401K means Wall Street IS Main Street.

Author: Greyparrot ,

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  • Greyparrot
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    I remember a few years back the huge sit-in on wall street attacking the one-percenters when the Dow Jones was kinda low at that time.

    Most Americans, even lower middle class, have personal retirement funds directly linked to the performance of the stock market, meaning All of America are investors of capital, not just the one-percenters.

    Wall Street has been made main street due solely with the creation of the 401k.

     
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Most Americans, even lower middle class, have personal retirement funds directly linked to the performance of the stock market, meaning All of America are investors of capital, not just the one-percenters.
    roughly half of americans own some sort of stock or investment, 52-54%. So I would disagree when you say most people benefit from the stock market. It is only a touch over half. That still leaves 46-48% who get no benefit from the stock market at all. 

    Wall Street has been made main street due solely with the creation of the 401k.
    Of the approximately 52% who do own some sort of stock, then yes, literally speaking the majority do benefit. But if you take a step back you see that the benefits are massively skewed. If you look at that link you will see a chart showing that 93.3% of stocks are owned by the top 20% of the population.

    So to break it down, a touch under half get no benefit at all. of the slightly more than half that do get some kind of benefit, they are getting a fraction of a penny on the dollar of the wealthy. The vast majority of people would be better off pushing for better wages and work conditions than paying any attention at all to stock prices.

    There is nothing wrong with using the stock market, but if you are making the majority of your money from a salary and not from investments (ie the vast majority of americans) then you should be far more concerned about fixing the economy so all the money doesn't go to the top than with how well the stock market is doing. 
  • Greyparrot
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    roughly half of Americans own some sort of stock or investment, 52-54%. So I would disagree when you say most people benefit from the stock market. 

    ?


    ...are these working-age Americans?

    Also even if they have a company-based retirement fund instead of a 401-k, it will most certainly be invested somewhere.

    I find it kinda hard to believe 46% of people are planning to retire on social security.
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @Greyparrot

    I find it kinda hard to believe 46% of people are planning to retire on social security.
    Ok. I provided stats to back up my point and provided my source. If you don't think this is accurate then please provide a source which supports your opinion. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    stat from where? It just doesn't pass the smell test that 46% of all workers plan to retire on social security.
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @Greyparrot
    stat from where? It just doesn't pass the smell test that 46% of all workers plan to retire on social security.
    ummm what? I provided statistics and a source for those statistics. Your response is that you don't like it and therefore are going to pretend like it isn't real. If you can find evidence that this isn't true, then I am certainly willing to look at your evidence and we can further this discussion.

    If you are not willing to bother to look, then you are rejecting reality because you don't like it. It will make it impossible to discuss the topic if you aren't willing to do basic research to try to support your assertion. 


  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    This is a flaw, not a feature. It means that the entire system is incredibly fragile.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    What are you talking about? Your own source concluded most people are affected by the stock market. The guy was half lying.

    It also didn't exclude non-workers under 65.
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Eh. We Americans are shite at saving. That is partially a result of social security. It reduced retirement saving.

    Although, I'm 19 and have a Roth IRA already. If 48% of American don't have any stocks at all, I would be super disappointed.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Even if you don't have retirement investments, chances are your boss does. Cheering a dip in the stock market is just asking to get laid off. Unless you work for the government, attacking the 1% most productive is suicide.
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Yes, I see no good in attacking people just because they are wealthier than me. They are a popular target because they are a minority that many people aren't sympathetic towards.

    We will see how well politicians attacking them works when they stop investing in venture capital and other investments because success is punished.
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Even if you don't have retirement investments, chances are your boss does. Cheering a dip in the stock market is just asking to get laid off.
    No one should cheer dips in the stock markets. In and of itself, that is not a good thing. However the stock market going up is not in and of itself a good thing for most people either. Stock prices go up when companies make more money, but it doesn't really matter how they make that money. If they engage is super abusive, shitty business practices that hurt a lot of people, but they make money at it, their stock price will go up. For most people, their stock price going up doesn't really help them. But the shitty business practices the company engaged in to make it go up will likely hurt them.


    Unless you work for the government, attacking the 1% most productive is suicide.
    Your point is fundamentally flawed. You are mistaking top 1% most wealthy with top 1% most productive. Having money does not mean you are productive. It just means you have money. There are alot of very productive people who do not get properly rewarded for their work, and lots of largely useless people who get very highly rewarded for their work.    
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Yes, I see no good in attacking people just because they are wealthier than me. They are a popular target because they are a minority that many people aren't sympathetic towards.
    This is a weird dynamic that I can't seem to understand. Rich people attack poor people all the time. But a large percentage of lower and middle class people argue there is no reason to attack rich people. The rich lobby the government to make rules and laws that benefit them at the expense of everyone else. Most of the rich don't give a shit about you except how they can use you to get more money. If your death would profit them, they would let you die. 

    People don't attack the rich because they are an easy target. They attack them because they are busy attacking everyone else. And they are very good at it. 
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    They are attacked because (1) they have a lot of money, so they can fund things. (2) because people are spiteful and jealous of the rich. If you took 90% of a rich person's income vs a poor person's, your reaction would be very different. Yet the amount you stole from the rich was significantly larger.

    And I am against lobbying. Some of your dem candidates are as well, but they still propose higher taxes on them.
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    They are attacked because (1) they have a lot of money, so they can fund things.
    Yes. If you have more wealth available to you, then you can afford to pay more for the common good. These people have disproportionately benefited from the system we have developed. for example they are profiting off of skilled labor trained at public expense. Since they are benefiting more than average from this system, they should be paying more than average back into that system. If they don't then the services the system can offer decline and we all suffer as a result.

    2) because people are spiteful and jealous of the rich. If you took 90% of a rich person's income vs a poor person's, your reaction would be very different.
    I don't disagree that people are spiteful and jealous. The difference is what the outcome would be. If you took 90% of a rich person's income, they would still be rich. They might not be able to afford as much luxury, but they would be rich. if you took 90% of a poor person's income they would starve to death. The outcomes are extremely different and therefore should not be treated as if they are the same.

    Yet the amount you stole from the rich was significantly larger.
    This is a very loaded statement. 1) taxation is not theft. They benefit significantly from government services, they should have to pay for those services. 

    2) recent studies have shown that the rich are actually paying a lower effective tax rate than the lower class. Their decades of lobbying have resulted in billionaires paying a lower effective tax rate than the people struggling to make ends meet. 

    And I am against lobbying. Some of your dem candidates are as well, but they still propose higher taxes on them.
    What is your point? A billionaire is 1 person. They get one vote. What they want should not out way what a million poor people want. But in the current system what millionaires and billionaires want is far more important to most politicians than what their constituents want. The american electoral system requires massive amounts of money to run a campaign. So politicians spend a huge percentage of their time fundraising and sucking up to rich people. This is not what they were elected to do and has resulted in the system massively benefiting rich people at the expense of everyone else.
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    So, your point is that they are benefiting more from public funds. That is a very broad statement. First off, these rich people are putting in a lot more effort than the average person. Second, you have no guarantee that their workers received public education, and more likely they didn't because our public school system is pitiful compared to private schools.

    So, I support a flat tax. I say that, no matter how successful a person is, they have an equal right to their income. If they put in more work, they get to keep as much of it as anyone else. If they make more(and according to you, they receive more benefit), they pay more. But to at some point say that the government has the right to take 50% of every dollar you make just because you're an entrepreneur that works 80 hours a week, while someone who works a part time job and refuses to finish high school lives tax free, that is quite ridiculous.



    Rich is a completely relative term. If you take 90% of their income, they may be slightly more "rich" than other people. But at that point, you have to wonder if it is worth it to take years off of your life working 80 hours a week to just be moderately wealthy. 

    It isn't even that the poor person would starve to death. It is the mentality. That you think it is okay to take more from people just because they are successful. 

    Taxation is by definition theft. Let us say you are in a room with five people. You have $100. They vote to rob you of your money. They give you a gum wrapper for your "benefit". That is what the government does. Just because people vote to steal your money doesn't make it okay to steal from them. There is no guarantee that this money will work in your benefit, either. If it is an investment for you, say making a road that you need to get to work, sure.

    Their income tax rate is higher. The capital gains tax is low, which makes it "lower". But as I said in a previous thread, these are after tax dollars. Even if they pay a lower tax rate, the 1% pay I believe 36% of total taxes, while the bottom 50% pay almost nothing. I would say the poor people are getting the good end of this deal with free food, housing, healthcare, education, etc without paying a dime.

    Yes, I agree that billionaires shouldn't have some inordinate amount of power over our politicians. I think that grass roots funding of campaigns are the way to go. I don't think unions or businesses should be able to donate like they do. Now, people who are rich also have a lot of power outside of contributions. They have the ability to take away tons of jobs. So, punishing them isn't the way to go. Give them a good environment to do business. That means no excessive taxes and regulations.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Actually, as Cortez discovered after running Amazon out of New York, rich investors creating jobs are more important to society than less productive people and deserve more public support. 
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Yes, I agree that billionaires shouldn't have some inordinate amount of power over our politicians. I think that grass roots funding of campaigns are the way to go. I don't think unions or businesses should be able to donate like they do. Now, people who are rich also have a lot of power outside of contributions. They have the ability to take away tons of jobs. So, punishing them isn't the way to go. Give them a good environment to do business. That means no excessive taxes and regulations.
    The problem is that the government is in the business of business. If the people don't want their politicians to be bribed, they should get their politicians out of the game of picking the winners and the losers in the business world and let the free market work to weed out the bad apples. The people don't support bad businesses, and it happens at the speed of a tweet today.

  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    First off, these rich people are putting in a lot more effort than the average person.
    What does that even mean? Do you think a guy who inherited millions from his parents then started a series of failed companies "puts in more effort" than soldiers, police, construction workers etc? Being rich does not mean you put in more effort. It just means you own stuff. 

    Second, you have no guarantee that their workers received public education, and more likely they didn't because our public school system is pitiful compared to private schools.
    Here is a link showing that 90% of american children received a public education. So the vast majority of employees of virtually every company received a publicly funded education. But this is only 1 of the ways they benefit from society. Their property is defended by police and soldiers. They transport their goods on public roads. There are countless ways that the government subsidizes the wealth of the rich. 


    So, I support a flat tax. I say that, no matter how successful a person is, they have an equal right to their income. If they put in more work, they get to keep as much of it as anyone else.
    Again, just because they are rich, does not prove they put in more work. It just means they are getting more benefit from their work and/or inherited lots of money. Poor people work hard too. But america's economy is not designed to reward work. it is designed to generate as much wealth as possible for those at the top. 

    If they make more(and according to you, they receive more benefit), they pay more.
    But at the moment they don't. They are paying a lower effective tax rate than you are. 

    Rich is a completely relative term. If you take 90% of their income, they may be slightly more "rich" than other people. But at that point, you have to wonder if it is worth it to take years off of your life working 80 hours a week to just be moderately wealthy. 
    1st off, no one is suggesting a 90% effective tax rate, so that is a straw man. 2nd, if you take 90% of 10 million dollars per year income, they are still making 1 million dollars per year. They are not going to encounter economic hardship at 1 million a year. If you took 90% of the income of someone making 30,000 per year, they would go bankrupt. So the 2 scenario's are entirely different. 

    It isn't even that the poor person would starve to death. It is the mentality. That you think it is okay to take more from people just because they are successful. 
    What other mentality is there? We need X amount of money to run a country, 90% of the money is held by a tiny percentage of the population. There is no way you can possibly split the costs evenly when so much of the money is concentrated is so few hands. If they hold most of the money, they should pay most of the taxes. There is no other method that can possibly work. 

    Taxation is by definition theft. 
    No it is not. That is like saying killing someone is by definition murder. it is not. there are many cases where ending someone's life is not murder. There are many cases where taking money from someone is not theft.

    Let us say you are in a room with five people. You have $100. They vote to rob you of your money. They give you a gum wrapper for your "benefit". That is what the government does.
    Your analogy doesn't work on several levels. 1) your scenario is a 100% payment by 1 person and a 0% payment by everyone else. That is not how taxes work at all. 
    2) Rich people make their money off of everyone else. If those people didn't work for them, invest in their businesses, buy their stuff etc, they wouldn't be rich. Your scenario has none of that detail and just describes a robbery. 
    3) If you don't want to pay taxes you have the choice to leave to avoid taxation. People want to stay because they have all the benefits of being in America. Taxes are an agreed upon part of being an american. If you don't want to agree to the rules of being an american, then stop being an american. Objecting to taxes is like saying saying you really want all the benefits of having a job, but you don't want to do any of the work that comes with it. It is childish. 

    Their income tax rate is higher. The capital gains tax is low, which makes it "lower". But as I said in a previous thread, these are after tax dollars.
    There is no such thing as an "after tax dollar". If you earn income, that income is taxed. Capitol gains is income, therefore it is taxed. The rich want to convince poor people that capitol gains is a super special kind of income they shouldn't pay taxes on. They do that because it would benefit them massively while benefiting the majority of Americans very little. 
  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    Yes, I agree that billionaires shouldn't have some inordinate amount of power over our politicians.
    We seem to agree on this point. I think political donations from any organizations should be banned. 

    Give them a good environment to do business. That means no excessive taxes and regulations.
    I agree, but we have very different definitions of a "good environment" and "no excessive taxes and regulations". The most critical detail to keep in mind is that corporations do not have the best interests of America or it's people at heart. That isn't what they exist for. They only care about their personal profit. And that is fine because that is what they are supposed to be doing. But if you don't have a strong government setting rules for how they should operate then they will act like assholes and do destructive, awful things in the pursuit of profit. Most people don't want to stop companies from earning money. But they need to be regulated to make sure they do it in constructive ways. They also need to be properly taxed so that the government can provide the services the country needs. 

  • Greyparrot
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    I agree, but we have very different definitions of a "good environment" and "no excessive taxes and regulations".

    I would rather have an un-bribed consumer regulate with tweets and votes and boycotts than a paid politician.
  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    88% of millionaires are self-made. So yes, when I talk about the rich working harder, that is because most of them do. What I mean by effort is being smart and willing to put in 80 hours of work. Being able to make a business plan, hire workers, and fight to make a profit is a lot more admirable than working 9-5 on week days.

    Ok, and when the police patrol poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods more often, the poor should pay more of that tax, right? They are certainly benefiting more. The problem with your assumption is that this cannot be quantified. 

    Our economy is generated as a meritocracy. If you don't finish high school, I don't care how much lumber you cut. Sure it might be stressful on your body. But any able-bodied person can do that. Accountants make significantly more because it is more specialized and a lot of people can't do that. Not everyone has the know-how to start a business and be innovative. Again, 88% of millionaires are self-made. So, it is more or less a strawman to define the rich as kids who inherited wealth.

    I don't care about the effective tax rate. They pay hundreds of thousands more in taxes. 

    Sure, 90% could be considered a strawman. But under FDR, the nominal tax rate was 94% https://flaglerlive.com/26685/gc-fdr-and-taxes/
    So, it isn't that far-fetched, and it was meant as hyperbole to prove a point. I wouldn't put $10 million dollars of work in if I only got a small percentage of it.

    The other mentality is get the government out of our lives and let us succeed or fail based on merit.


  • HistoryBuff
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    --> @bmdrocks21
    88% of millionaires are self-made
    Did you look into the details of that study? They recruited 1,367 people to do an online study. Of those, 601 had more that 1 million dollars in assets. Do you think a family legacy kind of millionaire is likely to sign up for an online survey? This study does not seem to be representative of the general population because the sample wasn't random. This survey suffers from selection bias and cannot be viewed as reliable when making conclusions about all millionaires.

    Here is a link I found. The last slide has some details on how they did the study. 

    Ok, and when the police patrol poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods more often, the poor should pay more of that tax, right? They are certainly benefiting more. The problem with your assumption is that this cannot be quantified. 
    I don't see that as benefiting more. Poor people have less property and wealth to protect. The rich have a great deal of property and wealth to protect. If crime is prevented, it is the rich that benefit more from it. The poor have little to lose. 

    Our economy is generated as a meritocracy.
    No, it really, really isn't. Who you know and what your family name is has HUGE impacts on who does well and who does not. If your dad knows an executive at a company, it is alot easier to get a high paying position than if you are some poor kid looking for a job.

    Again, 88% of millionaires are self-made. So, it is more or less a strawman to define the rich as kids who inherited wealth.
    The stat you provided is from a very flawed survey. It cannot be relied upon to draw that kind of conclusion. 

    I don't care about the effective tax rate. They pay hundreds of thousands more in taxes. 
    And they make hundreds of millions or billions more in revenue. They are gaining much more from the benefits of society than you are. It is only right that they pay more back into the system. 

    Sure, 90% could be considered a strawman. But under FDR, the nominal tax rate was 94%
    During WW2 yes. But the effective tax rate was actually 69%. it is lower down in the same article you linked. So saying 90% is still a straw man because no one has ever paid a 90% effective tax rate and no one is advocating for one now.

    The other mentality is get the government out of our lives and let us succeed or fail based on merit.
    In that mentality, the poor essentially lose any power at all. If the government stays out of it, then the rich get to decide all the rules and the poor just have to suffer whatever the rich want. You are essentially advocating for an Oligarchy. This is pretty much the Russian system.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    In that mentality, the poor essentially lose any power at all. 

    This is such a silly assertment that everyone with no money has no merit.

    Sure there are a few poor that deserve it like drug addicts and hedonists and other bad lifestyle choice poor, but most of the poor have plenty of merit given the opportunity to prove it.

    Just like there are a few rich that don't deserve it like SJW trust fund babies, but most of the rich have to fight to fend off the jealous evil in the world.

    In a meritocracy, the rich are allowed to be fools and are parted with their money. In an oligarchy, the politicians bail out the banks. and reward poor people for making bad lifestyle choices that hurt all of society.

  • bmdrocks21
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    --> @HistoryBuff
    This is what the online study was: "The study was focused onunderstanding affluent investors’ attitudes, goals, behaviors and preferences related to investing, wealth management, and advice." It was asking a variety of questions over twenty minutes from a third-party firm. I don't know why a millionaire that inherited money is less likely to agree to an interview than someone who wasn't. It you have statistics proving this 88% number wrong, I encourage you to post them.

    The poor would benefit more for a huge variety of reasons for police patrols. It prevents crime. It also costs more. So, for that added benefit, they should have to pay more for police because they benefit more.

    Who you know can have some bearing on getting a job. But you also have to be qualified. A company won't take some idiot just because he has a hard-working parent. I would like to see statistics claiming otherwise. Poor people can have connections, too.

    They also work a shit-ton harder than me. I don't have the know-how to invest like them. So, because I don't have that kind of mentality and work that hard, I'm not gonna complain that they have a lot more than me.

    That is why I said the nominal tax rate was 90%, not the effective. So, the fact that someone would call for that 90% tax wasn't a strawman. We live in the real world and assume that deductions will make the effective rate smaller. 69% is still absurdly high. If I invest and make a dollar, why should the government get over 2/3 of that profit? Just having more income doesn't make that investment any less valuable for the economy, so why should it be less valuable to the investor?

    You see, this is why I am against lobbying and large campaign donations. I don't want the poor to be powerless and the rich to be powerful. I want equality of opportunity, so then the rich cannot manipulate the game and make it unequal. At that point, hard workers will succeed. I don't care to subsidize drug addicts' lifestyles nor those of people who work at McDonald's and have eight kids.