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Talo Segura

Confinement breakout!

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Paris in the spring!  I'd settle for just one more glimpse of those magnificent trees, facades, cobblestones, boulevards...

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In my area, for the most part, people are staying home during the week. As soon as Saturday hits, out come the muscle cars and motorcycles for the weekend.

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I'm seeing more people on the streets and more traffic now than a week ago.  I'm afraid people have stopped worrying about catching this stuff.

 

C

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There are noticeable societal differences between countries, evident when watching the news, which is largely dedicated to the pandemic. Part of the television news format is to show personal stories. What is different, looking at the UK and France, close European countries, is the approach. On the UK news we see images of people who have died after contracting the virus, accompanied by a brief orbituary. On the French news we see images of people who have survived, accompanied by a brief history of their experience.

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On the U.S. news we see images of people so concerned over their 'rights' that that they form into mobs and demonstrate for freedom to ignore the virus and infect everyone.

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18 hours ago, Merkin said:

On the U.S. news we see images of people so concerned over their 'rights' that that they form into mobs and demonstrate for freedom to ignore the virus and infect everyone.

That I am sorry to say is America. They also uphold the right to bear arms so they can shoot people. However, although of little comfort to anyone, those demonstrations are not restricted to the US, right wing Germans have taken to the streets to demonstrate against restricting their freedom. 

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Restricting the freedom to assemble during a time of mass infections is about the same as curtailing the right of free speech when screaming 'Fire' in a crowded theater.  We do have many freedoms, but when those freedoms infringe on the rights of others, there are some abridgments involved.

 

C

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Way back in January a lot of people I know said they hand the "crud". You know sinuses, cold like symptoms and feeling bad for a few days. My 92-year-old mother had it.

We tested positive for corona antibodies.

This bug is a lot like pulling the lever on a slot machine. Most of the time, nothing happens. Then, a poor unlucky sap pulls the lever, gets three lemons and gets zapped.

A lot of people have had this thing and it just bounced. Made in China rubbish!

 

 

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Best to avoid pulling the lever on the slot machine or as it's otherwise known, the one armed bandit. Stay at home, keep your distance, and wear a mask. You have to think of the numbers: 5% get those three lemons and die. Do nothing and in America that's more than 16 million deaths!

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It's ironic, that after ten years of austerity, because of the 2008 crash, the UK government is now paying 80% of the salaries of almost the entire UK workforce (14 billion a month).

It's a very fine line between public safety and a dead economy. Where will we be in ten years? No doubt some author of dystopian fiction will have the answer....

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7 hours ago, Camy said:

It's a very fine line between public safety and a dead economy.

£1000 one off wealth tax on 14 million richest people and you've paid off that debt. There's billions sitting in bank accounts, everybody will have to contribute... or you can leave your children's children to pick up the bill.

There is also an opportunity to stop rampant capitalism, otherwise known as speculation. 

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13 hours ago, Talo Segura said:

£1000 one off wealth tax on 14 million richest people and you've paid off that debt. There's billions sitting in bank accounts, everybody will have to contribute... or you can leave your children's children to pick up the bill.

There is also an opportunity to stop rampant capitalism, otherwise known as speculation. 

The thing is, Talo, rich people don't like giving their money away. It's why they're rich. I'm probably not going to have children, and the Cat's not too keen on paying bills.

The world as we knew it, last year, is over. Once the 'new normal' settles down we'll still have the haves and have-nots. They'll still be wars, starving children, and wet markets in China....

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33 minutes ago, Camy said:

The thing is, Talo, rich people don't like giving their money away.

Some countries, Germany amongst others, are seriously considering a one off wealth tax. You won't have a choice, it's a tax, and rich people who don't like it, won't have time to change their country of residence for taxation. So if it's voted, you"'ll pay it, straight from your bank account. Camy and Cat - Barclays Bank current account - September 2020 - Debit £1000 wealth tax. But looking on the bright side maybe you're just as poor as the poor old cat 😊

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While I agree in principle with a one-time tax, what's been written here is a massive oversimplification.  Rich people as a whole do not keep vast sums in a savings account.  They invest their money.  There are many such investments that do not allow for a large withdrawal of cash.  A lot of people do this in real estate.  Ask them to pay a one-time huge tax, they'd have no cash to do so.  Make them sell assets to pay the taxes?  You want to see a revolt?  It wouldn't be pretty.  And, here at least, there'd be so much haggling before such a bill ever got passed here, by the time it was promulgated, those to be taxed would have figured out how to avoid it.

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3 hours ago, Talo Segura said:

maybe you're just as poor as the poor old cat 😊

It was hard to get her agreement, but finally: Sassy is happy to donate two bowls of her favourite biscuits and all the sachets of the wet food she particularly dislikes.

I'd be happy to help out by busking, but people keep shouting, and throwing buckets of water over me.

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9 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

There are many such investments that do not allow for a large withdrawal of cash.  A lot of people do this in real estate.  Ask them to pay a one-time huge tax, they'd have no cash to do so. 

That is true, but different propositions exist. The government could take equity from the property, thus a house worth £100,000 the government would take 1%. The 1% equity would be cashed with the sale sometime in the future.

The argument for the one off wealth tax goes like this: wealthy people today have made their wealth through a thriving economy, it is not right or beneficial to ask businesses hit by an economic recession to pay the cost of the present situation when they will be struggling to recover. It is also not fair to impose the economic burden on future generations. Hence, the payment should come from today's wealth, those who have benefited from an economic boom before the crash.

 

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6 hours ago, Talo Segura said:

The argument for the one off wealth tax goes like this: wealthy people today have made their wealth through a thriving economy, it is not right or beneficial to ask businesses hit by an economic recession to pay the cost of the present situation when they will be struggling to recover. It is also not fair to impose the economic burden on future generations. Hence, the payment should come from today's wealth, those who have benefited from an economic boom before the crash.

 

The argument is valid, but the world is not that altruistic.

Some immensely wealthy people have done this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge

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There's no such thing as altruism on that level. When the elites let go of money, it's either a tax break or a publicity stunt. People that have banked that kind of money don't throw it away.

They'll hire accountants and tax lawyers and in the end, pay less than their secretary.

There's a reason the tax code is something like forty-five bound volumes.

If you are a plumber or electrician you can't afford the loopholes or the expertise to use them.

I'm in favor of a flat tax. 10-12% no deductions. All the crooked loopholes go null and void and the null and void tax lawyers and accountants will have to work for a living. That alone would make it worth doing.

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2 hours ago, JamesSavik said:

I'm in favor of a flat tax. 10-12% no deductions.

You can't tax a person on minimum wage, by definition this is the amount required to live. 

See how the US compares with the rest of the world. You know the saying: "You get what you pay for!" But is it true? I live in France. Some very rich countries can afford low taxation, but there I'm thinking Switzerland. I guess we need another graphic comparing quality of life, number of people living below the poverty line. That's 1 in 8 Americans or 38.1 million in 2018.  1 in 7.5 French or 8.8 million. So France taxes at at an incredibly high rate and has practically the same percentage of poor as the USA. 

You got to ask yourself, "Where does all the money go?"

Maybe taxation has got nothing at all to do with poverty?

tax.png

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Income. There's a weird tipping point in tax rates that makes it cheaper and easier to go ahead and pay up at lower rates than construct elaborate tax shelters.

It's odd but whenever taxes are lowered, there's more revenue.  Some favored tax shelters encumber money for many years and it only really pays to go that route at higher rates.

One of my many consulting jobs was for a tax lawyer and I saw the lengths that people will go to legally avoid paying taxes. There are enough shelters and loop holes to drive a battleship through.

You didn't really think congress has the country or citizens best interests in mind, did you?

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Congress has made it abundantly clear in the last decade that what they're after is their own well-being.

As someone once said bitterly:  throw the scoundrels out!

C

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11 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

Congress has made it abundantly clear in the last decade that what they're after is their own well-being.

Trump for even longer. 😢

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