Scott Adams: Do the rich get more benefits from the government in return for their tax dollars?

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    Jan 27, 2012 11:02 PM GMT
    The implications are simple. If the rich do get more benefits then they should pay more in taxes - how much more is debateable. If they do not, then is the share they pay more than "fair"? As it stands the Rich pay for the considerable majority of the US government.

    http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/who_benefits_more/

    How about education? The rich benefit from an educated workforce because it allows them to staff their companies and grow their wealth. The middle class benefit by having job opportunities and a non-zero chance of someday becoming wealthy. In my case, a government-subsidized education system allowed me to go from lower-middle class to rich. And that makes me...oh, say 50% happier than I would have been otherwise. Meanwhile, the rich got richer, but I doubt they increased their overall happiness by more than 10%. If the goal of life is happiness, including health and physical security, I benefited the most from the government during my journey through the middle class, during which time I paid far less than I do now in taxes. Now that I'm in the top 1%, and paying at the top tax rate, even if I doubled my income tomorrow, it wouldn't have much impact on my happiness. So while a functioning government allows the rich to stay happy, it allows the middle class an opportunity to substantially increase their happiness. I'd call that roughly a tie.

    How about safety nets? Compared to the rich, the middle class have a far greater risk of someday becoming poor. That risk is magnified if they have relatives who might need assistance too. But arguably, safety nets also prevent the poor from forming marauding gangs of cannibals preying on the rich. If I didn't pay taxes to provide safety nets for the poor, I'd spend a fortune on a private militia to defend my house. Benefit-wise, I'd call safety nets an equal benefit for all.

    In discussions such as these, I like to call upon my automobile analogy. You can argue all day long whether a car's engine is more important than its wheels, but unless you have both, the car is useless. It might be true in some technical sense that one class of citizen benefits more from taxes than another. But from 30,000 feet, it looks to me as if you're arguing whether the engine or the wheels are more important to the car.
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    Jan 27, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    I thought it would be an interesting read until I got to his ridiculous dodge on national defense at which point I remembered that while I enjoy Dilbert, Scott Adams is a dumbass.
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    Jan 27, 2012 11:19 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidI thought it would be an interesting read until I got to his ridiculous dodge on national defense at which point I remembered that while I enjoy Dilbert, Scott Adams is a dumbass.


    It would seem given that at least he's had an undergrad in economics, he in the very least has had more training than you. Between the two of you, I'm going to take a wild guess that almost all people are going to say that the idiot isn't him.
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    Jan 27, 2012 11:39 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidI thought it would be an interesting read until I got to his ridiculous dodge on national defense at which point I remembered that while I enjoy Dilbert, Scott Adams is a dumbass.


    It would seem given that at least he's had an undergrad in economics, he in the very least has had more training than you. Between the two of you, I'm going to take a wild guess that almost all people are going to say that the idiot isn't him.


    You may want to ask Socal because I don't think he's going to let you use a cartoonist as a reliable source.

    And I said he was a dumbass, not an idiot. Try to keep up. In simple terms, his argument about national defense is ludicrous. 9/11 and the two subsequent wars provided no benefit to the vast majority of Americans but they did help the rich. And, notably, Al Qaeda didn't warn the extremely wealthy people in WTC that they were going to fly planes into the buildings, so they could offshore their family and money. I doubt the next attack will come with a heads up for all the hedge fund managers or the banksters.

    I have to wonder what the country would be like if all the rich douche bags (not that all rich people are douche bags) stopped trying to justify their greed, paid a reasonable rate of taxation sans loop holes, and just got on with it.

    Instead we're forced to contend with a bunch of whiny bitches with less empathy than your average tick, most of whom were born on third base and think they hit a triple.
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    Jan 28, 2012 8:42 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidI thought it would be an interesting read until I got to his ridiculous dodge on national defense at which point I remembered that while I enjoy Dilbert, Scott Adams is a dumbass.


    It would seem given that at least he's had an undergrad in economics, he in the very least has had more training than you. Between the two of you, I'm going to take a wild guess that almost all people are going to say that the idiot isn't him.


    You may want to ask Socal because I don't think he's going to let you use a cartoonist as a reliable source.

    And I said he was a dumbass, not an idiot. Try to keep up. In simple terms, his argument about national defense is ludicrous. 9/11 and the two subsequent wars provided no benefit to the vast majority of Americans but they did help the rich. And, notably, Al Qaeda didn't warn the extremely wealthy people in WTC that they were going to fly planes into the buildings, so they could offshore their family and money. I doubt the next attack will come with a heads up for all the hedge fund managers or the banksters.

    I have to wonder what the country would be like if all the rich douche bags (not that all rich people are douche bags) stopped trying to justify their greed, paid a reasonable rate of taxation sans loop holes, and just got on with it.

    Instead we're forced to contend with a bunch of whiny bitches with less empathy than your average tick, most of whom were born on third base and think they hit a triple.


    A cartoonist who was trained as an economist? Better source than you are buddy.

    The basic flaw consistently in your argument given that you attempt to forment a class divide is to argue that the rich act as one and benefit as one. Plenty of rich folks did rather poorly as a result of 9/11 or certainly didn't benefit. The ones that did are the ones who were connected - oh sort of like the ones who are benefiting today with the contracts the Obama Administration is awarding for things like loans in grossly unsustainable clean energy projects.

    Ah so you are a conspiracy theorist as well re: 9/11 - that explains a lot. So basically at the end of it all, you just want to punish the rich for being rich irrespective of whatever it has to do with raising the conditions of the poor. How typically and quite boringly liberal of you.
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    Jan 28, 2012 11:31 AM GMT

    The article contradicts you, riddler.

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    Jan 28, 2012 12:07 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    The article contradicts you, riddler.



    Of course, it does. And every one of his responses to me involve him creating a series of straw man arguments rather than responding to what I wrote. Exhibit A being that I'm somehow a 9/11 conspiracy theorist despite my writing nothing that could be taken that way by an honest person.
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    Jan 28, 2012 6:26 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    The article contradicts you, riddler.



    Only if you're not particularly literate icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 28, 2012 6:27 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    meninlove said
    The article contradicts you, riddler.



    Of course, it does. And every one of his responses to me involve him creating a series of straw man arguments rather than responding to what I wrote. Exhibit A being that I'm somehow a 9/11 conspiracy theorist despite my writing nothing that could be taken that way by an honest person.


    "In simple terms, his argument about national defense is ludicrous. 9/11 and the two subsequent wars provided no benefit to the vast majority of Americans but they did help the rich. And, notably, Al Qaeda didn't warn the extremely wealthy people in WTC that they were going to fly planes into the buildings, so they could offshore their family and money. "

    Maybe you just write poorly (though I don't claim to do much better ;) )
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    Jan 29, 2012 3:46 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    meninlove said
    The article contradicts you, riddler.



    Of course, it does. And every one of his responses to me involve him creating a series of straw man arguments rather than responding to what I wrote. Exhibit A being that I'm somehow a 9/11 conspiracy theorist despite my writing nothing that could be taken that way by an honest person.


    "In simple terms, his argument about national defense is ludicrous. 9/11 and the two subsequent wars provided no benefit to the vast majority of Americans but they did help the rich. And, notably, Al Qaeda didn't warn the extremely wealthy people in WTC that they were going to fly planes into the buildings, so they could offshore their family and money. "

    Maybe you just write poorly (though I don't claim to do much better ;) )


    No. There's nothing in there that's conspiracy laden. It's a hypothetical. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • KissTheSky

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    Jan 29, 2012 3:55 AM GMT
    So rich people should pay a tax rate based on how happy or unhappy they are, compared to lower income people?
    Yeah, this makes perfect sense, and is so practical. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 29, 2012 6:56 AM GMT
    jpBITCHva said
    riddler78 said

    Maybe you just write poorly (though I don't claim to do much better ;) )

    At least you have an excuse, Riddler...it's tough to write long words in crayon.


    Lol - I tip my hat to you - I laughed icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 29, 2012 6:59 AM GMT
    KissTheSky saidSo rich people should pay a tax rate based on how happy or unhappy they are, compared to lower income people?
    Yeah, this makes perfect sense, and is so practical. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think a fair tax would be something similar to a flat tax with a personal exemption for say the 20% of the poorest income earners. I think Adams' point is that the Rich benefit just as much as the middle class from government and its services right now - so to suggest that they should pay so much disproportionately more isn't "fair".
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    Jan 29, 2012 12:59 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    KissTheSky saidSo rich people should pay a tax rate based on how happy or unhappy they are, compared to lower income people?
    Yeah, this makes perfect sense, and is so practical. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think a fair tax would be something similar to a flat tax with a personal exemption for say the 20% of the poorest income earners. I think Adams' point is that the Rich benefit just as much as the middle class from government and its services right now - so to suggest that they should pay so much disproportionately more isn't "fair".


    Which would be fine except they by and large benefit far more.
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    Jan 29, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
    We all have the same benefits of government - just not the same means and resources.

    having it easier than others is not "benefitting more" than others from the playing field and the rules at play.

    The rich have amassed sufficient wealth already that that can employ the existing rules - equally aplicable to everyone - to greater return than the average man, but they do not benefit "more".


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    Jan 30, 2012 3:44 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said
    KissTheSky saidSo rich people should pay a tax rate based on how happy or unhappy they are, compared to lower income people?
    Yeah, this makes perfect sense, and is so practical. icon_rolleyes.gif


    I think a fair tax would be something similar to a flat tax with a personal exemption for say the 20% of the poorest income earners. I think Adams' point is that the Rich benefit just as much as the middle class from government and its services right now - so to suggest that they should pay so much disproportionately more isn't "fair".


    Which would be fine except they by and large benefit far more.


    Except when they don't.