alone.

GAT_00: vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

And the rich hoard their money and refuse to help society. Same here.

And Goldman Sachs helped hide their debt.

I'm sorry, but the Greek people lost my respect in this last election.

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

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 Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

No the problem is that people can't (or wont) afford to pay enough taxes to support a welfare state.

So in other words "yes".

Wait - the libertarians told me that magical charity ponies would come to the rescue. WHAR PONIES?

gameshowhost: Wait - the libertarians told me that magical charity ponies would come to the rescue. WHAR PONIES?

Thanks. You've now just turned this into a Pony thread. :/

Anal?

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.

cman: I'm sorry, but the Greek people lost my respect in this last election.

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

I think it was stupid too, but their two main parties were in collusion with Germany to enact economic "solutions" that are not only exacerbating the problem with homelessness and poverty, but haven't come close to fixing the deficit problems they are supposed to solve. It's why people went to the extremes, and it isn't like we can't cite plenty of examples that are way closer to Neo Nazis than they have any right being as supposedly civilized people. People on the right went to the far right and people on the left went to the far left. Now they're being told they didn't do it right and go back and vote again, making sure they properly choose the people who are going to fark them over or they'll stop "helping."

I think it was stupid, but I don't really blame them.

gameshowhost: Wait - the libertarians told me that magical charity ponies would come to the rescue. WHAR PONIES?

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.

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.

Won't somebody think of the billionares?

cman: I'm sorry, but the Greek people lost my respect in this last election.

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

All fascists are not Nazis, but all Nazis are fascists.

Cythraul: gameshowhost: Wait - the libertarians told me that magical charity ponies would come to the rescue. WHAR PONIES?

Thanks. You've now just turned this into a Pony thread. :/

unlikely: gameshowhost: Wait - the libertarians told me that magical charity ponies would come to the rescue. WHAR PONIES?

[farm7.static.flickr.com image 500x375]

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.

Yes, it is impossible when only a few pull their weight. Especially when the ones who don't are the ones who control most of the economy.

It is quite possible to support the needs of every person if you can get everyone to pull their weight, as you see in much of Northern Europe.

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.

When we have people in our country that could fund the food stamp program and the unemployment program for all 50 states and still take home 11 or 12 figures, we have a major problem.

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.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: 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.

And this is true because you say it is?

GAT_00: 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.

So this is a new idea, yet you reference feudalism in the same post?? You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

vpb: Yes, it is impossible when only a few pull their weight. Especially when the ones who don't are the ones who control most of the economy.

What is "their fair share"? And how much should the bottom 10% kick in? And I wouldn't say they control the economy. If they did it wouldn't be in this mess. You think capitalists want anarchy?! No! They want people going to work and producing products. Then they want them headed home buying products!! Only socialist want anarchy. Only when there is nothing will we all be equal.

Lando Lincoln: And this is true because you say it is?

Well I do say it's true. And history has proven me right over and over again.

I'm not claiming to be the first to say it tho.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Only socialist want anarchy.

This is an ignorant and uninformed statement and you should feel bad for making it.

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 herp in the shade.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: GAT_00: 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.

So this is a new idea, yet you reference feudalism in the same post?? You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

vpb: Yes, it is impossible when only a few pull their weight. Especially when the ones who don't are the ones who control most of the economy.

What is "their fair share"? And how much should the bottom 10% kick in? And I wouldn't say they control the economy. If they did it wouldn't be in this mess. You think capitalists want anarchy?! No! They want people going to work and producing products. Then they want them headed home buying products!! Only socialist want anarchy. Only when there is nothing will we all be equal.

Lando Lincoln: And this is true because you say it is?

Well I do say it's true. And history has proven me right over and over again.

I'm not claiming to be the first to say it tho.

You say they don't control the economy, yet they have nearly all the wealth. The rich here and in Greece could take 10-15% of the money they control and pay for unemployment, health care and food stamps as well as open up production and increase the economy. But they don't. They care about their accumulated wealth, not stability or health of the nations. They can be just as wealthy and protected and have people begging for scraps so they stay in power. Why would they not want this.

The extremely wealthy know no nationality anymore. Fast travel has allowed them to have homes on multiple continents. Why should they care if country X is in trouble when they can just leave?

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Well I do say it's true. And history has proven me right over and over again.

No, it has not. Stop pulling things out of your ass. That's really going to cause you incontinence problems when you're old.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Only socialist want anarchy.

I want anarchy.

What I don't want is chaos.

adamgreeney: You say they don't control the economy, yet they have nearly all the wealth. The rich here and in Greece could take 10-15% of the money they control and pay for unemployment, health care and food stamps as well as open up production and increase the economy.

I don't know if that is true.
I "heard" if you took all the money from all the rich, you could balance the US budget for one year, I don't know if that is true either.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: .. Only socialist want anarchy. Only when there is nothing will we all be equal...

If you want people to think you're serious, you can't make this sort of gaffe.

F.

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.

New feudalism was a natural result of computers being able to automate the peons out of jobs. Once that happened, there were far less jobs than people to fill them. Feudalism ended when the plague made it so there were less people than jobs. We'll see how this sorts itself out.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

And the poor died in gutters and spread disease with their bloated corpses. Our society, I thought, had decided that wasn't such a great idea.

Regardless, back to your original point, the only reason we have little choice but to stack the poor on "the backs" of the rich is because the rich have taken everything by manipulating government to remove their responsibility while enshrining protections on their wealth that only they get to benefit from.

You want to talk about class warfare? Let's talk about the proxy war the wealthy have been waging on everyone else via bought government officials for the last couple decades. The whining about "burdening" the wealthy falls on deaf ears when the target of that whining is the people the wealthy robbed in the first place through political donations and private, backroom deals with individuals who are supposed to represent everyone.

... and if you want to know what sort of reaction that will create, look no further than the French Revolution.

By all means, keep swindling and hoarding and bribing the government to protect you. History assures us again and again that your time will come.

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.

take it up the @55?

Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus: You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

And the poor died in gutters and spread disease with their bloated corpses. Our society, I thought, had decided that wasn't such a great idea.

Regardless, back to your original point, the only reason we have little choice but to stack the poor on "the backs" of the rich is because the rich have taken everything by manipulating government to remove their responsibility while enshrining protections on their wealth that only they get to benefit from.

You want to talk about class warfare? Let's talk about the proxy war the wealthy have been waging on everyone else via bought government officials for the last couple decades. The whining about "burdening" the wealthy falls on deaf ears when the target of that whining is the people the wealthy robbed in the first place through political donations and private, backroom deals with individuals who are supposed to represent everyone.

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.

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.

I may be the only one in this thread, but I agree with you. Some people have a hard time hearing the truth.

imontheinternet: [www.addictinginfo.org image 400x300]

... and if you want to know what sort of reaction that will create, look no further than the French Revolution.

By all means, keep swindling and hoarding and bribing the government to protect you. History assures us again and again that your time will come.

The rich have learned some things since then. Back in those days, the French couldn't easily escape to a foreign country with their money. Nowadays, that's incredibly easy for them to do.

BgJonson79: Feudalism ended when the plague made it so there were less people than jobs.

Nope. Feudalism ended with gunpowder. Suddenly, all your expensive vassal knights can be downed at range by some slaves with muskets.

Also the rise of middle class urban artisans who were able to gain prosperity outside of the feudal system.

You can't really argue about employment ratios in an era before jobs even existed. You either farmed dirt or you were a nobleman. There was no mobility.

2wolves: Cythraul: How do you say, "you can't tax the job creators" in Greek?

Herpus derpi moranus.

That would be Latin ;)
/Just sayin'

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.

Mainly, though, they have done what Greeks, from the richest to those of modest means, have traditionally done: pay as little as they can in the way of taxes.

Gee, I wonder what it would be like if rich Americans did that.

BgJonson79:
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.

Start by recognizing that when the top income tax rate was lowered to 35%, the middle class vanished within a generation. Back when their own tax rate was high, business executives knew they would become MORE wealthy in a strong economy if they used company profits to hire and attract more skilled employees rather than diverting it to pay themselves exorbitant salaries while losing 90 cents on the dollar to the government.

Lando Lincoln: imontheinternet: [www.addictinginfo.org image 400x300]

... and if you want to know what sort of reaction that will create, look no further than the French Revolution.

By all means, keep swindling and hoarding and bribing the government to protect you. History assures us again and again that your time will come.

The rich have learned some things since then. Back in those days, the French couldn't easily escape to a foreign country with their money. Nowadays, that's incredibly easy for them to do.

The revolutionary government would most likely demand extradition and use force to retrieve them if necessary, assuming events unfold like a French Revolution in modern times.

imontheinternet: [www.addictinginfo.org image 400x300]

... and if you want to know what sort of reaction that will create, look no further than the French Revolution.

By all means, keep swindling and hoarding and bribing the government to protect you. History assures us again and again that your time will come.

And that's the real beauty of the situation. No matter what, if the current trend continues, the problem will solve itself the way it always has when too much wealth is concentrated in the hands of too few:

Its inevitable. The greedy are digging their own graves. Its only a matter of time before 'Bastille moments' start happening over here like they have over in the middle east over the past year.

Its inevitable and its beautiful. That's why they call them revolutions: because it always comes full circle.

BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber

I don't think you understand how averages work.

BgJonson79: "regular" people won't be able to keep up

Baloney. I don't fancy myself particularly smart. I don't have any trouble managing a datacenter so complicated that it was sci-fi not half a century ago.

This really isn't rocket science. People aren't getting dumber, they're getting smarter. What they're not getting are decent educations and fair shots at success. When you have vested private school interests meeting with politicians and creating unreasonable educational criteria with the explicit intent of forcing more people into private schools to enrich the private fortunes of those schools' owners, you get a lot of people who start their lives out behind because they didn't have a chance to learn the basics because they didn't have the money necessary to buy their way into an exclusive school that would bar them anyway for being the wrong color or living on the wrong street.

And then they get screwed by attacks on unionized labor, they get screwed because nobody wants to pay for training programs, they get screwed because healthcare is out of control so that private ensurers can become wealthy by denying claims and raising premiums by obscene amounts, they get screwed because their pensions go away and they're forced to either save at an interest rate that guarantees they lose money to inflation or put their money in the hands of brokerages that manipulate the markets for their own gain....

All anybody really wants is fairness and the chance to compete at a reasonable level on a level playing field. And nobody's getting it because the wealthy continue to get away with dumping billions into political campaigns and lobbying efforts designed to ensure they don't have to follow the same rules the rest of us do. That's what needs to end. This "class warfare" bullshiat is just that: bullshiat. It's not class warfare when 90% of the people are getting screwed because 10% of the people keep buying their own rules.

There need to be reforms that prevent money from having the enormous influence it does on politics, there need to be reasonable progressive tax rates on the wealthy, and their needs to be a significant re-balancing of the books at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure the money we do take in is being spent on things that benefit our nation and grow our economy and society in ways that prepare future generations. It's not rocket science. We need to stop sucking rich dick, wasting money on nonsense that helps nobody and remember that we're a society and that, in theory, we're all in this together.

/ I say this as a member of the 5%...

I have a proscription for what ails them...

So subby's plan is for the poor to seize the accumulated wealth of the rich after the welfare state runs out of money? Instead of taxing income, just go over and take whatever they have, as much as you need to maintain whatever welfare state programs you need to sustain? Then what happens when you run out of that money? Because after that happens, and subby seems to be advocating that, forget about having any rich left in Greece to pilfer.

Prognosis?

2wolves: Cythraul: How do you say, "you can't tax the job creators" in Greek?

Herpus derpi moranus.

That's Latin

Jumpedes, you Oedipusites!

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

Did I read that right? Did some of Greece's wealthy class manage to hard-wire themselves a tax-exempt status into their constitution?

Goodfella: imontheinternet: [www.addictinginfo.org image 400x300]

... and if you want to know what sort of reaction that will create, look no further than the French Revolution.

By all means, keep swindling and hoarding and bribing the government to protect you. History assures us again and again that your time will come.

And that's the real beauty of the situation. No matter what, if the current trend continues, the problem will solve itself the way it always has when too much wealth is concentrated in the hands of too few:

Its inevitable. The greedy are digging their own graves. Its only a matter of time before 'Bastille moments' start happening over here like they have over in the middle east over the past year.

Its inevitable and its beautiful. That's why they call them revolutions: because it always comes full circle.

LOL. Don't hold your Cheeto-infused breath. Your revolutionary collectivist fantasies are just that.

Larofeticus: Feudalism ended with gunpowder. Suddenly, all your expensive vassal knights can be downed at range by some slaves with muskets.

Gunpowder's impact on fudalism was less about the knights being shot, and more about the end of the fort/castle system due to cannon. Local lords had nowhere to hide if they wanted to stubbornly resist against centralized control.

Plate armor was actually decent against long range arquebus fire, and feudalism was already on it's way out before personal firearms became widespread.

Larofeticus: Also the rise of middle class urban artisans who were able to gain prosperity outside of the feudal system.

This is what he was referring to when he said the plague created fewer people then jobs. Prior to the BD, prices by artisans were fixed by the feudal lords. The local baker had to sell a loaf of bread for X amount of coin. Now there are only half as many bakers as needed, and the nobility still needed their bread.

So they invented the bonus system.

"Look, goodman baker, I can only pay you X per loaf. But how about I throw in three chickens per week if you make me your priority buyer for the next six months? Deal?"

"Sorry, my lord, Count Douchebag from East Fartingham is offering four. Would you care to increase your bid?"

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.
Debt levels cannot be sustained, government runs out of money and cannot afford its welfare state.
People demand rich businessman sustain welfare state with the money they earned through hard work.

and here is the US version

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. Government raises taxes on businesses and the rich to pay for it causing the economy to sputter and job growth to flatten.
Even with high taxes (or because of them undermining the economy) debt levels cannot be sustained, government runs out of money and cannot afford its welfare state.
People demand rich businessman sustain welfare state with the money they earned through hard work *in addition* to the taxes they already paid.
Rich Businessman say FU and leave. With their money.

Splinshints: All anybody really wants is fairness and the chance to compete at a reasonable level on a level playing field. And nobody's getting it because the wealthy continue to get away with dumping billions into political campaigns and lobbying efforts designed to ensure they don't have to follow the same rules the rest of us do. That's what needs to end. This "class warfare" bullshiat is just that: bullshiat. It's not class warfare when 90% of the people are getting screwed because 10% of the people keep buying their own rules.

GFT

I'm sure some people at the top are nice guys. They have families, their friends like them, etc. but the same is true about the people they laid off to pad their bonuses for the year. The same is true for the guy whose kid didn't get an operation, because they denied the insurance claim.

I'm sure they tell themselves that it's not their fault, because they're just a small part of a large system. Everyone else is doing it- hurting others to take just a little more for themselves, so why shouldn't they? Well, that's fine. They chose their side, and if I live to see a revolution, we'll show them the exact same amount of sympathy that they showed the people they screwed to get ahead.

All they need to do is lower the taxes on the job creators.

How come no one had mentioned cutting the taxes of the rich billionaire shipping magnets?

Surely 0% is not low enough for them to create jobs and trickle down some of that wealth.

/Greek Constitution give shipping companies a free pass on taxes???

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Did I read that right? Did some of Greece's wealthy class manage to hard-wire themselves a tax-exempt status into their constitution?

i have a limbaugh-ean desire for low taxes for the rich, but even I find that ridiculous.

mcreadyblue: /Greek Constitution give shipping companies a free pass on taxes???

that's not a free market. that is a constitutionally-supported monopoly. You can't compete against tax-exempt.

Many economists say the oligarchs are a big part of Greece's economic problem, because they have capitalized on the insular, quasi-monopolistic approach to business that is one reason their nation has long lagged the far more competitive economies of many other euro zone nations.

there's no competition here. There is no free market. No invisible hand.

Rich people don't want to give up their money? Do go on!

Beluga Heights: Rich people don't want to give up their money? Do go on!

FIFY - it isn't just a symptom of "the rich". There are tax evaders in every class. In some nations (like Greece), it's practically the national sport.

imontheinternet: I'm sure some people at the top are nice guys.

That just doesn't matter.... this isn't about punishing anybody or having anything personal against them, it's about common sense and simple mathematical realities. When a tiny number of people are hoarding a vast majority of wealth you cannot have a properly functioning economy.

All these right-wing crackpots like to go on about how the rich can create jobs through investing and get the economy moving once they're confident they can make money by doing so, but they can't. How can they create good jobs for people when the people don't have money to buy things because they don't have good jobs? The enormous shift in resources to the wealthy took money out of the pockets of the middle class. Between food, gas, shelter, astronomical healthcare costs and worrying about retirement, much of the middle class only has credit with which to make purchases and they've exhausted it.

Who the hell are these "job creators" going to sell to when they've already taken all the money away from the only people who could have been their customers?

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The extremely wealthy know no nationality anymore. Fast travel has allowed them to have homes on multiple continents. Why should they care if country X is in trouble when they can just leave?

a.k.a. nation-state arbitrage

syberpud: Beluga Heights: Rich people don't want to give up their money? Do go on!

FIFY - it isn't just a symptom of "the rich". There are tax evaders in every class. In some nations (like Greece), it's practically the national sport.

I don't dispute that. Although since the rich have gained the most by society they should, ostensibly, be the first in line to try and keep it from falling apart. I mean, if you're poor shouldn't you care less if your currency is worth nothing? On the other side, you should care more. But I know it doesn't work that way. Greek shipping magnates will watch Athens burn and take their billions of Euros to Germany to live like damn hell ass kings.

Methinks their constitution has a major flaw: They are among the wealthiest Greeks - whether shipping magnates, whose tax-free status is enshrined in the constitution,

SlothB77: there's no competition here. There is no free market. No invisible hand.

The issue they seem to have is that they are frozen by fear of these companies moving from Greece altogether. Even though they don't pay much (if any) in taxes, many of these companies/owners do spend quite a bit of thier money in other areas plus they employ a pile of folks. If they lose this, they would likely be even in worse shape than they currently are.

They are on the razor's edge. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.

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? cman: I'm sorry, but the Greek people lost my respect in this last election. Electing Neo-Nazi's is a very, very scary thing That kind of shiat happens when the economy goes south and you're up to your armpits in immigrants. Splinshints: That just doesn't matter.... this isn't about punishing anybody or having anything personal against them, it's about common sense and simple mathematical realities. When a tiny number of people are hoarding a vast majority of wealth you cannot have a properly functioning economy. All these right-wing crackpots like to go on about how the rich can create jobs through investing and get the economy moving once they're confident they can make money by doing so, but they can't. How can they create good jobs for people when the people don't have money to buy things because they don't have good jobs? The enormous shift in resources to the wealthy took money out of the pockets of the middle class. Between food, gas, shelter, astronomical healthcare costs and worrying about retirement, much of the middle class only has credit with which to make purchases and they've exhausted it. Who the hell are these "job creators" going to sell to when they've already taken all the money away from the only people who could have been their customers? I agree with you economically, but if things continue the way they have been, and all indicators are that they will, we'll reach a boiling point eventually. When we do, I'd like to see justice meted out to those whose greed and arrogance caused all this suffering. If TPTB are willing to release their stranglehold on democracy and capitalism, I'll be the first to celebrate, but I have a hard time seeing that happen. Move to space station. Splinshints: BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber I don't think you understand how averages work. Please explain to us how averages work and why what BgJonson said can't be true. I scroll to the end and I see the answer is "hire bodyguards". Splinshints: BgJonson79: 80% of people are average intelligence or dumber I don't think you understand how averages work. BgJonson79: "regular" people won't be able to keep up Baloney. I don't fancy myself particularly smart. I don't have any trouble managing a datacenter so complicated that it was sci-fi not half a century ago. This really isn't rocket science. People aren't getting dumber, they're getting smarter. What they're not getting are decent educations and fair shots at success. When you have vested private school interests meeting with politicians and creating unreasonable educational criteria with the explicit intent of forcing more people into private schools to enrich the private fortunes of those schools' owners, you get a lot of people who start their lives out behind because they didn't have a chance to learn the basics because they didn't have the money necessary to buy their way into an exclusive school that would bar them anyway for being the wrong color or living on the wrong street. And then they get screwed by attacks on unionized labor, they get screwed because nobody wants to pay for training programs, they get screwed because healthcare is out of control so that private ensurers can become wealthy by denying claims and raising premiums by obscene amounts, they get screwed because their pensions go away and they're forced to either save at an interest rate that guarantees they lose money to inflation or put their money in the hands of brokerages that manipulate the markets for their own gain.... All anybody really wants is fairness and the chance to compete at a reasonable level on a level playing field. And nobody's getting it because the wealthy continue to get away with dumping billions into political campaigns and lobbying efforts designed to ensure they don't have to follow the same rules the rest of us do. That's what needs to end. This "class warfare" bullshiat is just that: bullshiat. It's not class warfare when 90% of the people are gettin ... Well, let's say that an IQ* of up to 120 is considered average when you weigh in standard deviation and all the other fun stats stuff. What percentage of the population has an IQ of less than 120? *Use any method of intelligence-determination you like. I'll also say this: you ARE smart because they don't let morons manage data centers, and very few Muggles end up in the 5%. You're very humble, though! 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.

Larofeticus: BgJonson79: Feudalism ended when the plague made it so there were less people than jobs.

Nope. Feudalism ended with gunpowder. Suddenly, all your expensive vassal knights can be downed at range by some slaves with muskets.

Also the rise of middle class urban artisans who were able to gain prosperity outside of the feudal system.

You can't really argue about employment ratios in an era before jobs even existed. You either farmed dirt or you were a nobleman. There was no mobility.

Nope, pretty sure the plague caused the rise of the middle class and mobility... which ended feudalism. Also... strong central gov'ts.

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.

You act like only conservatives had a hand in this, the left had a part in this plan as well, the one thing politicians never want is for the people to focus on them so pointing and screaming "there's the bad guy!" Is how they get over on the people, both sides do it because it works so well and the voters believe their bullshiat.

I've said it before and I will say it again, term limits, its the only way to stop politicians from ignoring the people, it shouldn't be a life long job.

SlothB77: LouDobbsAwaaaay: Did I read that right? Did some of Greece's wealthy class manage to hard-wire themselves a tax-exempt status into their constitution?

i have a limbaugh-ean desire for low taxes for the rich, but even I find that ridiculous.

You obviously do not pay attention to anything older than what limbaugh is spouting on the radio right now. If you actually paid attention to past trends and came to the same conclusions you currently regurgitate, I would be able to call you nothing short of an idiot.

MugzyBrown: If I invent a breast cancer cure and make $1B curing breast cancer, did I gain from society, or did society gain from me? You invented it all by yourself? No education, equipment and knowledge developed by other people, medical care, police and fire protection keeping all in order, etc? You grew your own food and kept yourself entertained while doing all this discovering all by your lonesome? You're not just 'gaining from society', you're gaining from centuries of civilization based on society sharing the costs and benefits. Every time you turn on a light or take a hot shower you are benefiting from society. Discovering a cure for cancer would be a good start to repaying your debt. Mugato: Anal? Approves: cranked: You invented it all by yourself? No education, equipment and knowledge developed by other people, medical care, police and fire protection keeping all in order, etc? You grew your own food and kept yourself entertained while doing all this discovering all by your lonesome? You're not just 'gaining from society', you're gaining from centuries of civilization based on society sharing the costs and benefits. Every time you turn on a light or take a hot shower you are benefiting from society. Discovering a cure for cancer would be a good start to repaying your debt. Everybody benefits from those. Why should person A pay for 90% of those services and person B pay 1%? imontheinternet: I agree with you economically, but if things continue the way they have been, and all indicators are that they will, we'll reach a boiling point eventually. When we do, I'd like to see justice meted out to those whose greed and arrogance caused all this suffering. I'd like to make sex with Katy Perry, but it ain't gonna happen. You are vastly overestimating the intelligence of the downtrodden. They won't "mete out justice" to the rich. They will just tear their own neighborhoods apart like they do every other time they riot. steamingpile: You act like only conservatives had a hand in this, the left had a part in this plan as well, the one thing politicians never want is for the people to focus on them so pointing and screaming "there's the bad guy!" Is how they get over on the people, both sides do it because it works so well and the voters believe their bullshiat. If you don't aready know, GAT is basically the hand and mouth of which you speak. Cubicle Jockey: Gunpowder's impact on fudalism was less about the knights being shot, and more about the end of the fort/castle system due to cannon. Local lords had nowhere to hide if they wanted to stubbornly resist against centralized control. This is a good point. I wouldn't use the word 'stubbornly' though; it was often quite rational to resist the king. Kings exploited their nobles in much the same way nobles exploited peasants. Cubicle Jockey: Prior to the BD, prices by artisans were fixed by the feudal lords. There is also the guild system to deal with. It was rather effective at limiting competition. And we're forgetting Say's law. "Now there are only half as many bakers as needed..." along with half as many mouths to feed. The Black Plague didn't just kill bakers or producers; it killed consumers too. 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?

Both. You gain because society has cancer and needs a cure. You gain because as the inventor of cure, you can market it and set a price to make more money than God. Society gains because it can function cancer-free and add more to society through taxes and purchases.

We're in this together.

MugzyBrown: cranked: You invented it all by yourself? No education, equipment and knowledge developed by other people, medical care, police and fire protection keeping all in order, etc? You grew your own food and kept yourself entertained while doing all this discovering all by your lonesome?

You're not just 'gaining from society', you're gaining from centuries of civilization based on society sharing the costs and benefits. Every time you turn on a light or take a hot shower you are benefiting from society. Discovering a cure for cancer would be a good start to repaying your debt.

Everybody benefits from those. Why should person A pay for 90% of those services and person B pay 1%?

Person A lives a luxurious lifestyle even after paying. Person B has barely enough to make ends meet. What benefit is there to taking more of Person B's money so Person A can save a few dollars and live an even more luxurious lifestyle?

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.

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? not sure if you're trolling or not.. most drugs aren't developed in total by private companies but buy public institutions like universities...the more you know umad: imontheinternet: I agree with you economically, but if things continue the way they have been, and all indicators are that they will, we'll reach a boiling point eventually. When we do, I'd like to see justice meted out to those whose greed and arrogance caused all this suffering. I'd like to make sex with Katy Perry, but it ain't gonna happen. You are vastly overestimating the intelligence of the downtrodden. They won't "mete out justice" to the rich. They will just tear their own neighborhoods apart like they do every other time they riot. Egypt begs to differ. They forced regime change and pushed hard for investigations and arrests of corrupt officials. 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. taxachucetts: 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?

not sure if you're trolling or not.. most drugs aren't developed in total by private companies but buy public institutions like universities...the more you know

There's also various tax credits for R&D performed by private companies.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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.)

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.

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).

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.

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.

I can't look to Greece because my view is blocked by California.

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. 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? 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. 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. 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? How does it feel to want? I'VE GOT THE SOLUTION FOR GREECE.................. 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. 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... 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. 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 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!!!! 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. 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. 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? 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! 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. Proof that if you elect stupid people, stupid things will happen. /vote neo-con 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. What rich Americans will do? If you haven't started already, you're not paying attention Mortimer! 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? So, the wealthy ruling class who '"achieved" that status by exploiting labor and dodging taxes won't help out? Wow, I'm surprised. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Race war

mycatisposter: 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.

Hello HR Manager. You don't employ anyone. Without you, most of these workers would be able to call in sick without you feeling like you need to keep track of some bullshiat metric to justify your job. But you are important.

And also.... the only thing you "employ" is a hand in to which you massage your tiny dick. Please employ into a sock so that we don't have any more self-important dick rags like you.

SlothB77: high taxes

Where are these "high taxes" you speak of?

Here is what's even richer....

I just passed/received my PHR. Want to know some of the questions?

"What is the federal minimum wage?"

"Absent a contract/non-exempt relationship, how many hours must an employee work before receiving overtime pay?"

Wow! farking rocket science in HR.

Goddamit everyone, he said "80% at or below average".

Even if we do assume a normal distribution, all it takes is to understand "average" as "within one or two standard deviations of the arithmetic mean", rather than "exactly equal to the mean", and you can easily have a scenario where the original statement is true.

poot_rootbeer: within one or two standard deviations of the arithmetic mean

So average means the middle 95.45%?

/tired of this argument.

poot_rootbeer: Goddamit everyone, he said "80% at or below average".

Even if we do assume a normal distribution, all it takes is to understand "average" as "within one or two standard deviations of the arithmetic mean", rather than "exactly equal to the mean", and you can easily have a scenario where the original statement is true.

I don't think that's what the definition of "average" is. Only 2.5% of a normal distribution is more than two standard deviations from the mean.

The problem here is that the wealthy forgot their place in our system. You simply do not steal the productivity of the workers and then pretend that money is now a measure of worth. And everybody in the world is realizing that, and they are realizing how easily capitalism can be corrupted. And as we see, one of the most effective ways to do this is for the wealthy to play victim and pretend they are just like the common worker. The reality is that without the common worker, the rich are nothing. And people are starting to realize that capitalism as a whole is a very elaborate shell game designed to keep them from moving upward or gaining independence. And when that happens, you will have one of two things happening: people either giving up on the system and moving away from the consumerism that pushes capitalism as a whole, or killing off the rich en masse.

Right now, it seems everybody is going for the former situation: the systems of making money are falling apart. Instead of sharpening our swords in front of the castle, we are giving up on the idea of consumerism as a whole. A lot of American life is dependent on purchases to showcase major changes in our lives, and we are slowly moving away from that model. Suburbia is in decline as people realize that owning a car is too expensive when you don't make that much. People are renting because housing is an expense. Cable television? An expense that really doesn't hurt when you're away from it for a number of days. And so forth and so on. The greedier the rich get, the more the 99% realizes they don't need a lot of stuff that benefits those same 1%. There are rumblings about funding education and things that people can't do without, but at the moment it's a very interesting game of attrition: some of the Rich are immune to this. Some industries, however, are falling apart because the lack of money combined with the contempt held for their customers are driving them away.

I keep saying this: the greed of the 1% is changing American life to such an extent that it will eventually erase a lot of the Rich's gains. It's consumer training in reverse: instead of making people dependent on purchases as some kind of sick rite of passage, they are training consumers not to consume. This will affect Americans for generations to come. While advertisement pushes a sick ideal of Americana, how much of that will Americans really face when they have the power to skip commercials or simply not bother with watching? Austerity is lethal to capitalism because it shows how utterly unimportant most of our financial 'decisions' really are, and you can see the Rich don't seem to realize that. The contempt continues: "If I market something, then the sheep will follow." But they don't seem to get that the lack of money going into the 99% is teaching people a few harsh lessons about the futility of such a system. Any good capitalist would bend over backwards to keep consumers consuming. What does it say about today's rich--inherited from parents who might have had a chance to actually earn that money--that they simply don't give a shiat and are now cashing out?

The Greek rich seem to coming to this conclusion. No more pleading equal footing, they now are just in hiding because they know it's not that far to the point where their headless, sodomized bodies are being dragged around a public square on CNN, only to end up on the pyre fueled by unsold copies of Atlas Shrugged. History has taught us that you cannot control people forever. A very long time, yes. But eventually, something breaks. And the only real question is 'whose head is on the pike?'

BgJonson79: Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus: You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

...

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.

Splinshints: I don't think you understand how averages work.

Moopy Mac: Please explain to us how averages work and why what BgJonson said can't be true.

sharpie_69: Are we about to witness the next Rotsky?

Parthenogenetic: *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.

Nezorf: Uhhhhh. Want to try again with that one?

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

Nezorf: 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.

LouDobbsAwaaaay: 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.

qorkfiend: As your sample size gets bigger IQ scores approach a standard distribution. OP wasn't referring to a small group of deliberately chosen scores.

poot_rootbeer: Goddamit everyone, he said "80% at or below average".

Even if we do assume a normal distribution, all it takes is to understand "average" as "within one or two standard deviations of the arithmetic mean", rather than "exactly equal to the mean", and you can easily have a scenario where the original statement is true.

Nezorf: So average means the middle 95.45%?

/tired of this argument.

qorkfiend: I don't think that's what the definition of "average" is. Only 2.5% of a normal distribution is more than two standard deviations from the mean.

Wow! Am I the only one here who has even glanced at the numeric keypad on his computer keyboard and noticed that the [8↑] key is immediately above the [5] key!? Did it never occur to anyone here that "80%" just might've been a typo for "50%" if the digits were typed on a numeric keypad as many people (especially those who work in accounting) do!?

/According to recent polls, three out of every four Americans collectively comprise a whopping 75% of the U.S. population!

COMALite J: BgJonson79: Splinshints: The Stealth Hippopotamus: You don't think that there was rich and poor a thousand years ago? A million? You gotta be messing with me.

...

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.

Splinshints: I don't think you understand how averages work.

Moopy Mac: Please explain to us how averages work and why what BgJonson said can't be true.

sharpie_69: Are we about to witness the next Rotsky?

Parthenogenetic: *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.

Nezorf: Uhhhhh. Want to try again with that one?

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

Nezorf: 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.

LouDobbsAwaaaay: 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.

qorkfiend: As your sample size gets bigger IQ scores approach a standard distribution. OP wasn't referring to a small group of deliberately chosen scores.

poot_rootbeer: Goddamit everyone, he sai ...

I will grant this possibility, but then the thread would be much less interesting.

Also, who uses the keypad?

derpy troll subtard.
of course the country's spending and unsustainable social welfare programs are not at all at the heart of their current financial state....

/made a sh*t load of money by shorting Greek bonds
//making more by shorting Spanish bonds
///saving every penny for the coming apocolypse in the US

People should not fear their government. Governments should fear their people.

Wow the derp is strong in here. Why do people not have trollpotomus on ignore?

He just makes demonstratably false assertions then asserts them falsely more. He is the literal definition of a moron.

cman: I'm sorry, but the Greek people lost my respect in this last election.

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

That election was an "anybody but the incumbents" deal. Now that they've got the splenetic tantrum out of their system, they're in, "I voted for WHO?" mode. I suspect that they'll be coming back to Earth now.

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? Name one Fortune 500 CEO that is personally manufacturing, ensuring the quality of, supporting, shipping, marketing, selling and repairing their "product." One. Name a single one. The vast majority of the 1%, and EVERY ONE of the .1% are nothing but managers. That's all they do, they tell people what to do. And for their actions there are absolutely no repercussions when they turn out to be the wrong call. That's what the people they employ are for, to lay off in order to absorb the monetary loss caused by the big guy's mistake. Reread Atlas Shrugged. If you actually paid attention you'd realize that the people you are idolizing as the John Galts of this country are actually far more like James Taggart. They want all the money, all of the responsibility, and none of the consequences for making mistakes. That's the one failing I always bash you Randbots over the head about, Galt was all about LABOR, especially SKILLED LABOR. In this country all of the profit gains from the workforce getting smarter, better educated, and more efficient are being sucked up by managers, corporate officers and investors who had little to do with the efficiency gains but have decided that they're the only ones who deserve pieces of the profit, as witnessed by the fact that the top quintile of earners in this country are the recipients of over 80% of the income gains over the past 30 years. In essence, they're of the opinion that the guys that actually made the product can go fark themselves, their wages are lost profit as far as the Board of Directors is concerned. I want you to explain to me what, EXACTLY what, makes a CEO 300 some odd times better than the worker on the floor actually making the product? Were not all men created equal? How is one man, with little in the way of marketable skill, practically no accountability, and with little to no incentive to make every effort to make the right decision worth 300 men and their families? The worst part of the Greek situation is the knock-on effect it's having on everyone else. The entire country shows the financial responsibility of a unversity kid with his first credit card, and now the grown-ups are suffering. If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, (nothing rhyme with worthless), If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) * humming along* If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, and taxation rules are toothless, the situation is quite fruitless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) Say, this is fun... anyone else? 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. Debt levels cannot be sustained, government runs out of money and cannot afford its welfare state. People demand rich businessman sustain welfare state with the money they earned through hard work. and here is the US version 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. Government raises taxes on businesses and the rich to pay for it causing the economy to sputter and job growth to flatten. Even with high taxes (or because of them undermining the economy) debt levels cannot be sustained, government runs out of money and cannot afford its welfare state. People demand rich businessman sustain welfare state with the money they earned through hard work *in addition* to the taxes they already paid. Rich Businessman say FU and leave. With their money. in other words, a sneak preview if Romney is elected for his economic plans. If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, then your populace is mirthless If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) Turns out something does rhyme with worthless. Nicely done. If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) If your currency is worthless, then you may as well go purseless If your currency is worthless, punch a Greek (clap, clap) CEO pay seems to be a big problem for people in this discussion. The CEOs are probably not worth nearly the compensation packages that they command. However, the corporate boards (representing shares) are the ones who decide that. You might want to consider that if having a large corporation is easy, why aren't more people doing it? Also, suppose you buy a home to fix and sell, and you contract a guy to paint it. He does it and you pay him. Transaction done. When you sell the house for a profit, how much additional money do you owe the painter? Nothing. He's been paid as agreed for the work he has done. When you are an employee, you work for what and the employer agree to. If the company makes more than you deem fair, what business is it of yours? it's their house, it was before you hired on. As for the macroeconomic woes the US is enduring, the free market isn't at fault. This market isn't even close to free. The market is manipulated by wealthy people in collusion with the government. Remember this at the polls when your vote hinges upon some wedge issue formulated by the political class and disseminated by ads paid for by campaign contributions from corporate interests. If you feel like the game is rigged against you, it's because it is. The bipartisan super-committee met for months last year and couldn't agree on 1.3 trillion dollars in cuts over 10 years. During those 10 years, the US government will spend about 40 trillion bucks. That's about 3.5 percent. Could you cut your own budget by 3.5 percent over 10 years? Have you done it already? The system is broken and corrupt, folks. Time to quit thinking as Republicans and Democrats and start thinking like Americans. 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. A message from the 1%: alphalemming: Also, suppose you buy a home to fix and sell, and you contract a guy to paint it. He does it and you pay him. Transaction done. When you sell the house for a profit, how much additional money do you owe the painter? Nothing. He's been paid as agreed for the work he has done. When you are an employee, you work for what and the employer agree to. If the company makes more than you deem fair, what business is it of yours? it's their house, it was before you hired on. If you don't think home restorers - and painters - know the local housing market and can accurately gauge how much the painting job is worth to you to pitch you their rate, you're awfully mistaken. An employee in a career is not a contractor and does not have the same freedom of movement. While in theory the employee could offer their services to another company - if not barred by a noncompete contract clause - the market demand for a particular employee is not as free and frequent as that to paint or restore houses. This gives the employer - the house owner in your analogy - the ability to dictate the pay given for the services provided, instead of the employee - or painter. To address the questions of entitlement and "fair" in your paragraph is again, another place where your metaphor falls down. A properly run company has an obligation for the future and social obligations for the community around it. A company needs to be run as a long-term enterprise. (See: Henry Ford) Instead, increasingly, as Wall Street shareholders buy more and more publically traded companies, emphasis is given to the year's performance - to the quarter's performance. Managers are told that their responsibility is to make money for the shareholders - not to build a sustaining, financially secure enterprise. A year of declining profit, for any reason, is a black mark on a CEO and the shareholders impatiently want to force change - or dump their stock. Ergo, from the top down, a company is run at a furious pace, all so that profits to the owners can be maximized as fast and as often as possible, completely abandoning the social and long-term responsibilities of the business as a whole - which allows them to shiat on their employees. Your metaphor, of course, addresses none of this as it completely ignores the long term, perhaps hinting that you share this Raider mentality that has infected proper, sustainable capitalism. 2wolves: Cythraul: How do you say, "you can't tax the job creators" in Greek? Herpus derpi moranus. WIN starsrift, I don't dispute that there is an overemphasis on earnings and stock price pressure rampant in the system today. This being the case, I blame the exchanges, brokerage firms, and investors for that. Of the three, the investors are the biggest drivers short term thinking. Let's face it, businesses respond to all types of pressures some of them fair, many not. But then any financial advisor worth listening to will tell you to buy long and ride it up slow. In the pinch, some companies take bad quarters and others cook their books. I got hammered in the tech wreck when earnings pressure from Worldcom's falsified earnings reports killed jobs at all the other telcos. That's what the SEC is supposed to be for, and that's where my government / business collusion point comes in. The cops are crooked because city hall is crooked. I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from drawing conclusions from what I don't say. Just because I don't explicitly make a point, it doesn't mean I believe the opposite. If I were to put everything in a post, even I'd get bored reading it. Besides, all analogies fall apart at some point, hence the term analogies. BTW, I strap on tool bags and do construction work when the telecomm field is in the dumper, and I know what my hammer and my hands are worth, even if I'm a little hungry and need to settle for a little less than that. But if I charge a guy a customer x dollars to improve a house, I don't care if the owner makes a mint or loses his ass. It's not my business either way. That mercenary point being made, I loathe the raider mentality. I differentiate between raiders and companies like Bain Capital, who make tough choices as to what businesses and parts of business survive. I liken it to the market's internal housekeeping. Not pretty, but ultimately necessary at times. Poorly performing companies (chronically underperforming similar business units) need to fall by the wayside. Poorly run ones might just need tweaks (like focus, as with Cisco trying to get into the consumer electronics market) or need a change of management, like what might be happening to Mike Dell. Companies that are misconfigured, outdated, part of a dying market, or getting outcompeted by price or customer preference need to meet with the bloody end of natural selection. When these corporations meet their demise, it sucks when people are collateral damage. But it is expected, that's what I told my cousin when his auto plant closed and he lived on my couch for almost a year. My point here is that the market is always in flux, companies starting, growing, surviving, some dying. Investors too often place short term gains over long. Some CEOs are megalomaniacs and sociopaths. Face it, power and money has attracted the alpha-scumbags of the US to both Washington DC and Wall Street. So, invest carefully, don't turn Wall Street into Vegas, and when a friend or relative gets hammered, don't be a dick and help them out. See? this is what happens when I'm not making a concerted effort to be brief, TL:DR mycatisposter: The lazy folks that leach off of the producers are certainly not to blame. It's those damn rich people. The rich ARE the lazy folk who leach off the producers. The Stealth Hippopotamus: Only socialist want anarchy. This is the funniest damn thing I've read in a long time. It's like saying "Only capitalists want the government to own everything!" /Only libertarians want taxes //Only armies want peace ///Only dogs want vegetables ////Only Red Sox fans want the Yankees to win This will end the same way it always has, in blood. Your average person will be fine with whatever bullshiat you pull on them, right up until you make it so they have to watch their children go hungry. that's when people get beheaded. The plutocrat will learn this lesson again I fear. I see the "free market" worm farmers busy flogging their theories. That work so well on paper, and fail so hard in reality. Thirty years of ruination to our counrty, and you motherf**king assholes STILL won't admit that you are wrong. Fortunately, so-called "conservatism" is a philosophy of old people and weak young white men who will never breed. It's got about ten years of life left. Diogenes: The Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes? No the problem is that people can't (or wont) afford to pay enough taxes to support a welfare state. Can't it be both? 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. Let someone else make the sacrifices and leave me alone. You are right, when people blame others with slogans of "I am the 99%" then they can marginalize anyone they want, and we end up having nobody supporting a welfare state. poot_rootbeer: Goddamit everyone, he said "80% at or below average". Even if we do assume a normal distribution, all it takes is to understand "average" as "within one or two standard deviations of the arithmetic mean", rather than "exactly equal to the mean", and you can easily have a scenario where the original statement is true. That's what I was going with, and I assumed most Farkers would be smart enough to know what I meant. alphalemming: Fair enough, & concur with some things. But Dell is a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. 14 billion dollars revenue? Not good enough! Fire the CEO! Change the management. Why does he still have a job? The quarter is 0.5 billion under what the analysts forecasted! ... That's just retarded, it's a prime example of exactly my point. We have this massive problem of uninvested investors - people who are investing money into companies, but they're not investing into the company's ideas, products, and services. They don't care that Dell's doing well. They don't care that Dell's raking in billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of millions in profits. They don't care that Dell has once again become a brand that's pretty well-respected by consultants and geeks - the guys who advise the buyers. A brand name that was pretty much in the trash before they put Michael Dell back at the helm. It's not enough - Dell is at$0.43 a share in profit instead of \$0.46. And that's all they care about. They're uninvested investors, and they get antsy because Dell isn't making them enough money. And the consensus of analysts? Dell should have entered the clusterfark that is the mobile market.
Which would have been a disaster for Dell, but the shareholders and stock analysts don't actually care about the how's, they just see mobile device sellers doing well and wonder why Dell isn't in on that.

Magnates...how do they work?

Diogenes: The Stealth Hippopotamus: vpb: So, basically the problem is that people don't pay enough in taxes?

No the problem is that people can't (or wont) afford to pay enough taxes to support a welfare state.

Can't it be both?

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.

Let someone else make the sacrifices and leave me alone.

It kind of is both.

Greece has a messed up situation. Everyone there knows they cannot afford the government programs they have with their tax structure, but if you propose either raising (or enforcing collection of) taxes, people riot. And if you propose cutting programs at all, people riot. And, amazingly, a lot of the same people riot if you try to do either.

This is what happens when you have a combination of an upper class that is detached from society, and other classes that are too dependent on the government with no understanding of government's true function or limitations.

jso2897: I see the "free market" worm farmers busy flogging their theories. That work so well on paper, and fail so hard in reality.
Thirty years of ruination to our counrty, and you motherf**king assholes STILL won't admit that you are wrong.
Fortunately, so-called "conservatism" is a philosophy of old people and weak young white men who will never breed. It's got about ten years of life left.

1/10, but I like your dedication.

"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation
of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his
natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all
Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the
Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore
by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick
shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society
on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can
have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
Club towards the Support of it."

--Ben Franklin

Our founding fathers dared elites to go gault 150 years before ayn rand existed

If you want a preview of what rich Americans will do while their country burns, look no further than Greece

By giving to charities and buying sovern debt and then writing off the losses?.... I am OK with that.

Starsrift, Dell's failure to get into the mobile market is precisely the thing I speak of when I say that some companies get outcompeted on price or customer preference. Dell failed to get in on the significant market trend toward mobile technology early enough to have a decent chance of success to snag and build market share, even in the long term. If that's the reason they want his head, then the reason is not short term earnings, it's long term viability. But then, what if Dell had put out a product that went the way of the Blackberry or worse yet, purchased RIM to access the market sector? I suspect that they would similarly want blood over losses in market share if the RIM flameout had occurred under the Dell banner.

Perhaps the board is being pressured by investors because the net numbers aren't as good as say, Apple or HP. If so, it seems fair because Apple is diversified in mobile technology and consumer electronics and HP is diversified enough into networks to go to war with Cisco, particularly in the data center. Either way, Dell has painted themselves into a corner in a decreasing market. I also read something recently about a union petitioning the board at Dell to oust Mike Dell. I hope that the board ignores the union because I think it's unhealthy for unions to affect who they're negotiating with, as is the case with public sector unions, but that is a separate argument altogether.

Whichever is the case, Dell might have competitive earnings right now, but the outlook for Dell is a piece of a smaller pie, core business wise. I can't say new leadership is the answer, nor can I say that the R&D required to compete with Apple and Samsung is "too little, too late".

Either way, it appears to me that the Dellpocalypse is over future earnings, not the current numbers. That is long term thinking, not short term earnings pressure.

Cubicle Jockey: Gunpowder's impact on fudalism was less about the knights being shot, and more about the end of the fort/castle system due to cannon. Local lords had nowhere to hide if they wanted to stubbornly resist against centralized control.

Way late to the thread, but just wanted to mention you made my morning by using "cannon" properly.

I feel like I'm the only person on Earth who does. Now I know there's one other.

starsrift: An employee in a career is not a contractor and does not have the same freedom of movement. While in theory the employee could offer their services to another company - if not barred by a noncompete contract clause - the market demand for a particular employee is not as free and frequent as that to paint or restore houses. This gives the employer - the house owner in your analogy - the ability to dictate the pay given for the services provided, instead of the employee - or painter.

The more reason to disincentivize less-than-secure employment. All it really does these days is act like a union in reverse, where everything is used to insulate against the worker towards the benefit of the employer.

To address the questions of entitlement and "fair" in your paragraph is again, another place where your metaphor falls down. A properly run company has an obligation for the future and social obligations for the community around it. A company needs to be run as a long-term enterprise. (See: Henry Ford) Instead, increasingly, as Wall Street shareholders buy more and more publically traded companies, emphasis is given to the year's performance - to the quarter's performance. Managers are told that their responsibility is to make money for the shareholders - not to build a sustaining, financially secure enterprise. A year of declining profit, for any reason, is a black mark on a CEO and the shareholders impatiently want to force change - or dump their stock. Ergo, from the top down, a company is run at a furious pace, all so that profits to the owners can be maximized as fast and as often as possible, completely abandoning the social and long-term responsibilities of the business as a whole - which allows them to shiat on their employees.

Start by making corporate sociopathy come with a huge cost. Worst case, kill the practices that enable it (such as offshoring and contract labor).

sethstorm: What mechanisms would you propose to induce huge costs for offshoring or contract labor?

To be intellectually honest, what mechanisms would you propose to inhibit consumer sociopathy like purchasing goods that are produced overseas with labor costs far below our own?

Ishkur: The rich ARE the lazy folk who leach off the producers.

Someone sure pulled out the extra-super wide paintbrush today.

HeadLever: Someone sure pulled out the extra-super wide paintbrush today.

Well it's true. You are sitting around while others are doing the work for you while you demand 100% of the profits and no taxes.

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