A History of US Economic Law Part 3: The Conception of the Income Tax

Beyond Saving's picture

In 1894, the Democratic Party was under significant pressure to reduce the tariffs imposed by the 1890 McKinley Tariff. As I discussed in my previous blog the economy was in recession and the average Americans purchasing power had dropped. Government revenue had been significantly reduced by the recession.

 

However, it was difficult to build a consensus between the House and the Senate- a bill that started as significant tariff cuts was diluted by over 600 amendments in the Senate. The result was the Wilson-Gorman Tariff, a hodgepodge of tariff cuts and tariff increases that became law without the signature of President Cleveland.

 

For purposes of discussion here, the most important aspect of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff was that for the first time an income tax was imposed during peacetime. The tax consisted of 2% on all income over $4,000 for individuals and corporations. 

 

This wasn’t the first income tax imposed in the US. The first was the Civil War income tax imposed in 1861 which was a progressive tax with rates ranging from 3%-10%. It was passed along with a slough of other taxes as an emergency measure. After the war, the income tax was gradually reduced and eventually eliminated in 1872 along with most of the other taxes imposed during the war.  

 

Since the national debate was focused on more immediate issues surrounding the secession, war, and later reconstruction the argument over the income tax during the Civil War. The passage of the income tax in the Wilson-Gorman Tariff was far more controversial and led to a decade long national debate. 

 

Many saw the income tax as a continuing backlash against the barons of industry, rather than a means to raise significant funds as demonstrated by an article written in “The Quarterly Journal of Economics” Vol. 9, No. 1, Oct. 1894  

 

Charles F. Dunbar wrote:
 

…it will be clear that the considerations which weighed with Congress in taking this important step were not fiscal, and that the provisions of the new act were not studied and perfected by its framers from this point of view. The very fact that the limit of exemption is set so high as $4,000 will be a standing demonstration that the measure was shaped to meet some supposed social or reformatory end, possibly with some sectional bearing, but at any rate, not as the best result of either modern theory or modern practice.

 

He then goes on to criticize the tax in detail from a conservative point of view. 

 

Newspaper reports support the idea that the income tax was meant to redistribute the tax burden from the public at large to the extremely wealthy. From a New York Times article on Jan. 29th 1894  

Representative McMillin is quoted as saying, 

McMillin wrote:

If a man owns $50,000,000 or $100,000,000 worth of property in the United States, as some do, he pays only on what he eats, what he drinks, what he wears and the other things he uses.

 

With this small exception this vast aggregation of wealth contributes nothing else to pay the expenses of the General Government.

 

The time has come when this should be changed, it seems to me. I ask of any reasonable person whether it is unjust to expect that a small per cent of this enormous revenus shall be placed upon the accumulated wealth of the country instead of placing all upon the consumption of the country.

 

Other New York Times articles suggest that the income tax was less than popular even among democrats but ultimately, the pressure to pass tariff reform was enough to pass the bill. 

 

The income tax didn’t survive long. Charles Pollock owned ten shares of stock in the Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company and sued the company to prevent them from paying the tax. The resulting case went all the way to the Supreme Court, Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company 157 U.S. 429 (1895) resulted in a narrow 5 to 4 decision overturning the income tax. 

 

Originally, the Constitution required that all direct taxes be 

Constitution wrote:
… apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3.

 

The Court ruled, 

Quote:

A tax on the rents or income of real estate is a direct tax within the meaning of that term as used in the Constitution of the United States.

A tax upon income derived from the interest of bonds issued by a municipal corporation is a tax upon the power of the State and its instrumentalities to borrow money, and is consequently repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.

So much of the act "to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the government, and for other purposes," 28 Stat. 509, c. 349, as provides for levying taxes upon rents or income derived from real estate, or from the interest on municipal bonds, is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, and is invalid.

 

This case fueled the efforts of Progressives and Socialists sympathetic to the income tax both as a tool for raising greater revenues for the federal government and as a tool to reduce the large fortunes held by trusts and the extraordinarily wealthy. It would take another 18 years to pass and ratify the 16th Amendment effectively overturning Pollock but with the passage of the Wilson-Gormann Tariff and the subsequent Supreme Court Case, the idea of a peace time income tax became a topic of debate for the public at large.   

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

An interesting idea occured

An interesting idea occured to me. A tax based on non-liquid money, that isn't actually locked down in some way (ie, property).
If you constantly have a hundred million dollars in the bank that you never spend in any way, you get levelled with a hefty tax on that hundred million dollars.
If, however, you are constantly investing and contributing to the economy, the tax does not affect you.
It'd be a bitch to codify, but if it were done right the end results could be extremely productive in keeping the economy moving forward.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

Vastet wrote:An interesting

Vastet wrote:
An interesting idea occured to me. A tax based on non-liquid money, that isn't actually locked down in some way (ie, property). If you constantly have a hundred million dollars in the bank that you never spend in any way, you get levelled with a hefty tax on that hundred million dollars. If, however, you are constantly investing and contributing to the economy, the tax does not affect you. It'd be a bitch to codify, but if it were done right the end results could be extremely productive in keeping the economy moving forward.

 

There are some countries that have a wealth tax, I believe France, Switzerland and Norway all have one. (or at least used to have one too lazy to check now) Which is the same idea except they don't exempt stock, land or other investments. They basically just tax high net worth. If you exempt investments I think the tax would do precisely nothing. No one is sitting with $100 million in the bank long term. Banks don't pay that much interest. When that kind of money is being idled it is most likely sitting in money markets or bonds where the potential for return is higher.

 

I also don't agree that constant investment is necessarily a good goal. Arguably, the insistence on constant investment is one of the reasons for the current recession. Sometimes it is healthy for an economy to cool off and investing to be cut back- sometimes more shit isn't needed. While it really sucks to be in a particular industry where investment and demand is slowing and can put the individuals involved in unfortunate circumstances a healthy economy allows unneeded industries to cut back production rather than investing more resources into it for the sake of investing.

 

An economy that relies solely on the velocity of money will be fucked over when it becomes impossible to maintain the velocity. The housing market was great as long as the funds involved maintained a high velocity, but sooner or later it becomes obvious that we have too many houses and the system is doomed to collapse. Now we have a collapsed market and a bunch of empty houses that are good for nothing other than meth labs. All because our economy was investing in housing for the sake of investing in housing rather than a real need for housing.  

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

EXC's picture

Income tax has become a

Income tax has become a means of having people's unproductive and resource wasteful lives and life choices subsidized by the productive. We're like an insect colony where half the people work and the other half are 'queens'. The welfare 'queens' are also corporations. Basically we tell corporations if your customers are too poor to buy your products, we'll give them money that we take from the most productive. The whole system is unsustainable, fewer people will be willing to support those that don't.

Vaset's idea won't work. If you tax the accumulation of wealth, people will either not accumulate wealth or hide it. Taxation changes people's behavior. And even if it did force more investment. Why is that a good thing? More money means more inflation, more wasteful use of natural resources and pollution.

What is needed are user fees where the fee is highly correlated to the actual cost of delivering the service(just like any other business). This means we'd tax a bank for the cost of security and regulation. Force people to get insurance to cover their costs for police, fire, military etc... As it is now, you have working poor people that don't own homes subsidizing the fire protection of rich people that live in fire prone areas. If people are too poor to pay, they need to go into a job training program and stop having kids until they can afford them.

Tax activities that use limited natural resources such as land, water, oil, minerals. Tax activities that pollute the environment. Don't allow people that can't financially take care of children to have any and then impose the burden on society. We can put a gun to people's heads to make them pay taxes, why not to make them use birth control?

Stop giving money to schools that don't produce workers that can get jobs. Stop letting students study whatever they please at public expense, then not get a job and go on welfare.

It's all pretty simple, just no political will to implement what ought to be the obvious solution to economic misery. Everybody wants their 'rights' at the expense of others.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:An interesting

Vastet wrote:
An interesting idea occured to me. A tax based on non-liquid money, that isn't actually locked down in some way (ie, property). If you constantly have a hundred million dollars in the bank that you never spend in any way, you get levelled with a hefty tax on that hundred million dollars. If, however, you are constantly investing and contributing to the economy, the tax does not affect you. It'd be a bitch to codify, but if it were done right the end results could be extremely productive in keeping the economy moving forward.

Questions:

If they put the money in the bank, doesn't the bank invest the money?

If they buy gold bars, doesn't this mean more jobs for gold miners?

If they put dollar bills under the matress, doesn't that mean less inflation?

If the government takes it all, doesn't this mean people in the future will just decide not to work or invest and just go on the government dole?

 

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

Vastet's picture

"Income tax has become a

"Income tax has become a means of having people's unproductive and resource wasteful lives and life choices subsidized by the productive."

Ridiculous. Without income tax you have no toll free roads, no cops, fewer and less capable firefighters, no dependably safe food, no dependably safe drugs, and no paramedics worth mentioning. On top of a billion other things.
Welfare bums don't even make a dent. Your argument is absolutely ridiculous.

1: Sometimes.

2: A little, when it happens. Banks aren't the biggest gold buyers though.

3: Definitely not.

4: The government never took it all, so your question is as ridiculous as your first post.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

Vastet wrote:Without income

Vastet wrote:
Without income tax you have no toll free roads, no cops, fewer and less capable firefighters, no dependably safe food, no dependably safe drugs, and no paramedics worth mentioning. On top of a billion other things. Welfare bums don't even make a dent.

 

Most of the things you listed are not paid for with the income tax in the US and certainly are not where the majority of income taxes goes. Roads, cops, firefighters and paramedics are primarily paid for by local governments. Some have income taxes but most get the majority of their funds through property and sales taxes.

 

Most of our federal spending does go towards our social programs. The largest non-social spending item is defense which accounts for 19%. Medicare, medicaid and social security account for 43% of our budget. Another 13% goes towards other "safety net" programs like food stamps, welfare etc. Programs that are theoretically supposed to ensure we have safe food, drugs, protect the environment etc. only account for about 18% of our budget all together. The rest is interest on our debt. 

 

  

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

Interesting. Thanks for

Interesting. Thanks for that. So many differences between our countries. Here, even when locales or Provinces hire police, etc., it's the feds who ensured they could. Canada has an internal distribution system that is intended to make sure have-not Provinces are supplemented by have Provinces.

I don't see anything, however, to indicate that people on welfare are the reason for income tax, nor that welfare is a huge burden on producers; from that chart. Which was the focus of my response to EXC and his ridiculous suggestions.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:Ridiculous.

Vastet wrote:
Ridiculous. Without income tax you have no toll free roads, no cops, fewer and less capable firefighters, no dependably safe food, no dependably safe drugs, and no paramedics worth mentioning. On top of a billion other things.

What would be wrong with having a user fee for all these services you list? Didn't the human race survive for millions of years without income tax? Why are the people that pay no or little income tax subsidized by the rest? How is this sustainable?

Vastet wrote:
Welfare bums don't even make a dent.

Depends on who you count as a bum. Almost all the money spent on welfare ends up back in the pockets of corporations, unions and wealthy investors. Government essentially tells corporations if your customers can't afford your products will redistribute wealth so they can.

The fact we borrow 40% of the budget is welfare for lenders like China.

The poor don't get any real help. It is just surviving another year of poverty in exchange for their votes.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:Interesting.

Vastet wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for that. So many differences between our countries. Here, even when locales or Provinces hire police, etc., it's the feds who ensured they could. Canada has an internal distribution system that is intended to make sure have-not Provinces are supplemented by have Provinces. I don't see anything, however, to indicate that people on welfare are the reason for income tax, nor that welfare is a huge burden on producers; from that chart. Which was the focus of my response to EXC and his ridiculous suggestions.

Who in this pie chart is a "producer"? Isn't it all welfare? Even defence spending is mostly for corporate welfare queens and to buy votes.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

Vastet's picture

EXC wrote:What would be

EXC wrote:
What would be wrong with having a user fee for all these services you list?

You do. We do. These things don't come for free.

EXC wrote:
Didn't the human race survive for millions of years without income tax?

Didn't the human race have a mortality rate of about 80% by age 30 for 99% of that time? Weren't there plagues and slavery for most of that time? You want to go back to saying screw working together, then go live in a forest on your own. Noone will come knocking for taxes. South America would be a highly recommended location, the local governments have a history of letting uncontacted humans alone.

EXC wrote:
Depends on who you count as a bum. Almost all the money spent on welfare ends up back in the pockets of corporations, unions and wealthy investors. Government essentially tells corporations if your customers can't afford your products will redistribute wealth so they can.

Because said corporations wouldn't pay anything at all if they could get away with it, and

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

would all end up bankrupt,

would all end up bankrupt, without customers.

EXC wrote:
Who in this pie chart is a "producer"? Isn't it all welfare? Even defence spending is mostly for corporate welfare queens and to buy votes.

Yeah, right. Defence spending is welfare. I guess you're the typical libertarian who will only realise he's wrong when the people willing to work together conquer and enslave your sorry ass, because you're all by yourself and noone gives a shit about you.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:EXC wrote:What

Vastet wrote:
EXC wrote:
What would be wrong with having a user fee for all these services you list?
You do. We do. These things don't come for free.

Income tax is not a fee because there is no correlation between service and benefit. Most USA adults don't pay any income tax yet receive the same benefits.

Income tax is essentially a fine for productive work of products and services neeed by the economy or from investing projects that consumers want and need.
The government fines illegal activities to discourage their behavior. Income tax is fine on work and investment, the two things we need to not be poor. WTF.


 

EXC wrote:
Didn't the human race survive for millions of years without income tax?
Didn't the human race have a mortality rate of about 80% by age 30 for 99% of that time? Weren't there plagues and slavery for most of that time? You want to go back to saying screw working together, then go live in a forest on your own. Noone will come knocking for taxes.

OK. So income tax lead to the end of slavery??? Advances in medical science had nothing to do with longer life spans, it was income tax??? So this means we can we blame new plagues like global warming, AIDS, international terrorism on income tax?


EXC wrote:
South America would be a highly recommended location, the local governments have a history of letting uncontacted humans alone.

No. I think sail boat is the way to go. Fees for service can't be avoided, but income tax BS is easier.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:would all end

Vastet wrote:
would all end up bankrupt, without customers.
EXC wrote:
Who in this pie chart is a "producer"? Isn't it all welfare? Even defence spending is mostly for corporate welfare queens and to buy votes.
Yeah, right. Defence spending is welfare. I guess you're the typical libertarian who will only realise he's wrong when the people willing to work together conquer and enslave your sorry ass, because you're all by yourself and noone gives a shit about you.

I guess your the typical leftist that only realizes he's wrong when the people telling him "we're here from the government to help you" are the ones that have enslaved him.

Unforturnatly for you, there are tons of examples from history of trading freedom for security and getting neither.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

Vastet's picture

EXC wrote:Income tax is not

EXC wrote:
Income tax is not a fee

Wrong. It is a fee. There is a correlation between service and benefit. The more you pay, the higher the quality and the faster the response. Especially in the US, less so in Canada.

EXC wrote:
OK. So income tax lead to the end of slavery?

Combination strawman and cherry picking. Fail.

EXC wrote:
Advances in medical science had nothing to do with longer life spans,

Income taxes had nothing to do with increasing the level of medical knowledge? LOL

There are no limits to how far you'll reach.

EXC wrote:
No. I think sail boat is the way to go.

To each their own. Good luck getting water.

EXC wrote:
I guess your the typical leftist that only realizes he's wrong when the people telling him "we're here from the government to help you" are the ones that have enslaved him.

Except I'm not a leftist and want to diversify, not concentrate, government power to ensure that can't happen.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Brian37's picture

Vastet wrote:Interesting.

Vastet wrote:
Interesting. Thanks for that. So many differences between our countries. Here, even when locales or Provinces hire police, etc., it's the feds who ensured they could. Canada has an internal distribution system that is intended to make sure have-not Provinces are supplemented by have Provinces. I don't see anything, however, to indicate that people on welfare are the reason for income tax, nor that welfare is a huge burden on producers; from that chart. Which was the focus of my response to EXC and his ridiculous suggestions.

This is what I hate about Beyond. He thinks "every man for themselves" works, and ignores that the pay gap and cost of living have exploded over the past 30 years. He simply doesn't want to admit that he thinks government is only there to protect money and property. He wants everyone off food stamps, off of welfare, and falsely thinks that the the majority that take it want it. If he spent one damned lick of time with the people I know he damned sure would get an earful from them, just like he does me.

A utopia is a utopia and Beyond simply worships money instead of a god and neither are deserving of worship. He merely has a bubble he lives in thinking, just like theists do, that"if everyone does it my way, everything will get  better".

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Beyond Saving's picture

Brian37 wrote:This is what I

Brian37 wrote:

This is what I hate about Beyond. He thinks "every man for themselves" works, and ignores that the pay gap and cost of living have exploded over the past 30 years. He simply doesn't want to admit that he thinks government is only there to protect money and property. He wants everyone off food stamps, off of welfare, and falsely thinks that the the majority that take it want it. If he spent one damned lick of time with the people I know he damned sure would get an earful from them, just like he does me.

A utopia is a utopia and Beyond simply worships money instead of a god and neither are deserving of worship. He merely has a bubble he lives in thinking, just like theists do, that"if everyone does it my way, everything will get  better".

 

Yep, evil me, I don't want people living in the poverty of subsisting on food stamps, section 8 housing and the pittance that is handed to them by Uncle Sam. I want them to be able to enjoy a standard of living similar to what I enjoy. How heartless.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Brian37's picture

Beyond Saving wrote:Brian37

Beyond Saving wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

This is what I hate about Beyond. He thinks "every man for themselves" works, and ignores that the pay gap and cost of living have exploded over the past 30 years. He simply doesn't want to admit that he thinks government is only there to protect money and property. He wants everyone off food stamps, off of welfare, and falsely thinks that the the majority that take it want it. If he spent one damned lick of time with the people I know he damned sure would get an earful from them, just like he does me.

A utopia is a utopia and Beyond simply worships money instead of a god and neither are deserving of worship. He merely has a bubble he lives in thinking, just like theists do, that"if everyone does it my way, everything will get  better".

 

Yep, evil me, I don't want people living in the poverty of subsisting on food stamps, section 8 housing and the pittance that is handed to them by Uncle Sam. I want them to be able to enjoy a standard of living similar to what I enjoy. How heartless.

I do not think you are evil, I think your logic is an evil meme based on the same projectionism people exert on others "It worked for me, people must want the same things I do because I like it" god bullshit.

If everyone had the same standard of living you had NO ONE WOULD DO THE FUCKING WORK, and you damned well sure masturbate about inequity existing falsely claiming I don't think it should exist.

INEQUITY HAS TO EXIST, I am simply saying that it cannot be lopsided either way, that is what you keep failing to see. All poor the economy cant work, all rich and no one would want to work, too much of a gap and the the same thing will happen in all these cases. It is a balance, not an absolute and certainly not based on your bullshit utopia that everyone wants to wipe their ass with 1,000 dollar bills. I don't give a shit where you live are what your income is. I do care that are climate of politics has been highjacked by one class that does not seem to give one shit about the other two.

Right now we have a lopsided economy that favors the top 2 percent and they do absolutely nothing but create a bigger gap. It is merely "Eat or be eaten, Kill or be killed". You simply have bought into that immoral bullshit and are too fucking blind to see it. Then you want to bitch about the people affected by that climate and their right to the same voting booth you use. BOO AND FUCKING HOO! If you'd get your mouth off Ayn Rand's pussy maybe you could understand. Her utopia script was as much bullshit as Marx. Anything that ascribes a simple solution to a complex society is a recipe for monopolies be they government or private sector.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Beyond Saving's picture

 That is the difference

 That is the difference between you and me. You want people to be poor, I don't. There is no economic reason why people have to be poor their entire lives, there are plenty of 16-24 year olds who need entry level work and entry level pay to fill entry level jobs. Of course, I accept the right to be poor if that is what they want. I don't understand why anyone would want it, but whatever, you live your life, I'll live mine. I don't understand the hostility when you live your life but get mad at me because of whatever you don't like about it. 

 

I would love you to explain why the gap is a problem. Did you know that Greece has one of the smallest gaps in the world? Ask them how that is working out for them. Did you know our gap has shrunken significantly since 2007? The rich are getting poorer faster than the poor are getting poorer. Are you better off today because of it? I suggest you worry a lot more about your personal financial situation than whether Mark Zuckerburg is going to be worth $17 billion or $18 billion on Friday. Whether he is worth $17 or $18 billion will have absolutely zero effect on your life, so I don't see a reason for you to worry about it. 

 

What have you done in the last week to make yourself wealthier or at least give yourself a chance of getting wealthier? If, as I suspect, you have done nothing why do you expect me to get poorer simply so that my income is closer to yours? 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

Quote:He thinks "every man

Quote:
He thinks "every man for themselves" works

It could work, we'd just lose all the amenities of society, and witness the fall of that society and most of what it has accomplished in the last few centuries.

On the other hand, one thing Beyond strives for which I fully agree with is personal responsibility, something our society is currently lacking big time.

Quote:
There is no economic reason why people have to be poor their entire lives

Sure there is. There aren't enough jobs. Best job I found in the last 3 years was seasonal. There are millions who couldn't even get that much.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving wrote: That

Beyond Saving wrote:

 That is the difference between you and me. You want people to be poor, I don't. There is no economic reason why people have to be poor their entire lives, there are plenty of 16-24 year olds who need entry level work and entry level pay to fill entry level jobs. Of course, I accept the right to be poor if that is what they want. I don't understand why anyone would want it, but whatever, you live your life, I'll live mine. I don't understand the hostility when you live your life but get mad at me because of whatever you don't like about it. 

 

I would love you to explain why the gap is a problem. Did you know that Greece has one of the smallest gaps in the world? Ask them how that is working out for them. Did you know our gap has shrunken significantly since 2007? The rich are getting poorer faster than the poor are getting poorer. Are you better off today because of it? I suggest you worry a lot more about your personal financial situation than whether Mark Zuckerburg is going to be worth $17 billion or $18 billion on Friday. Whether he is worth $17 or $18 billion will have absolutely zero effect on your life, so I don't see a reason for you to worry about it. 

 

What have you done in the last week to make yourself wealthier or at least give yourself a chance of getting wealthier? If, as I suspect, you have done nothing why do you expect me to get poorer simply so that my income is closer to yours? 

So,

It seems like the only difference between you and Brian is one of degree. 

Brian wants everyone to be poor - you want everyone but the members of the Lucky Sperm Club to be poor.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

Vastet wrote:Sure there is.

Vastet wrote:
Sure there is. There aren't enough jobs. Best job I found in the last 3 years was seasonal. There are millions who couldn't even get that much.

Move down here.  I'll get you a full time job in two months or less.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci

Beyond Saving's picture

Vastet wrote: Quote: There

Vastet wrote:
Quote:
There is no economic reason why people have to be poor their entire lives
Sure there is. There aren't enough jobs. Best job I found in the last 3 years was seasonal. There are millions who couldn't even get that much.

 

Then stop relying on other people to create a job for you. Create your own job and go out and find customers. Stop sitting around waiting for someone like me to tell you what to do. Sure you might have to spend a few years being poor, but if you are poor from age 18 to 67 or whenever you retire, you simply aren't trying. Over the course of 50 years you ought to be able to develop a skill that helps people and is in demand that you can either demand a high salary for, or sell to consumers directly yourself.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Beyond Saving wrote:Vastet

Beyond Saving wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Quote:
There is no economic reason why people have to be poor their entire lives
Sure there is. There aren't enough jobs. Best job I found in the last 3 years was seasonal. There are millions who couldn't even get that much.

 

Then stop relying on other people to create a job for you. Create your own job and go out and find customers. Stop sitting around waiting for someone like me to tell you what to do. Sure you might have to spend a few years being poor, but if you are poor from age 18 to 67 or whenever you retire, you simply aren't trying. Over the course of 50 years you ought to be able to develop a skill that helps people and is in demand that you can either demand a high salary for, or sell to consumers directly yourself.

And all you have to do is find investors in an economically depressed area or have family that can front you the capital, right?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

Brian37's picture

Quote:That is the difference

Quote:
That is the difference between you and me. You want people to be poor, I don't.

Stop acting like a crybaby childish prick. You simply don't like others challenging your bullshit.

I defy you to QUOTE ME anywhere where I said everyone should be poor. YOU CANT AND YOU DAMNED WELL KNOW IT!

Addressing the pay gap is not a demand that everyone be poor. Saying that the middle class and working poor are sliding down is not a demand for you to be poor.

You are just being a self centered jackass.

IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF IF

If all the quote mining you post here were the truth of how COLLECTIVELY we can get better then why the economic decline over policies set by 30 years that put us in this mess? And if "us uppity po people" are so wrong then why did the policies us commie loving liberals historically have seemed to work? Stupid shit like high tax rates after WW2. And commie loving bullshit that built our interstate highways and Hover Dam. FUCKING DAMN COMMUNISTS! I am so glad they didn't do ..........oh wait, they did!

Your comic book economic crap is just like the monotheistic dictator god, "I don't owe you shit and if can get away with abusing you to get what I want, I will". You can certainly take that bullshit logic and run with it but reality has put us in this mess because of your bullshit attitude.

The world does not revolve around you so quit projecting your narcissistic bullshit on others. It simply pisses you off that I vote too. TOO FUCKING BAD CRYBABY!

All you advocate is protection of money. So did Gadaffi, who was also a stock holder in GE. All you fucking advocate is "might makes right". How does it feel to have something in common with a dictator?

WEALTH is one aspect of life, but it is not the only aspect of life. When you think like that you open even the private sector to become just as abusive, WHICH IT HAS BEEN otherwise we wouldn't be in this mess.

 

UNTIL you get that it is about ABUSE OF POWER, in any form, you will remain in your delusion pathetically not seeing how eventually it will get around to hurting you. The only difference is that it hits me first, but keep it up dude, maybe with your "every man for themselves" bullshit we can become the third world country you want us to be.

You suffer from the same selection bias as a theist. You see what you want to see and cherry pick data to suit your own desires.

I don't want you to be poor jackass, I just want you and the top to be introspective and not jaded. You want me to value your happiness but turn around like childish hypocrite and refuse to value the other two classes. So if "fuck you" is your economic mantra have at it. But since you cant take away my right to vote, don't bitch.

So any future post that you make that pulls the same poor me false persecution complex just like a theist is going to be met with CRYBABY!

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Brian37's picture

Vastet wrote:EXC wrote:What

Vastet wrote:
EXC wrote:
What would be wrong with having a user fee for all these services you list?
You do. We do. These things don't come for free.
EXC wrote:
Didn't the human race survive for millions of years without income tax?
Didn't the human race have a mortality rate of about 80% by age 30 for 99% of that time? Weren't there plagues and slavery for most of that time? You want to go back to saying screw working together, then go live in a forest on your own. Noone will come knocking for taxes. South America would be a highly recommended location, the local governments have a history of letting uncontacted humans alone.
EXC wrote:
Depends on who you count as a bum. Almost all the money spent on welfare ends up back in the pockets of corporations, unions and wealthy investors. Government essentially tells corporations if your customers can't afford your products will redistribute wealth so they can.
Because said corporations wouldn't pay anything at all if they could get away with it, and

BINGO! And for us commie loving Stalinists who hate the private sector is blasphemy to suggest we dare question the holly Mecca of Wall Street who put us in this mess.

They just get pissed because we've exposed the lie "you want to rob us" when the reality has been the opposite.

"Austerity" is code for "lets rob the people who need it the most even if we don't need it ourselves".

I find it funny that the people with the money to create a monopoly on politcs like the Cock brothers would even have the nerve to dare argue that people like me are the bullies. Laughable and absurd.

Narcissism, arrogance  and jadedness full of projection that could rival God.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Beyond Saving's picture

jcgadfly wrote:And all you

jcgadfly wrote:

And all you have to do is find investors in an economically depressed area or have family that can front you the capital, right?

It doesn't require significant start up capital to go shovel snow, or do basic home repairs, or fix computers or any of a million other small businesses one could start. Although, if your goals are aimed at bigger things, finding investment money is never impossible. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Beyond Saving's picture

Brian37 wrote:Quote:That is

Brian37 wrote:

Quote:
That is the difference between you and me. You want people to be poor, I don't.

Stop acting like a crybaby childish prick. You simply don't like others challenging your bullshit.

I defy you to QUOTE ME anywhere where I said everyone should be poor. YOU CANT AND YOU DAMNED WELL KNOW IT!

you said

Brian37 wrote:

All poor the economy cant work, all rich and no one would want to work, too much of a gap and the the same thing will happen in all these cases. It is a balance, not an absolute and certainly not based on your bullshit utopia that everyone wants to wipe their ass with 1,000 dollar bills. 

I disagree. Everyone can be rich and the economy would work just fine. We don't need people to be poor, certainly not for their entire lives. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

You suffer from the same selection bias as a theist. You see what you want to see and cherry pick data to suit your own desires.

You are welcome at any time to provide data that you believe I am avoiding or portraying incorrectly. I attempt to be rather careful about using cherry picked economic data- my money is made by making an honest analysis of the economy and predicting what it will do, if I am using incomplete or incorrect information I could stand to lose a lot of money. Yet in all the interactions we have ever had I don't remember you ever posting a link to a single source of data. I mostly provide links because you have persistently accused me of making things up, so I link to the raw data I used to draw my conclusions. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

I don't want you to be poor jackass, I just want you and the top to be introspective and not jaded. You want me to value your happiness but turn around like childish hypocrite and refuse to value the other two classes. 

I really don't care whether you value my happiness or not. In fact, I prefer you don't. I will take care of my happiness all by myself, just kindly keep government out of the way. I don't expect you to do anything for me, you seem to expect me to do something for you, I am still uncertain exactly what that is. 

 

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

@Watcher Appreciate the

@Watcher
Appreciate the offer, but I prefer life here far too much. I'd be miserable in the US.
@ Beyond
Creating a job for myself isn't a simple thing. I have no money to invest, and there aren't a lot of opportunities around. I don't have the money to relocate.
I also have no desire to be rich, and no interest in giving up the fun of life to devote it to something inherently meaningless.
My current status won't last forever, and when I land something it'll do me well enough for a long time. That's not the point, however.
In order for a society to work as you seem to imagine it could, there would need to be a surplus of wealth in the hands of the majority. Our society can't support everyone being an entrepreneur. There isn't enough demand.
And right now, demand is at an all time low. I could start and lose ten business' due to issues outside my control, being miserable and stressed out the whole time, or I could live with enough to be comfortable and try to get a better paying job along the way.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving wrote:jcgadfly

Beyond Saving wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

And all you have to do is find investors in an economically depressed area or have family that can front you the capital, right?

It doesn't require significant start up capital to go shovel snow, or do basic home repairs, or fix computers or any of a million other small businesses one could start. Although, if your goals are aimed at bigger things, finding investment money is never impossible. 

Unfortunately, I do much of what you've listed because it's a means to help out my brethren of the species. I can't generate a mercenary motive.

It's roughly the same reason why, though I can spout a line of bull with the best of them. I can't be a televangelist. Damn my morality!

I'm such a lousy capitalist

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

Beyond Saving's picture

Vastet wrote:I have no money

Vastet wrote:
I have no money to invest, and there aren't a lot of opportunities around. I don't have the money to relocate. I also have no desire to be rich, and no interest in giving up the fun of life to devote it to something inherently meaningless.

Ok, fine no desire- then what is the problem? I have no issues with you doing whatever you want. My only point is that keeping you poor is not a requirement for the economy. If you decided that you did want to make a bunch of money, you are not changing some mystical "balance" that is a requirement to function the economy. You don't want to, so you don't- end of story.

Vastet wrote:

 In order for a society to work as you seem to imagine it could, there would need to be a surplus of wealth in the hands of the majority.

There is. We live in the wealthiest countries in the history of mankind. Our "poor" are extremely rich by historical standards and compared to a vast majority of people in the world. Like I said, poor people are not required to operate the economy. They exist mostly because people decide not to do what it takes to make money. Which I am cool with. There is a big difference between "can't" and "don't want to". As long as you have the opportunity to make money if you want to, I don't see a problem with people deciding not to perform those actions and other people deciding to do them- which necessarily leads to a pay gap between those motivated to make money, and those who are motivated by other things. 

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Beyond Saving wrote:Vastet

Beyond Saving wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I have no money to invest, and there aren't a lot of opportunities around. I don't have the money to relocate. I also have no desire to be rich, and no interest in giving up the fun of life to devote it to something inherently meaningless.

Ok, fine no desire- then what is the problem? I have no issues with you doing whatever you want. My only point is that keeping you poor is not a requirement for the economy. If you decided that you did want to make a bunch of money, you are not changing some mystical "balance" that is a requirement to function the economy. You don't want to, so you don't- end of story.

Vastet wrote:

 In order for a society to work as you seem to imagine it could, there would need to be a surplus of wealth in the hands of the majority.

There is. We live in the wealthiest countries in the history of mankind. Our "poor" are extremely rich by historical standards and compared to a vast majority of people in the world. Like I said, poor people are not required to operate the economy. They exist mostly because people decide not to do what it takes to make money. Which I am cool with. There is a big difference between "can't" and "don't want to". As long as you have the opportunity to make money if you want to, I don't see a problem with people deciding not to perform those actions and other people deciding to do them- which necessarily leads to a pay gap between those motivated to make money, and those who are motivated by other things. 

 

The problem is the mindset from the majority of the political right that claims that people not rich or not interested in being rich are somehow inferior. Or if they have a bad life it would miraculously improve with the addition of money.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

Vastet's picture

Quote:Ok, fine no desire-

Quote:
Ok, fine no desire- then what is the problem?

The problem is a bunch of rich assholes fucked up the economy again, and now it's almost impossible to just get a full time job, let alone start a business.
I don't want to be rich, so I don't try to be.
I DO try to live comfortably, but most of the rich assholes are interfering with that.

Quote:
There is.

There is NOT. In Canada, which is vastly superior to the US in every single social aspect, more than 2 millon people wonder where their next meal comes from. I wonder how much worse it is in the US, where the government doesn't take anything like the kind of active role that Canada does in taking care of its people in times of need, and the unemployment rate is higher.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

jcgadfly wrote:The problem

jcgadfly wrote:

The problem is the mindset from the majority of the political right that claims that people not rich or not interested in being rich are somehow inferior. Or if they have a bad life it would miraculously improve with the addition of money.

I have never heard anyone say that.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:Quote:Ok, fine

Vastet wrote:
Quote:
Ok, fine no desire- then what is the problem?
The problem is a bunch of rich assholes fucked up the economy again, and now it's almost impossible to just get a full time job, let alone start a business. I don't want to be rich, so I don't try to be. I DO try to live comfortably, but most of the rich assholes are interfering with that.
Quote:
There is.
There is NOT. In Canada, which is vastly superior to the US in every single social aspect, more than 2 millon people wonder where their next meal comes from. I wonder how much worse it is in the US, where the government doesn't take anything like the kind of active role that Canada does in taking care of its people in times of need, and the unemployment rate is higher.

So why don't you and the poor Canadians demand that the government train them to be health care workers? Then offer Canadian style health care for a fraction of the cost to Americans.

The answer is that most of these unemployed don't want to work that hard. They just want free stuff and not have to study hard or work a hard job. Some may have learning disabilities, but no one really wants to work hard to educate them. Just give them enough to survive, then count on their votes in the next election. If the Canadian government was so concerned it would do this but the government is just a bunch of politicians interested in power not solving problems.

Have you ever consider that maybe the Canadian government only cares about it's citizens because it can? The ratio of natural resources to population is very high. Is the Haitian government less moral than Canada's, or does Canada just have more resources?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC's picture

Brian37 wrote:They just get

Brian37 wrote:

They just get pissed because we've exposed the lie "you want to rob us" when the reality has been the opposite.

The problem is that income tax doesn't discriminate among all the different ways 'the rich' make their money. The entrepreneur that worked his ass off and risked all his saving on starting a business that provides a valuable product or service has his income taxed just like the pay day advance bank that takes advantage of the working poor.

So why are you in favor of this system? Why not a system where cost and benefit are correlated? You throw the baby out with the bathwater by taxing the rich indiscriminately and saying they are all the same.

The worst people that get rich like drug dealers and people that employ illegals pay no income tax. You'd tax the underground economy by moving away from income tax.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

Vastet's picture

@ EXC Still ridiculous I

Americans don't want health care. That's the dumbest stategy anyone could come up with. Somehow I'm not surprised it was you who came up with it.
You're simply ridiculous. You can't form an argument that I haven't already torn to shit, yet you repeat the same faulty bs over and over, acting like a broken record set at high speed. Have fun with that.
Until you're capable of having a serious discussion, I'll be waiting and talking with the other grown ups.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving wrote:jcgadfly

Beyond Saving wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The problem is the mindset from the majority of the political right that claims that people not rich or not interested in being rich are somehow inferior. Or if they have a bad life it would miraculously improve with the addition of money.

I have never heard anyone say that.

Lucky you. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

EXC's picture

Vastet wrote:Americans don't

Vastet wrote:
Americans don't want health care.

Yes we all just love going bankrupt paying throught the ass for medicare and high insurance because of lack of health care workers.

Face it. We have poverty because people don't want to work that hard at a solution. The poor don't want to study or work that hard, teachers don't want to work that hard and the politians don't either. Just give them enought to survive in exchange for their votes, that's really the agenda.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC wrote:Vastet

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Americans don't want health care.

Yes we all just love going bankrupt paying throught the ass for medicare and high insurance because of lack of health care workers.

Face it. We have poverty because people don't want to work that hard at a solution. The poor don't want to study or work that hard, teachers don't want to work that hard and the politians don't either. Just give them enought to survive in exchange for their votes, that's really the agenda.

 

Since you and others on the right are against prospective health care workers getting financial aid for their education, that assessment (Americans don't want health care) seems to be reasonably accurate.

I think it's more that people don't want to work or study harder for no benefit while corporate CEOs do no work and get millions. 

Tax cuts are a disincentive to investment.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

EXC's picture

jcgadfly wrote:Since you and

jcgadfly wrote:

Since you and others on the right are against prospective health care workers getting financial aid for their education, that assessment (Americans don't want health care) seems to be reasonably accurate.

I've never said that I don't want people to aid for job training. What ought to be done is the government contract with private groups(corporations, universities and NPOs) and a pay these institution only when and if graduates get a job. That would be a social contract, society does something for the unemployed, then they do something for society.

But that won't happen because teacher's unions and because we have to let students study whatever they please:


"In 2009 the U.S. graduated 89,140 students in the visual and performing arts, more than in computer science, math and chemical engineering combined and more than double the number of visual and performing arts graduates in 1985."

http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/28/they-aint-making-any-more-of-them-the-great-engineering-shortage-of-2012/


jcgadfly wrote:

I think it's more that people don't want to work or study harder for no benefit while corporate CEOs do no work and get millions.

OK. So the problem is idiot shareholders of public corporations overpaying CEOs. Guess who is the largest shareholder of America's largest bank, J.P Morgan?CalPERS, California's government union workers, a large portion teachers. These are the people supposedly training up the next generation of workers. But it's more like play time teaching Glee and then taking an early retirement after the taxpayers have to bail out their pension fund for making bets on credit derivatives.

We have to get rid of unions and privatize services.
 

BTW, I'm not a right winger. When I debate right wingers, they call me a communist. The political left and right are both all about getting the rest of society to give them free stuff. They only differ in the kind of stuff they want. I'm for rational social and private contracts where cost is correlated with benefit. I'm against using government as a tool to get free stuff. So what party does that make me? I would call it anti-political, just like I'm anti-religion. Religion and Politics are really all about getting free stuff. All great scams start with making people think they are getting something for nothing.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

EXC wrote:jcgadfly

EXC wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Since you and others on the right are against prospective health care workers getting financial aid for their education, that assessment (Americans don't want health care) seems to be reasonably accurate.

I've never said that I don't want people to aid for job training. What ought to be done is the government contract with private groups(corporations, universities and NPOs) and a pay these institution only when and if graduates get a job. That would be a social contract, society does something for the unemployed, then they do something for society.

But that won't happen because teacher's unions and because we have to let students study whatever they please:


"In 2009 the U.S. graduated 89,140 students in the visual and performing arts, more than in computer science, math and chemical engineering combined and more than double the number of visual and performing arts graduates in 1985."

http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/28/they-aint-making-any-more-of-them-the-great-engineering-shortage-of-2012/


jcgadfly wrote:

I think it's more that people don't want to work or study harder for no benefit while corporate CEOs do no work and get millions.

OK. So the problem is idiot shareholders of public corporations overpaying CEOs. Guess who is the largest shareholder of America's largest bank, J.P Morgan?CalPERS, California's government union workers, a large portion teachers. These are the people supposedly training up the next generation of workers. But it's more like play time teaching Glee and then taking an early retirement after the taxpayers have to bail out their pension fund for making bets on credit derivatives.

We have to get rid of unions and privatize services.
 

BTW, I'm not a right winger. When I debate right wingers, they call me a communist. The political left and right are both all about getting the rest of society to give them free stuff. They only differ in the kind of stuff they want. I'm for rational social and private contracts where cost is correlated with benefit. I'm against using government as a tool to get free stuff. So what party does that make me? I would call it anti-political, just like I'm anti-religion. Religion and Politics are really all about getting free stuff. All great scams start with making people think they are getting something for nothing.

 

Get rid of unions? Gee, who needs safe working conditions and protection from capricious firings and wage cuts? That 8-hour day is pretty damned useless also - workers don't need sleep. And why can't we have 12 year old kids working in the steel mills? Why don't we just move workers into company housing and make sure they can only buy what they need from the company at the cost of their paycheck?

Fortunately for your side, "Right to Work" aka "Right to get union protections without paying for it" is sweeping the nation.  I look forward to India and China outsourcing here because they're paying their people too much money.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

EXC's picture

jcgadfly wrote: Get rid of

jcgadfly wrote:

 

Get rid of unions? Gee, who needs safe working conditions and protection from capricious firings and wage cuts?

 

Red Herring. There are already laws against unsafe working conditions. Unions have nothing to do with this. There are pleanty of workers that do just fine without a union. It only helps those whose job skills are in very low demand and should look for another profession anyways. It's better to negociate with employers directly and cut out any middleman.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

1. Unions Gave Us The

1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.

2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income. It is also true that at the time when most Americans belonged to a union — a period of time between the 1940′s and 1950′s — income inequality in the U.S. was at its lowest point in the history of the country.

3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.

4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”

5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci

Brian37's picture

Beyond, I am really sick of

Beyond, I am really sick of you posting your economic tripe as if it is a single checkbook you personally own.

Warren Buffet, Robert Reich, and Suszy Orman and now this Billionaire Nick Hanauer, are all saying pretty much the same thing I am, that it is NOT "every man for themselves".

Nick said basically that HE WAS NOT a job creator, that the consumer, the bulk of the economy is based on the buying power of the middle class and poor. He went on to say that HENRY FORD, who should be your hero, had the attitude that it made no sense to make something the workers themselves could not buy.

WHICH CONFIRMS every fucking thing I have been arguing. When you chase after the buck with blinders on it hurts everyone long term. You cannot increase the pay gap forever before it destroys the buying power of the bulk of society.

Your pontificating, pretending to be a technocrat using studies that are merely conformation bias, certainly DO work, but for your own ends, not as a model that sustains an entire economy. The past thirty years of gutting manufacturing, hiding money in the Cayman Islands, exploding pay gap and exploding cost of living while wages stagnate and fall, IS KILLING the middle class and making more people dependent on government, which despite what you might think, I don't want either.

You sniff Ayn Rand's ass as if you were a Christian kissing the ass of Jesus. And don't see that what you do is just as bad and naive as what Marx postulated that lead to the abuse of power of Stalin.

MONEY EQUALS POWER, and is used both by politics and private sector and religion. So the issue has NEVER been about personal wealth, but keeping the train(economy) on the tracks by preventing abuse of power. Limited government can ONLY depend on those who want it think about others. When they don't they give society no choice but to turn to the same government the private sector uses as well.

 

IT IS OUR government, not yours. One word cliches never work as economic policies EITHER WAY and confuses the issue in both cases. The issue is abuse. Both government and private sector are RUN BY HUMANS and as such can be gamed and destructive.

Nick seems to get it and Henry Ford seems to have gotten it. You cant say "I got mine, fuck you". It is no better or different a monopoly than a political party or religion can set up. The only difference is who is doing the abusing.

I post rich person after rich person in these posts, since you won't take my word for it, and you STILL want to pretend you are a Harvard economists and shit on economists who do have degrees whom I have mentioned who disagree with you.

What you do here with this elaborate tripe is no different than when a Christian tries to use pi to prove the existence of Jesus.

It is economic voodoo which does not play in to our REAL history.

If all Billionaires were like Nick and Henry Ford our economy never would have been in this mess. It's called empathy. They seem to know that without the worker they would be nothing and have nothing.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Beyond Saving's picture

Brian37 wrote:Beyond, I am

Brian37 wrote:

Beyond, I am really sick of you posting your economic tripe as if it is a single checkbook you personally own.

If I had single control over the checkbook our country wouldn't be facing the very real threat of bankruptcy.

 

Brian37 wrote:

Warren Buffet, Robert Reich, and Suszy Orman and now this Billionaire Nick Hanauer, are all saying pretty much the same thing I am, that it is NOT "every man for themselves".

Nick said basically that HE WAS NOT a job creator, that the consumer, the bulk of the economy is based on the buying power of the middle class and poor. He went on to say that HENRY FORD, who should be your hero, had the attitude that it made no sense to make something the workers themselves could not buy.

WHICH CONFIRMS every fucking thing I have been arguing. When you chase after the buck with blinders on it hurts everyone long term. You cannot increase the pay gap forever before it destroys the buying power of the bulk of society.

All this confirms is that you have meaningless appeals to authority. Henry Ford? Lol, you should do a little research on how Henry Ford ran his business- he paid really well but also was extremely intrusive in his workers lives, he treated them like he owned them going so far as to hire private eyes to make sure they were moral off work. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

Your pontificating, pretending to be a technocrat using studies that are merely conformation bias, certainly DO work, but for your own ends, not as a model that sustains an entire economy. The past thirty years of gutting manufacturing, hiding money in the Cayman Islands, exploding pay gap and exploding cost of living while wages stagnate and fall, IS KILLING the middle class and making more people dependent on government, which despite what you might think, I don't want either.

Show me one fact that I have stated incorrectly, show me evidence that any of my sources are not reliable, refer me to any information that you believe I have skipped over and is relevant. All you have is a handful of appeals to authority, I think I have sufficiently backed up ever factual claim I have made- if not I am willing to provide more support. For example, "the past thirty years of gutting manufacturing"- can you provide any evidence that US manufacturing has been "gutted"? Any evidence that money is "hiding" in the Cayman Islands?

 

Middle class- How are you defining it? What incomes qualify as "middle class"? (It varies radically by which model you use) Then show me evidence that it is shrinking AND evidence of how its shrinking is in any way the results of any policy I have supported. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

IT IS OUR government, not yours. One word cliches never work as economic policies EITHER WAY and confuses the issue in both cases. The issue is abuse. Both government and private sector are RUN BY HUMANS and as such can be gamed and destructive.

Lol, you have nothing but a shitload of cliches. Cliches are all you throw at me combined with incredible historical ignorance- for example, using Henry Ford as an appeal to authority. Henry Ford, well known for being extremely anti-union and downright tyrannical with his employees, no doubt if you had been alive at the time you would have used Henry Ford as an example of everything wrong with workplace relations. I hope you keep reading my history of economics blogs because you will learn a lot if you aren't closed minded. I encourage you to do your own research if you think anything I have said is incorrect or cherry picking. I am trying to be thorough but you really could easily write thousands of pages on the topic and I don't have the inclination to even attempt that. If you want additional sources for anything I say just ask I am happy to provide them. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

I post rich person after rich person in these posts, since you won't take my word for it, and you STILL want to pretend you are a Harvard economists and shit on economists who do have degrees whom I have mentioned who disagree with you.

The only economist you named is Reich. But yeah, a lot of people disagree with me, so what? A lot of people also agree with me, some with extremely impressive resumes- so what? Note: you keep bitching about how everything is fucked up because of economic policy since WW2, Robert Reich has been an influential adviser in three separate administrations- Ford, Carter & Clinton, how did that work our for you? I don't care about appeals to authority, they mean nothing. Which is why I routinely provide links to raw data and attempt to explain how I drew my conclusion from that data. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

What you do here with this elaborate tripe is no different than when a Christian tries to use pi to prove the existence of Jesus.

It is economic voodoo which does not play in to our REAL history.

If all Billionaires were like Nick and Henry Ford our economy never would have been in this mess. It's called empathy. They seem to know that without the worker they would be nothing and have nothing.

Real history? Where am I wrong? What have I not portrayed correctly? What history that I am referencing is incorrect or incomplete? Feel free to add on if you think I am skipping over anything super important. It is difficult to cover everything in history which is why I am going law by law because I am directly disputing YOUR claim that the laws passed prior to the Great Depression were Laissez Faire a claim that is completely absurd and could be debunked by just listing all the laws passed in the early 1900's. I am attempting to simply make a detailed summary of what laws were passed and attempting to withhold my opinion on the laws- some of them I don't think are necessarily bad, some I think are terrible. 

 

If I am ignorant of something please inform me. I make no claim that I know absolutely everything about this era, but I am intrigued by it and consider myself fairly well informed. If you have access to some knowledge that you think I am unaware of, please share it. So far you have just accused me of making shit up, but are incapable of telling exactly what I made up even though I try to source most everything with raw data. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Well from what I've read the

Well from what I've read the Middle Class is shrinking.  From being 65 percent of the population in 1970 to only 44 percent today.  But the trick is where that missing 21 percent went.

15 percent of them moved up into the affluent class while only 6 percent dropped into poverty.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/RussellSageIncomeSegregationreport.pdf

What is disturbing though, is what kind of society we will be living in, when we are a two tiered society of only rich and poor?

A new peasant class perhaps?  Looks like revolution time.  But technology will probably screw that up for the poor SOBs.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci

Beyond Saving's picture

Watcher wrote:Well from what

Watcher wrote:

Well from what I've read the Middle Class is shrinking.  From being 65 percent of the population in 1970 to only 44 percent today.  But the trick is where that missing 21 percent went.

15 percent of them moved up into the affluent class while only 6 percent dropped into poverty.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/RussellSageIncomeSegregationreport.pdf

What is disturbing though, is what kind of society we will be living in, when we are a two tiered society of only rich and poor?

A new peasant class perhaps?  Looks like revolution time.  But technology will probably screw that up for the poor SOBs.

 

And that is why I asked how "middle class" is being defined- in this report they defined it based on percentage of median income. If you look at the middle class as being the middle quintiles of the income tax payers the class has not shrunk and has really close to the same percentage of total income as they had 30-40 years ago. Or you can define class by occupation which is an extremely useful way to analyze data but is rarely used because accurate employment information is extremely difficult to get. 

 

Using median income makes for flawed comparisons because median income today is not what it was 30 years ago and median income has grown faster than inflation. So being at 100% median income today you are richer than someone at 100% median income 30 years ago in terms of your real purchasing power. Using median income is how we define people living in air conditioned homes with internet access and four tvs as in poverty. Median income has its uses, but it also needs to be kept in context. I have seen news reporters often take it out of context hysterically reporting how high poverty is in America compared to some random shit country- ignoring the fact that the poor person here lives a much more comfortable life than the average person in the other country or even this country decades ago. 

 

For example, median household income in 1970 was $7,396 which adjusted for inflation $43,766. While median household income in 2010 was $49,455 a full 13% higher even after adjusting for inflation.  http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf So simply declaring that the middle class is shrinking and that is somehow a necessarily bad thing is extremely shallow. Are most people more poor today in terms of standard of living than they were in 1970? Obviously not.

 

Have the rich gotten richer faster than the middle class? Yes. As the rich always do when an economy is growing, however in the recent recession the rich have gotten poorer faster too- that is just the reality that the rich invest more money and their incomes are more closely related to the swings of the economy than someone who spends most of their money. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is a catchy campaign slogan but is of little use in determining whether or not there is a real problem that we should address. The poor made $0 in 1970 and they still make $0 today but if you had a time machine and could choose to live with no income in 1970 or live with no income today you are either ignorant or stupid to take it back to 1970.

 

The reason why an expanding pay gap can often be a good thing is because some people will not make money, period. No matter what, they will make $0 and only have whatever pittance is given to them. Maybe they are physically incapable, maybe they simply don't want to work, but whatever their reason they will never make money no matter how great the economy is. As the economy improves everyone else gets richer, they stay just as poor and the *gasp* pay gap widens. The size of the pay gap is strongly related to the wealth of a country, as the country gets wealthier the pay gap widens, as a country gets poorer it narrows because no one has money and therefore everyone is getting closer to the person who makes $0. I don't want anyone getting closer to $0, I want everyone to make more and the group making $0 to be as small as possible since they are living on the charity of everyone else (much of which is not included as income even though they receive real value).

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Median household income has

Median household income has dropped 7% since 2000.  The number of those living below the poverty line is going up.

I'm pretty sure my generation is going to be the first generation that will not become more affluent than the preceding one here in America.

That's a bummer.

Wall Street Journal wrote:

Earnings of the typical man who works full-time year round fell, and are lower—adjusted for inflation—than in 1978.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904265504576568543968213896.html

 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci

Vastet's picture

EXC wrote:Vastet

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Americans don't want health care.

Yes we all just love going bankrupt paying throught the ass for medicare and high insurance because of lack of health care workers.

Exactly. If you wanted healthcare, you'd follow a proven and affordable strategy, like Canada and other nation's have done.

Quote:

Face it. We have poverty because people don't want to work that hard at a solution. The poor don't want to study or work that hard, teachers don't want to work that hard and the politians don't either. Just give them enought to survive in exchange for their votes, that's really the agenda.

 

Your opinion is not an argument.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

EXC wrote:jcgadfly

EXC wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

 

Get rid of unions? Gee, who needs safe working conditions and protection from capricious firings and wage cuts?

 

Red Herring. There are already laws against unsafe working conditions. Unions have nothing to do with this. There are pleanty of workers that do just fine without a union. It only helps those whose job skills are in very low demand and should look for another profession anyways. It's better to negociate with employers directly and cut out any middleman.

The laws were put into place because of the unions. They stay in place because of the unions. Not sure what repealing the protections after the unions go away (which would very likely happen in America) would be good for anyone.

Negotiating directly with the employer works fine if you have a workforce of less than 10. Get up into the hundreds and thousands and you can forget about functioning as a business. You'll spend so much time negotiating that nothing will get done.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin