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Can socialism/communism happen here in the U.S.?

This is a discussion on Can socialism/communism happen here in the U.S.? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Here is a comparison. When I was in school, "we" weren't saints and angels. We smoked, drank, messed around, etc. but most people I knew ...

View Poll Results: Can socialism/communism happen here in the U.S.?

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  • Yes, I think it's entirely possible for the U.S. to become a socialist/communist country.

    50 76.92%
  • No, I don't believe the U.S. will ever become a socialist/communist country.

    14 21.54%
  • I don't know. I have not thought about this subject.

    1 1.54%
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Thread: Can socialism/communism happen here in the U.S.?

  1. #61
    Member Array Nifty's Avatar
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    Here is a comparison.

    When I was in school, "we" weren't saints and angels. We smoked, drank, messed around, etc. but most people I knew were grounded in reality. They knew basic rights and wrongs. We were Reagan kids but hardly blinked at politics.

    Same age group but today......I can't count the number of people I know who believe there are too many rich people in the world and they believe someone else should pay for their mistakes. I have had two 20 somethings ask me directly for money. One to pay her late car payment (despite having just gone to a concert in Atlanta), the other for a summer beach trip. Come to find out, this is not uncommon. This young crowd believes they shouldn't have to pay for college, they believe college is a right and are very vocal about it. Never heard that way back when.

    I never knew anyone to do this back when I was that age. They will be older real soon and no telling what influence they will have.
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  2. #62
    VIP Member Array Texas Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    @Texas Red



    Then why have virtually all of my individual clients benefited from thousands of dollars of lower taxes? Virtually across the board? From the lowest income clients to the highest? Please explain your theory. Please explain your sources. This experience has been discussed across a broad spectrum of tax professionals.

    The latest IRS SOI data is from 2017, so you must have some current source of data.

    Please explain.
    Please note that I said, "Most of the tax cut went to corporations."

    I did not say, "Individuals got nothing."

    The corporate tax rate went from 35% down to 21%.

    Most individuals saw a reduction of anywhere from 2% - 5%.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cu...ual_income_tax

    Quote Originally Posted by CWOUSCG View Post
    We earned more but paid less in taxes than the previous year and Sister and I are not a large multinational corporation.
    That's good.

    Please see above.
    You need to watch more than CNN or PMSNBC.
    You need to give up making assumptions.
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  3. #63
    Distinguished Member Array kukla's Avatar
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    somehow, my mind seems to equate socialism with laziness.
    ..........so yes, I do consider it a distinct possibility in the future.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Red View Post
    Please note that I said, "Most of the tax cut went to corporations."

    I did not say, "Individuals got nothing."

    The corporate tax rate went from 35% down to 21%.

    Most individuals saw a reduction of anywhere from 2% - 5%.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cu...ual_income_tax



    That's good.

    Please see above.


    You need to give up making assumptions.
    Thatís because most individuals pay in less money. My highest bracket is 22% and it was 25%. I now donít hit 22% until a higher income than when I previously would hit 25%. If I made more money and was previously in the 28% bracket, the savings would be greater than it is now.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukla View Post
    somehow, my mind seems to equate socialism with laziness.
    ..........so yes, I do consider it a distinct possibility in the future.
    All I've ever wanted is someone to rub my tummy.
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Red View Post
    Please note that I said, "Most of the tax cut went to corporations."...The corporate tax rate went from 35% down to 21%...
    ...That's because corporations are legally doubly taxed.

    A living, taxpaying individual (for instance, you) pays income tax once, and only once, per year.
    A corporation, a legally-existing fictitious "person," pays income tax on corporate earnings, but then its shareholders (real people, the owners of the corporate entity) pay income tax on the distribution of corporate earnings. Thus, a corporation pays two "layers" of annual income tax.

    To make things clearer, let's suppose that, instead of a corporation, the company in question were organized as a many-member partnership. In that case, each partner would pay annual income tax on his share of the business's earnings. That's the only income tax that a partnership business would pay.
    But if the business were organized as a corporation, then the corporation itself would have to pay income tax once a year, and its owners (the shareholders) would each also have to pay annual income tax on their received shares of the business's earnings.
    So, since corporations are taxed twice, it is only equitable that corporate income tax be reduced drastically, while individual income tax receives a more modest reduction.



    Quote Originally Posted by kukla View Post
    somehow, my mind seems to equate socialism with laziness...
    "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" (as Karl Marx wrote it) is indeed a recipe for laziness. If you're going to receive what you need anyway, why work hard? There just isn't any incentive.
    This was a continuing problem for the Soviet Union, and led to occasional bloody purges, and exiles to the prison "gulag archipelago." But force wasn't a workable solution, so the Soviet Union finally had to dissolve its Marxian political-and-economic system.
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  7. #67
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    Capitalism is alive and quite well. The examples of which are far more prominent than the evidence of socialism. But, can it happen? Sure, anything can happen. If I read Sister right, I am pretty close to being in her camp. I would put my entire 401k on a bet that I will not see a transition to real socialism in my lifetime. What the idiots after me are willing to vote in or put up with will be their problem. You can't fix the future that you will not exist in. Each generation is responsible for what they get.

    Read a paper from 20's or 60's (or almost any decade of the last 200 years) and you would be certain that the country was going to hell in a hand basket and the bad guys were inches away from usurping the constitution. There is very little different from one era to the other, other than the short memory that people have in each era.

    Things are as fine as they can be, given the reality of what there is to work with - people.
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  8. #68
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    I believe that the country will go socialist, at the least. I read an article the other day, sorry I don't remember the author, that felt that this is the last election (2020) that a Republican could win. The reasoning is that, as someone pointed out above, the younger generation seems to favor socialism, and after this election, more of them will be of voting age. It also stated that they are too young to remember what socialism/communism is really like. Remember the old quote "Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it." This is what is happening. How fast? I don't know, I don't know if I will live long enough to see it. I hope it takes longer than the time I have left. The left is openly attacking the Constitution now. They have been trying for years to eliminate, or at least change, the 2nd Amendment. They are now openly working on nullifying the 1st Amendment. Our congress democrats are holding secret inquisitions behind closed doors and refusing to let Republicans hear the testimony, call witnesses, or question the witnesses. This is how trials are held in communist countries. They have decided on a verdict and are fishing for the evidence to support it. And it appears that if they don't get answers they like, they are more than willing to invent them. And without Republicans there, they have a free hand. So yes, I believe, and fear, we are headed down a slippery slope towards socialism/communism.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Red View Post
    Please note that I said, "Most of the tax cut went to corporations."

    I did not say, "Individuals got nothing."

    The corporate tax rate went from 35% down to 21%.

    Most individuals saw a reduction of anywhere from 2% - 5%.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_Cu...ual_income_tax



    That's good.

    Please see above.


    You need to give up making assumptions.
    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    ...That's because corporations are legally doubly taxed.

    A living, taxpaying individual (for instance, you) pays income tax once, and only once, per year.
    A corporation, a legally-existing fictitious "person," pays income tax on corporate earnings, but then its shareholders (real people, the owners of the corporate entity) pay income tax on the distribution of corporate earnings. Thus, a corporation pays two "layers" of annual income tax.

    To make things clearer, let's suppose that, instead of a corporation, the company in question were organized as a many-member partnership. In that case, each partner would pay annual income tax on his share of the business's earnings. That's the only income tax that a partnership business would pay.
    But if the business were organized as a corporation, then the corporation itself would have to pay income tax once a year, and its owners (the shareholders) would each also have to pay annual income tax on their received shares of the business's earnings.
    So, since corporations are taxed twice, it is only equitable that corporate income tax be reduced drastically, while individual income tax receives a more modest reduction.





    "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" (as Karl Marx wrote it) is indeed a recipe for laziness. If you're going to receive what you need anyway, why work hard? There just isn't any incentive.
    This was a continuing problem for the Soviet Union, and led to occasional bloody purges, and exiles to the prison "gulag archipelago." But force wasn't a workable solution, so the Soviet Union finally had to dissolve its Marxian political-and-economic system.
    Decreasing taxes on businesses is a very good thing for everybody. This gives businesses more money with which to grow and expand their operations. This means hiring more people, paying better wages*, making capital investments, and building new plants, stores, and other facilities. All of this takes people and materials, which means that other businesses prosper because of the new growth. It's a cycle and a very good one at that.

    For example, when Reagan took office in 1981, the marginal tax rate was 70% for people. Revenues into the US treasury from income taxes was $551 billion dollars. When he left office in 1989, the marginal tax rate was 28% yet treasury revenues from income taxes had increased to $990 billion, nearly double from what they were when he entered the White House.

    Money makes more money. It's rather simple. Capitalism is the greatest economic engine ever devised and has lifted more people out of poverty and misery than any other system ever tried. This is because it is instinctive to the human condition. Owning property, all kinds, is a basic human instinct and through this, all people benefit.


    * When businesses grow and the economy expands and is very active, unemployment goes down and people become even more valuable to employers. This creates a demand which can and does drive up wages to get the best people. I saw this happen during the 80's in the software development field here in my state. Whenever the need is great and the supply is limited, costs go up, and that includes the hiring of people.
    Last edited by SouthernBoyVA; October 16th, 2019 at 03:58 PM.
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  10. #70
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    @Texas Red

    Your implication was the standard progressive objections I've disproven with my Massachusetts clients time and time again. I'm sorry I came across so harsh, but there are many factors in play which mere tax rates fail to address.

    • First, taxes are comprised of two components: Base (that to which the rate is applied, e.g. income as adjusted) and the Rate applied to the base;
    • Base also applies to macro measurements, e.g. the middle class represents the largest base to tax collectively
    • Second, international tax schemes which make countries competitive or uncompetitive for capital investment and human investment;
    • Third, most USA taxes are raised from the middle class individuals as they are within the largest single base of taxpayers; and


    Many other factors effect the first, second and third point above.

    As a very important aside, the USA corporate tax rates were horridly uncompetitive world wide for many years driving a flight of capital from the USA. The decrease in rates made the USA competitive on the world stage, hence we are seeing a resurgence of investment in the USA.

    So, now that we are using the same framework, here is some interesting date from the IRS Statistics on Income ("SOI") for 2013.

    • Corporate tax paid to the USA Treasury: $293 Billion, based on roughly $1,200 Billion in net income, or an average rate of 24%


    • Individual tax paid to the USA Treasury: $1,235 Billion, or four times more tax than the corporations, on $9,093 Billion of income, or an average rate of 14%



    So the obvious issue here is comparability and respective tax burden. Without getting lost in the weeds on defining "net income" for corporations, or Adjusted Gross Income or Taxable Income for individuals, note that Individuals pay the lions share of the burden of USA tax. So when someone complains that corporate tax rates are too low, recognize the corporate tax receipts are a pittance anyway.

    Furthermore, corporate earnings are taxed twice upon distribution as mentioned above, once at the corporate level, and again upon distribution to shareholders. Additionally, the USA corporate tax scheme is Byzantine and reflects much play between taxing jurisdictions which equalizing tax rates minimizes. See the reduction you mention - this made the USA comparable to many foreign jurisdictions for tax rates.

    Additionally, USA Individual taxpayers are taxed on their worldwide income from all sources, unlike many other taxing jurisdictions in the world.

    Also note the corporate taxes are but a small part of tax revenue, and most small privately held businesses no longer pay income tax as they have converted to S Corps, LLCs and Partnerships, for example, Mars, Koch and others. So the "corporate" tax rates generally apply to large publicly traded international corporations such as Proctor & Gamble, Coke, Pepsi, Exxon, and others competing on a world stage (see above).

    So when folks fuss about corporations not paying enough tax I always shudder, as the comparisons to individual taxes are simplistic as I have noted above, and really represent a progressive or liberal soundbite that plays well on a macro level in some circles but is actually pretty meaningless when boiled down. I.E. "Exxon Mobil earned 45 BAZILLION dollars and didn't pay ANY USA TAX" or "Amazon earned 13 Triilion dollars and didn't pay any tax" I always see unicorns and rainbows and pots of gold with a progressive at the end of the rainbow imagining the pot full of gold for their precious. You could take the entire earnings base of any select class of taxpayers and still not pay for their precious.

    If I had a dollar for every Massachusetts liberal (client) that was amazed they received a significant federal tax decrease I might have retired. These are clients that fall well within the lower spectrum of middle class as most of them are young and many self-employed. Many of them have also gotten hammered by the $10,000 state tax deduction limit (living in Massachusetts) and still have enjoyed lower federal taxes.

    So, when you say "most" I automatically cringe, and when you throw out corporate tax rates as comparisons, I cringe, and then I start looking at real date, as a professional courtesy.

    Most of the tax cuts went to individuals.

    The corporate tax rates were reduced the most, with the least gross dollar impact on the Treasury.

    The SOI data takes a couple of years to release, so 2018/2017 data is a ways off.

    Dependent on how deep in the data you want to dive, differing amounts off data are available by year. I grabbed 2013 because it had a neat one page summary for corporations.

    SOI
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; October 16th, 2019 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  11. #71
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    Yep.

    Can socialism/communism happen here in the U.S.?-ayn.jpg
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    ...That's because corporations are legally doubly taxed.

    A living, taxpaying individual (for instance, you) pays income tax once, and only once, per year.
    A corporation, a legally-existing fictitious "person," pays income tax on corporate earnings, but then its shareholders (real people, the owners of the corporate entity) pay income tax on the distribution of corporate earnings. Thus, a corporation pays two "layers" of annual income tax.

    To make things clearer, let's suppose that, instead of a corporation, the company in question were organized as a many-member partnership. In that case, each partner would pay annual income tax on his share of the business's earnings. That's the only income tax that a partnership business would pay.
    But if the business were organized as a corporation, then the corporation itself would have to pay income tax once a year, and its owners (the shareholders) would each also have to pay annual income tax on their received shares of the business's earnings.
    So, since corporations are taxed twice, it is only equitable that corporate income tax be reduced drastically, while individual income tax receives a more modest reduction.





    "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" (as Karl Marx wrote it) is indeed a recipe for laziness. If you're going to receive what you need anyway, why work hard? There just isn't any incentive.
    This was a continuing problem for the Soviet Union, and led to occasional bloody purges, and exiles to the prison "gulag archipelago." But force wasn't a workable solution, so the Soviet Union finally had to dissolve its Marxian political-and-economic system.
    I have tried to explain this many ways to my anti-corp acquaintances but this is a good synopsis.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by G26Raven View Post
    I just heard this morning Dr. Sebastian Gorka who stated that according to recent surveys, 52% of Millenials would be willing to vote for socialism.
    I'm surprised its that low.
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  14. #74
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    The US is already more than half way to socialism. All you have to look at is the educational institutions and the background of those running for local offices.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAS_Shooter View Post
    Capitalism is alive and quite well. The examples of which are far more prominent than the evidence of socialism. But, can it happen? Sure, anything can happen. If I read Sister right, I am pretty close to being in her camp. I would put my entire 401k on a bet that I will not see a transition to real socialism in my lifetime. What the idiots after me are willing to vote in or put up with will be their problem. You can't fix the future that you will not exist in. Each generation is responsible for what they get.

    Read a paper from 20's or 60's (or almost any decade of the last 200 years) and you would be certain that the country was going to hell in a hand basket and the bad guys were inches away from usurping the constitution. There is very little different from one era to the other, other than the short memory that people have in each era.

    Things are as fine as they can be, given the reality of what there is to work with - people.
    But would you say they were wrong in their assessment?
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