Moderator: Mod Squad
Maybe you'd like to use more recent data,
or more reliable data
Source: US Department of Labor
You apparently just laughed at me in a drunken stupor and cited a graph showing unemployment trends more than three years ago to prove that unemployment rates prevent people from becoming employed. Why is it relevant to my example, and how does it prove what you intend it to prove?
So instead of "The primary benefit of merging countries together throughout time is that in the end there is next to no need for military and war equipment." it's more "If everyone united in peace and love unlike anything the world has ever seen on a large scale, there would be next to no need for military or war equipment." I can agree with that.Q.U. wrote:Again, I did say that "next to no need for military and war equipment", but that was an extreme value estimate. As in, for extremely positive circumstances. In other words, there would be next to no need for military spendings (besides relief and rescue actions in case of regional disasters) if the world was a single country unified to a very high level. Note that I already pointed out that changing to a single government would decrease military spending, from by a bit if in the current social/political/demographic situation, down to nearly all the spending should we assume the world would eventually unify to a great extent. And the only evidence for it that I can put forward is the reference I made already to small shops combining into a shopping centre.You had said that there would be "next to no need for military and war equipment" and, as I pointed out, while military expenses would probably be less than now, it would probably remain substantial, since military and military-like forces do a lot besides defend against foreign aggression. So, do you want to support your original claim that military spending in a single world government would reasonably drop to next to nothing? It would take some kind of quantitative analysis of the costs for what the military would be doing.
Probably. Some were deemed worth the effort of attacking, and others were not. Cost / benefit / risk and such.Q.U. wrote:Also, WWII was a war filled with cheating strategies. Hitler was a paranoid man, I find it likely he could have considered those neutral countries as a threat.
Because the Germans would have considered what their enemies could/would do in making their own plans. If Germany could kick the Allies off mainland Europe starting from their entrenched position and easy access to reinforcements, the Allies would not be able to muster the resources to re-take Europe later, even if they had friendly landing areas. The Allies were on the defensive in Western Europe until reinforcements from the US provided the resources needed. The US didn't enter the war until more than a year and a half after the invasion of France, after Japanese, not German, provocation, and Germany had occupied France for four years by the time the Allies invaded.Q.U. wrote:Why are you discussing German warfare strategy from the point of view of the French/British? At that point the British could have landed in France. And they did. After France was taken, they'd have to look for the next closest possible ally. I find it strange that you dismiss the immense political pressure that was being put on all uninvolved countries to help fight the Axis of Evil.And doing so would put Belgium on the side of the Allies, removing its neutrality. Keep in mind that NO part of France was occupied when Belgium was invaded. There was no need to use Belgium as a friendly landing area because all of France was available already.
No more threatening than Switzerland or Sweden, which were not invaded. Nice that you agree that Belgium and Holland were convenient targets because of their inability to defend themselves.Q.U. wrote:Exactly. But that kind of adds to my point about Germany's choice of invadees, doesn't it? Belgium and Holland were not military threats. they were political, areal, and intelligence integrity threats. And since they were so easy to take down, Hitler just went for the kill.Unlike Switzerland, the Soviet Union had the force projection ability to be a threat to Germany. Hitler just didn't trust Stain not to invade. To use your earlier words, it was neutral, but it was a threat (in capability if not intention, and as you said, Hitler was a bit wonky).
You had said, "Well it's not. It's controversial, and human genetic engineering is generally illegal or off-limits." I replied, "Anyway, human genetic engineering is generally NOT illegal (care to cite any laws to the contrary?) Certain kinds of genetic modification will probably be made illegal in some places when they get closer to practicality (non-therapeutic embryo modification, say). Keep in mind that we're talking about dealing with the negative consequences of genetic drift caused by the removal of selection pressures, meaning therapeutic changes like susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. I don't see that becoming illegal." It generally IS NOT illegal or off-limits, and the genetic engineering under discussion is generally not controversial (About whether or not it should be used when it's safe and effective. The controversy about GM crops and such is about whether or not they are safe.).Q.U. wrote:Because it's still relatively new and isn't really done yet. As with the crops, countries will start taking sides only after there is a visible product of such research. All I said was, if genetically altering crops made many countries reject such altered products, then what makes you think that when we start altering humans they will not follow the same pattern? Be it a different case, but one that lies in the same family.Those are mostly concerned with crops, livestock, and pharmaceuticals. Human genetic engineering remains legal, and for the most part, unregulated.
Not really. We're discussing systemic issues. Going from overall expense and achievement to expense and achievement per student in order to go back to overall expense and achievement doesn't really help things.Q.U. wrote:Shouldn't it be more like educational achievement per expenditure per student?We see richer schools being more effective (better educational achievement), not necessarily more efficient (educational achievement per dollar spent).
This is a graph of returns to scale in an ideal, generic situation. There is a large area where increasing expenditure results in increasing efficiency. This, I think, is a more realistic description of the returns to scale in modern education. Note that increasing investment in education always gets better achievement, but never increases efficiency. Extending your example above, for even less expense, a volunteer tutor could teach both refraction and the Casimir Effect using books from the local library, for less educational achievement, but enormously greater efficiency.Q.U. wrote:The efficiency of each dollar spent decreases when you spend a lot, simply because to teach students light refraction in water you need a water tank and a laser, while to teach Casimir Effect you need UHV and expensive specialistic equipment. So the amount of points gained on tests per dollar added to the school fund will decrease as the funding goes up. But there is still an increase in score present.
Consider this. Looks like, with modern education in the US, the marginal benefit of increased money is rather low. This seems to be the case in Africa as well. Throwing money at schools may help effectiveness, but it looks like it would not be likely to improve efficiency for any spending range encountered in the US. Improvements in efficiency should focus more on specific practices rather than overall funding.Q.U. wrote:US schools is general. Private sectors, mostly 2nd case. Public sectors, spread between 1st and 2nd. I haven't seen any numbers for it, so if you're up for digging for them be my guest. Then we will know for sure where all US schools are.If the system is in the region where increasing funding makes it more efficient, decreasing funding by X% will result in decreasing measures of performance by more than X%. If the system is in the region where increasing funding makes it less efficient but more effective, decreasing funding by X% will result in decreasing measures of performance by less than X%. Which do you think represents the state of US schools?
Apparently between 11 and 19 percent of Republicans. Haven't seen any updates in the last few days though.NeoWarrior7 wrote:On that subject, who the hell takes Donald Trump seriously?
Not really, but I saw some openings there, like the Norway unions bit and the economics of outsourcing and inflation.RuffDraft wrote:Should I be offended?Valhallen wrote:Coyote's expression there was close to mine as I was reading your post above.
Stewart was pointing out that the Republican response to the Ryan's plan compared to past actions indicates that they are more focused on partisanship than policy. And that clip did talk about the content of the plan, about as much as the video you posted.RuffDraft wrote:So... Paul Ryan presents what he believes to be a serious fix to the budget; Jon Stewart replies with sarcasm at OTHER Republicans' reactions but otherwise says little (at least in this clip) about what's wrong with the plan;
Do you think that given that, it's a good plan then? Given tax cuts in a plan supposedly to cut the deficit, polls indicating that most Americans want pretty much the opposite, and various other things pointed out there. Regarding Medicaid, why would replacing it with vouchers be a good thing? This explains briefly how it probably would be bad, at least if you care about the well-being of seniors (about halfway down where it says "replace X with vouchers" is Republican code for "destroy X").RuffDraft wrote:What's-His-Face from The Young Turks replies with sarcasm and scorn, and then goes on to say that senior citizens would end up paying an average of $20K per year more under Ryan's plan (which I think is actually a small number when you consider how taxes are graded, and in regards to how Ryan says that lower-income senior citizens will be favored by the plan); TYT's next claim is that the plan calls for cuts that help the poor. And what he fails to mention in that is that Ryan has plans to replace or reform many of those programs (Stewart even said it himself, that Medicaid would be replaced by a Voucher program). Some of the programs are outright cut, I am not blind to that.
Yes, and some people can't. That you would bring this up indicates that your conceptions of economics and the government's role in society are seriously disconnected from reality.RuffDraft wrote:But should taxes really go to paying everyone's needs? And don't give me "Some people can't help themselves."
Would you care to explain how refugees in Darfur would be able to find jobs and work themselves and their families out of poverty if only they weren't lazy, and actually tried? I am aware that you were referring to the situation in the US, but Darfur provides a stark example of how the principle you invoked is far from universal. For it to apply in the US, there would have to be neither structural nor cyclical unemployment, accompanied by a perfectly (classical economically) functioning labor market with no pesky complications like imperfect information or costs for moving around. Do you really think that that's the case? What do you think of the working poor?RuffDraft wrote:With the exception of those who are physically incapacitated for most of the day for reasons other than drinking themselves into a stupor, there are ways to get yourself work; if you're homeless but otherwise able, there are programs that will get you well-off enough to work at an actual job. If you want to get out of poverty, you can't keep making excuses about why you can't work. Find solutions.
RuffDraft wrote:And the worst of what I see in this is Pres. Obama literally saying that if we go by Ryan's plan, we're going to be killing children with Down Syndrome and Autism. How disgusting can he be?
Is the truth disgusting? What do you think the truth is?Obama actually wrote:It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors. It says that 10 years from now, if you’re a 65-year-old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.
It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents -- may be one of yours -- who wouldn’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some of these kids with disabilities are -- the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.
It's a plan. You just don't like it. Please use terms accurately, as disagreement over terminology can divert us from more meaningful discussion.RuffDraft wrote:He doesn't even have a valid plan on his own; his "plan" calls for trillions more in debt, with a high-but-slowly declining deficit. ...
he's not even talking about reducing the National debt, he's just talking about the deficit. He even said, under his plan, the deficit would go from $1.65T this year to $1.1T by the end of his first (and only) term. That's not a plan, and he's provided no evidence saying that anything he's thinking of doing will help the economy.
Then let's examine whether this "proof" is such. As you read, keep the "Big Lie" technique in mind.RuffDraft wrote:The Keynesian model that he's going by doesn't work. It's been proven that it does not.
Historical levels of deficit, I would assume, particularly over the last century or so. It's usually been a few percent of GDP. Removing the effects of the prescription drug benefit and the Bush tax cuts would put the predicted deficit for the next few years on the low end of that. Diatribe need not be intellectually vapid.RuffDraft wrote:And while I'm talking about Obama's take on the plan, I'd like to point out some things, because it just seemed like some intellectually vapid diatribe.
He says "To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our national checkbook, consider this: in the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years."
First of all, that can't be proven or disproven. Historical levels? Compared to what? What is he basing that on?
Tax cuts have an opportunity cost. Either they increase the deficit/debt, which must be paid later, or they must be offset by cuts in service. For example, in Ryan's budget plan, tax cuts for the wealthy are paid for mostly by service cuts for the poor.RuffDraft wrote:And you don't "pay for tax cuts." Taxes are revenues. Revenue pays for spending. It's an utterly meaningless statement. Either people get to keep their money or the government takes it to pay for services.
Rather than looking at what you say he "basically" said, look at what he literally said. If the prescription drug benefit had been funded from the outset, it would not contribute to the deficit today, as funding would have already been in place for it.RuffDraft wrote:He basically says "If we found a way to pay for the prescription drug plan, we would have more money." Now, actually wrap your head around that for a second. "If we found a way to pay... we would have more money." It's like saying "if we had more money, we would have more money." It's idiotic.
As explained here, that seems to be referring to tax increases. It could sort of be justified in terms of opportunity cost, but it's pretty Orwellian, as mentioned there. Par for the course these days though, with things like "death panels" being major talking points.RuffDraft wrote:And then he talks about "spending in the tax code." There is no such thing. There are either deductions which let people keep more of their money, or not, and they just take it. Spending is spending, there is no "spending in the tax code."
Deductions like that are intended to make home ownership easier. American dream and such. That's a rather different issue than the level of overall taxation.RuffDraft wrote:If he had said "loopholes in the tax code" then yes I would agree, we should get rid of the same loopholes that he himself benefits from.
RuffDraft wrote:It's like, Ryan proposes a serious budget, then Obama spouts a bunch of bullshit jargon, and says Ryan wants to kill Down Syndrome babies. This is not a serious debate. This is rhetoric I might have heard if I were talking to some bleeding heart in High School (and trust me, I know A LOT about talking to bleeding hearts, from both ends of the political spectrum).
It's almost as if a certain party is not negotiating in good faith, or that someone didn't sufficiently research topics before opining about them on a certain online forum. Do really think that Ryan expects his proposal to be implemented as something other than a starting point for gaining concessions from Democrats (or even if he does, that it will serve as something other than that)?Obama wrote:[Ryan's plan] is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
If you mean the first mention of a $4T deficit reduction, Obama was talking about Ryan's plan. Obama followed that bit (which he mentioned as a point in its favor) with criticism of Ryan's plan. Later, when Obama gave his own proposal for a $4T deficit reduction, he followed with an explanation of how that would be achieved. Since both plans rack up more debt, does that mean that you don't think Ryan's plan is valid?RuffDraft wrote:At no point in the President's speech does he present a better plan than the one Paul Ryan came up with; he basically said he's going to remove $4T from the deficit over 10 years (with no evidence, I might add), which isn't a valid plan at all because it still racks up more debt;
You mean the "literally a death trap" thing? That was a criticism of Representative Schultz for using recklessly (or intentionally) hyperbolic language of the type Stewart had just criticized Republicans for using in the healthcare debate. The visual and commentary pointed out that it was not actually a literal death trap. Political humor yes, but making fun of politicians for making glaringly false statements is rather different from what was going on in the NewsBusted video. For the bit you quoted, Betty White's show doesn't itself have much to do with politics or health care (and it's actually about elderly people pranking younger people), and Obamacare doesn't prank the elderly by any reasonable stretch that I'm aware of. So it's basically an excuse for an unsubstantiated jab at Obama.RuffDraft wrote:So what? It's political humor. Jon Stewart does that a lot too. He even did it in the clip you showed me above (that joke at the end, which I did find funny, just so you know), and I don't see you criticizing him for it.Valhallen wrote:Much of that reduces to [item in the news] -> [non sequitur one-liner]. Pretty much clappy humor. I suppose it's a matter taste, but she doesn't really substantiate the implied points.
Remember when Clinton was in office, and plans were drawn up to pay off the debt in 13 years? Paying off the current debt in 10 is probably within the realm of possibility, if not practicality. Doing that while maintaining services would take something like Europe-level taxation, which is unlikely to fly in the current US political environment. More practically, reducing debt growth to below the rate of inflation would help over the long term, though interest payments would continue to drain the budget.Q.U. wrote:And only after you managed to deal with the deficit can you talk about fixing the public debt. I won't buy a budget plan that claims paying off the whole debt in 10 years, cause that's not economically viable, not sustainable, and not possible. The effects of too many budget cuts could be devastating to the economic stability.
And where do you think most of that came from? Even the Cato Institute agrees.RuffDraft wrote:This country's budget had a $400B deficit under Bush and Obama's is now $1.65T (just this year).
Something like raise taxes? To what they were under Clinton, say?RuffDraft wrote:Where do you propose we're gonna get THAT money? Realistically, from other countries. We're borrowing so heavily that unless we do something, we'll end up with debt so powerfully large that not even the financial behemoth that is America could lift its way out of it.
Actually, Ryan's budget is predicted to run a deficit through FY2039. Still think it's serious about reducing the debt?RuffDraft wrote:No one claimed they were going to pay off $14+ trillion dollars in ten years. Ryan's plan was to generate surplus tax dollars to the effect of $600B per year. I'd say that's reasonable.
Like what?RuffDraft wrote:If we can just end all the ridiculous government projects
What life do you wish for Americans?RuffDraft wrote:maybe we can some day afford the life we wish to have. But that won't happen without some decent leadership, and I'm not seeing that in Obama.
Comparing trends in GDP and debt growth to the situation after World War II indicates that the predicted debt should be manageable provided the people in charge are interested in doing so.Q.U. wrote:And borrowing is only helpful if you still have enough annual growth to be able to pay it back later. That "behemoth" of yours will probably not recover anyway.
It seems that the Simpsons line that Democrats "don't know how to govern" may be more true now than it was in 1994. The accompanying line that Republicans "want what's worst for everyone" seems to be as well.Q.U. wrote:Obama is a pussy, like all Democrats.
Ryan's plan is heading towards removing entitlements, which are privileges of the US legal code, not the Constitution.Q.U. wrote:You can instead vote for Republicans who want to make Bush tax cuts for rich people permanent. Good luck lowering deficit then. Unless you're going to screw over 80% of the "poorest" by taking away all of their constitutional privileges. And that's basically where Ryan's plan is heading.
An even amount from everyone would be a lump sum payment (about $8000 annually from each person in the US), which would be a great deal more than the present for most people, and a great deal less for the very wealthy. A flat rate without deductions (about 20% on all income) also represents a large increase for most people and a large decrease for most of the very wealthy.Q.U. wrote:If you want to take money from the people, take it evenly from everyone, not just from those who can't afford to complain about it.
Remember that cutting ALL discretionary spending would not close the deficit. If you propose closing it with cuts alone, significant cuts to entitlements are needed. Rather than starting with the assumption that revenue is fixed (which, as has been pointed out repeatedly, it is not), I would propose* making a list of goals to be achieved with accompanying costs and benefits, arranged from highest to lowest benefit/cost ratio, and a list of revenue sources with accompanying economic costs and benefits, arranged from highest to lowest revenue/harm ratio. Anything on either list that has both a net benefit and is revenue-neutral or better is in at the start. From there, items are added from the top of the goals list, accompanied by the items from the top of the revenue list that it would take to balance the budget satisfactorily. Continue until the benefits of achieving a goal are outweighed by the costs of what it would take to provide funding, and you have a balanced budget that optimally allocates resources, whatever the tax rates turn out to be.RuffDraft wrote:Getting rid of a deficit is not difficult. You just have to determine how much money we take in (revenues), determine what you absolutely need (priorities) and cut funds going to those that are not essential to the general welfare of the country (desires). And that might include things help healthy people have fun (such as the National Endowment for the Arts that Harry Reid is so fond of, what with the Cowboy Poetry Readings or whatever the fuck he's in favor of).
The articles and their sources explain how. In brief, the 2009 budget (President Bush's) had more than a trillion dollar deficit. In the next year, revenue dropped, and mandatory spending increased by $280 billion. In the next year, revenue dropped further, and mandatory spending increased again. The stimulus and other Obama initiatives added a little (relatively) to the deficit, but the overall situation is a legacy of the recession and previous fiscal policy.
$2.11T for 2009 and $2.16 for 2010, actually (2.7 was the initial estimate). Anyway, tax increases and spending cuts, apparently.RuffDraft wrote:Added to that, while spending increased, our revenues dropped from $2.7T to $2.3T to $2.1T over those same years. And while the 2011 numbers are mostly estimates, if it turns out that's what it amounts to, how does Obama expect to pay for it?
On the other hand, pork rinds are better for muscle building. If the diet change is accompanied by an exercise regimen that results in the loss of ten pounds of fat and the gain of twenty pounds of muscle, fat and bloat have been reduced even though weight has increased. Shall we have a metaphor-off?RuffDraft wrote:If there's a kid who's overweight, you don't limit his sodas by one a day and then let him have six more bags of pork rinds. Cutting a small amount of spending and then increasing overall spending just makes us fatter and more bloated.
If the debt is intentional, there is usually a plan to get out of it, like debt for startup, expansions, etc. If a company acquires what appears to be insurmountable debt, it files for bankruptcy, especially if it qualifies for Chapter 11.BeeAre wrote:to be angry at just the debt deficit seems to me like it is to be angry at some of the basic principles of capitalism, because smart investors and smart companies, not just dumb ones, go into debt all the time without the capital to survive what should be technically insurmountable debt as a way to progress themselves.
Those with lots of wealth, especially liquid wealth*. So the richest individuals and large business interests. Organized crime where it has a significant presence. Less affluent groups can operate on smaller scales. You may recall the quote, "there are ten ways to buy every crooked politician and a hundred ways to buy every honest one," and as that implies, interested parties bid against each other for influence, which takes a lot of money.BeeAre wrote:if government can be/is corrupt, who do you think has the best means with which to corrupt them?
It was ruled that corporations (already legally persons for certain purposes) could not be limited in their funding of independent advertisements. The reasoning was that doing so would stifle the First Amendment rights of the citizens in a corporation, though corporations are not themselves citizens. The decision is somewhat controversial.BeeAre wrote:Was it ruled that corporate entities now have all the rights afforded to a citizen? and/or that they as a corporation could provide unlimited funding to any political candidate they want?
Depends on what indicators in particular you're looking for, but median income is probably relevant. That and several other indicators were pretty good under Clinton, not so good under (either) Bush. Income inequality is important, but it's not the only important factor.BeeAre wrote:http://thinkprogress.org/2011/04/18/tax-disparity-chart/
Did the country on average improve financially in twelve years from the investments made by a majority of these, the most rich?
That's kind of what BeeAre was getting at there. The things that the government spends money on have various monetary and non-monetary benefits, which should be taken into account when considering the merits of spending that results in a debt. Some spending (the construction of functional roads and other infrastructure, say) has such enormous economic benefits that, even ignoring quality of life issues, the resulting economic growth more than pays for the original expense by increased revenue. Some programs have less drastic fiscal effects, but very important benefits nonetheless, like regulation of pollution. Some things don't have much social or fiscal benefit, like corporate tax breaks that go to overseas accounts. The issue isn't so much that debt is always bad, but that debt has a cost such that the things that the government goes into debt for ought to be worth it. Even when facing a large deficit, it is important to focus cuts on those things with relatively low benefit per dollar spent, while leaving more beneficial things more intact. Depending on the situation, there might be programs beneficial enough that funding ought to be increased for them, even if it increases the deficit.RuffDraft wrote:BR, I know you're not going to like this, but none of this paragraph makes any sense.Benefits--that is, services by the government, if that's what you're talking about--are funded by tax dollars. If said benefits provide any revenues from their operations, the revenues can help pay for that same benefit, but unless those benefits generate more money than is used to fund it, they still cost something. Meaning, they are a source of debt.BeeAre wrote:there is a difference between debt does not and debt that does accumulate without the money being used actively to provide benefits that allow for the continued consumption and production of those benefits which in turn generate the potential to provide for more money with which to go to the debt to continue paying for the benefits.
Do you know what the means of the United States are? In World War II, federal spending topped 46% of GDP, and the deficit reached 30% of GDP. Public debt reached about 110% GDP. Economic growth approached 20% per year. The debt dropped to about 60% of GDP within 6 years due to economic growth, inflation, and a surplus from high taxes (the highest surplus as a percent of GDP in US history), with revenue about 10% more of GDP than before the war. The United States is a very long way form exhausting its means. Your personal budget example is very far off, as the federal government more than quintupled its income in three years.RuffDraft wrote:I don't want to make it into a meme, but as I said before, "revenues - expenses = profit." If something generates negative profit, it puts you into debt. If you have funds to pay off that debt, it's still running a deficit, but you have the means to cover it. Right now, we do not have the means to cover that deficit in the budget (on our own), so we borrow from other countries.Which is exactly the problem; Congress is not adequately attempting to live within the United States' means, which is why the deficit is so bad.BeeAre wrote:what you are describing, it seems, is the viewpoint that the government is not doing this at all, which is why the deficit is so bad.
And I use the term "live within [their] means" as a correlation to the example I made before about how one might poorly manage their own budget and credit card debt, as they are near-perfect examples of what I am talking about.
Actually, they are, in that they are made of people who are liable for the debt of the country. That doesn't matter for this consideration though. If China wants the US to pay it back, it has to keep interacting on good terms with the US. Economic ties like that are a strong disincentive to war.RuffDraft wrote:Except we're not talking about people, we're talking about countries. Countries are not people.BeeAre wrote:if people are all in debt to one another, they must continue to interact in order to all survive. is this interdependence the primary thing that makes this bad?
Insufficient regulation? Though that's more an error of omission than commission.RuffDraft wrote:Here I thought you and others were saying that George Bush caused this recession. And he caused it by... what did you guys say it was he did again?BeeAre wrote:i also want to question why we should link the deficit to the rising prices? the free market is what led to this recession in at least part, isn't it?
Like any company that makes use of large loans. Say you want to start or expand a business. You get a loan, go into debt, and pay it back with profits, hopefully with the benefits more than offsetting the cost of interest. Comparatively, it's sometimes good for the government to borrow money to do something now, and pay for it later.RuffDraft wrote:Like who? Circuit City?BeeAre wrote:to be angry at just the debt deficit seems to me like it is to be angry at some of the basic principles of capitalism, because smart investors and smart companies, not just dumb ones, go into debt all the time without the capital to survive what should be technically insurmountable debt as a way to progress themselves.
The real world is quite a ways from an ideal free market system. Ever heard of things like company towns, truck systems, and other implementations of monopolies? In the real world, businesses try to set up barriers to entry to suppress competition, and people are very much restricted by what others do. Suppose you wanted to compete with De Beers. How would you go about doing that? Or suppose you're a poor person working three minimum wage jobs in a place without better offers available. How would you go about starting up a company of your own?RuffDraft wrote:Advertisers and corporations are not forcing us to buy anything from them. We as consumers make the choice to buy or not buy. If someone provides a better service than someone else, you can buy their product over another's. That's why I use Windows 7 on my computer instead of Linux. In an ideal free market system, we have the choice to be an owner, a worker, an investor, or something else entirely. And we have the option to compete with other local businesses or simply provide a service that is lacking in our neighborhood, community, or region.
In an ideal free market system, if you have skills and imagination, you could potentially make millions. We are not restricted by what others do; we are restricted by our own imagination and skills, which is why there are so many poor people in America.
How is that supposed to work? If a company fires its domestic production workers and moves production to China, who is responsible for the unemployment of the fired workers? If people lose their jobs due to a recession caused by reckless practices in the financial system, who is responsible? Compared to the general population, homeless people are more likely to be children, male, veterans, single, urban, and/or racial minorities. Homelessness varies inversely with education, but more than a quarter of homeless people have gone to college. What do you think about this? Or this?RuffDraft wrote:You seem to think that the rich are to blame for people who live in poverty, but if that were true, you could go to any homeless person and 9 out of 10 times, when asked what skills they have, receive answers like "accounting," "construction," "networking," "architectural design," and so on. As such, very, very few homeless people are homeless because a rich person made them that way.
Animated cartoon. It's a bit more nuanced than a one-liner.RuffDraft wrote:So it's a political cartoon, yes?BeeAre wrote:I posted a video earlier in the thread about Big Box Mart, the video from jib-jab. the central idea that this video sits around is that a company that continues to seek monopoly becomes as unavoidable as the idea of a federal income tax (even if in practice the two do not coincide).
Whether it's good or bad is irrelevant for this. What matters is that Wal-Mart has achieved degrees of monopoly in places, contrary to your assumptions of ideal free markets. Are there benefits form this arrangement? Are there advantages to government-provided services?RuffDraft wrote:Since when is Wal-Mart a bad company?BeeAre wrote:If Wal-Mart is the only store for miles and miles for people, especially with rising costs in all directions, how does the average local worker at minimum wage AVOID going to that wal-mart and AVOID supporting wal-mart, even if he does not like wal-mart, and was born in the area, and does not have the means to leave that area?
No plan projects anything remotely close to that. Please address the real situation.RuffDraft wrote:And what happens when our debt gets so large that the interest on our debt becomes equal to our income?BeeAre wrote:I am just curious, because techincally, an answer would be that he could go into debt (via a bank loan), and even prolonged debt. If the argument arises that in this metaphor, the federal government is not paying that prolonged debt at any point, i would have to disagree: the federal government DOES do things with the money that makes up its debt, which counts as payment, even if it falls short continually, like a lot of people.
You've pointed out a bias, which calls conclusions into question, but does not make facts presented wrong. Are the facts presented correct?RuffDraft wrote:ThinkProgress is a shithole source, BR. It's biased as fuck. It's a project of American Progress, which is in turn a sub-division of the Center For American Progress. The entire point of their existence is to make people think that the Right is out to get them. And even if the graphs on that page are true and correct, all this means is that we should correct the deficiencies in the tax code that allows for loopholes.
Charitable giving fell in the recession though.RuffDraft wrote:Also, charitable giving results in a lower effective tax rate, which might be an indicator that more rich people are donating to other worthy causes, in which case, higher take-home pay is a good thing; it allows them to give more.
That is correct, though Citizens United is listed first since it was the plaintiff.RuffDraft wrote:The Supreme Court case you're talking about is that one, FEC vs Citizens United, right?
Want me to go through this one, or do you have any points you want to make yourself?RuffDraft wrote:Oh fuck this is awesome look at this. XD XD XD
The tax cuts didn't start it. They just didn't really help things, since it was more a demand-side problem and the cuts were targeted at supply.Q.U. wrote:Let's start with "Bush tax cuts".Here I thought you and others were saying that George Bush caused this recession. And he caused it by... what did you guys say it was he did again?
More like subsidizing, but pretty much.Q.U. wrote:So Corporations give more to charities. Those payments undergo tax deduction and are therefore taken out of the tax the corporation would have to pay (instead of going into the government they go to charities). So in the end, it's the government that actually PAYS those charities, isn't it? How does that sit with your "increase in revenue and decrease spending" concept?Also, charitable giving results in a lower effective tax rate, which might be an indicator that more rich people are donating to other worthy causes, in which case, higher take-home pay is a good thing; it allows them to give more.
Looks like 60 million people or so.Hana wrote:Iunno...A lot of people that I once heard singing his praises are not happy with his progress. But that's, like, a handful of people.
What about health care reform, repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," dealing with the gulf oil spill, "ending" the Iraq war, and starting the Libya "war"?DaCrum wrote:He's had a very lackluster term. Nothing of note.
A country can raise taxes to pay it down, or devalue its currency to reduce the real value of the debt. It is also a sovereign entity that is not bound by an external authority to pay the debts back, though not doing so would still have consequences for its credit rating and international relations.BeeAre wrote:What are the rules that change matters of a countries' debt vs a person's debt? the sources of the income being so varied?
Congress, the President, and the Vice President are elected, but most of the judicial and executive branches and congressional staff are put in place through other means.BeeAre wrote:The federal government is entirely elected by the populous, so the populous has some bearing for the responsibilities of the federal government's decisions. Do you disagree?
Actually, (for-profit*) corporations are legally obligated to seek profit under the conditions of their incorporation, even beyond the actual motivations of the people running it. It is literally, legally, their raison d'être. The bounds for this are usually the law and however far past the law the corporation thinks it can get away with. The place of regulation is to establish an environment for the corporation to operate within such that profitable but socially detrimental practices are discouraged. If such practices are not discouraged, there's a pretty good chance that corporations in that field will try to make use of them, corporate ideals like "Don't be evil" notwithstanding. Real-world regulations typically came about in the first place because of legal but undesirable actions.BeeAre wrote:Brian, listen to this argument you make about not punishing good corporations for the misdeeds of potentially bad corporations: It assumes that a corporation, when it is made, has already chosen a path of morality. Why is it so constricting to err on the side of caution?
Actually, many loopholes are specific exemptions or deductions originally meant to encourage certain things (or encouraged by lobbyists on behalf of those who stood to benefit). Otherwise, loopholes may be created with inconsistent regulation, like trusts allowing estates to avoid taxation. In any case, it's a matter of regulation. Loopholes are holes... in the regulation.BeeAre wrote:The loopholes in the tax code were not established explicitly, I understand that, but why would we not assume that simply attempting to "close" a "loophole" will not create another unless the "closing" was effectively one of the very regulations with which you disagree? The very reason that the "loophole" exists is through ambiguity of language: to make the language explicit is to make a prohibitive law so that the company that previously was not paying the proper amount of taxes does.
Perhaps (if congressional politics really did work that way), but if major politicians like Newt Gingrich accused Obama of setting up a dictatorship during the response to the financial system breakdown. What do you think would happen if Obama did that?RuffDraft wrote:Except for Executive Orders. Granted, I'm not too fond of them myself, because to me it seems like to use them consistently would give the President far too much power. But if there is something drastic, or emergent that legitimately needs to be addressed, then it is a useful tool. You could theoretically write up an Executive Order that would convene Congress and order the immediate purge of unnecessary or outdated tax codes to include loopholes; hell, he could write up an Executive Order to temporarily hire a non-government legal team to fix said tax codes, present their revised tax codes to Congress, and then dismiss them when their work is complete.Q.U. wrote:The only problem is, politics doesn't work that way. What you said could be done by a king, not by a president. President's ass in on the line all the time, and if he cuts spending by discontinuing programmes that are popular with people he is screwed. It's not a simple "what is essential and what is not". You're so oversimplifying the situation that I can't even begin to tell you where you're wrong.
Every other highly developed nation has a national health care system, and spends less on health care than the US, even in terms of percentage of government budget.RuffDraft wrote:So right now taxes are thrown into health care practices such as Medicare and Medicaid; we spend the most per person on healthcare in the world, but is not the best in the world. That seems to me to be low efficiency. If there were some way to fix that, I'd be all for it, but I don't think it would be by spending more money on it.Q.U. wrote:Healthcare, it's not just a question of whether or not to spend money on it, there's also the question of how much to spend on it if you decide to spend anything. And so with every spending.
Those are all priorities.RuffDraft wrote:Not quite; in 2010, the budget called for mandatory spending of right around $2.17T. Revenues were about $2.3 trillion. That includes $164B on interest on the existing debt, $743B on Medicare and Medicaid, and $695B on Social Security, all of which have seen a generally positive trend of increased spending.Q.U. wrote:The problem is, most of what makes up the deficit spending are considered priorities.
It includes things like student loans, food stamps, and unemployment compensation. Those are priorities too.RuffDraft wrote:And then money is set aside for other "mandatory" programs, to the effect of $571B, which was up 58% from 2009 (all this according to Wikipedia). I have no idea what those other programs were, but it wouldn't surprise me if all that money simply went somewhere and disappeared because we thought it might help, but were wrong.
What about the people who didn't want the government involved in their Medicare or Social Security?RuffDraft wrote:Actually, DaCrum said that. Credit where it's due. Still, I don't expect people to cheer when we tell them we can't afford some of the things we've been giving them. But I do expect them to understand why not.Q.U. wrote:If you decide to cut spending to priorities such as only fulfilling the basic living needs of people then what do you think the country will look like? Once you give people money and privileges you cannot just take them away and expect a cheer. You were right when you said "you gotto do what nobody will appreciate",
The current standard of living for most people in the US relies heavily on government-provided infrastructure, services, and regulation. In short, the government can't afford NOT to do those things because it would undermine the ability of the economy (and society) to function well. How do you think things would go if, say, the government stopped funding road and rail projects, disbanded fire protection, police, and public education services, and stopped regulating utilities, pollution, medicine, and food?RuffDraft wrote:What if you can't afford the standard of living you have been giving them?Q.U. wrote: but there's more to it than just cutting everything that's not essential. If you cut too much you will decrease the standard of living for the majority of your citizens by a fair amount.
And also, what are you trying to imply about America's current standard of living with the above statement?
Actually, most income tax brackets saw a 3% reduction. The top bracket was reduced by 4.6%. Also, payroll taxes stayed, so the reduction was from a small part of the overall tax burden for lower income groups and a larger part for higher income groups. Capital gains, dividend, gift, and estate taxes were significantly reduced, which almost exclusively benefited the wealthiest. This worsened the fiscal situation, but did not itself cause the recession. It didn't do much good though.RuffDraft wrote:Ah, so he cut taxes by about 4%, for everyone?Q.U. wrote:Let's start with "Bush tax cuts".Here I thought you and others were saying that George Bush caused this recession. And he caused it by... what did you guys say it was he did again?
Actually, net job growth during Bush's first term was slightly negative, and was among the slowest of the last century in the second term. Overall, job growth over Bush's presidency was the worst since Hoover, both in absolute and percentage growth. One could compare those eight years to the preceding eight. Also, real income fell for most people over Bush's presidency. The top 20% improved though.RuffDraft wrote:Which caused a lot more companies to expand their businesses and hire more workers, not to mention allowed people to keep more of the money they earned?
Ahem. Unemployment under Bush never again reached the low of when he took office, though it was OK for the most part. Unemployment in March was 8.8%.RuffDraft wrote:We had an official unemployment rate of somewhere between 4% and 6% up until the end of 2008, when it started to rise sharply. Compare that to today's, between 9% and 10%.
FY2000 had the largest surplus ever, and the budget was on course to pay down the debt in a little over a decade. FY2003, FY2004, FY2008, and FY2009 each had the largest deficits ever to that time*. Revenue fell, then grew again over Bush's terms, but revenue did not keep up with the increasing expenditure. Economic growth under Bush was actually unusually slow. Counterintuitively straightforward as it may be, lower taxes led to lower revenue.RuffDraft wrote:And keep in mind that since 2005, revenues have risen sharply, and are still higher than they were even in 2000, when taxes were higher, and before the Bush Tax Cuts.That sounds more like an economic stimulus... with an added bonus of extra income, though we still had excessive spending.
Because deregulation led to a market failure in the financial system?RuffDraft wrote:Do you have some reason to think it was?BeeAre wrote:You did not answer my question at this point: I am not claiming anything about George Bush right now. Is the free market responsible in part for this recession?
The bank that loaned the money owns the loan as a financial asset, as in a debt that it is due to be paid. If it wishes, it can sell this debt to other financial institutions (at a discount from the nominal value, because there's a chance that the person will default on the loan). Those other institutions can package that debt with other debts and other financial assets, and sell them as securities to investors. Naturally, the organizations selling them want a high price, and so have an incentive to overvalue risky debt. Without sufficient transparency and oversight, securities are rated too highly, their value is inflated, and their risk is understated. A bubble forms, and when it pops (as in, investors find out how risky the debt actually is), things go bad. if it's a big bubble, the financial system stops working properly, mass hysteria spreads through the economy, dogs and cats start living together, etc.RuffDraft wrote:<how loans work>BeeAre wrote:Any bank, for example, uses unpaid debt as leverage, that is, a resource all to itself. That is the principle to which I referred earlier, and had the lack of clarity.
Banks do not use "debt" as leverage. The person who applies for the loan either accepts the terms and conditions of the loan or else he doesn't get his money. And if he does get his money and doesn't pay it back, the bank can legally repossess his assets. If this is the leverage you are referring to, you are just a bit off on your understanding of this particular system.
So then, who in the government is responsible for the financial crisis, and how did they cause it? Name names, please.RuffDraft wrote:Yes and no. First of all, the reason we are in this mess right now is because of the people we the people have chosen to elect and reelect. In that regard, those who voted for these cocksuckers only have themselves to blame.BeeAre wrote:The federal government is entirely elected by the populous, so the populous has some bearing for the responsibilities of the federal government's decisions. Do you disagree?
So in other words, having a single organization that people are obligated to use for a certain service is fine if it is more efficient than alternatives (and there are safeguards to prevent abuse). Now, what do you think about the government monopoly on military force? Or a government monopoly on health insurance?RuffDraft wrote:In this regard, there is no problem. Just because a very localized monopoly exists doesn't necessarily mean it's bad for the community. In fact, it could be just the opposite. If the business keeps lower prices, they could potentially maintain a good enough profit margin to stay in business for years.BeeAre wrote:What I mean is, it does not have to be Wal-Mart (so whether or not Wal-Mart is a bad company is immaterial, and I am not going to claim that it is in this argument); it can be any company that is trending towards monopoly even in just a local area. If Store A is the only company available to supply the basic needs of a local populous that does not have the capital to even begin to save money, how can they, without using that company's resources, attempt to better themselves?
Actually, a monopoly that wants to maximize profit will increase prices above the competitive market equilibrium. Fewer people buy things, but the greater profit per item more than makes up for it. This is pretty basic economics, and relates to why monopolies are usually bad for the system.RuffDraft wrote:If said business wants to stay in business, they can't gouge the customer, or fewer people will be able to pay for the things they want. As I mentioned previously, sales would necessarily decline if a business tried to gouge prices.
Probably worse. There's a lot of potential for abuse, as happened when the US, Britain, and other countries industrialized, but generally, manufacturing jobs increase the standard of living. However, the availability of cheap foreign labor means that domestic wages and/or employment in manufacturing drops due to competition. This is offset to some extent by the availability of cheap imported goods, but there is still disruption. So globalization is pretty good overall, but there are problems.RuffDraft wrote:I made no contention that I thought everything was awesome in the world. But those "sweat shops" overseas--what do you think would be the alternative to some kid working there? Something better, something worse, or something equally bad?BeeAre wrote:Yes, Big Box Mart was a political cartoon, that is correct, but it is not lying about those circumstances existing in the world--Surely you would not dispute that this situation does not at least in part have substance? And you can be specific where you think it is and is not correct.
Logic doesn't work that way. Not A does not imply B. Free capitalism, so far as it has been implemented in the real world, has some glaring problems. Communism, so far as it has been implemented, has its own glaring problems. Mixed capitalism has problems, but it generally far outperforms both. With that in mind, the issue becomes determining the optimal mix for a given situation.RuffDraft wrote:I'll go ahead and err on the side of caution and say that Communism doesn't work. That way you can say the same thing about a free market system. And if you disagree with that crack about Communism, you must also conclude that a free Capitalist system would work.
I'll top that with this. 221 House Republicans voted for a blatantly unconstitutional bill. They were mocked on the House floor and in the media. It's been about a month since then. How do you think their reputations are holding up? How many people do you think will care about it in the 2012 elections?RuffDraft wrote:Hell, I don't know. I sort of trust lawyers to know enough about how the law should be written to correct it. If it turns out they don't, then we post their names all over the internet and make sure their reputations are ruined.BeeAre wrote:The loopholes in the tax code were not established explicitly, I understand that, but why would we not assume that simply attempting to "close" a "loophole" will not create another unless the "closing" was effectively one of the very regulations with which you disagree?
Or something like that.
Let's have a look at that.RuffDraft wrote:Sure, the "intellectual elite" that love to tell us how much better they are than we are,BeeAre wrote:I make this statement because our federal government does have this habit: they pick people who are the best of their field to head up overseeing how that field's industry plays out across the United States. Would you say that this is untrue, and that a majority of the appointees are people who have no business in the industries they are regulating?
Let's have a look at that too.RuffDraft wrote:that they know how to use our money better than we do, and publicly.
Pretty much, but i think Q.U. is looking for consistency. What do you think would happen to the deficit if the Bush tax cuts were repealed?RuffDraft wrote:...yes. Is that not what I've been saying all along?Q.U. wrote:So... you're saying that you're okay with Bush tax cuts but you don't like and don't want the deficit?
Do you remember when the tax cuts were debated? That wasn't the rationale AT ALL. More the reverse, actually, for the 2001 cuts. There was a surplus, and the idea was to put it toward tax cuts rather than paying down the debt as Clinton had proposed the year before. Even the recklessly optimistic Heritage Foundation estimate predicted a reduction of $1.1 trillion in revenue through 2011 compared to the existing tax structure. The 2003 cuts were supposed to be for economic stimulus, not balancing the budget. Those were the public, stated reasons, but, as pointed out by the opposing economists, the 2003 cuts were not well suited for the purpose of stimulus, and by then the 2001 cuts had already failed to stimulate growth, along with producing a large deficit. So we can conclude either that the proponents of the cuts didn't understand economics very well, or that the cuts were put in place as part of the "starve the beast" strategy Q.U. and I have mentioned.RuffDraft wrote:Yes, I agree, increasing spending when you are already in debt is not a very good idea. The tax cuts were an attempt to eventually raise more taxes.Q.U. wrote:Do you even understand what the tax cuts were put in place for? Bush attempted to "starve the beast" by INCREASING the deficit? And republicans basically sank the country into debt in order to be able to bring it up through eventual tax increase.
Note that increasing investment in education always gets better achievement, but never increases efficiency.
Comparing trends in GDP and debt growth to the situation after World War II indicates that the predicted debt should be manageable provided the people in charge are interested in doing so.
It seems that the Simpsons line that Democrats "don't know how to govern" may be more true now than it was in 1994. The accompanying line that Republicans "want what's worst for everyone" seems to be as well.
Ryan's plan is heading towards removing entitlements, which are privileges of the US legal code, not the Constitution.
An even amount from everyone would be a lump sum payment (about $8000 annually from each person in the US), which would be a great deal more than the present for most people, and a great deal less for the very wealthy. A flat rate without deductions (about 20% on all income) also represents a large increase for most people and a large decrease for most of the very wealthy.
I'll top that with this. 221 House Republicans voted for a blatantly unconstitutional bill. They were mocked on the House floor and in the media. It's been about a month since then. How do you think their reputations are holding up? How many people do you think will care about it in the 2012 elections?
If only you could make a living off just presenting facts, man.
Unfortunately, that segment doesn't seem to be available elsewhere for now, but the situation is described here. I suppose you could try a proxy to watch the Daily Show bit.Q.U. wrote:Any other source for that vid? One that doesn't say "Sorry Great Britain..."?
RuffDraft wrote:"Insulated from financial damage..." In other words, it's better for a rich person to lose money than it is for a poor person. Bullshit.
DaCrum wrote:This graph fails. No y axis.
That's not really how it happened. Over Bush's budgets, the national debt increased by about $6T (about doubling it), about $1T of which went to the wars. Obama campaigned on economic issues, not budget issues, because the country was getting into the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and it was obvious that the deficit and debt would get pretty big from the policies that were in place. Care to cite any promises made by Obama about reducing the national debt?RuffDraft wrote:Those that were not in favor of the war kept citing the rising debt, and Democrats took advantage of that, and Obama got elected on the meme of "Change" and "Yes We Can," and promised to reduce the national debt.
By the end of FY2009 (Bush's last budget), the debt was about $12T, about half of which was added under Bush's budgets, and existing policies, if left in place, would produce $1T and larger deficits for several years. What, exactly, do you think Obama did (will do?) to "sink us into nearly three times as much debt as Bush racked up by 2012"? Though the health care reform is supposed to reduce the deficit somewhat, the lack of the public option really crippled it in that regard. Do you think that the Democrats pushed to remove it? Keep this in mind.RuffDraft wrote:So, after blatantly going back on their own rhetoric and decrying the Republican's deficit spending, the Democrat's solution is to sink us into nearly three times as much debt as Bush racked up by 2012? And not to mention they're still doing all the things Bush did, but now we have a Democrat face on it so it's cool by Democrat standards.
Yup. Change, all right.
I think the point was along the lines of the US having a much lower tax burden than other modern nations despite trying to maintain entitlement, military, and other spending higher than revenue, and making up the difference with a deficit. That the US tax burden is quite a bit lower than shown on the graph actually strengthens this point, and shows how nations with twice the effective tax bite of the US are doing fine.RuffDraft wrote:First of all, your graph is wrong about the percentages. They have always been about 21% or less of our GDP. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts ... ?Docid=200Q.U. wrote:So yeah, if by letting USA grow you mean lowering taxes and increasing spending to basically push the whole country down to plow the ground, then you're right. Here's how USA managed to screw itself over:
INSERT FLAWED GRAPH HERE
What exactly are you trying to about the relationship between us and the European Union or the OECD by citing the %GDP figures?
That's not what Warren Buffett was talking about. His secretary supposedly made about $60k/year and paid an overall tax rate of about 30%, which would be mostly due to income, entitlement, state, and local taxes. Warren Buffett made most of his income from capital gains, which are taxed at 15%, giving him an overall tax rate of about 17.7%, supposedly without using tax avoidance strategies that let capital gains avoid tax altogether.RuffDraft wrote:In fact, the Rich can pay whatever amount in taxes the want, which is why Warren Buffet's comparison to his secretary and himself is so mind-boggling.
That's missing the point. Ever heard of game theory? Tragedy of the commons? No one person, even the richest in the world, has enough money to make a large difference in the US budget. Any such donation represents a very high personal cost to gain ratio, so it would be irrational (certain considerations of Bayesian rationality aside) for people to do it of their own accord. That doesn't prevent them from understanding that compulsory taxation to support the system is important, or even from supporting a tax increase.RuffDraft wrote:If the Rich think that their tax dollars could go better to the government, they should 1) discontinue all their charitable giving, and 2) write a check to the government for whatever amount they deem fit. ...
Betcha didn't know that, huh?
Which is because Ryan's budget largely uses service cuts for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy instead of putting the savings toward reducing the deficit. Also because it would result in cuts to funds that now go to helping keep children alive and healthy.RuffDraft wrote:Which is what Paul Ryan tried to do, and the Democrats said, "infanticide!"Q.U. wrote:How do you intend to close the budget if you can't even control your spending?
More like this, rather. See case studies 5 and 7 for more detailed explanations.RuffDraft wrote:Exactly. Like the Tides Foundation. I'm glad you agree that many of these organizations should be cut.Q.U. wrote:Not to mention how some of those "charities" are just bogus money stealing machines.
As I've been saying for a while, it's a cash flow issue. The effects of the Bush tax cuts on cash flow and debt can be calculated. If spending were dropped back to 2000 levels, it would represent cutting EVERYTHING but Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest payments, and some of those would still require partial cuts. What were you saying about giving up more money?RuffDraft wrote:That is clearly not the problem here. If you recall the link I gave you a little while ago, and you scroll down to 2000, you'll note that we had a surplus of about $236B. 2001, our surplus was $128B. Next year, our deficit was $157B, while our income had only dropped by $138B. For your argument that it was a taxation problem and not a spending problem to be true, income would have had to have been the only thing that changed. If our spending had stayed (roughly) the same, then perhaps there might be some credence to your claim. However, since spending increased, and since taxes dropped but came back up in just a matter of years, and since then we have even more spending, it is no longer simply an issue with the amount of taxes. It is now a problem with the amount of spending. We should attempt to drop spending to the levels they were in 2000, not force people to give up more of the money they have earned.Q.U. wrote:I would agree that both did poorly, which still means that Bush tax cuts were one of the main causes of this whole mess you're now in.
Federal support of charities is rather more than $20B but what percent of the budget it amounts to depends on what counts (general nonprofits? schools? hospitals?). I'm curious about where you got those numbers. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting got $422m in federal funds (about 0.012% of federal spending) in 2010, of which about $25m went to PBS and about $3m went to NPR. As for public vs. private funding of things charities do...RuffDraft wrote:Except that charitable donation only accounts for about 5% of the budget. Maybe a bit less. I can't remember the exact figure, but I heard somewhere that only about $10B to $20B goes to any charities in this country, such as PBS and NPR, from taxpayer funds. It's little enough that it can be cut from our budget, and charities could be funded entirely by private investors.Q.U. wrote:Sure the country does donate to charity too, but they TAKE money as TAX, and then they spend them on what they NEED to pay for (like services etc) and then what's left as second priority spending gets divided up on some reliable charities.
Charitable donations are deducted from taxable income, thereby indirectly reducing income tax due. Deductions for charity are limited to 50% of gross income (for individuals - corporations are limited to 10%), which could lower total income tax by up to 17.5% of gross income. The top income (as in income subject to income tax) earners pay about 16.6% of their gross income to income tax. There are billionaires who pay no income tax at all.RuffDraft wrote:Another flaw in your argument is that while donations through a charity are tax-deductible, it's not a straight 1-to-1, donation/deduction deal. In order to bring down your taxes to a certain percentage, you have to donate more than that percentage of your taxes. I'm not 100% sure how it works, I think it's something like: If you're in the 35% tax bracket and you donate $1 million to charitable organizations, your taxes are reduced by $350,000; however, taxes are also capped so they don't fall below a certain percentage. I can't remember off the top of my head what that percentage is, though I think it's greater than 15%.
So in other words, them donating a value of 50% of whatever taxes they paid will not cut their taxes by 50%.
Q.U. was making the case that some charities funnel money back to wealthy donors to evade taxes. But as for charities in general, both public generosity and government funding help.RuffDraft wrote:Well if that's the case, then why the fuck would they ever donate to charitable organizations in the first place? And if THAT'S the case, why do the 900,000 charities in America remain open? Surely you don't expect them to be funded by good will. And no, not Goodwill, the charity.Q.U. wrote:The rich think the dollars are best spent when they come BACK to their own pockets.If the Rich think that their tax dollars could go better to the government, they should 1) discontinue all their charitable giving, and 2) write a check to the government for whatever amount they deem fit.
Generally for monetary gain or enhancement of economic power, though personal agendas sometimes come into play.BeeAre wrote:For what purpose is the power in government abused primarily? To unjustly use tax payer dollars?
Historical responses to abusive monopolies have included armed insurrection, industrial sabotage, regulations (like breaking the monopoly up or constraining business practices) to prevent abuse, and forming unions / other political blocs. Generally, whoever secures the backing of the government wins. If the government stays out of it, whoever fights dirtier tends to win.BeeAre wrote:I am literally asking you what to do WHEN IT IS BAD. If you agree that it is possible and potentially beneficial, would you consider that it could become bad? So, when that situation happens, what does someone in that bad situation do? They do not want to support the locally monopolizing company, but do not have enough money to legitimately begin attempting to leave.In this regard, there is no problem. Just because a very localized monopoly exists doesn't necessarily mean it's bad for the community. In fact, it could be just the opposite. If the business keeps lower prices, they could potentially maintain a good enough profit margin to stay in business for years. If said business wants to stay in business, they can't gouge the customer, or fewer people will be able to pay for the things they want. As I mentioned previously, sales would necessarily decline if a business tried to gouge prices.
Ryan and the House Republicans are.RuffDraft wrote:In your first link, Obama said "No more tax cuts." No one is suggesting to cut taxes any further.
By law, the reduction in rates is due to expire. The status quo is that the rates will increase. If the law is changed so that the rates don't change, it would be a tax cut even though the rates would stay the same, because it reduces taxes from what they would be.RuffDraft wrote:People have been paying these rates for about a decade. To continue to call any attempt to maintain these levels "cuts" is absurd. What he's calling for is an increase to taxes, plain and simple. I would respect his argument more if he just said that. But he won't say that because even at this stage in the game, he does want to be reelected.
"All taxes" would take a major change in the tax structure (payroll, sales, property, state, etc.) and would therefore not be politically practical. "35 for 35" would be a reduction for people making less than about $80k taxable income, more for everyone else, though elimination of exemptions would lower the break even point (by nearly half, depending on the situation) and embiggen the increase for higher incomes, and the marginal return of work would drop significantly for income at $35k. So a fair chunk of the "middle class" would take a hit, therefore it's not politically practical. I'd actually propose keeping a lot of deductions for the economic incentives they provide, eliminating tax brackets altogether, and having a continuously increasing marginal rate (logarithm-based, say) such that taxes for lower / middle / upper middle income groups don't change a whole lot, but millionaires would face a few percent more, and billionaires would pay a few percent more than that (apply a similar increasing rate to gift, estate, capital gains, etc. too). That would help provide an incentive to de-centralize wealth and redeem investments over longer periods of time, perhaps reducing market volatility. But who likes logarithms anyway? Also, remove the cap on payroll taxes. A more progressive structure would probably be better, but making it non-regressive is probably politically viable in the short term.RuffDraft wrote:My question is, if he does want to be reelected, why not eliminate all taxes for those making under 30K per year, and then hike taxes for the rich? Or better yet, compromise between the two and enact a solid flat tax of about 35% across the board with zero exemptions, for those making 35K or more. He could call it his "35 for 35 Plan."
The messages included factual explanations of how some of the things you've been saying are wrong. This provides an interesting companion to those videos.RuffDraft wrote:And I don't really care for those other two links; I saw the title of one, and then saw who the second one was by, and I pretty much got the message already.
What about Kennedy or Nixon? There are degrees of puppetry.RuffDraft wrote:Yeah, but the next President is going to be just as much of a puppet as the last ten or so...
Want me to go through this one, or do you have any points you want to make yourself?RuffDraft wrote:Edit: While I have your attention, I'd like to direct it to this video. Enjoy.
Well, for one, there have been some calls for military coups. And there's stuff like this.RuffDraft wrote:The Tea Party is extreme? Why do you say that?
I'll grant for this consideration that the Bill of Rights was originally intended, but let's look at the spirit of the Constitution. It was a massive, unprecedented increase in central government authority. Rights of States were reduced in service to the common good. The spirit was basically, "We value both individual liberty and the common welfare, so we're doing this because, while it is imperfect (slavery lol), this is what it will take to get things working better." The goal was NOT preventing growth of government power or taxation (pretty much the opposite, rather, as the government under the Articles sorely lacked them). Guards were put in place to prevent abuse of power, not growth of power to address new problems, which was implicitly endorsed with the "promote the general welfare" bit. Authority to address new problems was given to Congress, subject to the approval of the people through the democratic process. And the whole thing was made adjustable, so it would be flexible enough for changes in the future.RuffDraft wrote:Because they want us to hold true to the spirit of the constitution as it was originally intended?
Some proposals of the Tea Party involve fewer government controls, like deregulation of finance, health care, and environmental protection. That's bad, mkay? Other proposals involve greater government control, like busting unions, making people liable for arrest if they don't carry papers regarding their residency status, and setting up de facto dictatorships*. That's also bad.RuffDraft wrote:Because they want less government controls? Exactly what issue do you have with the lot of them?
How about the previously prevailing political environment?RuffDraft wrote:Also, if you are going to call them extreme, you must be comparing them to something temperate; what is this comparison?
All else equal, a simpler system would probably be better. The problem is that complexity has some advantages. For example, suppose that the government wants to encourage people to switch to electric cars because electrics have fewer negative externalities than conventional cars, so electric cars get subsidized with a tax break. Lots of programs like that exist to provide incentives for various things, and there is some value in that. If programs are wasteful, they should be removed, but not all the complex bits in the tax code are wasteful.Q.U. wrote:Hey, simplifying the tax system and reducing the deficit is something anyone normal would support.
The positions of the Tea Party are rather ill-defined... except in opposition to other groups' positions, mostly Democrats. They mostly agree on what they don't like, but are not very unified in what they DO like.DaCrum wrote:However, the fact is that the face of the Tea Party is extremism. Undefined, uncontrolled extremism.
Sure, the front page description looks relatively reasonable, if a bit reactionary, nationalistic, historically revisionist, and in questionable agreement with the First Amendment, but check out the part where it describes policy goals.RuffDraft wrote:Hm. Well, my mother is a Tea Partyer, and I don't call her extreme, even though we disagree on some things. But we don't disagree with the Mount Vernon Statement,
Looks like about half of Mississippi Republicans admit to overt racism. Do you think that, compared to Republicans in general, members of the Tea Party are more interested in returning things to how they were in the past? Who is now calling birthright citizenship into question? It may not be a majority, but it's obvious that a significant minority of the Tea Party is at least partly motivated by racism.RuffDraft wrote:nor do I think that the vast majority of the Tea Party is racist
Want me to go through this one, or do you have any points you want to make yourself?RuffDraft wrote:Take a look at this video, it outlines my ideas in a sort of satirical way.
I don't know of any mainstream attempts to dismantle the bourgeoisie in the US. There are, as pointed out elsewhere in this post, some attempts at authoritarian corporatism accompanied by a nationalistic rejection of egalitarianism and rationalism. Remember that Communism has usually been established through a revolution, and Fascism has usually been established through use of existing political machinery.NeoWarrior7 wrote:What a wonderful country of Commies on the left and Fascists on the right.
O'Reilly may be better than Beck and some others, but that doesn't make him a good source of information.BeeAre wrote:mmm, O'Reilly is one of the people on Fox who I can appreciate, even if I understand him to be mostly an asshole, he is generally a relatively fair asshole.
My evidence for this is that when Glenn Beck makes more extreme statements while O'Reilly is present, he becomes a voice of reason--this is part of why I don't like Beck: O'Reilly became not just fair and vaguely reasonable but the actual moderating force in their discussions together, holy crap.
Actually, statistical sampling is rather different from what you described there. The confidence of a survey depends on the sample size, not (for populations much larger than the sample size) the size of the population being investigated. That's why national surveys usually involve around a thousand people (acceptably low margins of uncertainty for overall conclusions). A census is not needed. Such surveys have been done of the Tea Party.RuffDraft wrote:First: You talk about a statistical sampling. I seriously doubt anyone has actually taken a census of the Tea Party that represents the whole of it. As such, any sampling is prone to be factually irrelevant or misleading.
As of February 2011, 72%* of Republican primary voters did not think that Obama was born in the US. This is similar to the beliefs of those who strongly identified with the Tea Party in California in 2010, though it seems to have become more prevalent over time, as the numbers were rather higher for the Tea Party than Republicans as a whole.RuffDraft wrote:Second: "Most" Tea Partyers probably are not Birthers. My parents believe he was born in Hawaii; or at least my Mother. I haven't asked my Dad about it. And while I realize that my mother does not represent a "statistical sampling," I find it hard to believe that more than 50% of people are still hanging on to this claim. Are you using an actual, recent survey or going off intuition?
As of just over a year ago, 89% of Tea Party supporters claimed to be white, compared to 8% claiming others. The percentages for the US as a whole are 72% white and 28% others. That indicates that the white/minority ratio among Tea Party supporters is about 4x as high as the general population.RuffDraft wrote:Third: There is a statistical majority of white people in this country; it stands to reason that when people of any social class are brought together, they will usually represent a majority of whites and a minority of blacks. It's like going to the Million Man March and remarking that you don't see very many white people.
As of last year, 18% of Americans claimed to support the Tea Party, and only 22% of those (4% of Americans) had donated money or attended rallies. The Tea Party seems to be disproportionately vocal.RuffDraft wrote:Fourth: Racism can exist anywhere, does not mean everyone is racist. The cry I hear a lot is that Tea Partyers are racist, and it is used as a generalization to demean them and make them look like Fringe Lunatics, when in fact at the core they encompass about 60-70% of the national opinion, which makes them Mainstream Collective.
That's not what Obama said*. The article you linked really doesn't support its point very well. One revealing bit is this: "I stopped in a fast food restaurant for a burger. Around fifteen white seniors were having lunch. I overheard them ranting about Obama's overreaches and socialist policies. Upon seeing me, a black man, they became silent. I was tempted to say, "Please continue, I whole-heartedly agree with you!" Too bad they did not notice my Tea Party Express t-shirt." This is supposed to be an example of where white people were afraid to criticize Obama over policy, lest they be perceived by strangers as racists. Perhaps instead they stopped talking because they became uncomfortable discussing their political beliefs in the presence of a black man, whether or not they saw his shirt. The author lives in Florida, so the anecdote probably took place in the South, where many white seniors would have grown up and entered adulthood and politics under Segregation, in which black men were prevented from interrupting groups of white people in restaurants, among other things.RuffDraft wrote:Pres. Obama himself called the Tea Party racist, which means that he thinks that their primary message is race, which is an utter falsehood.
No such threats have been pushed by Obama or the Democrats (care to cite any?). That the Tea Party acts as if they have been calls their understanding of reality and/or motivations into question.RuffDraft wrote:Lastly: Tea Partyers refuse to relinquish their goals for reasons other than simple stubbornness. If someone was trying to change your fundamental way of life in a way that you deemed threatening to you (let's say that someone is trying to make it illegal to give to the poor without government involvement, for the sake of argument), you would fight tooth and nail (as would many others) to stop that from happening and give no quarter to allow anything of that nature to be put into policy. This is why the Tea Party fights, and they are giving no quarter on something they see as a threat.
What rights and freedoms are in danger, and who is endangering them? What do you think union members would say about this?RuffDraft wrote:People need to be extremely careful what rights and freedoms they give up. We can't afford to be naive and assume everyone in power is doing what's best for us.
RuffDraft wrote:@NeoWarrior: An afterthought, before I answer BR.
When you say that they want to threaten your way of life by taking away Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, a couple questions come to mind:
1) Are you not aware that Social Security is basically a Ponzi scheme
That article characterizes Social Security as a get-rich scheme about to collapse, so therefore Social Security should be dismantled. Really, RuffDraft?Valhallen, the last time you called Social Security a Ponzi scheme wrote:A Ponzi scheme is an unsustainable scam. Social Security can be made stable indefinitely with pretty minor changes. Even if nothing is done, it could continue indefinitely with benefits reduced by less than a quarter starting a generation or two from now. Meanwhile, Social Security payouts go right back into the economy as people use them to pay for things.
17% is not most.RuffDraft wrote:and that most doctors won't accept Medicare or Medicaid (because of the red tape and price controls)
In other words, Medicare treatment is less expensive than the private market, and that article talks about an effort to make up some of the difference to encourage some of the (relatively few) doctors no longer participating to continue to treat Medicare patients. Do you think that replacing Medicare with vouchers would maintain the cost advantage of Medicare, or would suddenly facing the private sector costs mean that Medicare patients would no longer have coverage without a large increase in funding for the vouchers?RuffDraft wrote:and so the government "fixes" this problem by compensating the doctors with more taxpayer money (called the Doc Fix)?
You realize that "not audited" does not equate to "fraudulent" right? Medicare and Medicaid may lose about $60B (8%) to fraud. This is a higher percentage but lower amount than the private sector. Since Medicare is less expensive despite the higher rate of fraud, what do you think of the tradeoff?RuffDraft wrote:Furthermore are you aware that the current Medicare system is ridiculously susceptible to fraud? Less than 5% of claims are audited.
To test this principle, would you agree or disagree that, compared to the US population as a whole, members of the Ku Klux Klan are more likely to be white and/or racist? What if you had a group composed of 10% KKK members and 90% average Americans?RuffDraft wrote:Sampling IS factually irrelevant WHEN sampling it does not mean anything. To say that the Tea Party is mostly white is true but irrelevant because they are not lobbying on a platform of race. It is further irrelevant because America is mostly white anyway; to sample a collection of people to falsely paint the picture of either racism or anything else is misleading if not outright libelous.
Yet people discussed it.RuffDraft wrote:And as for the Birther thing, I cannot find a true "demographic" or any kind of poll that suggests Tea Partyers largely believe in it. I can find the occasional person who agrees with it, but most people agree it is not worth discussing.
If political beliefs vary significantly by race, race is not irrelevant in politics.RuffDraft wrote:And exactly what are you trying to prove by having me look that up? That a disproportionate number of whites over blacks support one thing or another? Again, the Tea Party is not founded on a racial issue. Race is irrelevant.BeeAre wrote:No. Google the political beliefs in statistically represented wholes by race. You'll find relevant results on independent news sources, but then also a lot of blogs.I wrote:Fourth: Racism can exist anywhere, does not mean everyone is racist. The cry I hear a lot is that Tea Partyers are racist, and it is used as a generalization to demean them and make them look like Fringe Lunatics, when in fact at the core they encompass about 60-70% of the national opinion, which makes them Mainstream Collective. Pres. Obama himself called the Tea Party racist, which means that he thinks that their primary message is race, which is an utter falsehood.
Pretty much. Racial epithets are offensive because of what they mean, which varies by context, not from the phonemes that make them up.RuffDraft wrote:So, terms like "nigger," "spik," and "wop" would be offensive to some people but not others? Because they believe these terms to be either positive or negative?BeeAre wrote:I am not suggesting a causal link between the two yet. Do you see the difference?
The point here is that their beliefs make it easy for them on average to find fault with terms that they don't agree with, and those terms can be easily applied to whole groups of people.
The Tea Party is disproportionately white, and it opposes the policies of a black president who has mostly continued the policies of a white president. It also advocates policy that disproportionately helps the rich (who are disproportionately white) and that hurt poor people (who are disproportionately minorities). While this does not require racism on the Tea Party's part overall, it does look questionable, and there are clearly identified racist elements in the Tea Party.RuffDraft wrote:And no, I don't see a difference between what you're trying to say and what I'm saying. If this really were a race issue, it would matter, but it doesn't.
What if he's right though? Where was the Tea Party when Bush was in office?RuffDraft wrote:Sigh. Falsehood does not necessarily mean lie. To proclaim a falsehood as true, without knowing it is not, is not an outright lie. To know a falsehood to be such, and claim it true intentionally is a lie. The intention does not change the nature of the falsehood. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I'm not saying he's lying, I'm saying he's wrong.BeeAre wrote:Also: Obama calling them racist is not a direct intentional falsehood/lie if he honestly believes them to be racist. He could be WRONG, but I doubt that he is lying about his opinion on the matter.
More true than you may have meant there. Do you know what the original Tea Party was about? The East India Company had a legal monopoly on tea, but it was expensive in large part due to tariffs. Smugglers made a killing by illegally bringing in cheaper (if inferior) tea and undercutting the East India tea. The Tea Act made East India tea much more affordable, but the small colonial tax remained. Because it was now cheaper than smuggled tea, many people bought it instead, and smugglers lost business. They (and other traders who weren't allowed to import the East India tea) didn't like that, hence the Tea Party. It amounted to adding injury to insult, since taxation without representation had been going on for a while, and the Tea Act didn't increase taxes (instead greatly reducing them), but it did affect the business of wealthy traders. Other such economic incentives against British control helped the Revolution along.RuffDraft wrote:>_> Yes, because it's less extreme to simply bow down to your corporate masters. It's how this country was founded, after all.BeeAre wrote:This belief is extreme. Open dialogue cannot be achieved in a reasonable time-frame if they do not react to open dialogue with an expression of threat and dismissal of negotiation terms. That's just definitive.
The first is a coup. The second is the democratic process.RuffDraft wrote:Revolution can mean anything. It can mean taking back the system by force, or it can mean gathering the population and forcing the government to adopt our ideology through sheer tide of opinion--because if they don't follow the opinion of the masses, they will eventually no longer have a job.BeeAre wrote:It is not naive to fight the government: It is naive to think that suggesting revolution and that our president is not worth listening to in the slightest because he makes "balant falsehoods", is not a citizen et cetra, is productive to implementing change to the system.
Yes.RuffDraft wrote:Vast sweeping changes?BeeAre wrote:I want to note, you have claimed that instead of being radically leftist and progressive and anti-business, you merely want to change the system slightly rather than attempting an extreme and detrimental overhaul. Do you deny that the Tea Party has not stood behind politicians who want to institute vast sweeping changes to the federal government?
It's a matter of degree. Which group do you think has a greater percentage of people who think that Obama was not born in the US, that evolution is false, that the world is a few thousand years old, that it will end within a few decades, or that the world is not getting warmer.RuffDraft wrote:I agree there are loonies in the Tea Party; however, you must admit that there are loonies in the Democratic Party; there are loony Marxists; there are loony people everywhere. It's not just one group of people guilty of looniness.
You are aware, are you not, that at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, slavery was legal, and blacks and women could not vote? And Native Americans were being exterminated? And that the Constitution greatly increased the power of the government? And that it was established after an armed rebellion and specifies freedom to own weapons in case the populace would have need of them? And that something can be extreme in contemporary politics but allowed by the Constitution?RuffDraft wrote:I suppose it depends on what you call extreme. Does "Abiding by the word of the Constitution as it was intended to create a peaceful society with limited government and equal opportunity regardless of race or gender" extreme?BeeAre wrote:Do you separately deny that the Tea Parties would rather there be extreme changes made (such as the complete closing, excising, or reappraising of the bureaucracies under the executive branch) to the federal government?
That's somewhat true, but the point was never to get out what you put into Social Security. The point was to provide for people in need of assistance to maintain a decent standard of living.BeeAre wrote:Not only that, but they have paid to participate into the system: this is why people who have paid into the system would prefer to benefit from it. :X
It's The Man, man. Fossil fuel companies, the military-industrial complex, financial organizations, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Illuminati, and unions.Q.U. wrote:Who are the Corporate Masters? The government? Don't remember looking that phrase up before.>_> Yes, because it's less extreme to simply bow down to your corporate masters. It's how this country was founded, after all.
The US is currently at its peak historical population growth. The Baby Boom had a higher percentage growth rate, but the numbers were smaller. So the US is in decent shape for the time being. Most other developed countries less so. There are some rather worse economic inventions than Social Security.Q.U. wrote:The pay-as-you-go system is as fallible as it is unstable. One of the dumbest inventions of human economy. It is obvious how it will be a burden to any nation that had already passed its peak of population growth, and yet it's still so widely used around the world. Goes to show you how politicians and economists don't learn.BR wrote:Not only that, but they have paid to participate into the system: this is why people who have paid into the system would prefer to benefit from it. :X
No, that's pretty much it. Politics doesn't have to make rational sense, at least in first-order descriptions.Q.U. wrote:Am I taking it right when I assume that those Corporate Masters are the powerful and wealthy corporations who can lobby their way into the government's decisions and actions? That would have been my first guess really. But if so, then I'd guess TP is all supportive of those Corporate Masters. I mean, how do you not bow to them when you protest for less regulations and control by the government on corporations and people? Somebody has to be in charge, always. If nobody is in charge, one will grow to the point by natural action. The choice here is either put government in charge (government control and regulations) or the corporations (free market America as it is to some extent right now). What the TP seems to be calling for is the latter. Which I do not get. I hope somebody can explain this to me clearly.If the responsibility is ultimately not derived from the federal government, why begin to make the case that they are the thing that needs to change first? Why not start with the "corporate masters"? o_O
I still can't get over that term. Are you saying that the Tea Party does not like large corporations either?
They are funded by large corporations.
The point seemed to be that entitlement programs that take money from younger workers to give to older/poorer people can't cope very well with the demographic trends of some countries, in which birth rates fall and people live longer, which greatly increases the entitlement burden per worker. Check the description and links here for basics.BeeAre wrote:QU the only thing I am curious about in your post is the comment about pay as you go being something that (paraphrase) "economists have not learned that this is generally bad".
Do you have any more information about which economists are saying what, and who has been "proven" wrong/right in recent years? That would be neat to read up on. :X
Not so much, actually. A lower savings rate increases economic activity, since the money gets spent and passed around the economy instead of sitting idle. This is offset by the use of savings in banks for loans and investments, but banks must keep some in reserve, so it's still something of a drag. Savings have a valuable part in the economy, so it's important for the savings rate to be appropriate for the economic situation (otherwise bubbles or recessions follow). Private savings also don't function as a social safety net, since some investments go bad, and some people can't save enough in the first place. How is a public transfer program supposed to be less secure?Q.U. wrote:Truth is, it is not an issue of whether it's good or bad for the economy. Because if you look at it, paying the current retired from the work of the current labour force is simply a bad idea compared to a secure situation in which everyone stocks up money for their own retirement.
Math be damned?Q.U. wrote:This kind of a system cannot support itself in the long run, it's not balanced and not easily sustainable.
Why would stimulus packages be less useful with people using savings instead of regular payouts? Wouldn't the shrinking of retirement account investments in a recession lower propensity to spend, resulting in a need for a larger stimulus?Q.U. wrote:Unlike the fully funded method where everyone has their own savings and in case your country's economy starts to break down and jobs are lost, you don't have to spend millions on stimulus packages while you spend double that on current retirement fund deficit. It's simply safer and more stable.
Like AAA-rated mortgage-based securities? I'm serious. Think carefully about what sort of investments you're proposing, and how those securities looked in 2005.Q.U. wrote:So in general, a system where you are required to pay (not based on your free contributions) just like current one, only that the money is invested (for you, not left for you to play or risk with it) into relatively safe investment packages that are meant to make at least enough profit to cover the inflation effects on the savings entrusted.
Given the state of financial reform, that's not too far off, at least in results. Also, Hitler had a dog, was a national leader, and rode around in a fancy car.Q.U. wrote:Hilarious.http://www.openleft.com/diary/18567/over-under-on-of-republicans-who-think-environmentalists-sabotaged-oil-rig-45 wrote:* Does what Wall Street and the bankers tell him to do (40%)
* Is doing many of the things that Hitler did (38%)
DaCrum wrote:Hitler stimulated the German economy.
Look past the partisanship to the facts presented. It's serious, if a bit hyperbolic.RuffDraft wrote:Hahaha! An excellent piece of comedy. Nice find, Neo.NeoWarrior7 wrote:Not to mention how good Nazi's were at controlling your mind.
NeoWarrior7 wrote:Or how about how far right can they go?
How about policies as implemented? As pointed out in that article, that puts Obama pretty close to H.W. Bush.RuffDraft wrote:So let me get this straight. Obama is a moderate Republican?
There's so much wrong with that idea. Where to begin...?
They aren't now, but both Reagan and H.W. Bush raised taxes. What has Obama done about gun control that makes him so dissimilar to them as to invalidate the comparison? I'll add that thus far, Obama has cut taxes.RuffDraft wrote:First of all, Pres. Obama has been for gun control and higher taxes, which are two decidedly non-Republican points.
So current Democrats are in charge of deciding what past Republicans have done?RuffDraft wrote:And, if he were presenting ideas that were Republican in nature, neither Harry Reid nor Nancy Pelosi would support anything he does. At least Harry Reid, I gotta give him credit for being stubborn (if not a little bit cocky, not always a bad thing). He seems like a man who holds true to his ideology. So if Harry Reid detected "Republican" from Obama, he would not have endorsed him for president.
I'd actually propose keeping a lot of deductions for the economic incentives they provide, eliminating tax brackets altogether, and having a continuously increasing marginal rate (logarithm-based, say) such that taxes for lower / middle / upper middle income groups don't change a whole lot, but millionaires would face a few percent more, and billionaires would pay a few percent more than that (apply a similar increasing rate to gift, estate, capital gains, etc. too).
Looks like about half of Mississippi Republicans admit to overt racism. Do you think that, compared to Republicans in general, members of the Tea Party are more interested in returning things to how they were in the past? Who is now calling birthright citizenship into question? It may not be a majority, but it's obvious that a significant minority of the Tea Party is at least partly motivated by racism.
mmm, O'Reilly is one of the people on Fox who I can appreciate, even if I understand him to be mostly an asshole, he is generally a relatively fair asshole.
The US is currently at its peak historical population growth. The Baby Boom had a higher percentage growth rate, but the numbers were smaller. So the US is in decent shape for the time being. Most other developed countries less so. There are some rather worse economic inventions than Social Security.
Not so much, actually. A lower savings rate increases economic activity, since the money gets spent and passed around the economy instead of sitting idle. This is offset by the use of savings in banks for loans and investments, but banks must keep some in reserve, so it's still something of a drag. Savings have a valuable part in the economy, so it's important for the savings rate to be appropriate for the economic situation (otherwise bubbles or recessions follow). Private savings also don't function as a social safety net, since some investments go bad, and some people can't save enough in the first place. How is a public transfer program supposed to be less secure?
Why would stimulus packages be less useful with people using savings instead of regular payouts? Wouldn't the shrinking of retirement account investments in a recession lower propensity to spend, resulting in a need for a larger stimulus?
Like AAA-rated mortgage-based securities? I'm serious. Think carefully about what sort of investments you're proposing, and how those securities looked in 2005.
Intergenerational transfer programs can work with a steady-state population distribution, or even a shrinking population, so long as things are balanced for the conditions. I think that the US can maintain a relatively high fertility rate for at least as long as abstinence-only sex ed is popular and abortion has something of a social stigma.Q.U. wrote:There surely are worse inventions. But in general it is not a sustainable concept in the long run, where we know what the trends are. Now US is rather unusual, because it has a high immigration rate, and that increases the total fertility of the society, which allows the current system to keep on going. The only questions are: how long can it keep being positive, and how much will it cost to keep it active for how long.The US is currently at its peak historical population growth. The Baby Boom had a higher percentage growth rate, but the numbers were smaller. So the US is in decent shape for the time being. Most other developed countries less so. There are some rather worse economic inventions than Social Security.
No modern economy can reliably avoid economic trouble altogether. The longest span between recessions in the US was ten years in the 1990s. Recessions will happen, so a retirement plan has to accommodate them somehow. What do you think would have happened during the recent "Great" recession if Social Security had been replaced with private retirement accounts, as had been proposed at various times in the past?Q.U. wrote:What does that have to do with recession? If you get your country into recession it will screw up most things anyway. I'm talking about a stable healthy economy. In which case my point holds true, that as of all the trends of ageing countries that we've seen by now, the pay-as-you-go system will eventually become a dangerous drag.Why would stimulus packages be less useful with people using savings instead of regular payouts? Wouldn't the shrinking of retirement account investments in a recession lower propensity to spend, resulting in a need for a larger stimulus?
A AAA credit rating is the highest available, held by the US government as well as certain other governments and organizations. If something is rated AAA, it's supposed to mean that it's pretty much a sure thing, like US government bonds. In the run-up to the financial crisis, mortgage-based debt was packaged, obfuscated, repackaged, rated AAA, and sold as "safe" investment securities. The mortgages really merited nowhere near AAA, but the financial organizations that packaged them could make more money by understating the risk. Such securities were incorporated into retirement savings, which were severely impacted when the financial crisis hit and it became apparent how bad they really were.Q.U. wrote:I wouldn't know what you're referring to. But I can imagine that whatever the problem was, it could have been avoided if done right. Simple as that.Like AAA-rated mortgage-based securities? I'm serious. Think carefully about what sort of investments you're proposing, and how those securities looked in 2005.
A AAA credit rating is the highest available, held by the US government as well as certain other governments and organizations. If something is rated AAA, it's supposed to mean that it's pretty much a sure thing, like US government bonds. In the run-up to the financial crisis, mortgage-based debt was packaged, obfuscated, repackaged, rated AAA, and sold as "safe" investment securities. The mortgages really merited nowhere near AAA, but the financial organizations that packaged them could make more money by understating the risk. Such securities were incorporated into retirement savings, which were severely impacted when the financial crisis hit and it became apparent how bad they really were.