Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:55 pm

Here's my favorite example of the Gubment CREATING wealth: the US Post Office. Yes, my dear tail wagging dog whistle drooling friends, the USPO. Compare what the USPO does for 44 cents, the private market provides for $5,50 (whatever!). Keeping the users of the USPO much wealthier than those going with the private service.

BY DESIGN: the gubment could own almost all property and services in the USA.....but BY DESIGN....it gives it away......mostly as mandated by the skimming whores we call Capitalists. And what fortunes have not been started directly with gubment help?

The gubment doesn't create weatlh?????................pulease. Pass the economic expert a cookie.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:27 am

The government protects your private property - without it, you have ZERO wealth.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
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3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:00 am

ElectricMonk wrote:The government protects your private property - without it, you have ZERO wealth.


And as a thank you for all they do, we should give all our wealth to the government?
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:31 am

ElectricMonk wrote:The government protects your private property - without it, you have ZERO wealth.

Paul Anthony wrote: And as a thank you for all they do, we should give all our wealth to the government?


Not all our money.

I studied economics at university, specialising in taxation. ("Tax" means public sector economics). If you ignore all the political issues there is a economic basic equilibrium (hidden hand) between a monopoly (government) and demand (voters).

Although people get confused with Laffer curves ( reducing tax percentages to stimulate growth to allow increased collection of taxation as a whole) the overall economic equilibrium balancing point is much more general. Monopolies (government) are still forced by "the hidden hand" to reduce cost. The unusual element is that the demand curve people (voters) can change one monopoly for another (elections).

So in essence, although it is messy and not really fair, government does have a hidden hand forcing them to reduce cost for public necessities like the courts, military, and funds to remedy non-systematic market corrections.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:17 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
I studied economics at university, specialising in taxation. ("Tax" means public sector economics). If you ignore all the political issues there is a economic basic equilibrium (hidden hand) between a monopoly (government) and demand (voters).



That would be true if it were not for deficit spending. As long as the government can borrow, it can continue to spend more than it takes in through taxes. Unfortunately, the borrowed money is a "tax" on the future. Also, money borrowed for government spending means less money available for private enterprise. Also, servicing the debt reduces the funds available for government programs. Even though it is unlikely the government will ever pay its debts, it is still a drag on the economy.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:14 am

Paul Anthony wrote: That would be true if it were not for deficit spending. As long as the government can borrow, it can continue to spend more than it takes in through taxes. Unfortunately, the borrowed money is a "tax" on the future.


Did you borrow money to pay for your house or save up and pay for it? :D

I don't want to get into complex arguments but under opportunity cost mathematics, if borrowing to create assets creates a better end position, than saving for those assets, then that's the way to go. I'm not saying government economists get this right all the time, I'm just saying that that would be the rational decision in economics.

Paul Anthony wrote: Also, money borrowed for government spending means less money available for private enterprise.
What? That makes no sense. Please elaborate.

Paul Anthony wrote: Also, servicing the debt reduces the funds available for government programs.
What? If the capital benefit, reduces ongoing cost by 10% today, servicing a 5% bond is actually a saving. It's just mathematics.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:30 am

bobbo the PRAGMATIST says: most people who study anything or who study nothing except talking points (aka: curriculum) fail to develop any real OBSERVATIONAL skills. Just LOOK! Be an honest, unbiased, open observable of what is set out right in front of you.

Matt: this is a rare stumble for you. Laffer demand curves for gubment services? Silly.

PA: never answering a direct question and spouting a litany of BS bumper stickers? Worse than Silly. Matt has a college education and can read himself out of this hole, but PA has been feed an exclusive diet of Right Wing BS and thinks the bottom of the hole is.... up. Ha, ha.

Still waiting on ANY of the Five Questions put to PA to be addressed at all. .......... I sense I will continue to wait. Ha, ha. What was the last one?................................................................." in your view who did build and maintains the roads, rails and air service to all businesses?" Nothing but crickets. A bumper sticker mentality on full display.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:34 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:

I don't want to get into complex arguments but under opportunity cost mathematics, if borrowing to create assets creates a better end position, than saving for those assets, then that's the way to go. I'm not saying government economists get this right all the time, I'm just saying that that would be the rational decision in economics.



You're attempting to apply sound economic principles to explain unsound government policies. The government isn't borrowing to create assets. It is borrowing to fund welfare and warfare. Neither is an investment, and neither will provide a return on "investment". Using a mortgage to buy a house, on the other hand, provides instant benefits - as long as the mortgage payment is less than rent would be - plus a return on investment if real estate values rise, which they have done historically (with the exception of the bust that followed the false boom, created by bad economic policy on the part of the Fed).
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:42 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Still waiting on ANY of the Five Questions put to PA to be addressed at all. .......... I sense I will continue to wait. Ha, ha. What was the last one?................................................................." in your view who did build and maintains the roads, rails and air service to all businesses?" Nothing but crickets. A bumper sticker mentality on full display.


I've re-read this entire thread and still haven't found 5 questions...

As to the one mentioned above, I covered that when I said government builds infrastructure that aids private enterprises in their efforts to create wealth. Trains, buses and the post office LOSE MONEY, but they are useful to people who know how to NOT lose money. I can understand why you had to ask, though. You probably didn't know that roads and railways are "infrastructure".
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:05 am

Paul Anthony wrote:And as a thank you for all they do, we should give all our wealth to the government?

Well, top US tax rates used to be 90% and above with no negative impact on the economy. We don't have that anymore, so don't drop up feeble strawman.

Paul Anthony wrote:That would be true if it were not for deficit spending. As long as the government can borrow, it can continue to spend more than it takes in through taxes. Unfortunately, the borrowed money is a "tax" on the future. Also, money borrowed for government spending means less money available for private enterprise. Also, servicing the debt reduces the funds available for government programs. Even though it is unlikely the government will ever pay its debts, it is still a drag on the economy.



that depends entirely on what the money is spend on and who holds the debt. If it is used for future oriented means (education, infrastructure, research, preventive medicine) and held domestically, it can be the smartest investment for all concerned.
The state is much better at long-term and infrastructure investments than the private sector. The myths that private companies are always better than state-run has been debunked countless of times.

Your naive libertarian views simply do not hold up against real-life observations. You blame the system itself for the woes that are created by electing the wrong people and supporting their ideological goals. Free-market fanatics have sabotaged the system and use that to proof that the system doesn't work. We've had decades for state-sponsored supply-side economics with nothing to show for than a broken infrastructure and the highest number of billionaires.
It's time to get back on an even keel in terms of economic policy.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:11 am

Paul Anthony wrote:You're attempting to apply sound economic principles to explain unsound government policies.
Yes. I agree. I am talking theory, not reality.

Paul Anthony wrote:The government isn't borrowing to create assets. It is borrowing to fund welfare and warfare.
That's your government, not mine. Australia is still socialist and although the pension has been mostly replaced by forced superannuation on every worker, simply transferring the onus of payment to the individual, it's still a 10% tax on top of government taxes, but it works very well. (No GFC in Australia). The pension still remains for those without super.

Our government bonds go toward infrastructure like government owned highways and state rail, to save ongoing expense I'd hate to go back to 18th century English toll booths, like the USA.
:D

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:26 am

Paul Anthony wrote:The government isn't borrowing to create assets. It is borrowing to fund welfare and warfare. Neither is an investment, and neither will provide a return on "investment".

One of the greatest errors in thinking thru issues clearly is the SIN OF CONFLATION. Take a highly diverse set of facts and treat them as having only one variable/interpretation. OF COURSE the gubment borrows and taxes and fee charges for ALL ITS ACTIVITIES...not just welfare and warfare. Arguments/philosophies/bumper stickers based on CONFLATION are intellectual garbage.

Take out the trash....better yet....don't generate it in the first place.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:28 am

ElectricMonk wrote: Free-market fanatics have sabotaged the system and use that to proof that the system doesn't work.
I like that comment.

I try to not bog down on capitalistic vs socialist economic system debates. I think that economics is simply one element of a large range of social interactions and exchanges. I started off studying anthropology and somehow ended two decades later, also studying economics so I could better understand anthropology......if that makes any sense. :D

There is an economic theory called Coase Theory. It's pretty cute. It argues that regardless of what economic system you have, the humans will always bring it back to roughly the same exchange and interaction equilibriums. I think this theory is underrated.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:36 am

Paul Anthony wrote:I've re-read this entire thread and still haven't found 5 questions..
Not just this thread. All your other ones too. Its a "pattern" in your non-interactive bumper sticker discourse.
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Paul Anthony wrote:I've re-read this entire thread and still haven't found 5 questions...

As to the one mentioned above, I covered that when I said government builds infrastructure that aids private enterprises in their efforts to create wealth. Trains, buses and the post office LOSE MONEY,
As you will: BY DESIGN they lose money. Who gets that money? As you say: those who use such services. THAT is creating wealth......not in and for itself....but for the citizens the gubment serves. Thats why just about all gubment services are under attack by the Private Robber Barons===attacking the wealth generators of our society: the gubment.
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Paul Anthony wrote: You probably didn't know that roads and railways are "infrastructure".
Well....the implication is that YOU have failed to appreciate that the USPO is infrastructure too. Ha, ha. And like all the other infrastructures, it is being purposefully underfunded to the HARM of the general public so that the Already Too Rich can secure even further tax breaks.

Just look.
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Paul Anthony wrote:..... but they are useful to people who know how to NOT lose money. .
If we are on the same wave length here, we are thinking of the same group of people? You find them admirable, I find them to be the Already Too Rich, criminals, and Oh so jailable. I wonder what it is about the Already Too Rich that you admire so?
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:45 am

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:47 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:There is an economic theory called Coase Theory. It's pretty cute. It argues that regardless of what economic system you have, the humans will always bring it back to roughly the same exchange and interaction equilibriums. I think this theory is underrated. [/color]

I find this fascinating. I accept it is beyond the pale in this forum to wonder what Coase theory says about the "efficiency"/health/productivity/longevity of societies when ranked by their wealth concentrations/disparities? Fun to think about. Economics giving a certain needed vigor to sloopy/political/evangelical thinking. I really could spend my time wisely by reading every "freakonomics" article ever written?

Good stuff.

Ha, ha...............spell check suggests freakonomics be replaced by Reagonomics. Opposite meanings....but still funny.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby TJrandom » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:39 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
I studied economics at university, specialising in taxation. ("Tax" means public sector economics). If you ignore all the political issues there is a economic basic equilibrium (hidden hand) between a monopoly (government) and demand (voters).



That would be true if it were not for deficit spending. As long as the government can borrow, it can continue to spend more than it takes in through taxes. Unfortunately, the borrowed money is a "tax" on the future. Also, money borrowed for government spending means less money available for private enterprise. Also, servicing the debt reduces the funds available for government programs. Even though it is unlikely the government will ever pay its debts, it is still a drag on the economy.


There wouldn`t need to be a deficit or a national debt if taxes were raised enough to cover government expenditures and pay down the debt.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:38 am

Tj==yep.........in spades.

PA and I both claim to be fiscal conservatives. I'll guess and say PA describes himself that way thinking an FC views the smallest gubment as the best as the private sector is most competent to do all things. I view the same term as about the opposite: gubment should provide many more services than they do (think of Post Office banking and pay check lending for instance) BUT all such services should be PAID FOR. I think FC means a balanced budget with a full range of the social liberal services that I doubt PA has any clue about.

So, yeah....Republicans trying to "shrink the beast" or skim all profits into their own purse and they do this by gutting regulatory agencies so that they can cheat and defraud the public under the rubric of free market.

Republican philosophy, as much as it can be described: is in effect a criminal enterprise for the Already Too Rich. We need to put a stop to it...... and all other block head bumper sticker thinking.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:31 pm

TJrandom wrote:

There wouldn`t need to be a deficit or a national debt if taxes were raised enough to cover government expenditures and pay down the debt.


You are approaching this from a false assumption, that there is such a thing as "enough money" to satisfy all of government spending. Politicians have, for centuries, gotten elected by promising more stuff. It used to be "a chicken in every pot". Now it's more like "pot for every chicken", but the methodology is the same. Congressmen (and women) get reelected on the basis of how much federal funds they have procured for their state. If there were such a thing as enough money, we would never have to raise the debt ceiling.

But to really understand government spending (at all levels - federal, state, county, city, town) you must grasp the difference between government economics and private economics.

http://voltairepress.com/posts/category/economics/page/2/
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:45 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Paul Anthony wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
I studied economics at university, specialising in taxation. ("Tax" means public sector economics). If you ignore all the political issues there is a economic basic equilibrium (hidden hand) between a monopoly (government) and demand (voters).



That would be true if it were not for deficit spending. As long as the government can borrow, it can continue to spend more than it takes in through taxes. Unfortunately, the borrowed money is a "tax" on the future. Also, money borrowed for government spending means less money available for private enterprise. Also, servicing the debt reduces the funds available for government programs. Even though it is unlikely the government will ever pay its debts, it is still a drag on the economy.


There wouldn`t need to be a deficit or a national debt if taxes were raised enough to cover government expenditures and pay down the debt.

Governments which control their own currency (so, national governments but not state/provincial - nor countries like Greece and Spain which do not control their currency - the Euro) do not need to pay down their debt; they only need to make debt payments. As long as the deficit as a percentage is lower than the inflation rate, they are actually reducing their debt.

If the deficit is 2% and the inflation rate is 2.5%, the quantity of dollars/yen/rubles etc has gone up by 2%, but the value of the debt has gone down by the inflation rate of 2.5%.

The amount going to service debt is important only if it grows so large that it impacts the government's ability to provide essential services. Then it may be necessary to pay down some of the debt. The advantage of controlling the currency is that deflating the value of the debt by currency manipulation is also an option.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby TJrandom » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:54 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:
TJrandom wrote:

There wouldn`t need to be a deficit or a national debt if taxes were raised enough to cover government expenditures and pay down the debt.


You are approaching this from a false assumption, that there is such a thing as "enough money" to satisfy all of government spending. Politicians have, for centuries, gotten elected by promising more stuff. It used to be "a chicken in every pot". Now it's more like "pot for every chicken", but the methodology is the same. Congressmen (and women) get reelected on the basis of how much federal funds they have procured for their state. If there were such a thing as enough money, we would never have to raise the debt ceiling.

But to really understand government spending (at all levels - federal, state, county, city, town) you must grasp the difference between government economics and private economics.

http://voltairepress.com/posts/category/economics/page/2/


Not a false assumption at all. And indeed - there will be enough taxes collected to pay - the only question is, Who will pay? The super rich of today? The children of the poor?

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Flash » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:39 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
You are approaching this from a false assumption, that there is such a thing as "enough money" to satisfy all of government spending. Politicians have, for centuries, gotten elected by promising more stuff.

Yes, but the American politicians have been promising (and delivering) more stuff to the wrong people. More stuff, money to the already bloated armed forces, more stuff, tax cuts to the millionaires who actually don't need it, more stuff, pay no taxes and subsidies to the profitable corporations and much more stuff, money and more money to the banks.

If the American ruling cliques had any good sense they would be employing Americans building and rebuilding infrastructure like Eisenhower and Truman did and not setting up even more African, Asian military bases and giving free money and equipment to all kinds of servile dictators and raving murderous militias in the Middle East.

Your cliques have no money for the cities like Detroit, Lansing, New Orleans, no money for schools, fighting pollution and helping the poor and unemployed yet you you throw billions of dollars giving Poland and Romania free rocket systems, open new bases in the Baltics, on the losing war in Afghanistan and training and retraining and then training again Iraqis who promptly disappear but not before giving their American gifted weapons to ISIL or some other terror group.

Do you realize how much money the American government would have to spend at home if it wasn't for all those expensive blood soaked imperial machinations abroad?
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:46 am

TJrandom wrote:
Not a false assumption at all. And indeed - there will be enough taxes collected to pay - the only question is, Who will pay? The super rich of today? The children of the poor?


An answer without substance. If we taxed the "rich" at 100% it would not be sufficient to cover the deficit for one year (unless you define the "rich" as everyone who earns money). After taking 100% of their money the 1st year, what will there be left for you to take the 2nd year?

Many years ago, John D. Rockefeller was asked how he could justify his wealth when so many people were poor. He did some quick math - taking his entire net worth and dividing by the entire population of the US - and showed that redistributing his wealth equally would make everyone richer...by a nickel.

To answer your question: Yes. It would be necessary to tax the super rich of today AND the children of the poor.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:54 am

The fiscal conservatives don`t want an educated and readily employable population – since they can use the same from overseas and at the same time develop overseas markets. And the keep `em ignorant strategy has worked for recruitment of cannon fodder for their overseas military playtime. An interesting strategy for those living in a democracy.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:57 am

Flash wrote:Yes, but the American politicians have been promising (and delivering) more stuff to the wrong people. More stuff, money to the already bloated armed forces, more stuff, tax cuts to the millionaires who actually don't need it, more stuff, pay no taxes and subsidies to the profitable corporations and much more stuff, money and more money to the banks.

If the American ruling cliques had any good sense they would be employing Americans building and rebuilding infrastructure like Eisenhower and Truman did and not setting up even more African, Asian military bases and giving free money and equipment to all kinds of servile dictators and raving murderous militias in the Middle East.

Your cliques have no money for the cities like Detroit, Lansing, New Orleans, no money for schools, fighting pollution and helping the poor and unemployed yet you you throw billions of dollars giving Poland and Romania free rocket systems, open new bases in the Baltics, on the losing war in Afghanistan and training and retraining and then training again Iraqis who promptly disappear but not before giving their American gifted weapons to ISIL or some other terror group.

Do you realize how much money the American government would have to spend at home if it wasn't for all those expensive blood soaked imperial machinations abroad?


Would you be surprised to learn I agree with you? It's basically what Libertarians have been saying for eons. It is even similar to something Trump said, which had the establishment on both sides of the aisle very upset. If we elect Hillary, it will continue. If we elect Trump...who knows what will happen?
(Personally, I'm going to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian).

I agree with you, but with one caveat. Helping the poor is a noble goal if it is actually accomplished.But what we have done for the past 50+ years - ever since LBJ declared the War on Poverty - has been to fund programs year after year that haven't worked. There is a difference between investing in a good cause and just plain old wasting money.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:00 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
Not a false assumption at all. And indeed - there will be enough taxes collected to pay - the only question is, Who will pay? The super rich of today? The children of the poor?


An answer without substance. If we taxed the "rich" at 100% it would not be sufficient to cover the deficit for one year (unless you define the "rich" as everyone who earns money). After taking 100% of their money the 1st year, what will there be left for you to take the 2nd year?

Many years ago, John D. Rockefeller was asked how he could justify his wealth when so many people were poor. He did some quick math - taking his entire net worth and dividing by the entire population of the US - and showed that redistributing his wealth equally would make everyone richer...by a nickel.

To answer your question: Yes. It would be necessary to tax the super rich of today AND the children of the poor.


Agreed - the fiscal conservatives have dug a very deep hole that will take years to fix. Income alone will likely be insufficient - elimination of corporate welfare, predatory inheritance taxes, and a revived economy driven by investment in education, infrastructure, etc., will be needed too if it is going to be fixed quickly.

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Flash » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:33 am

Paul Anthony wrote:
If we taxed the "rich" at 100% it would not be sufficient to cover the deficit for one year (unless you define the "rich" as everyone who earns money). After taking 100% of their money the 1st year, what will there be left for you to take the 2nd year?


https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2013-01-02/1950s-tax-fantasy-is-a-republican-nightmare

In the 1950s, after all, tax rates were far higher than what the House and Senate have agreed on, a top rate in the high 30 percent range. Back then, they were even higher than what President Barack Obama might have proposed, if left to his own counsel. Republicans in that era went along with the idea that high rates took something away from the rich and thereby stabilized society.

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s idea of a significant marginal rate cut was to push the top rate down to 91 percent from 92 percent. Corporate taxes hit 50 percent. Jobs proliferated, wages rose, and the economy prospered.


With all those high taxes the government then built what still remains one of the true wonders of the world, the interstate highway system. Your trains were the best in the world and the national parks were a source of true pride. Could you build something like that today? I doubt it. You can't even build the new tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan, not to say anything about the high speed rail system that China, Japan and Europe has. You let the cities like Detroit, Lansing, New Orleans die and can't even provide clean drinking water to many others.

Yet, every electoral campaign sounds like a broken record; more money to the military, lower taxes on the rich, dispensing with the environmental regulations and even taking away that last line of help for your poor, the food stamps.

Is this really the most powerful and the riches country in the World?
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:55 am

I'm not sure if I like the expression "fiscal conservative". Any economic decision is based on the facts, through logic.

It's not as though there are different economic formulas, for conservatives and extroverts.
:D

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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:46 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:I'm not sure if I like the expression "fiscal conservative". Any economic decision is based on the facts, through logic.

It's not as though there are different economic formulas, for conservatives and extroverts.
:D


But there are different economic formulae for Keynesians and those of the Austrian School.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:56 am

Flash wrote:
With all those high taxes the government then built what still remains one of the true wonders of the world, the interstate highway system. Your trains were the best in the world and the national parks were a source of true pride. Could you build something like that today? I doubt it. You can't even build the new tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan, not to say anything about the high speed rail system that China, Japan and Europe has. You let the cities like Detroit, Lansing, New Orleans die and can't even provide clean drinking water to many others.



Interesting side note: The Interstate Hwy system was built with money from the defense budget. Its primary purpose was to move ICBM's from where they were built to the silos where they would be housed. The earlier US Hwy system was nothing more than designating local streets and roads with "US Hwy" numbers, and they meandered across the country passing through practically every small town and city along the way. They were not wide enough nor straight enough for the trucks needed to move missiles. Also, the government was concerned about civilians seeing the military traffic on Main Street.

Once missiles had been relocated, the highways were opened to civilian traffic with the very real stipulation that in time of war the highways would be restricted for military use as needed.

It wasn't built for the public. :(
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:54 am

The OP is: Tough times ahead........the Skimming Society. As the discussion demonstrates, we are going to have to break the mold in our traditions of thinking/politics/morality/social groupings for our society to work at all>>>>>>>>>GIVEN ROBOTS WILL DO 95% OF ALL WORK REQUIRED OF SOCIETY. What will be left for people to do?? Become..........."furniture?" (a ref to some lame Sci Fy story where hot looking actresses were sofas....if you get my meaning).

The Right Wing Nut lament of "Don't Tax the INSANELY RICH....because they deserve it/I want to be one/it won't make any difference" fails to recognize what a high if not 100% marginal tax rate at whatever level will also do: deincentivize the destructive concentration of wealth at the top. Reinvigorate the middle class. etc. Tax Policy: where taxation in its deeper appreciation has tax revenue directly as a secondary consideration. Number One Consideration: what does a tax provision/approach/scheme DO....for and against the health of the society as variously measured? Thereafter, tweak as indicated. No (bad) marriage to some purist ideology...that never work. Thats the problem with purity in the real world.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:31 am

We have different trends here that seem to go in opposite direction, but actually have little to do with each other:
on the one hand, wealth becomes more and more unevenly distributed.
But on the other, that matters less and less: for all intends and purposes, it makes no difference if you own $1 billion or $20 billion. And compared to the 0.01%, the 0.1% are poor suckers, not much better than the rest 99.89%.
For them, wealth matters less because we are getting closer to an abundance society: that does not mean that everyone will be rich, but it will mean that it will be less effort to assure a minimum standard of living for everyone than it would be to fight looting and rioting.

Concerning tax rates: the role of past tax rates of 90%+ was not to beggar the rich. It was to set a limit to what was 'decent' to earn. The top tax bracket was so high that basically no one had to pay top rates: companies would not give out so high salaries, and company owners would rather invest than pay themselves money that would be taxed away: high taxes lead to better investment.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:12 pm

EM==first paragraph...you overly concentrate on "stuff" as the measure of wealth and its distribution. I refer you to Roosevelts four freedoms.

Second paragraph>>right on. Well said.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Tom Palven » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:23 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:I'm not sure if I like the expression "fiscal conservative". Any economic decision is based on the facts, through logic.

It's not as though there are different economic formulas, for conservatives and extroverts.
:D


Another breakdown of politics and economics might be naturalists vs interventionists, naturalists believing that people will tend to work, create, save, and invest spontaneously; and interventionists who believe that people should be governed in Proudhon's sense of the word:

"To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so."
--Pierre Proudhon
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:43 pm

TP--the Proudhon model is not at work in Western societies. Rather pointless or misleading to try to interject it into this thread....if not any thread at all?
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Tom Palven » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:18 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:TP--the Proudhon model is not at work in Western societies. Rather pointless or misleading to try to interject it into this thread....if not any thread at all?


It's okay, bobbo, I was just trolling.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:06 pm

I admire a good troll. Thats why I commented. A good troll has a kernel of truth about it.....the bigger the kernel, the better the troll.

Keep at it.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:05 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote: Any economic decision is based on the facts, through logic.


Sorry I overlooked this comment. It is actually a very important observation. Or, it used to be before sound money was replaced by credit.

Back when US dollars were backed by gold and silver, the amount of money in circulation was limited. Banks could only lend money if others saved money. And people who saved money had to earn it first. Back then, all economic decisions were based on facts and logic. If the interest rate a bank would pay was sufficient, people saved. If banks had refused to pay any interest (as is the case today) people would hoard money in their mattresses and banks would be unable to make loans. Being logical capitalists, banks always paid interest on savings accounts.

Now, banks don't need savers. They don't need to pay a reasonable interest rate to attract savings because they can get all the money they need or want from the Fed for nearly free, Their decisions are still based on facts, but the facts have changed.

Corporations can borrow at such ridiculously low rates that they borrow to buy back their own stock at inflated prices. Doing so makes the price of the stock go up even more. Everyone knows logic dictates buying low and selling high, but the new facts make buying high seem logical.

Corporate stocks are priced higher than the value of the company's holdings + reasonable estimates of its future earnings. In other words, stocks are overpriced. But as long as banks don't pay interest, people who would have been savers are buyers of overpriced stocks because its the only place they can earn anything. But what are they earning? And at what risk? The amount of interest should be based on the amount of risk. Banks charge higher interest rates for borrowers with poor credit histories. That's logical. Buying overpriced companies is risky, but the gains don't justify the risks. The facts have changed, and logic doesn't apply.

Central banks think if interest rates are kept low (or negative, as is the case in some countries) people will spend money rather than save it. That is not logical. If someone is saving for a particular purpose - retirement or college tuition - they aren't going to spend the money. They are going to save even more because they're not earning anything to help them reach their goal. The rules have been changed by central planners and logic has gone out the window.

If the stock market crashes (as it is prone to do from time to time) trillions of $$ of wealth vanishes as if it never existed. Because it never existed. Money has been replaced by credit. It is not backed by anything real, just as stocks are not backed by genuine fundamentals. Money is created out of thin air by central banks. Wealth is an illusion.
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:08 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:Back then, all economic decisions were based on facts and logic.

You never proof read....do you!
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Re: Tough times ahead,........"The Skimming Society"

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:18 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Paul Anthony wrote:Back then, all economic decisions were based on facts and logic.

You never proof read....do you!


If you don't have anything intelligent to say, go find something else to occupy your feeble mind.
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