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Monday, July 03, 2017

MLB umpire Angel Hernandez sues league for racial discrimination

MLB umpire Angel Hernandez has filed a lawsuit against the league and commissioner Rob Manfred alleging the league discriminates against minority umpires, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Hernandez’s suit claims that MLB is biased against minority umps when it comes to high-profile positions. There has only been one minority crew chief in league history and only one minority umpire has worked the World Series since 2011.

“The selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin and/or ethnic considerations,” the suit reads, according to the Enquirer.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:40 PM | 221 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angel hernandez, lawsuit, racial discrimination, umpires

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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:44 PM (#5487422)
Angel Hernandez is calling other umpires less qualified? Really? I mean seriously, is he really that disconnected to reality?
   2. Mike Webber Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:49 PM (#5487424)
If CB Bucknor and Laz Diaz join in the lawsuit his point will really be made right?

Seriously, those 3 and a lawsuit like this is one of the reasons that the umpiring at the MLB level doesn't get better.
   3. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:52 PM (#5487425)
He might have better luck with an ADA case.
   4. Bug Selig Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:14 PM (#5487431)
He has a job because there's a union and only because there's a union.
   5. McCoy Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:19 PM (#5487432)
It takes balls for a guy who's making a very good 6 figure salary for 180 days worth of cromulent work to sue his employer
   6. Cargo Cultist Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:41 PM (#5487441)
Up to this year I thought that Hernandez was by far the worst major league umpire, but this year Bucknor is giving him a serious run for his money.

Personally I don't see any way that Hernandez can possibly win this, given his very public rankings as such a terrible, awful, not very good umpire. Do any of you?
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:47 PM (#5487444)
The Cincinnati Enquirer article linked in the SI article, indicates Hernandez is blaming Joe Torre, among others:
In the suit, Hernandez states his performance ratings were solid but declined after 2011. That's when former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre was named as MLB's chief baseball officer. Hernandez and Torre had history, with Torre calling out Hernandez publicly for some calls in 2001.

"Torre took to the media to insult him and call into question his skill as a Major League umpire," the suit states. "Though it may seem as if Major League Baseball’s problems with Hernandez begin and end with some personal animus Torre and some other individuals in the Office of the Commissioner may have towards Hernandez, an overview of how Major League Baseball has treated minorities such as Hernandez shows a much deeper and more troubling trend."

The website for the attorney's firm doesn't list Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination, or even Labor Law among its practice areas.
   8. Bhaakon Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:54 PM (#5487446)
Personally I don't see any way that Hernandez can possibly win this, given his very public rankings as such a terrible, awful, not very good umpire. Do any of you?


I dunno. Does the law care about objective measures? I mean, most industries don't have the kind of widely available third-party performance ratings you see in sports. Mostly you'd have to to look at management's internal ratings, which would always be a biased source, so I could definitely see statistics being given diminished weight in such a case as a general rule. But then IANAL.
   9. Posada Posse Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:57 PM (#5487447)
MLB calls Hawk Harrelson as a witness against Angel Hernandez.......
   10. Shibal Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5487450)
Who's the best minority umpire in baseball?
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:34 AM (#5487452)
Nice. I assume there is a somewhat comprehensive system that measures an umpires accuracy, efficiency, etc.(sorry my knowledge of umpire ratings is non-existent).
If the system is in place and it's reasonable and the employees all know about it, then their really isn't a story here is there?

Always nice to just toss out that racial card when you can though.


   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:54 AM (#5487454)
I assume there is a somewhat comprehensive system that measures an umpires accuracy, efficiency, etc.


Pitch FX data can be used for how good he is at calling balls and strikes. For plays in the field, there's the metric of how many of his calls get overturned.
   13. Lars6788 Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:55 AM (#5487455)
Who's the best minority umpire in baseball?


Trick question - there is none - the only umpires people [sane or otherwise impartial fans] love to scrutinize are of color - it seems like they have a higher bar to clear.


I want to say, same goes with managers, high priced players and media of color - but I don't want to go there.
   14. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:18 AM (#5487457)
the only umpires people [sane or otherwise impartial fans] love to scrutinize are of color


Joe West isn't white?!

Vic Carapazza is "of colour"?!
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:23 AM (#5487458)
the only umpires people [sane or otherwise impartial fans] love to scrutinize are of color - it seems like they have a higher bar to clear.


I want to say, same goes with managers, high priced players and media of color - but I don't want to go there.


Are you serious? Where's the evidence of that?
   16. Shibal Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:42 AM (#5487461)
Are you serious? Where's the evidence of that?


Only a bigot would demand to see evidence of racism.

Your white privilege is speaking, buddy.
   17. bunyon Posted: July 04, 2017 at 08:16 AM (#5487470)
It seems the real question is: are there more qualified minority umps in AAA not getting promoted? The world being what it is it wouldn't surprise me if there was some institutional bias. On the other hand, Hernandez and Bucknor are demonstrably terrible at their jobs.

How about this? We fire the lowest ranked 5 umps and replace them all with minority AAA guys? Win-win. Would Mr. Hernandez agree to those terms?
   18. The Duke Posted: July 04, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5487476)
BBTF duped again by an Onion article
   19. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5487479)
I haven't read the actual lawsuit yet, but if this quote from the linked article is accurate, then his lawyer is ####### incompetent:
The suit also alleges that MLB executive Joe Torre holds a grudge against Hernandez dating back to his time as Yankees manager, according to the Associated Press.
If Hernandez's troubles stem from personal animus, then that's the end of his lawsuit. An employer is allowed to treat an employee negatively as long as it isn't motivated by race (religion, sex, etc.) (Acting on personal motives could be a violation of the umpires' CBA, but not racial discrimination.) An allegation like that is the sort of thing that plaintiffs love to claim, that their attorneys have to explain to them hurts their case rather than helps it.

(Again, I haven't read the suit itself. Perhaps the argument is that Torre hates him because Torre is a racist. But that doesn't seem to be what that sentence implies, since it uses the term "grudge.)
   20. bobm Posted: July 04, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5487484)
FTFA:
The suit claims that Hernandez has received positive evaluations from the league.


From the New York Post article:

According to the suit, Hernandez and the World Umpires Association asked MLB why Hernandez was not promoted to crew chief for this season. The suit says Torre sent a letter on March 27 stating Hernandez needed to “gain greater mastery of the official playing rules and replay regulations, continue to improve situation management, and display an ability to refocus and move forward after missing calls or receiving constructive feedback from the office.”
   21. don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all Posted: July 04, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5487485)
It seems the real question is: are there more qualified minority umps in AAA not getting promoted? The world being what it is it wouldn't surprise me if there was some institutional bias. On the other hand, Hernandez and Bucknor are demonstrably terrible at their jobs.

they'd be culled at lower levels, before they even get to AAA.

there are only 8 teams in the carolina league. if the advancement of an umpire is dependent on review, and if one or two of the reviewers are biased, any minority umpire who goes through the carolina league, will be screwed. there are choke points like that at every level of every industry and it makes it easy for the people who benefit from white privilege to never notice its effect.
   22. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5487486)
I dunno. Does the law care about objective measures?
Sort of. Here is your brief primer on discrimination law:

There are two approaches to a discrimination case: Single motive and mixed motive. In a single motive case, an employee argues that the decision was made solely because of racial (sex, religion, etc.) discrimination. In that situation, the employer typically rebuts the charge by showing that it had another reason for the decision. Then the employee has the opportunity to show that this other reason was a pretext, and that the real reason was race. (This is the typical racial discrimination case.) In a mixed motive case, the plaintiff argues that racial discrimination was one of the factors in the discriminatory decision. In that situation, the employer can partially rebut the charge by saying that it would've made the same decision even if race didn't come into the picture. (The remedies can be different in these different approaches.)

In either case, showing that the employee was objectively bad by some measure can be evidence that the decision was not motivated by race, or that it would've made the same decision even if race hadn't played a role.


Caveat to all of the above: I'm simplifying, and I'm describing federal law. State laws sometimes work differently.
   23. Greg K Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5487488)
It takes balls for a guy who's making a very good 6 figure salary for 180 days worth of cromulent work to sue his employer

It's an insult to the proud history of the word "cromulent" to use it to describe Angel Hernandez's work.
   24. Leroy Kincaid Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5487491)
What "race" is Hernandez? White-Guy-With-Spanish-Name?
   25. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5487495)
It takes balls for a guy who's making a very good 6 figure salary for 180 days worth of cromulent work to sue his employer
It's certainly possible for someone making good money to still be discriminated against. It's less of a winning argument when that person is as bad as their job as Hernandez is at his.
   26. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5487497)
Becoming a MLB ump is excruciatingly difficult and being one is not exactly a picnic either. To make it up the ranks you endure miserable pay and non-stop travelling and, as it is with players, continually weed down until - presumably - only the best of the best make it to The Show. The numbers who can't take it or wash out are staggering.

We hear all the time that baseball works against minorities, at least African Americans, because of the cost to play. That would certainly seem to hold true with respect to becoming an umpire given the wages. My point is that the number of minority candidates might be limited given the lack of affordability, as clearly the total pool of MLB-worthy candidates is certainly a limited pool.

That said, Hernandez and CB Buckner stand out as two of the most incompetent umpires in the league. If you watch a lot of baseball, their performances are sadly noteworthy, though I don't think Hernandez is anywhere near as bad as he was a decade ago.

There was a seemingly pejorative reference above to Laz Diaz which I don't get. I've always felt he does a good job and doesn't stand out for making any more mistakes than the average umpire.

   27. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5487501)
It takes balls for a guy who's making a very good 6 figure salary for 180 days worth of cromulent work to sue his employer


It's not a great 6 figure salary for a good portion of the career and these are supposedly the best of the best so there should be very good compensation. They're constantly going from city-to-city every 2-4 days, dealing with airport hassles, making it very difficult to maintain a real family life - yes, that's the choice they have made - and the work is from March to September if you're bad. And to earn the big money, if you consider $350000 big money in a $9 Billion industry with relatively few employees, you have to work a very long time to get there.
   28. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5487502)
If you watch a Gerry Davis or Greg Gibson, and compare with CB or Angel - or the thankfully departed Bob Davidson - you can see what a difference in ability there is within the ranks. If you want to look at it through the lenses of race, that's your problem.

Frankly, I would argue that if CB or Angel were white they would have been banished long ago, but then how to explain Bob Davidson lasting forever? (Other than the power of the union and MLB picking their fights carefully.)
   29. Justin T drives a crooked hoss Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5487506)
gain greater mastery of the official playing rules and replay regulations, continue to improve situation management, and display an ability to refocus and move forward after missing calls or receiving constructive feedback from the office.”

I can't come up with a specific example, but I have noticed Hernandez seem to behave poorly in game when questioned or overturned. He's pretty sensitive about how terrible he is.

Suing them is a good way to show he's learning to turn the page.
   30. Justin T drives a crooked hoss Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5487507)
One guy who I've realized over time is very good also epitomizes the whole "the best officials are the ones you don't know are there" thing is Paul Nauert. I wonder what players think of him. Or the league. Because he also never seems to get mentioned with the good ones when some anonymous poll comes out.



   31. Posada Posse Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5487514)
What "race" is Hernandez? White-Guy-With-Spanish-Name?


He was born in Havana, Cuba.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:42 AM (#5487520)
It's not a great 6 figure salary for a good portion of the career and these are supposedly the best of the best so there should be very good compensation. They're constantly going from city-to-city every 2-4 days, dealing with airport hassles, making it very difficult to maintain a real family life - yes, that's the choice they have made - and the work is from March to September if you're bad. And to earn the big money, if you consider $350000 big money in a $9 Billion industry with relatively few employees, you have to work a very long time to get there.

The new umpires for 2017 were 30, 32, 33, and 38. The starting salary is $120,000, which rises to $350,000 over time.

How many jobs are there where you start making $120,000 in you early 30's, rise to $350,000 merely by seniority with no real change in responsibility, and have union protection with a pension?

It's a very good job.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5487525)

Frankly, I would argue that if CB or Angel were white

Angel Hernandez is as white as 44 of our 45 presidents, or in baseball terms, as white as Dolf Luque was.
   34. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5487526)
How many jobs are there where you start making $120,000 in you early 30's, rise to $350,000 merely by seniority with no real change in responsibility, and have union protection with a pension?


Airline pilot. Well, except for the pension part. And there are several orders of magnitude more jobs.
   35. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5487527)


He was born in Havana, Cuba.


Place of birth isn't a race. Danny Graves was born in Vietnam. John McCain was born in Panama.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5487531)
Airline pilot. Well, except for the pension part.

Then it's not as good. Not to mention pilots have real stress, and I'm sure they can be fired if they keep missing the runway.

And there are several orders of magnitude more jobs.

Hundreds and thousands of occupations with all those benefits? You're not living in the real world.

The vast, vast majority of jobs paying over $200,000 are at will managerial positions, meaning you can be fired at any time. You're lucky these days to have a cash balance pension, forget about DB.
   37. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5487534)
Hundreds and thousands of occupations with all those benefits? You're not living in the real world.


Several orders of magnitude more airline pilot jobs. American Airlines alone has 13,000.

Then it's not as good.


There are other considerations besides direct compensation that factors into what makes a job as good.

Not to mention pilots have real stress


True, but they don't perform their job in full view of millions of people either.

I'm sure they can be fired if they keep missing the runway.


You can't fire a dead person.

It's a very good job, don't get me wrong. But there are how many jobs in total? Less than 100? And how many openings every year? Less than 10? It's the nichest of niche professions.
   38. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5487537)
Angel started umpiring in the bigs at 29. I don't know what he did before that but he surely want toiling in poverty for decades before getting the golden ticket. Since then he's had almost 30 years of job security at a very high pay. If he's suffered to get to where he has he hasn't suffered anymore unusual than any other 20 something year old building their career and once he got to the top his job has been more secure than virtually any other person making that kind of money. To top it all off he works like 200 days a year and has a lot of his work expenses paid for unlike a good chunk of the rest of us.
   39. The Duke Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5487543)
My guess is that he knew he was on the chopping block and got out in front of it with lawsuit. Happens every day across the nation. Get a whiff you are going to be canned and file a workers Comp complaint or Harrassment allegation. Pretty standard stuff
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 04, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5487544)

How many jobs are there where you start making $120,000 in you early 30's, rise to $350,000 merely by seniority with no real change in responsibility, and have union protection with a pension?

Well, for starters there's the job of being the fruit of a multi-millionaire's loins, and they don't need no stinkin' union.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5487545)
Not to mention pilots have real stress


True, but they don't perform their job in full view of millions of people either.

Unless they screw up and find themselves on the nightly news.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5487546)
Well, for starters there's the job of being the fruit of a multi-millionaire's loins, and they don't need no stinkin' union.

What is the point of that screed? Unless you're against private property you're always going to have idiot rich kids. Get over it. Good news is most of them squander it by the 3rd generation.
   43. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5487549)
1. Privilege clearly exists, but no one has made a good argument for that being a controlling factor, or even a minor contributing factor, here.

2. It's clearly possible for a minority employee making 350K per year to be discriminated against, but no one has made a good argument for that being the case here.

3. It's perfectly reasonable to critique minority umpires for being terrible if they are, in fact, demonstrably terrible. Hernandez and Bucknor fit that bill. I am not as familiar with Laz Diaz, and I save my most vicious vitriol for Whitey Bill Hohn.

4. Angel Hernandez' lawyer, from David's notes above, seems to be as good at labor discrimination law as Hernandez is at umpiring.

5. This lawsuit, which seems short sighted, poorly schooled in the basic fundamentals and rules of the game, overly combative and based mostly on the heady combination Angel Hernandez' sense of personal aggrievement and his driving need to be the center of attention against all else, is actually a pretty good encapsulation of what makes him such a shitty umpire.
   44. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5487552)
Unless you're against private property you're always going to have idiot rich kids.


1. You're always going to have idiot rich kids, regardless.

2. You're also always going to have idiot poor kids, as November 2016 so vividly attests.

3. An society or nation truly interested in egalitarianism and meritocracy would tax the estates of the very wealthy specifically in order to prevent the rise of a useless aristocracy class of rich kids with no skills of note other than drawing off of Mom and Dad's accounts.
   45. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5487553)
How many jobs are there where you start making $120,000 in you early 30's, rise to $350,000 merely by seniority with no real change in responsibility, and have union protection with a pension?

Well, for starters there's the job of being the fruit of a multi-millionaire's loins, and they don't need no stinkin' union.

What is the point of that screed? Unless you're against private property you're always going to have idiot rich kids. Get over it.


It wasn't a screed, merely an observation. What makes you so sensitive?
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5487556)
1. You're always going to have idiot rich kids, regardless.

2. You're also always going to have idiot poor kids, as November 2016 so vividly attests.

3. An society or nation truly interested in egalitarianism and meritocracy would tax the estates of the very wealthy specifically in order to prevent the rise of a useless aristocracy class of rich kids with no skills of note other than drawing off of Mom and Dad's accounts.


I have no problem with a high estate tax. Say 50% starting above $2M per recipient, scaling up to 90% over $100M per recipient. I'm more than happy to tax the wealth from the ultra-rich. They tend to be corrupt and thieving; that's how they got rich in the first place.

That said, I have no interest in egalitarianism, or meritocracy. The former leads to socialism, and the latter leads to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of those that are good at taking tests, and sitting still in a classroom. It's too convenient as an excuse to screw over the bottom 95% of the income distribution.

I believe in a country run and actively managed for the interests of the middle 80%.
   47. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5487557)
That said, I have no interest in egalitarianism, or meritocracy.


I know. You're un-American that way.

EDIT: Also, your critique of meritocracy directly contradicts your critique of egalitarianism. Not that that will stop you.
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 04, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5487560)
What "race" is Hernandez? White-Guy-With-Spanish-Name?

He appears to be Hispanic, which is a national origin, not a race, notwithstanding that the term is often used improperly. That's another point that makes me wonder about the lawyering here.

Hernandez has ~ 25 years as a MLB umpire, is vested in his pension, and perhaps feels there's not much to lose by suing, since MLB won't promote him further unless forced to. Or maybe he thinks MLB will pay him to go away. In any event, there should be abundant strike zone data and replay reversal info that ought to give us some insight into how umpires are evaluated. Is that material so sensitive that MLB will settle rather than divulge it in open court? I wouldn't think so, but Hernandez might have some idea about how others rank, or have been treated in general.
   49. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5487561)
Perhaps this should be the OT-P thread of the week.
   50. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5487564)
My anecdotal evidence of what workers think they are entitled to or what their chances are of winning arguments is that it is extremely high while in reality their chances are extremely low.
   51. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5487565)
I have no problem with a high estate tax. Say 50% starting above $2M per recipient, scaling up to 90% over $100M per recipient. I'm more than happy to tax the wealth from the ultra-rich. They tend to be corrupt and thieving; that's how they got rich in the first place.


Well that's a nice little stereotype. So it's OK to apply stereotypes to the wealthy but all other groups are PC-protected? I'm curious as to what thieving did Buffet and Bezos commit?

There are plenty of people who work very hard and have paid an awful lot of taxes on their accrued wealth. So why not keep taxing them again and again and again through their estates. $2 Million may sound like a lot of money, and I wish I had it, but it's really not. (Of course, to a certain degree, that's a function of where you live and the cost of living.)

Should there be greater tax fairness? Of course. Let's eliminate some of the protection provided by Trusts. I'll never buy into the notion that if the capital gains rate is taxed at the same or similar rate as ordinary income, that the investment markets will dry up. Nor should hedge fund managers get their perks. It's obnoxious that CEO's who haven't provided significant return to shareholders receive obscene pay and I'd love to see their compensation chewed up by the IRS.

Our system is highly flawed but what is true is that people are worth what someone is willing to pay them and that seems to be fundamentally fair. So the schoolteacher can whine all they want about how their job is much more important than the NBA player, who makes in a game what they make in a year, or a Wall Street executive. Well, life isn't fair and for the most part, the teacher is infinitely easier to replace.

Even though the uber-wealthy make an easy target, they do pay the lion's share of the taxes in this country. And people who refer to those making $250,000 as rich, refuse to recognize that $250,000 in (downstate and heavily taxed) New York is not the same as $250,000 in small town Arkansas.

   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5487569)
3. An society or nation truly interested in egalitarianism and meritocracy would tax the estates of the very wealthy specifically in order to prevent the rise of a useless aristocracy class of rich kids with no skills of note other than drawing off of Mom and Dad's accounts.
If that's the only skill they have, they will redistribute their parents' wealth voluntarily, without the need for tyrannical government intervention.
   53. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5487583)
He appears to be Hispanic, which is a national origin, not a race, notwithstanding that the term is often used improperly.


"Hispanic" is no more or less made up of a racial category than is "white" or "black."
   54. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:38 PM (#5487584)
So it's OK to apply stereotypes to the wealthy but all other groups are PC-protected?


Yes. They can salve their delicate feelings in their vault-baths of gold coins.
   55. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 02:40 PM (#5487585)
If that's the only skill they have, they will redistribute their parents' wealth voluntarily, without the need for tyrannical government intervention.


As you know, and as the current idiot residing at 1600 Penn Ave clearly demonstrates, money is itself a "skill." Societies can't function without a reasonably funded common treasury. There are far worse ways to fund the common treasury than yanking high margins off of estate transfers.
   56. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5487600)
As you know, and as the current idiot residing at 1600 Penn Ave clearly demonstrates, money is itself a "skill."
I'm not sure what you're trying to say though my guess is we would probably both agree that he's a narcissistic disaster. Regardless, he took his $10 Million from daddy and did build it into a formidable portfolio.

(Granted, along the way, he screwed over many contractors and professionals, often using the after-the-work is completed lines, "that doesn't seem/look like a ($fill in the amount) job," or "you'll be able to put on your resume that you did my work," as if that should be adequate compensation to cover the balance of funds due. However, this has been his well-known reputation since the 80's and yet plenty of vendors have continued to do his work. All this proves is that, as with the general election, there are no shortage of stupid people in this country.)

   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5487606)
He appears to be Hispanic, which is a national origin, not a race, notwithstanding that the term is often used improperly.

"Hispanic" is no more or less made up of a racial category than is "white" or "black."

According to the government, and most others, Hispanic is not a racial term but a reference to National Origin:
Hispanic or Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
   58. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5487608)
I'm guessing the argument is that higher estate taxes will make amassing wealth less attractive which will in turn dampen American ambition and innovation. Right?
   59. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5487609)
3. An society or nation truly interested in egalitarianism and meritocracy would tax the estates of the very wealthy specifically in order to prevent the rise of a useless aristocracy class of rich kids with no skills of note other than drawing off of Mom and Dad's accounts.


So where is this vast network of useless inheritors? Or, are you extrapolating the Kardashians (I'm not sure they fit the definition but any chance to trash them seems worthwhile,) and Hiltons as if they represent the masses of this class.

As an example, whatever anyone thinks of the Kennedys, most of them - with their many flaws and sense of entitlement - do work, many for the public good. Most of the people that I know whose families are in $10M - $100M range have kids who go to school and perform roles like the rest of us, ranging from doctors to investment bankers to lawyers to neer-do-wells and drug addicts. Do they have the luxury net that the overwhelming majority of us wish we had? Depending upon their parents, likely. But the vast majority of them contribute to society in a productive way and are also philanthropic.
   60. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5487611)
I'm guessing the argument is that higher estate taxes will make amassing wealth less attractive which will in turn dampen American ambition and innovation. Right?


No, but it will continue the extraordinary flow of money out of this country into safer havens where the uber-wealthy can retain/hide their wealth.
   61. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5487612)
I'm guessing the argument is that higher estate taxes will make amassing wealth less attractive which will in turn dampen American ambition and innovation. Right?


The nation should be actively undermining "amassing wealth." Hording doesn't drive the economy, either by corporations or people.
   62. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:19 PM (#5487614)
Want there a finding that the rich don't really pay attention to taxes? The rich weren't fleeing states with high taxes to go to states with low taxes.
   63. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:19 PM (#5487615)
As an example, whatever anyone thinks of the Kennedys, most of them - with their many flaws and sense of entitlement - do work, many for the public good. Most of the people that I know whose families are in $10M - $100M range have kids who go to school and perform roles like the rest of us, ranging from doctors to investment bankers to lawyers to neer-do-wells and drug addicts. Do they have the luxury net that the overwhelming majority of us wish we had? Depending upon their parents, likely. But the vast majority of them contribute to society in a productive way and are also philanthropic


And they could do that without a 100m inherited catch net. Again, the common treasury must be funded in some way. The best way to do that is to transfer wealth from the extreme top into the common kitty, rather than taking it from people who are struggling to feed their kids and keep the lights on. There's no moral argument for giving someone a half billion dollars just for being born to rich parents.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5487617)
The nation should be actively undermining "amassing wealth." Hording doesn't drive the economy, either by corporations or people.


Well I didn't mean just hoarding. Thomas Edison amassed wealth. Perhaps if there was no payoff to his inventions he wouldn't have bothered and would've just moved to Mexico and been a fisherman or something.
   65. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5487619)
I don't have a strong opinion either way. I think both sides have good arguments. If I earn $X fair and square, to some extent I should be able to decide where that money goes after I die. But I'm not anti-taxes and could be convinced that the estate tax should be more substantial than it is.
   66. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5487620)
Well I didn't mean just hoarding. Thomas Edison amassed wealth.


I am not suggesting that Thomas Edison not be paid for Thomas Edison's work. I'm suggesting that Thomas Edison, Jr not be paid for Thomas Edison's work.
   67. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5487621)
But that's the point, if Thomas Edison knows he can't pass his wealth onto his kids, he is perhaps less incentivized to earn (and thus innovate) in the first place. I wasn't really making this argument, though, just anticipating that someone else would.
   68. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5487624)
But that's the point, if Thomas Edison knows he can't pass his wealth onto his kids, he is perhaps less incentivized to earn (and thus innovate) in the first place. I wasn't really making this argument, though, just anticipating that someone else would.


Maybe, but I'd need to see hard data to buy it. People like Edison aren't driven to hand their wealth down. They're driven to do. To succeed. To win. And it's not like we're talking about a 100% estate tax for anything over 200K.
   69. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5487625)
Yeah, that's yet another 'homo economicus' assumption underlying conservative/libertarian economic doctrine that is belied by actually meeting a human being. That said, I pretty much share PF's view in 65.
   70. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:52 PM (#5487626)
Re 65. Except people don't amass wealth fair and square. They amass wealth with the help of the government.
   71. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5487627)
Except people don't amass wealth fair and square. They amass wealth with the help of the government.


There is that too. And you know what gives you a leg up on getting that help from the government? Inherited wealth.
   72. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 04, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5487628)
Yes, and of course they should pay taxes on that wealth accordingly, as it is being amassed. That in and of itself doesn't really justify a substantial additional tax upon passing it on, though.
   73. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5487629)
People like Edison aren't driven to hand their wealth down. They're driven to do. To succeed. To win.


Well, look at Trump. We know he pops a boner every time he sees himself described as a billionaire, and cares more that people know him as wealthy than they do as intelligent or friendly or understanding or hard working or whatever else. But if there's one nice thing you can say about him, it's that he seems to genuinely cares about his kids. He's a narcissist but his mania extends and covers his immediate family.

> edit, removed word "love" because Trump is too creepy to justify it
   74. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:12 PM (#5487632)
Re 65. Except people don't amass wealth fair and square. They amass wealth with the help of the government.
Explain. Do you mean because their accumulated wealth is not taxed as heavily as it could be?

Or is it possible that they earned money - IN SOME CASES - in spite of the government and significant over-the-top regulation
   75. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5487633)
I'm not sure why we should think he genuinely care for his kids anymore so than we should assume it for any other unknown person.
   76. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5487634)
He's a narcissist but his mania extends and covers his immediate family.
I wonder how he'd react if one of them publicly crossed him
   77. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:14 PM (#5487635)
He has more than three kids
   78. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5487640)
Explain. Do you mean because their accumulated wealth is not taxed as heavily as it could be?

Or is it possible that they earned money - IN SOME CASES - in spite of the government and significant over-the-top regulation


It's not a coincidence that developed countries with functional governments house the vast majority of wealthy individuals and middle classes. I mean I guess if Thomas Edison had wanted to accumulate wealth via being a warlord he'd go to Bolivia or something.

Nobody has become wealthy in spite of the government unless they've done so with a gun or sword in their hand.
   79. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5487641)
He has more than three kids


And Tiffany says hello.

Of what little I've seen of the youngest, he seems like he has a chance to be a decent person.
   80. dejarouehg Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:26 PM (#5487643)
Nobody has become wealthy in spite of the government unless they've done so with a gun or sword in their hand.


I've been told that it takes between 12 & 20 years to develop and get US government approval for drugs. I would argue that a) this is excessive government intervention that even European governments don't impose upon their drug companies, and b) people and companies have achieved great wealth in spite of this governmental road block.
   81. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5487645)
I'm not sure why we should think he genuinely care for his kids anymore so than we should assume it for any other unknown person.


I have a response for this, but I'm going to swallow it so as not to make this too OT:P. I think the estate tax tangent is interesting.

My mother was a trusts & estates attorney, so her career was based on the estate tax. But within that framework she did her honest best to try and get her clients to give away as much as possible to charity.
   82. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5487649)
Yes, and of course they should pay taxes on that wealth accordingly, as it is being amassed. That in and of itself doesn't really justify a substantial additional tax upon passing it on, though.


When I work for money, it is taxed when it is transferred from my employer to me. There is zero reason to treat in-family passing down of wealth as different from that transfer.
   83. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5487651)
But if there's one nice thing you can say about him, it's that he seems to genuinely cares about his kids.


He cares about the boys because they carry the Trump brand on their name. He cares about the girls insofar as he wants to molest them.
   84. Tin Angel Posted: July 04, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5487653)
RE: Trump "loving" his kids. Link:

I was hanging out in a freshman dorm with some friends, next door to Donald Jr.'s room. I walked out of the room to find Donald Trump at his son's door, there to pick him up for a baseball game. There were quite a few students standing around watching, trying to catch a glimpse of the famed real estate magnate. Don Jr. opened the door, wearing a Yankee jersey. Without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said "put on a suit and meet me outside," and closed the door.
   85. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5487655)
When I work for money, it is taxed when it is transferred from my employer to me. There is zero reason to treat in-family passing down of wealth as different from that transfer.
If by that you mean that neither should he taxed, fine. But there's zero reason for the government to take a cut every time money changes hands.
   86. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5487658)
If by that you mean that neither should he taxed, fine. But there's zero reason for the government to take a cut every time money changes hands.

It's income for the person getting it. Why shouldn't it be taxed?
   87. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5487659)

I've been told that it takes between 12 & 20 years to develop and get US government approval for drugs. I would argue that a) this is excessive government intervention that even European governments don't impose upon their drug companies, and b) people and companies have achieved great wealth in spite of this governmental road block.


European countries don't have to because we do. What drugs do to us is a complicated thing and even with all of this excessive government intervention we've had harmful drugs with limited benefits get through and released to the general public. If you think we're bogged down by excessive regulations you should try living in countries that have virtually none. Try Paraguay. It has on one hand corrupt and thus excessive regulations and on the other hand a complete lack of regulations designed to protect their average citizen from harm from careless businesses.


If a person wants to amass great wealth without governmental road blocks I'm sure there is plenty of podunk countries that they can move to and trying doing that. I won't hold my breath waiting for anyone to actually try doing that.
   88. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5487660)
The better question for Nieporent is, when should the government take a cut? There's no single overwhelming reason to tax income, or sales, or payrolls, or real estate, etc but you gotta tax somewhere if you want a functional government and roads and such.
   89. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5487661)
Once again, David's dreams of a post apocalyptic wasteland where we all live in the pure libertarian freedom of Somalia aside, the common treasury must needs be funded.
   90. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5487663)
I'd like to see him flesh that dream out. No trolling, honestly curious. How long does it take for lack of government interference to unlock human potential? Or maybe I'm wrong in assuming that it's a utopian vision.
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 06:08 PM (#5487670)
It's income for the person getting it. Why shouldn't it be taxed?

Exactly. I'd tax inheritance at the recipient level. Per recipient the first $2M is tax free, then something like 25% up to $5M, 50% up to $10M, and then it starts getting high. You can disperse your entire $100M estate at very low tax rates, as long as you spread it around.
   92. shoewizard Posted: July 04, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5487679)
SO My Angel Hernandez Story:

He had worked an especially egregious game behind the plate one night. Probably 2007 or 2008. The next night he was at 3rd base and I was in my brother in Law's seats down 3rd base line just 3 rows from field.....i.e. well within EARSHOT.

Well I was giving it to Angel from the get go. I was still pissed about his crappy strikezone from the night before. As luck would have it there were two plays at 3rd in the first couple innings, neither of which went our way. Also a called check swing that went against us on a left hand batter.

Needless to say, I was in rare form. No profanity mind you....it's a family venue. :twisted:

But within what I perceived as acceptable boundaries, I was going after him HARD, LOUD, AND CONSTANT. I had noticed a woman sitting with two teenage girls on the other side of the aisle giving me the stink eye a couple of times, and thought......'Chase Field Fans....don't even like it when you are loud ragging on the umpire"


Around the 4th or 5th inning I got up to take a leak, and when I came back Jim McLennan from AZ Snakepit who was at the game with me told me that woman had asked him while I was gone if he could get me to cool it, as I was RUINING THE GAME FOR ANGEL'S DAUGHTERS !! :oops: :oops:

Of course I did chill out.......how could I know his kids would be there ??.

I had a temporary moment of remorse and regret that I would make his kids feel so bad....but I have to admit the very next time Angel was behind the plate he pissed me off so bad, any feelings of remorse or embarrassment had left me for good.

He is BAD at his job. Simple as that.
   93. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5487717)
You sound worse than Angel Hernandez.
   94. Cargo Cultist Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:09 PM (#5487728)
I think we all agree that Angel is bad at his job.

Remember that all the money in that estate that's you socialists want to tax away from the man's heirs has already been fully taxed when it was earned.

I'm leaving a lot of money to a lot of people one day, and every penny of it has already had federal and state taxes paid on it, often at a very high rate.
   95. McCoy Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:22 PM (#5487733)
My money has already been taxed when I use it to buy a beer yet I have to pay a tax to get it. The store has to pay taxes to buy it and sell it. The maker of the beer has to pay taxes to get the materials to make the beer and they have to pay taxes to sell it to a distributor. The distributor has to then pay taxes to sell it to the store. That bottle of beer might get taxes a dozen times before it gets taxed a final time when I buy it.

My employer pays taxes on the money they use to pay me and yet the government still feels the need to tax me when I get it. Hell, the money my employer receives from their customers has already been taxed yet the business still gets taxed and then so do I.


Also, when you die you'll have (or your estate) realized no gains on your assets? Are you simply leaving your last paycheck to your heirs? Even if you do how is that not income for your heirs?
   96. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:24 PM (#5487734)
It being the case that you'll be dead, you won't care.
   97. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:25 PM (#5487736)
Note now that merely funding the public treasury at all is now "socialism." American "conservatives" are idiots way too often.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: July 04, 2017 at 10:56 PM (#5487743)
I'm in favor of high taxes for other people, just not myself.
   99. Tin Angel Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:01 PM (#5487744)
More like baseballcommiefactory.org
   100. Bhaakon Posted: July 04, 2017 at 11:07 PM (#5487745)
Yes, and of course they should pay taxes on that wealth accordingly, as it is being amassed. That in and of itself doesn't really justify a substantial additional tax upon passing it on, though.


But then the inheritor is amassing wealth, so why isn't it taxed? Why is one means of piling up cash subject to taxation and another not? If anything, based on those principles, I'd be inclined to cut taxes on personal income from one's own actual labors and increase greatly the tax on inheritance.
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