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(Think Progress)   Increasing taxes on the very wealthy not only raises tax revenue, but it makes it cheaper for middle-class and poor people to afford basic goods   (yglesias.thinkprogress.org) divider line 686
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2630 clicks; posted to Politics » on 12 Feb 2009 at 7:28 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-02-13 12:29:14 AM  
sarcastrophe: Careful here. Ya know I lived on the streets from 18-19 and I was in foster care from 15-18. You're going to breed libertarians if you force people to take care of themselves. You may want to re-evaluate if you think hard times breeds liberalism.

You'd be surprised what hard times breed. It can breed all types of people. But we can structure education to guide people.

You also missed the point of my comment. You keep talking about how we need to let children learn what they want to learn, and do this and that= all a bunch of bogus. We can very much educate our children in a general direction. That doesn't mean everyone will turn out the same nor that they will all be equally intelligent. But, there is no reason why a good percentage of the population can't learn algebra, basic calculus, know how to read at the 12th grade level, enjoy it, etc...

Libertarianism isn't a real solution. Part of mandating that kids join the peace corps or americorps is learning some of the realities you faced, and what happens when societies begin to fall apart.
 
2009-02-13 12:30:51 AM  
Lusiphur: Because we wouldn't be testing for excellence. We'd be testing for competence. There's no point in even trying to test for the best of the best. We'll know who they are. There IS however a point in testing and standardization to make sure the worst of the worst don't kill everyone by mis-soldering a wire somewhere.

Back to the fender, let's just say we require it to be somewhat like original and you can fake the rest with body filler. How are you going to test body techs nation wide for this in a standard fashion?
 
2009-02-13 12:32:29 AM  
Saiga410: When we had the greatest boom in American wealth during the 50's and 60's the lowest rate was 2.5 times what it is now. High taxes does not hurt the poor, it actually helps them.

Aw, jeez, not this shiat again...

...you realize that the people in the highest tax bracket, who are currently paying 35% on their taxes, were paying at least 15% more in the same time period? And just one of those tax returns did more for the state of the economy in that period than ten of the "2.5 times lowest rate" "poor" people.

And again, when the Great Depression started, the highest tax bracket was 24%. Thus allowing the economy to become so top-heavy it collapsed on itself. Well, guess where we are right now? The economy is so top-heavy it's ready to collapse on itself.
 
2009-02-13 12:33:19 AM  
sloppy shoes: Libertarianism isn't a real solution. Part of mandating that kids join the peace corps or americorps is learning some of the realities you faced, and what happens when societies begin to fall apart.

Then I can only assume you've never been there. Liberals tend to laugh at the "rugged individualists" that "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." In my mind, it's the best thing that ever happened to me. It's my driving force. Individuality is just as important as society. When society rejects individuality, what's the point? You're just a cog in the machine then.
 
2009-02-13 12:45:27 AM  
sarcastrophe: Then I can only assume you've never been there. Liberals tend to laugh at the "rugged individualists" that "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." In my mind, it's the best thing that ever happened to me. It's my driving force. Individuality is just as important as society. When society rejects individuality, what's the point? You're just a cog in the machine then.

No. I did not say you are not an individual. I said the principles of libertarianism aren't viable. This is the problem- individualism doesn't lead to libertarianism.

I'm not laughing at you either. I think it's great that you made it. But you're the outlier many times. You are not the reality that many people face. And that's the reality of liberalism- we have to learn to understand and comprehend beyond our own experiences and opportunities. We have to look at our neighbors, down on his luck, and realize that it could be us too. We have to understand that just because we made it, doesn't mean everybody can.

Liberalism is not about rejecting your individualism. Liberalism often promotes it. But individuality does not mean we reject societal standards designed to provide freedom for all of us, does not mean we reject educational standards for our children, does not mean there is no society, that no one ever needs help, that life is easy if you just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."
 
2009-02-13 12:45:30 AM  
sloppy shoes: I think a good step one would be to mandate that everyone out of high school or college spend 2 years in Peace Corps, Americorps, or the Military. (With the military aiding the other two).

No. Service equals citizenship is better than citizenship equals service.
 
2009-02-13 12:47:42 AM  
Snarfangel: No. Service equals citizenship is better than citizenship equals service.

I disagree. Obviously.
 
2009-02-13 12:51:17 AM  
sloppy shoes: But you're the outlier many times.

Some people have drive... others do not. That's just how it works.

sloppy shoes: We have to understand that just because we made it, doesn't mean everybody can.

Everyone *CAN* make it if they try. I'm not saying that some people won't fail from time to time. I'm not arguing against a social safety net at all. I'm saying that if you cast that net incredibly wide, you have failed as a society.

sloppy shoes: Liberalism is not about rejecting your individualism.

Liberalism is the idea that everyone is a winner. It's the special olympics of society.
 
2009-02-13 12:53:00 AM  
sarcastrophe: Liberalism is the idea that everyone is a winner. It's the special olympics of society.

That is obtuse. I'm sorry.
 
2009-02-13 12:55:17 AM  
sloppy shoes: That is obtuse. I'm sorry.

That is reality. I'm sorry, too.
 
2009-02-13 12:55:19 AM  
sloppy shoes: Snarfangel: No. Service equals citizenship is better than citizenship equals service.

I disagree. Obviously.


You think it's better to say "Hey, everyone, you owe the state two years of your life because you are a citizen" rather than "Hey, everyone, if you'd like to be a citizen, you can earn it with two years of your life"? At least the latter is a voluntary exchange rather than an involuntary draft. If I were serving in uniform, I'd prefer to have the people around me choose their service at least semi-willingly.
 
2009-02-13 12:56:28 AM  
Snarfangel: You think it's better to say "Hey, everyone, you owe the state two years of your life because you are a citizen" rather than "Hey, everyone, if you'd like to be a citizen, you can earn it with two years of your life"? At least the latter is a voluntary exchange rather than an involuntary draft. If I were serving in uniform, I'd prefer to have the people around me choose their service at least semi-willingly.

Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?
 
2009-02-13 12:59:23 AM  
sarcastrophe: Snarfangel: You think it's better to say "Hey, everyone, you owe the state two years of your life because you are a citizen" rather than "Hey, everyone, if you'd like to be a citizen, you can earn it with two years of your life"? At least the latter is a voluntary exchange rather than an involuntary draft. If I were serving in uniform, I'd prefer to have the people around me choose their service at least semi-willingly.

Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?


It's better than a draft. :)
 
2009-02-13 12:59:50 AM  
Snarfangel: You think it's better to say "Hey, everyone, you owe the state two years of your life because you are a citizen" rather than "Hey, everyone, if you'd like to be a citizen, you can earn it with two years of your life"? At least the latter is a voluntary exchange rather than an involuntary draft. If I were serving in uniform, I'd prefer to have the people around me choose their service at least semi-willingly.

Yes. I don't think we should be denying citizenship. (And if we were, I would make it based on educational attainment as well). I think you have a debt to society.


sarcastrophe: That is reality. I'm sorry, too.

Nope. But at least you are amusing, sarcastrophe. Much better than all the other libertarians.

P.S. Liberalism doesn't say you don't have to work hard to succeed. It's not just free puppies, unicorns and Xboxes.
 
2009-02-13 01:00:20 AM  
sarcastrophe: Liberalism is not about rejecting your individualism

There are both conservative and liberal libertarians. The ideas you have espoused in the recent posts are quite statist. Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual. I'm afraid I'm of the oppinion that the value of the individual is more important than the value of the state. When I say individual, I'm not neccessarily talking about me. Your liberties are more important to me than the state's rights and "social norms". You have every right to help that guy down the block, just as I do. I just don't believe the state has the right to deny our youth's liberties for some altruistic goal in the peace corps or any other mandated service.
 
2009-02-13 01:01:15 AM  
sloppy shoes: And if we were, I would make it based on educational attainment as well

We should have tests in order to vote?
 
2009-02-13 01:02:18 AM  
rohar: sarcastrophe:

Sorry, misquote, shoulda been sloppy shoes
 
2009-02-13 01:02:21 AM  
rohar: There are both conservative and liberal libertarians. The ideas you have espoused in the recent posts are quite statist. Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual. I'm afraid I'm of the oppinion that the value of the individual is more important than the value of the state. When I say individual, I'm not neccessarily talking about me. Your liberties are more important to me than the state's rights and "social norms". You have every right to help that guy down the block, just as I do. I just don't believe the state has the right to deny our youth's liberties for some altruistic goal in the peace corps or any other mandated service.

I think you're the first person to ever call me a statist.
 
2009-02-13 01:03:42 AM  
sarcastrophe: We should have tests in order to vote?

No. I think everyone should be a citizen. But Snarfangel brought up the service guarantees citizenship concept.
 
2009-02-13 01:05:28 AM  
sarcastrophe: rohar: There are both conservative and liberal libertarians. The ideas you have espoused in the recent posts are quite statist. Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual. I'm afraid I'm of the oppinion that the value of the individual is more important than the value of the state. When I say individual, I'm not neccessarily talking about me. Your liberties are more important to me than the state's rights and "social norms". You have every right to help that guy down the block, just as I do. I just don't believe the state has the right to deny our youth's liberties for some altruistic goal in the peace corps or any other mandated service.

I think you're the first person to ever call me a statist.


Sorry, somehow I managed to misquote, that was indended for sloppy shoes> I fail at fark, it should have been required in my education :)
 
2009-02-13 01:09:02 AM  
sloppy shoes: Liberalism is not about rejecting your individualism. Liberalism often promotes it. But individuality does not mean we reject societal standards designed to provide freedom for all of us, does not mean we reject educational standards for our children, does not mean there is no society, that no one ever needs help, that life is easy if you just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps."

I think its also important to remember that there is a bell curve and there are two halves. Half of all people are too dumb to be considered average, as a single example. And if those people work hard and play by the rules, they should be able to afford things like modest housing, health care, and the ability to receive a small stipend during their retirement. There is enough money for it. We just have to make it a priority.
 
2009-02-13 01:10:24 AM  
rohar: There are both conservative and liberal libertarians. The ideas you have espoused in the recent posts are quite statist. Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual. I'm afraid I'm of the oppinion that the value of the individual is more important than the value of the state. When I say individual, I'm not neccessarily talking about me. Your liberties are more important to me than the state's rights and "social norms". You have every right to help that guy down the block, just as I do. I just don't believe the state has the right to deny our youth's liberties for some altruistic goal in the peace corps or any other mandated service.

Ughh... No. Requiring that you actually participate in society is not statist. Individualism does not mean you get to do whatever the fark you want whenever you want. Wanting and requiring effective government does not destroy individualism.

By the way, the only social norms I advocated were a good education, exercise, helping out your fellow man, and the ability to realize what position society is in. By the way, government already "denies you your youth liberties" from 7am to 3pm, and longer if you actually do your homework. Again, guess what- individualism doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, when you want. No one's denying anyone their youth, it's just another step in the learning experience.

This is the problem with libertarian thinking- it's two steps short of cable news punditry.
 
2009-02-13 01:10:30 AM  
rohar: Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual.

I think most would simply say that the plight of all Americans (not the state) is more important than any single one of them.
 
2009-02-13 01:10:45 AM  
sarcastrophe: Liberals tend to laugh at the "rugged individualists" that "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."

No, lots of liberals laugh at people who pretend they're rugged individualists and who pretend that they never took any benefit from society and who have absolutely NO ONE IN THE WORLD to thank for any success they may have had other than themselves, when in reality they relied upon the same sorts of services, programs, donations, contributions, and individual assistance that the rest of us have to thank for our relatively high standards of living.

I have nothing but respect for honest, pragmatic libertarians who recognize what "socialism" or whatever boogeyman adjective they want to use has allowed them in their lives. I have little but scorn for those who think of themselves as "self made" when any neutral observer to their lives can show them at any stage of it how wrong they are to make such callously egocentric claims.
 
2009-02-13 01:14:04 AM  
Oh, and infrastructure. They relied upon socialized infrastructure as much as anyone else has.
 
2009-02-13 01:14:28 AM  
rohar: I fail at fark, it should have been required in my education :)

Honestly, that might help a lot of kids out in life. But it would probably make fark a lot worse. ;-)

I'm not saying we are going to make all of our children geniuses, but it's really not that hard to teach them logic and algebra. Most kids are much above the caliber of special olympics.
 
2009-02-13 01:15:20 AM  
Prospero424: I have little but scorn for those who think of themselves as "self made" when any neutral observer to their lives can show them at any stage of it how wrong they are to make such callously egocentric claims.

True dat. There is nothing more obnoxious than some libertarian asshole that was born on third base and acts like they hit a triple. Show some farking humility.
 
2009-02-13 01:15:44 AM  
sloppy shoes: Requiring that you actually participate in society is not statist.

So how do we impliment this grand plan of yours without requirement from the state?
 
2009-02-13 01:18:05 AM  
farking hell, this country deserves itself. Good riddance.
 
2009-02-13 01:18:17 AM  
bartink: rohar: Statism requires that the state is more important than the individual.

I think most would simply say that the plight of all Americans (not the state) is more important than any single one of them.


I would suggest that the plight of all Americans is mor important than the state, possibly due to it.
 
2009-02-13 01:18:43 AM  
sloppy shoes: Snarfangel: You think it's better to say "Hey, everyone, you owe the state two years of your life because you are a citizen" rather than "Hey, everyone, if you'd like to be a citizen, you can earn it with two years of your life"? At least the latter is a voluntary exchange rather than an involuntary draft. If I were serving in uniform, I'd prefer to have the people around me choose their service at least semi-willingly.

Yes. I don't think we should be denying citizenship. (And if we were, I would make it based on educational attainment as well). I think you have a debt to society.


Something of value, like citizenship, should be exchanged for something of value. Since we need people to serve this country anyway, simply make the benefits of service sufficient to attract enough qualified people willing to serve. If the children of the rich refuse to do their fair share, they'll find themselves unable to vote or hold elected office, though they could still have all the other rights U.S. residents have.

Some libertarians have a problem resolving their intellectual agreement that immigration should be much freer from both north and south of our border with their emotional feeling that people shouldn't drag their problems into our country and force us to pay for them. Requiring equal effort to acquire citizenship, whether from a resident born in this country or from a person who strolled across the border looking for a better life, is a fairly reasonable compromise. "Non-resident aliens not seeking to become citizens may be deported" could be the stick to go along with the carrot, if we are concerned about people flooding into the country and overtaxing public services.
 
2009-02-13 01:19:29 AM  
rohar: So how do we impliment this grand plan of yours without requirement from the state?

OMG! Schooling is statist! Taxes are statist! Roads are statist! OMG! Oh Noes! I can't believe a government exists and is requiring my teeny bit of participation so that society can improve its overall structure and grant more opportunities for everyone! What is the government thinking, requiring me to do simple things like donate part of my time to an educational and training experience? How dare they make me go to school? This is outrageous.

/You're right. I think we should just abandon governments because they are inherently evil if they require you to do anything. Everything in life should be entirely voluntary, always. OF course. That's the only way we can have true freedom, if no one is ever required to do anything.
 
2009-02-13 01:20:23 AM  
Ah yes, more class warfare from the chronic malcontents.
 
2009-02-13 01:24:04 AM  
Snarfangel: Something of value, like citizenship, should be exchanged for something of value. Since we need people to serve this country anyway, simply make the benefits of service sufficient to attract enough qualified people willing to serve. If the children of the rich refuse to do their fair share, they'll find themselves unable to vote or hold elected office, though they could still have all the other rights U.S. residents have.

Some libertarians have a problem resolving their intellectual agreement that immigration should be much freer from both north and south of our border with their emotional feeling that people shouldn't drag their problems into our country and force us to pay for them. Requiring equal effort to acquire citizenship, whether from a resident born in this country or from a person who strolled across the border looking for a better life, is a fairly reasonable compromise. "Non-resident aliens not seeking to become citizens may be deported" could be the stick to go along with the carrot, if we are concerned about people flooding into the country and overtaxing public services.


I think citizenship is a natural consequence and contract when you are born into humanity. But I also think part of that natural contract is that you give back to humanity. We rag about individualism, but in reality society raises us until we are young adults to adults. There is no real reason to believe there isn't a natural service requirement.

/Now, I'm much more willing to let people escape war; but I think they still have a debt to society.

As for your exchanging citizenship for immigrants contract, sure.
 
2009-02-13 01:25:34 AM  
sloppy shoes: rohar: So how do we impliment this grand plan of yours without requirement from the state?

OMG! Schooling is statist! Taxes are statist! Roads are statist! OMG! Oh Noes! I can't believe a government exists and is requiring my teeny bit of participation so that society can improve its overall structure and grant more opportunities for everyone! What is the government thinking, requiring me to do simple things like donate part of my time to an educational and training experience? How dare they make me go to school? This is outrageous.

/You're right. I think we should just abandon governments because they are inherently evil if they require you to do anything. Everything in life should be entirely voluntary, always. OF course. That's the only way we can have true freedom, if no one is ever required to do anything.


That's not what I said at all, locally, I'm quite liberal, federally, not so much. Education is a requirement of my state, we can change that without federal intervention. We have some of the best roads I've ever driven on, I can only assume that's from state funds, because when I drive 10 miles east to Idaho, the roads suck. I pay for that and I have no issue with that.

The idea of what amounts to indentured servitude at a federal level, that's a whole different thing, and no matter how it's spun it is still stinks.

Now, would you like to argue your position or continue attacking a myth that you believe I am?
 
2009-02-13 01:34:34 AM  
rohar: That's not what I said at all, locally, I'm quite liberal, federally, not so much. Education is a requirement of my state, we can change that without federal intervention. We have some of the best roads I've ever driven on, I can only assume that's from state funds, because when I drive 10 miles east to Idaho, the roads suck. I pay for that and I have no issue with that.

The idea of what amounts to indentured servitude at a federal level, that's a whole different thing, and no matter how it's spun it is still stinks.

Now, would you like to argue your position or continue attacking a myth that you believe I am?


Alright, I was certainly acting a hyperbole; but, statism is not every instance of government requirements. The reality is that our governments need more than just dollars. At some point, they need manpower and cheaply. We get a lot from our government, without ever realizing it. We have also gotten a lot from our forefathers. Historically, when you are needed in a community you have participated. Even in the rugged lands of individualism. You are human, and you are part of a community- local, federal, and of your own mind.

I'm not arguing for federal government controlling everything. I would be more than willing to make an option to volunteer for 2 years with your state. However, I think it needs to be a requirement in our educational program. Before you enter the official workforce, you need to spend 2 years at governmental volunteer agency doing work. And it benefits you as well. Doing work with the military or with Americorps provides excellent educational experiences.

As for education- I would be much more apt to keep education at a local level if there wasn't so much bickering and retardation. There should be no states arguing over evolution. There should be no states rejecting math or devising ridiculous math programs. There is nothing wrong with experimentation, but the reality is many states have let their systems lapse. A federal government exists to correct these errors.

/to my knowledge, most highway funds come from the government, so it very well could be that you have better road crews or better state planning agencies.
 
2009-02-13 01:40:43 AM  
Who would have thought stealing money from someone and giving it to someone else would be advantageous to that "someone else".

wow, this needs to be studied.
 
2009-02-13 01:47:36 AM  
sloppy shoes: I'm not arguing for federal government controlling everything. I would be more than willing to make an option to volunteer for 2 years with your state. However, I think it needs to be a requirement in our educational program. Before you enter the official workforce, you need to spend 2 years at governmental volunteer agency doing work. And it benefits you as well. Doing work with the military or with Americorps provides excellent educational experiences.

I'd be lying if I said my militery service didn't help both me and my country. But the choice to do that must me the individual's. If the crew of that sub was forced to be there, it would have been an extremely dangerous situation as we wouldn't have had our hearts and minds in the game. That equimpent is extremely dangerous if you are in the game.

Again, I believe service must be a choice. If not, we as a country take years from a person's life. There was a sentence somewhere about life, liberty etc. that comes to mind that stops us from doing this very thing.

I also believe that a lifestyle of service must be taught in the home. I was subject to it, and my children are learning now. This is what we must revive. Americans used to be quite good at it, sad really.
 
2009-02-13 01:51:15 AM  
sloppy shoes: Alright, I was certainly acting a hyperbole; but, statism is not every instance of government requirements. The reality is that our governments need more than just dollars. At some point, they need manpower and cheaply.

Heh, sorry for two posts in a row, but after re-reading the above, it hit me. If we need manpower cheeply, how bout we shut down a couple of wars, bring the boys home and put them to work at their current pay grade. I know, doesn't sound cheep, but Abrams and F-18s aren't cheep. Besides, they already voulenteered :)
 
2009-02-13 02:03:34 AM  
rohar: I'd be lying if I said my militery service didn't help both me and my country. But the choice to do that must me the individual's. If the crew of that sub was forced to be there, it would have been an extremely dangerous situation as we wouldn't have had our hearts and minds in the game. That equimpent is extremely dangerous if you are in the game.

Again, I believe service must be a choice. If not, we as a country take years from a person's life. There was a sentence somewhere about life, liberty etc. that comes to mind that stops us from doing this very thing.

I also believe that a lifestyle of service must be taught in the home. I was subject to it, and my children are learning now. This is what we must revive. Americans used to be quite good at it, sad really.


And I agree that the military can be quite dangerous. That's why I have listed several options for service to your country. But just because some people might whine, doesn't mean it's a no. This is one of the biggest problems with modern politics, and frankly is the driving force behind libertarianism- acting like a bratty teenager can get you quite far.

It's not really robbing anyone of their youth. They would still have an option to go to college, they already have to go to high school, and there is a large amount of freedom involved in both of those activities.

I'm not saying parents aren't responsible, either. But that doesn't exclude a 2 year period of contribution to your nation. There would be a variety of projects you would get to volunteer for. It would still be a significant choice in an individual's life.

As for liberty, liberty is not obscured because you are required to post continual defense in order to secure it. Liberty is not a volunteer project. It is a requirement for our nation's values and freedoms to continue. It is not a choice whether or not you feel up to defending liberty, in promoting your nation, in preserving its freedom and wealth. It's a reality; and any deviance from that observation will lead to failure. Your government cannot, should not, be able to drag you to an obscure and obtuse foreign war. But to complain at the need for a new school in a ghetto coupled with teaching a class and developing an after school program to promote education instead of gangs? We have failed our liberty when we can so easily deny our problems.
 
2009-02-13 02:06:42 AM  
rohar: Heh, sorry for two posts in a row, but after re-reading the above, it hit me. If we need manpower cheeply, how bout we shut down a couple of wars, bring the boys home and put them to work at their current pay grade. I know, doesn't sound cheep, but Abrams and F-18s aren't cheep. Besides, they already voulenteered :)

I would be more than for that as a first step. (Though I still believe everyone should be required). However, that won't happen until we 1. We face absolutely no military threats; but, 2. it would be of limited resources because militaries are not necessarily exceptional at nation building.

However, I'm sure it would be a great tactic for schools over ridden by gangs and violence. Truancy could become like a hide and go seek strategy game for various squads to test their abilities on.
 
2009-02-13 03:01:51 AM  
capitalism is based on the concept that everyone is in competition, and that that competition will lead to inovation, increased productivity, and efficiency.

the issue is, at some point during every competition someone, or some group will pull ahead. It is an expected and perfectly normal consequence of the system.

Supply side economics, or trickle-down as it is often called, states that in order to most efficiently circulate wealth, monetary and economic policy must favor those in the position to spend the most. (i.e. those who already have the most)

The problem with this, is that each individual, or organization, in this position, is nothing more than a net aggregator of wealth. Individuals and organizations with great wealth can certainly be encouraged to invest that wealth, which will, for short periods, improve the lives of those impacted by said investment. These individuals and organizations, however, are only likely to invest in ways that will see a larger net gain than expense. This means that over time, those individuals and organizations in the top wealth brackets, will simply accumulate more and more of the available wealth if there are no mechanisms to enforce it's distribution. Without this mechanisms, a significant portion of society is going to be dependent on charity. The end goal of any economic system should be to reduce the necessity of charity, as it's hardly something to be counted as a given. If the mathematical projections of an economic model follows the principles of entropy, wherein energy seeks to balance and find a state of homogeneity, one must assume that that economic model is flawed.

The only manner in which supply side economics can possibly return positive long-term results, is if the gross amount of wealth available is in constant growth such that the percentage of wealth consumed by the top (favored) bracket does not represent so much that the rest of society is without the means to live comfortably, or at least be possessed of the means to attain comfortable life.

At no point is what is fair, or what is equitable an issue in this analysis. Throughout history there are examples in which wealth had been aggregated by the very few to such a degree that the many hadn't enough to live comfortably. When this has happened, the many see no recourse but to seize the wealth from the few, often to the detriment of everyone.

Redistribution of wealth is not about what is fair or equitable. Redistribution of wealth is not about rewarding poor performance.
Redistribution of wealth is not about communism or de-stratification.

Redistribution of wealth is about sustainability.

Everyone depends on everyone else. The very wealthy are dependent on the less wealthy to support the system in which they live. If the less wealthy are unable to live, and support the system, wealth itself will lose meaning. Those that are most wealthy, have the most to lose if the system ultimately fails.

This obviously isn't something that you can explain to a bacterium or a virus. It is something that I would expect a reasonably intelligent sentient being to be capable of fathoming.
 
2009-02-13 04:04:20 AM  
kasmel: It is something that I would expect a reasonably intelligent sentient being to be capable of fathoming.

You are aware that you are posting on Fark, right?
 
2009-02-13 04:13:23 AM  
bartink: kasmel: It is something that I would expect a reasonably intelligent sentient being to be capable of fathoming.

You are aware that you are posting on Fark, right?


There are enough people that hopefully a fraction of a percentage will at least be provoked to think about it.
 
2009-02-13 05:18:58 AM  
jso2897: You know, when you talk to real winners - guys like Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates - they don't whine about paying their taxes. In fact, they cheerfully admit that they are grossly undertaxed. The incessant whining about the wealthy being asked to pay their share of society's bills doesn't come from the wealthy themselves, excepting Wall Street. Winners don't mind paying their share. the whining seems to come from the Rush Limbaugh crowd - frustrated losers, angry that the meager lives their scant talents have obtained for them don't measure up to the lives they thought their white skin and American Citizenship entitled them to. Losers who argue for the interests of the rich, but who will never be rich themselves. If you ignore the pathos, it's kind of funny.

Damn.

You know, now that I think about it, I wonder how much of the right-wing sentiment we see in this thread is just sour grapes. Or to put it another way...

"Oh sure, I didn't manage to collect those grapes. But it doesn't matter, because those grapes would be sour even if I did! So I didn't really want them anyway. But man, if those grapes weren't sour, I'm absolutely positive that I would have been able to obtain them. But for now, they just aren't worth the effort."

Now replace "grapes" with "wealth" and "sour" with "taxes," and you can see where I'm going.

Conservatarians want to believe that they are amazing individuals, even though they're living mediocre lives. How can this be? Well, the only way to rationalize it is to believe that they choose to live mediocre lives.

This might also explain why they're so quick to make the "progressive taxation discourages profit motive" argument. Because if they present that argument, then they could subconsciously affiliate themselves among the discouraged. And that way, they can continue to believe that they are amazing people who have all the talent they need to become fabulously rich, if only the evil government didn't remove all incentive from them.
 
2009-02-13 07:24:58 AM  
Business taxes hide the true cost of government from us. Zero them out (subsidies, too - this ain't no hippie commune).

Then raise taxes on the big earners. Tax big-dollar bonuses based on a company's 10-year performance. If the company does well over time the tax rate ont he bonus goes down. Everybody wins, assuming the bonuses go up with company performance. But if the company goes into the shiatter the bonus goes to Uncle Sam. All of it.

Sales taxes should be minimized - they're another tax that's hard for people to keep tabs on. What sales tax there is should be based on how best to recover money from people working off the books.
 
2009-02-13 07:46:19 AM  
sarcastrophe: I thought the 13th and 14th Amendment covered that, did it not?

So now you want a govenment that has values?
 
2009-02-13 09:19:05 AM  
the GOP outlook on taxes and the economy is the world's biggest pyramid scheme; convince the people at the middle and bottom of the pyramid that they'll all some day be at the top and make them fight the battles for those at the very top.
 
2009-02-13 09:19:25 AM  
DamnYankees
EatHam: If they don't have a problem with paying more, they can go right ahead - the treasury takes donations. Stop trying to get me to pay more though, I pay enough.

Unless you make over 350K or so, no one wants to make you pay more. Did you even read the freaking link?


Do you class envy types understand that the high-income earners will not simply standby and have their money confiscated? They are generally smarter and better educated than you are and they will find ways to defer income and/or move it offshore to avoid the confiscatory rates that once existed and may return.

When the government punishes success, then productivity decreases. The inverse was true when the highest marginal rates were lowered beginning with JFK and right up through the early part of this decade. The notion that 45%-50% of the workforce will support the remainder is unsustainable and naive.

Sadly, both parties just cannot help themselves when they are in power and spend way too much. The Dems now happen to be in power and the spiral will start all over again when the GOP returns to power at some point.

Say what you will about Reagan but he was right when he said government was the problem.
 
2009-02-13 09:26:27 AM  
rohar: sloppy shoes: I'm not arguing for federal government controlling everything. I would be more than willing to make an option to volunteer for 2 years with your state. However, I think it needs to be a requirement in our educational program. Before you enter the official workforce, you need to spend 2 years at governmental volunteer agency doing work. And it benefits you as well. Doing work with the military or with Americorps provides excellent educational experiences.

I'd be lying if I said my militery service didn't help both me and my country. But the choice to do that must me the individual's. If the crew of that sub was forced to be there, it would have been an extremely dangerous situation as we wouldn't have had our hearts and minds in the game. That equimpent is extremely dangerous if you are in the game.

Again, I believe service must be a choice. If not, we as a country take years from a person's life. There was a sentence somewhere about life, liberty etc. that comes to mind that stops us from doing this very thing.

I also believe that a lifestyle of service must be taught in the home. I was subject to it, and my children are learning now. This is what we must revive. Americans used to be quite good at it, sad really.


You're implying that there aren't a lot of people in the military out of necessity. I met people that were in because they couldn't afford school, because they couldn't find a job, and (in one case - maybe two) because a judge said it was the military or jail. There are also people that are in because they want to travel or because they just didn't know what they wanted to do.

Not that there's anything wrong with these motives. A lot of these people do a damn good job. There are also a good number that either can't or won't do their job properly. Granted, the ones that want to serve more often fall into the "can't" category if they're in either of the two. But I've also seen people who were raised to think that serving was the honorable thing to do but their heart wasn't really in it.

Yes, there are some people who are in because they want to serve. They might even make up a majority. But - they aren't that strong of a majority.
 
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