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(Guardian)   Local billionaires think it's wrong that there are people who sleep in cars in Silicon Valley because they are homeless, and want to improve their quality of life   (theguardian.com) divider line 433
    More: Asinine, homeless  
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12302 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Apr 2014 at 12:15 PM (14 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-16 04:30:05 PM

SphericalTime: The first thing I looked at: SphericalTime: armor helix: There are a lot of homeless shelters with empty rooms every night.

The reason? You have to be sober to use them.

If getting high is more important than a roof over your head that's your choice. But I don't want you sleeping in my dumpster.

Good thing people can't get addicted to those substances, or else what you said would sound heartless and cruel to people who find themselves caught up in a painful circle that many are unable to break free from.

Some people are addicted and make the choice to try and fight it.

Some people are addicted and make the conscious choice to live with it, knowing that it means they will sleep on the sidewalk. What do you do for people in that category? They don't want "help". They want drug/booze money.

It's pretty clear your don't actually understand addiction.


Ok champ, if you say so.

If you understand it so well, what should be done?
 
2014-04-16 04:31:20 PM

Slam1263: For every dollar handed out in Foodstamps, the government overhead eats $5. Soc Sec, $3 dollars of overhead to give $1.


Citation?  I thought food stamps were one of the more efficient programs out there?

Brookings says $35.8B in cost, $4.8-5.7B in overhead.  Using the worst number that FLIPS your ratio - for every $5.28 paid out there's $1 in overhead.  $6.46 if you use the lower figure for expenses.

The really bad ratios, as I understand it, is school grants because schools will hire people to get grants so long as they can get more in grants than it costs to employ them.  So they'd hire a guy for $100k($150k with benefits) to pull in $200k in grants.  Then it costs another $20k or so for the feds to hire somebody to process and grant the grants that the dude gets.  $50k of benefit for the school bought at ~$220k worth of expense to the government.
 
2014-04-16 04:31:48 PM

Fusilier: SphericalTime: Slam1263: meat0918: Slam1263: Odd thing about handing out free money, you will never have enough to satisfy demand.

I'm going to be honest, private charity sucks at meeting the demand for charity.

Amazingly though, government programs seem to do a better job meeting the need than private charity.  I wonder why that is?

Food stamps is a great example of this.

For every dollar handed out in Foodstamps, the government overhead eats $5. Soc Sec, $3 dollars of overhead to give $1.

Honestly, I don't mind paying taxes, as a business owner, I pay more in taxes, and fees, than I pay in wages for any 3 employees. I'd rather pay my employees more. I don't take a wage, and I am hoping things improve in the future.

My only complaint is the amount of waste, and that the average Farker can't be bothered to read.

Actually it's the opposite. The administration of food stamps is a fraction of the cost of money spent on food. And the economic activity created by food stamps is something like twice what are created by tax cuts.

Didn't want to let that slip by without saying the truth.

So...............if every American (including our illegal friends in the shadows) receives food stamps, the economic activity that will ensue as a result will make us all farking rich?


It's actually pretty sound economic theory.

If you give money to the people most likely to spend it, you generate economic activity.

If you give money to the people most likely to save it, you wasted your money.
 
2014-04-16 04:37:16 PM

The first thing I looked at: UrukHaiGuyz: The first thing I looked at: UrukHaiGuyz: armor helix: There are a lot of homeless shelters with empty rooms every night.

The reason? You have to be sober to use them.

If getting high is more important than a roof over your head that's your choice. But I don't want you sleeping in my dumpster.

So your brilliant solution to widespread homelessness caused by addiction is....NIMBY. Why did you even bother posting?

I don't think they proposed any solution. Merely stated part of the problem.

If we are going out on a limb to infer peoples positions on a solution where none was stated I would have to assume that your "solution" is to have homeless people live in dumpsters. That seems quite a bit more inhumane than his sentiment.

I was mocking them. It's clear from the tone that the point of the post was casting moral judgement as a rationalization for the suffering of homeless addicts. Half the problem we have in dealing with problems like poverty is a Puritanical culture that deems empathy a flaw and glorifies sociopathic greed. The means aren't lacking nearly so much as the will.

And I was mocking you for reading what you wanted to instead of what was written.


I read mostly moral judgement and disdain. Don't think I'm wrong in that.

I've had conversations with career drunks who chose the bottle over treatment, chose the bottle over their jobs and chose the bottle over having a home, all according to them. Should they be locked up and treated against their will? Everyone has problems, some much more severe than others but everyone still makes choices.

Oh and please, lets hear the plan to fix the homeless problem.


We're slowly creeping towards it, and it's not one solution, as there isn't one simple root cause for homelessness. It basically comes down to increasing the safety net to the level of Nordic countries, such that you've got to fall pretty hard to crash through it. Saner drug laws, universal healthcare, increased funding for job training and rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration for addicts, and a new CCC-style job corps would be great steps forward.
 
2014-04-16 04:38:36 PM

meat0918: Fusilier: SphericalTime: Slam1263: meat0918: Slam1263: Odd thing about handing out free money, you will never have enough to satisfy demand.

I'm going to be honest, private charity sucks at meeting the demand for charity.

Amazingly though, government programs seem to do a better job meeting the need than private charity.  I wonder why that is?

Food stamps is a great example of this.

For every dollar handed out in Foodstamps, the government overhead eats $5. Soc Sec, $3 dollars of overhead to give $1.

Honestly, I don't mind paying taxes, as a business owner, I pay more in taxes, and fees, than I pay in wages for any 3 employees. I'd rather pay my employees more. I don't take a wage, and I am hoping things improve in the future.

My only complaint is the amount of waste, and that the average Farker can't be bothered to read.

Actually it's the opposite. The administration of food stamps is a fraction of the cost of money spent on food. And the economic activity created by food stamps is something like twice what are created by tax cuts.

Didn't want to let that slip by without saying the truth.

So...............if every American (including our illegal friends in the shadows) receives food stamps, the economic activity that will ensue as a result will make us all farking rich?

It's actually pretty sound economic theory.

If you give money to the people most likely to spend it, you generate economic activity.

If you give money to the people most likely to save it, you wasted your money.


Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.
 
2014-04-16 04:41:39 PM

Fusilier: meat0918: Fusilier: SphericalTime: Slam1263: meat0918: Slam1263: Odd thing about handing out free money, you will never have enough to satisfy demand.

I'm going to be honest, private charity sucks at meeting the demand for charity.

Amazingly though, government programs seem to do a better job meeting the need than private charity.  I wonder why that is?

Food stamps is a great example of this.

For every dollar handed out in Foodstamps, the government overhead eats $5. Soc Sec, $3 dollars of overhead to give $1.

Honestly, I don't mind paying taxes, as a business owner, I pay more in taxes, and fees, than I pay in wages for any 3 employees. I'd rather pay my employees more. I don't take a wage, and I am hoping things improve in the future.

My only complaint is the amount of waste, and that the average Farker can't be bothered to read.

Actually it's the opposite. The administration of food stamps is a fraction of the cost of money spent on food. And the economic activity created by food stamps is something like twice what are created by tax cuts.

Didn't want to let that slip by without saying the truth.

So...............if every American (including our illegal friends in the shadows) receives food stamps, the economic activity that will ensue as a result will make us all farking rich?

It's actually pretty sound economic theory.

If you give money to the people most likely to spend it, you generate economic activity.

If you give money to the people most likely to save it, you wasted your money.

Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.


So someone gives you money.

Got it.
 
2014-04-16 04:41:45 PM

OOBE Juan Kenobi: Next up: a law banning people from sleeping on yachts

I know you were trying to be funny, but actually this is already a rule in many, many areas. At minimum, most marinas don't allow for you to live on your boat (be it because of insurance or municipal code). Typically you're only allowed to stay onboard 15 days out of the month and have to have a regular residence. There are "liveaboards" allowed in some marinas, but they have to pay more for using that as their mailing address.

Many folks who live on board their boat move from one place to the next, typically because of these rules.

In some areas now, even if you're anchoring overnight, you have to pay a fee if you want to say more than a couple days.

/lives on a boat for part of the year
 
2014-04-16 04:46:41 PM

Felgraf: jwa007: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I don't see this as a 1% problem. Homeless people on the street just bother the us 95% ers that have to walk our kids to school because the pan handlers creep the kids out.

You are missing a good teaching moment here.  You can use the homeless as examples of what happen if you pursue degrees in the liberal arts.  Scare the little womprats into STEM.

Which won't bemuch help if we keep importing people who can be pressured to accept artificially low wages since their visa is tied to their employment (Which is BS, since it gives an employer INSANE extra leverage that they do not have over an american citizen).


We are looking right at you HP!


One of the worst offenders of visa fraud!
 
2014-04-16 04:46:58 PM

meat0918: Fusilier: meat0918: Fusilier: SphericalTime: Slam1263: meat0918: Slam1263: Odd thing about handing out free money, you will never have enough to satisfy demand.

I'm going to be honest, private charity sucks at meeting the demand for charity.

Amazingly though, government programs seem to do a better job meeting the need than private charity.  I wonder why that is?

Food stamps is a great example of this.

For every dollar handed out in Foodstamps, the government overhead eats $5. Soc Sec, $3 dollars of overhead to give $1.

Honestly, I don't mind paying taxes, as a business owner, I pay more in taxes, and fees, than I pay in wages for any 3 employees. I'd rather pay my employees more. I don't take a wage, and I am hoping things improve in the future.

My only complaint is the amount of waste, and that the average Farker can't be bothered to read.

Actually it's the opposite. The administration of food stamps is a fraction of the cost of money spent on food. And the economic activity created by food stamps is something like twice what are created by tax cuts.

Didn't want to let that slip by without saying the truth.

So...............if every American (including our illegal friends in the shadows) receives food stamps, the economic activity that will ensue as a result will make us all farking rich?

It's actually pretty sound economic theory.

If you give money to the people most likely to spend it, you generate economic activity.

If you give money to the people most likely to save it, you wasted your money.

Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.

So someone gives you money.

Got it.


Apparently you don't get it. You (or anyone) can give me money if you want to. I will not perform work for you. A perceptive person might see a difference here
 
2014-04-16 04:48:44 PM

meat0918: Actually it's the opposite. The administration of food stamps is a fraction of the cost of money spent on food. And the economic activity created by food stamps is something like twice what are created by tax cuts.


Yep, he got the ratio backwards.  I would have been quicker but I wanted to find a source.  Then I had to do calculations because it didn't look at it from that perspective.

Last I looked, for every $1 spent on food stamps, $1.67 was the ROI

[www.motherjones.com image 428x958]


1.  ROI is different than the overhead percentage, whether the program is efficient at getting it into the intended hands.
2.  I've always advocated for the work-share, infrastructure, and making it cheaper for businesses to hire people, but it's good seeing confirmation that they're good ideas(in general).
 
2014-04-16 04:50:56 PM

Fusilier: Apparently you don't get it. You (or anyone) can give me money if you want to. I will not perform work for you. A perceptive person might see a difference here


The original comment about where government money is best spent is completely unrelated to what work you expect to get out of the stimulus. Welfare (tax cuts) for the wealthy are a total drain on the economy, as the wealthy are not likely to spend any more than they would have, as they're already teetering at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of need. Welfare for those on the lowest rungs of society has an immediate stimulative effect, as they're needs are largely not being met. It's a better ROI for government dollars.
 
2014-04-16 04:51:12 PM

Fusilier: Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.


It's a liberal thing, only outcomes and intentions are relevant.

To them, the government handing money they collect via taxes to people is no different than an employer handing money to a person.

Also, when the government reduces taxes on someone, that's the same as the government giving them money.  The money the government "gives" to people should be spent and not saved.

We wonder why we have such huge problems with debt and bankruptcy in this country, yet so many people ridicule people who save as well as the overall concept of saving, and try to redefine the concept of earning an income by blurring the lines between money earned and money distributed via a social welfare program.

Whenever a person is suggested to be 'hoarding' their money or needlessly saving it, they should just say that they're preserving it for future generations.
 
2014-04-16 04:58:04 PM

pedrop357: Fusilier: Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.

It's a liberal thing, only outcomes and intentions are relevant.

To them, the government handing money they collect via taxes to people is no different than an employer handing money to a person.

Also, when the government reduces taxes on someone, that's the same as the government giving them money.  The money the government "gives" to people should be spent and not saved.

We wonder why we have such huge problems with debt and bankruptcy in this country, yet so many people ridicule people who save as well as the overall concept of saving, and try to redefine the concept of earning an income by blurring the lines between money earned and money distributed via a social welfare program.

Whenever a person is suggested to be 'hoarding' their money or needlessly saving it, they should just say that they're preserving it for future generations.


Actually, this liberal wants to see all income earned below 20,000 to be exempt from taxation.

Some go higher than that, and want to see the first 50K or 100K exempt from taxation.

The stimulative effect would be tremendous, and most people would get to keep more of their money.  I say most, because I'd also remove the cap on the Social Security tax, making it a sliding scale for benefits, and adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy.
 
2014-04-16 04:58:58 PM

UrukHaiGuyz: Fusilier: Apparently you don't get it. You (or anyone) can give me money if you want to. I will not perform work for you. A perceptive person might see a difference here

The original comment about where government money is best spent is completely unrelated to what work you expect to get out of the stimulus. Welfare (tax cuts) for the wealthy are is a total drain on the economy, as the wealthy are not likely to spend any more than they would have, as they're already teetering at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of need. Welfare for those on the lowest rungs of society has an immediate stimulative effect, as they're their needs are largely not being met. It's a better ROI for government dollars.


FTFM
 
2014-04-16 05:01:07 PM

meat0918: ScaryBottles: meat0918: Stay out of Eugene please.

Attempt no landing here, the goodwill has dried up, and the citizenry are tired of the homeless and the homeless advocates trying to get the city to lift the camping ban in public parks.

I feel for the homeless, and hope they can utilize the many public and private programs we have available to get back on their feet.  The chronic homeless, they have help available if they can actually decide to use it.  Not sure if that is possible for some of the ones with the really bad mental issues, but what can be done for them within the bounds of the law?

I'm actually for what Utah is doing being implemented in Oregon, but I doubt I'd have many supporters.
So I guess you missed the part of the article where they pointed out that the programs you're referring to are taxed far beyond their capacity already. In some cases trying to help 10 times the number of people they are equipped to.

Now do the one about the lazy homeless bum who makes $400 a day begging while you slave over the frier at McD's thats my favorite.

I want a solution beyond a place to sleep, is that too much to ask?

And yes, I'll pay more in taxes to support such a solution.


Apologies then I agree 100%
 
2014-04-16 05:09:15 PM

meat0918: Actually, this liberal wants to see all income earned below 20,000 to be exempt from taxation.

Some go higher than that, and want to see the first 50K or 100K exempt from taxation.

The stimulative effect would be tremendous, and most people would get to keep more of their money. I say most, because I'd also remove the cap on the Social Security tax, making it a sliding scale for benefits, and adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy.


I hate the idea of anyone over 18 having a 0% tax burden because I think anyone of voting age should have "skin in the game" , though I'll admit the savings in overhead from no longer collecting taxes on those with <$20,000 income would probably make it worth it from a monetary standpoint.

Social security has contribution caps because there are benefit caps.  Removing the contribution cap without the benefit cap would, however, convert social security into just another tax and spending measure without any real connection between contributor and recipient.  That should make the debates about eliminating it a little easier once people can't say that they only get what they put in.

When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.
 
2014-04-16 05:10:16 PM

meat0918: I want a solution beyond a place to sleep, is that too much to ask?

And yes, I'll pay more in taxes to support such a solution.


Don't need to pay more taxes.  You can do what I do right now and support various local food banks, rescue missions, and homeless shelters.
 
2014-04-16 05:10:26 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.


I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.
 
2014-04-16 05:15:08 PM

pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.


Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.
 
2014-04-16 05:15:57 PM

pedrop357: meat0918: I want a solution beyond a place to sleep, is that too much to ask?

And yes, I'll pay more in taxes to support such a solution.

Don't need to pay more taxes.  You can do what I do right now and support various local food banks, rescue missions, and homeless shelters.


No you cannot, and the food banks were hit hard after congress cut food stamps.  They do not have enough to go around, and yes, I donate to the food bank.  I've donated both fresh produce when available and timed right (i.e. delivered the day before the food bank is open) and money.

To answer your other question about how you tax wealth.

Estate taxes used to do a good job of that.
 
2014-04-16 05:16:10 PM

Firethorn: 1.  ROI is different than the overhead percentage, whether the program is efficient at getting it into the intended hands.


Well yes, but ROI is kind of the point.  At least as long as we're pre-post-scarcity.  Because positive ROI things

If 80% of your 2x return program is waste (and overhead), then I'd rather that you fixed the waste, but I won't be biatching about the program as a concept.  (IE: I really wish we had better mass transit (37 MPH average speed.  No wonder the traffic sucks), and at the same time, I'm appalled at the sheer amount of waste Caltrain has, but that doesn't mean I hate Caltrain in general).

If in turn, only 5% of your "Let's burn a giant pile of money in Times Square" plan is overhead, it's still a stupid plan.
 
2014-04-16 05:16:33 PM

smd31: Didn't read the article (like any good farker) but saw the picture of skid row and was like, "I've been there."  It was interesting (not quite the right word) to see the disparity between homeless living on the street and the next street over is where the $$ lives and they passed an ordinance (law?) that no one can sleep on the streets past x street.  Sad all the way around. :(


It's like that in the west coast city where I live as well. In the shadow (as in the shadow) of blocks of brand new million dollar crackerbox condos are entire families of homeless people, some within spitting distance... if the condo dwellers cared to (or could) open the window.
I often wondered what it would feel like to sit in a place like that and be able to turn my $1000 easy recliner just a little to the right... so that I could see mom, and grandma, and the two kids sitting on a blanket in front of the storefront church, with everything they own wrapped up in just two sheets and a shopping cart.

That is the ass-kicker here. There is almost no transition in many places between the have-everythings and the have-nothings because the places downtown and elsewhere that the have-nothings have been living in for decades have been taken over by developers and their bajillion-dollar nightmares. Parking lots, open grassy areas, older buildings (here anything that was built before 1960 is an "older building"), nowhere is safe from their claws. As a result there are only bits and chunks and pieces of ground where these poors can exist, and even those are subject to frequent harassment and arrest due to the influence of the condo cavepeople.

Farking sad.
 
2014-04-16 05:21:08 PM

UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.

Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.


Fair enough, BUT we would see a lot more short term investing and even more focus on making money in the short term.  I don't see that as a good thing for the economy.

Publicly traded corporations and banks basically do everything for the common person.  Look around and see how many incredibly useful and beneficial things are made by or separated by 1 degree from a large corporation or financed by a large bank.
 
2014-04-16 05:22:37 PM

pedrop357: I hate the idea of anyone over 18 having a 0% tax burden because I think anyone of voting age should have "skin in the game" , though I'll admit the savings in overhead from no longer collecting taxes on those with <$20,000 income would probably make it worth it from a monetary standpoint.


I hate it too, but if we're collecting taxes in order to pay for their welfare, then we're just being inefficient because of deadweight losses.

/And given that 1 40-hour min-wage job pays like $15K, it's not *that* hard to get to $20K at some point in your lifetime.
//And yes, I get that 40-hour min-wage job is a complete oxymoron.
 
2014-04-16 05:24:50 PM

pedrop357: UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.

Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.

Fair enough, BUT we would see a lot more short term investing and even more focus on making money in the short term.  I don't see that as a good thing for the economy.

Publicly traded corporations and banks basically do everything for the common person.  Look around and see how many incredibly useful and beneficial things are made by or separated by 1 degree from a large corporation or financed by a large bank.


I'm all ears on how we can encourage corporations to make better long term viability decisions.  We could outsource our phone service to India and save money in the short term, but we'd lose customers because, well, our customers value having the people that have installed the system being the guy they call when they have a problem.

It helps we are not publicly traded.
 
2014-04-16 05:27:50 PM

meyerkev: pedrop357: I hate the idea of anyone over 18 having a 0% tax burden because I think anyone of voting age should have "skin in the game" , though I'll admit the savings in overhead from no longer collecting taxes on those with <$20,000 income would probably make it worth it from a monetary standpoint.

I hate it too, but if we're collecting taxes in order to pay for their welfare, then we're just being inefficient because of deadweight losses.

/And given that 1 40-hour min-wage job pays like $15K, it's not *that* hard to get to $20K at some point in your lifetime.
//And yes, I get that 40-hour min-wage job is a complete oxymoron.


That oxy-moron is a reality for some people.
 
2014-04-16 05:28:49 PM

pedrop357: UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.

Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.

Fair enough, BUT we would see a lot more short term investing and even more focus on making money in the short term.  I don't see that as a good thing for the economy.


Short term gains and quarterly profits are already driving an extremely volatile stock market. I think you could structure new cap gains tax laws to de-incentivize that kind of speculation. Something like you get x tax rate if you hold your stock for y period of time and, and the basic lower rate after that.

Publicly traded corporations and banks basically do everything for the common person.  Look around and see how many incredibly useful and beneficial things are made by or separated by 1 degree from a large corporation or financed by a large bank.

That's cause they hold all the capital. I think you've got the cause and effect backwards. There's something to be said for economies of scale, but corporations have also been very successful in promoting and buying legislation that favors them.
 
2014-04-16 05:32:28 PM

UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.

Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.

Fair enough, BUT we would see a lot more short term investing and even more focus on making money in the short term.  I don't see that as a good thing for the economy.

Short term gains and quarterly profits are already driving an extremely volatile stock market. I think you could structure new cap gains tax laws to de-incentivize that kind of speculation. Something like you get x tax rate if you hold your stock for y period of time and, and the basic lower rate after that.

Publicly traded corporations and banks basically do everything for the common person.  Look around and see how many incredibly useful and beneficial things are made by or separated by 1 degree from a large corporation or financed by a large bank.

That's cause they hold all the capital. I think you've got the cause and effect backwards. There's something to be said for economies of scale, but corporations have also been very successful in promoting and buying legislation that favors them.


Introduce a random delay on submission for high speed trades.
 
2014-04-16 05:41:19 PM

pedrop357: UrukHaiGuyz: pedrop357: When you say "adding another tax bracket for the ultra wealthy", do you want to tax wealth or income?  Taxing income at really high rates was done in the past with limited success.  If you want to tax wealth itself, I'd be curious to know how you propose to do that.

Capital gains should be taxed at/near income. Wall Street isn't doing much for the common person anyway, and as a vehicle for retirement savings/pensions, we can do better. The wealthy benefit to a ridiculously higher degree by promoting passive income over earned income.

Fair enough, BUT we would see a lot more short term investing and even more focus on making money in the short term.  I don't see that as a good thing for the economy.

Publicly traded corporations and banks basically do everything for the common person.  Look around and see how many incredibly useful and beneficial things are made by or separated by 1 degree from a large corporation or financed by a large bank.


Was going to say this.

1) Short-term capital gains is taxed as income.  Done.
2) Almost no other country in the world taxes long-term capital gains as income.  (Belgium's at ZERO percent, and I actually admire the elegance of Canada's approach of treating $1 of capital gains as 50c of regular income).
3) There's a definite baby with bathwater issue here.  EVERYTHING is funded by somebody's money.  Everything.  Savings is investment by definition.   http://blog.mpettis.com/2014/03/economic-consequences-of-income-inequ a lity/ (Ironically, this is probably the single best argument for and against income inequality I've read ever, though I'm sitting in Silicon Valley, home of Option 3A).

And I don't know how much you value say Google, but I think that getting Google and Facebook and Netflix etc, etc, etc is *probably* worth the mild inequality.  There's a lot of free shiat/good work coming out of Silicon Valley.

/Admittedly, I'm in Silicon Valley and if I can keep you guys from getting your way until AFTER I'm a millionaire, that'd be great.  So hold off like 5 years.  Because I get $400K over the next three, hang onto $250K after taxes (CA capital gains tax rates SUCK), and then yeah.
 
2014-04-16 05:43:09 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.

I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.


Well, Bless their hearts, but I'd never choose to live that way. If a job does not pay enough to at a bare minimum keep a roof over my head, and food on my table, I'd feel like I was being exploited, and would be on the next bus out of town headed somewhere I could make that happen.
 
2014-04-16 05:48:25 PM

meat0918: That oxy-moron is a reality for some people.


Meaning that acc. to common knowledge, a job that pays minimum wage *certainly* isn't going to give you 40 hours.  It's either going to give you 29.5 or 60 (in one memorable personal experience).

So I was preempting the inevitable "But a minimum wage job doesn't give you 40 hours and you have to work 3 of them with a 4-hour bus ride in between to make ends meet" comments.
 
2014-04-16 05:49:42 PM

rewind2846: smd31: Didn't read the article (like any good farker) but saw the picture of skid row and was like, "I've been there."  It was interesting (not quite the right word) to see the disparity between homeless living on the street and the next street over is where the $$ lives and they passed an ordinance (law?) that no one can sleep on the streets past x street.  Sad all the way around. :(

It's like that in the west coast city where I live as well. In the shadow (as in the shadow) of blocks of brand new million dollar crackerbox condos are entire families of homeless people, some within spitting distance... if the condo dwellers cared to (or could) open the window.
I often wondered what it would feel like to sit in a place like that and be able to turn my $1000 easy recliner just a little to the right... so that I could see mom, and grandma, and the two kids sitting on a blanket in front of the storefront church, with everything they own wrapped up in just two sheets and a shopping cart.

That is the ass-kicker here. There is almost no transition in many places between the have-everythings and the have-nothings because the places downtown and elsewhere that the have-nothings have been living in for decades have been taken over by developers and their bajillion-dollar nightmares. Parking lots, open grassy areas, older buildings (here anything that was built before 1960 is an "older building"), nowhere is safe from their claws. As a result there are only bits and chunks and pieces of ground where these poors can exist, and even those are subject to frequent harassment and arrest due to the influence of the condo cavepeople.

Farking sad.


Sounds like a third world environment.
 
2014-04-16 05:51:42 PM

meyerkev: nd I don't know how much you value say Google, but I think that getting Google and Facebook and Netflix etc, etc, etc is *probably* worth the mild inequality.  There's a lot of free shiat/good work coming out of Silicon Valley.


It's pretty ridiculous to think those things wouldn't exist in a more equal society. With a more robust safety net, I'd argue you'd have many many more potential garage tech entrepreneurs, since without having to worry about scrambling towards an upper class income just to avoid the uncertainty of a middle class wage they could circuit bend/program to their hearts content without a crushing fear of imminent poverty.

VC's and angel investors don't have much with speculators riding whatever next ill-thought bubble.
 
2014-04-16 05:52:30 PM
*don't have much to do with
 
2014-04-16 05:55:49 PM

umad: pippi longstocking: Sadly, this is probably more helpful than any current program.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6fkyf9UGAE

Poverty is an imbedded structural feature of our current system. It's not a negative side-effect, it's a direct consequence of how the system and law is structured. It's like saying 200 years ago "Slavery bad? I treat my slaves very well, and give them extra food, so you see there is no problem."

You might argue if it's intentional or not, but look at history and tell me when and where society hasn't been like a pyramid, all the wealth and resources in the hands of few and the rest at the bottom.

So please tell me why I'm wrong, or please explain to me (cause I'm stupid) why things have to be this way, and we can't structurally get rid of this.

I can explain. Things have to be this way, and we can't structurally get rid of this, because society is composed of humans. Legislate against the laws of nature all you want. You would have just as much success if you attempted to ban gravity.


I don't think this is true.  Homeless people shot up in the 80's when we decided to stop paying for the mentally ill to be in institutions.  Before that I saw almost no homeless.  I believe this is more than anecdotal, statistics would bear this out.
 
2014-04-16 05:56:32 PM

Fusilier: Some 'Splainin' To Do: AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.

I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.

Well, Bless their hearts, but I'd never choose to live that way. If a job does not pay enough to at a bare minimum keep a roof over my head, and food on my table, I'd feel like I was being exploited, and would be on the next bus out of town headed somewhere I could make that happen.


On that point I agree.

And the kicker is, they are being exploited.  If everyone demanded a wage that allowed them to put a roof over their heads (not necessarily a nice roof, but a place to live other than your car or a tent), the employers would have no choice but to offer such a wage.
 
2014-04-16 05:56:50 PM

pedrop357: Fusilier: Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.

It's a liberal thing, only outcomes and intentions are relevant.



The difference between a liberal and a conservative is that liberals think they should help people who can't help themselves, and conservatives think they should help themselves.
 
2014-04-16 06:00:03 PM

Fusilier: Some 'Splainin' To Do: AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.

I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.

Well, Bless their hearts, but I'd never choose to live that way. If a job does not pay enough to at a bare minimum keep a roof over my head, and food on my table, I'd feel like I was being exploited, and would be on the next bus out of town headed somewhere I could make that happen.


1) So I've heard, but sadly don't have a cite, that the average Hispanic household in the Valley makes $20K/year.  Given that I had 12 people from 4 separate families cramming into a 2 BR in my complex, I can believe it.

2) Rent is stupid.  Admittedly, I'm deliberately on transit, but even off transit, it's stupid.  There's about a million more people than rooms so the prices are stupid.  And then traffic is really stupid (And while transit to SF is not terrible, transit to the Valley just sucks), which combines with geography to make "the bits near workplaces" even more stupid.

3) There's a lot of "Go work at startup for stock, make no money*, and then get stock, which may or may not be worth anything" people.  This actually makes a non-zero amount of sense, because making almost nothing and then paying capital gains on the windfall, is notably cheaper than actually making that same money over 20 years.

* I took a $40K paycut to come here.  Worked out brilliantly, but.
 
2014-04-16 06:00:31 PM

RisaTravelAgent: I don't think this is true.  Homeless people shot up in the 80's when we decided to stop paying for the mentally ill to be in institutions.  Before that I saw almost no homeless.  I believe this is more than anecdotal, statistics would bear this out.


And as I said later in the thread, yes, it was awesome when we locked the mentally ill away against their will in order to keep them out of our sight. It was simple and cost effective. Just lobotomize the unruly ones and then keep them all fed, doped up, and in clean diapers. Bang up solution to the problem that was. No issues with human rights at all.
 
2014-04-16 06:06:25 PM

Fusilier: Some 'Splainin' To Do: AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.

I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.

Well, Bless their hearts, but I'd never choose to live that way. If a job does not pay enough to at a bare minimum keep a roof over my head, and food on my table, I'd feel like I was being exploited, and would be on the next bus out of town headed somewhere I could make that happen.


If you're in the tech industry, moving away from SC is generally not a great option unless you  really don't have any other options, particularly if you've got a specialized skill set.  Sure, you  can move to Modesto in the hopes that you can find some job that's better than meth dealer, but why do that if you can muddle along for six months in the hope of finding a position that actually matches your skills and which would, ultimately, pay better than a position outside of the Valley?

Bear in mind that these sorts of situations aren't generally permanent. Most of the homeless population are only temporarily homeless. These aren't typically the homeless you encounter, however, because they're too busy trying to line up jobs (or simply working) to be out panhandling.  They've generally suffered some deep financial loss that makes it impossible for them to pay rent, but they're still employable. Living in a car is just a way to cut costs until you can either store up enough funds or can find yourself a better job.
 
2014-04-16 06:11:30 PM

The first thing I looked at: SphericalTime: The first thing I looked at: SphericalTime: armor helix: There are a lot of homeless shelters with empty rooms every night.

The reason? You have to be sober to use them.

If getting high is more important than a roof over your head that's your choice. But I don't want you sleeping in my dumpster.

Good thing people can't get addicted to those substances, or else what you said would sound heartless and cruel to people who find themselves caught up in a painful circle that many are unable to break free from.

Some people are addicted and make the choice to try and fight it.

Some people are addicted and make the conscious choice to live with it, knowing that it means they will sleep on the sidewalk. What do you do for people in that category? They don't want "help". They want drug/booze money.

It's pretty clear your don't actually understand addiction.

Ok champ, if you say so.

If you understand it so well, what should be done?


Honestly? Legalize a whole range of psychedelics that have shown marked potential for treating a range of problems from fear of death to addiction (http://iceers.org/docs/science/ayahuasca/Halpern%20et%20al_2008_Evid en ce_Health_Safety_Ayahuasca.pdf & http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/lsd-anxiety-study-psychother a py-_n_4906596.html are ok examples.)  Build more low-income housing in wealthy areas overflowing with homeless. Treat addiction as a health concern and not a law-enforcement issue.

But you probably just want them to "go away" amirite? Maybe to some farm, where there's lots of room to run and other animals to play with but it's too far for us to visit? Rocks are free, why don't you start bashing homeless/addicts heads? You'd be a hero to your peers.
 
2014-04-16 06:18:05 PM

MaliFinn: pedrop357: Fusilier: Where this world view stumbles is that no one gives me my money. I earn it. Despite what Mr. Obama says, I built that.
When my efforts stop being of personal benefit, I'm inclined to work less and devote time and energy to other things.

It's a liberal thing, only outcomes and intentions are relevant.


The difference between a liberal and a conservative is that liberals think they should help people who can't help themselves, and conservatives think they should help themselves.


When it comes to economic matters, I believe it is essential to put on my own oxygen mask first. Unless my household micro- economy is firing on all cylinders, I can not choose to help anyone else, and YOU can not tax income that I don't have.
 
2014-04-16 06:27:01 PM

meyerkev: Fusilier: Some 'Splainin' To Do: AverageAmericanGuy: If you live in a car but have no job, Silicon Valley really isn't the place for you.

Unless you can marry a millionaire VC, that is.

I don't agree. I've known people who live in cars and have jobs, around here. Housing and rental costs around here are absurdly high, and not everyone who's homeless is jobless. There is such a thing as productive homelessness.

Well, Bless their hearts, but I'd never choose to live that way. If a job does not pay enough to at a bare minimum keep a roof over my head, and food on my table, I'd feel like I was being exploited, and would be on the next bus out of town headed somewhere I could make that happen.

1) So I've heard, but sadly don't have a cite, that the average Hispanic household in the Valley makes $20K/year.  Given that I had 12 people from 4 separate families cramming into a 2 BR in my complex, I can believe it.

2) Rent is stupid.  Admittedly, I'm deliberately on transit, but even off transit, it's stupid.  There's about a million more people than rooms so the prices are stupid.  And then traffic is really stupid (And while transit to SF is not terrible, transit to the Valley just sucks), which combines with geography to make "the bits near workplaces" even more stupid.

3) There's a lot of "Go work at startup for stock, make no money*, and then get stock, which may or may not be worth anything" people.  This actually makes a non-zero amount of sense, because making almost nothing and then paying capital gains on the windfall, is notably cheaper than actually making that same money over 20 years.

* I took a $40K paycut to come here.  Worked out brilliantly, but.


Well that's a choice. Some people elect to move to the Yukon, live in an unheated cabin and pan for gold. Their reality tv show might be more interesting than yours, but then maybe not. You are entrepreneurial and a risk-taker. That's a very conservative and very American path. Glad it's worked out. The folks who are truly in the $shidte are the people doing menial jobs providng you service. It's probably fine for the people who actually own those service businesses, but a very poor choice for their wage slaves.
 
2014-04-16 06:31:11 PM

meyerkev: Felgraf: jwa007: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I don't see this as a 1% problem. Homeless people on the street just bother the us 95% ers that have to walk our kids to school because the pan handlers creep the kids out.

You are missing a good teaching moment here.  You can use the homeless as examples of what happen if you pursue degrees in the liberal arts.  Scare the little womprats into STEM.

Which won't be much help if we keep importing people who can be pressured to accept artificially low wages since their visa is tied to their employment (Which is BS, since it gives an employer INSANE extra leverage that they do not have over an american citizen).

Yeah.

Look, The H1-B guys don't make low enough salaries to the point where it affects your salary to the point where you can't afford rent.  [Insert usual "rent is stupid, taxes are stupid, rent pushes you into such high tax brackets where rent + taxes on income needed to pay rent is more than my parent's combined income" rant here].  You can't do a whole lot ELSE because the rent is too damn high, but the H1-B's are not the main problem anyways.  And besides, I'd much rather that Ragesh be sitting in Cupertino pulling in $60K than in Mumbai pulling in $20K.  Makes it way easier for me to ask for $100K plus signing bonus plus stock.

Despite being in Silicon Valley with the crazy H1-B guys, there's a non-zero chance that I'm a member of the 1% for the next 4 years.  In my early 20's.  (And the land of million-dollar townhouses.  Adjust actual things that you can buy with that money downwards by about 5).  Yeah, I'm not worried.

And the CEO of our company that put me into the 1% was one of those H1-B's.  Yes, bring them here.  Skim India and Brain Drain FTW.

/And since programmers make more than the median wage, H1-B's improve income equality.
//And of course, given that immigrants lower wages, why exactly is the Left so pro-poor/unskilled-people-immigration?


Any underemployed psych majors want to tackle this screed?
 
2014-04-16 06:31:32 PM
Meh. Just place big "Google Driverless Car Prototype" stickers on the homeless people's cars, and wait for the Occupy whackjobs to smash them and set them on fire.

Also, put up a webcam to catch and convict the Occupiers for criminal vandalism.
 
2014-04-16 06:32:57 PM

lewismarktwo: meyerkev: Felgraf: jwa007: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I don't see this as a 1% problem. Homeless people on the street just bother the us 95% ers that have to walk our kids to school because the pan handlers creep the kids out.

You are missing a good teaching moment here.  You can use the homeless as examples of what happen if you pursue degrees in the liberal arts.  Scare the little womprats into STEM.

Which won't be much help if we keep importing people who can be pressured to accept artificially low wages since their visa is tied to their employment (Which is BS, since it gives an employer INSANE extra leverage that they do not have over an american citizen).

Yeah.

Look, The H1-B guys don't make low enough salaries to the point where it affects your salary to the point where you can't afford rent.  [Insert usual "rent is stupid, taxes are stupid, rent pushes you into such high tax brackets where rent + taxes on income needed to pay rent is more than my parent's combined income" rant here].  You can't do a whole lot ELSE because the rent is too damn high, but the H1-B's are not the main problem anyways.  And besides, I'd much rather that Ragesh be sitting in Cupertino pulling in $60K than in Mumbai pulling in $20K.  Makes it way easier for me to ask for $100K plus signing bonus plus stock.

Despite being in Silicon Valley with the crazy H1-B guys, there's a non-zero chance that I'm a member of the 1% for the next 4 years.  In my early 20's.  (And the land of million-dollar townhouses.  Adjust actual things that you can buy with that money downwards by about 5).  Yeah, I'm not worried.

And the CEO of our company that put me into the 1% was one of those H1-B's.  Yes, bring them here.  Skim India and Brain Drain FTW.

/And since programmers make more than the median wage, H1-B's improve income equality.
//And of course, given that immigrants lower wages, why exactly is the Left so pro-poor/unskilled-people-immigration?

Any underemployed psych majors want to tackl ...


I was hoping to hear from a BA in feminist puppet theatre.
 
2014-04-16 06:38:04 PM

gerrymander: Meh. Just place big "Google Driverless Car Prototype" stickers on the homeless people's cars, and wait for the Occupy whackjobs to smash them and set them on fire.

Also, put up a webcam to catch and convict the Occupiers for criminal vandalism.


WTF are you on about?

Teamsters are against that, not Occupiers.
 
2014-04-16 06:41:17 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I don't see this as a 1% problem. Homeless people on the street just bother the us 95% ers that have to walk our kids to school because the pan handlers creep the kids out.


You know that the word "homeless" means "without a home", right? While most "creepy panhandlers" might be homeless, most homeless aren't creepy panhandlers. If you lost your home right now, I doubt you'd turn into an un-bathed, mentally ill "creepy panhandler". You'd probably look and act the same as you do now around other people.
 
2014-04-16 06:55:37 PM

lewismarktwo: Any underemployed psych majors want to tackle this screed?


Did I say Psych majors?

The implication of the H1-B thing is that hiring H1-B programmers and engineers drives down the wages of American programmers and engineers.

And I'm saying that:

a) It's not to a degree worth mentioning.  It's certainly not the direct cause of "Can't afford rent".  My super-below-market-straight-out-of-college-at-a-startup salary could pay rent.  And student loans.  And a car payment.  And beer vodka money.  Not taking the startup would've paid off all my student loans immediately.
b) I'd much rather compete with Ragesh making $50K in SF than making $20K in Mumbai.  And I actually know a couple of Ragesh's and they make about what I do.  That's not to say that there aren't flaws with H1-B (Among other things, the good Ragesh's are good, and I'd really like to be able to hire them away, which I can't), but yes, on balance, I like H1-B.
c) Ragesh from 15 years ago is my boss.  He came to America, got his PHD, worked at a big company for a few years, and then founded the company that made me my fortune.
d) Also, the more Ragesh's we have here, the more Ragesh's aren't in India trying to move Silicon Valley out of the USA.

So yeah, can I have some more please?
 
2014-04-16 07:08:05 PM
In San Antonio they just write them a ticket every time they catch them f*cking up, which they don't pay of course.  So eventually they get caught again, and the judge says:  "Well, you got 6 tickets here worth $1800, why not just leave town and we'll forget the whole thing, okay?

They bus them to Corpus Christi where the weather is nicer and the handouts are more generous.  Put together with all the wetbacks and rust belt refugees we already have, it makes it impossible for anyone to get a start in this community.
 
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