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Old 01-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #61
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YES!

Do people there feel deprived of social services? Are their streets swept clean at night? Is the police maintaining law and order? I have not been there, but suspect things aren't too bad.

The problem here is that Americans are so accustomed to the deductions such as the mortgage deduction, bones thrown to hungry begging dogs in my view, that we do not want any changes. The mortgage deduction only served to inflate the housing bubble, and is a sacred cow to the housing and mortgage industries. Talk of taking it away will prompt cries of "the destruction of the American Dream". Yes, American Dream indeed. American voters would be afraid that they would not be able to afford their houses, without realizing that prices would have to come down. Will we ever learn?
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:15 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
They probably built your apartment, senor.

As for the rest of that tirade, thankfully there are enough bleeding hearts to balance out the heroic and independent John Gaults who are so prevalent in our society.

It's time for Keynesian economics again.



Edit: I should say that some of your ideas are good. Toll roads are something to be considered. I won't get SS either but how do we ensure that if you've "bought out" you won't come back in 40 years? Do we just say, "Tough!", and put you in a debtor's prison? Because we don't want any elderly market failures haunting the streets.

Litter...'Prototype research by the state of Texas "profiled" litterers being males, youth under age 25, smokers, and frequenters of bars, parties and fast food restaurants.' You're under 25 and go to bars, right? Hmm. You should be paying more for litter removal than the rest of us!

"Men, youth, rural dwellers and live-alone peoples litter more than women, seniors, urban dwellers and multi-person households." I see nothing in this wiki about the poor littering more per capita.
touche...

Aside from the littering (which I still believe the poor contribute to disproportionately), can we at least agree that they consume more public resources than do their middle-class and upper-middle-class counterparts?

Frankly put, if a person doesn't pay taxes (i.e. take out more than they contribute) then they shouldn't be permitted to participate in our political process. If someone is going to be dependent on societal programs for their subsitence, then their rights should be comensurate with that of a dependent child.

Do dependent children get a say in how the families resources are allocated? Typically not. Thus, people on welfare should not be permitted to vote (and yes, I understand this would violate 26th amendment).

That is the only equitable alternative if you insist on maintaining a tax system with such a steep slope.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:35 PM   #63
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touche...

Frankly put, if a person doesn't pay taxes (i.e. take out more than they contribute) then they shouldn't be permitted to participate in our political process. If someone is going to be dependent on societal programs for their subsitence, then their rights should be comensurate with that of a dependent child.

Do dependent children get a say in how the families resources are allocated? Typically not. Thus, people on welfare should not be permitted to vote (and yes, I understand this would violate 26th amendment).

That is the only equitable alternative if you insist on maintaining a tax system with such a steep slope.
as much as that may make sense it would lead to a revolution, probably a communist or socialist led 1
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:56 PM   #64
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as much as that may make sense it would lead to a revolution, probably a communist or socialist led 1
Some would say that revolution has already been waged - and won by the socialists. But YMMV
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:13 PM   #65
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YES!

Do people there feel deprived of social services? Are their streets swept clean at night? Is the police maintaining law and order? I have not been there, but suspect things aren't too bad.

The problem here is that Americans are so accustomed to the deductions such as the mortgage deduction, bones thrown to hungry begging dogs in my view, that we do not want any changes. The mortgage deduction only served to inflate the housing bubble, and is a sacred cow to the housing and mortgage industries. Talk of taking it away will prompt cries of "the destruction of the American Dream". Yes, American Dream indeed. American voters would be afraid that they would not be able to afford their houses, without realizing that prices would have to come down. Will we ever learn?
Yes. You might also notice that the highest tax rate is for people making less than minimum wage in the US.

So not only are they not paying alot of taxes, but everything there is dirt cheap such that you could work one day a week at $30/hour and be upperclass.

Wasn't the whole point of industrialization and automation supposed to be that we could keep the same lifestyle with drastically reduced work hours?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #66
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NW-Bound,
While I was not alive at the turn of the century, I don't think Capitalism has changed. There were very rich people then as now. I don't know the ratio, but I would guess it is not much different than today. What we do have today is a much more open society when it comes to what someone makes. J. P. Morgan was rich, how rich, I don't know. Often it seems you could only tell by the size of the house. So maybe this is exactly what Adam Smith had in mind.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:35 PM   #67
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Wasn't the whole point of industrialization and automation supposed to be that we could keep the same lifestyle with drastically reduced work hours?
In "The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies", Bryan Caplan pointed out that nations tend to have policies to ensure that people are "fully employed". Why? He made the same point you did. When it comes to production, less work for the same result is actually better. We tend to forget that.

It is common perception that work ethics means long hours toiling even if we have nothing to show for it, or that leisure time means laziness! So, in public and private work now (gasp!), we have created a lot of red tape and paperwork to decrease our productivity, so that we can fill our 8 hours more easily.

Hey, but that's nothing our forum members don't know already. I am telling you, BS here with y'all is a lot more fun than doing BS paperwork at the megacorps I was with.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:22 AM   #68
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NW-Bound,
While I was not alive at the turn of the century, I don't think Capitalism has changed. There were very rich people then as now. I don't know the ratio, but I would guess it is not much different than today. What we do have today is a much more open society when it comes to what someone makes. J. P. Morgan was rich, how rich, I don't know. Often it seems you could only tell by the size of the house. So maybe this is exactly what Adam Smith had in mind.
if you are talking about the American version, it has changed alot since 1900. we are far more socialistic now as we have social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare. all of these are socialistic additions to our economic system that delute our system from true capitalism. we also have unions and antitrust laws that further delute it. however i am starting to think that some of these have actually helped preserved capitalism in this country. FDR thought that the socialistic reforms that he made actually helped preserve capitalism. i am thinking that he may have thought that without those reforms the USA may have undergone a revolution akin to what happened in russia in the early 20th century. personally i like the idea of the more pure capitalism (from a fairness point of view) but i would rather have a modified form of capitalism than true socialism or communism.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:45 AM   #69
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jdw,
I don't disagree with your post. I was trying to point that capitalism has always had it's 'robber barons'. And, the only problem I have with that is I'm not one of them!

If we are going to tax income the every person with an income should pay. Even if the lowest rate is 1%.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:30 PM   #70
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Asking folks on this forum how they feel about a super progressive income tax is sorta like asking Klu-Klux-Klan members how they feel about black people.

As another thread indicates, this forum is frequented by affluent, educated males who, are presumably, attempting to allocate their income in a manner that allows them to retire early.

Funny that not too many people believe they aren't paying enough taxes.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:42 PM   #71
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if you are talking about the American version, it has changed alot since 1900. we are far more socialistic now as we have social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare. all of these are socialistic additions to our economic system that delute our system from true capitalism. we also have unions and antitrust laws that further delute it. however i am starting to think that some of these have actually helped preserved capitalism in this country. FDR thought that the socialistic reforms that he made actually helped preserve capitalism. i am thinking that he may have thought that without those reforms the USA may have undergone a revolution akin to what happened in russia in the early 20th century. personally i like the idea of the more pure capitalism (from a fairness point of view) but i would rather have a modified form of capitalism than true socialism or communism.

While this is, theoretically, a perfectly viable belief.... an unfettered capatilist society will absolutely consume itself.

Anti-trust laws for instance are absolutely ESSENTIAL to maintain a competitive marketplace. When you begin to have oligopolies, monopolies, and cartels the consumer suffers. Imagine every major industry having the power that OPEC has.

Labor unions where instrumental during the industrial age, but now, IMO, cause more harm than good. They destroyed the domestic automobile industry, and have ultimately hurt their intended beneficiaries through outsourcing and loss of domestic market share.

Social security has been effective in reducing the poverty rate among the elderly. here is an interesting article, Social Security and Poverty Among the Elderly - Embargoed Press Release - 4/8/99.

The real problem is that the government has no fiscal responsibility. Is it the politicians fault? Not really. They are simply the voice of their constituency.

Regulation of capitalism is good. The extent to which it is currently done is bad. And since when did a gevernment bailout become the solution to a private problem? Should let all those banks and auto-manufacturers fail. Survival of the fittest.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:48 PM   #72
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Regulation of capitalism is good. The extent to which it is currently done is bad. And since when did a gevernment bailout become the solution to a private problem? Should let all those banks and auto-manufacturers fail. Survival of the fittest.
What we're seeing today reminds me of warnings from Alexander Tytler and Alexis de Tocqueville: paraphrased, "America will prosper until the politicians realize people can be bribed with their own money."
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:44 PM   #73
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While this is, theoretically, a perfectly viable belief.... an unfettered capatilist society will absolutely consume itself.

Anti-trust laws for instance are absolutely ESSENTIAL to maintain a competitive marketplace. When you begin to have oligopolies, monopolies, and cartels the consumer suffers. Imagine every major industry having the power that OPEC has.

Labor unions where instrumental during the industrial age, but now, IMO, cause more harm than good. They destroyed the domestic automobile industry, and have ultimately hurt their intended beneficiaries through outsourcing and loss of domestic market share.

Social security has been effective in reducing the poverty rate among the elderly. here is an interesting article, Social Security and Poverty Among the Elderly - Embargoed Press Release - 4/8/99.

The real problem is that the government has no fiscal responsibility. Is it the politicians fault? Not really. They are simply the voice of their constituency.

Regulation of capitalism is good. The extent to which it is currently done is bad. And since when did a gevernment bailout become the solution to a private problem? Should let all those banks and auto-manufacturers fail. Survival of the fittest.
it sounds like u r agreeing with me.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:00 AM   #74
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Asking folks on this forum how they feel about a super progressive income tax is sorta like asking ...

As another thread indicates, this forum is frequented by affluent, educated males who, are presumably, attempting to allocate their income in a manner that allows them to retire early.
Actually, the board has many members who are already retired (maybe even the majority?). Many of us can keep our taxable income at a rate that isn't hit by super-progressive taxes. My fed tax will be near zero this year.

I'm in favor of progressive taxes, and I was even when I was on the rising part of the curve. But I'm not in favor of "super progressive" (needs a definition) taxes.

-ERD50
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:36 AM   #75
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What we're seeing today reminds me of warnings from Alexander Tytler and Alexis de Tocqueville: paraphrased, "America will prosper until the politicians realize people can be bribed with their own money."
This is exactly where I am mentally on the political discussions about the USA finances. As long as I get something out of it I'm OK with it. I don't think anything will change in my lifetime - no matter which party is in power. Tax the rich (high income people - not me) and lower, eliminate, tax rebate the low income people (me); raise SS, medicaid and other benefits for the old (soon to be me) and push out the cost to future years (not me).
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:41 AM   #76
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it sounds like u r agreeing with me.
I was. Just elaborating
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:16 PM   #77
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I see that Rustic and ERD commented on "who pays corporate taxes". Here's the source I couldn't find:

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/75xx/doc7503/2006-09.pdf

The general rule is that if you tax a transaction the actual incidence of the tax falls more heavily on the side that finds it harder to substitute away from the transaction. (e.g. SS taxes paid by employers are "really" shifted to workers because the employer can outsource or automate to avoid hiring people, but workers are pretty much stuck with jobs that are in the SS system.)

The paper says that if capital is free to move across international borders, and workers aren't, then capital can shift domestic income taxes onto workers. I didn't read far enough to see why they think consumers avoid the tax -- possibly because they can shift to imported goods and goods that don't use as much capital.

At any rate, I'm in the camp of those who believe that taxing US corporations on profits is mostly a "feel good" item for those who think corporations are evil.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:39 PM   #78
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I am quite sure the Congressional Budget Office would like to convince all of us that those dirty nasty old corporations that rape and pillage from the poor workers are the ones that will pay the tax. I however do not buy that and no amount of fancy words are ever going to change my mind. The money to pay the tax comes from the people that pay for their product. Now if you can tell me where else they would get the money from, I might listen. However, Mr. Exon, by the way ever meet him, has to get money from the sale of energy products. He must sell it for enough not only to pay all the expenses in producing those energy products, but also pay the taxes, and if he is going to keep his share holders happy pay a dividend. By the way, do you really think the cash for a dividend also is paid by the corporation, or do you think it comes out of profits paid for by clients?
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:33 AM   #79
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I am quite sure the Congressional Budget Office would like to convince all of us that those dirty nasty old corporations that rape and pillage from the poor workers are the ones that will pay the tax. I however do not buy that and no amount of fancy words are ever going to change my mind. The money to pay the tax comes from the people that pay for their product. Now if you can tell me where else they would get the money from, I might listen. However, Mr. Exon, by the way ever meet him, has to get money from the sale of energy products. He must sell it for enough not only to pay all the expenses in producing those energy products, but also pay the taxes, and if he is going to keep his share holders happy pay a dividend. By the way, do you really think the cash for a dividend also is paid by the corporation, or do you think it comes out of profits paid for by clients?
If I'm the "you" in this post, I think you are seeing a disagreement that I'm missing.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:15 PM   #80
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Sorry, misread your post.
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