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Make Billionaires Pay Act (cnbc.com)
32 points by ToFab123 50 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 85 comments

This bill on the face of it is pretty dumb. Most billionaires do not have liquid assets that are easily converted into money. In fact, most of the people's wealth increased due to their company stock price increasing. In order to pay these bills, the people would likely have to break sec laws to sell the stock quickly since there are all kinds of rules in this area. And if they get around that and are forced to sell large amounts of their holdings in companies, I imagine the stock market would crash, or have a local crash. And almost assuredly the stock wouldn't be worth nearly as much, so they would be forced to liquidate nearly everything they own to pay this tax bill.

I also imagine these billionaires will find some loophole or simply sue the government and keep this in the courts for years while they figure out a way to nullify it.

Honestly, this whole thing is a publicity stunt because the backers all know it has no chance of ever happening. Then they can pretend they care, and that they tried to do something. While in reality, they are doing nothing and never had any plan to do anything achievable.

What a defeatist attitude. Instead of snarkily poking holes, where's your better solution?

Because there has to be a solution. Inequality is reaching levels where it's dangerous. No, it is not good nor stable for 1% of the population to control 99% of the assets, and we'll get there soon enough.

Redistribution will happen either by law or by knife and gun. This is not about who earned what or what was inconvenient for XYZ person. This is about the citizens of the country, supposedly equal under law, having no chance whatsoever of ever owning an equal part. It's about aristocracy, basically. And do we all remember how aristocracies end?

Real life is not some computer model. In real life, if a father of 6 cannot feed or house his children he will not be satisfied by you saying that "well, Jeff Bezos outcompeted you!". There will be a redistribution. Our only choice is how it happens. This is an attempt.

It is not snarky to poke holes. It is snarky to call someone snarky for pointing out issues. You don’t always have to come up with a solution immediately. That would be stupid.

Basic income via the printing of money. What do you think those $600 checks were?

Inheritance tax. Make education at public schools and universities free. Reform government for greater efficiency.

Printing money is very risky. The US has the stability to print a lot of money but I'm afraid printing money forever would end up with a huge inflation.

Hi Weimar Republic. Hi Venezuela.

Look at the root causes of increasing wealth inequality. Today’s global, connected world has allowed the winning of much larger markets than before. It is very similar to how industrialization allowed the accumulation of huge amounts of wealth. This global, connected world has also devalued low skilled work. Increasing amounts of work will be devalued.

Any solution should be addressing these root causes while trying to not lose many of the great benefits.

One aspect should be creating a basic living standard.

Another aspect should be maximizing human potential. This isn’t just education but also opportunity. This isn’t just STEM but other human potential: music, art, etc...

The last issue is how to pay for it. Progressive taxation makes sense as does a luxury tax. An inheritance tax makes sense because it still motivates individuals to produce.

Ok, so let’s pass a Maximize Human Potential bill then instead of a Shakedown Rich People Bill.

I agree with you. We need solutions.

The thing is we can't relay on monetary policies that have never worked and made things worse.

I guess you have not heard of Quantitative Easing?

I've heard of it.

The question is, have you? Because inflation is precisely the biggest problem when it's applied. It works on certain scenarios but it's not a long term solution.


The inflation is in assets: education (college), health (care/insurance), stock market, housing/real estate.

But have you heard only the name or do you know when it's used and what are its consequences? I could mention quantum physics and still have 0 idea about it.

What about instead of saying "i'M tHe gUy wHo mEnTiOnEd iT" you explain why do you think it's good?

Did I say it's good? I know exactly what it is. It's a radical expansion of fed credit. What are the consequences? Well, do you think things are better?

USD expansion is not going to be a big issue for a while.

Your spongebob capitalisations are not appreciated

Well, I criticized printing money to pay a basic income. Which means from now on the Fed will print trillions every year.

If you're not trying to fight deflation that would only increase the inflation rate.

And what would happen when the USD expansions becomes a problem? Would the Fed stop printing money.

Universal healthcare.

All excellent ideas, and inevitable, IMO.

This is not an attempt. This is something that wouldn't work. All the big companies would probably die.

Imagine all the NASDAQ founders selling 50% of their shares. Who would buy them? The price would sink and they wouldn't be that wealthy any more and the government wouldn't get any money.

What about all the pension funds invested into these companies. Average people will be hurt by a share price dump.

There are already the tools to deal with billionaire's wealth. How these companies aren't broken up for being monopolies is beyond me.

Imagine a world where there are 5 Amazon's rather than one. Suddenly there's a cap on how much one person can control.

Easy solution, the federal govt takes the shares. Nobody said it had to be cash, tax them in cash or in-kind assets. Then the government can sell the shares as needed for their balance sheets.

> No, it is not ... stable for 1% of the population to control 99% of the assets...

Many ancient cultures had at least this level of inequality and ruling stability. The Ptolemies made something last for longer than the US has existed, e.g..

This isn't an attempt to fix that. This isn't an attempt to fix anything at all. The government can just pay people's out of pocket expenses if it wanted to, it doesn't need to tax anyone to do it. This law doesn't even address inequality in any material way - it's a one time tax. It's a vapid political stunt, nothing more.

Yeah, it doesn't fix everything perfectly forever. But it's a shot across the bow.

It's a one time tax. It has zero chance of passing, and it'd accomplish precisely nothing of value even if it did. It's a political stunt - the only purpose of which is to remind you that Bernie Sanders exists, he hates billionaires, and you should too.

OK. Look, I'm not arguing, conceptually, against you.

But there is a very big problem and it will need to be addressed. Sanders is doing what he can. Maybe this is not the best approach but is doing nothing better?

Yeah, this act sucks! So let's make a better one. I just hated your nit picking attitude.

I don't really see how billionaires being rich is a problem either. The problem isn't that some people are rich, it's that other people are poor. I'm much more interested in solutions that make people not poor than ones that make people not rich. Deleting Jeff Bezos's wealth from the world tomorrow isn't going to make anyone any better off, and it'd be quite likely to make a lot of people worse off.

The real problem with our tax system is that equity capital skirt's the income tax, because it is illiquid. Jeff Bezos doesn't pay almost no income tax because the top tax bracket is too low. He pays very little income tax because he doesn't sell his stock, and that allows it to compound, tax-free. The tax-free compounding provided by long term asset holding in the United States is an incredible gift to capital, that labor does not receive - labor is paid a salary, upon which they are taxed every year. People who own capital assets that they do not sell receive the full 'time value' of their money, which adds up to an enormous amount if held over many years.

Address this issue, and you will address a major source of inequality. While you're at it, get rid of the tax break for 'long term capital gains', its based on some paternalistic false premise that "long term" investing is somehow good.

These things won't get rid of inequality, but they would meaningfully reshape the process that produces it, and they would do so in ways that preserve fundamental notions of fairness and property, in a way that Bernie Sander's proposal does not. We don't want a government that simply randomly expropriates property from targeted slivers of the population who happen to be unpopular at the moment. We want a government based on principle and system design. The real problem with Sander's proposal isn't that it's a stunt. It's that it contravenes principles of good governance. It's a hack, not a principle.

Maybe this is a wakeup call to Billionaires that pitchforks are coming, so get behind printing money, or get behind us taking it from you.

Maybe Bezos, et al up their support of universal healthcare, etc.. Maybe they willingly donate money to the U.S. govt above normal taxes. (Can we just setup a crowdfund so elites can donate and get applaud for helping out the country, their narcissism is appeased, and we get to eat, buy clothes, have a roof, and get healthcre).

> What a defeatist attitude. Instead of snarkily poking holes, where's your better solution?

Higher interest rates.

Don't punish people like billionaires. Instead institute policies that are pro worker and pro society. Like no more stock buy backs. Or tax incentives for large cap r&d investment. Or corporate tax incentives for generous pension plans. Basically instead of letting them pay no taxes for dumb reasons let corporations pay no taxes for proworker and pro society reasons.

It is a very difficult question.

It is money vs. society. If you can earn more money for yourself by impoverishing others, but the total wealth and stability of society goes down, is that a good thing? No I think it is not. There's a conflict here. Society vs. money.

This is a transitional phase and I believe money will be gone in 20 years, replaced by some kind of "shares in society" or something. I have ideas about how that works but there's no doing nothing. You can't have billionaires living in castles surrounded by millions of starving poor. It's not about "merit" it is about human life. Life will win every time.

Buybacks were never the problem.

Buybacks as part of acquisitions, using the acquired companies resources to take complete control for less than its market value, are a ridiculous accounting trick which should never have been permitted.

Buybacks combined with tiered stock are also pretty fraught.

Buybacks by existing leadership in pure-common-stock orgs are fine.

Yes, the wealthy will always find loopholes to shield some fraction of their wealth from taxation. I don't recall the exact source (and it's a nightmare to search for), but I read that the maximum effective tax rate, historically, is somewhere in the ballpark of 30% as a result of that behavior. (I would welcome a link if anyone recognizes this argument.)

Seen through that lens, applying higher statutory rates and more complex policies isn't driven by the realistic expectation that those rates will be paid in full. Rather, as some number of the very wealthy will fail to perfectly adjust to the new regime, even small increases in the rate collected are substantial increases in the absolute dollar amount.

Which should be carefully weighed up against the costs of the policy (namely collection costs, think about how you value art and stocks and who is going to do that, and how... and when it's valued... and what incentives that produces for the owner...).

Not to mention the "trust" aspect for those who are wealthy. It will guarantee preemptive shielding and other arrangements which ultimately just add further mud to the US economic system. Not worth a fistful of dollars to be frittered away on general expenditure anyway. IMHO.

The pressures you describe induce diminishing returns, but they are still returns (up to the point that some threshold kicks in and the marginal gain goes straight to zero).

I'm genuinely curious, how do you think this worked?


> It was a progressive tax that took up to 75 percent of the highest incomes (over $1 million per year.).

It wasn't a wealth tax, as understood today.

well, in theory they can hand their share in company stock to the govt, adjusted for any taxes or whatever. Based on the stock price of the days the bill is passed for example, or x days before. The government then sells or holds it, as it sees fit. That is not a problem, whether it should be passed it is.

(I agree that this is a dumb law, taxes should not be a one off thing. If they need to be raised, do it but for all)

We need to move from income to VAT, and maybe land value tax. Then we'll have a much stronger baseline to pay for UBI and single payer.

VAT would collect sales tax from everybody including immigrants, so nobody can claim they're mooching. Could make VAT more for non-citizens.

I don't know. Even if it is ultimately unviable it does something no one in the US has dared to do for a long time. Which is to actually go after the wealth accumulated by the rich. I think the US will see more of this kind of thing over the next few years and it will be incredibly popular with the millions of very poor Americans looking to get back at the rich. The leaders of the US would be wise to handle such things carefully if they want to keep capitalism alive.

Since half of the US pays 95% of the US taxes, with the top 5% paying almost 60% alone, it would appear that the poor need the rich much more than the other way around, and that capitalism is a great boon to them.

It would behoove them not to scare away the tax cows that pay for their schools, medical care, infrastructure, and create the economy that allows even the very poor to enjoy lives that are the envy of much of the rest of the world.

I think you have that backwards.

There's enough land and natural resources in the US that not only can all of our citizens live, but there is so much extra besides that over half of all taxes are paid by 5% of our population.

Considering that right now many people are homeless, jobless, or without health insurance, we need to seriously consider the balance of power and wealth in the US. A better and more equitable society would address those problems in strong and comprehensive ways. If building that society scares away a billionaire or two, so be it; the US has enough wealth even without them.

The bill also doesn’t explain what will happen if price of these stocks crashes and the billionaires lose $100B or whatever in a day. Does the government give the money back?

Does Bernie not realise that stocks aren’t liquid assets that have already been sold? If he buys a house and it increases in value, or the government doesn’t demand that he sell the house or take out a mortgage and pay 60% of the increase as tax. The governments waits until he sells the house and then taxes the income. If it’s okay to tax people whose assets increase in value without liquidation then shouldn’t every baby boomer sitting in a million dollar home that they bought for 10k or whatever be forced to pay a tax as well?

Please don’t equate owning a single home to owning millions of shares. The notion that these types of wealth are all the same and should be under similar rules is toxic.

They are the same.

Suppose you're the founder of your company. You sold a 40% stake to investors to raise capital to get started, but it's still 60% yours, so you have control of the company.

If you're required to liquidate your shares to pay the tax on them, you lose control of the company -- which in turn could cause the stock to crash because investors trust the founder more than the random MBA they can expect mutual funds to install.

And stocks can be volatile. If the company is worth $50B in June, $100B in December and then $50B again in January, did the owner ever really have that much wealth? Do they get the money back from the government next year? Do they get the shares back?

Meanwhile nobody is even bothering to do the math on this from the perspective of the government. Because the government can borrow money at close to 0% interest, while index funds have been giving >4% average annual returns, which means taking the money today instead of borrowing it today and taking it whenever they actually sell the shares (including the share appreciation in the meantime) would require the other taxpayers to pay more to make up for the loss of government revenue that would cause.

Actually, there are plenty of parallels. So yes, if you only own the home you are living in, there should be a protection against taxation. Once you own more than the home you are living in, that property should be fully taxable, as far as property by itself is taxable (some countries don't have property taxes, other have small property taxes to exactly avoid the problems of this bill).

With stocks it is the same. If you own a wide-range portfolio as an investment, this could be taxed of course, but with the people listed in the article, they own those shares not because they miraculously got rich and bought these shares with their money, they got the shares because they founded and built their respective companies. They hold to their shares not for capital gains, but to keep control of their companies. In this respect it is very much like the house you own.

Not to mention the disruption to the stock market, if suddenly stock in the value several hundred of billions of dollars get sold - this would especially hit the non-billionaires, that is everyone who has some savings (for retirement for example).

No, it's equal and fair.

Bernie owns a range of houses, and my understanding is his capital gains will be levied equally on any/all of them. Which is fair.

Some people like collecting houses, some like collecting stocks, some like spending on holidays. Differential taxation is an inefficient activity that conjures very perverse incentives.

"Never reason from a price change."

> shouldn’t every baby boomer sitting in a million dollar home that they bought for 10k or whatever be forced to pay a tax as well?


It's not a very well-designed bill. A big one-off tax is always just a political stunt.

But "stock isn't liquid money!" comes up every time anyone mentions wealth taxes, and I think it's worth digging into this a bit. Stock ultimately derives its value from the attached ability to vote on what the company does (a policy of "maximize profits, buybacks+dividends" is so popular that it's usually implied). So when socialists go around talking about spreading control of the means of production around, stock is what that control looks like in our society.

So if we're talking about a mass sale of stock reducing the price, that implies somebody is buying the stock at that new lower price. It's not the billionaires, since they're in the middle of trying to sell all their stock. But no stock is being destroyed either; it has to be going to someone with less net worth, and thus less concentrated ownership of stock. Which is, again, the thing that socialists are trying to do.

(Now, as a market socialist, I can think of better ways to do this than forcing the sale of a bunch of stock and hoping it gets spread around more equitably. I did say start with "It's not a very well designed bill.")

The problem is you've now screwed all of the people who own the stock. So you diversify the ownership of this particular company, but all of the mutual funds, and other people who own the stock just get to suffer a huge loss?

And what prevents another entity from buying up a huge portion of the stock using a different company? This new entity could be controlled by some other billionaire or group and you gained no diversity at all.

Taking control from companies like this wouldn't work. All you have to do is split shares into voting and non-voting shares and only liquidate the latter to pay this hypothetical tax.

> So if we're talking about a mass sale of stock reducing the price, that implies somebody is buying the stock at that new lower price. It's not the billionaires, since they're in the middle of trying to sell all their stock. But no stock is being destroyed either; it has to be going to someone with less net worth, and thus less concentrated ownership of stock. Which is, again, the thing that socialists are trying to do.

I bet it would be billionaires buying the stock, actually. Just not US ones.

Meanwhile, you can create a billion dollars with a few keystrokes at the Federal Reserve.

It's really about who has power to control the economy of the country: private individuals or the banks and the government. It used to be way over on the private individual side before the fed and the income tax flipped power over to the banks and the government side. Previously, you had Carnegie and Rockefeller running very large portions of the economy and the banks and government were much less powerful.

Today it's govetnment borrowing and the banks that make most of the money. Yes, the banks create money. It's called fractional reserve banking and the money multiplier and it's all legal all totally out in the open. Keynesian economists will tell you that the banks are the most important organizations in the entire economy because they create money to increase aggregate demand.

Meanwhile in China, the government prints money whenever it needs it and tells the banks what to do and who to lend to and they haven't had a credit bust since the 80s, even though The Economist has regularly been predicting one since the early 90s.

Much of the stock market rally was created by this "create money out of thin air" scheme, it all usually finds it's way to the stock market since you have to park all the extra money somewhere. And due to interests being at zero or in some cases negative, only safe places to park all that new money is either stocks or metals which again rises their stock markets and the price of commodities, making large stock holders gain even more. The current financial system is just broken.

There is also the realization that money is being devalued. Stocks in profitable and growing companies are more valuable than this money that is being printed. The companies are productive capacity.

Not all companies and stocks are doing well. Just look at airlines, retailers, etc... They are the losers in the new economy.

An obscene and thoroughly unconstitutional (Article I, Section 9) move.

The wealthy pay an incredible amount of tax - Cuomo just said that a single percent of New Yorkers pay half of the entire tax take.

That may be good and just - it may even be right to increase that share - but to slap a retroactive tax on their POST-TAX wealth is heinous.

This is before we get into practicalities... if I recall correctly, nonpartisan modelling of Warren's wealth tax plan would've levied tax rates over 100% on certain people, and been incredibly inefficient (the cost of collecting the money, all said, negated a good portion of the takings... much more than any existing tax targeted at the wealthy does).

Class war greed. It should be opposed. IMHO.

They only got this wealthy because the Fed injected trillions into the stock market, pumping all of their holdings.

The Fed didn't pump that money into stocks, it pumped it into the hands of the citizens, many of whom decided those stocks were the safest place for it.

I am one such person, though in a different country, who has felt these stocks are the safest place for a good chunk of my portfolio.

What alternatives are there? There's no argument for taxing the heck out of people who lead incredibly successful (and safe, for investors) companies, just because they have managed to make that situation so.

> The Fed didn't pump that money into stocks

What is Fed Open Market Operations? What is unlimited QE easing? Do you know how big the Fed balance sheet grew to prop up stocks?

This is a totally legitimate, efficient, and reasonable method of taxation. The persons involved are basically lottery winners, due to random and unjustified gyrations in the stock market, and will remain extremely wealthy after the tax is levied, barely even noticing the effect of this tax. The real question is whether or not the government will use the money for something productive, like infrastructure, or unproductive, like pointless wars.

It isn't. Taxation is there for essentially one purpose - to free up physical resources to create public goods with.

Billionaires don't have the physical resources required. Which means you either get to tax somebody else as well, or you get inflation.

A nation with its own currency has no need of the money of billionaires. In fact it makes them out to be more important than they are to suggest you do.

Beardsley Ruml explained this decades ago - Taxes for Revenue is an obsolete concept: http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/RUMLTAXES.html

Look after the unemployment and the numbers will look after themselves.

This actually pretty good concept I never thought it like this.

> This is a totally legitimate, efficient, and reasonable method of taxation.

No it's not. It's a totally arbitrary proposal aimed at a small portion of the population. Why does it target billionaires? Why not all shareholders? Why does having the foresight to invest in quality businesses mean you should be taxed so highly when it pays off? Are they going to pay back 60% of losses to those billionaires who were holding shares that have gone down?

> will remain extremely wealthy after the tax is levied

But may loose substantial control of the businesses they're invested in. Musk would need to liquidate over half his Tesla shares.

Exactly. This law could wipe out the company Tesla. With all jobs attached.

I am following the financials of Tesla closely, and while I am a huge supporter of Tesla, I know how much the company keeps a delicate balance with financials. Yes, currently the stock price of Tesla is overvalued, but right now, they have the opportunity of raising a lot more cash, when the stocks enter the S&P 500, by issuing more stocks. However, with a stock that volatile, this needs to be done with care.

Forcing Musk to sell off a substantial part of his stock could disrupt the stock value significantly and of course means, that Musk influence in the company would be significantly decreased. The control could end up with "investors" and financing organisations, which have ruined more than one company already.

>> But may loose substantial control of the businesses they're invested in. Musk would need to liquidate over half his Tesla shares.

How is that a bad thing? That would decentralize control of these companies. That alone would be a good thing.

No it wouldn’t. Why would I prefer you controlling that company versus someone who grew it to its present size?

With lower net worths, billionaires would have less political power and wouldn't be able to influence politicians to create terrible laws and regulations like we have today which allow these billionaires to accumulate even more wealth and power and exclude competition. That's the problem which most voters care about now. Nobody actually cares about what happens to the CEOs of these megacorps. Personally I don't care if they all get thrown in jail.

You are biased. Not all billionaires exclude competition. Being a CEO doesn’t mean that you should be thrown in jail. You also assume that the average person or group of average persons controlling a company would be better. There isn’t any reason to assume that. History says that end result won’t be better.

For instance, someone or some group whose reason is blurred with anger and venom will do worse with such power. Instead of creating value, they will destroy it.

It is better to focus on creating fair conditions for competition and basic standards than dictating results of competition.

I also disagree with this. I see recurring failure and shuffling of economic power as essential to a functioning economy and democracy. This is not just my opinion either; Nassim Taleb wrote about this idea called 'Antifragility' which suggests that failure at the company and individual level plays an essential role in avoiding systemic failure (like the too-big-to-fail events of 2008 and 2020).

There is a reshuffling. It’s called death. Just have a reasonable inheritance tax. Artificial failure is nonsensical. It incentivizes failure.

You spoke above with venom and hate instead of reason. That is the worse person to trust with power.


No, they are not "lottery winners". First of all, they didn't "win" anything. Yes, the Tesla stocks that Musk owns are suddenly valued more on the stock market. This isn't money that Musk has at his free disposal, as he cannot just sell large parts of his Tesla stock (both because the question of company control and also because it would greatly harm the company)

And also, it isn't a "lottery". This isn't money invested into random stocks for gains, this is the share of the company owned by the founders which still run the respective companies. This is wealth built by creating those companies not wealth that can be spent.

>Bill Gates: I’ve paid $10 billion in taxes. I should have paid more.


Yes, over the time of decades during which he became the richest man on the planet, he probably should have paid more taxes. I fully agree that there might be more taxes, that should be collected. However this one-time grasp for a high amount of the actual possession in the form of stocks is just wrong on some many accounts. Stocks are only money (and consequentally taxable) when sold - forcing people to sell of large amount of stocks wouldn't only be detrimental to their companies, but would have the potential to crash the stock market.

From TFA, from 2019 BC (Before Covid):

> [Q] ”What do you think the greatest threat to humanity is at this moment?”

> Gates: “There are some things that aren’t likely but we should worry about — nuclear bombs and bioterrorism (from nation states or terrorism), or a big pandemic. This is the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu [which killed 50 million people] and if it came back the amount of travel would make it spread faster than it did last time.

Actually, Bill Gates should not have had the opportunity to amass as much money as he did because the US government should have broken up Microsoft a long time ago for anti-competitive behavior and abusing their monopoly positions dating back to at least the early 90's and maybe the late 80's.

It is much better to aggressively enforce anti-trust than to increase the taxes afterward on the CEO's who benefited from such lax enforcement.

i see low grade populism is still rife in the US...

Low grade? Trump came to power through populism, so I wouldn't call that low grade.

Well, this proposal is just as stupid as Trump saying he would cover the wall with solar panels.

Actually if I had to choose, I'd pick the solar panels. At least it would provide some work and it wouldn't turn to ashes most US companies.

> Amazon and Walmart, for example, have both seen their stocks grow as Americans increasingly relied on their services during stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.

Jeff Bezos through Amazon and the Walton family through Wal-Mart did more to help me and my family, and I suspect most Americans, get through the coronavirus than Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Businesses that solve the massive logistics problems of operating in a pandemic and provided needed goods to consumers should be rewarded. I am not any worse off that Bezos' and the Walton's stock value increased because of this. In fact, I am better off.

Both Amazon and Walton were not inventors of the technology you're thanking them for, they were just the biggest behemoths that were able to destroy most competition in those respective areas (in the US, at least) and take over the market.

If they had been broken up due to anti-competitive behaviour years ago, you'd be much better off as can be easily verified historically in similar markets where this happened.

Amazon has advanced the efficient distribution of goods more than any company in the last 20 years. One day shipping, easy returns, subscribe and save, photos of the delivery, shipment tracking, etc... The reality is that it is just a lot better run than it’s competition.

The traditional way to make this project feasible is to give the billionaires (and maybe even a few aspiring multimillionaires; one mustn't be too picky in fundraising) a piece of coloured ribbon in exchange for their donations to their fellow citizens, as well as inviting them and their families (especially marriageable children) to an annual cell-phones-in-the-fishtank no-non-donators-allowed party celebrating their commitment to their nation.

(TIL "Eat the rich" is attributed to Rousseau, not to Wells' Eloi/Morlock dynamic. I am disappoint. "Tax the rich" is apparently a 3rd rail in US politics. "Feast the rich", on the other hand, would use the carrot of exclusive membership — what Capitalist could resist such an incentive?)

I am sorry to say this but if you want to tax the rich, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Look at the German taxation system and learn from it.

He doesn't understand what wealth means or he does but he doesn't care and proposes stuff like this to gain votes.

Come on, Sanders, don't puss out and stop there. How about: a 100% marginal tax rate on any wealth earned after personal wealth exceeds 1 billion dollars.

Sounds good to me. This is what we really need. To ban billionaires from even existing.

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