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Letter: United States has ‘crony-capitalism,’ not a true capitalist economy

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Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:00 am

As for John Lucas’ moocher letter, “The extremely rich are the moochers,” Jan. 8, it has been reported ad nauseam of how more than half our population does not pay federal income taxes. This means the people with the higher incomes pay everything federal, and you think that’s fair? Neither is income wealth stagnant. In this country the poor can become rich and vice versa. This isn’t Europe as liberals would love us to be.

The problem with socialism is that as much as Lucas rails against the people wealthier than he, there are people who look at John’s income in the same way, saying that it’s unfair for him to have what he has earned and must share it with others. Income equality equates to equal misery. John is a combat-wounded Viet Nam vet and I have nothing but admiration and respect for him, but he is dead wrong with this belief.

As for Mr. Cooper, “Capitalism proves that wealth redistribution works,” Jan. 11, I agree with him about his redistribution theory but from another angle. We haven’t had true capitalism and a free market for a very long time. The capitalism Mr. Cooper talks about is a combination with socialism, and they are incompatible with each other. It’s called crony-capitalism. Instead of selling their wares in the marketplace and allowing the public to decide if they like it or not, they curry favor with politicians who force these businesses onto the people without regard to need or qualifications. Example: Solyndra, etc.

I stand with the fact that redistribution of wealth has never worked. Just look at America and what socialist policies have done to our economy. This is what happens when one group of people receive without working for it and the rest of us must work without receiving. We are either going to have a socialist economy contrary to our Constitution and history, or have a capitalist open market economy that provides more wealth to a broader spectrum of the population than socialism can even dare. History proves this to be true.

Ron Portal

Lodi

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23 comments:

  • Joe Baxter posted at 6:28 pm on Sat, Jan 25, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1903

    Vilifying the people who have worked hard and figured out how to become “wealthy” is pure liberal propaganda. One that I find especially amusing because most of the liberals selling this snake oil are filthy rich themselves, From day one, there have been poor people and wealthy people. The liberal machine is manufacturing the so called “income inequality” crisis, much like the “war on women” to demonize the conservatives and stir up low information voters before the upcoming elections. Pure hogwash.

     
  • Jack Gilder posted at 3:17 pm on Sat, Jan 25, 2014.

    Jack Gilder Posts: 26

    Joe writes: "So the wealthy are already supporting the country because the poor don't pay income taxes."

    The working poor pay sales and payroll taxes. Tax breaks are supposed to help lower income people make ends meet. Republican tax cuts for the rich contradict this and instead make rich people richer to the extent that 400 of the wealthiest families now have more income than the bottom 50% combined. What the wealthy elite owe society is to pay their fare share for the infrastructure they used to make their fortunes instead of sticking the middle and lower class with the bill. The way the tax code is designed the wealthy elite make out like bandits and many hide their loot where it won't be taxable at all. Some of the biggest corporations get away with paying zero taxes and still collect billions in government subsidies. With their stunning and disproportionate accumulation of wealth that has benefitted from the system being rigged in their favor, any amount they pay in taxes, even if it's a fourth or more lower of a percentage, is still going to be more than what the rest of America pays. The fact they have a behemoth percentage of the nation's wealth isn't an excuse for them to get away with not paying their fare share.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:18 am on Sat, Jan 25, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Baxxter wrote: "So the wealthy are already supporting the country because the poor don't pay income taxes. You would think that the poor would be ok with that since they seem to feel that everyone owes them something."

    I really don't see this happening. I've just finished helping a couple of my friends' daughters with their tax returns. One earned a total of just under 15,000 (gross) working part time at $8.50 per hour.

    Her "taxable income," that is after applying her exemption for herself and her standard deduction for herself, amounted to $5,000. Her tax bill for the year?
    $500. As a self-supporting single person and student, I'm sure she could have used that $500 to pay a month's rent or pay tuition.

    That's a 10% tax rate. With that income level, she is in the poverty range, but still had to pay taxes. The other girl had a similar situation.

    Mitt Romney's income for 2011 was about 13 MILLION, and he paid a 13% tax rate, paying just under 2 million in taxes. And that was after deferring some tax deductions until the following year to keep his rate higher.

    Poor Mitt. I'm sure he could have used that 2 million to remodel another one of his houses or buy a few more cadillacs.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 5:32 pm on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1903

    Great, Mr. Tillett, why don't you and your bleeding heart liberal buddies go to a poor neighborhood and hand out all of your cash. I am sure they would appreciate it and it would make you feel like you are some sort of saint. Poor people have poor ways and most never try to rise above their situation in life. There are way too many taxpayer entitlements allowing them to stay on the government dole. I mean, why work when you don't need to, eh? The liberals will give them rent money, food money, free cell phone, free medical care so who needs a , ugh, JOB? Maybe when Obama makes $25.00/hr the minimum wage more of the "poor people" will go to work. Don't bet on it because nobody will be hiring unless Obama can come up with more of those mysterious "shovel ready" jobs.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 5:01 pm on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1903

    Unless you are physically or mentally incapable of supporting yourself and your family, you don't deserve ANYTHING.

     
  • Joe Baxter posted at 4:43 pm on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1903

    So the wealthy are already supporting the country because the poor don't pay income taxes. You would think that the poor would be ok with that since they seem to feel that everyone owes them something.

     
  • Jack Gilder posted at 1:13 pm on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Jack Gilder Posts: 26

    I'm surprised I have to explain this to you, Brian, but 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days on the lead-up to a US presidential election. Carter was president and Reagan was running against him. Reagan made a secret arms deal with our enemy: Iran, over the timing of the release of the US hostages in order to manipulate a US presidential election. If you can find any similarity between this and any negotiations underway with Iran involving Obama, I invite you to do so, otherwise I think your credibility just suffered a stunning setback.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:58 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    And your argument is....? You don't have one.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:57 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I presume you don't remember the illegal deal Reagan and his cronies made with Iran, Mr. Dockter?

    It was called Iran Contra - he sold weapons illegally to Iran while an arms embargo was in force and then funneled the profits from the sales to the Nicaraguan Contras in violation of the Boland Amendment. TWO laws broken.

    What LAW has Obama broken in trying to broker a diplomatic deal with Iran with the complicity of Congress?

    Just because Israel is opposed, doesn't mean it isn't in our and the world's interest.

    After all, the precious Israel that you support so desperately just lost one of the biggest two faced leaders ever. The only consolation we have is that he suffered for 8 years in a vegetative state, not being able to communicate - and now is no doubt burning in the underworld where he belongs.

    Ariel Sharon was condemned to his fate when he told Shimon Peres, "WE CONTROL AMERICA!" Good riddance - the US doesn't need Israel or any other foreign nation controlling our foreign policy.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:47 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Your point, Mr. Dockter? Oh, that's right - you don't have one.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:33 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Ms. Bobbin stated:

    Excellent start, Mr. Portal, but just WHAT have socialist policies done to our economy?

    -Chuckle,

    In another statement on another thread, Ms. Bobbin said social security and medicare are socilaist programs. No denying that. There are many other socialist programs the government has enacted through the years. Many agree with them. Many disagree with them. It seems to me Ms. Bobbin is trying to imply there are no socialist programs we should disagree with or are bad programs.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:23 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Jack wrote:

    When Reagan came to power, by treasonously making deals with US enemies

    -Jack,

    By advancing your own logic you must agree Obama is also treasonousl;y making a deal with one of our enemies, Iran. I presume you are following this deal we are making with Iran.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:14 am on Fri, Jan 24, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857

    Jack stated:


    consider the fact that 400 of the wealthiest families in the US have more income than the bottom 50% combined.

    -I can just imagine if that 50% had much more money than they needed. There goes the working class and the backbone of most economies.

     
  • Ted Lauchland posted at 4:05 pm on Wed, Jan 22, 2014.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Just what do you think would it take to bring the poor out of poverty ?

    Just what do you think the rich do with their money ? If I would have known there should be a ceiling to what a person should make I would not have gotten up this morning.

    If you won the lotto what did you do with that money ?

    The rich - I would say , don't play the lotto. If they did and win they would simply reinvest it. What would the middleclass man do ? What would the poor do ?

    If the rich didn't invest their monies in companies or stock that invest in companies and instead just kept it in the bank - the bank would invest those monies sometimes matched with government funds to invest in small or other business or personal loans.

    Why would you think it would all be wasteful spending or the such. If it was they would not be rich long. That mansion looks like it is wasteful spending but was built by the middleclass. Hard earned wages used and agreed to by either a signed contract on hourly wage plus or what ever the agreement is paid for out of monies that were generated most likely from the potential of what business can bring.

    Whether it is politically correct or emotionally wise the more the cost is to hire an employee the less likely it is that the businessman can hire him in a global market. Laws are meant to make the average man more secure during his lifetime but if it takes $100 to pay a man $50 by law then that in itself robs a man of not only his job but also his freedom to do what he would have wanted to do with the rest of that wage.

    Until you are ready to slam down the borders a businessman has no choice. The unions are now feeling that pressure and soon the government will too.

    Government doesn't trust that the wage earner will pay for his medical expenses, pay into his retirement fund , put some away for unemployment periods (EDD)( EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT) not the benefit get it here department. So they make it a law that the employers do it for them. Kind of demeaning isn't it.

    Soc. Sec. is a good idea but not when it is blown by the government. Unemployment Insurance , Disability ins. , dot dot dot . From a business stand point the more that is tacked on the less employable you are. Product prices are based on the cost it took to get it there.

    Try working on commission sometime. Every work for less that zero ? You work for it's potential for when it takes off. "You didn't build that" - Ha!

    The socialistic nature that taxes have semi - developed into are not capitalistic . It most often stands in it's way. It certainly doesn't encourage your securing a job . So how much are you worth - times two , or even three. - Youch. - Can't hire you.

    Why don't you hire me instead.

    So again , what would it take to pull the poor out of poverty - and into the first or second tax bracket ?

    Why would you blame the rich ?

    Obama's printing of money devaluates the dollar. Why not look at that as making everyone poorer. The buying power of a nickel hasn't paid for a pack of gum for awhile now.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 6:40 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    [thumbup]

     
  • John Lucas posted at 6:38 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    [thumbup]

     
  • John Lucas posted at 6:38 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    [smile]

     
  • Jeff Tillett posted at 6:24 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 554

    [thumbup]

     
  • Jack Gilder posted at 2:47 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Jack Gilder Posts: 26

    To buy what Ron Portal is saying in his letter requires a suspension of disbelief because he ignores actual history on multiple points. On the Federal Income Taxes, he makes the point about the bottom half not paying any... and this is true, but they still pay sales and payroll taxes. The bottom half are working people who struggle to get by and who tax cuts are intended to actually help rather than just making them grotesquely wealthy, as tax cuts for the rich do. Ron concludes that the richest are paying the bulk of Federal tax revenue. This is also true... but what what Ron leaves out is key: consider the fact that 400 of the wealthiest families in the US have more income than the bottom 50% combined. Naturally they will be paying the bulk of income taxes... I mean, come on... do the math. Does that mean they are paying their fair share? Of course not... what it means is their incomes have gotten out of hand due to 30 years of Reaganomics and the Republican efforts to funnel most of the nation's wealth to a tiny minority at the top. Even with considerable tax cuts they would still be paying the bulk of income taxes... but is that fair? What it really indicates is there is a serious problem regarding income equality. Before Reagan came to power, In 1978, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute, CEOs took home 26.5 times more than the average worker. As of 2011 they make roughly 206 times what workers do. Also, CEO compensation increased more than 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth and the painfully slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation over the same period. The income of the wealthy elite has soared out of sight while worker incomes have stagnated or decreased regardless of increased productivity. Is that fair? Workers are making less for doing more work while the rich are making extremely much more and doing less work. Before Reagan dropped the tax rate for the upper tier down to Great Depression levels the rich in this nation were paying their fair share and reinvesting in American infrastructure rather than using it to make their fortunes and sticking workers with the bill... or just allowing it to deteriorate as they insulated themselves from inside gated communities and behind their castle walls and rake in the tax savings.

    Another point that would require a suspension of disbelief is when Ron says: "The capitalism Mr. Cooper talks about is a combination with socialism, and they are incompatible with each other." I have no idea where Mr. Portal is getting his information about this, but when you look at the actual history of the US you can't help but wonder if Mr. Portal is just making things up. The most prosperous period in American history was between 1940 and 1980 when FDR launched a healthy mix of socialism into the US economy and the middle class was established. Some of the government's most successful programs were born of that and still provide to this day despite Republican efforts to erode them away. Also, during that period it was Democrats that controlled congress for all but a couple of years. Anytime Republicans won a majority it didn't last long because voters understood that Republican actions were counter productive to what FDR had introduced and they were soundly kicked back into the margins. When Reagan came to power, by treasonously making deals with US enemies to manipulate the election, Republicans once again gained a foothold, and any chart you look at regarding incomes shows a clear and dramatic shift to the top while incomes for workers stagnates and declines. So to suggest that socialism and capitalism aren't compatible, as Mr. Portal states, is quite simply ignoring US history. Perhaps, for Mr. Portal, history only began with Reagan's rise to power.

     
  • Eric Barrow posted at 1:48 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1591

    "If you are comfortable and can meet your needs why should it matter how much your neighbor has."
    I don't think liberals are as much worried about how much their neighbor has but rather how little some of our neighbors have.

     
  • Jeff Tillett posted at 1:10 pm on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 554

    "If you are comfortable and can meet your needs why should it matter how much your neighbor has."

    That is becoming a bigger and bigger "IF" for a lot of people. Hence this discussion.

     
  • Ted Lauchland posted at 10:46 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    As with your first paragraph Mr.Portal, I contend that their can never be "fairness" in the United States. There will always be disparities between individuals that enjoy freedoms. We can try but always continue to fail just for the independent thinking that goes on here.

    By the time you follow a single persons financial life from beginning to end it cannot be compared to married, head of household or one of the many other categories listed in the tax codes. State's rules vary from Federal rules as well. There is no one who is ever going think any situation is fair when someone has more than the other.

    I believe it is not possible to prove fairness other than the use of a government to strong arm it's people in demanding it. This country should laugh at that. - No more opportunity.

    What I don't understand is why some are so focused on the disparity of the possession of money between each other. If you are comfortable and can meet your needs why should it matter how much your neighbor has. The word "envy" is in the English language I suppose for a reason.

    I am comfortable but had to work to get there. I expect in a few years , as in the past , the pendulum will swing the other way again. There are good things that come out of extremes whether you know it or not. I believe Rodman is trying to prove that (if he doesn't get himself killed)

    I am happy that those who have made it better than I have found it. They too will feel the pendulum. The poor are not a stranger to this swing either.

    If it proves that the majority of the taxes burdens are currently placed on the middle class I would not be surprised. That is the majority of society isn't it. Social justice ?
    Boy that sounds evil doesn't it. Social support needs to come from the majority or the justice of majority rule will not happen. Everything has it's limits however.

    The legislature is suppose to represent all of us. - Difficult to do in a free society. As you say - the key is to keep it free .

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:07 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Portal wrote: "Just look at America and what socialist policies have done to our economy."

    Excellent start, Mr. Portal, but just WHAT have socialist policies done to our economy? Fine to make this statement, but you need to back it up with some facts that substantiate your claim.

    And what Solyndra has to do with "forcing businesses onto the people," I have no clue. Just EXACTLY what do you mean by this statement, Mr. Portal?

     

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