I'm so old I remember that both the US and the UK used to tax very high incomes at 90%. AFTER you made a bunch of money THE REST was taxed a lot. If you make $1 billion you "only" take home $100 million.
How MANY problems do we have now with billionaires screwing up both countries, and the rest of the people struggling?
So don't tell me about solutions until you raise top tax rates back where they should be in a democracy.
The POINT of top tax rates is redistribution.
@dcjohnson I believe the point also was to prevent 1) the very kind of corruption we are experiencing, especially since Citizens United and 2) a SCOTUS that pretends money is speech and proves every day that money in politics just buys bad politics and little justice.
@dcjohnson The Cringe Lord is certainly helping to disprove the anti-tax mantra of the billionaire class as “job creators.”
@dcjohnson I... kind of agree with you, as long as you're also taking care of loopholes that let the ultra-wealthy hide their income from those tax calculations beforehand.
Raising the top tax bracket to 3000% doesn't do squat, if every ultra wealthy person's income shows as just $1000/year to the tax department.
Then it's often the middle/upper middle class (the ones not rich enough for a top tier sketchy accountant) that get screwed.
@Blort @dcjohnson I don't know the details about what happened in the UK, so I'll discuss the tax reforms in the US in the early 1980s. You're right, top tax rates were very high, but there were lots of loopholes. The reforms cut both rates and loopholes, leaving the rich paying about the same proportion of the amount of taxes collected as before.
The whole reform was followed by an economic boom, though it's hard to disentangle how tax changes contributed.
@dcjohnson TBF, while I think the redistribution is the best argument for a high marginal tax, I think even if the government just torched the money, blunting the inequality in society would be a good enough reason to do it
@dcjohnson We built the interstate highway system on those taxes. Can you imagine trying to build such a thing now?
@dcjohnson Blocking wealth concentration does other things. By pruning the overflow of wealth it gets put into wider use. This redistribution is necessary for a strong economy. Wealth concentration is the death of capitalism by its own hand.
@dcjohnson I don't think everyone realises you don't pay the high rate on all of it, in UK anyway. The high rate only applies to the amount that still goes over the threshold after you've first taken off the personal allowance and it could be a tiny amount that it actually applies to.
@AliceMerray @dcjohnson it’s been that way here in the US also. That’s why it’s properly called the “marginal tax rate” since it applies after you pay the lower rates on the lower brackets. We’ve had upward of 9 brackets at one point, and if the lowest bracket is 0% for the first 15k, that applies to the first 15k for everyone. 10% for 15k to 30k, same thing. It makes the use of tax tables or automated calculation necessary.
@dcjohnson if you make 1 billion, the government gets 900 million to spend on social infrastructure and services. Which is jobs AND benefits everyone else at the same time. Now that's what I call trickle-down economics!
@stillkindahoping I'm hoping to write about just HOW it corrupts the economy later.
Hint: low top tax rates enabled making a fortune overnight.
@dcjohnson True. Here's my nutshell. Historically after WWII there was an agreement between workers, business and government to grow the economy and share the prosperity. When Reagan, Thatcher and Mulrooney took over politics in the 1980s there was a massive shift in taxation and labour strategies that allowed business to have #extremegreed and drain bargaining power from unions. The final step was offshoring manufacturing, allowing globalized profiteering and tax dodging, and disabling workers.
@stillkindahoping They broke the social contract. They took the massive investment in infrastructure built by both countries and privatized it. For the few, not the many.
Both countries have been coasting on that infrastructure since, not maintaining or modernizing it much, and both societies have been crumbling ever since.
@dcjohnson True. Politicians and people kept believing that business would continue helping society, but in reality once the brakes were taken off we saw that there are no limits to how greedy companies can be. In addition to removing tax dollars for infrastructure and health, companies realized they could pollute up to the regulation limits with impunity. Their political buddies kept making it easier to extract and hoard wealth. The politicians are rarely the smart ones in the room.
@Koekepan I spent the last several years at a think tank studying just that.
But thanks for the insult.
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