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Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

If I was going to go the flat tax route, I would include universal basic income. Pay everyone $10k, and then take 25% of all other income. I'm open to higher combinations too. $20k and 50%? Things might get dicey after a 50% tax rate, but I'd be open to going slightly above it to see what happens. Figure out a combination that can would eliminate social welfare programs while balancing the budget.

As noted by another commenter, inflation adjustments would be necessary. I think it would really reduce a lot of government bureaucracy.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

I see your point on wealth creation. However, you use Bill Gates as your example. Bill made this new wealth through his company, Microsoft. Although Bill was instrumental, Microsoft created the new industry and the jobs that go with it. The same goes for most wealthy people. Eliminating the corporate tax would make it easier for them to do so.

A strongly progressive personal income tax structure would not harm Bill's ability to grow Microsoft. It would make it harder for him to extract the wealth he created, encouraging him to keep it invested and grow the company. Modest withdrawals from his portfolio would yield modest taxes. It's only when Bill tries to live extravagantly when he would have to pay a high tax rate. Effectively, a $500k Lamborghini becomes a $1M Lamborghini. It's up to him if it's worth it when he decides to sell is stock.

For luxury items, the high price is part of its allure. Bentleys are nice, but they aren't nice enough to justify the price tag. People buy them to show off their money. People with the means, and want to buy those items would still do so.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

The poor create no jobs.. Everybody else is probably at least indirectly responsible for some jobs. Even a lot of middle class folks I know (myself included) have a person who cleans house for them. It's not a company, it's a just a person. But she has a full time self-created job.

If the poor created no jobs, they would be dead. There is basic economic activity that must be done to survive. That creates jobs. Larry Ellison likely spends only a small percentage of his income maintaining his personal staff, where a poor person would spend everything.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

Yea, let's "soak the rich" they don't deserve to be that wealthy!

I suppose there are some people that make that argument, however that is not a compelling one. The purpose of a progressive tax structure is to compensate for the fixed costs associated with basic human existence. Individuals that have substantially more than those basic needs aren't as affected by taxation.

Rather than thinking tax the wealthy, we should probably think of it as don't tax the poor.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

Wealth is not fixed because you aren't including labor or natural processess. Yes there is certain amount of gold in the ground. No, there really aren't a certain number of deer or beef on earth. Yes we can count them. We can also make more. There are rates of resource exchange, production, and consumption and none of it is fixed.

Please see another comment on this thread where we discuss time versus individuals as inputs to wealth. At a fixed point in time, overall wealth is fixed, but varies from individual to individual. The total wealth of course varies with time.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

The amount you receive does not decrease just because Bill Gates's share is increasing. That is what it would mean for wealth to be fixed—more pie for anyone else means less for you, not merely relative to them but relative to what you had before. Perhaps you're getting a smaller percentage, but it's still at least as large in absolute terms.

Thought experiment time!

Bob and Jim both have 50% of a pie with a mass of 500g. Bob has 250g and Jim has 250g. Agree?

Now the pie doubles to 1000g, but Bob has 70% of the pie and Jim has 30%. Bob now has 700g of pie, and Jim has 300g of pie. Did I do my math right?

Both Bob and Jim have more pie than before, but Bob received a disproportionately larger increase in pie than Jim, almost a whole pie! This is what I'm talking about. Everyone can become wealthier, while a few can become disproportionately so.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 2) 252

Wealth is not a fixed sized pie over time. It changes size.

That's where we have a disconnect. I am not talking about wealth over time, I'm talking about wealth right now. Wealth right now is fixed. Over time it changes, that's why we have inflation.

So yes, you have less because Bill Gates has more. When the economy grows, everyone benefits. The problem is the wealthy benefit disproportionally more than everyone else. Their portion of tomorrow's pie is bigger.

When people talk about taxing the wealthy, the goal is to make that growth closer to proportional on average. Otherwise we risk having a few individuals controlling the entire pie someday.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 1) 252

None of them rely on coal or iron ore. They rely on human ingenuity and intellectual property, neither of which is inherently limited.

Fundamentally, human labor is the only resource that costs money. You can't put money in the ground and extract coal, oil, or iron ore. You pay people to find it and get it out of the ground. That's why those resources cost money.

Nothing has fundamentally changed to economics. The old laws still apply.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 2) 252

They rely on human ingenuity and intellectual property, neither of which is inherently limited.

I'm going to go startup a multi-billion dollar company right now. Apparently, the things I need are abundant!

Bullshit, human ingenuity is a finite resource. Companies have entire departments devoted to managing those resources. Human resources.

Talented people are rare and therefore costly. The rules haven't changed.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 2) 252

Wealth is not a fixed sized pie. I don't have less because Bill Gates has so much more. Remember, a rising tide (or ocean) lifts all boats...

Wealth is absolutely a fixed size pie. Scarcity of resources is the fundamental problem that economics tries to solve.

The reason most small business owner's don't typically incorporate are:

  1. 1. Legal expenses, which are a one time cost
  1. 2. Double taxation, which my plan would eliminate

Much more small businesses would incorporate if it wasn't for our corporate tax structure penalizing them for doing so.

Comment Re:It's a matter of time... (Score 1) 360

Right, I wasn't talking about the effect on organics, I was talking about the destructive power against a target. I believe that any reflective surface would have to be nearly perfectly reflective in order to eliminate the runaway heating that is going to end up destroying the reflective coating before destroying the target. Even a smudge of grease or dirt on the coating would probably be fatal, it's going to get so hot that the coating warps or otherwise gets damaged, and the reduced efficiency is going to cause more heating and it's a runaway effect that destroys the protective coating. Even microscopic imperfections might absorb enough laser energy to cause them to overheat, warp their surroundings, and it's over. And I think it would be cost-prohibitive to produce such a perfect coating rugged enough to survive deployment in a battlefield and remain effective, and even if that was accomplished you've just lit up your vehicle like a lighthouse for any radar guiding a missile.

In short, I think that laser weapons like this are actually the game-changer that they appear to be and aren't going to be so easily defeated as a lot of armchair generals try to suggest. Let alone the fact that any existing military vehicle is already vulnerable, it's not like every possible adversary is going to be able to retro-fit their entire forces with laser protection and still remain militarily effective. Look at a country like North Korea, for example, we will be able to surround their entire country with ships fielding lasers long before they can retrofit even a tenth of their forces to counter those weapons.

Comment Re:Wheres the source of the cash? (Score 3, Interesting) 252

Personally, I believe that the issue is the USA's tax rates are too high on these companies so they are being encouraged to do business overseas instead of in their home country to shelter themselves from the tax rates in the USA.

I entirely agree. More specifically, I would like to see a tax swap between corporations and individuals. It would work like this:

  • Reduce or eliminate corporate tax
  • Dramatically increase the tax rates on the upper most individual income tax brackets
  • Tax dividends and capital gains at the same rate as regular income

Despite what some people want you to think, wealthy individuals are not "job creators". Corporations are! Think about it. That's why my plan would stimulate the economy and still balance the budget.

Comment Re:It's a matter of time... (Score 1) 360

Let's assume for a moment that we're not going to replace all of our weapons with lasers. Your mirrored rotating fog-encased vehicle looks like a pretty attractive radar cross-section to the missiles and tracking systems we still have, and which are still going to be developed.

Let's also assume that laser development does not stop at the first version. You've got the systems necessary to defeat our 50kw red laser? Congratulations, let's try it out against this 150kw green laser. Don't spend too much time working on the armor for that one before you see our dial-a-wavelength version that hits the target with 7 different wavelengths at varying power levels if the target can last that long. We call that one Roy G. Biv, and Roy loves looking at things. Oh, you have reflective armor that can handle any wavelength? How about this rail gun projectile that can track your reflective armor and make course corrections in flight?

That's what irritates me any time we're discussing the next weapons systems under development. There's always someone to step up and shit all over it like the defense is so easy and no one ever thought of that.

Oh, you have a missile that can shoot down an ICBM? Well, that's completely stupid. All they have to do is encase the thing in 30 meters of pillows, and your missile is useless. We already have the technology to land a craft inside a giant air bag on Mars, literally all they have to do is put that on an ICBM (they're completely interchangeable, you know, I've seen videos) and all you've done is waste tax dollars.

C'mon, man. Between the Navy's rail guns and laser weapons we're finally getting into Freespace 2 territory. I know that any nerd like myself who played Freespace found themselves chasing a stupid little Shivan Dragon or Manticore or something that's dodging all over the place with your shots going everywhere except where the enemy is, and you're thinking that all you need is a laser and a computer to aim it. And then Freespace 2 comes out and you start yelling "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" We're finally entering the age of general-purpose destructive directed energy weapons and there's no shortage of people who are going to step up and talk about how it's useless based on research that was conducted decades ago when the weapons themselves were impractical. It's 2017, the Navy is fielding these weapons (and no doubt developing their own counter-measures), and you're trying to use a program that was cancelled in 1993 as a reason why it's not going to work. Let's assume that the people working on the weapons are aware of SDI, and while we're at it let's also assume that SDI is about a hundred years down the road for people whose major capability is trying to field a swarm of small vehicles.

Basically what I'm saying is that this is badass, and I'm looking forward (in a technical sense, not a humanitarian sense) to the battlefield videos that show a laser system defeating any number of vehicles, with support from our existing arsenal of more conventional weapons and vehicles. Like I said, with most warfighting my interest in this is purely technical, I do not envy anyone who has to fire this or come up against it in a battle situation. Game-changing weapons like these tend to suppress war, when you have a division of tanks that each have a laser on them capable of destroying incoming anti-tank rounds, so that your tanks can't even get shot, then the game changes. Years ago we saw videos of laser systems detecting, tracking, and destroying incoming mortar rounds. This is great technology, this is the kind of weapon that saves lives.

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