Wealth Redistribution: Do You Have A Problem With It?

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Politics

If you haven’t heard it about now, here is the link to an interview with Obama suggesting that the Supreme Court did not go far enough to pursue wealth redistribution in this country. What is your take?

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Comments
  1. DarkStar says:

    1. Link doesn’t show up.

    2. Redistribution of wealth is pork. Redistribution of wealth is the bailout package. Redistribution of wealth is McCain’s mortgage plan.

    When you are the source of the funds, you’re agin’ it. When your the sink of the funds, you’re for it.

  2. Duane says:

    Link is now up (thanks)

    Redistribution of wealth is pork.

    I beg to differ. Pork is wasteful spending whereas the basis of redistribution of wealth is to take from the upper economic strata to help the lower.

    Redistribution of wealth is McCain’s mortgage plan.
    I’ve already called McCain and Obama’s approval of the bailout plan a push towards socialism (several times). Same goes for McCain’s $300 mill/bill plan to buy up bad mortgages.

    Thank you for your reminder.

  3. DarkStar says:

    I beg to differ. Pork is wasteful spending whereas the basis of redistribution of wealth is to take from the upper economic strata to help the lower.

    I beg to differ on this point because pork, from what I can tell, generally meets that definition.

    I’ve already called McCain and Obama’s approval of the bailout plan a push towards socialism

    I know, but I’m venting.

    I’ll listen to the link, but it’s 4 minutes of a 53 minute show.

  4. Duane says:

    I beg to differ on this point because pork, from what I can tell, generally meets that definition.

    Wasteful spending not only affects EVERYBODY that pay taxes, but the targeted need in many cases has nothing to do with helping the poor. Wealth redistribution by definition does seek to help the less fortunate.

    I’ll listen to the link, but it’s 4 minutes of a 53 minute show.

    Actually, it 4 minutes of a string of similar comments he and his running mate has made recently. When Obama was asked recently by a reporter if he regretted saying what he did to Joe the plumber regarding ‘spreading the wealth’, he said “no”.

    I’ll give him this–he’s consistent.

  5. JustSaying says:

    Sure, I’ll go for “redistribution of wealth” if it pertains to my getting my forty acres and a mule, or rather today’s equivalent from the white family who still has it, and has benefited from the past 170 years through the property and the wealth handed down from generation to generation.

    From my understanding, this is the redistribution of wealth that Obama was speaking of in terms of the civil rights movement. Of course he wasn’t talking about that in literal terms as I wrote above, but he was speaking to the fact that the civil rights bill passed in the 60’s did not address the economic disadvantage that blacks have endured and continue to endure since our arrival in this country. It has nothing to do with “socialism” or any other class restructuring that McCain and his minions are claiming.

    But at the same time, they’re not stupid and they are fully aware of what Obama meant. But what they’re hoping for is that white people start thinking that Barack is trying to push through reparations while he’s in office. In simple terms, they’re trying to paint him as the “Black Candidate”, without saying it outright, in these final days of the campaign.

  6. DarkStar says:

    OK, I listened to the full thing and — here it comes — it’s out of context. “JustSayin” is right.

    Here’s the full link.

  7. DarkStar says:

    Oh yeah, please remember that I wrote I wasn’t behind Obama because of my fear of him raising taxes.

  8. Wil says:

    The comment about forty acres and a mule was right on target. Some in this country have a three hundred year head start over others…Also, only an idiot would comment on Marx if they have not read his work….Something is called “pork” if you don’t agree with it, which is a very subjective measure.

  9. S. Cain says:

    More like four hundred years.

  10. The “Redistribution of Wealth” arguement is a false one by the corporate-contolled Right. People with low incomes have always paid lower taxes and benefited more if they had children and daycare, and the super rich have benefited from loopholes. Cindy McCain, for example got back nearly $200K in her tax return.

    Obama’s plan is to even out the playing field.

  11. S. Cain says:

    “Redistribute” the wealth in ONE place if anywhere: Schools.
    No matter what Obama may intend to accomplish, I think that he ought to mandate a much, much higher percentage of the fed budget in schools. Fund everything, everywhere, everyone that asks that asks, (and qualitatively necessitates- I’m honestly talking newly or renovated schools here- flush immediately. Then expect the schools to sustain any and all progress.

    If capitalism as I’ve been taught and means: Forget the past, cause ‘the market is the way forward’… Then maybe the market needs to come full circle, back to the schools. I mean, if my hypothetical young cuz comes up on a college scholarship because he got that extra boost in his day by having breakfasts at the school…Like eggs and toast, not these “super doughnuts”, ya heard?…That’s redistribution. Like hiring old folks at schools to cook. Man, this specter is generational and it’s not something we ought to have to contend with, for this, that, or a third reason.

  12. Duane says:

    Kit~

    The “Redistribution of Wealth” arguement is a false one by the corporate-contolled Right.

    And you really believe that the Left isn’t corporate-controlled? Do you really believe that?

    People with low incomes have always paid lower taxes and benefited more

    So why cut taxes for “95% of Americans”?

    Wil~

    I was actually going to do a post the other day highlighting Black businesses that do employ low-income Blacks–giving them the opportunity to earn their proverbial 40 acres and a mule just like everybody else. Yet because of these business owners’ tax bracket, they would still be called to “spread their wealth”. In places like the northeast, here on the West coast or Atlanta, it is not that uncommon to find Blacks who are making well over $250k. According to one study (I talked about it here on this site some time ago), Blacks outspend whites when it comes to giving to charity. My point here is that raising taxes on folks — especially those who do give of their wealth, time, etc. makes absolutely no sense. Why? Because they are ALREADY doing the work. And besides, although the system isn’t perfect, we already have a system in this country that provide an economic first step for those looking to get on the playing field–its called welfare. And while folks tend to only focus on the failures, there are plenty of folks who used it to put them back on the playing field.

    It worked for my family.

    Ed,

    I listened to it as well. Yes he is talking about the economic piece of the civil rights movement, however the question remains when he’s talking about REDISTRIBUTION“From what source to whom?”

    Since folks who push the reparations argument like to base part of their case on how the Japanese were given economic help from the government, let’s look at that for a moment. Not once have I read anything showing that in order to give them these funds, wealth had to be redistributed from one group to another. Yet this has been Obama and Biden’s point from jump. Biden says that if you make over $250k, paying higher taxes should be seen as a form of “patriotism”. Obama has also reinforced the concept several times during this campaign. Therefore, I have to disagree with your assessment that somehow he is being taken out of context. On the contrary, this has been the context of his entire campaign. These little blips from the past are just confirming his consistency on his theory of wealth redistribution–not simply providing mules and a few acres.

  13. Peg says:

    Duane, to me the telling statement was during a debate with Hillary during the nomination battle. Obama was asked about his views on raising rates on capital gains. “Hard evidence shows that when rates go down, government receipts go up. Why then would you want to raise the rates, when you will get less tax dollars?”

    Obama answered that he would raise rates because it was more fair.

    I think that this highlights that one of his goals – and that of those who believe as he does – is that there is something almost inherently “evil” in great wealth alongside poverty. That is, if some are very wealthy and some very poor, the government, out of fairness, should (one way or another) take from the wealthy and give to the poor.

    Personally, I have no problem with a progressive tax system. But, when you base your tax decisions on “punishing” the wealthy, and getting less money than with a system where all gain – something seems wrong.

    Also. I think that when you find very few paying the taxes for the vast majority of the rest of the population, you are going to run into difficulty. Even if those on the lower rungs can only contribute in a tiny way, having all of us contributing to our nation is best. (I realize that some cannot contribute at all – but – those who are capable.)

  14. DarkStar says:

    I listened to it as well. Yes he is talking about the economic piece of the civil rights movement, however the question remains when he’s talking about REDISTRIBUTION–“From what source to whom?”

    Duane, education is the one place where I think redistribution (from wealthier to poorer) for school systems is not offensive as is redistribution in general.

    I know that money doesn’t solve problems in education, but if the schools have equivalent facilities and books and the like, it would help cut the dead end rhetoric of kids not performing. (Ok, that’s a dream).

  15. Duane says:

    I’m completely down with that. Schools should all be on the same level.

    The biggest problem I see with getting schools on the same level is the ridiculous amount of bureaucracy that unfortunately takes the place of parents in districts where they simply are not involved. I’m with you: “blow them up” and replace them with charter and magnet schools that do not operate under all of layers of bureaucracy you will find in many of these traditional model public schools.

  16. Peg says:

    I wholly agree with DarkStar and Duane about schools. No child in America should have to attend a sub-standard school. Personally, I think that funding for education should not come from local communities, but should at least be state-wide. How can very poor areas be able to fund a decent school?

    That being said – there have been many studies showing that money alone cannot make a fine school. Some years ago, Kansas City had to build “state of the art” schools in a poor area, due to a lawsuit. They did – and the school still produced woefully under-educated students.

    Somehow, some way – we need to inculcate in kids from challenged neighborhoods and broken homes that there is real, true value in getting an education. We have to make them believe that if they study and learn, that they can have a world of opportunity open to them.

    To me, when you talk about “righting the wrongs” of slavery and Jim Crow, this is one of the key goals to be achieved.

  17. Kelsie says:

    There aren’t just poor black people. There are poor white people as well. I am sorry for what happened many years ago, but I never had a slave and I wasn’t born into money. My mother died when I was 7 and my father worked in the oil fields, but everyone of the children in my family put themselves through school, not Columbia or Harvard, but a state school. We have all worked hard all of our lives, just like anyone else does. We haven’t made millions like athletes or movie stars. The top grossing actor in the US is Will Smith, the richest woman in America is Oprah, black athletes are being paid up to $400,000 a game, and we are still talking oppression. A black student has a much better chance of getting into school or getting a job than does my white son. I have ever heard of a movement for the US to pay blacks as it still does Native Americans.
    I have never been racist. I have never treated anyone differently because of their race, religion, etc. But America means that you can move, you can work, you can go to school if you want. If Blacks were still in Africa, what would your life be like? Both of my sons have volunteered there to help others. They have been appalled by the government corruption and the disease and the living conditions. One of my sons is completing his degree from Columbia and is joining the Peace Corps to return to Africa to help with the Aids epidemic for his lifetime, however short that may be because of the risk of disease.
    This rhetoric, and the Obama mania is causing a greater divide in our country. I would love to see someone like him be President if he loved our country and was the change he wants to bring about. Punishing whites is not the answer. No one alive did these things to your black ancestors. Only a fraction of people ever did, and it was wrong, but it is over.
    There are many poor in the United States, but becoming a socialistic country is not the answer. Look at the neighborhoods that have been given everything. Bill Cosby said it best when he said that the Democrats have caused this dilemma by giving hand-outs to blacks. America has always meant opportunity, not forced socialism to hand-out money to those not willing to get an education and to work. Look what Oprah could do with her money!! I saw a documentary where two young, white millionaires took their money and started an incredible school in the inner city of LA.
    Highly competitive, incredibly successful, and producing students who are going to Ivy League schools. There are opportunities for all of these black athletes, movie stars, singers, politicians to do their part in helping.
    Service to one another, caring for one another, loving one another is the answer. We need to quit causing divisions and to bring the country together. It is a horrible thing that happened to blacks, but it wasn’t just occurring in the US. It was happening throughout the world at the time. None of us are to blame for that event. I know there are bigots and racists. There will always be, no matter where you live. I have experienced this as a white person because of lack of money and because of my religion.
    It happens to everyone…not just blacks.

  18. Kelsie says:

    I guess what I was attempting to convey is that I have a friend that had a terrible childhood. She was abused and raised in poverty and hardships. Some of her stories are disturbing, but she has so many talents and so very much to offer and she is stuck in her self-pity and her blame for her childhood. I just want to shake her and say, leave all that, use it to help you be an incredible mother and wife, and stop blaming others for who you are today. Get up, dust off, and do something with all you have been given….health, intelligence, opportunity, the ability to serve, and making sure that
    what you endured is not passed on. As Ghandi said,
    “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

  19. Give it a rest says:

    Duane,

    It cost money to make money! Public services are NOT free and must be paid for with tax revenue.

    Like it or not a business owner by they black or white that is making over $250,000 per year is generally making significant use of said public services/ resources. People need to stop belly aching about taxes and just pay their FAIR share.

    The tax burden is NOT high int he USA. In reality business related taxes are rather low in comparison to payroll withholding taxes so what is the big problem?

    At some point IF you do NOT cut taxes on the poor and middle-class and activily begin to “redistribute the wealth in this country you will NOT have any clients or costumers willing to pay for whatever service of product your business is involved with.

    From your stance on this issue one would get the impression that you have been raking in well over a million dollars in profit each year and are prepared and willing to weather the coming storm while preserving the status quo. I.E sit back and do nothing to help out your fellow country man and wait for the GOP to regain power and say “I told you so”.

  20. Wil says:

    All taxation is redistributing the wealth. All governments have elements of socialism. It is unfortunate that the McCain people have whipped up fears about these topics – fears that are completely unfounded…I guess the thinking is that if you can distract and frighten people you can more easily shape their thinking to agree with your ideas and goals.

  21. Duane says:

    Wil,

    This is pure BULL!

    Using tax money (which comes from everybody–regardless of class) to do things like fund schools, highway construction, etc. is not wealth redistribution. Raising taxes on a particular class of individuals based on income for the sole purpose of helping those deemed less fortunate IS Wealth Redistribution. Obama has been very clear on this from jump.

    I know you are fully in the tank for Obama, but please don’t twist and stretch definitions to accommodate your biases.

  22. Wil says:

    If I send my children to private school, and I am taxed to pay for public schools, my wealth has been redistributed. There is no way around it, redistributing wealth is what governments do.The only question is, are you happy with how your money is being spent.

  23. Duane says:

    Again, you are spinning around the terminology.

    EVERYONE in your district regardless of economic status pay taxes that include funding the local public school. That’s fine. Again, the target is to help EVERYBODY in the community, not just a particular class. If you choose not to send your kids to the local public school, that is your right. However, your tax contribution will still benefit your community, not just the poor. The goal of Wealth redistribution by definition is to transfer wealth to those who are less fortunate–hence the word REdistribution. Distribution of wealth would pertain more to taxes the way you have been describing.

    ====
    Redistribution of wealth (wikipedia)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redistribution_of_wealth

    The transfer of wealth can occur in various ways. Some methods for transferring wealth are voluntary transfers from those who have it to those who do not. Other methods involve forcibly removing the wealth from those who have it and redistributing it to those who do not. Redistribution of Wealth, in political/simple terms is “taking from the rich to give to the poor”. Although this is a simple view, the ideas and implementations by governments to facilitate this process is generally considered negative, and the impact is negligible. It could be argued, that Redistribution by choice creates as many positive outcomes (or more) than “by force”.

    All political and economic systems facilitate the redistribution of wealth including Capitalism, Communism and Socialism, however the favored method of redistribution varies from system to system. Capitalism relies primarily on the voluntary purchase and sale of goods and services, whereas Communism and Socialism typically use involuntary methods such as taxation and nationalization of property.
    ====

    Again, redistribution of wealth is about transferring wealth from one economic class to another. Distribution would then mean that EVERYBODY would in some way receive the benefit.

  24. Wil says:

    Schools are not funded equally, so wealth is distributed unevenly, based on the government’s priorities. When you obtain a building permit in most cities they take extra fees to help fund schools, sometimes the fees are based on the number of bedrooms you have. People with more money are building the houses, others who send their children to public schools benefit. This fits your definition of redistribution. The second to last paragraph in your post clarifes this, but excuses it by falsely calling it “…voluntary purchase of goods and services..”. This is speaking about countries that have a goods and services tax as a primary source of revenue, and doesn’t really apply to the USA.

  25. Duane says:

    Schools are not funded equally, so wealth is distributed unevenly, based on the government’s priorities.

    True. But again we are talking about REdistribution. EVERY kid in that district has equal access to the school. Again, wealth redistribution is taking money from one economic class and shifting it to another. Kids living in, let’s say Irvine, CA would not receive the benefit of higher taxes proposed by Obama that are said to help kids in Santa Ana, CA (both towns are in Orange county, CA). The basic reason why schools in Irvine are better funded is because the taxpayers in that area make more money–therefore they are taxed on that rate. The people in Santa Ana make less and therefore are taxed on their rate.

    I think there is more than enough money in the system to better fund schools in poorer districts. But the reality is that neither candidate has show the willingness to fully address the bureaucracy (mind you, a bureaucracy that takes place of parents who simply will not get involved) that gobbles up a hefty portion on funding in poor school districts. Charging ‘the rich’ extra in taxes to fix this problem is the equivalent of spitting on a forest fire.

  26. Wil says:

    Building permits are often issued by a county. Even people without children are taxed, via permit fees, to pay for school funding. Money that one person has accumulated is then redistributed for the benefit of others. ..Regarding schools, I personally think that teachers are underpaid, and schools, generally, do not have enough resources. I would be happy to pay an extra $100 per year to help any school anywhere in the country that needs more resources. If every adult could tolerate contributing that much, it would transform public education.

  27. Joe says:

    It is my belief that our tax dollars were meant to go to our nation’s infrastructure; to fund roads, water projects, the military, etc . . . Social security was to pay for itself; instead it has led to a society equivalent to that of a welfare state, and will not ever be a viable entity. I do not mind sharing my money with those who CANNOT provide for themselves or with those who have worked hard all their lives and are no longer capable of providing for their selves; especially if they have contributed to the social security fund all their lives. However, I do mind sharing my money with those who WILL NOT provide for themselves; and I do mind that the government leaves me no say as to how they plan to spend it, or who they intend to share it with. And I do mind that my contributions to the social security fund are being used to support those who are in our country illegally, including Obama’s aunt who was supposed to have left the U.S. in 2004 after being denied U.S. citizenship. There is a sensible reason for the expression, “God helps those who help themselves;” it is just like at Christmas when they say “it is better to give than to receive.” In helping yourself, you improve yourself; bettering ones self, betters those around you . . . it is contagious, just as a cyclical welfare state is contagious. Not to mention, working hard and giving to charitable causes leaves a person feeling good, and it is a part of what makes people better people. On the other hand, constantly receiving help innately injures one’s pride if they have any self conscience. Hard work and a strong desire brought on by self pride also allow a person to save enough money so they can positively influence those nearest them ; if the government is constantly giving people what they need to survive, they have no need or desire to achieve more. Conjoined by the desperation exhibited in their surroundings, the cycle of perpetual handouts only reaffirms the feelings that one is doomed to failure. In the end, even if there is no wealth passed on, instilling frugalality and a good work ethic helps a person’s descendents self actualize and better provide for their selves. These are all ideas that are based upon the natural reactions of a person’s circumstance and their natural surroundings. As a 10th generation American, I must say I agree with the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “I hold these truths to be (sacred and undeniable . . . his original wording) self-evident that all men are created equal; However, to me that equality not only means that they are equal in the liberties they possess, but that they are also equally responsible for working hard to provide for their existence. At the same token, they are equally responsibility in keeping our country the great place it was meant to be, anything else is treasonous. I am still not certain, as I imagine no one is or can be, as to whether Obama actually intends to follow through with all of the promises he has made to America or if he has merely used the economy and the misfortune of his supporters as a ploy to abscond with their votes. It is my contention he has no intentions of following through with his proposals, as they are impractical and unobtainable in our current economic state. I suspect our deficit will be substantially increased under his presidency, should he be elected.

    http://joeschmoepolitico.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/keep-your-hands-off-my-cache/

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