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tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-22-2006, 07:20 PM   #1
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tax cuts are harmful

here's an interesting article with a lot of data that I'm sure will annoy many of you.....

the summary starts out with "tax cuts are disastrous for the well-being of a nation's citizens" after which it proceeds to make a pretty strong case.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/doc...f_Taxation.pdf

I'm sure it must all be flawed.....

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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-22-2006, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

All I can get from the piece is that Canadians like to pay taxes. I say good for them.!!

A darn good way to keep their country afloat.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-22-2006, 10:19 PM   #3
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

it is only on page 55 (of 55 pages) that we are informed that the centre espouses a "progressive point of view" ... but it is nonetheless a slam-dunk that simply increasing taxes will obviously cure all our ills. it's no wonder that folks are leaving the u.s. in droves.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-23-2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
A darn good way to keep their country afloat.
And, judging from the cross-border shopping, ours too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
it's no wonder that folks are leaving the u.s. in droves.
For Canada?

Where are the Baldwin boys these days, anyway?
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-23-2006, 12:01 PM   #5
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

why am I not surprised?

attack the word "progressive" on the last page. Make flippant comments. But if the data doesn't agree with your "article of faith" theories, then gnore the data. Pretty much what I expected.

Those who actually read the article, would have, no doubt, noticed that Canada is in the group of countries that pay the least taxes, not the most. Once you expand your attention beyond North America, this actually the case. What is interesting is how well the Nordic countires do with their "oppressive" tax rates. If all the conventional wisdom bandied around here were true, then why is this?

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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-23-2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Doesn't annoy me...I just tend to doubt it's accuracy.

Quote:
The Swedish Research Institute on Trade compared official government U.S. and Swedish statistics on household income as well as gross domestic product, private per capita consumption and retail spending between 1980 and 1999.

Using prices and purchasing power parity-adjusted data, the median household income in Sweden at the end of the 1990's was the equivalent of $26,800 compared with a median of $39,400 for U.S. households, the study found.

"Weak growth means that Sweden has lost greatly in prosperity compared with the United States," said the trade group's chief economist, Robert Gidehag.

"Black people, who have the lowest income in the United States, now have a higher standard of living than an ordinary Swedish household," the study said. If Sweden were a U.S. state, it would be the poorest as measured by household income, said Gidehag.

The median income of African-American households was about 70 percent of the median for all U.S. households, while Swedish household median income was just 68 percent.

Poor Swedes also experienced less income growth than African-Americans. Between 1980 and 1999, the gross income of Sweden's poorest households increased by only 6 percent while the poorest households in the U.S. enjoyed an increase in income that was three times higher.
Maybe the Nordic countries have the answer - but there do seem to be some dissenting opinions and statistics.

And what's wrong with pointing out the organization's political leaning? Are Communists Socialists Leftists Progressives somehow immune from interjecting their beliefs into their work product?

The way I see it, my government has made a complete hash out of practically every social welfare program it has tried to fund/run. Maybe it works in the Nordic countries because they are so small, have a more heterogenous population, have more open government, or have fewer crooked politicians and incompetent bureaucrats. Considering the long history that our government has of wasting tax dollars in disastrous social programs that aggravate problems rather than solve them - I'm going to stay solidly in the pro tax-cut camp.

Modified to add - The more I look into this report, the more problems I have with it. Like the comparisons between budget surplus or deficit as a percentage of GDP. Wow, look at Norway...but wait, aren't they the third largest exporter of oil in the world with a population of 4.5 million? They have a $38 Billion budget surplus with a population about the size of Los Angeles. Talk about comparing Oranges to Orangutangs.

Sorry, but just had to modify again. Great story here from an American writing for the New York Times about how things really are in that shining socialist city on the hill - Norway:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/we...68feb5&ei=5090

Quote:
News reports describe serious shortages of police officers and school supplies. When my mother-in-law went to an emergency room recently, the hospital was out of cough medicine. Drug addicts crowd downtown Oslo streets, as The Los Angeles Times recently reported, but applicants for methadone programs are put on a months-long waiting list...such things simply should not happen in "the world's richest country." Why do Norwegians have such a wealthy self-image? Partly because, compared with their grandparents (who lived before the discovery of North Sea oil), they are rich.

After I moved here six years ago, I quickly noticed that Norwegians live more frugally than Americans do. They hang on to old appliances and furniture that we would throw out. And they drive around in wrecks. In 2003, when my partner and I took his teenage brother to New York - his first trip outside of Europe - he stared boggle-eyed at the cars in the Newark Airport parking lot, as mesmerized as Robin Williams in a New York grocery store in "Moscow on the Hudson."

Dining out is just too pricey in a country where teachers, for example, make about $50,000 a year before taxes. Even the humblest of meals - a large pizza delivered from Oslo's most popular pizza joint - will run from $34 to $48, including delivery fee and a 25 percent value added tax.

In late March, another study, this one from KPMG, the international accounting and consulting firm, cast light on this paradox. It indicated that when disposable income was adjusted for cost of living, Scandinavians were the poorest people in Western Europe. Danes had the lowest adjusted income, Norwegians the second lowest, Swedes the third.
I could go on...US unemployment rate is lower than all of the Nordic countries except Norway. Their suicide rates are much higher...

Government imposed mediocrity - maybe our Scandinavian/Nordic friends love it - I say let them keep it.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-23-2006, 05:43 PM   #7
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
attack the word "progressive" on the last page. Make flippant comments...if the data doesn't agree with your "article of faith" ...Those who actually read the article...
1) you have absolutely no idea what might be my "article of faith" ... and to assume i have but one is quite insulting
2) i did in fact read the entire paper, from 1st to last page, and am not at all impressed except for the striking lack of any and all methodological rigor
3) the authors failed to note that the absolute-without-a-doubt underlying "causal" factor in all of that tripe is as likely to be annual snowfall as anything else
4) you refer us to a piece of blatant bull poop and then chastise us for noticing it for what it is
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-23-2006, 06:08 PM   #8
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

There are very few absolutes in this world and I'm immediately suspicious when I see something like this first line from the summary section of the referenced article:

"Tax cuts are disastrous for the well-being of a nation’s citizens."



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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-24-2006, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas

And what's wrong with pointing out the organization's political leaning? Are Communists Socialists Leftists Progressives somehow immune from interjecting their beliefs into their work product?


Government imposed mediocrity - maybe our Scandinavian/Nordic friends love it - I say let them keep it.
The terms 'liberal' and 'progressive' don't mean the same thing in the rest of the world as they have been warped by the media to mean in the US. For example, the present Conservative party in Canada came about through the merger of the 'Progressive Conservative' party and the 'Alliance' party, which was farther to the right than the slightly-less-to-the-right 'Progressive Conservative party. The left wing perspective in Canada is not the Liberal Party but the New Democratic Party, a form of socialist philosphy with its roots in Christianity rather than Marxism.

It was pretty predictable that people would complain about the lack of 'methodological rigour' and the 'lack of causality.' As if demographics and economics were a field like physics where anyone could demonstrate causality in any rigourous sense.

However, what I find interesting is the rebuttals which seem to say that

since people take home less money, can eat out less, and have to be more frugal when replacing appliances, that therefore they are condemed to a 'life of mediocrity.' Kind of shows an interesting view of what 'mediocrity' is, don't you think? Never mind infant mortality rates in the US, never mind massive issues with homelessness, poverty, and distribution of income, never mind the highest child poverty rate in the industrialized world in the US, never mind greater public access to post-secondary education in many of these highly taxed countries. So long as ME and MY FAMILY have it, that's what counts. Far more important that people on the upper end of the wage scale keep more. My definition of mediocre is to live in a country with so much money that chooses to allow such a high infant mortality rate, for one thing. So--tell me how is that statistic is flawed?

All of this stuff can be hand-waved away partially because the sponsoring agency had the word 'progessive' in its title and because the report only showed lots of correlation but not causality in an area where causality would be virtually impossible to demonstrate. Just like the Bush response to global warming!!! It doesn't exist!! It's BAD SCIENCE, fuzzy math!!. Yes, we can argue causality, but I think the real issues lie elsewhere.

I think the real issue is VALUES. The people in control of the government (and the voters that keep them in control) would rather allow high poverty rates, infant mortality, and homelessness than give up their precious excessive lifestyles. There is this myth that we all need to buy into that basically people are in poverty because they are lazy and unmotivated, and that government spending is bad. So let's lower taxes--maybe we can starve away poverty!. If we can all really believe that, then the starving child and the homeless bag lady DESERVE WHAT THEY GET--they brought it on themselves, then we can all feel good about pushing for a tax system that gets us to our SWR a few years earlier, and we can afford to retire somehere where we won't have to witness the carnage. And yes, that's just my opinion, not a rigourous study.

I'm not saying that people on this board are not good people--I believe they are. And yes, I could probably afford to give more to charity than I presently do. We all probably could. But I do believe that there seems to be an ideology prevalent here among some (and I am NOT pointing at any individuals) that lacks compassion and is fairly self-centred. I'm no Communist. I don't for a moment believe that everybody's income should be equalized. I also realize that there are, and always will, be people who game the system. But when I see a disabled veteran like was on CNN yesterday receiving $800/month and having to decide between food and lodging, it grosses me out. That's what tax cuts buy you. Reagan basically emptied out the mental hospitals and dumped them on the streets so we didn't have to live a 'mediocre lifestyle'! I thought the article I posted was interesting. I agree, not rigourous in some ways. But thought-provoking anyway.


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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-24-2006, 02:30 PM   #10
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

if some disagree with your conclusion (no matter erroneous it may be), must we conclude that they are somehow morally suspect? you are much too quick to assume you know the values of folks you've never met ... reflecting the same "logic" as the paper to which you originally referred.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-24-2006, 02:34 PM   #11
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

I like your outlook on life bosco and hope you eventually retire full time in Canada.

I think we are a kinder and more caring society with less of the gross contrasts that are so evident between the rich and poor in America.

I think you would probably agree the middle class is comparable in the 2 countries but the poor are looked after better in Canada.

Wealthy Americans on the other hand are way better off and pay less tax than wealthy Canadians.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-24-2006, 10:54 PM   #12
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
I like your outlook on life bosco and hope you eventually retire full time in Canada.

I think we are a kinder and more caring society with less of the gross contrasts that are so evident between the rich and poor in America.

I think you would probably agree the middle class is comparable in the 2 countries but the poor are looked after better in Canada.

Wealthy Americans on the other hand are way better off and pay less tax than wealthy Canadians.
I agree that wealth is distributed a bit more equitably in Canada. And I also agree there is more of a safety net in Canada. To me, that is a good thing and something I am willing to pay taxes for.

My full-time retirement in Canada is only a few months away (October 2, 2007). Thanks for the encouragement!

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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-24-2006, 11:12 PM   #13
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

So, I was in the kitchen all day and evening and took the laptop with me to play with ideas when I had off moments (Eh, it’s boring being me). Anyway, here is my response to your last – it’s long, but I needed something to do to kill the down time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
I thought the article I posted was interesting. I agree, not rigourous in some ways. But thought-provoking anyway.
It was thought provoking, and I think most of us are open to new ideas. And I don’t see where anyone here is trying to pick a fight with you over this issue. They, and I, disagree with the report you linked to because there are no new ideas there and it suffers not so much from a lack of rigor, as its fundamental flaw is that it is skewed.

I’m not saying that some of the things that the authors think need to happen aren’t good or that I disagree with everything they say. What I am saying is that they are quite obviously skewing or cherry picking facts and figures in order to try and fool readers in an attempt to gain support for their desired outcomes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
The terms 'liberal' and 'progressive' don't mean the same thing in the rest of the world as they have been warped by the media to mean in the US…
I’ll take your word for that. But I did some independent research of my own on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and found that although they claim to be “…an independent, non-partisan research institute…” the reality is somewhat different.

Socialists and leftists formed it, many of its supporters are socialist groups or labor unions with socialist or anti-corporate leanings, and most of the staff are well-known socialists/leftists, some even come from prominent socialist families.

For example, Seth Klein, the Director of the British Columbia offices of CCPA, comes from a family that the UK Guardian newspaper described the history of as “like a history of the Left.” Google his sister Naomi Klein (and her husband Avi Lewis), his father Dr. Michael Klein, or his grandfather Phillip Klein to see the three generations of socialist activism for yourself.

Go to the CCPA website and see the board members, their organizations, and the national staff. Spend a few minutes researching them and you will see a consistent theme of leftist politics, socialism, “internationalism”, and anti-corporate activism that is very apparent. Google the name of the organization and include the words “Marxist”, “Socialist” or “Activist” and see all of the Marxist, Socialist and Activist organizations that link or quote CCPA reports.

The simple fact of the matter is that the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an organization created, funded, supported, managed, and staffed by people with the same political views. Spending a few minutes with their reports will reveal that their political views color their so-called “independent research”.

I’m not knocking Socialists (at least note in this context). But I immediately suspect any group that claims independence while hiding their true nature. And when I find not just a “lack of rigor”, but fabrications and misconstrued statistics throughout the report – I think my suspicions are confirmed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
It's BAD SCIENCE, fuzzy math!!.
It’s not even that good. It’s bad science and fuzzy math skewed and cherry picked in order to promote a particular political position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
It was pretty predictable that people would complain about the lack of 'methodological rigour' and the 'lack of causality.' As if demographics and economics were a field like physics where anyone could demonstrate causality in any rigourous sense.
Statistics can be misleading when the intent is there. And actual causality can be something not apparent in the figures – or as someone else here said - it could all be due to annual snowfall in Nordic countries. But you have to look behind the stats and think about it before you trust or distrust them. I think you took too much of the CCPA's stats as gospel without any independent thought or research. Or are you saying nothing is provable or disprovable in demographics or economics and we are all free to believe whatever we choose to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
My definition of mediocre is to live in a country with so much money that chooses to allow such a high infant mortality rate, for one thing. So--tell me how is that statistic is flawed?
From US News and World Report:
Quote:
The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don't reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.

Infant mortality in developed countries is not about healthy babies dying of treatable conditions as in the past. Most of the infants we lose today are born critically ill, and 40 percent die within the first day of life. The major causes are low birth weight and prematurity, and congenital malformations. As Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, points out, Norway, which has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, shows no better infant survival than the United States when you factor in weight at birth.

Look at Iceland. It uses the same standards as we do. But it also has a population under 300,000 that is 94 percent homogenous, a mixture of Norse and Celts. Similarly, Finland and Japan do not have the ethnic and cultural diversity of our 300 million citizens. Even factoring in education and income, Chinese-American mothers have lower rates, and African-Americans higher, than the U.S. average. Environment matters as well. Lower infant mortality tracks with fewer teen pregnancies, married as opposed to single mothers, less obesity and smoking, more education, and moms pregnant with babies that they are utterly intent on having. Yet, there are still biological factors that we don't understand that lead to spontaneous premature delivery.
Or, the Congressional Budget Office:
Quote:
Problems of definition and measurement, however, hamper cross-national comparisons of health statistics. Alternative measures of infant mortality may provide better information but cannot completely compensate for differences among countries in the overall rates of reporting of adverse pregnancy outcomes. For example, very premature births are more likely to be included in birth and mortality statistics in the United States than in several other industrialized countries that have lower infant mortality rates…Low birthweight is the primary risk factor for infant mortality and most of the decline in neonatal mortality (deaths of infants less than 28 days old) in the United States since 1970 can be attributed to increased rates of survival among low-birthweight newborns. …Because of the high quality and widespread availability of neonatal intensive care in the United States, a low-birthweight baby born in this country probably has a better chance of surviving than anywhere else in the world.
Other information I found indicates that we have had something like a 400% increase in multiple births in this country that has only just recently started to decline. The CDC says that multiples are highly likely to be low birthweight, and therefore at higher risk of mortality. Much of that increase in multiples is due to fertility treatments that are almost exclusively used by the economically well to do. I also found medical studies comparing multiple births to singletons mortality stats between the rich and the poor and while singletons of the poor have a higher mortality rate than those of the rich, the multiples were much higher among the rich and the mortality rate was many times higher. Also, I found a report about how Europe deals with infant mortality from low birthweight: “High order multiple pregnancies are at significantly higher risk of complications than singleton pregnancies, for the fetuses, babies and the mothers. The aim of all fertility treatments is to achieve a healthy live child for each couple seeking treatment. The realization that high order multiple pregnancy can and should be avoided has increasingly led, in most European countries, to a restriction of the number of embryos for transfer to two or even one, without a significant decrease in a couples' chance of achieving a pregnancy.”

What all of that says to me is that the original comparisons were flawed because other countries do not keep their statistics with the same rigor as does the United States. It also tells me that differences in infant mortality, if they are higher here, can be due to a number of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with healthcare.

In the end, I choose not to advocate changing our government to a socialist system in order to throw money at a problem that may not even exist, much less be something that more money will fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
However, what I find interesting is the rebuttals which seem to say that since people take home less money, can eat out less, and have to be more frugal when replacing appliances, that therefore they are condemned to a 'life of mediocrity.' Kind of shows an interesting view of what 'mediocrity' is, don't you think?
I was thinking more of the fact that the re-distribution of wealth and income through taxation and regulation means that no matter how hard one works it is very hard to ever be any better financially. In fact, it was this quote, by a Norwegian, from one of the articles I quoted/linked in my earlier post, that I was thinking about when I made my statement about mediocrity;

Quote:
To me it is that equality in Norwegian society which makes it so pleasant for the vast majority of people to live here. Very few are immensely rich.

In fact extreme wealth is frowned upon by many.

And even fewer are desperately poor.

There is remarkably little difference between the amount of money a factory worker or bus driver takes home and the pay cheque of a medical doctor.

Both earn just over £2,000 a month.

Sometimes though, it can be hard to explain how we make our money last until pay day.

How on earth can you afford to live here? a colleague visiting from the UK spluttered once.

She had just paid £5 for a pint and was wondering whether she could afford to order a pizza.

I patiently tried to explain that the waiter probably made as much money as her and that the cost of producing that beer was higher than in any other European country.
So, bus drivers, factory workers, doctors, waiters, all make the same? Study hard to the best in high school so you can go to a good college, compete there so you can go to medical school, bust your butt there and go on to years of residency/internship all just so you can make as much as the guy who started working at the pizza place right out of high school? I’m not sure what kind of economic system that is, but that doesn’t strike you as a system begging to be labeled mediocre?

Here’s how another Norwegian describes it:
Quote:
To be regarded as a good citizen, a sound 'ordinary' person, one must adhere to an unstated but pervasive principle of 'no one is superior to anyone else', as it comes out in subtle kinds of attitudes and behaviour as well as in occasional blatant confrontations. This has definitely had some very positive effects of the sort that limit the gap between rich and poor from growing as fast as in other countries and the provision of most social services to all citizens on a level footing. Merit is thus widely attached to the commoner and the 'average person' (with some unworthy exceptions due to frequent racial attitudes) creating a social structure known as a 'meritocracy'. But there is a shadow side to this... the peculiarly Norwegian cult of mediocrity (as distinct from the Soviet type). In Norway one sees how a 'meritocracy' has slid towards 'mediocracy'. The predominance of the average person - and the common denominator where it ought not to operate - characterises the cult of the mediocre. As in any country, the basic patterns of behaviour and attitude are formed by parents and schooling, are developed and re-enforced by the national media and culture. In Norway there are patently fewer deviations from those norms than in larger states. This has made life harder here than in many other countries for those who step out of line, which includes people of alternative lifestyle, independent thought, originality and also obviously genius.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
Never mind infant mortality rates in the US, never mind massive issues with homelessness, poverty, and distribution of income, never mind the highest child poverty rate in the industrialized world in the US, never mind greater public access to post-secondary education in many of these highly taxed countries.
Yes, we already examined the flaws in the infant mortality stats, but as to your claims on education...

The OECD report on world education shows the US as second in the world for tertiary education (just behind Canada) with 37% of adults aged 25-64 being educated to the tertiary level. Finland and Sweden come in at 32%, Norway at 28% and Denmark at 27%.

...and regarding poverty I question your claims there also.

I see the CCPA report uses the “share of the children living in the households with income below 50% of the national median” standard. So, using that standard the US is just second worst behind Mexico. Of course, Mexico’s Gross National Income Per Capita is $8,980 and in the US it is $37,750. Hmmm, what about #3 – 10, where do we stand?

% of children Gross National
Country living below 50% Income

1. Mexico 26.2 $8,980
2. USA 22.4 $37,750
3. Italy 20.5 $24,770
4. U. Kingdom 19.8 $27,690
5. Turkey 19.7 $6,710
6. Ireland 16.8 $30,910
7. Canada 15.5 $30,400
8. Poland 15.4 $11,210
9. Australia 12.6 $28,780
10. Greece 12.3 $19,900

So, looking at these numbers I have all sorts of questions about how useful this statistic is. The one foremost in my thoughts is this: If a kid living in a family in Niagara Falls, New York, USA – with a family income of $18,874 – were to move to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada with the same income – the cost of living is so much cheaper in Canada that they are no longer in poverty? After all, according to this statistic, they would have to lose $3,674 of income to be “in poverty” across the border. Maybe the reason Canada has a smaller percentage of people living in poverty is because the standard for being impoverished is higher, er, lower.

Regarding wealth distribution. I guess that would be the GINI coefficient that supposedly measures inequalities in distribution in wealth. Of course our Nordic friends are all at the top of the list and the US is way down at 73. But, according to the creators of the coefficient, this sort of thing is on a curve, and it’s best to be somewhere in the middle:
Quote:
The authors recommend to pursue moderation also as to the distribution of wealth and particularly to avoid the extremes. Both very high egalitarianism and very high inequality cause slow growth. Extreme egalitarianism leads to incentive-traps, free-riding, high operation costs and corruption in the redistribution system, all reducing a country's growth potential.
However, extreme inequality also diminishes growth potential by eroding social cohesion, and increasing social unrest and social conflict, causing uncertainty of property rights. Therefore, public policy should target an 'efficient inequality range'. The authors claim that such efficiency range lies between the values of the Gini coefficients of 0.25 (the inequality value of a typical Northern European country) and 0.40 (slightly lower than that of countries such as China and the USA).
So, we could move more to the center because we are pushing the envelope – by .008 – but it’s nowhere near a “massive issue” as you identified it. And way across the other side of the optimal bubble we are hanging on to, I see the Nordic countries perched precariously to the other end just a smidge away from slipping off into too much egalitarianism.

Well, the pies are all done and the family will be home soon from seeing movies and such, so I’ll have to leave the issue of homelessness and the other issues you raised for some other day.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-25-2006, 07:51 AM   #14
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Wow Leonides, you should start blogging

I'm still for national health insurance and am concerned that our pendulum has swung a wee bit too far to the "nature, red in tooth and claw" side but you definitely provide some food for thought on a number of issues.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-25-2006, 08:49 AM   #15
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

I get as frustrated with the left as the right in how statistics are presented. Reading about studies are dangerous; you have to read the study itself to know what it says and evaluate it. I recently read a book on healthcare in the US. I generally agreed with the political position of the author BUT the author as so many do over stated what some of the studies said. This detracts from his message and makes it vulnerable to attack. I believe he could have made his case just fine without exaggeration. The good thing was that at least he had a bibliography so I can read what he cited.

I should also say that I read a different book on healthcare in the US by an author with polar opposite politics. He had the same problem.

Maybe this is the way books get sold and articles get published but it sure doesn't serve getting at the truth. It also doesn't do much for advancing policy discussions.

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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-25-2006, 09:09 AM   #16
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha


Maybe this is the way books get sold and articles get published but it sure doesn't serve getting at the truth. It also doesn't do much for advancing policy discussions.

Amen.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-25-2006, 05:50 PM   #17
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Leonidas and others, I would like to thank you for your comments.

The purpose of my posting the report was to stimulate discussion and I do appreciate the thought you put into your response. I realize that the report I posted had its biases (they all do), but I still think it makes some very good points.

The one comment that I will make is that, having lived in both the US and Canada, I would far rather live in Canada on $18,000 per year than in the US on $18,000 per year (first choice would be not to live in either place on that amount of money). If for no other reason than in Canada I could see a doctor and get ill without sacrificing everything. But for other reasons too.

I would like to wish everyone a merry, safe, and healthful Christmas (or whatever other holiday you prefer)!!! I know I am enjoying mine. Here in Kotzebue, the sun rose at 12:56 pm and set at 2:40 pm. Tomorrow will be 3 minutes 22 seconds longer. And although we are above the Arctic Circle, the sun pokes up just a bit for reasons I won't bother to go into now.
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-25-2006, 06:32 PM   #18
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

And Bosco, enjoy the lengthening days.

If I had 18,000 a year to live on I would chose Canada as well. But I live in Minnesota, which is almost Canada anyway.

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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-28-2006, 10:14 PM   #19
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

I remember our dear Lord Greenspan answering pointed questions from politicians at various "hearing" over the years with a statement to the effect "social spending is a political decision, and the tradeoff was less growth in the economy."
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Re: tax cuts are harmful
Old 12-29-2006, 02:53 PM   #20
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Re: tax cuts are harmful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
But I live in Minnesota, which is almost Canada anyway.
If they'd just waive that 25% restocking fee I'm sure we'd have a deal tomorrow...
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