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My plan for the estate tax and wealth redistribution.

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piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
I dont think that any man has any right by birth for any part of the Earth. However, Ownership of Land is a right under the constitution, so unless you plan on getting some amendment approved by 2/3rds of the states, you can forget that Idea. Ownership of Property is one of the key rights protected by the constitution.

How would you like it if I took your car and gave it to some bum on the street?
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Our founding fathers would be cleaning their muskets...
I agree, the amount of wealth concentration and the plutocracy/aristocracy it's creating is scary indeed.
LOL Phokus, the "libertarian" (can we finally dispense with this silliness? You're about as libertarian as Hugo Chavez), ignorant of US history as he is most topics.


?To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.? ? Thomas Jefferson

?The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ?Thou shalt not covet? and ?Thou shalt not steal? were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.? ? John Adams
And adding to BigDH01's post, Apparently, your hero Adam Smith is a s-s-s-s-s-s-ocialist!

The idea of a progressive tax has garnered support from economists and political scientists of many different ideologies - ranging from Adam Smith to Karl Marx, although there are differences of opinion about the optimal level of progressivity. Some economists[15] trace the origin of modern progressive taxation to Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.[16]
To expand on what i said about not being a libertarian anymore, i realized that you can be pro-capitalism without being a loony libertarian asshat. Even libertarians in this forum want more government regulation of the financial industry now.
Adam Smith signed the constitution? :confused:
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,519
3,621
126
Originally posted by: piasabird
I dont think that any man has any right by birth for any part of the Earth. However, Ownership of Land is a right under the constitution, so unless you plan on getting some amendment approved by 2/3rds of the states, you can forget that Idea. Ownership of Property is one of the key rights protected by the constitution.

How would you like it if I took your car and gave it to some bum on the street?
Dead people don't care.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Our founding fathers would be cleaning their muskets...
I agree, the amount of wealth concentration and the plutocracy/aristocracy it's creating is scary indeed.
LOL Phokus, the "libertarian" (can we finally dispense with this silliness? You're about as libertarian as Hugo Chavez), ignorant of US history as he is most topics.


?To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.? ? Thomas Jefferson

?The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ?Thou shalt not covet? and ?Thou shalt not steal? were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.? ? John Adams
Please don't use quotes like that. To use a paragraph written or spoken by our founders without giving context is highly disingenuous.

These were complicated people. Jefferson also wrote this

There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it's ascendancy. On the question, What is the best provision, you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it's errors. You think it best to put the Pseudo-aristoi into a separate chamber of legislation where they may be hindered from doing mischief by their coordinate branches, and where also they may be a protection to wealth against the Agrarian and plundering enterprises of the Majority of the people. I think that to give them power in order to prevent them from doing mischief, is arming them for it, and increasing instead of remedying the evil. For if the coordinate branches can arrest their action, so may they that of the coordinates. Mischief may be done negatively as well as positively. Of this a cabal in the Senate of the U. S. has furnished many proofs. Nor do I believe them necessary to protect the wealthy; because enough of these will find their way into every branch of the legislation to protect themselves. From 15. to 20. legislatures of our own, in action for 30. years past, have proved that no fears of an equalisation of property are to be apprehended from them.
This was in a letter to Adams. These men weren't automatons. They had complicated beliefs and ideals. No doubt, they often found themselves questioning their positions (I wish more people here did the same). To try and sum up Jefferson or Adams by one quote is an insult to them and futile in its purpose. Although Jefferson may have been specifically addressing landed aristocracy's role in government, it's clear he despises landed wealth. Jefferson recognized the danger of generational wealth, and later in the letter even mentioned a way to prevent it (describes meritocracy).

At the first session of our legislature after the Declaration of Independance, we passed a law abolishing entails. And this was followed by one abolishing the privilege of Primogeniture, and dividing the lands of intestates equally among all their children, or other representatives. These laws, drawn by myself, laid the axe to the root of Pseudoaristocracy. And had another which I prepared been adopted by the legislature, our work would have been compleat. It was a Bill for the more general diffusion of learning. This proposed to divide every county into wards of 5. or 6. miles square, like your townships; to establish in each ward a free school for reading, writing and common arithmetic; to provide for the annual selection of the best subjects from these schools who might receive at the public expense a higher degree of education at a district school; and from these district schools to select a certain number of the most promising subjects to be compleated at an University, where all the useful sciences should be taught. Worth and genius would thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and compleatly prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts.
He's describing a way to defeat aristocracy through free higher education (even University) for promising subjects. Free education also happens to be one of Marx's ten tenets of a Socialist society. This doesn't make Jefferson a Marxist, just as your single quote doesn't make Jefferson a laissez-faire Capitalist.

You can also read Jefferson's Virginia constitution here.

Every person of full age neither owning nor having owned [50] acres of land, shall be entitled to an appropriation of [50] acres or to so much as shall make up what he owns or has owned [50] acres in full and absolute dominion. And no other person shall be capable of taking an appropriation.
Perhaps Jefferson knew he couldn't completely get rid of landed estates or perhaps, in your quote, he genuinely felt that the government should never take from one to give to another. I can't tell because you've only given a few lines in what must have been a much larger letter or speech. If all I wanted to do is pick out a quote, I could pick these:

"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"We are all the more reconciled to the tax on importations, because it falls exclusively on the rich, and with the equal partition of intestate's estates, constitutes the best agrarian law. In fact, the poor man in this country who uses nothing but what is made within his own farm or family, or within the United States, pays not a farthing of tax to the General Government, but on his salt; and should we go into that manufacture as we ought to do, he will pay not one cent." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1811. ME 13:39
"I may err in my measures, but never shall deflect from the intention to fortify the public liberty by every possible means, and to put it out of the power of the few to riot on the labors of the many." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33
"Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed... It is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"If the overgrown wealth of an individual is deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it." --Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816. ME 14:466
This last quote is from the same source as your's BTW. If you really want to get into an examination of this man's thoughts, you can go here. Granted, it's a hypothesis, but it is well-supported and far more detailed than the simple quote you gave.

The td;dr version: don't pick out quotes from complicated people and allude to the idea that this is what these people believed. I hate reading quotes from people. If you feel they are important enough to quote, you should at least read their work to discover the intricacies of their beliefs. You might be surprised to discover how Jefferson felt about Capitalism and wage-labor relationships.
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,519
3,621
126
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Our founding fathers would be cleaning their muskets...
I agree, the amount of wealth concentration and the plutocracy/aristocracy it's creating is scary indeed.
LOL Phokus, the "libertarian" (can we finally dispense with this silliness? You're about as libertarian as Hugo Chavez), ignorant of US history as he is most topics.


?To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.? ? Thomas Jefferson

?The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ?Thou shalt not covet? and ?Thou shalt not steal? were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.? ? John Adams
Please don't use quotes like that. To use a paragraph written or spoken by our founders without giving context is highly disingenuous.

These were complicated people. Jefferson also wrote this

There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it's ascendancy. On the question, What is the best provision, you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it's errors. You think it best to put the Pseudo-aristoi into a separate chamber of legislation where they may be hindered from doing mischief by their coordinate branches, and where also they may be a protection to wealth against the Agrarian and plundering enterprises of the Majority of the people. I think that to give them power in order to prevent them from doing mischief, is arming them for it, and increasing instead of remedying the evil. For if the coordinate branches can arrest their action, so may they that of the coordinates. Mischief may be done negatively as well as positively. Of this a cabal in the Senate of the U. S. has furnished many proofs. Nor do I believe them necessary to protect the wealthy; because enough of these will find their way into every branch of the legislation to protect themselves. From 15. to 20. legislatures of our own, in action for 30. years past, have proved that no fears of an equalisation of property are to be apprehended from them.
This was in a letter to Adams. These men weren't automatons. They had complicated beliefs and ideals. No doubt, they often found themselves questioning their positions (I wish more people here did the same). To try and sum up Jefferson or Adams by one quote is an insult to them and futile in its purpose. Although Jefferson may have been specifically addressing landed aristocracy's role in government, it's clear he despises landed wealth. Jefferson recognized the danger of generational wealth, and later in the letter even mentioned a way to prevent it (describes meritocracy).

At the first session of our legislature after the Declaration of Independance, we passed a law abolishing entails. And this was followed by one abolishing the privilege of Primogeniture, and dividing the lands of intestates equally among all their children, or other representatives. These laws, drawn by myself, laid the axe to the root of Pseudoaristocracy. And had another which I prepared been adopted by the legislature, our work would have been compleat. It was a Bill for the more general diffusion of learning. This proposed to divide every county into wards of 5. or 6. miles square, like your townships; to establish in each ward a free school for reading, writing and common arithmetic; to provide for the annual selection of the best subjects from these schools who might receive at the public expense a higher degree of education at a district school; and from these district schools to select a certain number of the most promising subjects to be compleated at an University, where all the useful sciences should be taught. Worth and genius would thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and compleatly prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts.
He's describing a way to defeat aristocracy through free higher education (even University) for promising subjects. Free education also happens to be one of Marx's ten tenets of a Socialist society. This doesn't make Jefferson a Marxist, just as your single quote doesn't make Jefferson a laissez-faire Capitalist.

You can also read Jefferson's Virginia constitution here.

Every person of full age neither owning nor having owned [50] acres of land, shall be entitled to an appropriation of [50] acres or to so much as shall make up what he owns or has owned [50] acres in full and absolute dominion. And no other person shall be capable of taking an appropriation.
Perhaps Jefferson knew he couldn't completely get rid of landed estates or perhaps, in your quote, he genuinely felt that the government should never take from one to give to another. I can't tell because you've only given a few lines in what must have been a much larger letter or speech. If all I wanted to do is pick out a quote, I could pick these:

"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"We are all the more reconciled to the tax on importations, because it falls exclusively on the rich, and with the equal partition of intestate's estates, constitutes the best agrarian law. In fact, the poor man in this country who uses nothing but what is made within his own farm or family, or within the United States, pays not a farthing of tax to the General Government, but on his salt; and should we go into that manufacture as we ought to do, he will pay not one cent." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1811. ME 13:39
"I may err in my measures, but never shall deflect from the intention to fortify the public liberty by every possible means, and to put it out of the power of the few to riot on the labors of the many." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33
"Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed... It is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682
"If the overgrown wealth of an individual is deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it." --Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816. ME 14:466
This last quote is from the same source as your's BTW. If you really want to get into an examination of this man's thoughts, you can go here. Granted, it's a hypothesis, but it is well-supported and far more detailed than the simple quote you gave.

The td;dr version: don't pick out quotes from complicated people and allude to the idea that this is what these people believed. I hate reading quotes from people. If you feel they are important enough to quote, you should at least read their work to discover the intricacies of their beliefs. You might be surprised to discover how Jefferson felt about Capitalism and wage-labor relationships.
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
Your conclusion doesn't really follow your earlier points. The Constitution does not Apply to the Dead.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,990
853
126
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Originally posted by: blackangst1
True; howevever, what you do with what you got is the difference often between those who succeed and those who dont. Had Stephen Hawking decided to wallow in self pity, he would not be who he is today. What you arent seeing is intelligence and more so ability are honed and developed. To develope those traits is a CHOICE.
Then this becomes a discussion about free will, which in my opinion does not exist. It seems completely ridiculous to say that a person can, just out of nowhere, CHOOSE something, and then say it somehow was not a result of a endless string of action-reactions birthed from the beginning of time.
Well then my part of the discussion with you is done. You live in a world far different than mine. Good luck.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
774
126
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: alchemize
Our founding fathers would be cleaning their muskets...
I agree, the amount of wealth concentration and the plutocracy/aristocracy it's creating is scary indeed.
LOL Phokus, the "libertarian" (can we finally dispense with this silliness? You're about as libertarian as Hugo Chavez), ignorant of US history as he is most topics.


?To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.? ? Thomas Jefferson

?The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ?Thou shalt not covet? and ?Thou shalt not steal? were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.? ? John Adams
And adding to BigDH01's post, Apparently, your hero Adam Smith is a s-s-s-s-s-s-ocialist!

The idea of a progressive tax has garnered support from economists and political scientists of many different ideologies - ranging from Adam Smith to Karl Marx, although there are differences of opinion about the optimal level of progressivity. Some economists[15] trace the origin of modern progressive taxation to Adam Smith, who wrote in The Wealth of Nations:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.[16]
To expand on what i said about not being a libertarian anymore, i realized that you can be pro-capitalism without being a loony libertarian asshat. Even libertarians in this forum want more government regulation of the financial industry now.
Adam Smith signed the constitution? :confused:
Thomas Jefferson owned Slaves.

Libertarians endorse slavery since the founding fathers had slaves.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,990
853
126
Originally posted by: ZeGermans
Why should people be able to pass on the entirety of their vast wealth to their children, all it does is inspire an oligarchy of people who haven't worked a day in their lives and spend their time making sure poor people starve to death (See William Buckley)
If you knew the numbers about wealth, you would know this isnt true for the majority of wealthy Americans. A very small percentage of the current millionaire/billionaires inherited it, and many of those who do work in the "family business" so to speak to maintain it. Your assertion holds *some* merit for a select few, but is no where near the majority.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Originally posted by: Double Trouble
Sigh, yet another closet socialist who wants to forcibly redistribute wealth from those that create it and earn it to those that don't.

Are you perhaps forgetting that many people do a lot of work and sacrifice so they can pass the benefits of that labor to their children so that they don't need to make those sacrifices? Who the hell are you or anyone else to decide where someone's wealth "should" go other than where they wanted it to go? I work my ass off so my kids will have a good life. Your plan would basically say "don't bother working hard, all the extra money will be distributed so everyone is "equal" with a level playing field.

Please, the stupidity of that whole notion would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that lots of people in positions of power have the same mentality.
Who are you to take credit for ability and intelligence you with born with without choice?

You worked for it? Why? Trace the fundamental root cause back to it's origin you will discover you yourself have no say in your situation no matter how hard you work.

The more intelligent a person is, the more they will realize it wasn't their choice to be intelligent.
lol you're such a typical trust fund rich kid guilt idiot. you realize that you don't have to be smart to be successful in this country right? you can be a fucking orphan growing up in the ghetto and become a millionaire before you turn 30.
 

BigDH01

Golden Member
Jul 8, 2005
1,627
73
91
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: ZeGermans
Why should people be able to pass on the entirety of their vast wealth to their children, all it does is inspire an oligarchy of people who haven't worked a day in their lives and spend their time making sure poor people starve to death (See William Buckley)
If you knew the numbers about wealth, you would know this isnt true for the majority of wealthy Americans. A very small percentage of the current millionaire/billionaires inherited it, and many of those who do work in the "family business" so to speak to maintain it. Your assertion holds *some* merit for a select few, but is no where near the majority.
Do you have numbers for this? I'd like to see how many people that die wealthy were born wealthy. Just curious.
 

BigDH01

Golden Member
Jul 8, 2005
1,627
73
91
Originally posted by: alchemize
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
I think you should read the article I posted about Jefferson to investigate the intentions of those rights. Granted, I know more about Jefferson than the other founders, but his idea of liberty stemmed from his view that all men should have property to work to ensure their own existence and their ability to direct their own labor. This is the seed of his view of property rights. It was meant to protect the poor, not the rich. He was strongly influenced by his time in urban Europe viewing the conditions. Even so, Jefferson's view of property rights were perhaps not as strong as Locke's. I'll quote the paper here:

. The first appeals to the list of inalienable rights Jefferson affirms in the Declaration of Independence: he adopts Locke?s ?life and liberty? but omits ?estate? in favor of ?the pursuit of happiness.? Similarly, he recommends excising ?property? from Lafayette?s draft declaration of rights for France. ?The omission,? writes Matthews (1984, 27), ?is significant. While Locke views property as a natural right and its accumulation as the fulfillment of human endeavors, Jefferson does not. Jefferson?s vision of man and of man?s telos is much grander? (see also Yarbrough 1998, 89-91; White 1978, 213-28). The second argument cites Jefferson?s distinction between occupancy and ownership as evidence that he did not include property among the natural rights (see Yarbrough 1998, 89-90). Jefferson writes (to Isaac McPherson [Aug. 13, 1813] 1999, 579-80):
Jefferson viewed the owner-laborer relationship as one in which the laborer is eventually denied liberty. In a new country where most people were living on the land, including strong property rights was a way to ensure that everyone could own land (see his Virginia Constitution) and thus maintain their own independence and liberty. I seriously doubt Jefferson believed in property rights as a way to ensure fortunes can be passed through generations, and his writings suggest as such.

You have to put the Constitution in context. These men are trying to create a society free from aristocracy during a time when most people were living on the land. The best way to ensure that people could continue to do so is to prevent the government, acting on the behest of powerful families and leaders, from taking land from small landowners. However, people like Jefferson did not believe this meant that people should be free from taxation and government intervention. In fact, Jefferson liked the idea of taxing "rich goods" to provide government services to the poor. I think more than anything, these men are pragmatic. Today, we take these rights and apply them to protect the interests of rich landowners and factory owners. I don't know how all of the founders would feel about today's society, but I imagine their viewpoint wouldn't be as libertarian as you'd like to believe.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,990
853
126
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: ZeGermans
Why should people be able to pass on the entirety of their vast wealth to their children, all it does is inspire an oligarchy of people who haven't worked a day in their lives and spend their time making sure poor people starve to death (See William Buckley)
If you knew the numbers about wealth, you would know this isnt true for the majority of wealthy Americans. A very small percentage of the current millionaire/billionaires inherited it, and many of those who do work in the "family business" so to speak to maintain it. Your assertion holds *some* merit for a select few, but is no where near the majority.
Do you have numbers for this? I'd like to see how many people that die wealthy were born wealthy. Just curious.
I'll try and find them again when I get back from running errands. I posted it in a similar thread a few months ago. But as I recall the number of wealthy who inherited their wealth is something like 15-20%. But included in that is businesses which will require the heir to continue working to sustain the wealth. They cant just sit home and collect checks. I'll look later today if I get a chance. But I found it via Google, so you can look if you want.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
774
126
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: alchemize
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
I think you should read the article I posted about Jefferson to investigate the intentions of those rights. Granted, I know more about Jefferson than the other founders, but his idea of liberty stemmed from his view that all men should have property to work to ensure their own existence and their ability to direct their own labor. This is the seed of his view of property rights. It was meant to protect the poor, not the rich. He was strongly influenced by his time in urban Europe viewing the conditions. Even so, Jefferson's view of property rights were perhaps not as strong as Locke's. I'll quote the paper here:

. The first appeals to the list of inalienable rights Jefferson affirms in the Declaration of Independence: he adopts Locke?s ?life and liberty? but omits ?estate? in favor of ?the pursuit of happiness.? Similarly, he recommends excising ?property? from Lafayette?s draft declaration of rights for France. ?The omission,? writes Matthews (1984, 27), ?is significant. While Locke views property as a natural right and its accumulation as the fulfillment of human endeavors, Jefferson does not. Jefferson?s vision of man and of man?s telos is much grander? (see also Yarbrough 1998, 89-91; White 1978, 213-28). The second argument cites Jefferson?s distinction between occupancy and ownership as evidence that he did not include property among the natural rights (see Yarbrough 1998, 89-90). Jefferson writes (to Isaac McPherson [Aug. 13, 1813] 1999, 579-80):
Jefferson viewed the owner-laborer relationship as one in which the laborer is eventually denied liberty. In a new country where most people were living on the land, including strong property rights was a way to ensure that everyone could own land (see his Virginia Constitution) and thus maintain their own independence and liberty. I seriously doubt Jefferson believed in property rights as a way to ensure fortunes can be passed through generations, and his writings suggest as such.

You have to put the Constitution in context. These men are trying to create a society free from aristocracy during a time when most people were living on the land. The best way to ensure that people could continue to do so is to prevent the government, acting on the behest of powerful families and leaders, from taking land from small landowners. However, people like Jefferson did not believe this meant that people should be free from taxation and government intervention. In fact, Jefferson liked the idea of taxing "rich goods" to provide government services to the poor. I think more than anything, these men are pragmatic. Today, we take these rights and apply them to protect the interests of rich landowners and factory owners. I don't know how all of the founders would feel about today's society, but I imagine their viewpoint wouldn't be as libertarian as you'd like to believe.
Excellent and thoroughly researched post. One reason why i stopped being a libertarian is because i started investigating things on my own and i realized libertarians are insanely ignorant and delusional.

 

BigDH01

Golden Member
Jul 8, 2005
1,627
73
91
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: ZeGermans
Why should people be able to pass on the entirety of their vast wealth to their children, all it does is inspire an oligarchy of people who haven't worked a day in their lives and spend their time making sure poor people starve to death (See William Buckley)
If you knew the numbers about wealth, you would know this isnt true for the majority of wealthy Americans. A very small percentage of the current millionaire/billionaires inherited it, and many of those who do work in the "family business" so to speak to maintain it. Your assertion holds *some* merit for a select few, but is no where near the majority.
Do you have numbers for this? I'd like to see how many people that die wealthy were born wealthy. Just curious.
I'll try and find them again when I get back from running errands. I posted it in a similar thread a few months ago. But as I recall the number of wealthy who inherited their wealth is something like 15-20%. But included in that is businesses which will require the heir to continue working to sustain the wealth. They cant just sit home and collect checks. I'll look later today if I get a chance. But I found it via Google, so you can look if you want.
Googling class mobility yielded this study from Pew. It suggests what I thought was the case.

Most studies find that, in America, about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income are passed on to the next generation.11 This means that one of the biggest predictors of an American child?s future economic success ? the identity and characteristics of his or her parents ? is predetermined and outside that child?s control.
It also suggests the relative wealth mobility in the US is below that of many European countries, including France. It's obviously not complete and doesn't address the specific question that I asked. It does, however, suggest some class stratification. I'm not sure if a highly progressive estate tax would address that particular problem.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Originally posted by: Phokus
Excellent and thoroughly researched post. One reason why i stopped being a libertarian is because i started investigating things on my own and i realized libertarians are insanely ignorant and delusional.
No wonder why it attracted you. Glad to see you went from one insanely ignorant and delusional stance to an even worse one.
 

alchemize

Lifer
Mar 24, 2000
11,489
0
0
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: alchemize
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
I think you should read the article I posted about Jefferson to investigate the intentions of those rights. Granted, I know more about Jefferson than the other founders, but his idea of liberty stemmed from his view that all men should have property to work to ensure their own existence and their ability to direct their own labor. This is the seed of his view of property rights. It was meant to protect the poor, not the rich. He was strongly influenced by his time in urban Europe viewing the conditions. Even so, Jefferson's view of property rights were perhaps not as strong as Locke's. I'll quote the paper here:

. The first appeals to the list of inalienable rights Jefferson affirms in the Declaration of Independence: he adopts Locke?s ?life and liberty? but omits ?estate? in favor of ?the pursuit of happiness.? Similarly, he recommends excising ?property? from Lafayette?s draft declaration of rights for France. ?The omission,? writes Matthews (1984, 27), ?is significant. While Locke views property as a natural right and its accumulation as the fulfillment of human endeavors, Jefferson does not. Jefferson?s vision of man and of man?s telos is much grander? (see also Yarbrough 1998, 89-91; White 1978, 213-28). The second argument cites Jefferson?s distinction between occupancy and ownership as evidence that he did not include property among the natural rights (see Yarbrough 1998, 89-90). Jefferson writes (to Isaac McPherson [Aug. 13, 1813] 1999, 579-80):
Jefferson viewed the owner-laborer relationship as one in which the laborer is eventually denied liberty. In a new country where most people were living on the land, including strong property rights was a way to ensure that everyone could own land (see his Virginia Constitution) and thus maintain their own independence and liberty. I seriously doubt Jefferson believed in property rights as a way to ensure fortunes can be passed through generations, and his writings suggest as such.

You have to put the Constitution in context. These men are trying to create a society free from aristocracy during a time when most people were living on the land. The best way to ensure that people could continue to do so is to prevent the government, acting on the behest of powerful families and leaders, from taking land from small landowners. However, people like Jefferson did not believe this meant that people should be free from taxation and government intervention. In fact, Jefferson liked the idea of taxing "rich goods" to provide government services to the poor. I think more than anything, these men are pragmatic. Today, we take these rights and apply them to protect the interests of rich landowners and factory owners. I don't know how all of the founders would feel about today's society, but I imagine their viewpoint wouldn't be as libertarian as you'd like to believe.
I feel pretty comfortable in that they, probably to the man, would be opposed to the OP's idea :)
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,519
3,621
126
Originally posted by: alchemize
Originally posted by: BigDH01
Originally posted by: alchemize
You are correct, in that singular quotes cannot define men, especially our founding fathers. They had wide ranging views on taxation, property rights, agrarian versus industrial, etc.

But the cumulative set of beliefs they laid out in the constitution were strongly pro-property, pro-individual liberty, pro-family and would have abhorred the notion put forth in the OP.
I think you should read the article I posted about Jefferson to investigate the intentions of those rights. Granted, I know more about Jefferson than the other founders, but his idea of liberty stemmed from his view that all men should have property to work to ensure their own existence and their ability to direct their own labor. This is the seed of his view of property rights. It was meant to protect the poor, not the rich. He was strongly influenced by his time in urban Europe viewing the conditions. Even so, Jefferson's view of property rights were perhaps not as strong as Locke's. I'll quote the paper here:

. The first appeals to the list of inalienable rights Jefferson affirms in the Declaration of Independence: he adopts Locke?s ?life and liberty? but omits ?estate? in favor of ?the pursuit of happiness.? Similarly, he recommends excising ?property? from Lafayette?s draft declaration of rights for France. ?The omission,? writes Matthews (1984, 27), ?is significant. While Locke views property as a natural right and its accumulation as the fulfillment of human endeavors, Jefferson does not. Jefferson?s vision of man and of man?s telos is much grander? (see also Yarbrough 1998, 89-91; White 1978, 213-28). The second argument cites Jefferson?s distinction between occupancy and ownership as evidence that he did not include property among the natural rights (see Yarbrough 1998, 89-90). Jefferson writes (to Isaac McPherson [Aug. 13, 1813] 1999, 579-80):
Jefferson viewed the owner-laborer relationship as one in which the laborer is eventually denied liberty. In a new country where most people were living on the land, including strong property rights was a way to ensure that everyone could own land (see his Virginia Constitution) and thus maintain their own independence and liberty. I seriously doubt Jefferson believed in property rights as a way to ensure fortunes can be passed through generations, and his writings suggest as such.

You have to put the Constitution in context. These men are trying to create a society free from aristocracy during a time when most people were living on the land. The best way to ensure that people could continue to do so is to prevent the government, acting on the behest of powerful families and leaders, from taking land from small landowners. However, people like Jefferson did not believe this meant that people should be free from taxation and government intervention. In fact, Jefferson liked the idea of taxing "rich goods" to provide government services to the poor. I think more than anything, these men are pragmatic. Today, we take these rights and apply them to protect the interests of rich landowners and factory owners. I don't know how all of the founders would feel about today's society, but I imagine their viewpoint wouldn't be as libertarian as you'd like to believe.
I feel pretty comfortable in that they, probably to the man, would be opposed to the OP's idea :)
I think some of them would at least entertain the idea.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Originally posted by: Craig234
Uh, you are pretty misguided on this, among other things. We agree on the basic positives about the Estate Tax, but not your claim that government programs generally do harm.

You need to do some more reading or research about the offshore tax havens. They're doing quite well - what do you think the huge industry surrounding them is about?

Indeed, I jsut saw a number earlier today that the government estimates that 99% of wage income is taxed, but only 70% of other income.
The majority of income that is not taxed is actually by middle and lower class workers (self employed and those earning tips).

How many times have you had your house worked on and they offered you a discount for paying in cash? Happens to people I know all the time (I live in an apartment).
You are terribly unimformed, IMO. You base your opinion on the offshore tax haven system by the people you see who avoid taxes on tips and contractor labor?

As I've posted before, it's been estimated that it's huge globally, with for example over half the wealth of South American in offshore tax havens.

But let's note an example - the owner of Fox, Rupert Murdoch - one site reports:

MURDOCH THE CORPORATE TAX EVADER: The BBC reported that "Mr. Murdoch's die-hard loyalty to the tax loophole has drawn wide criticism" after a report found that in the four years prior to June 30, 1998, "Murdoch's News Corporation and its subsidiaries paid only $325 million in corporate taxes worldwide. That translates as 6% of the $5.4 billion consolidated pre-tax profits for the same period?By comparison another multi-national media empire, Disney, paid 31%. The corporate tax rates for the three main countries in which News Corp. operates - Australia, the United States and the UK - are 36%, 35% and 30% respectively. Further research reveals that Mr. Murdoch's main British holding company, News Corp. Investments, has paid no net corporation tax within these shores over the past 11 years. This is despite accumulated pre-tax profits of nearly $3 billion." [Source: BBC, 3/25/99]

MURDOCH THE LOVER OF OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS: When a congressional panel asked if he was hiding money in tax havens, including communist Cuba, Murdoch responded "we might have in the past, I'm not denying that." The Washington Post reports, "through the deft use of international accounting loopholes and offshore tax havens, Murdoch has paid corporate income taxes at one-fifth the rate of his chief U.S. rivals throughout the 1990s, according to corporate documents and company officials." Murdoch "has mastered the use of the offshore tax haven." His company "reduces its annual tax bill by channeling profits through dozens of subsidiaries in low-tax or no-tax places such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The overseas profits from movies made by 20th Century Fox, for instance, flow into a News Corp.-controlled company in the Caymans, where they are not taxed." [Source: Congressional Testimony, 5/8/03; Washington Post, 12/7/97]

MURDOCH THE ABUSER OF TAX LOOPHOLES: Even though Murdoch changed his citizenship in order to comply with U.S. media ownership rules, many of his companies have remained Australian, allowing them "to utilize arcane accounting rules that have pumped up reported profits and greatly aided Murdoch's periodic acquisition sprees." IRS officials point out that "U.S.-based companies face U.S. taxes on their offshore subsidiaries in the Caymans and elsewhere if more than 50 percent of the subsidiary is controlled by American shareholders. But that doesn't apply to News Corp., an Australian company."
 

JMapleton

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2008
4,179
2
81
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
So which of these two opposing claims is your real position? They are clearly incompatible with each other. Money, having no intrinsic value, is nothing if not the product of a person's work and effort. It is not a naturally-occurring resource in any way.

ZV
They make perfect sense.

Each man has an inheritance from the Earth, a completely fair and equal dividend for having been born. This was set from the beginning of mankind when the first modern humans took it upon themselves to use the natural resources of the Earth - because they did without having earned it, so should people deserve a "start" today.

Secondly, there is wealth you worked for. THis is in addition to what was inherited. This is non transferable from one generation to the next and is an add on to what was inherited.
 

JMapleton

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2008
4,179
2
81
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Then this becomes a discussion about free will, which in my opinion does not exist. It seems completely ridiculous to say that a person can, just out of nowhere, CHOOSE something, and then say it somehow was not a result of a endless string of action-reactions birthed from the beginning of time.
It must be nice to live in that little fantasy world where you're not responsible for any of your screw-ups.

ZV
Typical emotional response.

You nor anyone else on this Earth cannot explain free will in a logical sense of exactly how the mechanism of free will operates and trace every cause, feeling, emotion, action, and notion back to it's roots in the "mechanism of free will."
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
126
www.the-teh.com
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Originally posted by: miketheidiot
i agree on the need for a strong inheritance tax, but i don't want to directly redistribute that wealth. i think having it be used as tax revenue would be about the best option.
But then that gives the government more funding to create large and inefficient social programs that cause more harm that good.

It should be redistributed as a check, each man gets an inheritance for being born of the Earth, and created equal.
So why would any 'ole smoe be entitled to your inheritance but not your children? And you want the government to distribute the checks? So after all the red tape, embezzlement, etc there won't be anything left to hand out.

While I may believe there shouldn't be any poor, suffering, homeless, uneducated in the U.S. due to its wealth I don't agree your fortune should not be handed down to your children if you so choose.
 

JMapleton

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2008
4,179
2
81
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: JMapleton
Originally posted by: Craig234
Uh, you are pretty misguided on this, among other things. We agree on the basic positives about the Estate Tax, but not your claim that government programs generally do harm.

You need to do some more reading or research about the offshore tax havens. They're doing quite well - what do you think the huge industry surrounding them is about?

Indeed, I jsut saw a number earlier today that the government estimates that 99% of wage income is taxed, but only 70% of other income.
The majority of income that is not taxed is actually by middle and lower class workers (self employed and those earning tips).

How many times have you had your house worked on and they offered you a discount for paying in cash? Happens to people I know all the time (I live in an apartment).
You are terribly unimformed, IMO. You base your opinion on the offshore tax haven system by the people you see who avoid taxes on tips and contractor labor?

As I've posted before, it's been estimated that it's huge globally, with for example over half the wealth of South American in offshore tax havens.

But let's note an example - the owner of Fox, Rupert Murdoch - one site reports:

MURDOCH THE CORPORATE TAX EVADER: The BBC reported that "Mr. Murdoch's die-hard loyalty to the tax loophole has drawn wide criticism" after a report found that in the four years prior to June 30, 1998, "Murdoch's News Corporation and its subsidiaries paid only $325 million in corporate taxes worldwide. That translates as 6% of the $5.4 billion consolidated pre-tax profits for the same period?By comparison another multi-national media empire, Disney, paid 31%. The corporate tax rates for the three main countries in which News Corp. operates - Australia, the United States and the UK - are 36%, 35% and 30% respectively. Further research reveals that Mr. Murdoch's main British holding company, News Corp. Investments, has paid no net corporation tax within these shores over the past 11 years. This is despite accumulated pre-tax profits of nearly $3 billion." [Source: BBC, 3/25/99]

MURDOCH THE LOVER OF OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS: When a congressional panel asked if he was hiding money in tax havens, including communist Cuba, Murdoch responded "we might have in the past, I'm not denying that." The Washington Post reports, "through the deft use of international accounting loopholes and offshore tax havens, Murdoch has paid corporate income taxes at one-fifth the rate of his chief U.S. rivals throughout the 1990s, according to corporate documents and company officials." Murdoch "has mastered the use of the offshore tax haven." His company "reduces its annual tax bill by channeling profits through dozens of subsidiaries in low-tax or no-tax places such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The overseas profits from movies made by 20th Century Fox, for instance, flow into a News Corp.-controlled company in the Caymans, where they are not taxed." [Source: Congressional Testimony, 5/8/03; Washington Post, 12/7/97]

MURDOCH THE ABUSER OF TAX LOOPHOLES: Even though Murdoch changed his citizenship in order to comply with U.S. media ownership rules, many of his companies have remained Australian, allowing them "to utilize arcane accounting rules that have pumped up reported profits and greatly aided Murdoch's periodic acquisition sprees." IRS officials point out that "U.S.-based companies face U.S. taxes on their offshore subsidiaries in the Caymans and elsewhere if more than 50 percent of the subsidiary is controlled by American shareholders. But that doesn't apply to News Corp., an Australian company."
Murdoch wasn't until recent a US citizen, and his company News Corp until recently was based out of Australia. Furthermore, you cannot count what happened years ago. Most of the hardest offshore tax reform has happened within the last 10 years, and much is it is still happening right now, especially in Europe (Europe at this very moment is coming down big on countries like Andorra and Luxembourg.)
 

JMapleton

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2008
4,179
2
81
Originally posted by: paperfist
So why would any 'ole smoe be entitled to your inheritance but not your children? And you want the government to distribute the checks? So after all the red tape, embezzlement, etc there won't be anything left to hand out.

While I may believe there shouldn't be any poor, suffering, homeless, uneducated in the U.S. due to its wealth I don't agree your fortune should not be handed down to your children if you so choose.
First of all, you're exaggerating so say there would be nothing left. Secondly if there isn't, that's the citizen's fault for electing bad politicians so they will pay their own price for their mistakes.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: JMapleton

Murdoch wasn't until recent a US citizen, and his company News Corp until recently was based out of Australia. Furthermore, you cannot count what happened years ago. Most of the hardest offshore tax reform has happened within the last 10 years, and much is it is still happening right now, especially in Europe (Europe at this very moment is coming down big on countries like Andorra and Luxembourg.)
My comment was that the tax haven activity now is huge, and you are not aware of it.

The Murdoch comment was because I felt like adding him as a past example, considering his role leading the right-wing meda here, not as the case for what's going on today.

Your 'response' defending him did not do much to defend his tax evasion globally.

I said you need to do some more research, and I can repeat that for you. Yes, there are some 'crackdowns' going on that help some, but it's still big, which you understate.

You seem to respond to any comment about the need for you to do more research with some side issue. If you don't want to do it, just say so.
 

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