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Mike Colera

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Why should there be wealth distribution or redistribution?

A recent TED talk by Ms. C. Freeland discusses wealth inequality. It seems, she is against it. I don't quite understand her concerns. If people acquire wealth....legally, people got wealthy legally. A newly elected senator from Massechuses laments how American bankers have gotten wealthy and the American middle class is falling behind. Americans should do spmething about that. Again, if people acquire wealth...legally, people got wealthy legally. I think what I am hearing is that wealth should be redistributed from the wealthy to the... not so wealthy. That seems to be the new chorus being sung.
I am at a loss as to why. Why would some seemingly considerate people talk about taking property of one person to give to another. Let's go past any moral issues or legal ones.... how would it be done? Well, that isn't clear to me. It seems to be said it should be done. Now, if a wealthy person wanted to redistribute his wealth... OK, it is his wealth. But, what if the wealth person wants to keep it all. OK, it is his wealth.
Could someone explain why legally acquired wealth should be redistributed by anyone other then the owner of the wealth?
Of course governments take wealth from people in the form of taxes supposedly to provide the services deemed to be provided by the government. Sometimes, governments have used tax money to provide wealth to some of it's citizens the government has determined needs this wealth. Is it any more moral or legal for the government to take wealth and redistribute it? By passing laws to legalize the redistribution of wealth, could it be inferred that elected officials are currying favor and subsequent votes by redistributing wealth? Are elected officials above such actions? Many questions, so few answers

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    Apr 26 2014: "The objectives of income redistribution are varied and almost always include the funding of public services. Supporters of redistributive policies argue that less stratified economies are more socially just.

    One basis for redistribution is the concept of distributive justice, whose premise is that money and resources ought to be distributed in such a way as to lead to a socially just, and possibly more financially egalitarian society. Another argument is that a larger middle class benefits an economy by enabling more people to be consumers, while providing equal opportunities for individuals to reach a better standard of living. Seen for example in the work of John Rawls, another argument is that a truly fair society would be organized in a manner benefiting the least advantaged, and any inequality would be permissible only to the extent that it benefits the least advantaged.

    Some proponents of redistribution argue that capitalism results in an externality that creates unequal wealth distribution. Studies show that a lower rate of redistribution in a given society increases the inequality found among future incomes, due to restraints on wealth investments in both human and physical capital.

    Some argue that wealth and income inequality are a cause of economic crises, and that reducing these inequalities is one way to prevent or ameliorate economic crises, with redistribution thus benefiting the economy overall. This view was associated with the underconsumptionism school in the 19th century, now considered an aspect of some schools of Keynesian economics; it has also been advanced, for different reasons, by Marxian economics. It was particularly advanced in the US in the 1920s by Waddill Catchings and William Trufant Foster." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redistribution_of_wealth
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      Apr 27 2014: Rodrigo,
      Please don't think me unkind but I would rather hear your thoughts then to read a cut and paste from the internet. There are a lot of comments made about the disparity of poor and rich. I personally find it unsettling that one could make the argument to commit an immoral act.

      But, I find it also amusing on the solemnity all the comments supporting wealth redistribution...
      Let's see how that's working.... In the USA, we have more methods of wealth redistribution... Progressive income tax, inheritance tax, housing subsidies, earned income credit, food stamps , etc. ad nauseum.
      You would think that all that wealth redistribution in the USA, we would have no poverty and a very dynamic social order as you copied and pasted. But we don't and we've tried. We have passed laws, created huge bureaucracies, commissions, et el. Why is that? Crooked banks? Corrupt politicians? Capitalists?
      Great scapegoats.... I have one more. REDISTRIBUTION DOESN'T WORK !!! For 100 years, there was a concerted effort by the US federal government to redistribute wealth for all the reasons we still hear today. WW 1, The Depression, WW 2, defined a poverty class in America, with a great economic expansion in the 60s. Then came all the Great Society plans and programs to resolve the poverty problem.
      Here we are today, more money then ever is being redistributed and more people then ever are poor.
      So, after all is said and done, It is not only wrong, it doesn't even work. In fact, a case can be made that redistributed wealth creates more poverty.
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        Apr 29 2014: My thoughts, Mike:

        There are basically four kinds of people: 1) the exceptionally smart, hardworking, entrepreneurial, and, sometimes, lucky who become big business owners accumulating millions and billions worth of assets - one-tenth percent of the population, 2) the few who become our leaders - generally well-educated presenting themselves as those who care about the will of the majority and the interests of the country - nine-tenths percent of the population, 3) the majority who are average citizens who study hard, work hard, and follow the rules and the law, and 4) the ones who are neither the first, second, and third type who represents the rest of the population.

        We, humans, are endowed, gifted, and motivated in various ways. So during the course of living our lives and doing our business: 1) a small number of us become millionaires and billionaires; 2) a few of us become our leaders, generally doing very well; 3) vast majority of us become average citizens, generally living on paycheck to paycheck; and 4) some, for various reasons, become the destitute, the downtrodden, among us.

        This may seem the normal course of life. But when more than a third of the wealth of a country is controlled by less than 1% of the population and the perception is that the type 1 and type 2 connive to control and enslave the rest of the population , this kind of situation is unsustainable and becomes a fertile ground for discontent and - God forbid - ultimately unrest, "the USA in 2020 could be France of 1800 (Mike Colera)."
        http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

        "One step towards rectifying this intolerable and potentially disastrous pattern is to begin redistributing the vast amounts of money and material wealth more equitably. But what really needs to happen is to re-think and re-structure our overall economic system to operate more equitably and more sustainably." Carl Karasti
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          Apr 29 2014: When you quote me, it sounds important.....

          Seriously.

          As I have said, I don't believe the American Society is near any breaking point, at best, we are annoyed. We have had a number programs for redistribution of wealth even since the 60's. The wealthy have tried to deflect this redistribution and have only been some what successful. For the most part, the beneficiaries of the redistribution: the poor, the homeless, the sick, and since the 60s that I know of, we have more sick, poor and homeless then ever. And that is my point... with all the misery out there, why do we keep on doing the same thing. We take money from the "rich" and give it to the poor and all we are getting are more poor.
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        Apr 30 2014: "When you quote me, it sounds important.....

        Seriously.

        As I have said, I don't believe the American Society is near any breaking point, at best, we are annoyed. We have had a number programs for redistribution of wealth even since the 60's. The wealthy have tried to deflect this redistribution and have only been some what successful. For the most part, the beneficiaries of the redistribution: the poor, the homeless, the sick, and since the 60s that I know of, we have more sick, poor and homeless then ever. And that is my point... with all the misery out there, why do we keep on doing the same thing. We take money from the "rich" and give it to the poor and all we are getting are more poor." Mike Colera

        The answer to the problem of inequality - the misery of the poor, the sick, and the homeless - is the efficient and equitable allocation of the nation's resources. When we genuinely care for each other, there will much less human suffering. This is easier said than done, human nature being the way it is.

        "Would you spend nearly $300 million on a blimp? More than $300,000 to study angry wives? Or $5 million for crystal stemware?

        These are some of the examples cited by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in his annual look at what he considers wasteful and "low-priority" spending by the federal government. The 100 examples Coburn singles out in his Wastebook 2013, released Tuesday, total nearly $30 billion.

        Coburn, the top Republican on Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Commitee, said it's just a fraction of more than $200 billion that the government throws away as a result of fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement.

        There is more than enough stupidity and incompetence in government to allow us to live well below the budget caps," Coburn said. "What's lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices — and passage of fiscally responsible bills — possible."
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/12/17/coburn-wast
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          Apr 30 2014: Thank you for making my point. This same government is taking all the revenues it can get to "help" the poor and hungry. However, with the establishment of huge bureaucracies, and the replication of efforts among them, If I was to learn that those welfare bureaucracies where continuing poverty to sustain their existence... would I be surprised?

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