- Jun 16, 2007
I understand where you're coming from but keep in mind that the more someone spends on all of those things, the more money they're pouring back into the economy and supporting more companies. Also, how far do you take the "basic needs" vs choice argument? Just like you say no one needs a $100k Porsche, I will also say that no one needs a $25k Toyota - my first car cost $2500, so should people not "earn" enough to buy a fancy new $25k Toyota?He is not forced to buy a Porsche, and a Toyota costs exactly the same as it would for someone with a lower income.
I don't want people to all buy the same things at all, I simply show that if a rich person spends a high amount of money to live (bigger house, bigger car, expensive lifestyle) it is THEIR choice, not a rule of nature forcing them.
Absolutely correct but again, how far will you take this argument? What's "healthy"? This morning I heard the news on the radio about a fire in Boston and that the flames spread across right houses because they were so close to each other - isn't living in a single-family home on several acres much safer (i.e. healthier) than living in an apartment building? Should everyone be entitled to such a home? As another example, having a personal chef and a personal trainer is certainly healthy - should those be included in the minimum standard?Everything that is beyond a healthy life is a choice of the person. This is why 1000$ to a millionnaire is almost nothing, as they do not need it to get a healthy lifestyle, while 1000$ to an average person might mean to get a healthier life than it would have had otherwise.
BTW, on this part, we clearly agree, considering what you told Blind_Io, so you should see WHY 1000$ to the middle class is WAY better than 1000$ to the rich. It is proportionally better the lower the person's income.
And once again, the rich get taxed at a higher rate already. Taxing someone poor who makes $30k at 10% gets you $3k in taxes. Taxing someone making $1mil at 10% would take $100k of their money, except they actually get taxed at a higher rate, say, 20%, so they're paying $200k. Fictitious numbers but they get the point across.
You don't think that a doctor who spent decades in school produced much more valuable labor that a janitor? What about the CEO of a company who employs 1000 people and makes decisions that could jeopardize the entire company?There cannot be someone whose work is averagely valued 1000 times that of an average person. That is physically not possible, expecially in a human society, where everything gets done cooperatively.
Also, how do you determine the worth of something? What's the worth of a Big Mac?
You are correct. However, in a society where there is no income inequality, what would motivate someone to become a doctor when they can just go flip burgers at McDonald's? That society would very quickly fall apart if no one had a financial incentive to pursue more advanced and difficult lines of work.No man could ever do the most valuable job in the society, and not for a high amount of time, if there weren't many others doing the less valuable ones and keeping them alive.
The results of the highest are built on the work of the lowest, and this work should be rewarded. If the highest keeps it all to themselves, just because they are the frontman, this is not happening.
I disagree. The way the market works is that if there are too many doctors to the point where they get paid very little, many people will choose to go into a different line of work than to become doctors. We have the opposite problem in my state right now where there are not enough electricians, which causes the existing electricians to raise prices, more people are drawn to becoming electricians for the high wages, and eventually wages for electricians will return to normal. Same thing with your doctor example.What happens if there are too many doing the doctor's job? Their value would go to a minimum and they would starve. If they can't change job, which may happen, they would get to starvation, fierce underpayment or even serfdom, to survive.
This is where the market mechanism breaks down: to have a fair market system, people should have relatively comparable strength during the exchange, to be able to DENY what they consider too low.
This does not always happen, so you have exploitation and people getting too rich and believing that is because they are better, instead of that being because they literally rob other people.
I can't go without electricity, as that would eliminate my refrigerator and my heat. But anyways, that's irrelevant. As I said above, if electricians started charging $10k per visit, lots of people would become electricians to get that sort of money, which would quickly lower their wages in a competitive environment.And if the electrician would get too expensive, you could even go without electricity. Never forget that part.
You can refuse to pay a doctor $100k for a visit if there is another doctor who says he'll do the same job for less. Based on the number of doctors out there who can entice you with a better deal, you eventually arrive at an equilibrium - a number above which more doctors will want to enter the market, which will lower wages; below which fewer people will be enticed to become doctors, which would increase wages.If that was a doctor, and you needed him to survive, you would pay them whatever they'd ask you, even all your money, even your freedom; you wouldn't be able to refuse...
Then, that doctor would get filthy rich, effectively robbing you of everything you have; not because his work is so much better, but because you can't refuse the transaction.
You're speaking from an authoritarian position that dictates who can earn how much and what someone's labor is worth. What I'm suggesting is that we, the people, make those decisions in the marketplace.