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Discussion in 'Politics and News' started by CycloWizard, Apr 26, 2012.
I know reality isn't going to change (much), so instead I try to change what I can. In the end, my lifetime tax bill will not even cover 0.0001% of this year's deficit. The problem is that, even if we took all of the possessions of the wealthiest 1%, it would only cover the deficit for one year. We're then back to square one. It therefore seems to me that the best way to return government to reality is to have more people with some skin in the game, even if it's a very small amount, just so that they might care about the way things are run. Our government is currently spending $10,000 each year for every man, woman, and child living in the US. That there are still many people making only marginally more than that while working full time as adults means they are doing something horribly, horribly wrong.
You're fortunate to be at one of the best VAs in the country. They are certainly not all like that. I worked at the St. Louis VA which ranked at the bottom in nearly every category. The average is obviously somewhere between our two experiences and that probably colors our views a bit.
I don't think taking the tax rate up to 35 or 40 % or more on the 1% will do much at all other than the psychology impact on the rest of the population... AND, in my opinion, the first most important aspect of any economic theory MUST consider what the people think... What will the folks who are targeted with stimulus do with the monies... Today we'd see folks pay down debt and even invest... when, of course, we'd want them to spend and incur more debt...
Folks 'feel' good when someone better off is brought down a bit even if they don't see that the after tax income the 1% will have is still going to separate them from the pack... and even more so as the yield increases in proportion to the economic health produced...
I am very much Demand Sided but know you must set the table first. The Right could learn about setting the table, I think.... but then they have butlers to do that sort of thing...
They are not disobeying the law - they are only speaking out that the law, which will affect them at a later date, is unjust. As you say, they have every right to make such an argument and I agree that they do not have the right to break a law that they find unjust.
This is one of the problems with the US today: anyone in the top 1% is considered evil. It is assumed that they achieved such an income level through illicit methods and that those earning less earn less because they play by the rules. Thus, the wealthy must be punished. This is what we are told over and over again by politicians, so it must be true. Yet many of the wealthiest earned their money directly through innovation, product development, and improving the lives of their customers (in the estimation of their customers anyway, who freely handed over their cash for the product). Is this evil or legitimate, merely perceived as evil due to some creative marketing? If legitimate, then punishing them simply to pacify the masses is completely unethical. If illegitimate, then arrest them and seize their assets. Pandering to poorly formed prejudices is no way to run a country.
You address the greater good... Of course, you are right!
I don't pretend that what I advocated is in accord with the greater good but, rather, I maintain that what I suggest is essential to effect a change that is desirable from and economic point of view.
Actually, as I see it, folks play the hand before them. They consider only the cards they see but should also consider the ones dealt and not visible along with the cards to be dealt.
IF the objective is to get an economy going that is what government strives to accomplish. IF feeding the hungry is omitted from that process it will be justified as being essential to the greater economic good...
But, that is the difference between the temporal view and the eternal view and the teachings that provide for that difference.
I suppose I'd opine that assuming we both went to the same schools and with our PhDs in hand we venture into the 'world'. You to the business of making money... lots of money and me to the University to teach... both apparently doing what we have a passion to do... You own yachts and houses and all manner of rich people stuff and I much less. You're happy and I'm happy and I don't resent your station in life but figure it is the exploitation of our education in different fields... But even if I simply labored in some minimum wage position, not having the education, I'd not resent you having yours and attaining all the benefits of that exploitation... But many would... they'd resent what you have regardless of how you attained it... because they don't have it... regardless of why they don't. And so, Economists must consider the reality of that if they are to develop the model to produce the desired results...
That is my thesis articulated in the other posts... The greater good is subordinated to the needs of Caesar's house.
I'm simply arguing that people who are jealous will be jealous until their bitter end, so attempting to appease them is hopeless. The grass is always greener and people want what they don't have because their religion is the worship of stuff. Since there is always more stuff to buy, they can never be satisfied. This is the worst type of religion you can impose using the force of law because the equation will never balance: on the one hand, we have finite stuff and on the other we have infinite demand for that stuff. Trying to meet infinite demand is a fool's errand and explains the unconscionable financial mess that all western nations face today.
No bout adout that...
Now if we can only exploit that to the fullest we'd be back on track... Just think how much more the 1% could earn by getting a tax hike and showing the more greedy folks all is well... spend spend max out credit cards all is well again.
So, uhh, the Catholic Bishops are speaking up out of Jealousy? Really?
The term you really need to apply to the situation is greed, and the lust for power, which are most easily observed among the wealthiest. There's really no other explanation for billionaires wanting more money, or for their congressional toadies trying to get them more tax cuts while snatching away services from the neediest among us.
Sheesh. Wake up.
Do you work for money, or are you strictly a volunteer? At what point does it become greedy to work for money? Why should someone adding value to society do what they do best for nothing when you will not volunteer your time and talent? You are jealous that their talents are worth more to society than your own. It's impossible to make money by taking services from others since money is made by providing services. You've flipped the problem on its head and therefore see things upside down.
I don't know much so I may be wrong in thinking that the debt level is a subject of debate as to whether it is unconscionable or not. I thought the debate was between austerity and stimulus in times of recession or depression or even that our debt has been greater in the past and that these matters are debated by different kinds or economists. I didn't think it was settled. Also, as regards markets, it would seem that without demand there would be no supply so that if folk didn't have insane demands the economy would be very small in comparison to what it is, with far far less wealth to share. Again, I do not know, but I always hear this worship of the market.
Furthermore, who is to blame for the 'insatiable demands of people'. Surely you understand that if I don't drive the best car, I won't breed with the best women and I'm not about to let that happen. I don't think of the pressure I feel when my wad expands and needs to blow to be exactly insane. I rather enjoy it. And the ride is nice too. My only interest is that not everybody can afford the cars I drive.
CycloWizard: Do you work for money, or are you strictly a volunteer?
M: Are you saying you either work for money or you volunteer? Surely you can work and get paid without the amount being a primary factor. I would bet that there is many a professor who teaches for the love of teaching and makes a good salary but nothing to what he could make if his motivation was money.
CW: At what point does it become greedy to work for money?
M: When the motivator is money over other things.
CW: Why should someone adding value to society do what they do best for nothing when you will not volunteer your time and talent?
M: Who says they should? What we want to do is have a sane definition of value. Why, for example, would we want to pay high salaries to folk who dump toxic waste in rivers. It's more profitable for a business to do that than to be responsible.
CW: You are jealous that their talents are worth more to society than your own.
M: Unfortunately we do not pay people for what they are worth to society, otherwise all the wise people in the world like LunarRay would be billionaires. What we pay them for is the benefits they bring to private individuals, especially ones that live forever, and often to the detriment to the commons.
CW: It's impossible to make money by taking services from others since money is made by providing services. You've flipped the problem on its head and therefore see things upside down.
M: I think we see that pay is in the service of masters and that what you call services you also call insatiable needs.
so OP is only against the catholic church when it speaks out against defending the poor and vulnerable?
I'm not going to play this game. You can either answer the question I have directly asked you several times (i.e. ignore me) or I can ignore you. Take your pick.
Would you be so kind as to tell me the question again?
They seem to have only read the Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's part of the bible. Of course then they wouldn't bitch so much about paying taxes. I'm so confused.
That would make sense in some bizzarro universe, I suppose, but not in this one.
It's not like I've asked for anything for myself, at all. Quite the contrary. I've done well, thanks in no small part to a certain amount of luck, so if my taxes need to go up too, I'll accept that, provided that people making a helluva lot more pay more and proportionally more, too. What sort of tax rate would it take to crimp the lifestyles of those making millions/month, anyway? or billions/year?
What you refuse to recognize is that enormous incomes aren't about money, but about power, the power to run other people's lives in business or by influencing govt. Which is exactly what the Republican party represents- they're the party of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich, with an all too large a number of delusional hangers-on.
I haven't turned it upside down- you have. Cut foodstamps! Hack Medicaid & Medicare! Slash the programs that help those less fortunate have a chance to get ahead! For what? Tax cuts for the Job Creators! which hasn't worked yet, and there's really no reason to think that more of the same won't just yield more of the same.
America's wealthiest and Corporate interests in general are doing extremely well, even as the rest of the country languishes in the aftermath of the Ownership Society, the biggest flimflam in the history of finance, brought to us all by the ideology you still support so avidly.
As the Catholic Bishops seem to ask, what sort of shared sacrifice do those most capable of painless sacrifice offer, anyway? The answer is not a damned thing- they got theirs, as the rest of us just need to screw off, huh?
'I've never seen a poem as lovely as a tree' or a rich man mired in a sick economy.
I think that regardless of anything else in Economics there are factors that must be universally accepted... And they are:
When the ability to demand is terminated revival of that ability requires more than what previously sustained it.
The relevance demand deprivation has on an economy is exponential as the number of demand dis-enabled folks increases. (trickle here, trickle there, trickle everywhere)
No component of society benefit from a sick economy at the onset and few during its festering period.
Some components of society can outlast other classes in direct proportion to their wealth differential.
There is always a point when an economy can succumb to its illness.
At a point and before the vast majority rebel against the aristocracy sending them to the guillotine, the king, his dukes, earls and knights will develop a Lazarus effect but in a manner that provides ultimate power to the king and his table mates.
When we let the facts speak for themselves we must inquire of the facts why? What is obvious of the facts?
What I see is a component of our society willing to let our economy die along with that component which does not nor will ever serve their needs or wants.
I see Richmond gathering about him hordes of like minded blind followers as he marches to Bosworth Field... He is intent to rid the land of Richard and eliminate the name Plantagenet from every obelisk and tree... The king is dead... long live the king. (metaphorically speaking)
You're right, for the most part, although you miss a couple of factors. The ability to sell short & to buy protection in synthetic derivatives gives a wealthy few the ability to profit enormously at the onset of calamity, like the Magnetar trade-
And it's not just a question of outlasting, but of administering the beat down. There's no better time to be rich than when everybody else is broke, and no better way to reinforce that than with austerity. The whole point is to create hard money in the wake of all the money raked in during the previous soft money period, because the nature of opportunity is now inverted. Given low demand, the obvious answer is layoffs & increased efficiency, giving better margins on reduced sales, and hoarding of liquidity until demand picks up, which it won't if liquidity hoarding reaches critical mass. At that point, debt/deflation sets in, and money gains value sitting idle. Recovery from that takes enormous amounts of time, but rich people don't care- they got theirs, and the rest of us can just buzz off...
Yes, the rich could sell short but in my model that produces facts and facts are not what the seller wants his prospective horde of mindless to be confronted by initially... Some of course will avail of that investment vehicle but the psychology is to not do that, as I see it. As the economy moves down it becomes a defensible and prudent move...
AA and UAL shorts back in 2001 raised red flags among many.... they were beyond the beyonds from my point of view but completely disregarded as being maybe... interesting. After the fact they'd not earn as much and before the fact purchasing the contracts produced interesting facts that support some folks notion of being part of an alternative conspiracy.
Now, I don't disagree with you nor would argue that what I think is the only way... but, rather, it fits what I'd expect to see. My thinking is not only based on what usually happens but also the mindset of the players... as I see it... Exxon knows they will outlast administrations and governments so they play by their rules and everyone gets in step... Most of what should happen opinion has to be filtered through a particular type of sieve... one that first figures out who is king and what game are we playing. I'm looking at a few balls on my desk... damned if I know which to bring...
Dang Obama for trying to thwart the plans of the Right to control the world... I'd like to see what happens but then I should care about the rest of you and not hope to see what I expect to occur happen.
I'd expect to see disinflation occur as all means to remedy are employed and Then deflation so that big money can acquire during the latter stages but before revolution. Edit: I ment all means allowed to remedy.... end edit
One thing for sure as I see it... Congress is behaving like I'd expect as they run further to the right... who lives there... on that right?