Bill Gates' solution to income inequality

  • metta

    Posts: 39090

    Nov 10, 2014 6:19 AM GMT
    Bill Gates' solution to income inequality

    http://fortune.com/2014/10/15/bill-gates-income-inequality/
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    Nov 10, 2014 11:48 AM GMT
    I wonder if cooperating with domestic spying and getting paid for it falls under his definition of "using money for good".
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    Nov 10, 2014 1:34 PM GMT
    I have a better idea: Just give all the money to me. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 10, 2014 5:52 PM GMT
    He's not an economist........I respect his technical innovations but when it comes to income inequality I'd rather hear from an expert.
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    Nov 10, 2014 6:27 PM GMT
    I see so many flaws in Mr. Gates theory. Naturally it would start off like income taxes: a simple concept like "tax on your income ". Then the lawyers and accountants start sharpening their pencils. "How do we define 'income'?" Next thing you know the Tax Act is bigger than the Bible . Same thing would happen with The tax on "savings " idea.

    Piketty's idea of a capital tax is even more lame brained. His fear that wealth will increasingly be concentrated in the hands of a few thus threatening democracy completely fails to take into account the simple fact that family wealth is usually dissipated within a few generations. By and large today's Bizzilionnaires are not descendants of the Billionaires of a hundred years ago. Sure there are holdouts (hello Messieurs Rockefeller and Rothschild) but most family fortunes are inevitably lost and the money re-distributed.
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    Nov 10, 2014 9:44 PM GMT
    At least everyone seems to agree on the necessity of an estate tax.

    The consumption tax proposed is idiotic. The problem is that the house always wins, so if I have more money than you and we have equal chances of winning then there's a large chance that I get all your money when we bet against each other (because there'll be flux between which one of us is ahead but you'll run out of money before me). And then you are out and I can move on to someone else. It's simplified but we need to cut to the bone here.

    Trickle-down economy is a lie. Over a certain income threshold people start to save and invest more. Investments are good but look at companies like Apple and Google. They have massive cash reserves. In theory they should be investing but there just aren't enough good things to invest in.

    Poor people provide more economic stimulus which is why stimulus checks went in equal size to American citizens rather than to the richest. But as the wealth gap increases, the fraction of total money that are "in motion" decreases and economy slows. If the fraction of the US population that buy iPhones decreases from 28% to 14% then Apple is not going to be doing better, are they? Even if those that can afford them become richer.
  • mstone18

    Posts: 84

    Nov 11, 2014 2:19 AM GMT
    Leveraging a Tax code to implement social policy is pretty much doomed to failure. It can't last long in any form due to politics, which tend to ignore social morals.

    One truism however is a civilization tends to begin and end with its Tax code. When it become too inflexible that civilization tends to end. And a new one emerges.

    Tax codes around the world are currently somewhat based on each other and remarkably similar. What's fair seems to be judged by how long its been enforced.. as if that in itself is justification for its existence.

    We still live in a nationalistic tax era, but more and more trade policy seems to be merging economies. At the macro level what happens with International Corporations and their taxes will probably trickle down to us.

    At the micro level what happens at the municipal and state level will probably be of more concern.. and those are driven by politics.

    It would be nice to think we can stand above politics and use taxes as a tool for social good and change.. but I just don't see that happening.