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(The Raw Story)   Warren: We're in this mess because Washington has ignored the middle class for a generation   (rawstory.com) divider line 181
    More: Interesting, middleclass, Rachel Maddow  
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2088 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Nov 2013 at 12:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



181 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-11-21 12:08:03 PM  
Cue the idiots and the Indian references!
 
2013-11-21 12:11:48 PM  

Lando Lincoln: Cue the idiots and the Indian references!


Hi!  How are ya?
 
2013-11-21 12:29:14 PM  
I'm afraid the middle class is gone.  This is supposed to be people with disposable income.  Most people however are leveraged to their eyeballs in debt just to keep up with what was supposed to be a middle class lifestyle.
 
2013-11-21 12:30:01 PM  
global3.memecdn.com
 
2013-11-21 12:30:24 PM  
Where's the obvious tag?
 
2013-11-21 12:30:35 PM  
The middle class bought it hook, line and sinker. They pushed for their own gutting. "Free Market" capitalism was always crony capitalism. Financializing the entire economy along with a push for privatization and personal responsibility will end in cat food for everyone but a minor select fraction of a percent.
 
2013-11-21 12:31:31 PM  
How fortunate for the middle class.
 
2013-11-21 12:31:52 PM  
The more people sound off about MUH MIDDLE CLASS, the more it sounds like an arbitrary construct designed for the cold war golden era that never existed.

But Washington does have its head in the wrong place.
 
2013-11-21 12:32:19 PM  
She's not wrong. 2016 posturing?
 
2013-11-21 12:32:45 PM  
Obvious tag out working a second job at Walmart?
 
2013-11-21 12:32:52 PM  
This lady should keep saying things, somebody needs to speak for the human people, my friend.
 
2013-11-21 12:33:16 PM  
Someone has to pay the world police tax.
 
2013-11-21 12:33:25 PM  
We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?
 
2013-11-21 12:34:06 PM  
I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.
 
2013-11-21 12:36:00 PM  
Not ignored. Actively worked to eliminate. It's an important distinction.
 
2013-11-21 12:36:13 PM  

LucklessWonder: She's not wrong. 2016 posturing?


She was saying this sort of thing before she was even elected, and sincerely means it.

Calling this "posturing" is like telling Doug he's trying too hard to be fashionable when the trending style just happens to switch to the sweatervest that's the only piece of clothing in his wardrobe.
 
2013-11-21 12:36:58 PM  

Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?


Vote for her and she'll give you a pony, of course.
 
2013-11-21 12:37:59 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.


That will not go over well. Unless you light a candle at the altar of Her Holiness, you're asking for trouble here.
 
2013-11-21 12:38:39 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.


The sad thing is that there are people who actually believe this. Not you, of course, but people.
 
2013-11-21 12:38:50 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess"


You hear that, the economy is doing fine everybody! Middle class is doing fine! We can move onto other things!
 
2013-11-21 12:39:20 PM  
So now wut...
 
2013-11-21 12:40:10 PM  

Doktor_Zhivago: So now wut...


Um ... tax cuts for the rich?
 
2013-11-21 12:40:14 PM  

Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?


1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income.
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets.
3. Raise the minimum wage.
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks.
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.
 
2013-11-21 12:40:15 PM  
She could make an interesting veep choice.
 
2013-11-21 12:40:36 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.


Like the widespread poverty in the likes of Sweden and other sociamalist Eurocommidises?

/oh wait
 
2013-11-21 12:40:43 PM  

Snapper Carr: Not ignored. Actively worked to eliminate. It's an important distinction.


Well, it makes sense when you realize the wealthy in this nation want to return to the 90's.


The 1890's that is.  They LOVED the Gilded Age and have been longing for a return to it for decades.
 
2013-11-21 12:41:29 PM  

Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?


If you look at what she's been up to while in office, it's holding corporations accountable for crimes.  If you want a serious answer, that's more than just just gestures: bring capital gains taxation into alignment with income taxation, especially as far as progressive taxation goes.
 
2013-11-21 12:41:39 PM  

Cletus C.: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

That will not go over well. Unless you light a candle at the altar of Her Holiness, you're asking for trouble here.


I get in trouble here for posting any number of benign, uncontroversial things that cause the fans of Blue Team or Red Team some butthurt. So why shy away?
 
2013-11-21 12:42:29 PM  
Historically, ever increasing disparity of wealth ends up in either economic catastrophe or social upheaval.
I suppose it could work out differently for us, this time.
Or, not.
 
2013-11-21 12:42:49 PM  
Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.
 
2013-11-21 12:43:20 PM  

BMFPitt: Cletus C.: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

That will not go over well. Unless you light a candle at the altar of Her Holiness, you're asking for trouble here.

I get in trouble here for posting any number of benign, uncontroversial things that cause the fans of Blue Team or Red Team some butthurt. So why shy away?


I think I see the problem.
 
2013-11-21 12:43:38 PM  

BMFPitt: Cletus C.: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

That will not go over well. Unless you light a candle at the altar of Her Holiness, you're asking for trouble here.

I get in trouble here for posting any number of benign, uncontroversial things that cause the fans of Blue Team or Red Team some butthurt. So why shy away?


Well aren't you the rugged individual
 
2013-11-21 12:44:00 PM  

super_grass: The more people sound off about MUH MIDDLE CLASS, the more it sounds like an arbitrary construct designed for the cold war golden era that never existed.

But Washington does have its head in the wrong place.


I'd always suspected the republican agenda really is to return feudalism.
 
2013-11-21 12:44:51 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess"

You hear that, the economy is doing fine everybody! Middle class is doing fine! We can move onto other things!


No, they are doing quite badly. I want someone who will stop making it worse.
 
2013-11-21 12:44:58 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.


twinkletoesforall.files.wordpress.com

"Hey, guys... get a load of this. This guy thinks he knows what widespread poverty is!"
 
2013-11-21 12:45:03 PM  

BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.


She's coming for our refrigerators and flat-screen TV'S!?!?!  That monster!
 
2013-11-21 12:45:09 PM  

coyo: super_grass: The more people sound off about MUH MIDDLE CLASS, the more it sounds like an arbitrary construct designed for the cold war golden era that never existed.

But Washington does have its head in the wrong place.

I'd always suspected the republican agenda really is to return feudalism.


I thought they were pretty explicit about that.
 
2013-11-21 12:45:21 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.


Rapist is ignoring the victim and focusing on their own pleasure.
Wolf is ignoring the sheep, and focusing on other wolves trying to get in on the meal.
 
2013-11-21 12:46:00 PM  

BMFPitt: No, they are doing quite badly. I want someone who will stop making it worse.


Do you have someone in mind?
 
2013-11-21 12:46:30 PM  
What it is going to take is working class people to wake up, stop voting against their own interests, and make their voices heard by elected officials. Garbage in, garbage out. We have no one to blame but ourselves for this mess.
 
2013-11-21 12:46:34 PM  
I'm not sure ignored is the word here. I mean--it fits--but it seems more like favored the wealthiest classes instead of ignoring the middle class. The middle class in itself is ripe for being ignored being what they are: generally self sufficient, but not enough financial capital to really be a force to influence any politicians.

Maybe ignored is the right word...
 
2013-11-21 12:47:59 PM  
If by ignore you mean intentionally fark over.

The free trade agreements that allowed the obscenely wealthy to move all the manufacturing jobs out of the United States without facing financial penalties for trying to moved finished goods into the US for sale didn't just happen.

Look back at the articles about the fight to grant China permanent Most Favored Nation trading status:

The power of the new China lobby was evident in Beijing last March
7, when more than 100 representatives of major U.S. firms held
their annual conference under the auspices of the U.S.-China Business
Council. Delivering his first major speech since taking office
just weeks before, U.S. Ambassador James Sasser told them that
the Clinton administration was counting on aggressive pressure
from business to secure renewal of MFN status for China. "[Sasser]
also suggested that CEOs make personal calls on Congress when
they wish to relay their concerns on major China-related issues,
such as MFN," reported the China Business Review,
the bimonthly magazine of the U.S.-China Business Council. "Nothing,"
he said, "makes an impression on a member of Congress like
a visit or phone call from a CEO from the member's district or
state."

Of course, the Fortune 500 companies that comprise the U.S.-China
Business Council-led by Boeing, Motorola, Caterpillar, AT&T,
and the American International Group (AIG)-hardly needed Sasser's
encouragement. They have been working the halls of Congress intensely
since the 1972 opening to China by President Nixon. Lured by the
prospect of 1.2 billion low-wage workers and eager consumers,
America's corporate elite have done a fine job unofficially representing
the Chinese government in Washington.


The corporate elite and their political lapdogs worked very, very hard to screw over the nation.
 
2013-11-21 12:48:16 PM  

CPennypacker: BMFPitt: Cletus C.: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

That will not go over well. Unless you light a candle at the altar of Her Holiness, you're asking for trouble here.

I get in trouble here for posting any number of benign, uncontroversial things that cause the fans of Blue Team or Red Team some butthurt. So why shy away?

Well aren't you the rugged individual


People with no opinion, and nothing better to do than spew bile in the name of "devil's advocacy", are going to save the world, didn't you know?

Just as soon as everyone else shuts up.
 
2013-11-21 12:48:28 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income. Agree
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets. Agree, but very gradually
3. Raise the minimum wage. Agree
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks. Agree
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending. Farking boatloads of this. Bullet-traings everywhere.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.


I really want someone who will vastly overhaul the Tax System. It should be simple and efficient, and primarily based on income tax. I'd also like to see a corporate revenue (not profit) tax that would be applicable if the sum of all compensation paid to the highest earner is greater than x times the lowest earner.
 
2013-11-21 12:49:15 PM  

EwoksSuck: What it is going to take is working class people to wake up, stop voting against their own interests, and make their voices heard by elected officials.


What it would take is a fundamental change in human nature. A lot of people are attracted to simple solutions for complex problems, even if they don't work. Those people will always be easy to fool and manipulate.
 
2013-11-21 12:49:19 PM  
I disagree.  It was caused by a series of structural, economic changes that were, at most, exacerbated but not caused by politics.  The advancement of automation and technology to the point where many mid-level jobs were destroyed had nothing to do with policy and the rise of outsourcing can, in large part, be traced to the rise of the developing world more so than trade policy.  After all, the North American Free Trade Association did not play a large role in increased outsourcing to Southeast Asia.  These forces will continue to occur and will continue to drag down employment and wages for the foreseeable future.   Combine this with cost disease affecting industries that directly affect quality of life in a huge way (most notably healthcare and education), you get a painful situation for many in the middle class.  This will all eventually sort itself out, the next 15 or 20 years are going to suck balls no matter who is in Washington.
 
2013-11-21 12:49:25 PM  
Well, duh. The question now, of course, is what to do about it.
 
2013-11-21 12:49:38 PM  

TimonC346: I'm not sure ignored is the word here. I mean--it fits--but it seems more like favored the wealthiest classes instead of ignoring the middle class. The middle class in itself is ripe for being ignored being what they are: generally self sufficient, but not enough financial capital to really be a force to influence any politicians.

Maybe ignored is the right word...


It's more like manipulated into voting for the interests of the wealthy and against the poor. Now that the middle class is (predictably) sinking, they're starting to rethink the rhetoric they so happily swallowed before.
 
2013-11-21 12:50:25 PM  

BlastYoBoots: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

Like the widespread poverty in the likes of Sweden and other sociamalist Eurocommidises?

/oh wait


Nope, they have chosen to set up a system that provides for a high floor and a low ceiling that works for them. Sweden that is. Something like France would be more analogous.

// I would like the French healthcare system, though.
 
2013-11-21 12:51:23 PM  

DarnoKonrad: I'm afraid the middle class is gone.  This is supposed to be people with disposable income.  Most people however are leveraged to their eyeballs in debt just to keep up with what was supposed to be a middle class lifestyle.


The majority of debt held by american households is mortgages. That debt is more often than not a healthy debt and a better choice than renting.

There is still a middle class. Drooling out hyperbolic nonsense isn't going to save it it anymore than talking about death panels is going to stop the ACA.
 
2013-11-21 12:52:01 PM  
The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.
 
2013-11-21 12:52:25 PM  

Pinner: DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.

Rapist is ignoring the victim and focusing on their own pleasure.
Wolf is ignoring the sheep, and focusing on other wolves trying to get in on the meal.


Except for when the rapist is holding the victim down...trying to keep them quiet...the rapist doesn't get pleasure from the sexual act, he gets it from the power of being in control.
All of the wolves are focused on the sheep or they would just fight each other and nothing would get eaten. You must not have cable.
 
2013-11-21 12:52:45 PM  
To be fair, it's very difficult to pay attention to something that doesn't exist.
 
2013-11-21 12:52:51 PM  

Tomahawk513: UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income. Agree
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets. Agree, but very gradually
3. Raise the minimum wage. Agree
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks. Agree
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending. Farking boatloads of this. Bullet-traings everywhere.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.

I really want someone who will vastly overhaul the Tax System. It should be simple and efficient, and primarily based on income tax. I'd also like to see a corporate revenue (not profit) tax that would be applicable if the sum of all compensation paid to the highest earner is greater than x times the lowest earner.


I like that idea in theory, but in practice I think you'd just see CEO's being payed in stock as a workaround. It only works if you include language in the legislation to count the monetary value of all forms of compensation to calculate the highest earner income.
 
2013-11-21 12:53:10 PM  

llortcM_yllort: After all, the North American Free Trade Association did not play a large role in increased outsourcing to Southeast Asia.


You're right. It wasn't NAFTA, it was GATT, the WTO and extending MFN for China that accomplished that.
 
2013-11-21 12:54:03 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: BMFPitt: No, they are doing quite badly. I want someone who will stop making it worse.

Do you have someone in mind?


Nobody who could even make it to the primary debates.
 
2013-11-21 12:54:04 PM  
Gee wiz this sounds good.

You don't think she is just saying what she thinks people want to hear, do you?

She isn't a politician is she...?
 
2013-11-21 12:54:33 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income. Agree
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets. Agree, but very gradually
3. Raise the minimum wage. Agree
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks. Agree
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending. Farking boatloads of this. Bullet-traings everywhere.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.

I really want someone who will vastly overhaul the Tax System. It should be simple and efficient, and primarily based on income tax. I'd also like to see a corporate revenue (not profit) tax that would be applicable if the sum of all compensation paid to the highest earner is greater than x times the lowest earner.

I like that idea in theory, but in practice I think you'd just see CEO's being payed in stock as a workaround. It only works if you include language in the legislation to count the monetary value of all forms of compensation to calculate the highest earner income.


Yes sir, exactly.  The sum of all forms of compensation, whether it's a bonus, stock options, salary, healthcare, the whole package.
 
2013-11-21 12:54:51 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.


That's not a good analogy or assumption.

Sure, there are Randites who actively detest the poor, and would spit on them even after witnessing the extent of their struggle and suffering. However, there are a whole lot more rich people who exist in an epistemic bubble, too insulated from the plight of the poor to begin to empathize. They simply don't know, and only speak with those who confirm their biases or are too frightened of their power to outright tell them they're wrong.

In other words, a wolf is guaranteed to be seeing and focusing on the food it kills and eats. This is more like a voracious patron of a restaurant demanding "More! More ground meat burgers, please!", chewing and splattering grime over his bib whilst blissfully unaware that the animals being slaughtered in the back to supply his meal are actually people just like him, except when he's sometimes unaware or unbelieving of the fact that there's slaughter at all.

But of course, to preserve this illusion, there have to be Randite leaders in the movement: Restaurant staff and management, in the analogy, who understand the supply and demand for human flesh and heartlessly, intentionally seek to deliver it for profit. But they're not the majority. Just facilitators.
 
2013-11-21 12:55:16 PM  

llortcM_yllort: I disagree.  It was caused by a series of structural, economic changes that were, at most, exacerbated but not caused by politics.  The advancement of automation and technology to the point where many mid-level jobs were destroyed had nothing to do with policy and the rise of outsourcing can, in large part, be traced to the rise of the developing world more so than trade policy.  After all, the North American Free Trade Association did not play a large role in increased outsourcing to Southeast Asia.  These forces will continue to occur and will continue to drag down employment and wages for the foreseeable future.   Combine this with cost disease affecting industries that directly affect quality of life in a huge way (most notably healthcare and education), you get a painful situation for many in the middle class.  This will all eventually sort itself out, the next 15 or 20 years are going to suck balls no matter who is in Washington.


This.


Did I just this a troll account?  why yes I did.
 
2013-11-21 12:56:09 PM  

Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.


This will continue to happen because of cost disease.  While the ACA does include many reforms that will hopefully slow the growth of healthcare expenses, the aging population and cost disease will cause healthcare to get more and more expensive.  This trend will continue.
 
2013-11-21 12:56:27 PM  
Look at the Netherlands, they employ lots of automation, have a very well educated populace and are urban, very densely populated with a diverse population due to immigration.

They are doing rather well.
 
2013-11-21 12:56:40 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-11-21 12:57:29 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: You must not have cable.


As a matter of fact, I don't.
Gosh, maybe I need to learn more about life from the tv box so I can flail my arms around more in Fark forums.
 
2013-11-21 12:58:18 PM  
It's sad that there is about only 1 politician in DC who seems really to get it.
 
2013-11-21 12:58:40 PM  

EJ25T: [global3.memecdn.com image 720x418]


You say that, but it's something that hasn't been said by politicians even when the rest of us knew all about it.  I'm glad somebody's saying it on a national stage.
 
2013-11-21 12:58:52 PM  
The middle class is totally confused as to what is to blame though.  They have this godforsaken misbegotten belief that it's government taxes or government spending.  Idiots.  It's that their own real wages have fallen through the floor compared to inflation.  The government is in may ways to blame for it, but it's not taxing or spending, it's the rush to "free markets" which was never a benefit to workers - it was a way to hide from them the fact that under their new lower wages they actually couldn't afford that refrigerator or car anymore.
 
2013-11-21 12:58:54 PM  

Tomahawk513: UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income. Agree
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets. Agree, but very gradually
3. Raise the minimum wage. Agree
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks. Agree
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending. Farking boatloads of this. Bullet-traings everywhere.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.

I really want someone who will vastly overhaul the Tax System. It should be simple and efficient, and primarily based on income tax. I'd also like to see a corporate revenue (not profit) tax that would be applicable if the sum of all compensation paid to the highest earner is greater than x times the lowest earner.

I like that idea in theory, but in practice I think you'd just see CEO's being payed in stock as a workaround. It only works if you include language in the legislation to count the monetary value of all forms of compensation to calculate the highest earner income.

Yes sir, exactly.  The sum of all forms of compensation, whether it's a bonus, stock options, salary, healthcare, the whole package.


Haha, problems solved.

I think Warren is a harbinger of a new breed populist left politician I hope to see a lot more of in the near future. American attitudes are rapidly shifting away from the trickle-down tripe we've been fed the last few decades. Here's hoping.
 
2013-11-21 01:00:06 PM  

deeproy: Obvious tag out working a second job at Walmart?


And a third at McDonald's.
 
2013-11-21 01:01:23 PM  
She should run for office on a pledge of middle class tax cuts.
 
2013-11-21 01:01:38 PM  
Let's force cable television to compete at my wall. Two carriers at my box.
 
2013-11-21 01:02:32 PM  

BlastYoBoots: DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.

That's not a good analogy or assumption.

Sure, there are Randites who actively detest the poor, and would spit on them even after witnessing the extent of their struggle and suffering. However, there are a whole lot more rich people who exist in an epistemic bubble, too insulated from the plight of the poor to begin to empathize. They simply don't know, and only speak with those who confirm their biases or are too frightened of their power to outright tell them they're wrong.

In other words, a wolf is guaranteed to be seeing and focusing on the food it kills and eats. This is more like a voracious patron of a restaurant demanding "More! More ground meat burgers, please!", chewing and splattering grime over his bib whilst blissfully unaware that the animals being slaughtered in the back to supply his meal are actually people just like him, except when he's sometimes unaware or unbelieving of the fact that there's slaughter at all.

But of course, to preserve this illusion, there have to be Randite leaders in the movement: Restaurant staff and management, in the analogy, who understand the supply and demand for human flesh and heartlessly, intentionally seek to deliver it for profit. But they're not the majority. Just facilitators.


I totally disagree. This was not done accidentally. We were just like the carcass of a sheep with rich wolves battling over who got to take the biggest bites out of us. They stole our money by robbing the treasury. No bid contracts to their military interests as they sold us fear. Privitization of entire government functions, including the war. Privatization of the prison system and the push for mandatory sentencing. We had and have entire industries who are picking at our carcass with officials in the government who facilitated it.
 
2013-11-21 01:02:55 PM  
It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.
 
2013-11-21 01:04:09 PM  

Pinner: DROxINxTHExWIND: You must not have cable.

As a matter of fact, I don't.
Gosh, maybe I need to learn more about life from the tv box so I can flail my arms around more in Fark forums.



I figured you for a douche who thinks that he's better than everyone because he watches movies on Netflix instead of TV shows. Point was, you can't get NatGeo Wild. Sucks to be you. It can be pretty educational.
 
2013-11-21 01:04:15 PM  
Politicians do like to talk about the middle class a lot. It's just that "Middle class" in conservative-speak means "Top .01%," just like "small-business owner" means "multinational corporation."
 
2013-11-21 01:04:56 PM  

cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.


The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.
 
2013-11-21 01:06:23 PM  

sweetmelissa31: Politicians do like to talk about the middle class a lot. It's just that "Middle class" in conservative-speak means "Top .01%," just like "small-business owner" means "multinational corporation."


"Middle class" for both parties always means the same thing. Whoever they are talking to at the time.
 
2013-11-21 01:06:33 PM  

Saiga410: llortcM_yllort: I disagree.  It was caused by a series of structural, economic changes that were, at most, exacerbated but not caused by politics.  The advancement of automation and technology to the point where many mid-level jobs were destroyed had nothing to do with policy and the rise of outsourcing can, in large part, be traced to the rise of the developing world more so than trade policy.  After all, the North American Free Trade Association did not play a large role in increased outsourcing to Southeast Asia.  These forces will continue to occur and will continue to drag down employment and wages for the foreseeable future.   Combine this with cost disease affecting industries that directly affect quality of life in a huge way (most notably healthcare and education), you get a painful situation for many in the middle class.  This will all eventually sort itself out, the next 15 or 20 years are going to suck balls no matter who is in Washington.

This.


Did I just this a troll account?  why yes I did.


Well educated populations do well, regardless of automaton
 
2013-11-21 01:06:45 PM  

llortcM_yllort: This will continue to happen because of cost disease.  While the ACA does include many reforms that will hopefully slow the growth of healthcare expenses, the aging population and cost disease will cause healthcare to get more and more expensive.  This trend will continue.


Despite your troll handle, this is on-point.  I wish that Republicans had been responsible about governing in 2009 - they could have negotiated the inclusion of stronger cost control provisions in the ACA.

Paul Krugman and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but he's probably right that the eventual resolution of the deficit problem will be a combination of sales taxes and "death panels."
 
2013-11-21 01:08:49 PM  
I may have to agree with this woman and admit that more middle class tax cuts are needed !

You go girl !
 
2013-11-21 01:09:00 PM  
Ignore the middle class? Malarkey! The republicans have been trying to destroy he middle class since reagonomics became their holy grail.
 
2013-11-21 01:09:13 PM  
so does she want to be Hilary's VP or the other way around
 
2013-11-21 01:10:40 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: Pinner: DROxINxTHExWIND: You must not have cable.

As a matter of fact, I don't.
Gosh, maybe I need to learn more about life from the tv box so I can flail my arms around more in Fark forums.


I figured you for a douche who thinks that he's better than everyone because he watches movies on Netflix instead of TV shows. Point was, you can't get NatGeo Wild. Sucks to be you. It can be pretty educational.


Ahhh here's your quote from above.."We were just like the carcass of a sheep with rich wolves battling over who got to take the biggest bites out of us."
Rich wolves battling... I think I said something about the wolf focusing on the other wolves trying to get in on the meal.
Thanks for changing your tune and agreeing with my non-cable educated statement.
Now, maybe you can go watch NatGeo some more to find a better political analogy.

You assume too much about others as well. Why you mad?
 
2013-11-21 01:10:43 PM  

cefm: The middle class is totally confused as to what is to blame though.  They have this godforsaken misbegotten belief that it's government taxes or government spending.  Idiots.  It's that their own real wages have fallen through the floor compared to inflation.  The government is in many ways to blame for it, but it's not taxing or spending, it's the rush to "free markets" which was never a benefit to workers - it was a way to hide from them the fact that under their new lower wages they actually couldn't afford that refrigerator or car anymore.


Yeah, it's really just a crappy cycle.  No one seems to advocate for the interests of the middle and lower class.  If you can barely keep the lights on, you're not exactly sending hundred-thousand dollar checks to your candidate.  And if you're working hard just to feed your family, it's not likely you have time to educate yourself on your candidates or what would be in your best interests.  Instead, you just vote for the guy or gal with the familiar letter and hope for the best.
 
2013-11-21 01:11:29 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.


I still don't remember anybody actually having "disposable income".

Nobody had credit cards either. Just the Sears card.

Everybody getting credit cards, all the women going to work, and college for everyone at skyrocketing prices ended that era.
 
2013-11-21 01:12:44 PM  

EJ25T: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

[twinkletoesforall.files.wordpress.com image 425x275]

"Hey, guys... get a load of this. This guy thinks he knows what widespread poverty is!"


^^ Thank you ^^

Most of us farkers are the 1% and we don't even acknowledge it. Sure times are tough...but take a proportional look around, and you might be just thankful for water and food.


http://www.globalrichlist.com/
 
2013-11-21 01:13:14 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.


Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing at 1970s quality are cheaper in real dollars than they were 40 years ago.

Can you tell me what year was better than now for a median American all things considered?
 
2013-11-21 01:15:46 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: They stole our money by robbing the treasury. No bid contracts to their military interests as they sold us fear. Privitization of entire government functions, including the war. Privatization of the prison system and the push for mandatory sentencing. We had and have entire industries who are picking at our carcass with officials in the government who facilitated it.


site.despair.com
 
2013-11-21 01:15:57 PM  

cchris_39: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

I still don't remember anybody actually having "disposable income".

Nobody had credit cards either. Just the Sears card.

Everybody getting credit cards, all the women going to work, and college for everyone at skyrocketing prices ended that era.


The whole culture surrounding credit cards has changed drastically too.  At one point, society viewed credit cards as things poor people used because they didn't actually have any real money, so they'd buy it now and put off paying for it until later.  Now, however, credit cards are viewed as good investments.  Regularly paying your bill results in a higher credit score, which makes it easier and cheaper to borrow money in the future.
 
2013-11-21 01:16:07 PM  
Obvious tag sighs, rolls eyes, refuses to get up from couch.
 
2013-11-21 01:19:43 PM  

BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing at 1970s quality are cheaper in real dollars than they were 40 years ago.

Can you tell me what year was better than now for a median American all things considered?


From what I can tell with a quick google, it looks like the late 90's early 00's were the peak of American household wealth. The data gets distorted a lot by the skyrocketing wealth of the extreme upper crust coupled with the increase in debt held by more middle and lower-class households.
 
2013-11-21 01:20:03 PM  

HeartBurnKid: EJ25T: [global3.memecdn.com image 720x418]

You say that, but it's something that hasn't been said by politicians even when the rest of us knew all about it.  I'm glad somebody's saying it on a national stage.


I almost qualified that pic with exactly what you just said. I like Warren.
 
2013-11-21 01:21:30 PM  
Those who create demand, the consumers, are the actual job creators. Those who are very good and very efficient at siphoning off more from the economy than they put in are not.
 
2013-11-21 01:23:13 PM  

mcgreggers99: EJ25T: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

[twinkletoesforall.files.wordpress.com image 425x275]

"Hey, guys... get a load of this. This guy thinks he knows what widespread poverty is!"

^^ Thank you ^^

Most of us farkers are the 1% and we don't even acknowledge it. Sure times are tough...but take a proportional look around, and you might be just thankful for water and food.


http://www.globalrichlist.com/


I almost blame that on the dwindling population of people over here who actually lived during the Great Depression. My grandparents' stories kept me pretty grounded as a kid.
 
2013-11-21 01:24:31 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing at 1970s quality are cheaper in real dollars than they were 40 years ago.

Can you tell me what year was better than now for a median American all things considered?

From what I can tell with a quick google, it looks like the late 90's early 00's were the peak of American household wealth. The data gets distorted a lot by the skyrocketing wealth of the extreme upper crust coupled with the increase in debt held by more middle and lower-class households.


So would you give up the technological advances since then for a few percent higher income?
 
2013-11-21 01:24:32 PM  
You know who else rode a populist message of change into the White House and expected the rest of their party to fall in line lockstep?

/No, not HIM...
 
2013-11-21 01:26:42 PM  

cchris_39: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

I still don't remember anybody actually having "disposable income".

Nobody had credit cards either. Just the Sears card.

Everybody getting credit cards, all the women going to work, and college for everyone at skyrocketing prices ended that era.


You are wrong.  When I grew up my parrents both had middle class jobs and every year we took vacations and we always had food on the table.

Then when I grew up and had a family of my own, I am scraping trying to find funds to have a vacation... a few times a year I am fearful that I will be unable to feed the family.  I mentioned to my dad how easy he had it and for some strange reason he couldnt stop laughing.
 
2013-11-21 01:27:04 PM  

BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing at 1970s quality are cheaper in real dollars than they were 40 years ago.

Can you tell me what year was better than now for a median American all things considered?

From what I can tell with a quick google, it looks like the late 90's early 00's were the peak of American household wealth. The data gets distorted a lot by the skyrocketing wealth of the extreme upper crust coupled with the increase in debt held by more middle and lower-class households.

So would you give up the technological advances since then for a few percent higher income?


I can't speak for him/her, but I don't think I should have to.
 
2013-11-21 01:30:29 PM  

Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?


How about requiring businesses to treat all employees the same in regards to employment 'contracts'. If you run a business where you just 'need' to have an employment contract to get that CEO candidate you are swooning over that includes a massive golden parachute clause regardless of how the company performs, require all employees have employment contracts that offer some sort of compensation upon 'separation' (regardless of cause of course, just like the CEOs)... yea, sure, we don't expect the peons to get millions, but if they can get a few months salary (and collect unemployment of course), they may not be as completely screwed as they are today.  Or maybe companies won't want to give those kinds of contracts to the minions... so, sorry execs, no golden parachutes for you. Maybe they'll try running the companies a little better and since they won't have to pay out millions when execs leave, the companies might have enough money to retain some of the serfs.

/meh, just spit-ballin' here
 
2013-11-21 01:31:11 PM  

GoldSpider: You know who else rode a populist message of change into the White House and expected the rest of their party to fall in line lockstep?


Theodore Roosevelt?
 
2013-11-21 01:32:00 PM  

BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: cchris_39: It looks to me like the middle class lives a lot better today than they did in the 60s and 70s.

Maybe we were lower middle class. Shrug.

The technological conveniences are better and cheaper, but real purchasing power has declined over the last few decades, as wages have been stagnant or fallen relative to inflation.

Food, shelter, transportation, and clothing at 1970s quality are cheaper in real dollars than they were 40 years ago.

Can you tell me what year was better than now for a median American all things considered?

From what I can tell with a quick google, it looks like the late 90's early 00's were the peak of American household wealth. The data gets distorted a lot by the skyrocketing wealth of the extreme upper crust coupled with the increase in debt held by more middle and lower-class households.

So would you give up the technological advances since then for a few percent higher income?


Nope, but I'm a technophile who loves dreaming about the future. It's not about the exact level of income, it's about whether increasing wealth inequality will destabilize the country. I think we're poised to continue to be prosperous, but if too many people get a raw deal, the system becomes untenable.

We need to look around and adopt the most pragmatic programs from the rest of the world, instead of continuing headlong down the path to privatization, authoritarianism, and an intrusive security state.
 
2013-11-21 01:34:25 PM  
Tomahawk513

The whole culture surrounding credit cards has changed drastically too. At one point, society viewed credit cards as things poor people used because they didn't actually have any real money, so they'd buy it now and put off paying for it until later. Now, however, credit cards are viewed as good investments. Regularly paying your bill results in a higher credit score, which makes it easier and cheaper to borrow money in the future.

They didn't want to raise the wages of the middle class, but they sure as hell were willing to lend them money.
 
2013-11-21 01:35:58 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income.
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets.
3. Raise the minimum wage.
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks.
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending.

Probably many more, but these would be a great start.


It would be a good start but seeing as we are suggesting stuff that will never happen.

8.  A windfall profit tax to pay for the Iraq War.  Middle/lower classes supported the war with their blood, tears and sweat, a tax on the rich at least paying for the war they wanted would seem to be fair.

9. Federal Elections Regulator enforcing both de-gerrymandering, fair voting rules and sensible campaign reform

10.  A minimum tax of 30% any income over $1M regardless of deductions.

Actually what you said, would be more than enough to balance the budget.  What I am proposing would result in additional revenue for investment in the future (education, research, job training).
 
2013-11-21 01:36:18 PM  

Captain Dan: llortcM_yllort: This will continue to happen because of cost disease.  While the ACA does include many reforms that will hopefully slow the growth of healthcare expenses, the aging population and cost disease will cause healthcare to get more and more expensive.  This trend will continue.

Despite your troll handle, this is on-point.  I wish that Republicans had been responsible about governing in 2009 - they could have negotiated the inclusion of stronger cost control provisions in the ACA.

Paul Krugman and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but he's probably right that the eventual resolution of the deficit problem will be a combination of sales taxes and "death panels."


While I do think that stronger cost controls could have been great to include in the ACA, it would have been weird to see Republicans argue for cost controls on anything.
 
2013-11-21 01:40:13 PM  
The idea of a middle class with disposable income AND access to easy credit............it's just, impossible.
 
2013-11-21 01:42:09 PM  
Tomahawk513: I can't speak for him/her, but I don't think I should have to.

Well if you or they are going to say people were better off at a given point in time, then you can't just cherry pick the wages.

The high wages for blue collar jobs you want to have from the past were, at least in part, a product of not having the automation and various other things we have now.

// Otherwise, I'll take the ability to start a game company in your garage from the early 90s, with the smart phones of today, and the free love of the 60s, with the civil rights of 50 years from now.
 
2013-11-21 01:45:09 PM  

cchris_39: The idea of a middle class with disposable income AND access to easy credit............it's just, impossible.


Why? If wages had kept pace since the 70's, minimum wage would be over $10 right now, with higher paying jobs adjusted upwards correspondingly. There's no reason other than a lack of political will wages overall shouldn't be much higher than they currently are.
 
2013-11-21 01:49:40 PM  

BMFPitt: Tomahawk513: I can't speak for him/her, but I don't think I should have to.

Well if you or they are going to say people were better off at a given point in time, then you can't just cherry pick the wages.

The high wages for blue collar jobs you want to have from the past were, at least in part, a product of not having the automation and various other things we have now.


A big part as well was the erosion of union rights, and policies that favor Wall Street. Automated jobs aren't coming back, which is why it's more important than ever to ensure livable pay for low skill workers, while doing everything we can to make education cheaper and better.

// Otherwise, I'll take the ability to start a game company in your garage from the early 90s, with the smart phones of today, and the free love of the 60s, with the civil rights of 50 years from now.

Sounds good to me. :)

The low skill jobs have mostly been moved from manufacturing to either service, retail, or construction. The problem is that all of these sectors are heavily dependent on U.S. consumers, so when we sink, we sink together.
 
2013-11-21 01:50:18 PM  

theknuckler_33: How about requiring businesses to treat all employees the same in regards to employment 'contracts'.


All employees aren't the same.  That doesn't justify paying the CEO millions or paying the peons minimum wage either one.

It's all just pissing in the wind until the government fixes wages.  There is no taxing the rich or confiscating their wealth or any of that stuff that's going to be a viable substitute.
 
2013-11-21 01:53:24 PM  

DROxINxTHExWIND: BlastYoBoots: DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.

That's not a good analogy or assumption.

Sure, there are Randites who actively detest the poor, and would spit on them even after witnessing the extent of their struggle and suffering. However, there are a whole lot more rich people who exist in an epistemic bubble, too insulated from the plight of the poor to begin to empathize. They simply don't know, and only speak with those who confirm their biases or are too frightened of their power to outright tell them they're wrong.

In other words, a wolf is guaranteed to be seeing and focusing on the food it kills and eats. This is more like a voracious patron of a restaurant demanding "More! More ground meat burgers, please!", chewing and splattering grime over his bib whilst blissfully unaware that the animals being slaughtered in the back to supply his meal are actually people just like him, except when he's sometimes unaware or unbelieving of the fact that there's slaughter at all.

But of course, to preserve this illusion, there have to be Randite leaders in the movement: Restaurant staff and management, in the analogy, who understand the supply and demand for human flesh and heartlessly, intentionally seek to deliver it for profit. But they're not the majority. Just facilitators.

I totally disagree. This was not done accidentally. We were just like the carcass of a sheep with rich wolves battling over who got to take the biggest bites out of us. They stole our money by robbing the treasury. No bid contracts to their military interests as they sold us fear. Privitization of entire government functions, including the war. Privatization of the prison system and the push for mandatory sentencing. We had and have entire industries who are picking at our carcass with officials in the government who facilitated it.


I agree that all this happened, and I agree that rich wolves were at the head of it all!

I just think you're underestimating how well a few wolves can lead a massive consuming horde, like how the mouth and teeth are only parts of a larger organism full of benign cells. The majority of rich participants in this robbery DON'T necessarily know what they're doing! Just look at the Fix The Debt initiative and how it's full of misled rich, literally blind to the facts regarding our deficit's decline and incredibly surprised when shown. The fact that they don't understand the issues, however, doesn't make the bite of their money sting less as it tears into the rest of us.

Many of the endeavors you're referring to as the context of a larger conspiratorial drive against the middle class are, in fact, the natural sum of capitalism operating in a decentralized fashion across a whole bunch of moving parts. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company doesn't necessarily come up with a plan to devour all his workers' pensions: he doesn't HAVE to. All he does is buy into the rush to juice his publicly traded stock until he can cash it in for more money than God (try the link, it's a very enlightening read on the incentives), and promote this culture within their company as the stockholders clamor for returns. Then it's the job of Manager X to cut costs to goose his department's grosses, Lawyer Y to restructure pensions, Lobbyist Z to get rid of a pesky roadblock, like poor workers punching open and draining the blood of slaughtered cattle... all without necessarily knowing what the other hands are doing, and without needing any exact direction from the CEO. He didn't have to TRY to rob his wealth unjustly from the workers and consumers surrounding his company. He just naturally provided that incentive structure.

But there ARE devious, horrible groups bent on milking lesser people nationwide for the sake of the rich and powerful at large. ALEC, Murdoch's media empire, the Republican leadership, they almost religiously fight for a larger piece of the pie for the wealthy, sacrificing the middle class on the altar of the idea that the rich DESERVE more privilege than anyone else, deserve to be revered. And this responds to a desire of the rich TO be revered, to feel special enough to justify how they could be seeing so much more success and wealth than anyone else, the need of them to believe that it wasn't just "luck". But in essence, THEY're being fooled by this propaganda as well! You call them masters who are serving life-stealing Kool-Aid to the masses, but once you recognize who the leaders are (those of Murdoch and Koch fare) and exclude them, you interview the rich and sometimes find, surprisingly, that they've been drinking the same exact Kool-Aid. They've been misinformed by the same machine that serves their interests.

A Corporation as a whole can often fit the medical definition of psychopathy in its actions, but don't let that blind you to the fact that it's made of moving parts largely oblivious to the bigger picture. A short gust of breath can help to draw forth a storm. That's the shape of the movement against the middle class. The doublethink you see in the Republican faction is flawed: unlike Orwell's 1984, a ruling party desiring of power can't truly believe, truly understand, BOTH that power is their primary goal and that they serve the interests of all, because many in the Republican Party succumb to the paradox of doublethink such that they flip to one definition or the other, revealing it in their attitudes and actions as it breaks down (like McConnell's "make him a one term president" mission, or Rand Paul's genuine surprise that the deficit had shrunken when corrected). They misinform themselves, and perfect doublethink is unsustainable.

The movement against the middle class is certainly as dangerous as you believe, but in missing how simultaneously ignorant of *its own mission against the middle class* this movement can be over the majority of its participating poor AND rich, you are in fact UNDERestimating how dangerous and difficult to stop it really is!!! You can't reason with a machine to stop its devouring of others when, in many ways, it doesn't even realize it's doing so in the first place.

So, in that way, it's MORE powerful and unstoppable than you imagine. However, with the power of this decentralized motive and action comes a glimmer of hope, a vulnerability: If there are fewer groups and middlemen actually *guiding* this movement, genuinely and maliciously committed to "eating the poor" and serving them up to the rich, perpetuating this delusion, well... That means that however unlikely, it's still possible to "cut off the head" of the movement. Imagine if Murdoch's media empire collapsed overnight and didn't resurface, for instance, and how it's absence would rattle the nation's information and priorities.

The difficult part about this is how little the smaller victories matter. If you only get rid of one restaurant owner, another will take his place: there will always be someone willing to profit off the serving of human flesh.
 
2013-11-21 01:53:35 PM  
Oh to go back to the economic glory days of the 1970s, right Liz?
 
2013-11-21 01:53:38 PM  

mrshowrules: UrukHaiGuyz:
1. Tax capital gains over x amount (whatever can be agreed upon) as normal income.
2. Vastly reduce the Pentagon operating budget and bolster social safety nets.
3. Raise the minimum wage.
4. End subsidies for industries that don't need them (esp. energy companies)
5. Re-institute Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banks.
6. Heavy fine and penalize companies that employ tax shelters.
7. Create jobs by boosting domestic infrastructure spending.
...
8.  A windfall profit tax to pay for the Iraq War.  Middle/lower classes supported the war with their blood, tears and sweat, a tax on the rich at least paying for the war they wanted would seem to be fair.
9. Federal Elections Regulator enforcing both de-gerrymandering, fair voting rules and sensible campaign reform
10.  A minimum tax of 30% any income over $1M regardless of deductions.

Actually what you said, would be more than enough to balance the budget.  What I am proposing would result in additional revenue for investment in the future (education, research, job training).


11.  Progressive tax on profits.
 
2013-11-21 01:57:37 PM  
Ok.

Stop wailing about "walls along main street" or similar every time someone wants to build more housing.  Because right now, a non-lead paint/non-asbestos apartment is going for about $5K/month.  So if you'd like to raise my salary by $80K (taxes suck) so that I can afford that, I'd really appreciate it.  Or you can make it so that a non-lead paint, non-asbestos apartment doesn't cost $5K/month by building more farking housing.  And then you'll finally have the density (and property tax base) to coat the Bay in mass transit instead of farking Caltrain/VTA light rail/BART to nowhere and then I'll stop biatching about the traffic because I can get from Any Point A to Any Point B in a "pass the laugh test" timeframe.

And stop biatching every time someone suggests adding a lane to the freeways (or honestly, just fixing the bottlenecks so that we can use the lanes we've got). Morning rush hour starts at 5:30 and evening Rush hour goes from 3PM to 8 PM, and that's just wrong.  And more importantly, it means that moving 1 mile closer to the train station costs $500/month for the lead paint/asbestos people, and $3000/month for the non-lead paint/asbestos people because the ONLY way to get around is via train and private corporate shuttle.

/I'd also add "Repeal the proposition system" because that functionally turns into "Fark the middle class by shipping all their money to poor people and the pet projects of rich people".
//I'd be with you on "Fark the rich" except that "Fark the rich" means "Fark my boss who pays my salary" and "Fark the VC's who funded this company and wouldn't have bothered because the risk calculation would have changed".  So Farking the Rich becomes "Fark Me" really fast.  There's a reason why EU unemployment is historically about 10% and US unemployment is around 6%.
 
2013-11-21 02:00:58 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: A big part as well was the erosion of union rights, and policies that favor Wall Street. Automated jobs aren't coming back, which is why it's more important than ever to ensure livable pay for low skill workers, while doing everything we can to make education cheaper and better.


A bit part of the erosion of union rights stem from the loss of union power.  The unions derive their power from the fact that they have a commodity that is hard to replace.  With automation a union worker is easier to replace thus lower power.  I think you are dismissing the skills of the union workers had during the union boom in the 40-50-60s by stating their skill sets are on par with a maybe service and definately retail.
 
2013-11-21 02:02:34 PM  

meyerkev: So Farking the Rich becomes "Fark Me" really fast.


Screwing the rich means they have less money to contribute to Republican campaigns.
 
2013-11-21 02:03:02 PM  
UrukHaiGuyz: Nope, but I'm a technophile who loves dreaming about the future. It's not about the exact level of income, it's about whether increasing wealth inequality will destabilize the country. I think we're poised to continue to be prosperous, but if too many people get a raw deal, the system becomes untenable.

Wealth inequality is irrelevant as long as everyone's wealth keeps increasing.  And my concern is with those who seem determined to prevent that just for the sake of making the smaller pie more evenly distributed.

We need to look around and adopt the most pragmatic programs from the rest of the world, instead of continuing headlong down the path to privatization, authoritarianism, and an intrusive security state.

Two out of three isn't bad.  There are plenty of things that could be better managed for less money by private entities.  The economic benefits of reducing authoritarianism are just a bonus compared to the increased freedom.
 
2013-11-21 02:03:04 PM  

BMulligan: BMFPitt: I much prefer this perceived "mess" to the widespread poverty that Senator Warren would impose on us.

The sad thing is that there are people who actually believe this. Not you, of course, but people.


No, I'm pretty sure he believes it, too.
 
2013-11-21 02:05:01 PM  

Saiga410: UrukHaiGuyz: A big part as well was the erosion of union rights, and policies that favor Wall Street. Automated jobs aren't coming back, which is why it's more important than ever to ensure livable pay for low skill workers, while doing everything we can to make education cheaper and better.

A bit part of the erosion of union rights stem from the loss of union power.  The unions derive their power from the fact that they have a commodity that is hard to replace.  With automation a union worker is easier to replace thus lower power.  I think you are dismissing the skills of the union workers had during the union boom in the 40-50-60s by stating their skill sets are on par with a maybe service and definately retail.


I'm not saying the skill sets were identical, just looking at the types of jobs available to Americans with no higher education. Manufacturing is simply not as prominent a sector anymore. "Right to Work" laws I think had a greater impact than the types of jobs available. Companies still need their employees as much as ever (maybe more so given record levels of worker productivity) but it's much harder to organize these days. I think we're due soon for a resurgence of labor exerting power in the workplace.
 
2013-11-21 02:05:01 PM  

BlastYoBoots: DROxINxTHExWIND: BlastYoBoots: DROxINxTHExWIND: Ingnoring? Stop with the euphamisms. The rapist can't ignore the rape victim when he committing the act. The wolf isn't ignoring the sheep when he is feeding on it. They were very focused on us.

That's not a good analogy or assumption.

Sure, there are Randites who actively detest the poor, and would spit on them even after witnessing the extent of their struggle and suffering. However, there are a whole lot more rich people who exist in an epistemic bubble, too insulated from the plight of the poor to begin to empathize. They simply don't know, and only speak with those who confirm their biases or are too frightened of their power to outright tell them they're wrong.

In other words, a wolf is guaranteed to be seeing and focusing on the food it kills and eats. This is more like a voracious patron of a restaurant demanding "More! More ground meat burgers, please!", chewing and splattering grime over his bib whilst blissfully unaware that the animals being slaughtered in the back to supply his meal are actually people just like him, except when he's sometimes unaware or unbelieving of the fact that there's slaughter at all.

But of course, to preserve this illusion, there have to be Randite leaders in the movement: Restaurant staff and management, in the analogy, who understand the supply and demand for human flesh and heartlessly, intentionally seek to deliver it for profit. But they're not the majority. Just facilitators.

I totally disagree. This was not done accidentally. We were just like the carcass of a sheep with rich wolves battling over who got to take the biggest bites out of us. They stole our money by robbing the treasury. No bid contracts to their military interests as they sold us fear. Privitization of entire government functions, including the war. Privatization of the prison system and the push for mandatory sentencing. We had and have entire industries who are picking at our carcass with officials in the government who facilitated it.

I agree that all this happened, and I agree that rich wolves were at the head of it all!

I just think you're underestimating how well a few wolves can lead a massive consuming horde, like how the mouth and teeth are only parts of a larger organism full of benign cells. The majority of rich participants in this robbery DON'T necessarily know what they're doing! Just look at the Fix The Debt initiative and how it's full of misled rich, literally blind to the facts regarding our deficit's decline and incredibly surprised when shown. The fact that they don't understand the issues, however, doesn't make the bite of their money sting less as it tears into the rest of us.

Many of the endeavors you're referring to as the context of a larger conspiratorial drive against the middle class are, in fact, the natural sum of capitalism operating in a decentralized fashion across a whole bunch of moving parts. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company doesn't necessarily come up with a plan to devour all his workers' pensions: he doesn't HAVE to. All he does is buy into the rush to juice his publicly traded stock until he can cash it in for more money than God (try the link, it's a very enlightening read on the incentives), and promote this culture within their company as the stockholders clamor for returns. Then it's the job of Manager X to cut costs to goose his department's grosses, Lawyer Y to restructure pensions, Lobbyist Z to get rid of a pesky roadblock, like poor workers punching open and draining the blood of slaughtered cattle... all without necessarily knowing what the other hands are doing, and without needing any exact direction from the CEO. He didn't have to TRY to rob his wealth unjustly from the workers and consumers surrounding his company. He just naturally provided that incentive structure.

But there ARE devious, horrible groups bent on milking lesser people nationwide for the sake of the rich and powerful at large. ALEC, Murdoch's media empire, the Republican leadership, they almost religiously fight for a larger piece of the pie for the wealthy, sacrificing the middle class on the altar of the idea that the rich DESERVE more privilege than anyone else, deserve to be revered. And this responds to a desire of the rich TO be revered, to feel special enough to justify how they could be seeing so much more success and wealth than anyone else, the need of them to believe that it wasn't just "luck". But in essence, THEY're being fooled by this propaganda as well! You call them masters who are serving life-stealing Kool-Aid to the masses, but once you recognize who the leaders are (those of Murdoch and Koch fare) and exclude them, you interview the rich and sometimes find, surprisingly, that they've been drinking the same exact Kool-Aid. They've been misinformed by the same machine that serves their interests.

A Corporation as a whole can often fit the medical definition of psychopathy in its actions, but don't let that blind you to the fact that it's made of moving parts largely oblivious to the bigger picture. A short gust of breath can help to draw forth a storm. That's the shape of the movement against the middle class. The doublethink you see in the Republican faction is flawed: unlike Orwell's 1984, a ruling party desiring of power can't truly believe, truly understand, BOTH that power is their primary goal and that they serve the interests of all, because many in the Republican Party succumb to the paradox of doublethink such that they flip to one definition or the other, revealing it in their attitudes and actions as it breaks down (like McConnell's "make him a one term president" mission, or Rand Paul's genuine surprise that the deficit had shrunken when corrected). They misinform themselves, and perfect doublethink is unsustainable.

The movement against the middle class is certainly as dangerous as you believe, but in missing how simultaneously ignorant of *its own mission against the middle class* this movement can be over the majority of its participating poor AND rich, you are in fact UNDERestimating how dangerous and difficult to stop it really is!!! You can't reason with a machine to stop its devouring of others when, in many ways, it doesn't even realize it's doing so in the first place.

So, in that way, it's MORE powerful and unstoppable than you imagine. However, with the power of this decentralized motive and action comes a glimmer of hope, a vulnerability: If there are fewer groups and middlemen actually *guiding* this movement, genuinely and maliciously committed to "eating the poor" and serving them up to the rich, perpetuating this delusion, well... That means that however unlikely, it's still possible to "cut off the head" of the movement. Imagine if Murdoch's media empire collapsed overnight and didn't resurface, for instance, and how it's absence would rattle the nation's information and priorities.

The difficult part about this is how little the smaller victories matter. If you only get rid of one restaurant owner, another will take his place: there will always be someone willing to profit off the serving of human flesh.


There will always be someone with a desire to profit. It is that desire that has made is as wealthy as we are.

Absent the profit motive, which you seem to demonize, we would be much poorer and worse off.
 
2013-11-21 02:06:51 PM  
Do it up Lizzie. Get some cap gains tax increases in the investor class. Get them to pay their "fair share". Force Mittens to pay more than 13% in fed income related taxes. Do not, however, try the old bait and switch where you talk about fat cats, the idle rich and corporate jets while raising taxes on people who derive the vast majority of their income from wages. They're the ones footing the bill at the moment. The upper middle class is not your enemy.
 
2013-11-21 02:08:28 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Absent the profit motive, which you seem to demonize, we would be much poorer and worse off.


The major scientific and medical advances in the last 100 years have come out of non-profit Universities as a result of government funded research completely absent of the profit motive.

But you're probably right.
 
2013-11-21 02:10:14 PM  

meyerkev: Ok.

Stop wailing about "walls along main street" or similar every time someone wants to build more housing.  Because right now, a non-lead paint/non-asbestos apartment is going for about $5K/month.  So if you'd like to raise my salary by $80K (taxes suck) so that I can afford that, I'd really appreciate it.  Or you can make it so that a non-lead paint, non-asbestos apartment doesn't cost $5K/month by building more farking housing.


Meanwhile, thousants of prefab "little boxes" in the suburbs sit empty, because no one can afford them, either.  There's this supply, and there's this demand. Gee, I wonder what should be done about the prices in this situation?
 
2013-11-21 02:12:38 PM  

skullkrusher: The upper middle class is not your enemy.


They are if they vote for Republicans and contribute to their campaigns.  This is about hitting the enemy where it counts, in their fund raising machine.  It's no different than Republicans targeting unions.
 
2013-11-21 02:13:52 PM  
BMFPitt:

Wealth inequality is irrelevant as long as everyone's wealth keeps increasing.  And my concern is with those who seem determined to prevent that just for the sake of making the smaller pie more evenly distributed.

I don't understand why you think the pie necessarily has to be smaller to be better distributed. Especially in our consumer-driven economy, profits would go up if more average consumers had disposable income. The wealthy simply can't fill that gap, we need money burning holes in the pockets of average people. And don't discount the destabilizing effects of populist anger. If the poor aren't getting anywhere in the current system, why should they play along?

We need to look around and adopt the most pragmatic programs from the rest of the world, instead of continuing headlong down the path to privatization, authoritarianism, and an intrusive security state.

Two out of three isn't bad.  There are plenty of things that could be better managed for less money by private entities.  The economic benefits of reducing authoritarianism are just a bonus compared to the increased freedom.


We don't need to debate this, just look at outcomes in other countries. As far as Healthcare goes, the free market has been consistently delivering subpar results for fewer America at higher cost especially as compared with countries like the U.K. and Canada. I feel similarly about education, or any necessary societal component with universal (or near universal) demand.
 
2013-11-21 02:15:14 PM  
Oh that's rich, Debeo Summa Credo, nice mischaracterization of what I said.

ME: "There will always be people willing to profit off the serving of human flesh."
DSC: "Hey, what do you have against profit???"

I don't have anything against profit, I have something against profit at the expense of people in a way that hurts or country and standard of living at large. That's why we have regulations to, say, keep rich people from getting poor people to sell them their organs. Why not restructure the public stock market to corporations aren't *incentivized* to cut workers for a temporary stock boost that hurts the company down the line, just because it boosts executive take-home pay?

I'm not going to argue further with you over this, though, because I see I have you farkied as "Obliquely blames consumers for the financial crisis instead of Wall Street". You believe that if someone is led to buy into something harmful to themselves, no matter how difficult the environment made it for them to realize this up front, that it's the buyer's fault. I'm not going to be able to punch through that sort of ideology.
 
2013-11-21 02:20:29 PM  

paygun: skullkrusher: The upper middle class is not your enemy.

They are if they vote for Republicans and contribute to their campaigns.  This is about hitting the enemy where it counts, in their fund raising machine.  It's no different than Republicans targeting unions.


Most ridiculous post of the day award.
 
2013-11-21 02:29:45 PM  

skullkrusher: Most ridiculous post of the day award.


Well there's more evidence that I'm right.
 
2013-11-21 02:31:36 PM  

IlGreven: meyerkev: Ok.

Stop wailing about "walls along main street" or similar every time someone wants to build more housing.  Because right now, a non-lead paint/non-asbestos apartment is going for about $5K/month.  So if you'd like to raise my salary by $80K (taxes suck) so that I can afford that, I'd really appreciate it.  Or you can make it so that a non-lead paint, non-asbestos apartment doesn't cost $5K/month by building more farking housing.

Meanwhile, thousants of prefab "little boxes" in the suburbs sit empty, because no one can afford them, either.  There's this supply, and there's this demand. Gee, I wonder what should be done about the prices in this situation?


Here's an idea - let's have the federal government come in an subsidize the shiat out of it at taxpayer expense so that Wall Street fatcats invested in CMO's and idiot real estate speculators don't have to take any losses hard working Americans don't lose their homes!

/like supply and demand would get in the way of any Keynesian politician.
//votes and campaign contributions are at stake, man!
 
2013-11-21 02:32:32 PM  

paygun: skullkrusher: Most ridiculous post of the day award.

Well there's more evidence that I'm right.


Evidence if what? Tax policy in order to potentially deprive your opponent of individual donations? Dubious.
 
2013-11-21 02:44:14 PM  
fark the middle class. It's an institution of privilege. Their entire purpose is to be a firewall protecting the rich from the poor buy buying loyalty. fark 'em.
 
2013-11-21 02:50:59 PM  

RanDomino: fark the middle class. It's an institution of privilege. Their entire purpose is to be a firewall protecting the rich from the poor buy buying loyalty. fark 'em.


The jealous, ugly head of socialism peeks out from its hole.
 
2013-11-21 02:51:44 PM  
UrukHaiGuyz: I don't understand why you think the pie necessarily has to be smaller to be better distributed.

I don't understand why you think I think that.  A properly functioning economy would certainly have a bigger pie and a more even distribution than we have now.

Especially in our consumer-driven economy, profits would go up if more average consumers had disposable income. The wealthy simply can't fill that gap, we need money burning holes in the pockets of average people.

That would be nice.  Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.

And don't discount the destabilizing effects of populist anger. If the poor aren't getting anywhere in the current system, why should they play along?

Because I'm talking about real life and not the French Revolution fantasy of the Fark Politics tab.  The poor are doing pretty damn good.  You know the refrigerators meme?  The fact that it sounds absurd to you is a symptom of how well we've done with raising the quality of life for even the poorest Americans.

We don't need to debate this, just look at outcomes in other countries. As far as Healthcare goes, the free market has been consistently delivering subpar results for fewer America at higher cost especially as compared with countries like the U.K. and Canada.

You think the U.S. has had a free market healthcare system within your lifetime?  That's adorable.  Scroll up and see my suggestion for going to the French system, which you would call universal healthcare and I would call more market-based then ours.

I feel similarly about education, or any necessary societal component with universal (or near universal) demand.

And no doubt you oppose plenty of education reforms that would increase quality while decreasing costs.
 
2013-11-21 02:57:10 PM  

paygun: meyerkev: So Farking the Rich becomes "Fark Me" really fast.

Screwing the rich means they have less money to contribute to Republican campaigns.


As a white male making more than the median income and significantly more than the welfare cutoff, I vote for Democrats, but I acknowledge that I'd be better off under the sane Republicans.

I also acknowledge that about 2/3rds of my extended family is better off than their parents and the other third is doing at least OK.  However, I must acknowledge that this was largely due to the fact that their family could pay for private school (and would drive an hour every morning to get them to private school), but couldn't pay for new clothing, and forced them to get jobs at the age of 11.  Fantastic way to end up valuing hard work and the value of a dollar.

I also acknowledge that socialism doesn't work long-term.  Make sure that no one starves*, make sure that no one's deliberately poisoning the rivers, and other than that, let the capitalists have their head because that'll grow the economy faster and produce lower unemployment.  I'm looking at Europe and yeah, they're more equal, but they also have lower labor participation, higher unemployment, and lower overall incomes (PPP).  They're more mobile, but I'd love to know how much of that is "more equal + guaranteed pay raises with the right pieces of paper means that you'll just move up naturally".

And I'm just not seeing the revolution.  Yes, the 1% has way too much farking money, but we put a couple of people into the (very bottom of the) 1% through sheer hard work and a bit of luck.  It's not impossible.  And even if you fail, absolute worst case, you're pulling in $20K/year (Midwest.  So that's $100K NYC) after taxes and alimony and being lower middle class with a 3BR apartment, a decent used car, the ability to borrow your brother's boat, and football on Saturdays and Sundays.  And that was a couple of deliberate choices on his part because he wanted to spend more time with his kids (And as one of those kids, thanks Dad).  The French Revolution was all about "There is literally no food because Malthus".  Yeah, the estate thing was a thing, but it was a Malthusian Famine.**  When a retired teacher can own 3 houses and 8 cars, I just don't see it.

* Rule 1: No one starves, Rule 2: Work always pays, Rule 3: After that, it's on you.
** And that whole "Let them eat cake" thing was a) Made up, b) A VERY out of touch thing to say, had it been true.  King put a price ceiling on the price of bread (after women stormed Versailles), which meant that wheat was more expensive than bread could support.  So the bakers weren't making bread because they literally couldn't afford it, and the saying was more like "Since there is no bread (because our price ceiling made things unprofitable), why not have the bakers use (even more expensive) cake instead of bread?".  Stupid and out of touch, but something that I could see a random central planner saying.
 
2013-11-21 02:59:22 PM  

BMFPitt: That would be nice. Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.


A more progressive tax scheme that cuts otu loopholes above certain incomes will nto discourage you from investing.

Nobody is going to say, "well since I used to pocket 88% of the 10 million I got a year from investing, and now I only pocket 50% of it, I guess I no longer want to bother making money".
 
2013-11-21 03:02:43 PM  

BMFPitt: UrukHaiGuyz: I don't understand why you think the pie necessarily has to be smaller to be better distributed.

I don't understand why you think I think that.  A properly functioning economy would certainly have a bigger pie and a more even distribution than we have now.


Because you said this: "And my concern is with those who seem determined to prevent that just for the sake of making the smaller pie more evenly distributed."

Especially in our consumer-driven economy, profits would go up if more average consumers had disposable income. The wealthy simply can't fill that gap, we need money burning holes in the pockets of average people.

That would be nice.  Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.


Increasing the minimum wage and boosting infrastructure spending would get us pretty far towards that goal.

And don't discount the destabilizing effects of populist anger. If the poor aren't getting anywhere in the current system, why should they play along?

Because I'm talking about real life and not the French Revolution fantasy of the Fark Politics tab.  The poor are doing pretty damn good.  You know the refrigerators meme?  The fact that it sounds absurd to you is a symptom of how well we've done with raising the quality of life for even the poorest Americans.


We don't need to debate this, just look at outcomes in other countries. As far as Healthcare goes, the free market has been consistently delivering subpar results for fewer America at higher cost especially as compared with countries like the U.K. and Canada.

You think the U.S. has had a free market healthcare system within your lifetime?  That's adorable.  Scroll up and see my suggestion for going to the French system, which you would call universal healthcare and I would call more market-based then ours
.

I never said we were entirely free-market, just that the free-market portion sucks. Medicare compares favorably with most other socialized health systems. I'd take the French system, but I don't think our version would cover near the same volume nor types of treatments. Something like the U.K. or Canada seems more pragmatic for us.

I feel similarly about education, or any necessary societal component with universal (or near universal) demand.

And no doubt you oppose plenty of education reforms that would increase quality while decreasing costs.


That's a matter for an entirely different debate, but I will say that No Child Left behind was a terrible idea, and that I don't think vouchers are the answer to current problems.
 
2013-11-21 03:03:21 PM  

meyerkev: Ok.

Stop wailing about "walls along main street" or similar every time someone wants to build more housing.  Because right now, a non-lead paint/non-asbestos apartment is going for about $5K/month.  So if you'd like to raise my salary by $80K (taxes suck) so that I can afford that, I'd really appreciate it.  Or you can make it so that a non-lead paint, non-asbestos apartment doesn't cost $5K/month by building more farking housing.  And then you'll finally have the density (and property tax base) to coat the Bay in mass transit instead of farking Caltrain/VTA light rail/BART to nowhere and then I'll stop biatching about the traffic because I can get from Any Point A to Any Point B in a "pass the laugh test" timeframe.

And stop biatching every time someone suggests adding a lane to the freeways (or honestly, just fixing the bottlenecks so that we can use the lanes we've got). Morning rush hour starts at 5:30 and evening Rush hour goes from 3PM to 8 PM, and that's just wrong.  And more importantly, it means that moving 1 mile closer to the train station costs $500/month for the lead paint/asbestos people, and $3000/month for the non-lead paint/asbestos people because the ONLY way to get around is via train and private corporate shuttle.

/I'd also add "Repeal the proposition system" because that functionally turns into "Fark the middle class by shipping all their money to poor people and the pet projects of rich people".
//I'd be with you on "Fark the rich" except that "Fark the rich" means "Fark my boss who pays my salary" and "Fark the VC's who funded this company and wouldn't have bothered because the risk calculation would have changed".  So Farking the Rich becomes "Fark Me" really fast.  There's a reason why EU unemployment is historically about 10% and US unemployment is around 6%.


Your first two paragraphs accurately describe problems in and around the San Francisco Bay area, where a reluctance to develop is helping to cause rent to skyrocket.  Outside of San Francisco, cities are still in love with development.  Not really a solution to a nationwide problem, there.  Pointing out that California's proposition system is dysfunctional also points out a statewide issue that needs fixing but doesn't affect the rest of the nation.  I assure you, your concerns are valid but don't mean much for over 85% of the nation, who happen to live outside of Cali.
 
2013-11-21 03:05:18 PM  

meyerkev: As a white male making more than the median income and significantly more than the welfare cutoff, I vote for Democrats, but I acknowledge that I'd be better off under the sane Republicans.


I used to think that.

But what do you consider "sane" repuiblicans?

I can't think of one (and I recall as far back as regean) who was ok raising tax on the rich and cutting it ont he poor and middle class.

That si a pretty good bar for me to say that, no you aren't better off. I realize that doesn't encapsulate everything, and there may be other topics where they do support the middle class more, but that attituide shows who their priority is.

meyerkev: I also acknowledge that socialism doesn't work long-term.


Northern Europe disagrees.

meyerkev: make sure that no one's deliberately poisoning the rivers, and other than that, let the capitalists have their head because that'll grow the economy faster and produce lower unemployment.


That leads to booms and busts. That leads to socialized risk and privitized profit.

Capatilism only "works" with strong regulations, otherwise you have the wolves guarding the hen house.
 
2013-11-21 03:05:54 PM  

BMFPitt: And don't discount the destabilizing effects of populist anger. If the poor aren't getting anywhere in the current system, why should they play along?

Because I'm talking about real life and not the French Revolution fantasy of the Fark Politics tab.  The poor are doing pretty damn good.  You know the refrigerators meme?  The fact that it sounds absurd to you is a symptom of how well we've done with raising the quality of life for even the poorest Americans.


Oh, yeah. The point is that they're doing increasingly worse. Wages are not keeping pace with inflation, which is obviously not sustainable forever. I'm not saying the guillotines are about to come out any second, but the current trajectory is a bad one.

The poverty numbers actually look better than they should given the large number of homeless and the ridiculously high per capita number of incarcerated Americans. (especially non-violent offenders)
 
2013-11-21 03:07:23 PM  

liam76: BMFPitt: That would be nice. Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.

A more progressive tax scheme that cuts otu loopholes above certain incomes will nto discourage you from investing.

Nobody is going to say, "well since I used to pocket 88% of the 10 million I got a year from investing, and now I only pocket 50% of it, I guess I no longer want to bother making money".


Do you believe that all investments are risk free? There are plenty of investments that make sense at a 12% tax rate which would be insane gambling at a 50% rate.
 
2013-11-21 03:11:18 PM  

BMFPitt: liam76: BMFPitt: That would be nice. Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.

A more progressive tax scheme that cuts otu loopholes above certain incomes will nto discourage you from investing.

Nobody is going to say, "well since I used to pocket 88% of the 10 million I got a year from investing, and now I only pocket 50% of it, I guess I no longer want to bother making money".

Do you believe that all investments are risk free? There are plenty of investments that make sense at a 12% tax rate which would be insane gambling at a 50% rate.


That's not necessarily bad. Wall Street could use a little reigning in considering its tendency to chase market bubbles. 50% is too high, though, capital gains should be taxed as normal income.
 
2013-11-21 03:11:27 PM  

RanDomino: fark the middle class. It's an institution of privilege. Their entire purpose is to be a firewall protecting the rich from the poor buy buying loyalty. fark 'em.


So...  there should only be the very rich and very poor and then there'll be some kind of King Louis/Marie Antoinette off-with-their-heads moment and then Profit?
 
2013-11-21 03:15:40 PM  

IlGreven: meyerkev: Ok.

Stop wailing about "walls along main street" or similar every time someone wants to build more housing.  Because right now, a non-lead paint/non-asbestos apartment is going for about $5K/month.  So if you'd like to raise my salary by $80K (taxes suck) so that I can afford that, I'd really appreciate it.  Or you can make it so that a non-lead paint, non-asbestos apartment doesn't cost $5K/month by building more farking housing.

Meanwhile, thousands of prefab "little boxes" in the suburbs sit empty, because no one can afford them, either.  There's this supply, and there's this demand. Gee, I wonder what should be done about the prices in this situation?


First, are there really thousands of houses?  Because around here (Bay Area), any place that gets built in the actual Valley goes for about 50% over list price in cash because of the Hong Kong exodus, Chinese investors, and a LONG-term housing crisis caused by Prop 13, rent control, the aforementioned rich investors, and NIMBYism making it impossible to add housing (to the extent needed).  

So go figure out why the people who own the property are better off having abandoned houses at high prices than full houses at low ones and fix that (which might mean hitting banks with the cluebat)?

Or figure out what's keeping them from redeveloping from rows of shiatty prefab boxes to reasonable neighborhoods and fix that?
 
2013-11-21 03:27:18 PM  

BMFPitt: Do you believe that all investments are risk free?


I said nothing like that.


BMFPitt: There are plenty of investments that make sense at a 12% tax rate which would be insane gambling at a 50% rate.


If the increase is across the board the "safer" investements will have lower returns as well meing the "riskier" ones will still have an appeal.

The point is that the rich aren't going to take their money and just lock it up in banks, they will invest, as always, to try an make as much money as possible.
 
2013-11-21 03:28:19 PM  

LucklessWonder: She's not wrong. 2016 posturing?


I keep hearing this and I keep shrugging. Whether she's running or not, I'm not sure what it matters.
 
2013-11-21 03:30:45 PM  

meyerkev: First, are there really thousands of houses?  Because around here (Bay Area), any place that gets built in the actual Valley goes for about 50% over list price in cash because of the Hong Kong exodus, Chinese investors, and a LONG-term housing crisis caused by Prop 13, rent control, the aforementioned rich investors, and NIMBYism making it impossible to add housing (to the extent needed).


You live in part of the country that is basically becoming a boomtown that has a much more hostile stance to development than the rest of the country.  While there are cities in the US that are experiencing similar behavior, it is certainly not the norm.  There is a lot more to the country than the Bay Area.
 
2013-11-21 03:31:46 PM  

BMFPitt: And no doubt you oppose plenty of education reforms that would increase quality while decreasing costs.


Care to list some?
 
2013-11-21 03:34:08 PM  

liam76: BMFPitt: That would be nice. Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.

A more progressive tax scheme that cuts otu loopholes above certain incomes will nto discourage you from investing.

Nobody is going to say, "well since I used to pocket 88% of the 10 million I got a year from investing, and now I only pocket 50% of it, I guess I no longer want to bother making money".


But they might say "Well, that has a 20% chance of working and making me 10X, and a 80% chance of me losing all my money.  And at 88%, that gets me a 76% return, and at 50% taxes, I break even, so why bother?'

And for things that are between 20% and 11% success rates, well, they're now guaranteed losers, and so they don't get funded.  And you've just ensured that a LARGE portion of the new businesses that would've gotten founded don't, which means that those businesses don't employ lots of people, etc, etc, etc.

Oh, and you'll have more taxes.

tcftakingnote.typepad.com

/And yes, I'm aware that this is a sign of horrific inequality as capital became cheaper than labor, but.
//And assuming that I'm reading this right, Did Saint Reagan [/sarcasm] raise cap. gains tax rates and Clinton drop them down?
 
2013-11-21 03:34:22 PM  

BMFPitt: liam76: BMFPitt: That would be nice. Now please tell me your plan for increasing disposable income that doesn't just involve discouraging investment and putting up barriers to hiring.

A more progressive tax scheme that cuts otu loopholes above certain incomes will nto discourage you from investing.

Nobody is going to say, "well since I used to pocket 88% of the 10 million I got a year from investing, and now I only pocket 50% of it, I guess I no longer want to bother making money".

Do you believe that all investments are risk free? There are plenty of investments that make sense at a 12% tax rate which would be insane gambling at a 50% rate.


In many cases, capital gains are not even related to investments.  Call "The Carry" and it structured income right from a company completely independent for investment success or failure.

Romney is a good example.  He gets a shiat load of money from Bane Capital which was negotiated ahead of time and has nothing to do with risk or investment success or anything other than the fact that it is an investment company.  They pay the staff as salary and regular tax rated but pay muckymucks from the "The Carry" which is basically tax-sheltered income.  It is crooked as all shiat.
 
2013-11-21 03:39:43 PM  

BlastYoBoots: Oh that's rich, Debeo Summa Credo, nice mischaracterization of what I said.

ME: "There will always be people willing to profit off the serving of human flesh."
DSC: "Hey, what do you have against profit???"

I don't have anything against profit, I have something against profit at the expense of people in a way that hurts or country and standard of living at large. That's why we have regulations to, say, keep rich people from getting poor people to sell them their organs. Why not restructure the public stock market to corporations aren't *incentivized* to cut workers for a temporary stock boost that hurts the company down the line, just because it boosts executive take-home pay?

I'm not going to argue further with you over this, though, because I see I have you farkied as "Obliquely blames consumers for the financial crisis instead of Wall Street". You believe that if someone is led to buy into something harmful to themselves, no matter how difficult the environment made it for them to realize this up front, that it's the buyer's fault. I'm not going to be able to punch through that sort of ideology.


Can you really blame him, though? You threw out so many points in a single post that it's nearly impossible to respond to them all in any sort of concise manner. If you galloped any harder, you'd fly straight into the farking sun!

Not to mention that everything's abstracted away so much that it's hard to tell that you're talking about real life and not a story. Like, are we talking about the actions that people are taking in real life, the motivations behind them, and how they contribute to the shiatty situation we're in, or are we writing the SocDem version of Atlas Shrugged?
 
2013-11-21 03:52:45 PM  

llortcM_yllort: meyerkev: First, are there really thousands of houses?  Because around here (Bay Area), any place that gets built in the actual Valley goes for about 50% over list price in cash because of the Hong Kong exodus, Chinese investors, and a LONG-term housing crisis caused by Prop 13, rent control, the aforementioned rich investors, and NIMBYism making it impossible to add housing (to the extent needed).

You live in part of the country that is basically becoming a boomtown that has a much more hostile stance to development than the rest of the country.  While there are cities in the US that are experiencing similar behavior, it is certainly not the norm.  There is a lot more to the country than the Bay Area.


So back in Detroit where the population has been stable for 50 years, the housing stock breaks down 4 ways.

1) Things in Detroit/Flint/Pontiac that were abandoned after the riots and Coleman Young that will never be occupied for the next century because Detroit/Flint/Pontiac.
2) Things that were built between 1950 and 1980 in the inner-ring suburbs that are now occupied.
3) Things that were built in the exurbs right before gas went up to $4 that are now occupied by people who are OK with paying $4/gallon for gas in exchange for cheap housing.
4) Places that were built in the exurbs for extortionate prices right before the crash and are now only 1/3rd occupied, but that's OK because they never finished the development.

Mind you, prices did some crazy shiat, where they dropped all the way back to 1990 levels before splitting the difference (so if you want a 1950's split-level for $75K, you know where to go) and they drove apartment prices down with them, but the places that are abandoned are ghetto, not suburbs.

/And yes, Detroit, but the lakes are pretty, the ghetto can't get to the suburbs because of principled stands against any mass transit whatsoever, and you can afford to buy a cottage on a lake somewhere if you're even remotely middle class.
//Oh, and because *Detroit*, white-collar wages/COL are way out of whack.
 
2013-11-21 03:54:13 PM  
It's more like I'm trying to say, "I do get the impression that there are some greedy rich bastards driving forward inequality-widening policy, but I also get the impression that they're dragging a boatload of rich supporters behind them that don't even know their platform is hurting people, and that the system has become adversely structured so that many naturally have day jobs in hurting the middle class in little ways, without any malicious overhead orchestrators. This makes the movement hard to combat."

In other words, my argument relies on the assumption that there's a de facto class war against the poor and middle class to make a related argument. If you disagree with that base assumption, there's no real need to listen to me at all.

I didn't really make any substantive arguments that the assumption exists, other than linking that article of Cuban's on how executive pay and public stock are currently structured to incentivize the imploding of companies for short-term executive profit.
 
2013-11-21 03:54:42 PM  

meyerkev: Detroit where the population has been stable for 50 years


Wat.
 
2013-11-21 04:00:03 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: meyerkev: Detroit where the population has been stable for 50 years

Wat.


Detroit Metro.  Sorry.  White flight stopped in Oakland County.  Detroit Proper is just farked.
 
2013-11-21 04:09:45 PM  

netcentric: Gee wiz this sounds good.

You don't think she is just saying what she thinks people want to hear, do you?

She isn't a politician is she...?


She's different, I swear!
 
2013-11-21 04:37:41 PM  
Two generations actually. Real wage growth stopped cold in 1974.
 
2013-11-21 06:02:25 PM  

BlastYoBoots: It's more like I'm trying to say, "I do get the impression that there are some greedy rich bastards driving forward inequality-widening policy, but I also get the impression that they're dragging a boatload of rich supporters behind them that don't even know their platform is hurting people, and that the system has become adversely structured so that many naturally have day jobs in hurting the middle class in little ways, without any malicious overhead orchestrators. This makes the movement hard to combat."

In other words, my argument relies on the assumption that there's a de facto class war against the poor and middle class to make a related argument. If you disagree with that base assumption, there's no real need to listen to me at all.

I didn't really make any substantive arguments that the assumption exists, other than linking that article of Cuban's on how executive pay and public stock are currently structured to incentivize the imploding of companies for short-term executive profit.


I honestly don't even disagree. When you base your society on a system which values capital above all else, the natural conclusion you're going to see is that the people who "play to win", so to speak, are going to maximize that outcome over all else, up to and including human lives. When this reaches a critical point, it only makes sense that a 'class war' would break out between those who are trying to maximize their outcomes, and those who are interested in literally anything else, because eventually you are going to see the interests of those who wish to maximize their power and those who are simply trying to live their lives clash against one another. This applies to an even greater extent when you factor in the ability of especially powerful individuals to ensure that those with less power are benefited the most by making decisions that perpetuate the system which keeps those people on top. This is pretty much why our society is the way it is.

I kinda figured that was the gist of the argument, but I was more commenting on the fact that I'm reading through the topic and suddenly I see this massive word-vomit that jumps from point to point like it's trying to win a million-dollar Quake tournament.
 
2013-11-21 06:10:56 PM  
Yeah, I typed that all out on a tiny phone screen, too. Not sure exactly what's wrong with me.
 
2013-11-21 07:10:48 PM  

Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?


My proposal:
i105.photobucket.com

I am now open to counter offers.  What will the 1% trade us in exchange for their necks?
 
2013-11-21 07:38:05 PM  

FloydA: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

My proposal:
[i105.photobucket.com image 580x435]

I am now open to counter offers.  What will the 1% trade us in exchange for their necks?


I'm afraid your proposal to execute the extremely wealthy, while a fine and constructive suggestion, would decimate the federal government. The 30 percent of all federal taxes they pay probably wouldn't be felt immediately as you and your like-minded comrades would likely confiscate their wealth and redistribute the bulk to the unwashed masses and bestow the remainder upon the government.

But in the longer term, we'd really feel the loss of that high-end earning power and subsequent tax revenue.

Also, I'm not sure we'd be putting on the country's best face if we started dragging people off to the guillotine for the sin of being rich.
 
2013-11-21 07:45:45 PM  

meyerkev: But they might say "Well, that has a 20% chance of working and making me 10X, and a 80% chance of me losing all my money.  And at 88%, that gets me a 76% return, and at 50% taxes, I break even, so why bother?'


Your math is flawed, because the initial principal is not taxed, only your profits  - you never just "break even" unless your pre-tax earnings are also 0%.

If I invest $10,000 and sell my investments for $11,000, I pay tax on $1,000.

Basically, if you turn a profit before taxes, you always turn a profit after taxes as well.  If you lose money before taxes, you always lose money after taxes as well (you can defer some of your losses against other years' earnings, but you can't use the tax system to recoup your full loss).

That's why a marginal income tax system works - the business strategy that gives you the highest possible pre-income tax earnings gives you the highest possible post-income tax earnings, as well - regardless of what the actual tax rates are (as long as all marginal rates are below 100%).
 
2013-11-21 08:17:29 PM  

Sum Dum Gai: meyerkev: But they might say "Well, that has a 20% chance of working and making me 10X, and a 80% chance of me losing all my money.  And at 88%, that gets me a 76% return, and at 50% taxes, I break even, so why bother?'

Your math is flawed, because the initial principal is not taxed, only your profits  - you never just "break even" unless your pre-tax earnings are also 0%.

If I invest $10,000 and sell my investments for $11,000, I pay tax on $1,000.

Basically, if you turn a profit before taxes, you always turn a profit after taxes as well.  If you lose money before taxes, you always lose money after taxes as well (you can defer some of your losses against other years' earnings, but you can't use the tax system to recoup your full loss).

That's why a marginal income tax system works - the business strategy that gives you the highest possible pre-income tax earnings gives you the highest possible post-income tax earnings, as well - regardless of what the actual tax rates are (as long as all marginal rates are below 100%).


Good point.  Let's do the math.

Assume either 10x return or complete failure (which is a simplification, but it makes the math easy and the point is still the same)

return is: ODDS * (1 + 9 * (1 - TAX_RATE))

20% odds, 12% taxes = 1.784 or 78% return
20% odds, 50% taxes = 1.1 or 10% return
10% odds, 12% taxes = .892 or 11% loss
10% odds, 50% taxes = .55 or 45% loss

And since the current capital gains rate in the USA is 23.8% (20% + 3.8% Medicare taxes), and CA has another 13.3%:
20% odds, 37.1% taxes = 1.3322 or a 33% gain
10% odds, 37.1% taxes = .6661 or a 33.3% loss

The general point still applies, and you CAN write off some investment losses from the losses to make up for the gains which I'm not accounting for, but still.

There's a bunch of businesses that employ people that got funded because a VC thought the odds of making money were greater than the odds of losing it.  Change the tax code, change those odds, a bunch of marginal companies don't get funded, and a bunch of people don't get employed (and a bunch of founders don't become VC's when their bets pan out and they become multi-multi-millionaires).
 
2013-11-21 08:46:51 PM  

FloydA: Tomahawk513: We know, Warren, we know.  But how do we fix it?

My proposal:
[i105.photobucket.com image 580x435]

I am now open to counter offers.  What will the 1% trade us in exchange for their necks?


*yawn*
 
2013-11-21 09:20:10 PM  

meyerkev: The general point still applies, and you CAN write off some investment losses from the losses to make up for the gains which I'm not accounting for, but still.


You can count the ENTIRETY of your capital losses against current or future capital gains.  You can even count up to $3000 per year of losses against regular income.

So for example, in year 1 you have $50,000 of ordinary income and $10,000 in capital losses.  Your first year, you pay tax on $47,000 at regular income rates, carrying a $7,000 capital loss into the future.  Next year, your investments pan out, and you generate $50,000 of ordinary income and $11,000 in capital gains.  You pay tax on $50,000 at regular income rates and $4,000 in capital gains, carrying no more loss forward.

If you actually count the future tax advantages of capital losses (assuming that EVENTUALLY you will earn capital gains sufficient to offset all of your losses), your math becomes:

 ODDS * (1 + 9 * (1 - TAX_RATE)) + (1-ODDS) * (TAX_RATE)

What this makes your numbers:

20% odds, 12% taxes = 1.88 or 88% return
20% odds, 50% taxes = 1.5 or 50% return
10% odds, 12% taxes = 1 or break even
10% odds, 50% taxes = 1 or break even

If you go for many years without recouping your losses, well, perhaps venture capital was a bad idea.
 
2013-11-21 09:24:26 PM  
I would say that we're in this mess because both parties sold the working class down the river decades ago, in large part in order to pander to the middle class. Also because socialism. Now the middle class is beginning to realize that all those tax cuts weren't really for them, and in fact they're heads are next on the chopping block, and it's probably too late to do anything about it. I don't think America will ever really recover from the venal stupidity of the postwar generation. No nation in the history of the world has ever been handed an opportunity like the one the United States received at the end of WW2: the rest of the world a pile of cinders, and us virtually unscathed, indeed, stronger and more prosperous than ever. No nation in the history of the world has ever pissed away so much so quickly.
 
2013-11-21 09:52:56 PM  

UrukHaiGuyz: I'm not saying the skill sets were identical, just looking at the types of jobs available to Americans with no higher education. Manufacturing is simply not as prominent a sector anymore. "Right to Work" laws I think had a greater impact than the types of jobs available. Companies still need their employees as much as ever (maybe more so given record levels of worker productivity) but it's much harder to organize these days.


It's harder because nobody wants to be "organized."  But even without Right to Work, unionized companies couldn't compete so we'd still see less of them.  Plus with high-skill jobs, the most productive employees aren't going to want anything to do with a union.

I think we're due soon for a resurgence of labor exerting power in the workplace.

You just really want it, or you actually think it will happen?

UrukHaiGuyz: Because you said this: "And my concern is with those who seem determined to prevent that just for the sake of making the smaller pie more evenly distributed."


Well yeah, I guess that is confusing when you chop off the first half of it.  Although it still doesn't say what you want it to say.

Increasing the minimum wage and boosting infrastructure spending would get us pretty far towards that goal.

No, they are not.  I mean the second one potentially could be if it were literal, but "infrastructure spending" is just code for random pork projects.

I never said we were entirely free-market, just that the free-market portion sucks. Medicare compares favorably with most other socialized health systems.

I don't know what you think the "free market portion" is, but you don't seem to understand how our current system works at all.  Also, Medicare has better results than most any socialized system, but also costs a lot more (per capita, not even per person covered) and only covers a small fraction of people.

I'd take the French system, but I don't think our version would cover near the same volume nor types of treatments. Something like the U.K. or Canada seems more pragmatic for us.

It's more pragmatic to have a system that is both more expensive and of lower quality?

UrukHaiGuyz: Oh, yeah. The point is that they're doing increasingly worse. Wages are not keeping pace with inflation, which is obviously not sustainable forever. I'm not saying the guillotines are about to come out any second, but the current trajectory is a bad one.


My previous statement holds for all income levels.  There has never better time or place to be poor than right now in the United States.

The poverty numbers actually look better than they should given the large number of homeless and the ridiculously high per capita number of incarcerated Americans. (especially non-violent offenders)

You think the prison-industrial system decreases poverty?  Wow.  So if we weren't spending those hundreds of billions to prevent people from holding legitimate jobs, the money would just disappear?

UrukHaiGuyz: That's not necessarily bad. Wall Street could use a little reigning in considering its tendency to chase market bubbles.


Bubbles typically form because of an erroneous perception of safety.

50% is too high, though, capital gains should be taxed as normal income.

I'm fine with taxing capital gains as normal income, or at least upping the holding period to 10+ years for the lower rate.

liam76: I said nothing like that.


But your post seemed to imply that belief, which is why I asked.

The point is that the rich aren't going to take their money and just lock it up in banks, they will invest, as always, to try an make as much money as possible.

What they invest in matters.  Higher capital gains taxes discourage new business formation, which is always a high risk / potentially high reward proposition.

mrshowrules: In many cases, capital gains are not even related to investments.  Call "The Carry" and it structured income right from a company completely independent for investment success or failure.


Carried interest, as you noted, is not capital gains.  They just got Congress and the IRS to agree to pretend they were.

Romney is a good example.  He gets a shiat load of money from Bane Capital which was negotiated ahead of time and has nothing to do with risk or investment success or anything other than the fact that it is an investment company.  They pay the staff as salary and regular tax rated but pay muckymucks from the "The Carry" which is basically tax-sheltered income.  It is crooked as all shiat.

So rather than try to raise taxes on grandma's nest egg, why not focus on fixing that absurd distortion of the tax code?
 
2013-11-21 10:15:49 PM  

BMFPitt: So rather than try to raise taxes on grandma's nest egg, why not focus on fixing that absurd distortion of the tax code?


'Grandma' is probably not paying any capital gains taxes at all, unless she's also earning more than $36,000 in taxable income (if single) or $72,000 (if married filing jointly).  Those numbers would put grandma (or grandma & grandpa) above the median personal (or household) income for the employed population.

If you're earning more in retirement than half the nation does while working, you're probably fine paying a small amount of taxes.  Capital gains rates don't get high until you're around the $400k / yr level.

Of course, we should also fix the tax code - some of the loopholes in it are pretty absurd.
 
2013-11-21 10:37:10 PM  

Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.



That's actually totally false. Since the late 70's wages have DECLINED 4% when adjusted for inflation - and the cost of living has risen during that time period as well.

Worker productivity has steadily risen, corporate profits have risen proportionally with the productivity.... and just the richest few have seen their inflation adjusted income explode by hundreds of percent. The average American is more productive then they ever have been, and they have seen NONE of those gains, and in fact have been made significantly poorer over the last 40+ years.
 
2013-11-21 10:50:08 PM  

mongbiohazard: Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.


That's actually totally false. Since the late 70's wages have DECLINED 4% when adjusted for inflation - and the cost of living has risen during that time period as well.

Worker productivity has steadily risen, corporate profits have risen proportionally with the productivity.... and just the richest few have seen their inflation adjusted income explode by hundreds of percent. The average American is more productive then they ever have been, and they have seen NONE of those gains, and in fact have been made significantly poorer over the last 40+ years.


www.bls.gov
 
2013-11-21 11:02:38 PM  
skullkrusher:

[www.bls.gov image 580x360]

The ECI is not adjusted for inflation.  You'd have to compare the difference in the growth rate of the ECI to the CPI to determine if inflation-adjusted wages were rising or falling during a given year.
 
2013-11-21 11:04:50 PM  

Sum Dum Gai: skullkrusher:

[www.bls.gov image 580x360]

The ECI is not adjusted for inflation.  You'd have to compare the difference in the growth rate of the ECI to the CPI to determine if inflation-adjusted wages were rising or falling during a given year.


It is an inflation index itself. Compare it against the CPI for those years. ECI outpaces it
 
2013-11-21 11:08:49 PM  

skullkrusher: mongbiohazard: Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.


That's actually totally false. Since the late 70's wages have DECLINED 4% when adjusted for inflation - and the cost of living has risen during that time period as well.

Worker productivity has steadily risen, corporate profits have risen proportionally with the productivity.... and just the richest few have seen their inflation adjusted income explode by hundreds of percent. The average American is more productive then they ever have been, and they have seen NONE of those gains, and in fact have been made significantly poorer over the last 40+ years.

[www.bls.gov image 580x360]



thecurrentmoment.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-21 11:09:36 PM  

Sum Dum Gai: If you're earning more in retirement than half the nation does while working, you're probably fine paying a small amount of taxes.  Capital gains rates don't get high until you're around the $400k / yr level.


They don't get high until $400k now.  I was responding to proposals that they be raised to 50%, presumably on the first dollar.

Of course, we should also fix the tax code - some of the loopholes in it are pretty absurd.

Nevermind the loopholes, that's kind of like saying, "Defund NPR!"  The entire thing is in need of drastic simplification.  Enact the Zero Plan.

mongbiohazard: Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.

That's actually totally false. Since the late 70's wages have DECLINED 4% when adjusted for inflation - and the cost of living has risen during that time period as well.


He spelled it out for you, and you still piled on the derp.
 
2013-11-21 11:11:49 PM  

skullkrusher: Sum Dum Gai: skullkrusher:

[www.bls.gov image 580x360]

The ECI is not adjusted for inflation.  You'd have to compare the difference in the growth rate of the ECI to the CPI to determine if inflation-adjusted wages were rising or falling during a given year.

It is an inflation index itself. Compare it against the CPI for those years. ECI outpaces it



It's a measure of employment costs for businesses, and your own chart shows those costs falling.... at the very same time that productivity and profits have risen, cost of living has kept rising and American wages have stagnated - AT BEST.
 
2013-11-21 11:19:52 PM  

BMFPitt: Sum Dum Gai: If you're earning more in retirement than half the nation does while working, you're probably fine paying a small amount of taxes.  Capital gains rates don't get high until you're around the $400k / yr level.

They don't get high until $400k now.  I was responding to proposals that they be raised to 50%, presumably on the first dollar.

Of course, we should also fix the tax code - some of the loopholes in it are pretty absurd.

Nevermind the loopholes, that's kind of like saying, "Defund NPR!"  The entire thing is in need of drastic simplification.  Enact the Zero Plan.

mongbiohazard: Captain Dan: The "stagnating middle class" claim is misleading.  Factoring in total compensation, middle class earnings have gone up continuously since the 1970s (after adjusting for inflation).  This fact is obscured, though, because all of the gains from labor productivity are going to increased health care benefits instead of income.

That's actually totally false. Since the late 70's wages have DECLINED 4% when adjusted for inflation - and the cost of living has risen during that time period as well.

He spelled it out for you, and you still piled on the derp.



No, I just filtered out the disingenuous.

Someone who is saying "total compensation" has risen is intentionally obfuscating. Health benefits are what have increased, and that's because health care costs have skyrocketed. Pensions and other retirement benefits have been slashed over the decades except for the lucky few at the top of the pyramid, which have soared. It's a measure that is used by right wing partisans exactly because it is misleading. That's what the talking point was designed for.

Wages are very important to how Americans live. You don't feed your kids with your 401K, and you can't pay your rent with your health insurance. The savaging of American wages means Americans can no longer afford to save as much, and are more often trapped in a cycle of debt.

The simple fact of the matter is, cost of living has continued to rise and wages have not kept up for the Average American.... but a small - disproportionately politically influential - few have done extremely well essentially exploiting the rest of us.
 
2013-11-21 11:34:40 PM  

mongbiohazard: Someone who is saying "total compensation" has risen is intentionally obfuscating. Health benefits are what have increased, and that's because health care costs have skyrocketed. Pensions and other retirement benefits have been slashed over the decades except for the lucky few at the top of the pyramid, which have soared. It's a measure that is used by right wing partisans exactly because it is misleading. That's what the talking point was designed for.


Then you should have no problem citing a study that says total compensation, which includes the things you listed, has gone down.

Wages are very important to how Americans live. You don't feed your kids with your 401K, and you can't pay your rent with your health insurance. The savaging of American wages means Americans can no longer afford to save as much, and are more often trapped in a cycle of debt.

World's smallest violin for the majority of people who are in the "cycle of debt".  90% of habitual debtors are just innumerate fools who are willfully ignorant of the costs of what they do.

The simple fact of the matter is, cost of living has continued to rise and wages have not kept up for the Average American

Our quality of life has just outpaced our pay.  Anyone could pretty easily live as well as someone in 1973 on today's wages.

but a small - disproportionately politically influential - few have done extremely well essentially exploiting the rest of us.

And that would be even more true if the Farkers in this thread got their way.
 
2013-11-21 11:38:07 PM  

mongbiohazard: skullkrusher: Sum Dum Gai: skullkrusher:

[www.bls.gov image 580x360]

The ECI is not adjusted for inflation.  You'd have to compare the difference in the growth rate of the ECI to the CPI to determine if inflation-adjusted wages were rising or falling during a given year.

It is an inflation index itself. Compare it against the CPI for those years. ECI outpaces it


It's a measure of employment costs for businesses, and your own chart shows those costs falling.... at the very same time that productivity and profits have risen, cost of living has kept rising and American wages have stagnated - AT BEST.


no, the chart shows the rate of increase in those costs declining. At no point does that rate of change drop below 0 and it was sloping upwards until this little thing we ran into a few years back.
Inflation has also been very, very low for a while now. It makes sense that the ECI would trend with that rate of inflation.
 
2013-11-22 01:47:41 AM  

BMFPitt: Nevermind the loopholes, that's kind of like saying, "Defund NPR!"  The entire thing is in need of drastic simplification.  Enact the Zero Plan.


I can't say I like absolutely every aspect of that plan, but I'd still support it, or something similar.  Looks to be a hell of a lot better than our current system.

Of course, my cynical side figures that, even if we simplified, Congress would find some way to muck it all up again quickly by giving tax breaks to support their causes du jour.
 
2013-11-22 02:14:21 AM  
cdn.abclocal.go.com
Hi there.
 
2013-11-22 08:02:27 AM  

Sum Dum Gai: BMFPitt: Nevermind the loopholes, that's kind of like saying, "Defund NPR!"  The entire thing is in need of drastic simplification.  Enact the Zero Plan.

I can't say I like absolutely every aspect of that plan, but I'd still support it, or something similar.  Looks to be a hell of a lot better than our current system.

Of course, my cynical side figures that, even if we simplified, Congress would find some way to muck it all up again quickly by giving tax breaks to support their causes du jour.


It's insane that the plan doesn't fully repeal the mortgage interest deduction, but it's still light years better than any other plan that has even a remote chance of passing.

And after wiping the slate clean, I would hope that it would be a tougher sell to start adding more distortions in.
 
2013-11-22 10:39:32 AM  

Waldo Pepper: How much of this is due to the cost of the middle class style these days. My parents really only had to replace the TV when it was finally beyond repair, no computers to replace every 3-5, no cell phones to replace every couple of years. you had a phone bill that if you didn't make a lot of long distance calls wasn't a huge part of your budget. now you also got your kids who have to have high priced everyday items.


Surprisingly, a middle class family of four spends LESS on electronics (and probably entertainment?) than a similar family spent in 1970. Go watch Warren's excellent talk "The Coming Collapse of the MIddle Class", which is on YouTUbe, an hour long, utterly fantastic and scary, and filmed before she had any political aspirations. Such a good use of an hour!
 
2013-11-22 05:08:00 PM  
"Adjusted for inflation," she said, "the wages for a middle class family have gone down" for decades, and yet basic costs of living have all increased. Housing, energy and food prices have all increased steadily during that same period of time.

Awesome.
 
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