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Thread: Democratic Party 2017 and beyond

  1. #731
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    https://www.philanthropy.com/article...oomberg/241235
    It would be disappointing, if true, that those you named Bfly would be giving to IRS in such an inefficient way. No one has given more, or pledged to give more in future, to help humanity, environment, global health initiatives than Buffett, Gates, others in this link and that is thru the non wasteful highly productive Gates Foundation for example. Why would you give to a ridiculously wasteful entity (IRS) when you have such a better way to direct your resources. Fun link, check to see where some of these big names give.

    I am getting a bit of baldgriff as I get older. I see govt as so wasteful with resources relative to where Buffett, Gates, Bloomberg give, per link.

  2. #732
    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldgriff View Post
    Fly -
    I didnt state that there are individuals that do this of their own volition out of a good heart and caring for others. I stated pretty clearly there is NO Income Bracket. As an aside aren't those personal funds that are donated able to be used as deductions to reduce your taxes? So rather than actually paying more - you are spending/donating your money to the targeted programs that you value.

    Also, I never stated that the government shouldnt have a means by collecting funds i.e. taxation. I said I personally feel that we give government to much already, but I pay it because I dont want to go to jail.
    I'm not very good at obtaining or keeping receipts for my charitable donations and forwarding them to the guy we pay to prepare our taxes, so I leave a lot of my charitable donation tax benefits on the table, and my understanding is that since I pay the AMT the tax impact doesn't come remotely close to a recoupment of the donated funds, in any event. So I do not think the donations to public/government-run programs really operate as a dollar-for-dollar displacement of mandatory tax payments into the general public coffers.

  3. #733
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    Thats a 15 month old link, as it looks like Bezos is now # 1 my a good margin in list of wealthiest, combined with how much Gates has been donating to charity, and fluctuations in their stock holdings. Time span of 15 months an there are 50 billion dollar swings, wow. do we declare that is due to hard work? https://www.bloomberg.com/billionair...ffrey-p-bezos/
    I am not sure how one would tackle tracking relationship between hard work, and wealth. It certainly is not linear, and when crossing the multi millions per year barrier, for actors, musicians, athletes, other celebrities like Kardashians, you cant reasonably assert their wealth is proportional to their hard work.

  4. #734
    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcstomp View Post
    https://www.philanthropy.com/article...oomberg/241235
    It would be disappointing, if true, that those you named Bfly would be giving to IRS in such an inefficient way. No one has given more, or pledged to give more in future, to help humanity, environment, global health initiatives than Buffett, Gates, others in this link and that is thru the non wasteful highly productive Gates Foundation for example. Why would you give to a ridiculously wasteful entity (IRS) when you have such a better way to direct your resources. Fun link, check to see where some of these big names give.

    I am getting a bit of baldgriff as I get older. I see govt as so wasteful with resources relative to where Buffett, Gates, Bloomberg give, per link.
    Yes, of course, voluntary donations and grants are more focused on supporting or promoting specific programs or initiatives and are generally donated, either directly or through a foundation or NFP, to the governmental entity executing the program. The IRS as a entity is less efficient primarily because it has the duty to monitor/audit/enforce tax laws/tax collection.

    Edit to add: I'm not sure your link suggests that Buffett, Gates and Bloomberg's donations aren't going to public/governmental entities. I know for a fact that a great deal of the money from the foundations of Gates, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg and even Walton have gone to governmental entities to support government-run programs.

  5. #735
    Quote Originally Posted by Sour Masher View Post
    Come on Bald, you really think Oprah works 1000s of times harder than you? You mentioned hard work being a thing for the wealthy, and I pushed back that while Oprah says she is a billionaire because of hard work and talent, I say, yes, that is part of it, but a huge part of it is luck and the system that allows her to reap so many rewards. Her whole empire stands on social structures and technologies she did not invent. Her extreme wealth is a product of a healthy society with lots of disposable income and leisure time. And she probably pays less taxes than you in terms of parentage of wealth and income. Is that fair? Would it be fair is she paid the same percentage? What about those trust fund kids who inherited billions and party all day and night? You wanna protect their tax bracket too?
    Oprah worked extremely hard to get to the place where she can say "You get a car, and you get a car and you get a car.... everyone is getting a car". Do I think she works hard in the same way she did when she was coming up the ranks? I would say that if you want to stay on top, you gotta work hard to stay there. I dont know what her work day entails, but I would imagine she is pretty laser focused on what is going on in her world. She earned the money she made the hard way - she has also likely invested a good portion of those funds wisely and earns money based on those wise decisions. Why should I begrudge her one dime of what she has done to make her life what it is today? Why should I think that she has some responsibility to give one dime more of that to the government because she happened to make more than I did.

    What system allowed her to go from living in poverty, having a child die while she was a teen, to becoming a co-anchor of a news show at 19 years old. She worked hard in a country that wants people to succeed. She overcame! and yes - She got lucky! (but made some of that luck by working hard). So what if she got lucky! So just because she hit the lottery ticket - she now has some moral obligation to make sure that Joe or Jane Doe(s) in Baton Rouge, or the folks with whatever disability are taken care of, or that she has a responsibility to give the government any more than you or I? Nope - she did the work and gets to reap the benefits - and if she decides to give people cars - its her money and she can do with it as she pleases......

    As to the Trust Fund Kids?? Yep - they didnt earn it. They just happened to get lucky. However, it doesnt mean that the person who set up those trusts didnt work hard to earn that money and provide for their heirs, so that they didnt have to be worried about those things we normal people do. Damn - must be really nice to be a trust fund kid - you know because they have more than me - well they should have to pay for Joe or Jane Doe(s) in Baton Rouge, or the folks with whatever disability to be taken care of, or they should have the responsibility to give the government.

    Why do I protect the "uber rich"? I dont protect the uber rich. I have been very consistent saying that no one should be required to pay more than another person based on the fact that they have or make more. Some people work harder than others and make more than others. Some people get all of the luck and make more than others. Saying that they should be required to give back more is just wrong. And where does that line start or stop? Nope - government shouldnt be making morality decisions. People should pay their tax - and then spend their money in the manner that they see fit.

    B-Fly donates his money to specific charities and targeted programs. The Gates's and Zuckerbergs of the world give to other programs or set up tax shelters called foundations so they can give to where they want to and get a taxable deduction to do so........ thats so they can pay a lower percentage of income tax than I may.

    Making a decision that says "Ubers" have more than I do - so they are more responsible than me - well thats part jealousy and part shifting your responsiblity to someone else. Rather than just saying, I dont have money to put to that.

    I shouldn't be saying - well I cant pay for it, but I value it so that rich person there should pay for it. That person generally did something, or produced something that allowed them to earn what they earn. I will not begrudge someone for being successful and their success does not create some further responsibility to the entire world. They can spend it how they want - save it how the want and bequeath it to their heirs or anyone else that they choose to make life better for. They have no responsibility to take care of a person or group you or I believe they should take care of - just because they have more than we do.
    Last edited by baldgriff; 01-10-2019 at 02:53 PM.
    It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must stop it.
    Bill Clinton 1995, State of the Union Address


    "When they go low - we go High" great motto - too bad it was a sack of bullshit. DNC election mantra

  6. #736
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    Zuckerberg donated $100M to Newark, NJ schools, one of the challenging school districts in the country.
    Here’s an article about how that turned out:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.a4eb928c74c2

  7. #737
    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldgriff View Post
    The Gates's and Zuckerbergs of the world give to other programs or set up tax shelters called foundations so they can give to where they want to and get a taxable deduction to do so........ thats so they can pay a lower percentage of income tax than I may.
    Wow, you honestly believe these philanthropists are just doing it as a tax dodge, rather than based on an earnest desire to make a positive difference? I'm glad I'm not that cynical.

  8. #738
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fly View Post
    Wow, you honestly believe these philanthropists are just doing it as a tax dodge, rather than based on an earnest desire to make a positive difference? I'm glad I'm not that cynical.
    Probably a little of both, but I would certainly rather have them fund their foundations than let our Federal Government use them.

  9. #739
    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fly View Post
    Wow, you honestly believe these philanthropists are just doing it as a tax dodge, rather than based on an earnest desire to make a positive difference? I'm glad I'm not that cynical.
    I dont believe that all of the Gates' Zuckerbuergs and other "Ubers" are just philanthropists doing good things "just to make a difference". Each of them is motivated in very different personal reasons. Some do it because they want to make a difference, but others do it for the tax dodge. Others do it because it makes them look good. That Clinton Foundation really was philanthropic wasnt it? There are some good "Ubers" and not good "Ubers".

    Im not cynical - Im pragmatic and honest.
    It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must stop it.
    Bill Clinton 1995, State of the Union Address


    "When they go low - we go High" great motto - too bad it was a sack of bullshit. DNC election mantra

  10. #740
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldgriff View Post

    What system allowed her to go from living in poverty, having a child die while she was a teen, to becoming a co-anchor of a news show at 19 years old. She worked hard in a country that wants people to succeed. She overcame! and yes - She got lucky! (but made some of that luck by working hard). So what if she got lucky! So just because she hit the lottery ticket - she now has some moral obligation to make sure that Joe or Jane Doe(s) in Baton Rouge, or the folks with whatever disability are taken care of, or that she has a responsibility to give the government any more than you or I? Nope - she did the work and gets to reap the benefits - and if she decides to give people cars - its her money and she can do with it as she pleases......
    Horatio Alger stories like hers go a long way in creating the illusion that we live in a meritocracy. We do not. Oprah is talented, and she did work hard, and I'm not begrudging her enjoying the benefits of her labor. But as you say, it is like winning the lottery--do you not agree on lottery winners paying taxes on their winnings? For every Ophrah, there are thousands that could have been her but did not make it. Those people are a part of our society. They entered into the social contract all of us are born into. Yes, I do think those that make it to the top owe something to those who did not. I also happen to think, as you do, that government is at times wasteful, and there is legitimate debate about what government should provide its people and what it should not.

    But to answer your question of what systems were in place to allow a woman born in poverty to overcome many hardships to become a billionaire, the economic systems of scale, enabled by a massive population and the ubiquitous reach of television during the time of her rise to reach millions of viewers, mostly women, who, because of their disposable income, were/are valuable to advertisers. Each and every one of those viewers made Oprah what she is. Each of them contributed some of their capital to help her build hers. You can say they got fair value for their money, because she entertained them, just as you can say LeBron James or Adam Sandler provide fair value to their fans. That may be true, but none of those people could earn as much as they do if it wasn't for the economies of scale and the access media gives entertainers to massive audiences, or for a system of government that allows individuals and companies to charge what they do of consumers.

    No one is an island when it comes to wealth. One cannot gain such massive allocation of resources without acquiring them from massive amounts of people. Some systems, historically, have limited the amount someone can collect from others, and some systems of government take a bigger "house cut" of the profits. None of this would be possible if it weren't for social cooperation. Oprah could not own dozens of houses and cars and jets if people were still hunter-gathering nomads. Hell, she could not have been on TV in the role she enjoyed decades previous, and she wouldn't have even been able to vote 100 years ago. Systems are always in place that allow some to acquire a lot, while others cannot do the same. And there wouldn't even be jets, or tvs, or anything like that, if we didn't cooperate as a society. Everything good we have comes from us working together. The roads we travel on in our cars, the houses we sit comfortably warm in while it snows outside, all of it would not be possible if we let, unchecked, just a few of us, to collect more and more of the limited resources we collectively have. Already, over half of our nation's wealth in in the hands of less than 1% of our nation's people. That isn't a good thing for a society.

    The idea that anyone, ever, has gotten to the level of ultra-wealth without the benefits, privileges, or allowances of the systems in which the operate is false. Many say that our systems--of culture, government, and economics--are the best in the world in giving individuals of all types opportunities to acquire massive wealth. I say again, it is not unreasonable, given these facts, to demand those that rise to such heights within our society that they have more wealth than they could ever need to leave well and good, and more wealth than generations of their line could ever possibly need, to give a little more than those among us who have nothing or next to nothing. Without a healthy society, no one could ever become as wealthy as the ultra wealthy now are.
    Last edited by Sour Masher; 01-10-2019 at 03:37 PM.

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