Originally Posted by jragosta
It amazes me how so many people are so dense that they can't comprehend what Obama was saying - even after the press showed the ENTIRE clip (not just the portion that Fox News took out of context.
What Obama clearly said was that companies rely on roads. Rail. Schools. Police protection. Banking infrastructure. And so on. And the multimillionaire who owns a company didn't build all of those things - society did.
He never said (or even implied) that someone didn't build the business they own.
(Not to mention, of course, that we'll be something like 130 years old on the date you're claiming he 'made' the statement).
Originally Posted by MJ1970
Can you objectively define "fair share" for us. ...
As pointed out previously, you can't "objectively define" a concept like fairness. What would it even mean to "objectively define" it? If you can't describe what that definition would be, you can't ask for it.
If we look at dictionary definitions of 'fair' the one that comes closest to the meaning in this context is, "just or appropriate in the circumstances." So, just what are the circumstances?
The circumstances include the things mentioned in the quote above, schools, police and fire protection, financial infrastructure, transportation infrastructure and much more that establishes the foundation of the society we live in. No one built these things on their own, yet many have built their fortunes by taking advantage of these and other benefits that our society, our social contract, provides. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, that's why we, as a society, acting together, create and build them.
The circumstances also include the fact that for anyone who manages to build a fortune, to create wealth for themselves, there is a certain element of chance involved. For every hard working millionaire -- and we'll ignore for now the issue of hereditary wealth, which is entirely based on luck -- there are a dozen, or a hundred, or maybe a thousand people who worked just as hard, who even had just as good an idea, who fail because of circumstances not entirely under their control. Are the ones who succeeded more deserving? Simply because they succeeded? Or are they simply, in most cases, simply more fortunate -- better connections because of birth or the school they got into, just happening to be there at the right time and place? Would they have had any chance to even be fortunate without the foundation our society provides them?
Anyone who honestly asks these questions can't honestly come up with any answer other than that, yes, fortune, while favoring the bold, is also fickle, and without the conditions our society creates to enable success, these people would never be able to amass fortunes, other than perhaps through force in the midst of anarchy.
So, if we ask what's fair in terms of taxes, given the circumstances under which people acquire wealth, I think the formula I expressed earlier is the most fair: that those who benefit disproportionately from the social contract, ought, in fairness, contribute disproportionately to its maintenance.