# Trickle Down Economics is Misunderstood and Straw-Manned

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
You get to vote on one of them and not the other,
We get to vote on the politicians supported by the rich. But only them.
Tom
That, too. In fact, if you spend a while listening to Corey Doctorow, you will start having an idea of exactly how much power they have, at this point.

It's not all that much worse than the legitimate government for being invasive, but it still amounts to being ruled by an aristocratic ruling class. I am not impressed with it. We have done this at other times in history, and it always ends in long-overdue reforms or revolutions.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
You get to vote on one of them and not the other,
We get to vote on the politicians supported by the rich. But only them.
Tom
That, too. In fact, if you spend a while listening to Corey Doctorow, you will start having an idea of exactly how much power they have, at this point.

It's not all that much worse than the legitimate government for being invasive, but it still amounts to being ruled by an aristocratic ruling class. I am not impressed with it. We have done this at other times in history, and it always ends in long-overdue reforms or revolutions.
My biggest problem is that the world cannot survive the kinds of wars that will be waged in such revolutions. We became too large, have to much power to, to seek power over.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
You get to vote on one of them and not the other,
We get to vote on the politicians supported by the rich. But only them.
Tom
That, too. In fact, if you spend a while listening to Corey Doctorow, you will start having an idea of exactly how much power they have, at this point.

It's not all that much worse than the legitimate government for being invasive, but it still amounts to being ruled by an aristocratic ruling class. I am not impressed with it. We have done this at other times in history, and it always ends in long-overdue reforms or revolutions.
My biggest problem is that the world cannot survive the kinds of wars that will be waged in such revolutions. We became too large, have to much power to, to seek power over.
*wing-shrugs* It never could. Those wars have always caused us ruin and grief. They usually lead to replacing one dictator with another.

The Scandinavians did this cool idea of just reforming their governments so that nobody had to die in a revolution or something similarly atrocious, and most of them seem to be happy with the idea.

#### TomC

##### Celestial Highness
Staff member
You get to vote on one of them and not the other,
We get to vote on the politicians supported by the rich. But only them.
Tom
That, too. In fact, if you spend a while listening to Corey Doctorow, you will start having an idea of exactly how much power they have, at this point.

It's not all that much worse than the legitimate government for being invasive, but it still amounts to being ruled by an aristocratic ruling class. I am not impressed with it. We have done this at other times in history, and it always ends in long-overdue reforms or revolutions.
My biggest problem is that the world cannot survive the kinds of wars that will be waged in such revolutions. We became too large, have to much power to, to seek power over.
Pretty much this.
I fully expect WWIII during this century. I used to think that the flash point would be Israel. Now I think the USA more likely.

The Family of Humanity doesn't have the margins for survival that we had as recently as WWII. From the economy to the biosphere, we're already teetering on the brink of disaster.

Tom

#### Lumpenproletariat

##### Veteran Member
Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers.

The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget.

The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers.

The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget.

The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs.
We have to pay for all this stuff, eventually. The conservatives are hopeful that they will able to get away with declaring "financial emergency" and stripping out the government, but that's exactly what they did during the "Sequester Fester" during the early 2010's. Within a year, we had street protests starting. First, the Occupy people, then Black Lives Matter.

A revolution is not going to happen in this country until the people have actually felt pain, but when they do, I am going to say "I told you so" because I told you so.

I am not going to be doing the revolution, though. I am contented, and my mortgage is paid.

I only went to the Black Lives Matter protest because fucking with the police for a day was incredibly entertaining.

#### TomC

##### Celestial Highness
Staff member
I only went to the Black Lives Matter protest because fucking with the police for a day was incredibly entertaining.
That's so you.
Tom

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
I only went to the Black Lives Matter protest because fucking with the police for a day was incredibly entertaining.
That's so you.
Tom
Thank you!

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
You get to vote on one of them and not the other,
We get to vote on the politicians supported by the rich. But only them.
Tom
That, too. In fact, if you spend a while listening to Corey Doctorow, you will start having an idea of exactly how much power they have, at this point.

It's not all that much worse than the legitimate government for being invasive, but it still amounts to being ruled by an aristocratic ruling class. I am not impressed with it. We have done this at other times in history, and it always ends in long-overdue reforms or revolutions.
My biggest problem is that the world cannot survive the kinds of wars that will be waged in such revolutions. We became too large, have to much power to, to seek power over.
*wing-shrugs* It never could. Those wars have always caused us ruin and grief. They usually lead to replacing one dictator with another.

The Scandinavians did this cool idea of just reforming their governments so that nobody had to die in a revolution or something similarly atrocious, and most of them seem to be happy with the idea.
The problem is that the next war will be fought, waged, and started in an age of High Magic, and the only possible outcome for any party as recognized by all will be "who is 'king' of the crater".

And in America, it will have to be a war. We gave Bad Faith too much leash.

#### Canard DuJour

##### Veteran Member
Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged.
Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution.

Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged.
Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution.

Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them.
I simply do not adhere to that belief. If I were wasting my time at minimum wage jobs, rather than using my ability to make a stronger contribution to industry, then even the wealthiest Americans ought to be concerned about that.

There is evidence, at this point, that excessive intragenerational inequality really damages overall economic growth.

This paper develops a model of intergenerational mobility and intragenerational
inequality that allows us to explore the relationship between economic growth
and social mobility. The model is used to analyse the neo-liberal theory of stratifi-
cation and to assess the consequences of some of the criticisms that have been
made of it. In particular, the intergenerational transmission of wealth and privi-
lege, and the existence of ethnic, gender and other forms of ascriptive disadvan-
tage, reduce economic efficiency, although they do not always diminish the extent
of social mobility. Furthermore, excessive intragenerational inequality may
inhibit, rather than encourage, economic growth.
We show that there is no neces-
sary link between rates of social mobility and levels of economic growth. This, we
suggest, provides an explanation of why rates of social mobility show very little
cross-national variation and display no very evident trend over time towards
greater societal openness.

The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 429-449

That is ultimately costly to everybody. Jeff Bezos actually should be concerned if the poorest Americans are just not keeping up. He actually should be concerned about that untapped potential. It is not zero sum.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member

(1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate."

(2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer.

(3) Corporate taxes should be increased. The recent international agreement on corporate income taxes was a good step in the right direction. (Are small businesses exempt from those mandatory taxes?)

But it's hard to discuss nuanced questions when the thread is filled with nonsense. Partly because I'm by nature a nitpicker, and partly because I don't have good answers for the real questions with their difficult nuances, I will just try to clear up some of the worst confusions.

Nobody would invent anything if there was no profit motive.
Profit motives are Good. But absolute generalizations which are FALSE are annoying.
Tim Berners-Lee invented the "World Wide Web" and deliberately forwent any patent rights. Jonas Salk did the same thing with his vaccine for polio. How many examples do I need?

"Some inventors would not invent if there were no profit motive." Sure; I'll vote for that. "Nobody would invent"? This sort of over-generalization is an obstacle to intelligent debate.

Mr. Generation overlooked that there are taxes other than personal income taxes, but funinspace dealt with that. Another error by Mr. Generation is more interesting, where he asserts something about Musk's $250,000,000,000.00 wealth not being "real." I'd like to ask him — just for starters so we can get a good handle on his confusion — whether Musk's wealth would be "real" if it were all in the form of$100 banknotes or gold bullion. Just as shares of TESLA do not equal a super-yacht — you'd first call up broker and say "Sell" — so the banknotes or gold wouldn't provide a super-yacht directly either: The banknotes would got soggy, and a boat built from gold would sink. In what sense is one form of wealth "real" and another form not?

It's possible Mr. Generation referred to the fact that suddenly liquidating a large portion of TESLA stock would cause that bubble to burst. Sure. And for that reason Mr. Musk may only be able to afford a dozen new palaces or super-yachts per month. Poor Elon?

Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers.

The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget.

The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs.
You've made this argument before, but repetition doesn't make an incorrect opinion correct. Bump one of the older threads if you need help understanding the fallacies.

[off-topic]
I just read that Elon Musk is worth 250 Big Ones. That's a Quarter-Trillion Dollars. With a T. Wasn't it just 2 or 3 years ago that the first individual joined the $100+ Billion club? But only on the short scale. He is not worth anything close to a real quarter-trillion dollars (that would be a 250,000 of the short trillions). ... But by the way, does anybody still use "long" billions and trillions? (Merriam-Webster shows the long billion as "British"; Cambridge dictionary shows it as "UK Old-fashioned." But Larousse.fr shows ONLY the long billion!) #### Canard DuJour ##### Veteran Member Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged. Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution. Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them. I simply do not adhere to that belief. If I were wasting my time at minimum wage jobs, rather than using my ability to make a stronger contribution to industry, then even the wealthiest Americans ought to be concerned about that. There is evidence, at this point, that excessive intragenerational inequality really damages overall economic growth. Certainly - as I've already said. This paper develops a model of intergenerational mobility and intragenerational inequality that allows us to explore the relationship between economic growth and social mobility. The model is used to analyse the neo-liberal theory of stratifi- cation and to assess the consequences of some of the criticisms that have been made of it. In particular, the intergenerational transmission of wealth and privi- lege, and the existence of ethnic, gender and other forms of ascriptive disadvan- tage, reduce economic efficiency, although they do not always diminish the extent of social mobility. Furthermore, excessive intragenerational inequality may inhibit, rather than encourage, economic growth. We show that there is no neces- sary link between rates of social mobility and levels of economic growth. This, we suggest, provides an explanation of why rates of social mobility show very little cross-national variation and display no very evident trend over time towards greater societal openness. The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 429-449 That is ultimately costly to everybody. Not to people who're already consuming about as much as they can. Jeff Bezos actually should be concerned if the poorest Americans are just not keeping up. He actually should be concerned about that untapped potential. It is not zero sum. I didn't say economic growth is zero-sum; I said social status. We can all be better off but we can't all be better off than each other. #### SigmatheZeta ##### Senior Member I also believe that attacking inequality ought to be regionally targeted. First, you need to be introduced to my unusual way of thinking: instead of imagining that people living in economically desolate parts of the United States as part of your own country, imagine instead that they are like a foreign country. Low and middle income countries really benefit the most from redistribution of income because, for the most part, their economies suffer due to low access to education and barriers to advancement, which makes those economies less efficient. Evidence from a current panel of harmonized worldwide data highlights a robust negative effect of income inequality on economic growth that we trace back to its transmission channels. Less equal societies tend to have less educated populations and higher fertility rates, but not necessarily lower investment shares. The first two effects are harmful for growth and reinforced by limited credit availability. Higher public spending on education attenuates the negative effects of inequality. In addi- tion to the inequality-growth relationship, we examine the direct influence of effective redistribution. When net inequality is held constant, public redistribution negatively affects economic growth. Redistribution hampers investment and raises fertility rates. Combining the negative direct growth effect and the indirect positive effect operat- ing through lower net inequality, the overall impact of redistribution is insignificant. Whereas this result stems mainly from advanced economies, redistribution is beneficial for growth in low and middle-income countries. Klaus; Scheuermeyer, Philipp (2015) : Income inequality, economic growth, and the effect of redistribution, W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers, No. 95, University of Würzburg, Department of Economics, Würzburg ^https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/114736/1/833477102.pdf This is a very good article, and everybody should read it. Unlike most people that trade rhetoric on debate forums, I am actually going to prove my views with strong, reasonably within-my-lifetime research because FYIAD. I suggest actually reading these things I post here because my opinions are really very heavily researched, and I have very good reasons for how I think. *snaps her tail aggressively* Therefore, if someone does not give me the impression that they have at least read and understood the abstract that I posted there, then do not be surprised if I give them the cold shoulder. I consider myself to be profoundly justified in treating somebody in the same way that I would treat any other mentally handicapped troll if they respond without even reading the abstracts of these research papers that I am posting. Whether others believe it or not, there is a rime and a reason to why I am posting these, and it behooves someone that is serious about becoming better informed to actually understand this information. Let's rip out the entrails of the idea of national borders. They do not exist anymore because Sigma waved her wing and made it so. They are a political fiction that ultimately is not as meaningful as we pretend it is. Borders are really porous, and bilingualism frequently occurs near them. It is simply a fallacy to assume that humans obediently stay within the boxes we attempt to stuff them into. While strong border control policies can theoretically quell movement across borders, there is an upper bound of economic efficiency in doing so. As a consequence, it is also reasonable, to a certain extent, to treat impoverished regions of the United States in the same way that we would treat a foreign country. Now, if you have read the abstract, you would notice that redistribution of wealth is not really helpful in countries that have advanced, educated economies. Therefore, let's take New York City: New York City has tremendous wealth inequality, but they are also an economic power house. The reason why is that the inequality in New York City is due to there being greater opportunity there, and when you see opportunity, then I suggest strongly that you be there the "firstest with the mostest." If you are slow to capitalize on existing opportunities, then sucks for you. Get faster. Develop greater agility. I am sorry, but when you see opportunity, then you should move fast to seize it, and do not waste time. Therefore, New York City follows the trend that we see in advanced economies. Trying to focus on the redistribution of wealth is really not the best route for making New York City grow. They have a mixture of growth and inequality precisely because there really was genuinely a great big pie, there, and some people got there faster than others. As Sun Tzu said, "On contentious ground, I would hurry up my rear." However, the entire nation is not one big New York City. As a matter of fact, there are actually less developed regions, in the United States, that have seen relatively poor progress for centuries, and the inequality in those regions of the United States can be largely attributed to a lack of adequate opportunities and insurmountable social and political barriers to advancement. According to that paper of which you should at least read the abstract, please, it actually might be valuable to address inequality directly in parts of the country that have similar attributes to "low and middle-income countries." Regionally targeted redistribution policy, especially a policy that is focused on education, is, in my highly informed and eloquently expressed opinion, most likely the right answer to overcoming the problems that tend to be associated with income inequality. I earnestly suspect that it would ultimately benefit the entire nation to help those regions to become engines of productivity. Whether or not it helps economic growth to focus on redistribution is highly variable according to circumstances, but it is also highly evident that there actually are situations where that inequality is based on entrenched economic inefficiency that ought to be remedied. Last edited: #### TV and credit cards ##### Veteran Member I find interesting the comments that assume we are all motivated by money. That Elon Musk would not do what he does for a fraction of what he earns. That nonagenarian Warren Buffett would not do what he does and is still motivated by money. That we would what? All commit ourselves to sloth without financial incentive because that is our natural inclination? I think not. I think this is a false assumption some use to press their argument. Similarly, I think the assumption the wealthy are all evil moneygrubbers who want to use less advantaged people to their own ends is also a false assumption. While I believe this may be true of some, I believe most do so out of a sense of commitment to their current employees and investors to look at their return on investment. And for this reason, Amazon is not going to concern themselves with the untapped potential of the poor but the untapped labor they need to continue their business. This is why Amazon has Camperforce. #### SigmatheZeta ##### Senior Member Furthermore, it is a good personal policy to NOT try to make it in a jungle like New York City unless you already have extensive resources and agility. Without existing power, you are more likely to be somebody's sucker than get ahead. Move to small but fast growing cities that have figured out the meritoriousness of tackling economic inequality under their particular conditions. They will grow extremely fast for a while, and if you move fast, you might actually be able to rise to the top before it becomes more of an urban jungle. Always be prepared to move fast. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged. Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution. Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them. As a reminder, a 1%'er makes on average,$1.6 million. The poor among 1% earners is $545,000 a year. #### TomC ##### Celestial Highness Staff member The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget. This is one of the big reasons I stopped supporting the Republican Party. They became the Party of fiscal insanity. The Democrats are still largely about "Tax and Spend". But the Republicans have become about "Borrow and Spend". The only time the Republicans care about deficits is when the government is doing stuff for the American people as a whole. When they're supporting corporate welfare or buying votes they're happy to let the grandkids pay it off. Tom #### laughing dog ##### Contributor Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers. The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget. The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs. Federal deficits can be reduced by making sure that the rate of increase in spending is slower than the rate of growth in tax revenue. That does not require an increase in tax rates. #### bilby ##### Fair dinkum thinkum Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers. The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget. The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs. Federal deficits can be reduced by making sure that the rate of increase in spending is slower than the rate of growth in tax revenue. That does not require an increase in tax rates. But first someone would need to establish that reducing federal deficits is a worthwhile thing to want to do. What, exactly, is the reason why these deficits need to be reduced? What is the benefit of doing so? What harm is the deficit doing to anyone? None of the things that make a personal or household debt undesirable applies to the federal deficit. It's essentially just an accountancy term of art to describe it as a debt at all - it meets their definition of a debt, but for those of us who don't fetishise double-entry bookkeeping, it's really not similar to the other debts with which we may be familiar in any important way. #### Jarhyn ##### Wizard Whenever the "jobs! jobs! jobs!" babble is spewed out, by Blues or Reds, it's wrong -- whether it's from the "trickle-down" dogmatists, or from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump China-bashers. The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget. The only legitimate reason to reduce taxes is that we don't need so much revenue to pay for the programs. Federal deficits can be reduced by making sure that the rate of increase in spending is slower than the rate of growth in tax revenue. That does not require an increase in tax rates. But first someone would need to establish that reducing federal deficits is a worthwhile thing to want to do. What, exactly, is the reason why these deficits need to be reduced? What is the benefit of doing so? What harm is the deficit doing to anyone? None of the things that make a personal or household debt undesirable applies to the federal deficit. It's essentially just an accountancy term of art to describe it as a debt at all - it meets their definition of a debt, but for those of us who don't fetishise double-entry bookkeeping, it's really not similar to the other debts with which we may be familiar in any important way. As said before and said again, it is a debt to the void which money itself came from. We owe it back no more than we owe the big bang our entropy back. That's just silly. It will get paid when we stop needing to play with our Monopoly money to figure out merit. #### Generation55 ##### Banned Banned This thread leads to many important but difficult questions. For examples: (1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate." (2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer. Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? This isn't good. Do you realize taxes on estates are paid multiple times throughout a person's life? If a person has a house and has been taxed on it all their life and wants to give it to their kids, why should the government tax it again? This is way too authoritarian. I feel like both parties are bad, but I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. The Democrats keep taxing, which makes the middle class and poor suffer. Look at how the Democrats policies led to inflation and the average middle class family is spending$175 more a month compared to when trump was in office. Gas has also risen over $1 a gallon since Trump. Do the rich care about gas price increases? No, but the middle class and poor people care about it, and that's who it affects the most. Do Democrats care? Not much. Jen Psaki was laughing at a reporter who asked her what the administration plans to do about inflation crushing the middle class and poor. Who gets hurt the most when prices go up by a few dollars? Not the rich, that's for sure. Republicans want to tax less so people keep more of their money. Do you realize we have spent 22 trillion dollars (almost the price of our national debt) just to combat poverty since the 1960's? It's not working. People are still stealing from stores all over, despite the fact that we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. There's people who have$2,000 balance on their food stamp cards and people are still saying that we can't feed the poor? Ridiculous. If we brought any poor person here from another third world country, they would be in shock and awe and say that the poor live like kings in this country. We need to get everyone back to reality. Taxing the people and putting the incompetent government in charge of the money has done absolutely nothing to help the poor and middle class. The only time they get relief is when a Republican is in office. Why do you think so many Biden voters disapprove of him now and he's at an all-time low? Republicans warned of massive inflation if Biden got in office. Democrats laughed. Now, here we are. Do you think this inflatiion would've happened under Trump? All those ships stuck in ports, he wol've been on TV every day screaming at them to unload and lighting a fire under them to mvoe quickly. What does Biden do? Nothing. Tells us to, "wait it out." Say what you want about Trump, but he held people accountable. If you weren't doing your job, he fired you. That's it. Done.

I need to be convinced that the very authoritarian government rule via crushing taxation does anything to help the people. If you look up corporate donations, Democrats take more dark money than Republicans do by a long shot. Democrats are the party of big government and they also have corporate America in their pockets. Corporate America hates Republicans.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged.
Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution.

Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them.
I simply do not adhere to that belief. If I were wasting my time at minimum wage jobs, rather than using my ability to make a stronger contribution to industry, then even the wealthiest Americans ought to be concerned about that.

There is evidence, at this point, that excessive intragenerational inequality really damages overall economic growth.
Certainly - as I've already said.

This paper develops a model of intergenerational mobility and intragenerational
inequality that allows us to explore the relationship between economic growth
and social mobility. The model is used to analyse the neo-liberal theory of stratifi-
cation and to assess the consequences of some of the criticisms that have been
made of it. In particular, the intergenerational transmission of wealth and privi-
lege, and the existence of ethnic, gender and other forms of ascriptive disadvan-
tage, reduce economic efficiency, although they do not always diminish the extent
of social mobility. Furthermore, excessive intragenerational inequality may
inhibit, rather than encourage, economic growth. We show that there is no neces-
sary link between rates of social mobility and levels of economic growth. This, we
suggest, provides an explanation of why rates of social mobility show very little
cross-national variation and display no very evident trend over time towards
greater societal openness.

The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 429-449

That is ultimately costly to everybody.
Not to people who're already consuming about as much as they can.

Jeff Bezos actually should be concerned if the poorest Americans are just not keeping up. He actually should be concerned about that untapped potential. It is not zero sum.
I didn't say economic growth is zero-sum; I said social status. We can all be better off but we can't all be better off than each other.
I only really see that attitude among members of the lower middle class that think they are 1% because they have some retirement savings. I think that emotional dependence upon schadenfreude is less of a problem among the seriously wealthy. I will not deny that it does not occur, but I doubt that it's a primary governing motive.

#### Metaphor

##### Sjajna Zvijezda
it's really not similar to the other debts with which we may be familiar in any important way.
So, if a government defaulted on its debt, it would have no consequences to that government or that country?

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member

(1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate."

(2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer.

Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion?
If the government is spending money, then I certainly hope that they are raising taxes in order to pay for it.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget.
This is one of the big reasons I stopped supporting the Republican Party. They became the Party of fiscal insanity.

The Democrats are still largely about "Tax and Spend". But the Republicans have become about "Borrow and Spend". The only time the Republicans care about deficits is when the government is doing stuff for the American people as a whole. When they're supporting corporate welfare or buying votes they're happy to let the grandkids pay it off.
Tom
That is the tragedy of our current system, unfortunately. Whether or not you agree with big spending is a different story.

There are certain programs that I really do want the government to spend money on. I love scientific research. That is my pet thing. I care about that substantially more than I care about the welfare state. Nevertheless, I know that other people also have their pet things, and we have to share space with each other in the budget.

However, whether you agree or disagree with certain spending is a legitimate topic. It is something tangible that we can talk about.

When politicos promise tax cuts, I ask them, "How do you intend to pay for it?" When a politician does not want to tell you the price of something, then you should be wary of their motives. When a politician promises a tax-cut but does not talk about what is being cut from the budget in order to pay for that tax-cut, then I bristle.

A politician might as well go up behind a podium and say, "a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage." That was what Herbert Hoover said in 1928, the year before the economy tanked. Those infamous words of Herbert Hoover ought to come to mind whenever you hear politicians promising tax-cuts without discussing how they really intend to pay for those tax-cuts.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum

(1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate."

(2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer.

Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? This isn't good. Do you realize taxes on estates are paid multiple times throughout a person's life? If a person has a house and has been taxed on it all their life and wants to give it to their kids, why should the government tax it again? This is way too authoritarian.

I feel like both parties are bad, but I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. The Democrats keep taxing, which makes the middle class and poor suffer. Look at how the Democrats policies led to inflation and the average middle class family is spending $175 more a month compared to when trump was in office. Gas has also risen over$1 a gallon since Trump. Do the rich care about gas price increases? No, but the middle class and poor people care about it, and that's who it affects the most. Do Democrats care? Not much. Jen Psaki was laughing at a reporter who asked her what the administration plans to do about inflation crushing the middle class and poor. Who gets hurt the most when prices go up by a few dollars? Not the rich, that's for sure.

Republicans want to tax less so people keep more of their money. Do you realize we have spent 22 trillion dollars (almost the price of our national debt) just to combat poverty since the 1960's? It's not working. People are still stealing from stores all over, despite the fact that we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. There's people who have $2,000 balance on their food stamp cards and people are still saying that we can't feed the poor? Ridiculous. If we brought any poor person here from another third world country, they would be in shock and awe and say that the poor live like kings in this country. We need to get everyone back to reality. Taxing the people and putting the incompetent government in charge of the money has done absolutely nothing to help the poor and middle class. The only time they get relief is when a Republican is in office. Why do you think so many Biden voters disapprove of him now and he's at an all-time low? Republicans warned of massive inflation if Biden got in office. Democrats laughed. Now, here we are. Do you think this inflatiion would've happened under Trump? All those ships stuck in ports, he wol've been on TV every day screaming at them to unload and lighting a fire under them to mvoe quickly. What does Biden do? Nothing. Tells us to, "wait it out." Say what you want about Trump, but he held people accountable. If you weren't doing your job, he fired you. That's it. Done. I need to be convinced that the very authoritarian government rule via crushing taxation does anything to help the people. If you look up corporate donations, Democrats take more dark money than Republicans do by a long shot. Democrats are the party of big government and they also have corporate America in their pockets. Corporate America hates Republicans. Taxes are a mechanism to prevent spending from causing high inflation. To argue simultaneously for lower taxes and lower inflation, without a mechanism to avoid the inflation inherent in lower taxes, is to demonstrate conclusively that you are incompetent to have an opinion on the matter. Taxes are a response to spending. They destroy some of the money created by spending, and thereby prevent an oversupply of money, which would be inflationary. Spending doesn't require taxation, but ceteris paribus, spending without taxation leads to higher prices. Well targeted spending can cause an economic stimulus that reduces the need for taxation by soaking up the excess money in productive effort, so it's not necessary to tax as much as was spent. That's the reason for the existence of the deficit in the first place. #### Generation55 ##### Banned Banned The taxes have to be increased in order to reduce the federal deficits, which are too high. If we must do the spending, then the taxes have to be increased in order to pay for it. Regardless whether it means fewer jobs. There is no reason to "create jobs" artificially by reducing the tax revenue needed to pay for the budget. This is one of the big reasons I stopped supporting the Republican Party. They became the Party of fiscal insanity. The Democrats are still largely about "Tax and Spend". But the Republicans have become about "Borrow and Spend". The only time the Republicans care about deficits is when the government is doing stuff for the American people as a whole. When they're supporting corporate welfare or buying votes they're happy to let the grandkids pay it off. Tom That is the tragedy of our current system, unfortunately. Whether or not you agree with big spending is a different story. There are certain programs that I really do want the government to spend money on. I love scientific research. That is my pet thing. I care about that substantially more than I care about the welfare state. Nevertheless, I know that other people also have their pet things, and we have to share space with each other in the budget. However, whether you agree or disagree with certain spending is a legitimate topic. It is something tangible that we can talk about. When politicos promise tax cuts, I ask them, "How do you intend to pay for it?" When a politician does not want to tell you the price of something, then you should be wary of their motives. When a politician promises a tax-cut but does not talk about what is being cut from the budget in order to pay for that tax-cut, then I bristle. A politician might as well go up behind a podium and say, "a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage." That was what Herbert Hoover said in 1928, the year before the economy tanked. Those infamous words of Herbert Hoover ought to come to mind whenever you hear politicians promising tax-cuts without discussing how they really intend to pay for those tax-cuts. usually conservatives say they will cut welfare. Trump cut food stamps and this resulted in the lowest unemployment rate for black people in history. Why? Turns out paying people to stay home and not work leads to fewer people going out and looking for jobs. Take away some benefits and it lights a fire under them to get out there and work for their fellow man, just like everyone else in the world. Seems like common sense. You cut a majority of welfare (not saying all of it) and the economy will boom like never before. #### SigmatheZeta ##### Senior Member This thread leads to many important but difficult questions. For examples: (1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate." (2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer. Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? This isn't good. Do you realize taxes on estates are paid multiple times throughout a person's life? If a person has a house and has been taxed on it all their life and wants to give it to their kids, why should the government tax it again? This is way too authoritarian. I feel like both parties are bad, but I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. The Democrats keep taxing, which makes the middle class and poor suffer. Look at how the Democrats policies led to inflation and the average middle class family is spending$175 more a month compared to when trump was in office. Gas has also risen over $1 a gallon since Trump. Do the rich care about gas price increases? No, but the middle class and poor people care about it, and that's who it affects the most. Do Democrats care? Not much. Jen Psaki was laughing at a reporter who asked her what the administration plans to do about inflation crushing the middle class and poor. Who gets hurt the most when prices go up by a few dollars? Not the rich, that's for sure. Republicans want to tax less so people keep more of their money. Do you realize we have spent 22 trillion dollars (almost the price of our national debt) just to combat poverty since the 1960's? It's not working. People are still stealing from stores all over, despite the fact that we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. There's people who have$2,000 balance on their food stamp cards and people are still saying that we can't feed the poor? Ridiculous. If we brought any poor person here from another third world country, they would be in shock and awe and say that the poor live like kings in this country. We need to get everyone back to reality. Taxing the people and putting the incompetent government in charge of the money has done absolutely nothing to help the poor and middle class. The only time they get relief is when a Republican is in office. Why do you think so many Biden voters disapprove of him now and he's at an all-time low? Republicans warned of massive inflation if Biden got in office. Democrats laughed. Now, here we are. Do you think this inflatiion would've happened under Trump? All those ships stuck in ports, he wol've been on TV every day screaming at them to unload and lighting a fire under them to mvoe quickly. What does Biden do? Nothing. Tells us to, "wait it out." Say what you want about Trump, but he held people accountable. If you weren't doing your job, he fired you. That's it. Done.

I need to be convinced that the very authoritarian government rule via crushing taxation does anything to help the people. If you look up corporate donations, Democrats take more dark money than Republicans do by a long shot. Democrats are the party of big government and they also have corporate America in their pockets. Corporate America hates Republicans.
Taxes are a mechanism to prevent spending from causing high inflation.

To argue simultaneously for lower taxes and lower inflation, without a mechanism to avoid the inflation inherent in lower taxes, is to demonstrate conclusively that you are incompetent to have an opinion on the matter.

Taxes are a response to spending. They destroy some of the money created by spending, and thereby prevent an oversupply of money, which would be inflationary.

Spending doesn't require taxation, but ceteris paribus, spending without taxation leads to higher prices.

Well targeted spending can cause an economic stimulus that reduces the need for taxation by soaking up the excess money in productive effort, so it's not necessary to tax as much as was spent. That's the reason for the existence of the deficit in the first place.
Would you care to provide a source for the relationship you say there is between inflation and taxation? I would like to read more about this.

#### Canard DuJour

##### Veteran Member
Billionaires do not really benefit from the most disadvantages Americans continuously failing to fully get their shit together. It is not a win/lose scenario to fight back against inequality. If a large percent of people are living on meager wages, it is probable that they are not really making the most efficient use of either their time or their energy or their talents. Even the wealthiest Americans do not gain by such waste. The question is only a matter of what investments could most efficiently stimulate growth among those that remain economically disadvantaged.
Imagine you're a one-percenter, already consuming about as much as you can. What's the marginal utility of additional swimming pools vs a set of policies and institutions which preserve your status? You gain nothing from a more productive economy, but stand to lose advantage and power from a more equal distribution.

Unfortunately, social status is zero-sum and that's what those at the top tend to value. So it's unsurprising if they continue to buy failed policies which work for them.
I simply do not adhere to that belief. If I were wasting my time at minimum wage jobs, rather than using my ability to make a stronger contribution to industry, then even the wealthiest Americans ought to be concerned about that.

There is evidence, at this point, that excessive intragenerational inequality really damages overall economic growth.
Certainly - as I've already said.

This paper develops a model of intergenerational mobility and intragenerational
inequality that allows us to explore the relationship between economic growth
and social mobility. The model is used to analyse the neo-liberal theory of stratifi-
cation and to assess the consequences of some of the criticisms that have been
made of it. In particular, the intergenerational transmission of wealth and privi-
lege, and the existence of ethnic, gender and other forms of ascriptive disadvan-
tage, reduce economic efficiency, although they do not always diminish the extent
of social mobility. Furthermore, excessive intragenerational inequality may
inhibit, rather than encourage, economic growth. We show that there is no neces-
sary link between rates of social mobility and levels of economic growth. This, we
suggest, provides an explanation of why rates of social mobility show very little
cross-national variation and display no very evident trend over time towards
greater societal openness.

The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 429-449

That is ultimately costly to everybody.
Not to people who're already consuming about as much as they can.

Jeff Bezos actually should be concerned if the poorest Americans are just not keeping up. He actually should be concerned about that untapped potential. It is not zero sum.
I didn't say economic growth is zero-sum; I said social status. We can all be better off but we can't all be better off than each other.
I only really see that attitude among members of the lower middle class that think they are 1% because they have some retirement savings. I think that emotional dependence upon schadenfreude is less of a problem among the seriously wealthy. I will not deny that it does not occur, but I doubt that it's a primary governing motive.
I doubt it too. "Emotional dependence upon schadenfreude" is a different motive from preserving one's advantage and power.

I also doubt that you observe the policy-buying class first hand, unless you're in it.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Look at this yeen go, people. His rhetoric sounds like, "Stick with me, and you'll never go hungry again!"

But then the speech goes,

"Of course, quid pro quo, you're expected
To take certain duties on board
The future is littered with prizes
And though I'm the main addressee
The point that I must emphasize is
You won't get a sniff without me!"

I mean Disney really did try to warn us about men with big egos that make people a lot of promises.

We ignored the warning, and when the yeens were going like...

"Oooooo, la-la-la!
We'll have food!
Lots of food
We repeat
Endless meat"

...we thought it was a joke. It did not register in our minds that it was real until we literally saw the yeens goose-stepping through Charlottesville, Virginia. Those were the yeens. It was news from the future, people.

People, read the UCLA study that I posted above, please. Read at least the abstract, which I quoted in its entirety.

The research clearly demonstrates that the most economically disadvantaged regions of the country would actually benefit from targeted stimulus, especially with a focus mostly on education. See the UCLA study. It is imperative that all of you to understand that so-called "supply-side economics" sometimes work, but they only work under certain types of economic conditions.

For example, it is basically impossible to actually go hungry or without shelter in New York City unless you are just not trying to take advantage of the opportunities that you have, but only a very small number of people there are actually going to become billionaires. The shelters there actually tend to be well-funded, whether they receive the funding from the local government or NGOs. New York City takes care of its own. They have abundant resources. They are deservedly proud of their city. If New York City is not taking care of its own, it's not for lacking the ability. If that single city declared national independence, they would be too populous to qualify as a "micronation." That dragon can fly on its own wingspan. Congratulations to them.

On the other hand, I came from an economically disadvantaged area, and I did not see any so-called "trickle-down," there. I saw a corrupted power class and a society that was just not going to grow anytime soon. There were literal drive-by shootings in a town with only slightly more than 1,000 people living in it. The corruption there is actually pretty unbelievable. The town that I came from actually had a contraction in the local population since I left. The education system was basically a warehouse with human bodies in it, and while I tested as gifted, I ended up becoming an autodidact with lopsided academic development and relatively few of the skills and habits that were needed to survive in the higher education system.

Read the UCLA study, please. It really does a lot to demystify the reasons why there is such conflicting evidence regarding supply-side economics. The reason why is that mega-billionaires are not really something to worry about in an extremely advanced economy. It is actually a good thing if an economy has successfully attracted the world's most gifted individuals. We should not really be disappointed if not all of us are able to do the same things that only a uniquely talented handful of individuals in the world are able to do. On the other hand, areas like the one that I lived in are in a malaise that they need to be jogged out of in order to recover their capacity for developing on their own. The social and political dysfunctions of those cultures tend to hinder the development of people that could otherwise act as their leaders. They need investment, especially in their education systems.

^My initial discussion on it is located there.

We need regionally targeted spending on developing those areas that are not yet able to provide fully for their own people's health. I would never counsel to give medicine to a healthy child, but a town with barely more than 1,000 people living in it that has drive-by shootings at the local gas station is not the healthy child. They are socioeconomic train-wrecks. I saw what was going on myself. It was a nightmare.

The current research really supports my case for targeted regional investment, especially focused on the education system. Rural areas that have been cultural laggards in spite of an abundance of natural resources need comprehensive reform.

#### Patooka

##### Veteran Member
Trump cut food stamps and this resulted in the lowest unemployment rate for black people in history. Why?
You're implying causation when there is only correlation but I'm sure that's not what you mean,
Turns out paying people to stay home and not work leads to fewer people going out and looking for jobs.
...
...
If what you are saying is true (and you have provided no measurable tangible proof of that), then Donald Trump is the greatest world leader in history because literally no one else has been able to implement economic policy and see effects as a direct result of that policy so quickly. In fact, a lot of evidence suggest that Trump simply skirted on Obama's efforts and is stealing the credit for himself.

FYI, your, "Trump created more jobs for blacks", has already been discussed by some other fuckwit who wouldn't show his receipts. And it was debunked then as well.

Apologies for reminding everyone of Half-life's idiotic bullshit.

You cut a majority of welfare (not saying all of it) and the economy will boom like never before. (emphasis mine)

Is this when you proclaim nobody knows economics better than you? Any reason why you still haven't supplied any data and are still living in make believe land?

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member

(1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate."

(2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer.

Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? This isn't good. Do you realize taxes on estates are paid multiple times throughout a person's life? If a person has a house and has been taxed on it all their life and wants to give it to their kids, why should the government tax it again? This is way too authoritarian.

I feel like both parties are bad, but I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. The Democrats keep taxing, which makes the middle class and poor suffer. Look at how the Democrats policies led to inflation and the average middle class family is spending $175 more a month compared to when trump was in office. Gas has also risen over$1 a gallon since Trump. Do the rich care about gas price increases? No, but the middle class and poor people care about it, and that's who it affects the most. Do Democrats care? Not much. Jen Psaki was laughing at a reporter who asked her what the administration plans to do about inflation crushing the middle class and poor. Who gets hurt the most when prices go up by a few dollars? Not the rich, that's for sure.

Republicans want to tax less so people keep more of their money. Do you realize we have spent 22 trillion dollars (almost the price of our national debt) just to combat poverty since the 1960's? It's not working. People are still stealing from stores all over, despite the fact that we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. There's people who have $2,000 balance on their food stamp cards and people are still saying that we can't feed the poor? Ridiculous. If we brought any poor person here from another third world country, they would be in shock and awe and say that the poor live like kings in this country. We need to get everyone back to reality. Taxing the people and putting the incompetent government in charge of the money has done absolutely nothing to help the poor and middle class. The only time they get relief is when a Republican is in office. Why do you think so many Biden voters disapprove of him now and he's at an all-time low? Republicans warned of massive inflation if Biden got in office. Democrats laughed. Now, here we are. Do you think this inflatiion would've happened under Trump? All those ships stuck in ports, he wol've been on TV every day screaming at them to unload and lighting a fire under them to mvoe quickly. What does Biden do? Nothing. Tells us to, "wait it out." Say what you want about Trump, but he held people accountable. If you weren't doing your job, he fired you. That's it. Done. I need to be convinced that the very authoritarian government rule via crushing taxation does anything to help the people. If you look up corporate donations, Democrats take more dark money than Republicans do by a long shot. Democrats are the party of big government and they also have corporate America in their pockets. Corporate America hates Republicans. That's a lot of straw you're burning there. I hope you keep a fire extiguisher at the ready. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor This thread leads to many important but difficult questions. For examples: (1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate." (2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer. Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? And now a comprehensive list of wealthy people taxed into poverty (or even a lower income bracket). *start list* *end list* #### marc ##### Veteran Member I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. Republican tax cuts so people can 'keep their money' is a huge scam. They cut taxes where the average person may get an extra couple hundred, while the rich can get hundreds of thousand, or even millions. But then there is paying for that tax cut. They will just let the deficit balloon up, like how Reagan tripled the national debt, and W doubled it again. (and won't complain about it until a Dem is in office) then the solution to the debt is to cut funding of programs that actually help people. Education, health care, infrastructure, etc.. And that doesn't just mean the federal budget is cut, those cuts mean less money going to the states for those things. The state then either cuts that spending, so you pay for those tax cuts that way, or they increase revenue to compensate, by increasing property tax, sales tax, licensing fees, sewage fees, utilities, car tax, fines, and so on. You are paying for that tax cut, one way or another. #### Trausti ##### LGBASDF3+/- Is there any relationship between taxation and poverty? California, the state with the highest tax burden, is ranked 26th for poverty. New Hampshire, with no personal income tax, has the lowest poverty rate. It seems the push for higher taxes on other people is just malice. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Is there any relationship between taxation and poverty? California, the state with the highest tax burden, is ranked 26th for poverty. New Hampshire, with no personal income tax, has the lowest poverty rate. It seems the push for higher taxes on other people is just malice. So, you compare the highest tax burden verses New Hampshire, which has no income tax... but not their total tax burden. According to this site, California is actually ranked 10th for total tax burden, not 1st. To make matters worse, Vermont is ranked 3rd and New Hampshire 46th in tax burden. In 2014, the poverty rates were about the same in both states, indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent. To muddle things more, New York and New Jersey are both high tax wise, but in poverty, New Jersey is ranked with lower poverty better than New York. #### Trausti ##### LGBASDF3+/- indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent. No shit. So what is the point of the government taking more of our income? Why is it better for the government to have my money and not me? Just so much waste in government. #### SigmatheZeta ##### Senior Member indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent. No shit. So what is the point of the government taking more of our income? Why is it better for the government to have my money and not me? Just so much waste in government. Read the UCLA study, please. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent. No shit. So what is the point of the government taking more of our income? Why is it better for the government to have my money and not me? Just so much waste in government. Taxation doesn't end poverty, therefore no more taxes? I forgot taxation was exclusively about poverty. #### laughing dog ##### Contributor indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent. No shit. So what is the point of the government taking more of our income? Why is it better for the government to have my money and not me? Just so much waste in government. Do you have an actual point? After all, what constitutes "waste" is often a matter of opinion, not fact. There are plenty of people who have the opinion there is plenty of "waste" in the private sector. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member Cool. But space should not be monetized and that's exactly what Musk, Bezos and Branson have in mind. The market needed a private player to shake it up. When government is doing it they're far too sensitive to optics. Look at how SpaceX has developed it's stuff. There's a video around of boom after boom as they tried to land the booster. Had that been NASA there would have been congressional investigations after the second boom. SpaceX expected booms, their first landing attempts (for which I do not believe there is video) were guaranteed to fail. Only when they were satisfied they could land the booster on the ocean did they put the barge under it and we started getting videos of boosters not making it. Since then they have continued to on occasion land boosters on the ocean when they wanted to try something that they deemed too risky to put the barge under it. (Deeming the certain loss of the booster to be less than the risk of damaging the barge.) Now that they have done it the world is moving to copy because they have no choice. Before that it was nobody gets fired for buying IBM. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member Give them time to prove themselves in the final frontier. My first impression is Bezos and Branson want only to monetize space by sending bored wealthy people on space junkets while Musk is trying to “get humanity to Mars to preserve the light of consciousness” so he says. While I do believe in the corrupting power of money, not all billionaires are necessarily bad billionaires. Musk has tackled problems no one else would with Tesla, SpaceX, and Starlink and is arguably changing the world for the better. Maybe he’s a good billionaire. Maybe he’ll just take his friends to Mars and they’ll watch us all perish like some reality TV show. I don’t know. But no one else seems to be doing duck all aside from having endless meetings about what needs to be done. I believe all are trying to open up space. It's just that only SpaceX has a reusable orbital-class booster. The other guys are moving a lot slower, while they can get into space they don't have anything like the delta-v to reach orbit and thus the only business model at present is tourism. Bezos is working on an orbital-class booster but they're barely out of the starting gate while SpaceX has run the track and well on their way to doing it again. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member A lot of the French aristocracy believed that in 1789 as well. Your attitude can be quite problematic when you play it out to its logical conclusion. Also, you are looking at it extremely wrong. Funninspace hit the nail on its head with their response but I would add how much of the tax burden you provide is nowhere near as important as how much of your disposable income is going to the government. And going by your answer here, I'm pretty certain you understand that. And note that the French revolution set France back 30 years. A repeat would come close to making us a third world nation. Incidentally, the greatest period of economic growth and prosperity for most Americans was during the 50s and 60s. Take a wild guess what the tax brackets for the richest 5% was like during those times. I'll give you a hint; they were counter intuitive to your fantasy of piss down economics. Take a wild guess as to the economic situation at that point: 1) We had a huge backlog of demand left over from WWII. All that war economy now showed up in the civilian market. 2) Every other industrial power in the world had been pretty heavily trashed and had to rebuild. No meaningful damage had been done to US industry. That means we were in the position of importing raw materials and exporting finished goods with little competition. We could export the bad jobs. 3) We also could export the bad jobs to the blacks and women. It was good times for white males, not for everyone. 4) The tax rates had loopholes you could drive an 18-wheeler through. They didn't mean much. Putting the tax rates back to the levels they were then would do nothing about the real factors driving the boom times. Not to mention that much of it was a matter of expectations--conditions were good by the standards of the times, but the standards have gone way, way up since then. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member Pretty much this. I fully expect WWIII during this century. I used to think that the flash point would be Israel. Now I think the USA more likely. The Family of Humanity doesn't have the margins for survival that we had as recently as WWII. From the economy to the biosphere, we're already teetering on the brink of disaster. I'm glad I'm old. I feel bad for the kids. Tom The place that worries me the most is India/Pakistan. Pakistan keeps teetering on the edge of falling under fundie control. Their fundies keep trying to egg on war with India. If Pakistan falls to the fundies the best outcome I see is Pakistan basically destroyed and India severely damaged but it doesn't spread beyond that. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member This thread leads to many important but difficult questions. For examples: (1) How hard would it be to institute a "fair" nation-wide real estate tax? This would be a clean way for the government to raise revenue and set priorities but the details would be fraught with peril. If the thread turns to this question I may have nothing to contribute; my response would be "Wise in principle perhaps, but implementation would be too chaotic to contemplate." What is the problem with local control of real estate tax? Each state gets the government it votes for. (2) How about a wealth tax imposed on the super-rich? Wise in principle perhaps, but as the super-rich themselves point out, they'll convert their wealth into untaxed real estate, paintings, private businesses. Again I have no simple answer. It's a horrible idea. (3) Corporate taxes should be increased. The recent international agreement on corporate income taxes was a good step in the right direction. (Are small businesses exempt from those mandatory taxes?) Corporate taxes are regressive. In an ideal world (which I don't think we can get with tax haven nations out there) there would be no corporate income tax, but rather high personal income tax on the profits they get from those corporations. Profit motives are Good. But absolute generalizations which are FALSE are annoying. Tim Berners-Lee invented the "World Wide Web" and deliberately forwent any patent rights. Jonas Salk did the same thing with his vaccine for polio. How many examples do I need? "Some inventors would not invent if there were no profit motive." Sure; I'll vote for that. "Nobody would invent"? This sort of over-generalization is an obstacle to intelligent debate. For basically small things that can work. A person's labor for some years, sometimes you'll see that given away for the greater good. It's utterly impractical at large scale, though. What's the R&D budget for SpaceX? (Hint: the turbopumps on the Falcon 9 are$3 million a pop. Probably more on the Starship. They've blown up a lot of them in their testing and a lot more to go--now they're looking at a full-up flight verification--but with no recovery system. That's upwards of $100 million in pumps alone.) You don't fund that sort of thing without an expectation of profit. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member As a matter of fact, there are actually less developed regions, in the United States, that have seen relatively poor progress for centuries, and the inequality in those regions of the United States can be largely attributed to a lack of adequate opportunities and insurmountable social and political barriers to advancement. What you are missing here is that over the long run how an economy fares is a matter of culture and government, not wealth. Wealth is a result, not a cause. If they quit fucking up their system they rapidly catch up. Redistribution isn't going to do much about them fucking up their system and in practice it's always redistribution to the cronies of those in power, the stuff that's taken never goes to the people in meaningful amounts. Places that go for large-scale redistribution fuck themselves up. Poster children: Zimbabwe, Venezuela. Places that simply get rid of much of the government problem do well. Poster children: Asian tigers. #### Loren Pechtel ##### Super Moderator Staff member Why do Democrats always seem to want to constantly tax the the people into oblivion? This isn't good. Do you realize taxes on estates are paid multiple times throughout a person's life? If a person has a house and has been taxed on it all their life and wants to give it to their kids, why should the government tax it again? This is way too authoritarian. In the long run what counts is spending, not the tax rate. Look at what each side spends. I feel like both parties are bad, but I feel like the Republicans at least care about the average worker and the middle class. The Democrats keep taxing, which makes the middle class and poor suffer. Look at how the Democrats policies led to inflation and the average middle class family is spending$175 more a month compared to when trump was in office. Gas has also risen over $1 a gallon since Trump. Do the rich care about gas price increases? No, but the middle class and poor people care about it, and that's who it affects the most. Do Democrats care? Not much. Jen Psaki was laughing at a reporter who asked her what the administration plans to do about inflation crushing the middle class and poor. Who gets hurt the most when prices go up by a few dollars? Not the rich, that's for sure. Hardly. The average worker fares a lot better under Democratic control than Republican. The Republicans make a big issue out of supposed tax cuts--never mind that the cuts for the average worker are going away, only the cuts for the rich will remain. Never mind that the Republicans are gutting worker protections. Never mind they are gutting consumer protections. And I'm not at all sure we are truly seeing inflation. Rather, we are seeing supply chain shocks. Gas was ridiculously cheap in the pandemic because people weren't buying as much--I saw it below$2/gallon. It's just rebounded to normal.

Republicans want to tax less so people keep more of their money. Do you realize we have spent 22 trillion dollars (almost the price of our national debt) just to combat poverty since the 1960's? It's not working. People are still stealing from stores all over, despite the fact that we have one of the most generous welfare systems in the world. There's people who have \$2,000 balance on their food stamp cards and people are still saying that we can't feed the poor? Ridiculous. If we brought any poor person here from another third world country, they would be in shock and awe and say that the poor live like kings in this country. We need to get everyone back to reality. Taxing the people and putting the incompetent government in charge of the money has done absolutely nothing to help the poor and middle class. The only time they get relief is when a Republican is in office. Why do you think so many Biden voters disapprove of him now and he's at an all-time low? Republicans warned of massive inflation if Biden got in office. Democrats laughed. Now, here we are. Do you think this inflatiion would've happened under Trump? All those ships stuck in ports, he wol've been on TV every day screaming at them to unload and lighting a fire under them to mvoe quickly. What does Biden do? Nothing. Tells us to, "wait it out." Say what you want about Trump, but he held people accountable. If you weren't doing your job, he fired you. That's it. Done.

I need to be convinced that the very authoritarian government rule via crushing taxation does anything to help the people. If you look up corporate donations, Democrats take more dark money than Republicans do by a long shot. Democrats are the party of big government and they also have corporate America in their pockets. Corporate America hates Republicans.

There would have been more "inflation" under His Flatulence because he would have been exploiting it for profit rather than trying to fix the supply chain problems.

And the really authoritarian government would be from the Republicans. You have all the freedom to do exactly what they want you to do, nothing else.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
As a matter of fact, there are actually less developed regions, in the United States, that have seen relatively poor progress for centuries, and the inequality in those regions of the United States can be largely attributed to a lack of adequate opportunities and insurmountable social and political barriers to advancement.

What you are missing here
What a lovely way to start out a post. Don't do it again.

is that over the long run how an economy fares is a matter of culture and government, not wealth. Wealth is a result, not a cause.

If they quit fucking up their system they rapidly catch up. Redistribution isn't going to do much about them fucking up their system and in practice it's always redistribution to the cronies of those in power, the stuff that's taken never goes to the people in meaningful amounts. Places that go for large-scale redistribution fuck themselves up. Poster children: Zimbabwe, Venezuela. Places that simply get rid of much of the government problem do well. Poster children: Asian tigers.
Read the University of Würzburg study. Here is the abstract, citation, and link:

Evidence from a current panel of harmonized worldwide data highlights a robust
negative effect of income inequality on economic growth that we trace back to its
transmission channels. Less equal societies tend to have less educated populations
and higher fertility rates, but not necessarily lower investment shares. The first two
effects are harmful for growth and reinforced by limited credit availability. Higher
public spending on education attenuates the negative effects of inequality. In addi-
tion to the inequality-growth relationship, we examine the direct influence of effective
redistribution. When net inequality is held constant, public redistribution negatively
affects economic growth. Redistribution hampers investment and raises fertility rates.
Combining the negative direct growth effect and the indirect positive effect operat-
ing through lower net inequality, the overall impact of redistribution is insignificant.
Whereas this result stems mainly from advanced economies, redistribution is beneficial
for growth in low and middle-income countries.

Klaus; Scheuermeyer, Philipp (2015) : Income inequality,
economic growth, and the effect of redistribution, W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers, No. 95,
University of Würzburg, Department of Economics, Würzburg
^https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/114736/1/833477102.pdf

Read and understand at least the abstract, and do not speak to me again until you have done so.

I have handled horses for a living at one time in my life. Do you know how far you can drag a horse by pure force? The answer is "not very far at all." That experience broke me of the habit of attempting to force people to change their opinions. You are not going to change your opinion just because I shouted facts at you. I get that.

However, I am justified in refusing to engage with you until you have demonstrated evidence that you are going to take the discussion seriously instead of spraying canned rhetoric at me. The University of Würzburg study was performed recently enough to be relevant.

The University of Würzburg study demonstrates why there is such conflicting evidence regarding supply-side economics, and furthermore, the study also demonstrates that supply-side economics actually do work but only in advanced economies.

In relatively benighted economies, you see the same effects that I q.

#### Trausti

##### LGBASDF3+/-
indicating a relationship between overall taxation on individuals and poverty isn't apparent.
No shit. So what is the point of the government taking more of our income? Why is it better for the government to have my money and not me? Just so much waste in government.
Do you have an actual point? After all, what constitutes "waste" is often a matter of opinion, not fact. There are plenty of people who have the opinion there is plenty of "waste" in the private sector.
Malicious Envy.

Predictors of support for economic redistribution