- Jul 10, 2006
I think the two are somewhat fundamentally different in that investing presumes an informed decision minimizing chance, whereas gambling is playing on the chance or knowing the relative probabilities. Certainly there are strong similarities, but you could extrapolate that all the way to a commission sales job or even a wage job. All of us accept a certain level of chance in earning a living.Exactly and no one in this thread has yet to make the case saying otherwise.
One thing I would support is taxing much of what now falls into capital gains as wage income. However - Fern, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't capital gains over less than a year already taxed at wage rates other than payroll taxes not being applied? Even with things that go over a year, much of capital gains isn't investment in society, it's merely informed gambling, mandated to have one winner and one loser, so that supports Jhhnn's point. I can see how capital gains such as stock (or mutual fund) purchases, which help fund a corporation's expansion, could morally call for preferential treatment, though even that is iffy as a broad law. If a corporation's stock-funded expansion is in China, replacing American jobs with Chinese jobs, why on Earth would we want to give that purchase preferential tax treatment?
The Devil's in the details, and I suspect Congress would never be able to make such laws based on morality or the nation's best interests, and the probable loss of federal tax income from higher capital gains rates is certainly to be kept in mind. But as a principle, taxing the man whose capital earns his bread as much as the man whose sweat earns his bread seems pretty sound.
I know that's a rambling mess, but it's not a simple subject morally or practically.