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crithical tinkerer
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russell If you are up for moderation of other factual mistakes. Tariffs and land royalties would cover about 10% wealthiest Americans, let be even more generous and say 20%. That is not much taxation comparing it to present. Fifty percent of employed people last year earned $25K *or less*. correct one is Fifty percent of *IRS fillings last year earned 25K or less. Employees that earned less then $3500 and no dependents have no reason to file taxes to IRS. And i would guess there is 5-15% of population that fits that. Add to that 5% more of those that were not employed throughout the year and you can easily come to 65% of US population earned less then 25K. Adding to that that this number comes from IRS that counts households not families, since many are moving in with their friends and families the picture gets even worse.
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I keep getting stunned by the theory that .people who are mostly at the bottom because their behavior keeps them there, / believing that jobs are created for talents that people poses/ pulling yourself by the bootstraps. Most of the conservatives and a lot, a lot of liberals (considering the basic theories) believe in this fairy tale. Let's say that bottom 20% does "pull themselves by the bootstraps" and arrive into better incomes. What to do with those jobs they used to occupy? do they disappear or get filled with robots, illegal aliens, legal aliens, or even better, aliens. That would fit better for that fairy tale. The problem is in 20% bottom jobs, not with people that occupy them. 20% bottom full time, slave wage jobs not people that occupy them, again. Just take a look at Europe where the same, absolutely same jobs as bottom jobs in US have similar wage and benefits to next income level jobs. It is about politically set up income distribution system. It is not, absolutely not, about talents, intellectual ability or any other imaginary division you can think of.
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If you want flat tax then give me more equal wealth distribution, just like in most of the Europe. They can have flatter tax only because they have flatter income distribution. It is about the civil order and stability.
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but they all have social engineering consequences due to their distributional effects. Social engineering is not the consequence but the purpose for taxation. To see how, why not investigate how taxation started and for what purpose, but also need to know purpose of government and how it started. Cleek explained previously how government in Somalia can start to organize. Primary purpose of a government is to keep order and stability, secondary is to solve the next biggest problem for society that is out of capability of individuals. Before 1913 there was not much taxation, government revenue came from tariffs and land royalties. Revolution in information speed and philosophical thought moved public opinion and forced government to stabilize the banking system that was causing repeated booms and busts. Higher revenue was raised trough higher land rent taxes. It was the fear from worldwide communist rise that will arrive in the US during Great Depression that forced FDR to calm population by equalizing wealth inequality trough income taxation. Moderating the wealth distribution trough progressive taxation was done to keep order and stability as a primary purpose of a government. You all are aware of many instances of government sending police and army to shut down protests and strikes at the beginning of the 19th century and killing of many of them. What was McCarthy era for? Do you think Civil Rights would come if there was no mass protests at the time? Government purpose is to keep order and stability and it was doing it trough progressive taxation and welfare programs. Ever since 1972 the government kept on testing the limits of civil order and stability by progressively reducing progressiveness of taxation and equality of wealth distribution. It seems OWS will put stop to that. I hope.
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wj What Laura is saying is that income inequality has political causes while your inability to become NBA player and cash it out big time has natural causes. And mental ability is not disproportionately rewarded in our current economy but moral flexibility is.
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*but also the most unequal wealth distribution. IF you look how the taxation is set up and what it pays for separate of the larger picture, or in other words if you look at every single tree, you would never find two branches equal as when you look at the forest and how stable and orderly it is. Wealth distribution affects order and stability and should be looked at as such. Taxation is part of wealth distribution.
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If resource distribution rules are set that my time given to a corporation, away from my family and from what i would, as a would be free man, prefer to do is less compensated then to some manager, now you conservatives want even more of my compensation to be given back. And the distribution rules are set by force and controlling power not by democratic tendencies. Check out this study about what Americans perceive and what distribution want comparing to ideal and Sweden type distribution. You so called conservatives want even more unequal unjust distribution then already is, even tough the other study says that US taxation is the most progressive of all developed world, but also the most unequal.
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And i forgot to mention that dry drunkers are extremely persuadable by those they consider friendly. They consider friendly only those that flatter them. I was married to one for a while, i know them well.
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wj:Finally, one of the big factors in the later violence was that the troops went home with their weapons. Why did they go home? Because, with the army being disbanded, their livelihood was being taken away. Turbulence:Um, no, not really. Look, the US was powerless to stop attacks against its forces until it began giving (literally) tons of cash and weapons to its enemies. Turbulence, isn't that in effect the same thing: bribing the enemy or paying the army to stay put? And, if we argue that our reaction was based in fear, why not give them, Iraqis, a benefit of acting in fear. I have a different theory about what was behind actions of our leaders with handling of Iraq war post "Mission Accomplished". I always trust the leadership words. I always believe that they believe what they are saying, that they say what they believe. The trick is to understand the position they come from and the words they use. What those words mean to those persons when they used them. Bush really believed that the "Mission" was accomplished. That mission was to enter Baghdad which his father "failed". Next mission was to find WMD, which they wasted months of searching for. Next mission was to find Al-Qaeda in Iraq, hence thousands of arrested and tortured there. Next mission was to get back the expenses of the war from Iraq resources. The problem with understanding the Bush stated plans is not considering how stupid he really is, how stupid a "born again" chronic (dry) alcoholic can really be. They are motivated purely by emotions, projecting their vices onto the "enemy", they can love or hate, there is no middle or moderate emotions. A child with a huge powers.
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There is a clear presentation of state of mind of people that have military might behind them. This is a state of mind of the US as a whole, having the strongest military might in the world, by far. It is a state of mind of a person that owns a non hunting gun. It is an example of when you own the biggest hammer all problems are nail. It is a twisted interpretation of the "An eye for an eye" that they claim where the actual outcome would be "head for an eye" It was just yesterday that i argued about psychology of people owning a gun. It is from my experience of the war i lived trough and encounters with armed people with intent to kill unarmed me. They would usually approach me with intention to check me out if i am or if i could be a potential threat to their lives even tough i am unarmed and they were. They do not wish to kill more then they have to, in their mind that is twisted by possessing the gun, or the most powerful military in the world by far. I would act as if i was their friend with smile and jokes that reassured their mind that i wasn't a threat to them. I believe that was the difference in attitude between me and those who responded with fear or rage in their eyes that made the difference in outcome. I argue that possession of a gun gives the people an awareness of possibility of loosing something they have. And that owning a gun gives them an illusion that they can keep something that is achieved mentally only. Well, you can argue that people with inferiority complex already in them would be compelled to buy a gun. I would argue that it is a positive feedback issue. This is about people not living in ghetto conditions where there is an obvious need for owning a gun.
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You are very welcome where is Oswald when we need him Haven't seen that one. I live in south where i've seen about half a dozen of them and a couple of others with a similar message. There is a relatively strong support for such thinking down south, and i really badly want to remove such support.
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This is an example of overreaction on our side. If the GOP is looking to ignite riots and a 2nd American civil war, this would be one way to do it: If Republicans get their president in 2012 there is extremely small chance that there will be a civil war. It requires a multi-year drought and exhaustion of the Ogallala Aquifer and Lake Mead. There is no chance for American Spring lasting long enough given the Republican president. The response will be more fierce then the response in Bahrein. The 2nd civil war can happen with Dem president only and when Republicans feel that they control most of the military. And i do not see a concentrated effort to control the military, not even an effort. They do control private armies like Xe and other, tough. But their forces are outside of the country still. Sometimes i ask myself if that is the reason Obama keeps them in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of stopping the wars and letting them back into the US. For a civil war you really need about 20-25% of population to feel like they have nothing to loose with some kind of a leadership. And we are not there yet, maybe half-way there. Multi-year drought would get us there. Or a multi-year GOP control of the institutional powers would get us there. Given that we are in the historic period of huge electoral swings from election to election, GOP would not stay in power long enough. But combination of GOP presidency and continent wide drought will reduce the time for creating conditions for civil war to a couple of years. Two scenarios for civil wars: top down like The American Civil War, or bottom up from starvation and lack of effective safety-net institutions like in Arab Spring. So we are very far from civil war but very close to fascism that eventually can lead us there.
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And do not use too sophisticated wording because such their idiotic solutions did not come from sophisticated knowledge of the matter at hand. It came from stopping the investigation of the problems when it matched their emotions. It is like attacking their emotions which is really dangerous, but given enough practice i can manage it. I manage by using questions with implications, or transferring their positions to some well known example from history. Goodwin's law applies equally to the real world, except with the tight group of friends and family.
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It was, basically, rude of me. I'm prone to being a hothead, I'm prone to foot in mouth disease, I'm prone to going off when I get upset. Russel I had to deal with the same problem, had to stop and think about how to solve it after realizing that i was doing more damage then use to my purpose of educating and finding a consensus. After a period of listening only and asking more questions to understand from what logic such ideas come and from what source did they initially get them it was a time for action with purpose. I followed this course: Do not react instantaneously, give yourself time to calm down, figure out epistemology from their vocabulary use and watch the reaction of others who were listening. Initial words should point to absurdity of their statement as to be an attention grabber, reach far down close to the bottom line of the common ground and build from there. And watch for my own emotions not to get out of hand. I found out, just as you did, that so many times the split of ideas occurred after "i want to be a good person and do good for the country", really far down. Extremely rarely i encounter a pure evil person where they advocate for killing of the other side, mostly as a passing car sticker with "where is Oswald when we need him". Cheering the mention of Rick Perry's executions, and YEAHs at "Let them die" insinuations from GOP debates come really close to that.
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‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'
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I'm fairly sure that we all shrink from face-to-face political arguments. Tony, I do not shrink from face-to-face politics. Two years ago, even kicked a person out of the tax office i am manager off for calling Obama a nigger. In Phoenix, AZ. I do it because i am aware of the alternative, and i did nothing to prevent the war in Croatia(not that i could anyway). Not this time. I will do everything that i can. And i do it every time i hear bs, but i never start it, even with my customers in my other business, every time i hear a bs i respond.
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it is interesting to see the President go back to pass.the.bill.now, "Interesting" in your sentence i read as something negative, derogatory. Are you saying that he should not campaign for election (because that's all he is doing)when everyone else is doing it. Is it because the President is Democrat? Do you ever think in such way when the President is the one you voted for?
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I remember well my emotions on 9/11. It was a first day of painting work at Keebler's plant offices near Chicago. First glimpse of something scary going on were invites to me by Keebler employees to go to conference room and watch the TV. Those inviting me and not my Mexican coworkers had REM like eye movement watching out for something. I started watching the events few minutes before second plane hit the south WTC tower. Just before that i started arguing that out of control plane would not enter inside the building and since there was no fog it was intentional. Gasps around the room reminded me of so many during the war in my country watching the artillery shells hitting the buildings in my city. And my parents house being right under the path of many artillery shells bombarding the city for over 4 years worrying about some of them missing intended target and hitting our house. Our subdivision had many Serbian people so they were avoiding to target us. Since i relived similar situations few times i wasn't sharing the emotions with the rest of the room, but started worrying about US reaction toward recent immigrants, strangers. That didn't last long for the people started asking me more questions and treating me equal, like their own. I actually did not see it as some world changing event. My thinking was exactly as Methos's words to Doc. It was already a part of my previous experiences. Pretty soon someone came up with the name i never heard off Osama bin-Ladin. Then it was Pentagon and soon the White House came under the threat. I remember thinking that if the WH building was destroyed the US response would be like a crazy giant destroying everything in it's path and causing the WW3. I actually went home with a relief that the White House as a simbol of the US that everyone looks to, wasn't destroyed.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2011 on Methos and me on September 11th at Obsidian Wings
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Ok. Now they are right that it is an imposition on their personal liberty, even tough in very insignificant, minuscule measure. They do not want to pay for others/ keep all their money for themselves (instant gratification). Other side is arguing that they still are paying for others trough market forces, trough federal expenses for ER even tough they are not aware of it. So they are still getting other kind of imposition on their personal liberty at the present that they are not aware of it. Those that are aware of such indirect pressure on their personal liberty are not aware of total price of having sick people dying off, costless in dollar measure but very costly in total productivity of the country. So they are thinking in ways of "i do not want to pay for someone else" and we are thinking :"you are paying it even tough you are not aware of it, so lets fix it to minimize suffering and get the total cost down" Instant gratification versus delayed gratification. Individualism versus colectivism
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I do not see a disagreement with your and my view. Mine is compressed and yours is nuanced, on two different levels, mine determined your more relative. Different people have different definitions for "good". Yes, and those differences are coming from a single idea, me me me me. We all are selfish. Want satisfaction. One group finds it in more wealth (instant gratification) and other is finding satisfaction from others around us, from the happy world around us. I would appreciate if you would give me some examples of different definitions of "good" that you are aware of. I am aware only of those two definitions that come from what is good for me only, don't care about others and another definition that comes from what is good for humanity as a whole (tide lifts all of us together)
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Common ground is still common for all of us: Our own family to do good and better. It is just that one side is obsessed with instant gratification and other side knows it is a road to ruin of all. And we as a group have to get out from that relativism trend and start blocking the bullsh!t at every step from anybody, even from Obama if somebody have a chance to get in touch face to face. Working on it while at the same time being aware of dangers becoming like them and dehumanizing other side.
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No one likes constantly being called the bad guy, evil or ill intentioned. Did i imagine cheering at the mention of executing 248 people by Rick Perry at GOP debate? Those evil Democratic identity politicians.
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This is the first year, if I recall correctly, that we begin paying more than we are collecting. The reason that this happened this year already is payroll tax cut from last year bill in amount of $120B. SS fund projections were $87B deficit for this year with effects of the bill. Without payroll tax cut there would still be $33B surplus from present year. But it seams that income was higher then included in last projections. And now they are talking about 3% payroll tax cut instead of 2% for next year.
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I am curious what in particular you disagree with in Will's analysis. Russel, if i may. I will anyway. Will's analysis asks for individualism above all, begin all-end all practice. It doesn't consider individuals abusing other individuals. Since the US constitution is mostly concerned with state power being used against individuals and having no clear protection of individuals from other individuals using tricky and abusive contracts. I think you would agree that contracts could be used to practically enslave people. Should contracts be unbreakable in absolute? Actually, the decision flowed from bedrock American doctrine: The individual possesses inalienable rights — here, liberty of contract — that cannot be legislated away for casual or disreputable reasons. What are bankruptcies for? And who dissolves contracts in bankruptcies? By Will's arguments bankruptcy is unconstitutional. What is the reason bankruptcies are not "casual or disreputable reason"? He even goes further to deny dissenting opinion from Holmes which is giving power to legislators to legislate. Since any new law will trample someone for benefit of others, there should be no new laws. I do not hear anybody crying about legislating time limits to professional drivers, except commissioned mileage drivers. Statutory limit is something like 10 hours of driving within 20 hours. The same reason is for limiting food worker hours. There must have been a lot of complaints about sand, hair, nail clippings, machine parts, etc. in their bread at the turn of the century.The majority said “clean and wholesome bread” does not depend on limiting workers’ hours: Do you think that with workers exhaustion and despair there would be no mistakes?
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I apologize to all for not previewing my comment and causing italics
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