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Old 10-09-2011, 11:53 PM   #126
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^ no doubt there are many people that are really actually lazy, do not wish to work, abuse the system, and are only protesting to cause trouble. We should not feel sympathetic to these people. These are the people that should blame themselves.

But there are many more people that want to work, are able to work, and wish to work for a decent wage, and there are very few jobs for these people. There are many people that are currently working, and wish to find work that can maximize their skill sets, in jobs that people actually need (skilled labourers, educators, medical staff etc), but there are not enough jobs out there. Instead they are dong manual labour or working at some low paying jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.

I bet a lot of people can fall into these categories.

When the unemployment rate is as high as 20% in countries like Spain, I really dont think 1 out of 5 Spanairds are "lazy", and should blame themselves. How about the 40% of unemployment for young adults in their early 20s in certain parts of Europe? These people will feel that they will have nothing to lose and will most likely protest.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:06 AM   #127
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People fear change. And honey, change is happening right now.

In my tin foil hat epiphany that I had today, I think I may have finally decided in my mind whats happening. In the quest for providing an ever greater world in which to live, debt has been the answer, and its starting to crush countries. The US is really not going to easily cut 1.5 trillion from their budget to even balance their books. If they cut defense, they die. If they cut social programs-they die. If they raise revenue-haha, they die.

I think many people are underestimating one thing and that's the power of Human innovation and adaptability.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:43 AM   #128
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Some of the posts on the 99% website are a bit much. I really cannot understand how some people get themselves in such a hole and live far above their means. 50,000 in student loans, no job for a couple years, etc...

If people want to protest then let them have a voice but at the end of the day you have to look out for yourself and your family and not always expect government or other people to do so for you.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:44 AM   #129
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Since 1950, the lowest unemployment rate was in 1953, when it was at 2.5%, and personal tax rates back then was 91% for anyone making more than $200,000.

$200,000.00 in 1953 is $1,641,790.26 in 2011. Thus, anyone making $1.6 million would be taxed marginally at 91%. Tax rates were high back then, and it didnt stop people from making more money.
Is that number right? Sounds a bit insane. Why would I bother trying to make $300K instead of 200K if in the end all I get is 9K more?
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:28 AM   #130
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I think so many people live beyond their means.




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Old 10-10-2011, 05:34 AM   #131
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Doctors make life and death decisions daily, arguably work in an occupation that requires a higher skill set than a CEO, have a much more extensive education than anyone working in business is required, are in extremely high demand all over the world, also work long hours and are always on call; given that, one would think that a doctor should be entitled to equal or greater pay than a CEO.

Yes, a CEO has a demanding job that requires a significant set of skills, but in comparison to other highly skilled occupations they are still earning far to much.

For an institution whose goal is to make money, the owners of that institution (shareholders) are willing to pay a lot of money to individuals who have great visions and could lead them to their preferred goal.

On the other hand, I don't give a fuck about another person's life unless it's my life or someone close to me. I am only willing to pay a fortune to doctors who can save my family's life when needed be.



Overall, paying for a CEO serves the interest of many. Paying for a Doctor serves the interest of a collective few. Thus, CEOs make more money.


Now let's get back on topic:

I myself manage clients that are in telecommunications and energy sector. Let me tell you, when clients of mine complains about certain issues, the loudest customer will always have my ear. I may not prioritize them first, but they are always in my radar. In a lot of cases, the squeakiest wheel gets the oil first.

These protesters are doing exactly that. The American people voted for a President who campaign promised more regulations for the financial industry. Guess what happened, Obama's all star team of economic and financial advisers for the country that were hired were the same people that lead to the destruction of the American financial sector for the past 20 years. Guess what ? all that promise for regulation and accountability in the Private sector ?

People are complaining because we have all this bailout money that was supposed to revive the economy. However, trickle down economics does not work. The buck just remained up there - at the upper echelon of society.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:34 AM   #132
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Capitalism was *NEVER* the problem. The us hasn't had real Capitalism since the 50-60's. They have crony capitalism, you think china lets just any american set up factories there? They had sweetheart deals back with Henry Kissinger flying to China with the president (nixon i think) dictating who would be allowed in China to leverage out the other players. Does setting up too big to fail companies sound like Capitalism to you? Giving GE waivers so they dont have to buy health insurance for their workers, while having other agencies (epa etc) ensure that non GE power companies have coverage. Really? Is that how Capitalism is supposed to work? Does that sound like a free market to you?
The master plan here is so have GE take over the majority of the power then you can guess what happens next.... enron ring a bell? They start doing rolling black outs jacking up the cost to everyone. Keep the poor busy paying more power bills.
True Capitalism would allow many companies to compete and very slim chances of a monopoly. People that are trying to blame the "rich" are the most ignorant. Millionaires drive nicer cars have bigger houses, but they also buy more produce and pay for the service industry. The problem here are the multinational billionaires that setup off shore tax free shelters taking money out of the country and the people.
In history the politicians start a class war to take the heat off themselves. Make the poor even more poor and when your poor, chances are your ill informed. They direct the anger of the poor towards the middle class, shit gets wrecked but in the end it never works and people find out who is really responsible. Heads will roll, hopefully before too much sh!t gets wrecked

Ps if the US cut defense budget who is going to come invade them? Mexico who's drug cartels can't even get their own guns without help from the US gov? Get some fresh air man your getting hot boxed by your neighbors again.
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Ok, in between work I have been doing reading and research on this so I can know for myself what is going on.

Here is what I have come to.

I think the system is fucked. I think we all know it to be so. I am assuming to be a cross section of middle class folk-give or take-I see a few pictures of some pretty pricey cars sitting in front of some pretty pricey housing around here.

What most of US do, is accept it, and work within it. We know the system is fucked, but that does not stop the vast majority from going to work on Monday. We know that up the chain, someone is in charge that makes money off of what we do. Hell, I quit my job and starting working for myself, and guess what? My clients make money off of what I do.

I think there is a growing segment of the population that has watched their parents work within it, and their grandparents and really all for nothing. Cogs in a machine.

I do not think that the peaceniks in New York are the only ones that know the system is fucked. And by fucked, I mean unsustainable. In our system, you have an ever growing need to find new markets, and new opportunity. If you cannot find new markets, then you sell existing customers new product. Eventually, something gives. And its giving. I do not think the economy is going to return to normal-not without some external force to create change. Do I think this is the only time in history that people have asked these questions? NO.

I think things probably looked pretty bleak in 1929. I think they looked pretty bleak in the 30s, and definitely in the early 40s. But the war was an external force that caused change. There was war production, and an entire generation of men gone and all the other factors of that level of war, plus countries obliterated that left the US as the only competitor in a new world stage.

People fear change. And honey, change is happening right now.

In my tin foil hat epiphany that I had today, I think I may have finally decided in my mind whats happening. In the quest for providing an ever greater world in which to live, debt has been the answer, and its starting to crush countries. The US is really not going to easily cut 1.5 trillion from their budget to even balance their books. If they cut defense, they die. If they cut social programs-they die. If they raise revenue-haha, they die.

(cut defense, and the rest of the world takes them out, cut social, and the people rise up and if they raise revenue by 1 trillion, the people rise as the economy dies)

So, its a matter of time. And here is the tin-foil part. The guys in power, they know it too. Is it possible-possible, that the New World Order conspiracy may have a basis in fact actually planning for the end of the world economy? The first thing you would have is a large, confused, angry population that has now contributed their lives to a dead system, and someone stands up and says, well, this is what we had in mind. It actually does not seem so far fetched. That is exactly how the US came to be in the first place. Some people started talking about a brave new day without England, and then started planning for it, and then actively worked to bring it about.

I think the part that everyone kind of rolls their eyes about is the desire to bring it about, as opposed to the necessity.

I just re-read this, and it comes off as rambling. Most of my reading has been really left wing shit, so maybe I will go back to my middle of the road yay capitalism self in the morning.

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #133
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And I can tell you that throughout history, when you have a large group of poor and downtrodden people, that is when govts are overthrown.

France, Germany, Russia, US...I am sure there are others.

The US now has a class of people that have stupid money. Stupid money is when you have eliminated all forms of limits on expenditures and not only can buy anything you want, but start collecting multiples just for something to spend it on.

I personally have no problem with having a rich upper class. I understand to do that, you need to have a group of poor. The problem comes from having a widely held, and secure middle class, and they do not.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:52 AM   #134
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Thats all fine and dandy but do you really think everyone out there has the option to do that? What if at age 25 you were 100k in school debt?
If you're 25yo and $100K in debt, the system has failed you. Unless you're going into a profession in demand that pays extremely well (medicine for example) then the system should have never lent you that much money.

I have many friends that graduated 1-2 years late (ie 5-6 years for a 4 year degree) and ended up $10Ks more in debt. Was it worth it? Most are government workers making $50K/yr, so yes cause they needed the piece of paper to get the job, yet overall they didn't need the degree for a paper pushing government job.

This is why people speculate education is the next bubble to pop as the return on an expensive education is not what it used to be. I hope online universities offering pretaped courses that you can complete at your own pace and for significantly less $$$ becomes a more popular option. Right now you can do this, yet it is not revered so people look down upon it and avoid it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #135
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but start collecting multiples just for something to spend it on
This is my new favourite picture of the "poor":

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:56 AM   #136
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This is a very left-wing website...so I take it with a grain of salt, but:

If Top 1% Hadn't Ripped Off Trillions, You'd Likely Be Making Thousands of Dollars More Right Now | Economy | AlterNet

Between 1949 and 1979, those at the top never took in more than 12.8 percent of the total. When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, they grabbed 10 percent of our economic output, and the rest of us shared 90 percent. And that's when things started to shift, relatively rapidly. In Reagan's final year in office, the top 1 percent of American households grabbed 15.5 percent of the nation's income.

The last stat they provide is:

By the time George W. Bush was elected, they were taking in 21.5 percent. And in 2007, the year before the crash, they were pulling in 23.5 percent of our pre-tax income, leaving the other 99 percent to share just 76.5 percent of the fruits of our output.

The estimate is that if things had not changed in the 80s, wages would be $12,500 more.

I wanted to add:

If this is true(and thats a big if for me-they did not link to the data they used) then this legitimizes the movement for me.

The rules of the game have changed. People should be pissed about it. If you look and say that we used to share in 90% of the nations wealth, and now we share in 76% of it-and falling! then this is not about we are flat broke, and downtrodden at all. It is about playing a game unfairly balanced towards the houses take.

PLUS-what could a group of consumers with a more equal take in the rewards accomplish with the extra income.

OMG...I think they may have made me a believer.

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:16 AM   #137
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If you're 25yo and $100K in debt, the system has failed you. Unless you're going into a profession in demand that pays extremely well (medicine for example) then the system should have never lent you that much money.

I have many friends that graduated 1-2 years late (ie 5-6 years for a 4 year degree) and ended up $10Ks more in debt. Was it worth it? Most are government workers making $50K/yr, so yes cause they needed the piece of paper to get the job, yet overall they didn't need the degree for a paper pushing government job.

This is why people speculate education is the next bubble to pop as the return on an expensive education is not what it used to be. I hope online universities offering pretaped courses that you can complete at your own pace and for significantly less $$$ becomes a more popular option. Right now you can do this, yet it is not revered so people look down upon it and avoid it.
I completely agree with you. I was in university at 19-right after high school. I did not really know what I wanted to do, and really I was not even focused on school. I dropped after 1 year, and owed 10,000. NOw-a lot of that was my fault-I could have worked at a better job in the summer, and I rented a kick-ass apartment to live in. Could have worked during school and probably drank a whole lot less.

Higher education is now meaningless. If everyone has a degree, then a degree does not differentiate you enough to be the higher earner that could pay for it.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #138
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Capitalism hasn't been working in the US so long even as a druggy who doesn't play by the laws can't get around the gov.
Wachovia Bank Accused of Laundering Billions From Mexican Drug Cartels « Justice in Mexico
384billion laundered and fined a paultry 110 mil?
HSBC Accused of Laundering Money for Mexico Drug Cartels - Sinaloa Cartel - Zimbio
Laundered 400+ billion and fined a few million.
The US GOV allows the sinaloa cartel to ship drugs into the states, if local law enforcement busts them, the fed comes in and lets them go.
All because the cartel agrees to launder money thru said banks, everyone else will get jail time but not these guys.

War on drugs? HAH!
Hell ask the US vets returning if they were being told to guard opium fields and help plant/ship the stuff.

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Old 10-10-2011, 09:36 AM   #139
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If you're 25yo and $100K in debt, the system has failed you. Unless you're going into a profession in demand that pays extremely well (medicine for example) then the system should have never lent you that much money.
I disagree. Our system as you so put it is based on freedom.
I like a system that lets gives me freedom.
I believe in DRM free, FLAC, region free and un-Apple-like policies.
Likewise, I believe in a system that lets an individual take great risks for great rewards. To say otherwise, I must heartily disagree. I don't want to live in a system where I have am forced to play by a very narrow set of rules.
I hate bringing religion into this, but that is essentially the crux of Christianity. God gave us choice because choice is good.
What we choose to do on the other hand is entirely on the individual.


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Higher education is now meaningless. If everyone has a degree, then a degree does not differentiate you enough to be the higher earner that could pay for it.
I disagree once again. A higher education isn't meaningless. It maybe meaningless if you are only looking at it from a narrow perspective that a higher education is your ticket to a better paying job than the average person. As you put it, to "differentiate you enough to be the higher earner". However, if you look at society as a whole, higher education improves human rights, womens rights and eliminates bigotry that stems from racial hate or misplaced religious zealotry.
I really hate to call you out on this, but your view on higher education is very selfish and at no point intersects with the greater good of your fellow man.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #140
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I disagree once again. A higher education isn't meaningless. It maybe meaningless if you are only looking at it from a narrow perspective that a higher education is your ticket to a better paying job than the average person. As you put it, to "differentiate you enough to be the higher earner". However, if you look at society as a whole, higher education improves human rights, womens rights and eliminates bigotry that stems from racial hate or misplaced religious zealotry.
I really hate to call you out on this, but your view on higher education is very selfish and at no point intersects with the greater good of your fellow man.
Oh! Do not get me wrong-I am all for the sharing of knowledge and learning for the love of knowledge, and do not advocate shutting down the liberal arts wings because you cannot sell it on wall street.

I am saying, that pumping people into these programs for the sake of a degree is not going to work.

Maybe I should not have said meaningless. Meaningless in the corporate world, maybe.

There was a time when there were far less 4 year degree holding people in your average batch of resumes, and even a liberal arts degree would put you ahead of people without a degree, not for that which you learned, but the fact that you are capable of learning it.

Not hating on the fine arts crowd-but those skills apply more to academia than your average mid management level job that is the bread and butter of the working world.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:52 AM   #141
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I will say, that at 19, being hearded through a room signing loan documents that I did not have a chance to read, looking back I have this feeling that I was a piece of meat in the Royal Bank loan machine.

Sorry 18...not even legal age.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #142
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I completely agree with you. I was in university at 19-right after high school. I did not really know what I wanted to do, and really I was not even focused on school. I dropped after 1 year, and owed 10,000. NOw-a lot of that was my fault-I could have worked at a better job in the summer, and I rented a kick-ass apartment to live in. Could have worked during school and probably drank a whole lot less.

Higher education is now meaningless. If everyone has a degree, then a degree does not differentiate you enough to be the higher earner that could pay for it.
School is merely a tool to help you build out your career. Think of it as a hammer. You can use that hammer to build a house, build another person's house, sell it, make it fancy and patent that hammer etc. That's what education is, a hammer or perhaps a nice saw. Having a hammer around doesn't hurt. Like having school around doesn't hurt - unless you paid $100k for that hammer you don't know what the fuck you're going to do with it.

Right now in the states, a lot of people paid for that expensive hammer, and not much other people are willing to work with the newbies with these expensive hammers. Why ? Perhaps there are no new projects to build, no new houses to make, no new boats to fix etc. No Why is that ? America is the richest country in the world, people in this country surely want the services of this newbies with new hammers so they can train them and make them do projects and such. As it turned out, a few bandits robbed a lot of people in all the neighborhoods in the country. As a result, everyone has less money. Not as much money available to build new projects.

The funny part is, the government said it was ok for these bandits to steal the money. Hell, the government even even passed laws such that the bandits can do this. Even when people tried to get their money back, the government protected these bandits. Clever bandits, stupid people. These people voted for this government to help get their money back. Stupid people and their expensive hammers.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:47 AM   #143
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To steer this back out of semantics, I think we should really focus on what the real issue is:

The fundamental shift in the balance of power in the last 30 years, whereby the distribution of wealth has been skewed to favour the upper tier.

Really, we can sit and pick apart who forms the protest block, and decide whether on a case by case basis if they are worthy of support-perhaps some should not have gone to expensive school. Perhaps some should not have purchased an iphone. All of that is semantics.

The question is: Is the system, to which they are members, a fair system that still continues to reward hard work?

If harder work continues to result in a smaller piece of the pie, then what you have done is create a group of people that do not appreciate the value of hard work and sacrifice, thereby creating a group of people that you can criticise for choosing an expensive school and an iphone.

Therefore-for the people that want to end the protest block(Herman Cain, the tea party, the far right and conservatives) all you need to do is show that the system is still fair, and you will have succeeded.

I have come to the conclusion that it may not be. I think the true sham in US politics is politicians will continue to wave shiny things in front of peoples faces to focus on, all the while not truly caring.

That used to be abortion. Now its gay marriage.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #144
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There's a lot of bleak mindsets in this thread.
>Why spend all that money on to get a degree in a field that isn't hiring?
Because it's what they want to do and they believe they will be good at and enjoy it. Not everyone wants to be a heartless lawyer or has the funds and skills to be a doctor.
>Why don't they get a job outside their field?
Why go to school for something and not use the skills you learned? You spend $60,000 to get the education to get a $60,000 a year job but the only jobs available are for $9? What a slap in the face that is. 80% of people who graduate from an economics course could run a big business, it's not fuckin rocket science.
>Take down the corporations! They're evil!
If you destroy all the corporations in the world you would lose almost all of the jobs and revenue in the world. And new company's would emerge and become those corporations because every corporation started as a small business that offered a great service. What should be done is that their effect on politics should be limited, and if they fuck up and need a massive amount of money to save their asses, they should gain those funds through service cuts and maybe wise up on their spending services.(Most of the banks that demand bail outs have their label on billion dollar skyscrapers and stadiums, they don't need that shit. They also spend millions on commercials and advertising. What the fuck does a bank need to advertise for? Everyone knows they exist and what they do.)
>Go up north and work on an oil rig.
Easier said then done. Most people who go up there get into hard drugs or become alcoholics. It's miserable and depressing up there and it takes a lot of hope out of yea. I did it for a summer and made a lot of money, but it was the worst summer of my life. And the job I worked up there gave me skills that I can't really use anywhere else in the world unless I wanna stick with the oil industry.

Another solution I think is that people should stop taking out such huge loans if they're not certain about what they are taking a loan out for. Look at all these people in kits buying 4 million dollar houses when they won't even make that much in their lives. At some point it's going to turn on them and ruin their lives. If you want to go school, make sure you are certain that what you are taking is what you really want to do. Shit is not cheap and their is nothing worse then wasting that money on an education that you will never use. We aren't living in germany where school is free and taxes is 37%. (Thank god for that)

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Is that number right? Sounds a bit insane. Why would I bother trying to make $300K instead of 200K if in the end all I get is 9K more?

Quote:

Since 1950, the lowest unemployment rate was in 1953, when it was at 2.5%, and personal tax rates back then was 91% for anyone making more than $200,000.

$200,000.00 in 1953 is $1,641,790.26 in 2011. Thus, anyone making $1.6 million would be taxed marginally at 91%. Tax rates were high back then, and it didnt stop people from making more money.
This was the top personal income tax rate, not the corporate.

200,000K back then was the equivalent of $1.6 Million today. back then a can of coke probably costs only 5 cents, and a meal at the restaurant would be 50 cents or so.

it's like saying, if you made $1.6 million a year, you only keep $9,000 on the next $100,000 you make.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:50 PM   #146
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Is that number right? Sounds a bit insane. Why would I bother trying to make $300K instead of 200K if in the end all I get is 9K more?
A lot of it is all relative, but Americans think paying a 50% top tax rate in Canada is insane.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:05 PM   #147
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This is a very left-wing website...so I take it with a grain of salt, but:

If Top 1% Hadn't Ripped Off Trillions, You'd Likely Be Making Thousands of Dollars More Right Now | Economy | AlterNet

Between 1949 and 1979, those at the top never took in more than 12.8 percent of the total. When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, they grabbed 10 percent of our economic output, and the rest of us shared 90 percent. And that's when things started to shift, relatively rapidly. In Reagan's final year in office, the top 1 percent of American households grabbed 15.5 percent of the nation's income.

The last stat they provide is:

By the time George W. Bush was elected, they were taking in 21.5 percent. And in 2007, the year before the crash, they were pulling in 23.5 percent of our pre-tax income, leaving the other 99 percent to share just 76.5 percent of the fruits of our output.

The estimate is that if things had not changed in the 80s, wages would be $12,500 more.

I wanted to add:

If this is true(and thats a big if for me-they did not link to the data they used) then this legitimizes the movement for me.

The rules of the game have changed. People should be pissed about it. If you look and say that we used to share in 90% of the nations wealth, and now we share in 76% of it-and falling! then this is not about we are flat broke, and downtrodden at all. It is about playing a game unfairly balanced towards the houses take.

PLUS-what could a group of consumers with a more equal take in the rewards accomplish with the extra income.

OMG...I think they may have made me a believer.
It started around Reagan's time and his Reaganomics : Reduced tax rates and less regulation and the Trickle Down Theory.

In my humble opinion some of the solutions might be:

1. Lower corporate tax rates but eliminate loopholes, helps keep tax rates competitive, but eliminate many Big corporations that are currently Effectively paying zero taxes due to credits and legal loopholes.

2. Increase Personal Tax rates - Things like the Buffett rule and force alternative minimum taxes. Also get rid of loopholes like hedge fund managers paying only 15% rate due to how income is considered (dividends, capital gains etc).

3. Focus on Education, spend more money developing kids to be good at Arithmetic, Engineering, science etc. This will have a positive return in the long run.

In 2004 only 6% of U.S. degrees were awarded in engineering, half the average for rich countries. In Japan it’s 20%, and in Germany it’s 16%. In 2008–09 there were more psychology majors than engineering majors in America and more fitness-studies majors than physical-sciences majors.

Federal funding for the physical sciences fell 54% over the 25 years since 1970 and has continued to fall.

*30 years ago, 10% of California’s general revenue went to higher education—and the result was the crown jewel of American public education, the University of California system. Just 3% went to prisons. Today, 11% goes to prisons and 8% to higher education, a number that is dropping fast. There are now about as many Americans who work in the prison business as in auto manufacturing*

4. Limit political contributions. Force more regulations so that companies can't manipulate the market.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:05 PM   #148
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This was the top personal income tax rate, not the corporate.

200,000K back then was the equivalent of $1.6 Million today. back then a can of coke probably costs only 5 cents, and a meal at the restaurant would be 50 cents or so.

it's like saying, if you made $1.6 million a year, you only keep $9,000 on the next $100,000 you make.
Bingo! There is the problem. The tax rate cutoffs have not changed to meet the continual change in the value of money.

There is no 1 million+ column on the tax return, and effectively, there was in 1950.

I think its re-freaking-donculous that someone that makes 2 million a year is lumped in the same group as $200,000.

And this is what causes the top to get richer.

Meaning, the protesters in New York have a point.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #149
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^ this is exactly why I support the protests. It gets people talking and brings these issues out there.

Warren Buffett, 2nd richest guy in the US has been saying this for a long time now about how he has a lower tax rate than his secretary. His tax rate was 19% compared to the 33% that his employees paid. “How can this be fair?” Buffett asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?”

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/op...uper-rich.html
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #150
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^ this is exactly why I support the protests. It gets people talking and brings these issues out there.

Warren Buffett, 2nd richest guy in the US has been saying this for a long time now about how he has a lower tax rate than his secretary. His tax rate was 19% compared to the 33% that his employees paid. “How can this be fair?” Buffett asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?”

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/op...uper-rich.html
You've used that quote multiple times, but each time I can't help but think it's a bit misleading and needs to be looked at in context. This applies more to the U.S. because in Canada our taxes are relatively higher. Apparently, Buffett made 46 million and was taxed 17.7% while his secretary made 60,000 and was taxed 30% (without him trying to avoid paying any taxes). 17.7% is still 7820000 in taxes paid while 30% of 60,000 is 18,000, so technically, he still paid 1000x more tax than most people will ever in their lifetime each year.

I would think that the favorable tax policy is to encourage entrepreneurs and investors to use that leftover money to build and invest in companies to CREATE jobs for people. Abilities that the majority of people don't have, or don't have the balls for (risk), and thus I don't think you can compare them with his employees who do jobs that are easily trainable (earning a wage is relatively safe). One of my uncle with no financial help, created his medium sized company from scratch. One guy, who ended up creating GOOD jobs for a number of people, his engineers made 50-60k USD (in the 80s when money and the USD were worth a lot more than CAD). If we want jobs, especially good ones, we need to cultivate entrepreneurs who can innovate. Even if we take a look at Vancouver, we don't have many great jobs because we lack industries. So what a blessing it is to get a company like E.A. to set up here, suddenly we have great paying software engineering jobs.

Interesting fact: Forbes, half of all US billionaire's are self-made.
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