We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, November 18. 2007
We said it wouldn't happen, but the NYT is reporting on the CNN debate corruption. Insty
Verboten: Fire-breathing dragons
Governments don't produce wealth. A quote from Madden at TCS:
Warren Buffett and estate taxes. Wrong.
Update on the Bangladesh cyclone death toll
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Buffett either regards as an economic-growth dead-zone the small biz & farmer folks who will die and thus owe IRS half of a few million taxable but illiquid bucks, or, as others have pointed out, he's cynically 'talking his book' as an insurance man whose stock-in-trade is protection against an estate's sudden need for liquidity to pay IRS.
Either way he's wrong. Sweet smile and affable manner is beside the point.
What is truly empty is the value that counsels A to live off of the wealth given to him by B and which B confiscated from C. And what is truly mindless is the notion that society progresses as greater numbers of us live as A's or as B's, and all the while thinking of C's as being nothing more than contemptible cows to be milked for the "general good."
Msr. Buffet has an intriquing ideas.
Personnal assaults give them greater consideration.
Matriculating money incentives for all American's betters matriculating aid for a few American adlers.
Effervescing capital rather than sinking it floats more boats.
Well, that's certainly the story line, alright.
But the question is, what is the real, actual effect, on boat-floating, of a 50%-range death tax ?
Research it, if you can tolerate the aggravation.
That may take awhile as me borgian realy fast quick speed reader is experiencing minor difficulty.
Nevertheless, a boat floating idea with 100% parity is novely not floated for more than 200 yearn.
What was his name...Paine?
Adlers will howl but so what.
Oops, me check me peripheral.
Queen may atavaricking about.
She is on her own side.
The NBA would have a lot more 6' players if it limited player height to 6'6".
NASCAR would have fewer wrecks if it limited speeds to 100 mph.
Nobody can fail where nobody can succeed.
It's a bad tax on principle, and a worse one when you net the 24bbl it harvests against what Treasury would harvest if it didn't confiscate half of the most productive 2% of the population's assets every generation.
Vernacular the NBA, Nascar and the rest of poor poor.
Don't be any less than you are.
Buffet propisition makes sense. Float all the boats.
Boats don't belong to the big dog.
Boats vote sovereignty to states which vote limited soveignty to feds, dads gummint.
Big dog heels,now.
Who do you want to be screwed by in the next general?
Imagine the same principle applied to the NBA. Imagine what a 17 year old 6'5'' star might do to keep from growing past the 6'6'' limit. Well that's what a lot of small enterprises do, to keep from being forced to support a principle they detest on the merits.
apply ratio analysis--cost/benefit and risk/reward--to a family business which could expand (adding new jobs, creating new taxable income, lowering the cost-of-goods-sold, and allowing lower prices to end users) but chooses not to since the owner is 60 and the ratios, now having to include the death tax in the cost and risk numerators, no longer ''rationalize'' as they did for the previous expansion, or milestone, which was achieved back when the old boy was only 50 or so, say.
the Stalinists infecting our congress either do not understand the effect of dynamism at the margins, or they do understand it all too well.
Old boy will have to change his act.
Why is it that consideration shifts from the bottomline of the adlers to bottomline of joneses at this level of emotion.
Emotion moves the focus away from the subject: Buffet ain't Stalin but he has a sincere American proposal.
They self medicate to avoid compliance.
Y'all may have a pointhere, buddy.
I worked for folks on several ocassion who'd rather spend with drug cartel than stand up, throw cash into regulated capital markets.
Barry Bonds heroic culure.
But try to stick to economics.
Matriculating aid to bighims don't float nothin but hoodlims.
Hos for short.
You have to constantly keep in mind that the average IQ out there breaks down this way. 75% of the population have IQ's below 110. 25% have IQ's lower than 90.
In his book, "Straight Talk About Mental Tests", The Free Press, A Division of the Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1981, pg. 12, Dr. Arthur Jensen cites the following IQ thresholds:
(1) An IQ of 50 or below. This is the threshold below which most adults cannot cope outside of an institution. They can typically be taught to read at a 3rd or 4th grade level. However, they cannot normally function in the customary classroom setting, and they require special training programs.
(2) An IQ between 50 and 75. At this level of intelligence, they generally cannot complete elementary school. Most adults will need smarter help in coping with the world.These are Democrats and Code Pink types
(3) An IQ between 75 and 110. Children in this IQ range are not generally able to complete a college prep course in high school. These are Democratic Presidential contenders.
I doubt if too many of MF contributors fall below 120-130, and many probably substantially higher. We simply cannot expect the guy on the street to understand some of the thangs we done be talk'n 'bout here.
I'll take that bet, Habu.
I doubt if too many of MF contributors fall below 120-130, and many probably substantially higher.
So how much does your doubt will to wager on the elevated IQ levels of MF good people.
Begging Your Majesty's pardon, me cain't hardy hold me chair to floor.
Ladies and Gents step into the triage tent, please.
Slow down y'all.
No shovin' ladies.
I'm trying to over come a fully developed "A" type personality, so that I will not appear the person I am, smoothing the edges that many At MF find to abrasive and contributors and here you go handing me a cudgel and begging to be clubbed.
What shall I do?
''What shall I do?'' you ax. there seems to be two ways to suppress violent urges: (1) place thyself under the care of thine better angels, or (2) break out in boils and carbuncles and relieve the pressure thru voluminous pustulation.
I don't know.
I think you would modify the challenge.
Maybe you have elevated IQ, 35 years ago.
But change is constant.
The contributers here?
But then I'm a knumb brain before Jennings was.
Maybe he ate more bay fish but some one handed it to him.
So slick, how do you know when you have a *fish*?
Take y'all's time.
Me look for the cat.
Then get back to y'all.
Habu, that's why analogies work so well. Everybody knows what would happen to the purity of sports competition if it was regulated to keep the excellent from hurting the ordinary's feeling.
Leag, ok, Barry Bonds, the guy had better years in his late 30s than he did in his 'ordinary' prime. Is he 'spose to be the capitalism analogy, that low marginal taxation is 'extraordinary'--a steroid for the already talented? You may have a point there but I'd need a few more of them IQ points to ID it.
I'll concede the point that high marginal taxation does create a nice political appearance of "fairer" boat-floating.
But, you know, it's just an illusion, the facts indicate the opposite is the "truth" of the matter. like I suggested, do some research.
IF the paltry 24 bbl that goes into the several-trillion Leviathan maw was reserved as venture capital in a program that wouldn't immediately get gamed to to the nth corruption, and
IF the 24 bbl wasn't already in the hands of proven entrepreneurs and thus already perfectly placed to maximize economic growth, productivity, and technical innovation, and
IF removing it from said individuals in order to fritter it away in the gov'ts "fifty-cents of services for a dollar" make-work jobs program scheme, and
IF there was no issues of property, takings, or functional bills of attainder,
Then I'd agree with you a little bit more, probably.
From what I have read the Millennium Generation doesn't understand the workings of markets and winning and losing. Having been raised where even in T-ball there were no winners or losers, and constantly being fed a diet of being the best, they apparently are going to be a challenge for corporations to deal with.
When grades and competition are meaningless, when gender and race norming tests are the rule so feelings won't get hurt in your formative years it would seem that learning what global competition is all about is pretty difficult.
Also, anyone concerned that just about the entire world is turning away from the dollar? The Chinese said last week they were going to be doing more diversifying (read divesting themselves of the dollar). The Euro is beating our brains out, the yen is gaining, sterling, Canadian .....yeah yeah I know it's good for exports but we no longer have an export economy, we have an information and services processing economy which has been outsourced ...so exactly what do we have in the way of an advantage in the world today?
alittle worried, habu, but the currencies are (here we go again) ratios, against each other, and all we control is the numerator.
The other mature currencies are for a variety of reasons having to do with forex surpluses, central bank rates higher than ours, sovereign economic growth higher than ours, no real-estate price devaluation in process, and most importantly, no political movement to the left (the rest of the developed economies are moving right), are controlling their own denominators.
But we're at or near a bottom, the markets seem to've been saying last week. Gold is way off it's recent high, and there's some other stuff, too. So, short/mid term we're not gonna crash the Dollar.
Trading partners diversifying into a ''basket'' of forex was inevitable--the USA is not the world's sole banker anymore, we've succeeded in spreading the wealth. Have faith and hold fast. Buy a little gold, tho, can't hurt. The whole world is gonna reflate a bit over the next few years and we may well see 1000 on the gold before we see 500 again.
Meanwhile, Treasury's bond auctions are strongly subsribed, ''indirect' (foreign) subscription is normal, and long rates are stable at low levels. This is key, so key it's almost the lock.
Job creation is good, wages are climbing, GDP is growing nicely, and we get away with only a mid-cycle slowdown in here.
Especially if world money managers get the idea that the Bolsheviks are not gonna take over DC next November. This is the biggest confidence problem our currency has, by far.
I've been buying gold for the past year plus. Got in with 10k@$590 in 4/06. Been adding 5k/mo since then until it went to $800 at which time I fgured that was as diversified in gold as I wanted to be. I think it will hit 2K/oz. within 2-3 yrs so I should do ok.
I still have too many dollars but I want to see what effect bombing Iran and Syria are going to have on the geopolitical atmosphere.
I know I won't go hungry. The converted pool into a "water garden" has an over abundance of frogs and five turtles with carapaces at least a foot to 14" across .... one moring I just know I'm gonna find a gator in there since the canal off the lake which is off the St John's River that runs by my place is full of 'em ..good eat'n. Frog, turtle, and gator. yum nite.
gator tail is great--a scallop like meat--used to eat in Louisiana back when. Snake, too--the pit vipers are delicious. kill 'em first tho.
I quit accumulating myself just lately--feeling 'toppy' in the near-term--been buying AU, NEM, and FRGOX, mainly. If you buy the miners then you're also investing in enterprise and not just the barbaric relic. plus you get P/E multiple expansion maybe.
Thanks for demure, Bud.
Research is so drudgery.
How many of the good citizens do y'all think research t'isssues rather than draw from gut, of course we don't count the atheists who confuse gut with that ineffable feeling.
But let's return to the topic.
Sovereign people by elected government have come to a precipice, a lack of funds to support there will expressed to date
Solution Msr. Buffet suggests is the hombres who got the train to the precipice pay to fund track away from the precipice.
Hillbillary doesn't have clue so I encourage democrats vote for her to run against the Rebulican who does.
Whether he wins our primary is a crap shoot.
But no Yankee gentlemen has a clue.
i think the entire GOP stable has a clue. Rudy, Mitt, Fred, John, any of the four are easy to see as president. scuse the first name shorthand
Fred absolutely has it clued in. He's steady, unafraid to address issues, full right and comes to the fray with plans in fist.
I read somewhere that his Italian shoes are made from real Italian.
Habu could go for that, me thinks.
By the bye, I wasn't aware habu is edible.
Disastrous John can be mistaken for a democrat, figure one Connecticut Senator possible VP choice. Ido like the way sings Beach Boy chorus.
The two Yankees are... well they just are.
Deadeye Rudy is a snortin' rhino. No distinction from Hillbillary.
Mormon Mitt is... well he just is. Smarter than both of Hillbillary's heads but lacks honor, too shifty.
By the bye, thanks for the exchange, yesterday.
I did take a contrary position to get some real time insights on Estate Tax.
Could have enjoyed more but was taking time to tutor conjecturalist elsewhere.
Hope y'all don't mind.
no problem --helps to write down one's thoughts--blog comment short-form is a lot like conversation, so it sharpens one's phraseology in advance of the inevitable holiday debates with addled young student family members.
Anyway, re Dollar,
"The final statement of the oil cartel's November 17-18 summit did not include any reference to the falling dollar, in an apparent victory for U.S.-allied moderates led by Saudi Arabia."
That 's a good bit of news.
Taking some time lookin' at Estate Tax history.
Youngsters are trying to fill up my research bucket. Nein, nein, katsenjammers. I don't roll that easy.
Haven't even got to but little of Majesty's site.
That sucker is huge.
Some of em may be in the bushes and trees since the raid on Ron Paul's metal monies.
Fun puttin' Msr. Buffet's hat on fo a bit.
look up ''kulak'' and see what Stalin did to them. This demonization, confiscation, and eventual liquidation was a part of the continuum which includes, albeit at some distance so far, the IRS estate tax.
If the tax was set at the level of the capital gains tax, that'd still be wrong (why is death a taxable event atop already fully-taxed assets?), but as non-confiscatory in nature it would be different in kind, and not just degree, from the fate of the kulaks.
Kulak? Well I'll spoolit just for you, Bud.
Two hundred years of estate taxes hasn't American gulag produced.
Preliminary study turns up some American heavies who championed tax.
John Paine was a great proponent of same:
.....In two works, The Rights of Man and Agrarian Justice, Paine argued for the adoption of an inheritance tax in England to balance out the unfair distribution of “landed property.” For Paine, it was common sense that God gave “the Earth as an inheritance” to all of God’s children.
And Theodore Roosevelt:
Roosevelt formally proposed a federal inheritance tax in a message to Congress on December 4, 1906. His reasoning is quite different from Carnegie’s. Carnegie thought that the wealthy had a particular obligation to the poor. Roosevelt thought that the wealthy had a special obligation to the government itself. “The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.” The wealthy individual needs to pay for the “protection” that the State provides for his or her property ¾ a military force that defends private property from foreign threat and a legal system/police force that protects private property from domestic theft. Roosevelt is echoing Adam Smith’s observation in the Wealth of Nations: “It is only under the shelter of the civil magistrate that the owner of valuable property can sleep a single night in security.”
great points, Leag --but aren't they already addressed via the progressivity of the income tax ?
You know, that the top 5% pay 60%, and the botton 95% pay 40% ?
As I've said, it's a matter of the amount. Those old boys you quoted --what was the state of the progressive income tax at the time they made those statements ?
Back to the drawing board for ye.
No, cain't say they are.
I checked on the kukak, intersting but off point again.
Don't find the relevance but yes, I aware of the tax %.
Try to stay focused, Buddy.
Presently, 98 percent of all estates are not subject to the estate tax. Of the remaining two percent of taxable estates, only six thousandths of one percent are family-owned small businesses and farms.
six thousandths of one percent?
2,500,000 Americans die every year, times .006 that's 15,000 families getting a royal screw-job every year, in order to stage a costly show for the class-warfare politicians.
Like I said, from a revenue POV it's counter-productive, so the point of it can only be to punish 15,000 of the country's hardest-working most successful risk-takers every year.
And, to pay to do it.
But 15,000 voters scattered out in 50 states don't have much clout, do they.
Actually, those very few that do pay Estate Tax do have great clout and stack legislative halls.
The point of it as I read it isn't to punish but to collect for the guard which assures liberty.
Punish just isn't their motivation.
“The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.”
That was President Roosevelts motivation.
Leag, there's cases I can cite right here in the Texas hill country--people I know--old ranchers between Austin & San Antonio, whose families have raised a few skinny livestock on the hardscrabble brushland for five generations, who own a section (640 acres) which has never been worth much since it won't produce more cash than barely enough to feed the folks who work it, but whose acreage due to the nearby cities' boom is suddenly worth 4 million, and who will have to produce a million in cash for the estate tax when the oldest gen dies?
Exactly--the lucky bastards will have to sell the place and scatter across the land with their new cash in hand.
But, is this a heavy hand of government, or isn't it?
And again, net the GA and opportunity costs, the tax doesn't help pay for the guard, in fact the guard pays for IT.
And BTW, if these folks are "stacking legislative halls" it damn sure hasn't done them much good.
Also, the argument that it "only affects a few people" cuts both ways: if it's so paltry a thing, why persecute even a few families? What general welfare is served by knocking 15,000 small-biz & rural families on their ass every year?
Sure, their enterprise has succeeded or their property has appreciated, but they have created it, defended it, held it, bled for it, and paid taxes on it for it all the previous years, right?
So, what did they do wrong to have the gov't come in an bust up the operation and scatter the extended family?
No, the cap gains rate ought to to be the limit. Tax rates past a certain level are punitive because they have the effect of a heavy fine--and the people that are getting fined are wondering what exactly was their crime.
Forgive my being sharp with you here, but throughout this discussion you've seemingly had the hint of an idea that somehow these people are culpable--ever-so-slightly perhaps but nontheless guilty of something.
"Exploitation of the working class" was of course Stalin's catch-all criminal charge which allowed him to legally rob and kill the Kulaks.
The Kulaks' tax rate rose until it hit 100%. Heck, we're only halfway there so why don't i just shut up.
It's only a few families anyway.
Solution, get rid of it.
Think of what citizens could do with the money they be pumpin' into tax avoidance.
All the Cpa and Tax attorney kulaks could take up pickin' fruit and vegetables the illegal aliens don't want to.
Simple capital-gains tax would raise the cash to fund Roosevelt's duty.
NOW you're talkin'--it's the principle of the thing! Leag sees the LIGHT.
''Think of what citizens could do with the money they be pumpin' into tax avoidance''
The old coots around here will use the diff between cap gains and estate liabilities to improve their ops and thus act to lower the cost of beef on the grocer shelf.
The government will use it to deliver half the services that the same money could buy in a private market--if one wanted them at all of course.
Except for the military--those tax dollars are well spent--in fact there should be much more in compensation for soldiers.
I advise people to look at it that way--that the waste ("in by ten, an hour for lunch, and through by two") is part of the cost of buying into the solid-gold bargain the country gets for the money spent on defense.
It's a bargain because soldiers work cheap--and without them this whole topic--free discussion of gov't policy--would no doubt be impossible to have, safely.
We'd be mimeographing these posts, and handing 'em out clandestinely in the shadows.
Seeing the Light is career, buddy.
I was wearing Buffethat for to see if I could learn anything .
Found lot's of good stuff while we knocked the balls around, buddy.
Didn't want you to pop a vein.
Buffets and Gates have ulterior motives for championig Estate Tax which protective of their own finacial interests not the poor muk, middle class housewifes or those kulaks you are so endeared to.
Still haven't found the invisible cat.
Maybe, Habu is lurking looking to strike.
Stay in the wind, Sir.
The Revenue Act of 1916, which introduced the modern-day income tax, also contained an estate tax with many features of today's system. After an exemption of $50,000 (over $11 million in terms of today's wealth), tax rates started at 1 percent and climbed to 10 percent on estates over $5 million (over $1 billion in terms of today's wealth).
Now in 2007 the exemption is one-tenth, in constant dollars, of the original concept, and the top rate almost 50%, or almost five times (500%) higher than the original concept.
Kulaks didn't get ruined all in one day --encroachment on their human rights, little by little.
Beginning to suspect you are a tad paranoid, buddy.
Persons subject to current Estate Tax aren't kulaks.
Thanks for knocking the ball around.
No, they ARE kulaks--just about the same 2% of the population-- successful individual proprietorships.
But re paranoia, no I'm arguing in the area of philosophical principles--not from fear of the midnite knock on the door. otherwise i'd be more circumspect.
Fort Marcy Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
By the bye, this sounds like neighborhood majids across America.
Mullah soundin' magrib prayer,
Asks heaven "Have a ladder up there?
yes it do, don't it.
see late 60s song ''McArthur Park'' --i wuz just remarking on how well ''Fort Marcy Park'' fits into the lyrics & melody.
"Fort Marcy Park'' is also a real venue, whose name has become symbolic of something else entirely indeedy.
A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well.
"What's the matter?" he asks.
"I have a case of anal glaucoma," she says in a weak voice.
"What the hell is anal glaucoma?"
"I can't see my ass coming into work today."
I know that woman.
She was a trial to get up out of bed and out the door.
One particulaly slow mornining I took her whiskey from chest of drawers.
She shot out of bed shouting "That's *MINE*, my whiskey!"
I got a pull before she came burbling into the living room and snatched it away.
She used the very line one other morning.
Kind of miss her and can still hear complain.
LOL --whiskey marriages usually end up living in a car, where it's easier to pass the jug back n forth front seat to back