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(Whatever - Scalzi)   John Scalzi just invalidated all of your arguments about your taxes being too high   (whatever.scalzi.com) divider line 538
    More: Hero, Air Force Base, Mr. Johnson, Fresno Bee, Glendora  
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42300 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jul 2012 at 4:56 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 05:54:37 AM

untaken_name: Gee, you're right. There aren't ANY user fees involved in running a city. Herp derpy do. Do you ever actually understand anything about anything you post about? It sure doesn't seem like it.



You mean I don't have to pay for public schools I don't send kids to? Or roads I don't drive on? Awesome! Where do I sign up?
 
2012-07-24 05:58:20 AM

dugitman: The confusion people have with this headline and TFA is weird.


Indeed.

I thought the article was excellent and understood it completely, but I didn't go off the derp end as some have in this thread.
 
2012-07-24 06:02:04 AM

skinnycatullus: WTF is going on in this thread?


Everyone accidentally the bottle. THE WHOLE FARKING BOTTLE!!
 
2012-07-24 06:41:59 AM

Primum: Stank ass people can take a bath and use Axe.


...Axe? No thanks, I'd rather be stank ass.
 
US1
2012-07-24 06:48:04 AM

MyRandomName: I love this strawman liberals are setting up to defend Obama. Nobody is arguing success happens in a vacuum. The argument is what is responsible for a successful business. A lot of hard work goes into creating a business, the government does not get to say they are mostly responsible for that as Obama implies. Taking a long reading of Obama's inference, everyone would be successful merely because roads exist. That is not the case whatsoever. Individuals utilize public shares to the best of their capacity. The web we know today would not exist without capitalists improving on the darpanet infrastructure.

If Obama wants credit for all successful business, he has to take credit for business that fails as well. For every road that allowed the transport of good there is a regulation that made the market to costly for some to enter; whether it is eminent domain, costly regulations, cost of licensing (hair dressers), etc. Government can help or hinder a business. But it takes an individual to CREATE the business, not government. That is what Obama said wrong, individuals do create business.


How is this a strawman? This is the crux of the debate. big business wants to privatise profits but publicize risk
 
US1
2012-07-24 07:02:43 AM

SlothB77: Scalzi is oblivious to the fact the private sector can do all of the things the public sector can do - and more efficiently. Instead of paying high taxes now that will be redistributed by government, he could donate his money through private charities to achieve the same ends. And probably more efficiently.


how many private charities are found to be frauds daily? private sectors so great thats why it needs a bailout from the government once every 10 years. if u lived through the bush years and you still think everything should be private theres no hope for you. you are either a troll or an idiot.

coro\porations are nothing but swindlers and thieves. if you need proof i guess you have been under a rock for the last 8 years. heres some proof the bailouts from 2008, or the s&l bailouts, airline bailouts, auto bailouts, hsbc scandals going on right now, the tons of ponzi scandals from bernie to rothstein and the 10's of others

the private sector????? are you really taking drugs or what
 
US1
2012-07-24 07:10:04 AM

intelligent comment below: untaken_name: Gee, you're right. There aren't ANY user fees involved in running a city. Herp derpy do. Do you ever actually understand anything about anything you post about? It sure doesn't seem like it.


You mean I don't have to pay for public schools I don't send kids to? Or roads I don't drive on? Awesome! Where do I sign up?


by that logic, since large corporations benefit from college grads, the entire road system ect. they should pay for all of it;
 
2012-07-24 08:05:13 AM

roxtar10870: Taxes = theft... What good Might be done with the stolen money doesn't make it moral.
This guy is an idiot.


Interestingly, to me, I was reading a history account of the early USA and taxes levied to support the Continental Army and other government activities. It's fascinating to see how high taxes on individuals could reach and the response to the tax dodgers even back then. Hint: if you didn't pay, they took.

It may surprise some people to realize that they do not really own land or property, or money, or in circumstances, their life. Wherever you are, your country is loaning your property, money and land to you under law. It requests a piece of that back as "taxes" to attend to matters considered important by your country's representatives. Your country backs this up with an army and the ability to forcibly separate you from property, money or life. In return it gives you the contents of it's social and legal contract, which you agree to, by your choice to live in it.

Is it right? It's a grey area in that it's neither right nor wrong, it is just the state of reality. There are no true free agents; in the end it is who makes decisions and who has the power to back them up by force (and gun ownership is another discussion in that direction).

The popular saying "Freedom isn't Free" is true. Freedom in a country tends to be bestowed by *subtraction* of restriction, not bestowed by assumption. In the USA, the Declaration of Independence, which is not the de facto social contract, declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the core rights of individuals, but definition of those core rights are pieced out in the Constitution but not fully addressed, as it is a governing document. Without violating any specific individual right, taxes are allowed to be imposed by Congress, and that restriction is a valid part of the US social contract.

Now, to devolve into a common observation and suggestion: Enjoying any social privilege without contributing your share when you have the means to do so is theft from society. Taxes are the cost of living in a structured society. You do not have protection or freedom from taxes, so they are not theft. If you don't want to pay tax, there are countries where the social contract, and taxes generally, are small or nonexistent. There are opportunities in those places for a well armed and protected overlord in those places as long as your army allows you to live.
 
2012-07-24 08:43:16 AM

US1: SlothB77: Scalzi is oblivious to the fact the private sector can do all of the things the public sector can do - and more efficiently. Instead of paying high taxes now that will be redistributed by government, he could donate his money through private charities to achieve the same ends. And probably more efficiently.

how many private charities are found to be frauds daily? private sectors so great thats why it needs a bailout from the government once every 10 years. if u lived through the bush years and you still think everything should be private theres no hope for you. you are either a troll or an idiot.

coro\porations are nothing but swindlers and thieves. if you need proof i guess you have been under a rock for the last 8 years. heres some proof the bailouts from 2008, or the s&l bailouts, airline bailouts, auto bailouts, hsbc scandals going on right now, the tons of ponzi scandals from bernie to rothstein and the 10's of others

the private sector????? are you really taking drugs or what


Charities have a greater motive to prevent fraud and abuse than taxpayers.
Businesses don't need bailouts. They never needed bailouts. What they need to do is learn to become competitive, or go out of business. It doesn't help anyone to go out of your way to fund the losers.
Bush was not a free-marketeer. He was into cronyism. Crony Capitalism =/= Capitalism.
(seriously, Bush was your go-to guy? What the fark?)

And you do have trust in corporations. You use google with the assumption that they wont willingly deceive you. You give money to cashiers assuming they wont shortchange you. You buy gas being pretty sure its at the octane level its listed under. You don't buy a laptop, and think there's a snake inside it. You do trust corporations already. A lot. If you didn't you would be making your own clothes from the inside of your own hut.
 
2012-07-24 09:19:09 AM

intelligent comment below: Welcome to Democracy?

You don't like what the government does, you vote in representatives who try to change that.



Don't blame me, I voted for Kang.
 
2012-07-24 09:28:15 AM

intelligent comment below: Otherwise you pay the tax man based on how much you earn.


When I walk into a grocery store and buy a can of peas, I pay $1.

When a poor person walks into the same grocery store and buys he same can of peas, they pay... $1.

When Bill farking Gates walks into the same grocery store and buys the same can of peas, he pays... $1.

Paying for what you get is fair.


When I pay taxes, I pay $10,000. (Just an example)

When a poor person pays taxes, they end end up paying $10

When Bill Gates pays taxes, he ends up paying $1,000,000.

Yet, we all get the same "services" from the Federal Government. Paying more for the same thing is NOT fair.

Now, differing Local taxes, I can understand. A 'rich' town has to collect more to keep the streets paved in solid gold, while a 'poor' town collects less... and provided less. But at the Federal level, we all get the same things from the government. And thus, we should all pay the same.
 
2012-07-24 10:09:55 AM
Scalzi is a great writer. I think I've read every one of his books. However, I'd go to him for political or finical advice as often as I would go to Einstein for fashion advice. I use to read his blog all the time until he wrote that he "couldn't imagine a worse president than Bush" I'm sitting there thinking "Dude your a scifi writer, your job is to imagine things. I can imagine a worse president than Bush, HECK we've HAD worse presidents than Bush."

It became very obvious that he wasn't thinking but was just another political zealot. Same as any whacked out religious nuts that he makes fun of.

I'll still recommend reading his books. He writes some fun snappy dialog.
 
2012-07-24 10:15:35 AM

fredklein: Yet, we all get the same "services" from the Federal Government. Paying more for the same thing is NOT fair.


I would say a guy who is a billionaire gets far more than the average joe in terms of services from the fed.

The poor guy probbaly gets more (in terms of money compared to what he pays) than the rich guy diorectly, but you have to be very myopic to not see how that help provides the level of stability that allows for rich people to exist.

at the end fo the day the rich guy "gets" far more out of the society that the fed helps support so I don't know how you can argue they "get" the same thing.
 
2012-07-24 10:19:43 AM

fredklein: intelligent comment below: Otherwise you pay the tax man based on how much you earn.


When I walk into a grocery store and buy a can of peas, I pay $1.

When a poor person walks into the same grocery store and buys he same can of peas, they pay... $1.

When Bill farking Gates walks into the same grocery store and buys the same can of peas, he pays... $1.

Paying for what you get is fair.


When I pay taxes, I pay $10,000. (Just an example)

When a poor person pays taxes, they end end up paying $10

When Bill Gates pays taxes, he ends up paying $1,000,000.

Yet, we all get the same "services" from the Federal Government. Paying more for the same thing is NOT fair.

Now, differing Local taxes, I can understand. A 'rich' town has to collect more to keep the streets paved in solid gold, while a 'poor' town collects less... and provided less. But at the Federal level, we all get the same things from the government. And thus, we should all pay the same.



Let me ask you a question...do you think if you were a private insurance company that you could run it in a way where either A) all covered individuals pay the same or B) people payed based on usage?

I'll give you a hint...neither are possible.

If its a private insurance (I am defining this as being a policy purchased by the insured) either of these scenarios are unsustainable business models.

In scenario A, young healthy people would never CHOOSE to buy the policy because the cost that you would be required to pass on to them in order to cover costs of the heavy users would make it far more expensive than a policy that was tailored around just them.

On the other hand, if you went with scenario B), it would be great for low usage customers, but the cost of the premiums for the heavy users would be so prohibitive than none of them could afford it.


The reality is that all insurance companies charge rates in such a way that those who use the least subsidize those who use the most.

Guess what?...taxes and government programs are the same. Its kind of the entire purpose of a government actually.

I mean, have any of you ever thought why it is you are a U.S. citizen?

You probably think its because you were born here and its automatic. That's true, but why do you REMAIN one?

Its because you have (subconsciously at least) bought into the social contract that exists between our government and its people. You realize that living in the United States affords you certain protections, rights, and privileges. You understand that our government is the collective will to act by all Americans on behalf of all Americans. What, for some reason, people tend to forget however is that this contract not only provides for protections, rights, and privileges, but also for duties and responsibilities. Guess what we have to do in order to allow this grand collective experiment of ours to function?

1) Vote in elections
2) Be willing to serve if needed
3) Obey the laws
4) Pay our taxes
5) Be informed and educated on the issues that effect our nation

Considering what we get in exchange for these things, I think its a pretty good deal.

If you believe it isn't...If you wish to no longer avail yourself of our protection, our governance, our infrastructure, our social safety net, our educational system, and laws, our rights, and our freedoms then i have a very simple solution for you.

GET. THE. fark. OUT.

Until then, shut the fark up and pay your goddamn taxes.

Please and thank you.
 
2012-07-24 10:22:13 AM

liam76: I would say a guy who is a billionaire gets far more than the average joe in terms of services from the fed.


So, the military protects Bill Gates more then you or me?

The Interstate highways are smoother when Bill Gates drives them?


How, exactly, does a rich person get "far more" from the federal government?
 
2012-07-24 10:37:56 AM

fredklein: liam76: I would say a guy who is a billionaire gets far more than the average joe in terms of services from the fed.

So, the military protects Bill Gates more then you or me?

The Interstate highways are smoother when Bill Gates drives them?


How, exactly, does a rich person get "far more" from the federal government?


Well you could have read the next line.

The poor guy probbaly gets more (in terms of money compared to what he pays) than the rich guy diorectly, but you have to be very myopic to not see how that help provides the level of stability that allows for rich people to exist.

And now lets move on to your examples.

Military - Bill gates has a lot more to protect than the average Joe. Look at it like Insurance. A guy who has billions is going to pay a lot more than a guy who has a 50k house and a 15 year old honda. So yes I would argue he "gets more" out of the military.

Highways - My benefit from the highway is cheap goods, ability to travel, etc. The rich guy gets all that plus he has become rich (or richer) by having them.
 
2012-07-24 10:38:20 AM
>"self-made" man
>military brat
NOPE
/farking welfare project
 
2012-07-24 10:40:51 AM

Prevailing Wind: Let me ask you a question...do you think if you were a private insurance company that you could run it in a way where either A) all covered individuals pay the same ?


Isn't that how it works? If I buy insurance, they charge me a certain amount. This amount is not based on my income, but rather the type of policy I choose. Thus, Bill Gates would pay the same for the same insurance. (Of course, he'd probably pay more for a much better plan, but that's apples and oranges.)

In scenario A, young healthy people would never CHOOSE to buy the policy

Then they wouldn't get the coverage. What's the problem?

If you believe it isn't...If you wish to no longer avail yourself of our protection, our governance, our infrastructure, our social safety net, our educational system, and laws, our rights, and our freedoms then i have a very simple solution for you.

GET. THE. fark. OUT.


Protection? Cops "protect" themselves these days.
Governance? I'm not a child- I can govern myself, thanks.
Infrastructure? Why are our roads falling apart? Why are we one of the worst 'first world' countries when it comes to Broadband?
Social Safety net? Never had to rely on it.
Educational system? Don't even get me started. When my parents grew up, kids had to memorize their multiplication tables up to 20 x 20. When I was in school, it was 12 x 12. Now, I think it's 10 x 10... and the kids can use calculators. Teachers spend most the school year 'teaching to test'- making sure the kids can pass the government mandated tests, rather than actually, you know... teaching them. Kids don't learn logic or critical thinking anymore.
Laws? More and more are passed every day... often without the 'lawmakers' even reading them.
Rights? We have fewer and fewer every day.

Yet, despite all this, I don't want to leave.

I'd rather stay, and work to fix the system.
 
2012-07-24 10:51:23 AM

liam76: How, exactly, does a rich person get "far more" from the federal government?

Well you could have read the next line.

The poor guy probbaly gets more (in terms of money compared to what he pays) than the rich guy diorectly, but you have to be very myopic to not see how that help provides the level of stability that allows for rich people to exist.


I ask how the rich get "far more", and you reply with a sentence about how the poor actually get more?

Military - Bill gates has a lot more to protect than the average Joe.

That makes no sense. The military protects all Americans, rich or poor. They protect rich 100% and poor 100%.

Look at it like Insurance. A guy who has billions is going to pay a lot more than a guy who has a 50k house and a 15 year old honda.

Not if he gets the same policy. He only pays more if he gets a bigger policy.

Highways - My benefit from the highway is cheap goods, ability to travel, etc. The rich guy gets all that plus he has become rich (or richer) by having them.

So have you- the money you save by having "cheap goods" is money that you can save, making you richer. Oh, and a rich man doesn't just 'become rich' because a highway is nearby- he needs to use that highway, say by moving truckloads of product on it. In which case, he's paying taxes on the trucks, taxes on the gas, taxes on the product... he plays plenty already.
 
2012-07-24 10:51:54 AM

fredklein: Prevailing Wind: Let me ask you a question...do you think if you were a private insurance company that you could run it in a way where either A) all covered individuals pay the same ?

Isn't that how it works? If I buy insurance, they charge me a certain amount. This amount is not based on my income, but rather the type of policy I choose. Thus, Bill Gates would pay the same for the same insurance. (Of course, he'd probably pay more for a much better plan, but that's apples and oranges.)

In scenario A, young healthy people would never CHOOSE to buy the policy

Then they wouldn't get the coverage. What's the problem?

If you believe it isn't...If you wish to no longer avail yourself of our protection, our governance, our infrastructure, our social safety net, our educational system, and laws, our rights, and our freedoms then i have a very simple solution for you.

GET. THE. fark. OUT.

Protection? Cops "protect" themselves these days.
Governance? I'm not a child- I can govern myself, thanks.
Infrastructure? Why are our roads falling apart? Why are we one of the worst 'first world' countries when it comes to Broadband?
Social Safety net? Never had to rely on it.
Educational system? Don't even get me started. When my parents grew up, kids had to memorize their multiplication tables up to 20 x 20. When I was in school, it was 12 x 12. Now, I think it's 10 x 10... and the kids can use calculators. Teachers spend most the school year 'teaching to test'- making sure the kids can pass the government mandated tests, rather than actually, you know... teaching them. Kids don't learn logic or critical thinking anymore.
Laws? More and more are passed every day... often without the 'lawmakers' even reading them.
Rights? We have fewer and fewer every day.

Yet, despite all this, I don't want to leave.

I'd rather stay, and work to fix the system.


I'm pleased to hear it. Are you under the impression that fixing these things will not require you to not only pay taxes but, if you are as well to do as you imply, a proportion higher than the average citizen? Also, do you think that the problems you have cited will be fixed only by your money? How about your service? Your opinion? Your vote?

If these are the things about which you truly care, have you informed yourself about how the officials that represent you at all levels of government also feel about these things? Have you made certain that all of them know about how YOU feel about such things? Have you proposed solutions which are practical as opposed to ideological?

Are you willing to consider a candidates values, positions, and ideas about the things that YOU care about rather than what your party tells you you should care about?

I'm not judging. I'm asking questions.

To one for whom much has been given, much is expected.
 
2012-07-24 11:12:39 AM

Prevailing Wind: Are you under the impression that fixing these things will not require you to not only pay taxes but, if you are as well to do as you imply, a proportion higher than the average citizen?


Fixing these things will result in lower taxes. Examples:

Protection? Cops "protect" themselves these days.

Fixing this involves fewer cops, less 'toys' for the cops, and people being allowed to protect themselves. This means less money (taxes) needed to pay for the cops. And less money to pay off the Million dollar lawsuits the cops lose when they step too far over the line.

Governance? I'm not a child- I can govern myself, thanks.

This means smaller government. Which equals lower taxes needed to support it.

Infrastructure? Why are our roads falling apart? Why are we one of the worst 'first world' countries when it comes to Broadband?

This might indeed need more money to fix. But the amount needed is trivial compared to say, military expenditures in the Middle East.

Social Safety net? Never had to rely on it.

Personally, I think it should be done away with altogether. Private charities (and churches- aren't they supposed to help the poor?) can pick up the slack.

Educational system?

Fixing this requires policy changes, not heaps more money. But again, the money they may be required is trivial compared to military expenditures.

Etc.
 
2012-07-24 11:15:16 AM

Prevailing Wind: To one for whom much has been given, much is expected.


I refer the words of Peter Parker's Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility".
 
2012-07-24 11:15:49 AM

JNowe: No, he didn't. The fact that something is beneficial doesn't mean we owe a blank check. You can be for taxes and still think that they are too high or unfairly proportioned.


Damn straight. If the we weren't funding a 'USA World Police' defense budget, then we could lower taxes and still provide a reasonable social safety net.

Unfortunately, a large segment of the population cares more about killing people in other countries that taking care of it's own citizens.
 
2012-07-24 11:26:38 AM

Jack9: Gleeman: Diogenes Teufelsdrockh: intelligent comment below: tjfly: When he invalidates my argument about spending being too high lket me know. In the mean time, am I going to vote for the guy that just raised my taxes and has accumulated a bigger deficit in 3.5 yrs than Bush did in 8? No.

Record decrease in revenues coupled with massive increase in outlays? HURR DURR

The CBO was making up numbers since the late 80's (Reagan may or may not have authorized this in response to the massive fear generated by the recession and housing bust). The chart shows a surplus in late 90's-early 00's when Clinton declared a surplus based on projections that have never been shown accurate. You're looking at a graph of projected projections. It's hand waving and you're showing it off as fact 30 years later. *facepalm*


Apparently you have difficulty with the words 'actual' and 'projected'. I suggest Webster's.
 
2012-07-24 12:10:21 PM
So what the dude is saying is that because I was influenced by my family, friends, and role models, that I have no right to the money I earn? If that is not silly enough, the dude thinks that for some mystical reason the government has the right to most if not all my money?

You got to love it when libtards wax philosophic. ROFL
 
2012-07-24 12:38:46 PM

gstefan: So what the dude is saying is that because I was influenced by my family, friends, and role models, that I have no right to the money I earn? If that is not silly enough, the dude thinks that for some mystical reason the government has the right to most if not all my money?

You got to love it when libtards wax philosophic. ROFL


John Locke: You are entitled to life, liberty, and property.

US Declaration of Independence: You are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

US Constitution: Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States

You're the one channeling a philosopher with your assertion that people are entitled to the sum of their earnings. That's not reality. The reality is that governments are entitled to say what you get to keep. This has always been the case.

I guess reality has a liberal bias, again.
 
2012-07-24 12:41:53 PM

gstefan: So what the dude is saying is that because I was influenced by my family, friends, and role models, that I have no right to the money I earn? If that is not silly enough, the dude thinks that for some mystical reason the government has the right to most if not all my money?

You got to love it when libtards wax philosophic. ROFL


So what you're saying is that you posses the reading skills of a pithed frog? If that is not silly enough, you then come into the thread here and demonstrate your lack of reading comprehension for everyone to see.

You got to love it when conservatards completely miss the point and then biatch about what they imagined the point was. ROFL
 
2012-07-24 12:48:29 PM
Carlo Spicy-Wiener Smartest
Funniest
2012-07-23 05:32:43 PM


I am a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, gainfully employed, male citizen of the United States.
I do not know what it's like to be oppressed.
I do not know what it's like to be persecuted.
I do not know what it's like to be in fear for my life.
I do not know what it's like to have to fight for my rights.
I do not know what it's like to struggle for recognition.
I do not know what it's like to go without food or shelter.

THAT is what "white privelage" means.




I guess it means we also got better schooling, huh?
 
2012-07-24 01:03:23 PM

fredklein: I ask how the rich get "far more", and you reply with a sentence about how the poor actually get more?


No, I reply that you have to be very myopic to not see hwo the rich get more out of the poor being kept happy than the poor do.

fredklein: That makes no sense. The military protects all Americans, rich or poor. They protect rich 100% and poor 100%.

Not if he gets the same policy. He only pays more if he gets a bigger policy.


he has a lot more to protect, he has a bigger policy, get it?

fredklein: So have you- the money you save by having "cheap goods" is money that you can save, making you richer. Oh, and a rich man doesn't just 'become rich' because a highway is nearby- he needs to use that highway, say by moving truckloads of product on it. In which case, he's paying taxes on the trucks, taxes on the gas, taxes on the product... he plays plenty already


I didn't say he just 'becomes rich' because a highway is nearby, but that (and other infrastructure) is important for every rich person in the US.

The rich don't "pay plenty" as they often have lower effective tax rates.

The richer I am the more I have gotten out of the system, which means it is completely "fair" for me to pay more to support the system.
 
2012-07-24 01:21:11 PM
That Scalzi is a wealthy, successful American who agrees with President Obama on this point, does not make him a hero. It doesn't mean his point is more valid than mine because he caught some breaks and wants to pay more in taxes than he's obligated to pay presently. He has every right to "give back," if he thinks he hasn't already. He could do that now, without a tax increase. He could donate to charitable causes or he could give the money to an inefficient, wasteful bureaucracy that is our federal government. Still, the President's comments ignored the fact that people who have succeeded and did it legally, paid along the way already. At the same time, they likely overcame government interference as often as they used the government services that they paid for.

Taxes are necessary, no doubt about it. The question then becomes what is the appropriate level of taxes and under what circumstances should taxes be changed, if at all. Even if you think more taxes is a good thing, raising taxes during an economic slump will not encourage growth or a reduction in unemployment. If Scalzi's position results in less private sector investment and more unemployment, is he still a "hero"?
 
2012-07-24 01:23:00 PM

liam76: I didn't say he just 'becomes rich' because a highway is nearby, but that (and other infrastructure) is important for every rich person in the US.

The rich don't "pay plenty" as they often have lower effective tax rates.

The richer I am the more I have gotten out of the system, which means it is completely "fair" for me to pay more to support the system.


My family is "richer" than a lot of poor people but we sell services and work from home. How are we benefiting from the roads more or using/benefiting more from insurance? Also, just because people have money, it does not mean that they necessarily have larger insurance policies. Because my family is all young and healthy we get some of the cheapest health plans. And the only reason our car insurance is slightly more expensive is because we don't have crummy cars, but that expense is built into the system. Low income people often buy flashy muscle cars with expensive insurance rates as well. When we have more at stake we often pay more, but my use of the terribly managed roads is probably much less than the average low wage distance commuter. In fact my family probably uses government services less than most people.

I don't necessarily disagree with your general sentiment. I think that having an unstable economy and homeless/uneducated people on the street is bad for all Americans, probably most of all the affluent. I just think your current argument is flawed. We contribute because it's good for society and having a healthy society/economy is good for us, not because we are actually using government services and programs more.
 
2012-07-24 02:31:28 PM
TFA is what most people mean when they say they had to work hard and fight for what they have and didn't have the help of anyone. Oh yeah? Did you grow up all alone in the jungle, Mr. Hatchet?
 
2012-07-24 02:38:36 PM

The First Four Black Sabbath Albums: TFA is what most people mean when they say they had to work hard and fight for what they have and didn't have the help of anyone. Oh yeah? Did you grow up all alone in the jungle, Mr. Hatchet?



Love your screen name!
 
2012-07-24 02:49:04 PM

elysive: My family is "richer" than a lot of poor people but we sell services and work from home. How are we benefiting from the roads more or using/benefiting more from insurance?


The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.

The "roads" is a symbol of everything from the power and water grids to education. All of which are required for modern businesses we have in the US.



elysive: I don't necessarily disagree with your general sentiment. I think that having an unstable economy and homeless/uneducated people on the street is bad for all Americans, probably most of all the affluent. I just think your current argument is flawed. We contribute because it's good for society and having a healthy society/economy is good for us, not because we are actually using government services and programs more


I am not saying the rich use them more, I am saying they get more out of them.
 
2012-07-24 02:50:16 PM
Teufelaffe
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Serious Post on Serious Thread
DataShade

While my post is more humorous than accurate, you cannot deny that given a choice, many of our welfare recipients would rather stay on the receiving side rather than become a productive contributor.
sure, animals do not know any better. Humans do, that's what makes it all the more of an issue. It's the willingness of so many recipients that are capable of working who choose to stay on the system rather than take responsibility for themselves and their family.
 
2012-07-24 02:56:24 PM

Villemus Fortis: you cannot deny that given a choice, many of our welfare recipients would rather stay on the receiving side rather than become a productive contributor.


Actually, I can deny that very thing. Tell you what, why don't you come up with some sort of actual evidence* supporting the whole, "many welfare recipients are lazy and stay on welfare because it's easier than working" bullshiat, and I'll give it a listen.

* Anecdotes and anything from Fox News or the partisan blogsphere don't count. Find a source that at least tries to be objective and honest.
 
2012-07-24 02:59:28 PM

liam76: The richer I am the more I have gotten out of the system, which means it is completely "fair" for me to pay more to support the system.


And I disagree that the rich get more from the [federal] system. However, where they do get more, they do pay more. Richtown has plenty of police, nicely kept parks, and well kept roads. Poortown has few cops, a few weedy lots, and potholes galore. Richtown residents pay more in taxes than Poortown. And that's perfectly fair, because they get what they pay for.

But the federal interstate highway that runs through Richtown and Poortown is the same highway. It leads to the same places, and it has the same potholes. It is equally available to both, and so, the residents of Richtown and Poortown should pay an equal amount to the federal government for that highway.

You argue that the Rich benefit more because their trucks carrying their products for sale at their stores travel on those roads. Btu you neglect the fact that the rich need to pay taxes to buy those trucks, and to pay for the gas those trucks use, so they have already paid more for the increased usage. And you neglect the fact that the poor benefit from the highways as well- the products they buy are transported to the stores they buy from on those roads. Both the rich and poor benefit. So both the rich and poor should pay.

I really don't think you want to get into a Harrison Bergeron world where everyone needs to be exactly "equal".
 
2012-07-24 03:10:11 PM

liam76: The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.


So, if I have a $10,000 insurance policy, I should pay more than you do for your $10,000 insurance policy, simply because I'm richer than you???
 
2012-07-24 03:14:52 PM

Teufelaffe: Actually, I can deny that very thing. Tell you what, why don't you come up with some sort of actual evidence* supporting the whole, "many welfare recipients are lazy and stay on welfare because it's easier than working" bullshiat, and I'll give it a listen.


I'd think the very fact there are welfare recipients who stay on welfare instead of working would be evidence enough. If someone wants to work, there are jobs available. They might not be fancy jobs that pay $100/hr, but they are jobs.
 
2012-07-24 03:19:00 PM

fredklein: But the federal interstate highway that runs through Richtown and Poortown is the same highway. It leads to the same places, and it has the same potholes. It is equally available to both, and so, the residents of Richtown and Poortown should pay an equal amount to the federal government for that highway.


Actually it isn't.

There is a financial barier to using those things making it more accessable to the rich (same with federal courts, adn many other federal institutions, or institutions that get fuinding from the fed).

Also you are confusing "equally availaible to" with "equally benefited from". Who do youthink gets the better benefit, the guy on welfare getting food stamps or the rich guy who doesn't have to worry abotu tthe breakdown of society because poor are being fed?

fredklein: You argue that the Rich benefit more because their trucks carrying their products for sale at their stores travel on those roads. Btu you neglect the fact that the rich need to pay taxes to buy those trucks, and to pay for the gas those trucks use, so they have already paid more for the increased usage. And you neglect the fact that the poor benefit from the highways as well- the products they buy are transported to the stores they buy from on those roads. Both the rich and poor benefit. So both the rich and poor should pay.


Yes they both benefit, but the rich benefit more. I am using the roads as a symbol. Schools, the power grid, etc are all needed for a modern business. A guy who has made it and is rich is benefitting far more from the system than some shmoe barely making it.


fredklein: I really don't think you want to get into a Harrison Bergeron world where everyone needs to be exactly "equal".


I am pretty sure you are the one who brought up "equal".

But the fact of the matter is that peopel who are wealthy get more out of society and should pay more in taxes.
 
2012-07-24 03:29:40 PM

fredklein: liam76: The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.

So, if I have a $10,000 insurance policy, I should pay more than you do for your $10,000 insurance policy, simply because I'm richer than you???


Jesus you really are thick aren't you?

The military is inusrance. They are protecting everything you own. A rich guy has more to protect than a poor guy, they should pay more for insurance.

No crayons, so if you still don't get it I give up.
 
2012-07-24 03:41:15 PM

liam76: fredklein: liam76: The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.

So, if I have a $10,000 insurance policy, I should pay more than you do for your $10,000 insurance policy, simply because I'm richer than you???

Jesus you really are thick aren't you?

The military is inusrance. They are protecting everything you own. A rich guy has more to protect than a poor guy, they should pay more for insurance.

No crayons, so if you still don't get it I give up.


Wait, you're telling me that an insurance policy that covers a $100,000 home is going to cost less than an insurance policy that covers a $1,000,000 home? That's crazy talk!
 
2012-07-24 03:55:55 PM

fredklein: intelligent comment below: Otherwise you pay the tax man based on how much you earn.


When I walk into a grocery store and buy a can of peas, I pay $1.

When a poor person walks into the same grocery store and buys he same can of peas, they pay... $1.

When Bill farking Gates walks into the same grocery store and buys the same can of peas, he pays... $1.

Paying for what you get is fair.


When I pay taxes, I pay $10,000. (Just an example)

When a poor person pays taxes, they end end up paying $10

When Bill Gates pays taxes, he ends up paying $1,000,000.

Yet, we all get the same "services" from the Federal Government. Paying more for the same thing is NOT fair.

Now, differing Local taxes, I can understand. A 'rich' town has to collect more to keep the streets paved in solid gold, while a 'poor' town collects less... and provided less. But at the Federal level, we all get the same things from the government. And thus, we should all pay the same.


Today's discussion for homily:

Mark 12:17 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.


Mark 12:41- Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
Mark 12:42 - But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Mark 12:43 - Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
Mark 12:44 - For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on."
 
2012-07-24 04:26:46 PM
The government at all levels is a major employer, and we can all see work that can be accomplished by the government with more manpower (infrastructure for instance). We strangle the government at all levels by fighting tax increases on one hand while encouraging with the other hand those who take more than their share of taxpayer money, both through contracted and overbilled business with the government and through government subsidies of industries not in need of help. No part of that makes any sense... government can do the things we want it to do, if we fund it and stop acting like we're entitled to government money - that goes for everyone, especially the wealthy. If we allow the government to hire and do the work needing to be done, unemployment will go down substantially and the cost of business logistics will go down as will private maintenance costs.

To compare the indigent to wild animals is sickening, a disservice to both conscience and intelligence. Wild bears that learn humans are a source of food end up shot when they wander into our towns. The poor receiving assistance are kept from absolute starvation and deprivation; those capable of getting out of poverty generally do and contribute to society in the future, and those who cannot, either from lack of faculties or from other factors, will cost society as much or more if we do not help them. I've known a lot of poor people, and few of them have spoken about feeling entitled to government assistance. I've heard plenty from businessmen about tax breaks, subsidies and the like, and they can't help but sound entitled.

You may complain about someone on welfare owning a cell phone or other luxury good; its unlikely then that you've ever been poor or known anyone who was poor. If you've ever been poor, perhaps you'd remember how any monetary largesse you get, like tax returns, are in essence your only chance to have something nice. Remember also that good decisionmaking is rarely a skill of the poor, and they're subjected to the same marketing pressures as everyone. If you begrudge them the one luxury good they manage to get their hands on, then you're surely against the free market; if we control what the poor are able to spend their money on while on public assistance, how does that coexist with a free market, with our constitutional freedoms? Are we to take it that government assistance should be a form of slavery?

Every complaint about high taxes hinges on public assistance for the poor and in supporting arts and similar organizations. It's interesting then that spending on these programs combined is equivalent to a rounding error in our defense budget. Politics keep you from putting forward any ideas that will actually help save taxpayer money, like rooting out medicare frauds, altering eligibility to big programs like Social Security and Medicare, or reducing defense spending to more sane levels. Instead of inane soundbytes that make it sound like the poor are living on easy street on our dime, why not discuss something with some actual value?
 
2012-07-24 04:30:48 PM

liam76: fredklein: But the federal interstate highway that runs through Richtown and Poortown is the same highway. It leads to the same places, and it has the same potholes. It is equally available to both, and so, the residents of Richtown and Poortown should pay an equal amount to the federal government for that highway.

Actually it isn't.

There is a financial barier to using those things making it more accessable to the rich


There is no "financial barrier" to using the highways, other than owning a car. And even those who don't own cars still benefit from highways- taxis, buses, trucks that deliver to their local grocery store, and UPS trucks that deliver items they order online, etc all use the highways, too.

Also you are confusing "equally availaible to" with "equally benefited from". Who do youthink gets the better benefit, the guy on welfare getting food stamps or the rich guy who doesn't have to worry abotu tthe breakdown of society because poor are being fed?

You mean, who benefits more- the guy who gets to eat (and therefore live), or the guy who isn't slightly inconvenienced?

Yes they both benefit, but the rich benefit more. I am using the roads as a symbol. Schools, the power grid, etc are all needed for a modern business. A guy who has made it and is rich is benefitting far more from the system than some shmoe barely making it.

And the rich guy is already paying more. A rich man who owns a business pays more in property taxes than a poor person. A rich man who owns a business pays more for electricity than a poor person. And so on. The rich man uses more, so he pays more. That's fair. But in areas that the rich man gets the same, he should pay the same.

But the fact of the matter is that peopel who are wealthy get more out of society and should pay more in taxes.

IF they get more, they should indeed pay more. See my post about Richtown/Poortown.
 
2012-07-24 04:41:55 PM

liam76: fredklein: liam76: The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.

So, if I have a $10,000 insurance policy, I should pay more than you do for your $10,000 insurance policy, simply because I'm richer than you???

Jesus you really are thick aren't you?

The military is inusrance. They are protecting everything you own. A rich guy has more to protect than a poor guy, they should pay more for insurance.


You are the one who said "Yes they protect all americans equally". Equally. EQUALLY. That's 'the same amount'.

Now you're talking about an UN-equal amount of protection.

Which is it?

If they protect everyone equally, then everyone should pay the same.

if they protect some people more then others, then some people should pay more than others. Of course, this means that some poor people somewhere have been invaded and taken over without it making the news....
 
2012-07-24 04:50:01 PM

Teufelaffe: Wait, you're telling me that an insurance policy that covers a $100,000 home is going to cost less than an insurance policy that covers a $1,000,000 home? That's crazy talk!


No, it's perfectly logical. But Liam seems to be rather...confused. He says "Yes they protect all americans equally", but then says the rich should pay "more".

Paying more for the same thing. I just don't see how that's fair.
 
2012-07-24 06:06:57 PM

RehcamretsneF: This subby obviously didnt read the article.

Apart from being on welfare, taxes did nothing for this man. He was handpicked for his talents and abilities all through life, and spent this article thanking people for it. PEOPLE. not TAXES. TIME and value placed upon people without a pricetag, is what got him where he is. IDK what the subby was implying... thinking taxes all of a sudden makes it a "level playing ground" for all the other worthless kids? sorry, quite the opposite. maybe one person in america will be wholly helped by the tax concessions of this man. Everything else is a waste, and makes it worse for everyone else. System is broken. He got lucky.


The point of the article, which ought to be clear to anyone with a 5th-grade reading level, is that NOBODY is successful entirely on his own. Scalzi credits his success partly to his own talent and drive, partly to individuals and institutions that recognized it and gave him a break, but also partly to the many points at which social safety nets, public education, and other taxpayer-funded programs helped him.

Note the points at which the help he received was critical: at the time of his birth, and throughout his childhood through high school. If you think being poor in this country is not a massively crippling affair for future prospects, you're fooling yourself and ignoring decades of data that prove otherwise.

Working poor people spend nearly all, or more than, their entire income on the basics of life. If people got a living wage, then we'd rely far less on social safety net programs. No person employed in this country should need to rely on government handouts purely to survive, and yet that's the reality for millions. Your taxes must make up for the fact that Walmart is buying its labor dirt cheap. But the people who continue to believe that magical wealth will trickle down if we appease the anger of our plutarchian overlords....well, they're the same folks who want to slash safety nets for people while removing any requirement that corporations be good citizens, and preserving a historically low and unsustainable tax rate for the people who already possess more than half the wealth of this country.

You wanna cut waste, stop spending all our tax money giving breaks to billionaires and and big businesses, both of whom have been hoarding cash for the last decade in ever more ridiculous amounts. Stop pretending the magical hand of the free market will fix everything while you slide enormous subsidies to massive conglomerates who hide their record-breaking profits overseas.

I'm a white middle class, 42-year-old with a decent job, a nice (but not extravagant) car, and a decent condo in a pleasant suburb. Most of my neighbors and friedns who grew up in this area went to the best schools in the state, had safe roads and playgrounds to play in, affordable nearby food options, and parents who got home early enough to help with homework.

But I grew up at the top end of "working poor", so I knew plenty of folks on public assistance. For every one person who abused the system, a score were helped. Many more were frustrated by the weird balance of seeking work and finding only things that didn't pay enough to live on or would render their children without healthcare. Somehow we got by. But Dad's work was brutal and now that he's retired it's clear what toll all those hours of overtime took on his body. And yeah, I've earned what I have now, but I'd be an ass if I didn't have a list that looked much like Scalzi's to explain how I got to this point. NEVER take opportunities for granted.

I have a friend who owns a watch that cost enough to buy not just my current car, but my previous one as well. At points in my life, a $20 watch would have been a decision to worry over for weeks, hoping it went on sale for $15. And I've known people for whom $20 would ensure they got critical medication, and they skipped meals to afford it.

And it has taken me years to understand and internalize the fact that dozens of opportunities and assumptions are wrapped up in being the "default/easy mode" character in the video game. What it really took was spending a bit of time in a culture where I could go all day without seeing someone who looked remotely like a white guy, and where in some places shopkeepers would ignore foreigners.
 
2012-07-24 06:10:28 PM

fredklein: liam76: fredklein: liam76: The insurance was an analogy for the US military protection. Yes they protect all americans equally, but like insurance if you have more to "protect" you should pay more.

So, if I have a $10,000 insurance policy, I should pay more than you do for your $10,000 insurance policy, simply because I'm richer than you???

Jesus you really are thick aren't you?

The military is inusrance. They are protecting everything you own. A rich guy has more to protect than a poor guy, they should pay more for insurance.

You are the one who said "Yes they protect all americans equally". Equally. EQUALLY. That's 'the same amount'.

Now you're talking about an UN-equal amount of protection.

Which is it?

If they protect everyone equally, then everyone should pay the same.

if they protect some people more then others, then some people should pay more than others. Of course, this means that some poor people somewhere have been invaded and taken over without it making the news....


Watch how quickly 9-1-1 shows up when you make call in rich neighborhoods versus poor ones. 25 minutes for an ambulance to get there from 15 blocks away. Fifteen blocks in a different direction and you get your choice of two within five minutes, because they know you can afford it.
 
2012-07-24 06:12:57 PM

Undulation: The government at all levels is a major employer, and we can all see work that can be accomplished by the government with more manpower (infrastructure for instance). We strangle the government at all levels by fighting tax increases on one hand while encouraging with the other hand those who take more than their share of taxpayer money, both through contracted and overbilled business with the government and through government subsidies of industries not in need of help. No part of that makes any sense... government can do the things we want it to do, if we fund it and stop acting like we're entitled to government money - that goes for everyone, especially the wealthy. If we allow the government to hire and do the work needing to be done, unemployment will go down substantially and the cost of business logistics will go down as will private maintenance costs.

To compare the indigent to wild animals is sickening, a disservice to both conscience and intelligence. Wild bears that learn humans are a source of food end up shot when they wander into our towns. The poor receiving assistance are kept from absolute starvation and deprivation; those capable of getting out of poverty generally do and contribute to society in the future, and those who cannot, either from lack of faculties or from other factors, will cost society as much or more if we do not help them. I've known a lot of poor people, and few of them have spoken about feeling entitled to government assistance. I've heard plenty from businessmen about tax breaks, subsidies and the like, and they can't help but sound entitled.

You may complain about someone on welfare owning a cell phone or other luxury good; its unlikely then that you've ever been poor or known anyone who was poor. If you've ever been poor, perhaps you'd remember how any monetary largesse you get, like tax returns, are in essence your only chance to have something nice. Remember also that good decisionmaking is rarely a skill of the poor, and ...


Marry me.
 
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