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Re: Inequality

Post by thrombomodulin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:27 am

morbo3000 wrote: Inequality refers to the widening gap between the super rich and middle class. Not between the middle class and the poor. That's not a "democrat" agenda.
What exactly do you mean by the statement that it is "not a democrat agenda"?
morbo3000 wrote:The Wells Fargo story is a great example. Millions in fraud. Top executives rewarded in the millions.
I am not familar with this example, can you provide a link to an article that describes the events and give your summary of the reason the problem and why that problem exists? If you wish to propose some solution to the problem please do so.
morbo3000 wrote:The super rich in banks, investment firms, etc siphon off the profits of national productivity.
Can you describe the mechanics of how this is done? What step in that process, if any, is unethical? What is your opinion about what should be done to resolve this problem?
morbo3000 wrote:If that weren't happening, wages would naturally raise for the middle that could otherwise be used to grow the economy through purchases is stagnant in their bank accounts.
This is an economic fallacy: Stagnant paper or electronic money, no matter where it resides, does not inhibit the growth of an economy. If you disagree, please explain why.
morbo3000 wrote:The Epi-pen story is another example. Huge compensation for executive while artificially inflating the price. Knowing it will be subsidized by insurance costs. Passing the price onto consumers in higher premiums.
There is nothing unethical, in my opinion, about charging the highest price that the market will bear. It is my understanding that the culprit here is the FDA, which has prohibited competitors from entering the market. It the FDA had permitted competitor products, then there would have been lower, rather than higher, prices. Do you see it differently? If so why?
morbo3000 wrote:The super rich have been robbing us.
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. How exactly do you believe the super rich are doing this? What specific action did they take that consititues robbery?
morbo3000 wrote:What's even worse about this is when their criminal activity is unveiled, no one is held accountable.
Do you consider crime here to be breaking of God's laws, human laws, or both? Either way, exactly what law was broken? That is to say, exactly what crime was committed?
morbo3000 wrote:... and being bailed out by taxpayer money
To what extent does the blame fall to the recipient vs. the politicians who chose to provide the bail out? It would be my view that the blame falls entirely upon the latter, and not the former. If you disagree, please explain why.


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Re: Inequality

Post by Homer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:04 pm


You wrote:
Then perhaps Homer shouldn't accuse people he disagrees with of character flaws.
Nothing personal, just a general statement as was, I assume, your statement:
The super rich have been robbing us.
Steve Jobs was super rich. Do you believe he robbed "us"? My wife and I give regularly of our money and time to help the poor. I have observed the very poor who avail themselves of the local "soup kitchen" seem to be in possession of smart phones and the phone service. Do you think Jobs robbed them by inventing and selling a product they should not have?
Inequality refers to the widening gap between the super rich and middle class. Not between the middle class and the poor.
If envy of the rich is not one motivator for the liberal regarding the middle class, then I am puzzled. As mentioned, my wife and I are content. I never give a thought to what the rich or super rich have; couldn't care less. And why limit discontent to the "super" rich? Why not the rich and even upper middle class, seeing that the middle class range is considered to be above $140,000 at the upper end. Isn't that too much? Perhaps the contactor making 140K per year cheats people. If equality is the great concern why not level the entire "playing field"? Why isn't the great concern for the poor? Oh, I forgot - a lot more votes available from the middle class.

I see Hillary wants to tax the rich at 65%. To my mind that is theft and counter productive to the common good.

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Re: Inequality

Post by steve » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:20 am

It seems to me that Homer is right about envy. If the liberal says, "I don't personally envy anyone anything for myself, but I am concerned about the poor who are being ripped off," this would seem to be a discussion for a different thread, making an entirely different point. That position does not express a concern about inequality, but about crime and victimization. There is nothing self-evidently true in the suggestion that "inequality" itself is a crime, or that it creates victims.

The original post stated:
Inequality refers to the widening gap between the super rich and middle class. Not between the middle class and the poor.
In other words, the concern expressed seems to be for the plight of the middle class—not for the poor (though I may have misunderstood the concern being expressed). The Bible expresses more concern about the disparity between the middle class man, who has two coats, and the poor man who has none (Luke 3:11) than about the disparity between the middle class man, with his two coats, and the super rich man who has one-hundred coats.

Like Homer, I don't care what the super rich do with their money, unless they are stealing it or using it to harm others. Examples of a few criminal cases do not make the case against the "super rich" any more than citing statistics of homicides committed by blacks makes a case against all blacks, or the appeal to terrorist acts by Islamo-fascists makes a case against all Muslims.

All Christians should be concerned that the honest poor man not be neglected, with reference to his needs (that man was me, for a bout 35 years—and I never felt any self-pity about it, nor coveted another man's money).

If we are discussing the gap between the middle class and super rich, is there anything in this circumstance that provides a legitimate concern for a meddlesome Christian? The American middle class are not poor. They are wealthier and far more comfortable than have been 90% of those who have lived and died throughout history.

Having food and raiment, we will with these things be content (1 Tim.6:8). The middle class has food and raiment, and a lot of luxuries besides. Why should it be my concern (or anyone's) how rich another man may be, or how opulent his lifestyle? He answers to his own master, as I do to mine.

If a Christian man is a poor steward of his wealth, this is a matter for correction to come from within the body of Christ, but "what have I to do with judging those who are outside the body" (1 Cor.5:12)?

When a man, exploited by his own brother's greed, and deprived of his share of the inheritance, brought the concern to Jesus, Jesus seemed to care little about the matter at issue. He told the victim to beware of placing too much value upon possessions (Luke 12:13-15)! The teaching of Jesus in precisely this kind of case is that the victim should be content, not envious.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Paidion » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:30 pm

Well... I was born into a family that had a small, unfinished, uninsulated house—not much more than a shack—in the backwoods of Northern Ontario, where it was not uncommon for winter temperatures to reach 40 or even 50 below Fahrenheit. Three of my siblings and I were born right in that house; I had bronchitis from the time I was very young—cold winter breezes entering the house combined with my father's pipe smoking. My worst memories were coughing until I was sweating and exhausted. Coughing continued until age 20. I still continually bring up phlegm as a result of that bronchial condition. I continue to live on the same property, though in a different house.

My father was a subsistence farmer on 160 A. of land that he obtained from his father. My father's income was derived from occasionally selling chickens and eggs, and occasionally cattle, and regularly selling cream from the two or three cows that he owned. Oh yes, he also had a small pulpwood contract(about 60 cords per winter), which he cut with a swede saw, and sold to the local paper mill 36 miles away, hiring a truck (that held 6 cords) to haul it.

My father had no automobile or motor of any kind; he did all his farm work with horses and horse-drawn equipment. Any travelling we did was via a horse-drawn wagon, or in winter—a sleigh. Sometimes, a friend who owned a car would take us places.

At one point, my father was unable to pay the taxes on the property, and it went up for tax sale. My father's best friend bought it for taxes, and when my father was eventually able to repay him, the land was transferred back to my father.

We lived chiefly on garden vegetables, wild fruit, and venison. My mother would can hundreds of quarts of these products for the winter, storing the jars in our earthen cellar. Hay and grain that was harvested was used exclusively for feeding the cattle and the team of horses. It was seldom that I was ever given a dime or a quarter. But I always had plenty to eat, and I never knew that we were poor by community standards until I was an adult. My father never accepted welfare of any kind; he was too proud to do that.

I never knew of any envy of richer people that my parents or siblings ever had. I think the envy concept is a non-issue in this discussion. Eventually, I became a teacher, and so became "middle class." My wife and I have never suffered economically.

However, I have always had a heart for needy people, especially those with inadequate food and clothing through no fault of their own. My wife and I, together with two of my nephews and their wives, sponsored several families of Vietnamese refugees (at different times). They lived in a trailer situated on our land, eventually moving away to become self-supportive. For many years, we have supported World Vision, and to a lesser extent Mennonite Central Committee.

My concern is for the starving people of the world—millions suffering deprivation while multi-billionaires flourish in United States. If 90% of the income of these "super-rich" people were taxed to help the poor, the other 10% would adequately meet all of the needs and wants of the super-rich. I don't believe such taxation would be "theft." Rather it would be an act of justice. The reason for most of the world's poverty is not laziness, but rather lack of opportunity. Those unwilling to share, dismiss the poor as "lazy."

Help to the poor by many conscientious Christians is but a "drop in the bucket." It is a shame that the super-rich do not help to make up the lack (though a few do). They could well do so without any noticeable difference in their life styles. That's why I believe in taxing the super-rich to provide for the truly needy. This does not necessarily mean throwing money at the poor. Perhaps the best help would be to enable them to become independent through making work available to them.

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: Inequality

Post by steve7150 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:04 pm

That's why I believe in taxing the super-rich to provide for the truly needy. This does not necessarily mean throwing money at the poor. Perhaps the best help would be to enable them to become independent through making work available to them.

Good story Paidion. We have had tax rates as high as 90% and it didn't alleviate poverty. I truly don't want to come across as political but i have to describe it the way i see it. "The left" does not want poor people to become independent because they may lose their grip on them. They do throw money at people or as i said before, they do give a man a fish but never teach him to fish. Taxing the super rich to provide for the poor works up to a certain point and then becomes counterproductive. Hillary's tax rate of 65% is counterproductive although it will certainly will garner her some votes which is what she is all about. I know for a fact that in today's very mobile and fluid world, money and residences can be shifted easily to avoid oppressive tax rates and so raising taxes on the rich will hurt the economy and not raise much revenue, but it will make some lawyers and accountants lot's of money.

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