[ExI] I see pitchforks.

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Jul 9 14:38:45 UTC 2019

On Mon, Jul 8, 2019 at 3:42 PM <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

*> **Once that number is set to a billion dollars in assets, we recall that
> currency value is arbitrary. *

Yes that number is arbitrary, we might decide to set it at half a billion
or maybe 2 billion, but the point is we need a wealth tax. Or do you think
this acceleration of the wealth gap can continue forever without a hiccup?

*> They set the number, then the government has the option of printing
> money based on nothing.  Its value goes down by an order of magnitude every
> two years. After a decade of that… are you now a billioneh?*

Come on Spike, do you really think that is an inescapable objection to the
idea of a wealth tax? Just adjust the point where the tax kicks in with the
inflation rate.

>> Certainly you could claim that you have few assets just as you could
>> claim your income is less than $10,000 a year, but if you have a private
>> jet and a 200 foot yacht the IRS might start getting suspicious…
> *> No worries, sell the jet to a foreign company, lease it back.  Now you
> don’t own that jet.  Or the yacht.  The money is in gold or BitCoin,*

Some people will always try to cheat on their taxes, even today some people
do exactly what you describe above and sometimes they get away with it, but
usually they don't and end up in jail.

> > *government has no way to track it.*

How do you figure that?

>…Everything of value has a document associated with it declaring ownership
>> and somebody's name is on that document…
> *> No worries, yet another industry is spawned: foreign investment
> companies that own all the luxury stuff American billionehs sell them, then
> lease it back to the people who sold it.*

The IRS already has loads of experience in seeing through such simple
deceptions. This wouldn't be their first rodeo.

>>…If you ever plan to use the gold or Bitcoins to actually buy something
>> then you'd better declare them or the IRS will put you in jail…
> *> I see, so spending one’s own money is illegal now? *

Yes but that is nothing new, it's the reason Al Capone went to prison. If
you make your money illegally (and if you have not been paying your taxes
then you have) then spending your money is illegal.

> *> The IRS has the right to know what I own now?*

The fact is they already do.

> *> John do you see that you have been advocating for dictatorship?*

No I don't see.

  > *Do you really want the government having arbitrary power to appraise
> your property at any value they wish, then tax you on it? *

Yes, and government already does that if the wealth takes the form of real
estate.  And 9 states already tax all long-term capital gains, Arizona,
Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina,
Vermont, and Wisconsin.

*> There is a good reason why the 16th amendment is written the way it is,
> specifying income, and nothing else.  Fortunately I see little risk that ¾
> of the US states would sign on*

I'm not a lawyer (thank goodness!) so I don't know if a constitutional
amendment would be necessary, but I do know that federal law usually takes
precedence over state law and all the states already tax wealth if it's in
the form of property.

*>  Fortunately I see little risk that ¾ of the US states would sign on*

The average Trump voter may be pretty dumb but the wealth gap isn't just
growing it is accelerating, so it's only a matter of time before even the
stupidest realizes that something is not quite right, and then I think  ¾
of the US states would indeed sign on. Unless of course Republicans manage
to gerrymander legislators even more than they have now, or Trump cancels
the results of the 2020 election and says he will reschedule a new one at
some unspecified future time.

> *> because of mobs with pitchforks, when the militias and the army have
> rifles.*

So you think mobs of average taxpayers will flood the streets and confront
the police because they want billionaires to become even richer than they
already are and want the wealth gap between themselves and their masters to
become even greater? Somehow I rather doubt that.

> *> That being said, I question the premise entirely.  I don’t see that
> wealth disparity creates the kind of animosity you describe at all. *

Spike I have 2 questions for you:

1) Do you think the acceleration of the wealth gap between the rich and the
poor will continue just as it has until the sun expands into a Red Giant?

2) If the acceleration of the wealth gap ends sometime before that future
astronomical event do you think a controlled well thought out slowing down
will be more pleasant than an uncontrolled chaotic halt?

> *The wealth disparity I have seen is typically in places like Palo Alto,
> where everyone there is a multimillioneh, but they have serious heartburn
> with the local billioneh who wants to buy up several houses and create a
> fortress.*

Palo Alto is the very last place I'd expect this discontent to cause
trouble, in 2016 it showed its ugly head in the midwest rust belt,
Appalachiam and the old confederate states; that's why the presidency is
now a malignancy,

 John K Clark
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