President Trump

AdmiralMotti89
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Re: President Trump

Post by AdmiralMotti89 »

rhendon wrote:
Apollyon wrote:
rhendon wrote:Wasn't the 80's the start of the trickle down economics that Republicans love so much?
Neoliberalism has been the ruling economic ideology since the 80s (and arguably earlier):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

Trickle-down is another term for supply-side economics, which operates with the belief that reducing production costs makes goods affordable to more people.
Yea I was just thinking more about Regan and his policy. I thought he had coined the term but reading what you wrote he apparently changed what neoliberalism means.

So the graphs show what happens when we follow an actor, not a politician or economics person's policies. Sort of like the country following Trump's policies. Hooray. We're doomed.
Not only did Reagan not coin the term, using the term is sort of like calling the estate tax the "death tax." It might have a nice ring to it based on one's angle towards the general concept, but it's not used by those who support any actual policy remotely resembling the characterization.

As for following the policies of a president who is "not a politician or economics person" even a cursory look at history shows that that has little to do with anything. Eisenhower avoided politics (unless one counts his university presidency) and didn't fully commit to a campaign until the June before he was elected. LBJ was a career politician and one would be hard pressed to say he outperformed Eisenhower, especially with his actions regarding Vietnam and the unintended social consequences of the Great Society. Comparing a ranking of presidents with each's number of years in politics and/or studying economics would be an interesting look to see if there is any notable correlation (much less causation) between doing well and time being a politician (or economist) when viewed closer.

And if one is interested in what an economist might have to say on the topic, here is an article by Thomas Sowell.
And here is an actor criticizing the recent tax bill. Who is more right? I have a feeling there might suddenly be more interest in evaluating a position on more than just whether it comes from an actor vs. an "economics person." It might show that there is more to evaluating policy than referencing the general credentials of the person whose name is associated with it.


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Re: President Trump

Post by Apollyon »

AdmiralMotti89 wrote:And if one is interested in what an economist might have to say on the topic, here is an article by Thomas Sowell.
And here is an actor criticizing the recent tax bill. Who is more right? I have a feeling there might suddenly be more interest in evaluating a position on more than just whether it comes from an actor vs. an "economics person." It might show that there is more to evaluating policy than referencing the general credentials of the person whose name is associated with it.
Interesting read, I'll finish it when I get some time. Page 1 has a bizarre point - he seems to be arguing the technically correct question of "what's trickle-down economics?". The Wikipedia page for Trickle-down Economics has existed since 2004 (8 years before he published it).

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Re: President Trump

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I checked out the Wiki page on it first, and something struck me in that Sewell argues that reducing taxes will work in workers getting paid more. Our president and his advisors (along with many congressmen as well) thought those exact same thing as they passed the tax cuts. In fact, most CEOs told them what would happen. Business would pay down debt first and foremost, then pay shareholders and then anything left would go to the workers. Its always thought and said during tax cut discussions that reducing the tax on the wealthy will result in more money being invested into the common man. It never happens in actuality, or hasn't since I've been alive. It certainly didn't happen this time either. Yea we may have some of the lowest unemployment in history, but workers aren't seeing more money from it and we live in one of the biggest income disparity gaps in our history. History shows that when income gaps reach high levels, the poor rise up and topple the government.

If we reduce taxes on the poor, the poor have more money. The poor don't put it in banks and sit on it. They spend it. That money then turns into more profits for business and the wealthy who have it.

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Re: President Trump

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Apollyon wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:And if one is interested in what an economist might have to say on the topic, here is an article by Thomas Sowell.
And here is an actor criticizing the recent tax bill. Who is more right? I have a feeling there might suddenly be more interest in evaluating a position on more than just whether it comes from an actor vs. an "economics person." It might show that there is more to evaluating policy than referencing the general credentials of the person whose name is associated with it.
Interesting read, I'll finish it when I get some time. Page 1 has a bizarre point - he seems to be arguing the technically correct question of "what's trickle-down economics?". The Wikipedia page for Trickle-down Economics has existed since 2004 (8 years before he published it).
I'm not quite sure I'm reading your post right, but I think what Sowell would say is not that nobody has ever said "trickle-down theory," but that no economist who supports policies that resemble what others pejoratively refer to as "trickle-down theory" call it that.

But he does a just fine job of explaining that himself once one gets to page 2 (with some of my bold added for TLDR expediency):
Moreover, the reasons for proposing such tax cuts are often verbally transformed from those of the advocates— namely, changing economic behavior in ways that generate more output, income and resulting higher tax revenues—to a very different theory attributed to the advocates by the opponents, namely “the trickle-down theory.” No such theory has been found in even the most voluminous and learned histories of economic theories, including J.A. Schumpeter’s monumental 1,260-page History of Economic Analysis. Yet this non-existent theory* has become the object of denunciations from the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post to the political arena. It has been attacked by Professor Paul Krugman of Princeton and Professor Peter Corning of Stanford, among others, and similar attacks have been repeated as far away as India. It is a classic example of arguing against a caricature instead of confronting the argument actually made.
That's why I brought up "death tax" vs. "estate tax." As far as I can tell, practically no one who supports taxing of the transfer of wealth from a deceased person's estate calls it the "death tax." (side note: It is interesting how "trickle-down economics" has its own wikipedia page but "death tax" redirects one to a subheading of the "estate tax in the Unites States" page.)
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

rhendon wrote:If we reduce taxes on the poor, the poor have more money. The poor don't put it in banks and sit on it. They spend it. That money then turns into more profits for business and the wealthy who have it.
this in economic terms is called the velocity of money. poor/lower middle class people spend money when you give it to them, as rhendon said. in fact sometimes giving a $1k tax cut to working class people will result in them spending MORE than $1k. rich/upper class people have a much lower velocity of money.
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Re: President Trump

Post by AdmiralMotti89 »

Long-winded over-detailed portion:
Spoiler
Show
rhendon wrote:I checked out the Wiki page on it first, and something struck me in that Sewell argues that reducing taxes will work in workers getting paid more. Our president and his advisors (along with many congressmen as well) thought those exact same thing as they passed the tax cuts. In fact, most CEOs told them what would happen. Business would pay down debt first and foremost, then pay shareholders and then anything left would go to the workers. Its always thought and said during tax cut discussions that reducing the tax on the wealthy will result in more money being invested into the common man. It never happens in actuality, or hasn't since I've been alive. It certainly didn't happen this time either.
Here is the paragraph I think you're referring to, on the wikipedia trickle-down economics page:
Economist Thomas Sowell has written extensively on trickle-down economics and loathes its characterization, citing that supply-side economics has never claimed to work in a "trickle-down" fashion. Rather, the economic theory of reducing marginal tax rates works in precisely the opposite direction: "Workers are always paid first and then profits flow upward later – if at all".
Here is a fuller context of that quote (and only about a page long). I'm not sure which CEOs said what you said they said, but your (mis)characterization of Sowell's description is exactly what he wrote about.
rhendon wrote: Yea we may have some of the lowest unemployment in history, but workers aren't seeing more money from it and we live in one of the biggest income disparity gaps in our history. History shows that when income gaps reach high levels, the poor rise up and topple the government.

A pretty general statement, could you cite the specific historical examples you are referring to? It seems like you are suggesting that income inequality is the cause of the revolts, which may be true. But I would suspect that while relative poverty matters in such situations, absolute poverty matters much more. The French revolution, for example, was complicated of course, but the key factor to spark the unrest at the time was (to oversimplify) not that Marie Antoinette was eating "cake" while the third estate was eating bread. It's that the third estate was running out of anything to eat at all.

How do we fix income inequality? How will we know when it's been defeated?
Here is the quintile distribution of income in the US as of 2016:
Lowest: 3.1%
2nd: 8.3%
3rd: 14.2%
4th: 22.9%
Highest: 51.5%

What would be the ideal distribution (e.g. 10/15/20/25/30, or 18/19/20/21/22, etc.), and how do we get there? Or is there another way we would measure success?

By the way, any discussion of unequal distribution should at least consider how the Pareto Principle might affect efforts.

Another factor that hasn't shown up in the discussion yet as far as I can tell is the concept of assortative mating. As more education (and therefore more levels of credential) becomes available the assortative effect of education on mating becomes more pronounced. (Even if the article isn't available the abstract should be)
rhendon wrote: If we reduce taxes on the poor, the poor have more money. The poor don't put it in banks and sit on it. They spend it. That money then turns into more profits for business and the wealthy who have it.
The lowest two quintiles already pay on average a negative income tax, for example, and combine for 4.2% of all federal taxes paid.

By reducing taxes, do you mean to increase income tax credits, or were you referring to reducing the 0.8% the lowest quintile pays on all federal taxes to 0%, for example?

I'm not going after specific detailed answers to any of these questions (unless you feel like it) or anything like that (although I would be interested to hear which historical revolts were more about relative poverty than absolute poverty, if that is indeed what you were suggesting). My point is that in considering these questions, it's not as simple as cutting taxes for the poor and increasing taxes for the rich and then things will be better, and even moreso, even defining the goal is complicated.
Main idea:

The real question might be, "why should the rich pay higher taxes?" To boil things wayyyy down, I don't think too many people (maybe I'm wrong) would say it's because the rich have too much money in an absolute sense. I think they would say that other people don't have enough money in an absolute sense, and from the rich is where they can get enough money. (Therefore we might say the rich do have too much money in a relative sense).

In other words, we need to tax the rich because the poor need more. And how do the poor get that money? The government collects revenue, and distributes it. But as Sowell showed, it's hardly clear that increased rates = increased revenues, and in fact he says the data shows the opposite several times in the 20th Century. How could this possibly be? Sowell has couple paragraphs that get to the heart of that (bold added) in first article I posted:
Spoiler
Show
p. 6 wrote:Repeatedly, over the years, the arguments of the proponents and
opponents of tax rate reductions have been arguments about two
fundamentally different things. Proponents of tax rate cuts base their
arguments on anticipated changes in behavior by investors in response
to reduced income tax rates.
Opponents of tax cuts attribute to the
proponents a desire to see higher income taxpayers have more after-tax
income, so that their prosperity will somehow “trickle down” to others,
which opponents of tax cuts deny will happen. One side is talking about
behavioral changes that can change the total output of the economy,
while
the other side is talking about changing the direction of existing after-tax
income flows among people of differing income levels at existing levels
of output. These have been arguments about very different things, and
the two arguments have largely gone past each other untouched.
p.12 wrote:Implicit in the approach of both academic and media critics of what
they call “tax cuts for the rich” and a “trickle-down theory” is a zero-sum
conception of the economy, where the benefits of some come at
the expense of others. That those with such a zero-sum conception of the
economy often show little or no interest in the factors affecting
the creation of wealth
— as distinguished from their preoccupation with
its distribution— is consistent with their vision, however inconsistent it
is with the views of others who are focussed on the growth of the
economy, as emphasized by both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald
Reagan, for example.
If one's argument is that the poor need more wealth, the means of achieving that goal might look very different from the usual characterizations.

(Bonus spending cut music video)
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

music video was funny, best part was all the names of the fake senators

i obviously think both sides engage in hyperbole, but what we're seeing in politics right now is an actual problem - escalation (political theorists call it constitutional hardball) without any end in sight. democrats blocked nixon's and reagan's scotus appointments (bork being the higher profile example), so republicans block obama's. gov't shutdowns, changes to the filibuster rule, and so on.
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

and regarding supply side stuff, i think the problem is kind of in the question. there's no real need for the USA to care about how much revenue is generated by income taxes. we should modernize our system ofc (mostly with a gst or something similar) but it's better to view tax policy as incentives/disincentives and to structure it accordingly. in the past lawmakers created policy with little to no regard to behavioral psychology (because it wasn't a field of study) but now that we have access to it we should craft policy with it in mind. do we want humans to hoard wealth and pass it on to only their biological progeny? if not, create policy (including tax policy) that addresses that issue in a strategic way. do we want people that get unlucky due to economic decisions far outside of their control (ie trade policy/tax policy/changes in consumer behavior/invisible hand decimates the industry they work in) to be destroyed and unable to recover (usually with generational impacts)? if not, create a social safety net so that the creative destruction of the free market can happen without lasting damage to our country's human capital.

our general problem in tax policy is the sunk cost fallacy - we think it's too costly to scrap the system and so we keep it, but we're not calculating the advantages of changing it correctly imo. this to me describes a LOT of federal policy, not just tax policy fwiw. we have a system inherently weighted toward small c conservatism, and so we generally don't make big changes, even when the benefits would greatly outweigh the costs.
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Re: President Trump

Post by Apollyon »

mikefrench wrote:and regarding supply side stuff, i think the problem is kind of in the question. there's no real need for the USA to care about how much revenue is generated by income taxes. we should modernize our system ofc (mostly with a gst or something similar) but it's better to view tax policy as incentives/disincentives and to structure it accordingly. in the past lawmakers created policy with little to no regard to behavioral psychology (because it wasn't a field of study) but now that we have access to it we should craft policy with it in mind. do we want humans to hoard wealth and pass it on to only their biological progeny? if not, create policy (including tax policy) that addresses that issue in a strategic way. do we want people that get unlucky due to economic decisions far outside of their control (ie trade policy/tax policy/changes in consumer behavior/invisible hand decimates the industry they work in) to be destroyed and unable to recover (usually with generational impacts)? if not, create a social safety net so that the creative destruction of the free market can happen without lasting damage to our country's human capital.

our general problem in tax policy is the sunk cost fallacy - we think it's too costly to scrap the system and so we keep it, but we're not calculating the advantages of changing it correctly imo. this to me describes a LOT of federal policy, not just tax policy fwiw. we have a system inherently weighted toward small c conservatism, and so we generally don't make big changes, even when the benefits would greatly outweigh the costs.
Sunk cost is more of an issue in microeconomics vs macroeconomics (not to say that it's still not an issue). Radical policy changes are disruptive for planning - look at the new tariffs and their short announcement->enforcement window (15 days). Shipping time from China to the US via boat is about a week, so if your big order wasn't sitting on the docks when it was announced, it's possible that you got hit with a surprise bill for an order that you placed before the tariffs were announced.

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Re: President Trump

Post by Apollyon »

AdmiralMotti89 wrote:How do we fix income inequality? How will we know when it's been defeated?
Here is the quintile distribution of income in the US as of 2016:
Lowest: 3.1%
2nd: 8.3%
3rd: 14.2%
4th: 22.9%
Highest: 51.5%

What would be the ideal distribution (e.g. 10/15/20/25/30, or 18/19/20/21/22, etc.), and how do we get there? Or is there another way we would measure success?
I don't know enough to say that I know what the ideal distribution is. But I'd suspect that it involves less wealth at the top.

In high school, we did a thought experiment - pretend that you have Bill Gates's wealth (call it $80 billion), and figure out how to spend it. So let's say that I decide to buy a Maserati every day, drive it, then set it on fire at night. The cost is about $160k/day, which would take about 1289 years to spend all of it. It quickly becomes obvious that there's some amount of wealth that's impossible to move on a personal level without either a massive project or wasteful spending.
By the way, any discussion of unequal distribution should at least consider how the Pareto Principle might affect efforts.
The Pareto Principle works as a shorthand rule in some cases, but we should be careful to not overapply it.
I'm not going after specific detailed answers to any of these questions (unless you feel like it) or anything like that (although I would be interested to hear which historical revolts were more about relative poverty than absolute poverty, if that is indeed what you were suggesting). My point is that in considering these questions, it's not as simple as cutting taxes for the poor and increasing taxes for the rich and then things will be better, and even moreso, even defining the goal is complicated.
The problem with a lot of the examples that Sowell lists early on (still haven't read all of it) is that the wealthy can hide their income from tax. There's definitely an optimal tax rate (I don't know enough to say what it is), and ideally, it should match our effective tax rate.
The real question might be, "why should the rich pay higher taxes?" To boil things wayyyy down, I don't think too many people (maybe I'm wrong) would say it's because the rich have too much money in an absolute sense. I think they would say that other people don't have enough money in an absolute sense, and from the rich is where they can get enough money. (Therefore we might say the rich do have too much money in a relative sense).
It's also fair to say that the rich have too much money in an absolute sense as well. See my above example; after a certain point, you're accumulating money just to accumulate it.

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Re: President Trump

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Apollyon wrote:
By the way, any discussion of unequal distribution should at least consider how the Pareto Principle might affect efforts.
The Pareto Principle works as a shorthand rule in some cases, but we should be careful to not overapply it.
I don't think considering how it might affect efforts is overapplication. 80/20 doesn't have to be destiny for us to consider that the tendency might be towards concentration in a quintile.
Apollyon wrote: The problem with a lot of the examples that Sowell lists early on (still haven't read all of it) is that the wealthy can hide their income from tax. There's definitely an optimal tax rate (I don't know enough to say what it is), and ideally, it should match our effective tax rate.
Could you explain more what you mean by "hide?" Are we talking about filtering through companies, using resources that most don't have to take advantage of the tax code, or outright deception in declaring earned income (or a mix of those, or something else?)
Apollyon wrote:I don't know enough to say that I know what the ideal distribution is. But I'd suspect that it involves less wealth at the top.
If you're making a "would that it were" statement that if we could snap our fingers and have less concentration in the top quintile, society would be better, that's something quite different from suggesting that governmental action should be taken to "correct" the distribution, with all of government's inefficiencies, lack of knowledge, unintended consequences, and even corruption. I'm not sure which one (or both or something else) you might be getting at.
Apollyon wrote:In high school, we did a thought experiment - pretend that you have Bill Gates's wealth (call it $80 billion), and figure out how to spend it. So let's say that I decide to buy a Maserati every day, drive it, then set it on fire at night. The cost is about $160k/day, which would take about 1289 years to spend all of it. It quickly becomes obvious that there's some amount of wealth that's impossible to move on a personal level without either a massive project or wasteful spending.
Apollyon wrote:
The real question might be, "why should the rich pay higher taxes?" To boil things wayyyy down, I don't think too many people (maybe I'm wrong) would say it's because the rich have too much money in an absolute sense. I think they would say that other people don't have enough money in an absolute sense, and from the rich is where they can get enough money. (Therefore we might say the rich do have too much money in a relative sense).
It's also fair to say that the rich have too much money in an absolute sense as well. See my above example; after a certain point, you're accumulating money just to accumulate it.
This is where it becomes important to take seriously Sowell's point about the zero-sum misconception of wealth. (putting aside for the time being that you didn't really explain why having more wealth than is allegedly "possible to move" is actually a bad thing) Being so preoccupied with the distribution of wealth leads one to ignore what creates it.

As for "too much," you seem to define it has having more than one can spend, as if it's obvious why that's harmful (and it's a different definition from the implications of my post). When I referred to some people not having enough money, it's clear the amount (lack) of money is doing harm in that perspective. They don't have enough for food/clothing/heat/etc. But thinking of "too much" in the same comparison doesn't really elicit the notion of harm. One can drink too much alcohol and be harmed, but that's not how money works.

It seems like you're imagining, as Sowell describes it, "a zero-sum conception of the economy, where the benefits of some come at the expense of others." A kid with a lemonade stand (once they complete the 15 hour food safety class and other requirements, of course) creates a product, and people who value the product more than the money it costs to acquire it exchange their money for the product. Gates provided a product so desirable that people who valued the product more than they valued the money it would cost to acquire the product exchanged their money for the product. I actually use this product to run a small (perpetual garage sale, more like it) business, to generate money for myself and for an organization important to me (and also the online auction house that connects me with buyers). The buyers get pieces of paper they value more than the (converted-into-electronic) pieces of paper they give me in exchange, after a courier service gets paid to deliver it to them using the materials that I paid another business for to pack the pieces of paper. I think that's at 7ish winners so far? If you want to argue that there are "losers" in these examples, like the people printing, cutting and packing the cards in the first place, you'll have some sympathy. But improving working conditions does not prevent a product from being so desirable that the producer ends up with an "amount of wealth that's impossible to move on a personal level without either a massive project or wasteful spending" when people choose to buy it.

Let's say there were an algorithm that incorporates one's family size, cost of living, etc. and perfectly determines the exact dollar amount at which a person has More Money Than They Could Possibly Spend. Are you critical of the idea that the structure of society even allows a person to reach that point? Or are would you say that something particular should be done with wealth accrued beyond that point? Or something else?
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

i literally own a restaurant. i took my food safety class online last week. it took 30 minutes. be skeptical.
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Re: President Trump

Post by mikefrench »

also i actually don't have a problem with some people having more money than they can reasonably ever spend. i agree that economics shouldn't be zero-sum. generally economic activity is win-win; the seller creates a system whereby he wins by selling his product, and the buyer actively desires the product and wants to purchase it at the agreed upon price. what i do have a problem with is humans dying and suffering when we could very easily take collective action to lessen their suffering and prevent many of the deaths at relatively low cost (note i am not arguing that the cost doesn't matter, or that we should strive for equality even when we start to see diminishing returns as the costs escalate). we have created a system in america where there are numerous fixes that would greatly lessen human suffering/death that would carry zero or negative cost.

one example of this in the past: salt iodization

one example that we could start with tomorrow if we had the political will: lead abatement
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Re: President Trump

Post by rhendon »

AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
How do we fix income inequality? How will we know when it's been defeated?
Here is the quintile distribution of income in the US as of 2016:
Lowest: 3.1%
2nd: 8.3%
3rd: 14.2%
4th: 22.9%
Highest: 51.5%

What would be the ideal distribution (e.g. 10/15/20/25/30, or 18/19/20/21/22, etc.), and how do we get there? Or is there another way we would measure success?
See you want a perfect answer. There isn't any because we don't have the information as of yet to make that determination. What I can tell you from living in the current extreme is that this isn't working. So we need to change it. I don't think higher is an good choice either since as the income disparity has gotten worse, the worse our country has gotten.
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
By reducing taxes, do you mean to increase income tax credits, or were you referring to reducing the 0.8% the lowest quintile pays on all federal taxes to 0%, for example?
At this point, poor is basically everyone after that 50% of our countries income. So basically the other 99% of us, not the 1%.
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:My point is that in considering these questions, it's not as simple as cutting taxes for the poor and increasing taxes for the rich and then things will be better, and even moreso, even defining the goal is complicated.[/spoiler]
I never said as such. There is no immediate fix to any of our problems. The first step is admitting we have one though. Would you care to admit that income disparity is a problem?
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:The real question might be, "why should the rich pay higher taxes?" To boil things wayyyy down, I don't think too many people (maybe I'm wrong) would say it's because the rich have too much money in an absolute sense. I think they would say that other people don't have enough money in an absolute sense, and from the rich is where they can get enough money. (Therefore we might say the rich do have too much money in a relative sense).
Why should the rich pay more? Because they have more to pay. Even in a flat tax society, they'd still pay more. If we tax everyone at 10% income, the guy that makes 50k, pays 5k. The guy that makes 10 million, pays 1 million. Should the guy making 1 million pay 5k and thus pay less than a percent of his income?

While we are at it, why should the rich have more money? Is it right that someone like Trump makes more than a teacher or doctor or someone that provides a massive social value? Why do entertainers make millions and teachers make less than strippers?
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:In other words, we need to tax the rich because the poor need more. And how do the poor get that money? The government collects revenue, and distributes it.

If one's argument is that the poor need more wealth, the means of achieving that goal might look very different from the usual characterizations.
We don't need to tax the rich because the poor need more. We need to tax the rich because they are the ones with the money to tax. The poor do not need handouts which is what it sounds like you are implying. They need a government that provides equal value services to its citizens. The best case example of that is that public schools should be equal across the board, but yet they aren't. The schools in rich areas provide better education to its students than those in poor areas. Public school is public school. Yet we've allowed the rich to cater to their children first through the government.

Texas has been slowly trying to kill public education for years now. Perry wanted everyone to send their kids to private school rather than have a public education system. Not that he was trying to remove it exactly but he preferred everyone to send their kids to private school. Why? Because the state wouldn't have to pay as much money for it. Because it further widens the educational gap between the poor and rich. Now what does that do? Well most of the money in the US is in white hands. So furthering that divide helps keep the power in white hands. Its all back to racism.

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Re: President Trump

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rhendon wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
How do we fix income inequality? How will we know when it's been defeated?
Here is the quintile distribution of income in the US as of 2016:
Lowest: 3.1%
2nd: 8.3%
3rd: 14.2%
4th: 22.9%
Highest: 51.5%

What would be the ideal distribution (e.g. 10/15/20/25/30, or 18/19/20/21/22, etc.), and how do we get there? Or is there another way we would measure success?
See you want a perfect answer.
No, I am quite consistent in that question with not going after specific detailed answers, and this unfair characterization needs to be addressed before anything else. My point was that suggesting plans for any alternative, whether a specific alternative quintile distribution or something much more vague, opens up the plans for an alternative to examination of unintended consequences.
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Re: President Trump

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It took a while, but we finally tied the economic dicussion to racism. #wellplayed

I am saddened there were no Hitler references... for now.

Thanks!
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Re: RE: Re: President Trump

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dorshe1 wrote:It took a while, but we finally tied the economic dicussion to racism. #wellplayed

I am saddened there were no Hitler references... for now.

Thanks!
When much of the underlying economic engine of our country was literally built on the backs of slaves, and the repurcussions reverberate to this day, it is only the privileged or ignorant who refuse to address that.

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Re: President Trump

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AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
rhendon wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:
How do we fix income inequality? How will we know when it's been defeated?
Here is the quintile distribution of income in the US as of 2016:
Lowest: 3.1%
2nd: 8.3%
3rd: 14.2%
4th: 22.9%
Highest: 51.5%

What would be the ideal distribution (e.g. 10/15/20/25/30, or 18/19/20/21/22, etc.), and how do we get there? Or is there another way we would measure success?
See you want a perfect answer.
No, I am quite consistent in that question with not going after specific detailed answers, and this unfair characterization needs to be addressed before anything else. My point was that suggesting plans for any alternative, whether a specific alternative quintile distribution or something much more vague, opens up the plans for an alternative to examination of unintended consequences.
That is hogwash. Does the current system work? If yes, then stop. If no, then try something else. So do you believe the current system works?

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Re: President Trump

Post by rhendon »

dorshe1 wrote:It took a while, but we finally tied the economic dicussion to racism. #wellplayed

I am saddened there were no Hitler references... for now.

Thanks!
Why would Hitler need to be brought up?

Do you not agree that there is social injustice in our country? Do you not agree that there is racism still in our country? Do you not agree that there is a large group of folks that don't want to see people of minorities in power?

Our economic system is built upon social disadvantages. When you are rich, you get more chances. Being a white male in this country, I've never had to worry about getting raped while walking to my car at night like woman around this country do. I've never had to worry about cops shooting me because they were spooked. I've never had to worry about a justice system unfairly targeting me because the color of my skin. I've been afforded chances that I likewise wouldn't have gotten otherwise. I've been given more that I otherwise wouldn't have been given. As have most white males whether they realize it or not. All for nothing more than the color of my skin and my reproductive organs.

All of that plays into how someone grows up and what they can achieve. Yes some can overcome that, but that doesn't mean the system isn't broken. We have an unspoken caste system in our country. It should infuriate people and invoke the desire for change. But too many people would rather sit back and make jokes than make change.

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Re: President Trump

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rhendon wrote:There is no immediate fix to any of our problems. The first step is admitting we have one though. Would you care to admit that income disparity is a problem?
Not quite yet, as I would still like to see those examples that "history shows" regarding income gaps and revolts. Even just naming the ones you were referring to would be helpful, I can google if I want to look further. So far that's the only negative consequence of income disparity that I've seen you mention (sorry If I missed any), and you haven't addressed the reasons for the development of that gap. And even if it demonstrable that it's worse than would be the case in a perfect world (which shouldn't be hard to demonstrate), let's not forget that the steps taken against it may have negative unintended consequences that could make things worse overall.
rhendon wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:The real question might be, "why should the rich pay higher taxes?" To boil things wayyyy down, I don't think too many people (maybe I'm wrong) would say it's because the rich have too much money in an absolute sense. I think they would say that other people don't have enough money in an absolute sense, and from the rich is where they can get enough money. (Therefore we might say the rich do have too much money in a relative sense).
Why should the rich pay more? Because they have more to pay. Even in a flat tax society, they'd still pay more. If we tax everyone at 10% income, the guy that makes 50k, pays 5k. The guy that makes 10 million, pays 1 million. Should the guy making 1 million pay 5k and thus pay less than a percent of his income?

While we are at it, why should the rich have more money? Is it right that someone like Trump makes more than a teacher or doctor or someone that provides a massive social value? Why do entertainers make millions and teachers make less than strippers?
Wow, that is an incredibly equivocal approach to interpreting how I used "higher," creating the straw man that suggests that I was saying everyone should pay $X instead of X%. This conversation started with the notion of "trickle-down economics" and what happens when tax rates are made higher or lower, and if "tax cuts for the rich" are an injustice, for example. A pretty stark (and I must confess that I suspect, intentional) misinterpretation of what I wrote.

As for your second paragraph, whose job is it to determine value? If I'm going to err in that question, I'm going to generally err towards people making decisions regarding where to spend their own resources. We've tried having committees of "experts" decide what's valuable and how to spend resources and it turns out that the people who have to deal with those decision (look towards countries with a higher than average concentration of Marx monuments to demonstrate) aren't so satisfied with what the experts provide (although of course some things with immense scope like defense have to lean more towards the latter).
rhendon wrote:
AdmiralMotti89 wrote:In other words, we need to tax the rich because the poor need more. And how do the poor get that money? The government collects revenue, and distributes it.
If one's argument is that the poor need more wealth, the means of achieving that goal might look very different from the usual characterizations.
We don't need to tax the rich because the poor need more. We need to tax the rich because they are the ones with the money to tax. The poor do not need handouts which is what it sounds like you are implying. They need a government that provides equal value services to its citizens...
That's a fair point that the government doesn't just do entitlement programs. Education, like you mention, and defense, are good examples. But the point remains the same that whether we are talking about food for those who don't have enough or education for all, the government needs revenue. And I am guessing we agree that more revenue means it can provide more of those. Taxation is about revenue, and saying that "We need to tax the rich because they are the ones with the money to tax" is like saying we need to get water from lakes because that's where water is, without ever considering why we are collecting water at all in the first place.

So why do we need to tax at all in the first place? Because the government needs money to spend on stuff, right?
So assuming that more revenue=more good stuff, tax policy should focus on getting more revenue, right?
And if higher taxes on the rich (73% vs 21%, for example, in the Sowell article I posted) means lower revenues, then maybe those plans that are disparaged as "trickle-down economics" might be inaccurately characterized, right?
rhendon wrote: ...The best case example of that is that public schools should be equal across the board, but yet they aren't. The schools in rich areas provide better education to its students than those in poor areas. Public school is public school. Yet we've allowed the rich to cater to their children first through the government.

Texas has been slowly trying to kill public education for years now. Perry wanted everyone to send their kids to private school rather than have a public education system. Not that he was trying to remove it exactly but he preferred everyone to send their kids to private school. Why? Because the state wouldn't have to pay as much money for it. Because it further widens the educational gap between the poor and rich. Now what does that do? Well most of the money in the US is in white hands. So furthering that divide helps keep the power in white hands. Its all back to racism.
Education is a big enough issue that I'd be happy to join another thread about it (for now I'm content to concede that schools need more funding, in which case I return to my point about the purpose of taxation).
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