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657250 Posts in 9253 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 85 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: the continuing story of the 2008 political election  (Read 66142 times)
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #50 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:03:07 PM »

It's really too bad the guy who was talking about universal health care got fucked in the ass by the media. Edwards was my first choice, with Clinton a tentative second.

A tort lawyer isn't really my first choice to fix the healthcare system.

Also, healthcare isn't an all/none proposition.  Current government sponsored healthcare costs are rising faster than any other government expenditures.  Universal healthcare would only make that worse.

well, i don't want to make it seem like i don't support tax increases in order to pay for universal health care--i do. but i think they should mostly apply to people who make more than $100k a year. i think we need to add in at least two more tax brackets above our current top tax bracket, which starts at salaries of something like $240k per year. when there are people in america who make multiple millions per year, the idea of someone who makes $240k a year sharing a tax bracket with the highest-paid americans is fucking absurd.

continuing with this thought: i didn't even bring up ways to close corporate tax loopholes and increase taxes upon corporations, which would probably bring in a good bit more tax money than even a righteous tax increase on the richest 1% of wage earners would do.

but here's the thing: dave, when you talk about the amount of money the federal government can afford to spend, you don't even think about the fact that there are ways we can increase that amount of money. what you're saying to pollo all makes sense, but it's like you're thinking of the current federal budget as the maximum amount of money that it can be, which it SO isn't. as i've pointed out on this board many times, the current highest tax bracket is something like a third of what it was, percentage-wise, under eisenhower. there's so much more money out there that has been turned away ever since the reagan era began, in the interest of "stimulating the economy/business growth", and the fact is that this policy hasn't worked. the republicans are STILL bringing up trickle-down economics in their debates even now, and it's never worked, and it won't start to work now. the whole thing has to be given up for a bad job. tax policy needs a major overhaul. and once that's done, and some honest work is done to cut defense spending, there's no reason why john edwards' call for actual honest-to-god universal health care wouldn't be an achievable goal.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #51 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:04:00 PM »

This always seems non-equitable to me, because it's not as though people at higher levels of earning receive disproportionate benefits on average.  But I guess you're way more OK with taxation as a form of income redistribution than I am.

it's the only way to maintain our standard of living, dude. otherwise we're headed straight backwards into the gilded age. if it has a net-negative effect on the wealth of the richest 1 percent, so be it. they ain't gonna starve or even suffer. for them, it isn't currently, but should be, seen as the cost of doing business in this country. it's as simple as that.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #52 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:07:31 PM »

Isn't having a disproportionately high income the biggest benefit there is?

In most cases, it's not a government-granted benefit, so I don't see how it enters the discussion.  Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.

the argument that wealth is not government granted when the ability to earn said wealth was in large part provided by the laws of the country in which the wealth was earned is, to my mind, a deeply flawed argument. i'm not saying that the rich get an income ceiling and we take all their money once they surpass it--that would be wrong. but if they make more money, they get a greater percentage of it taxed--that's already how our system is set up. we're just going too easy on them, which is why the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is getting smaller, and the governmental programs that our country provides, including the ones we all support such as education, are going to shit.

EDIT: triple post of power


p.s. no matter what sort of arguments we get into about these issues, i'm always glad that there's a robust discussion about such subjects on here, so thanks to all of you for providing that, even those of you i disagree with. Much Love all around.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2008, 05:10:37 PM by Andrew_TSKS » Logged

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guanajuato
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« Reply #53 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:09:25 PM »

Everyone seems to distrust Romney, and with good reason. He's gone from the values candidate (which how the hell did he think that was gonna work when he had to talk about his Mormonism eventually?) to the business candidate to the more-conservative-than-McCain candidate. Kinda characteristic of his entire political career, really. I mean you can forgive someone's like epiphanic realization w/r/t some moral issue if it's genuine, but with Romney it always just looks like the greedy opportunism that it really is.

no doubt you're right on all those points. but the romney family videos are sources of endless entertainment! there's really nothing faker than this.

http://www.mittromney.com/Learn-About-Mitt/Photo-Album/The-Romney-Family/Ann_Romney_Christmas_2006
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DCDave
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« Reply #54 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:10:19 PM »

This always seems non-equitable to me, because it's not as though people at higher levels of earning receive disproportionate benefits on average.  But I guess you're way more OK with taxation as a form of income redistribution than I am.

it's the only way to maintain our standard of living, dude. otherwise we're headed straight backwards into the gilded age. if it has a net-negative effect on the wealth of the richest 1 percent, so be it. they ain't gonna starve or even suffer. for them, it isn't currently, but should be, seen as the cost of doing business in this country. it's as simple as that.

Yeah, I basically disagree with this.  I don't understand how higher tax rates would lead to better economic stimulation.  Why not reduction in government services, instead?  If we were talking local taxes, state taxes, or had a federalized education system, I could understand this more, but I don't see how simply taking more money from the top 1% and spending it on a general basket of goods is going to help the economy at all.  There's a limited number of things which actually lead to productivity gains:  Education, research and development, and appropriate consumption of preventative health care.  Our productivity levels are still among the highest in the world.  I would argue that our economy is stagnant because of a trade deficit, limited investment, and lack of appropriate regulation in some financial sectors. 

I don't see how redistributive tax policies solve any of those issues.

Also, the argument that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer is an oversimplification.  The rich are getting richer, and the poor are not getting richer as fast as the rich.  However, the purchasing power of the median poor has not been broadly affected. 
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2008, 05:14:52 PM by DCDave » Logged

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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #55 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:14:27 PM »

It's going to be interesting, if Obama does get the nomination, to hear what those same Republicans are saying this summer, after conservative media outlets start going after him in earnest.  We already know Clinton can survive it; they've been somewhat hesitant to go after Obama so far.

yeah, I'm not talking about bill oreilly here, I'm talking about Joe Republican, with only a mild interest in the process. 

Oh, I know.  I am too.  Joe Republican will say things like, "Obama's not so bad" now, when he's up against Clinton.  I'm saying that I wonder if that's going to be the case if he's up against McCain or Romney, and the sole focus of conservative talk radio's ire for months on end.

with ann coulter endorsing hilary clinton over john mccain, i'm really interested in whether or not the whackjob wing of the republican party (which includes most of the right wing punditry) will even support mccain if/when he does get the republican nomination. will they try to get everyone to stay home? will some whackjob third party candidate come out of nowhere? will they all tell people that this proves some kind of weird theory about how the political mainstream is being stolen by spineless liberals, and that there's no point in even bothering to engage with it anymore? or will they pretend the last couple months of their mccain-hateration never happened? i'm interested in finding out the answers to these questions.

Yeah, it'd definitely be interesting to see what right-wing punditry would make of a McCain nomination.  I've got to think that they'll swallow their pride and pimp the GOP candidate at all costs.  Coulter was being provocative there, as she's wont to do, but Hannity was definitely "Whoa, whoa, let's no go that far."  Plus, their tactics are generally not "Look how great our guy is!" as much as "Look at what a bastard the other guy is!" so they could just go after Obama or Clinton tooth-and-nail and present McCain as the better of two evils.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #56 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:15:01 PM »

wait, let's run through this one again:

Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.

are you seriously arguing that they don't? with the corporate loopholes that currently exist? with the "trickle-down" theories of taxation that are put in practice where their taxes are concerned? come on, dude.

and now this:

This always seems non-equitable to me, because it's not as though people at higher levels of earning receive disproportionate benefits on average.  But I guess you're way more OK with taxation as a form of income redistribution than I am.

it's the only way to maintain our standard of living, dude. otherwise we're headed straight backwards into the gilded age. if it has a net-negative effect on the wealth of the richest 1 percent, so be it. they ain't gonna starve or even suffer. for them, it isn't currently, but should be, seen as the cost of doing business in this country. it's as simple as that.

Yeah, I basically disagree with this.  I don't understand how higher tax rates would lead to better economic stimulation.  Why not reduction in government services, instead?  If we were talking local taxes, state taxes, or had a federalized education system, I could understand this more, but I don't see how simply taking more money from the top 1% and spending it on a general basket of goods is going to help the economy at all.  There's a limited number of things which actually lead to productivity gains:  Education, research and development, and appropriate consumption of preventative health care.  Our productivity levels are still among the highest in the world.  I would argue that our economy is stagnant because of a trade deficit, limited investment, and lack of appropriate regulation in some financial sectors. 

I don't see how redistributive tax policies solve any of those issues.

i'll give you the point about the trade deficit, and my solution for that is not raising taxes but actually reversing most of the free trade laws that have been put into place and make it more economically advantageous for companies to produce goods domestically again, the way it was throughout the 20th century when we actually moved from where we were in the gilded age to where we were 30 years ago. in the interest of making the richest people in this country richer and, as a consequence, not giving a shit about what happens to everyone else, all of that was dismantled by reagan and those who came with and after him. that should be reversed.

meanwhile, i think you would have to concede that education and health care in this country is in a pretty terrible state, on the whole. taxation increases could definitely provide for reversals of downward trends in both, and therefore do a lot to improve productivity--IF they were done in conjunction with the openly protectionist anti-free trade things i'm advocating in my previous paragraph. and i think john edwards would agree with me there.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #57 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:16:45 PM »

Also, the argument that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer is an oversimplification.  The rich are getting richer, and the poor are not getting richer as fast as the rich.  However, the purchasing power of the median poor has not been broadly affected.

i don't know about this. if you adjust for inflation, people in the working class are making less now than they were 30 years ago. minimum wage isn't worth half as much as it was when it was instituted. and plenty of people out there are victims of both of these facts. i'm sure if you factor in the middle class, you can erase these statistics, but i think if you look exclusively at people making less than $35k or so a year, these trends are pretty easily provable.
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DCDave
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« Reply #58 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:20:30 PM »

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?

Additionally, a tax code which, in your mind, benefits large corporations and individual-earners, is at odds with direct observation of the system, wherein the largest number of people who appropriately pay taxes vis a vis earnings are the highest earners.  I did a large empirical study of this, years ago, looking for the tax fraud and systematic manipulation that you're talking about, and it's just not there.

Third, health care and education can only be benefited by increases in taxation if the resulting government program is more beneficial than current government programs.  As long as education remains locally controlled by school boards that are puppets for teachers unions in major municipalities, federal education programs will mean nil.  Additional money towards health care doesn't solve any productivity problems if that money is going towards expansion of existing programs, because those existing programs, in my opinion, pay too much for too little benefit.  Pre-natal screening, preventative medicine, and gym memberships for all Americans?  Sure.  Take my taxes to pay for Fatty McGee's gastric bypass.  Fuck that.

 
Also, the argument that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer is an oversimplification.  The rich are getting richer, and the poor are not getting richer as fast as the rich.  However, the purchasing power of the median poor has not been broadly affected.

i don't know about this. if you adjust for inflation, people in the working class are making less now than they were 30 years ago. minimum wage isn't worth half as much as it was when it was instituted. and plenty of people out there are victims of both of these facts. i'm sure if you factor in the middle class, you can erase these statistics, but i think if you look exclusively at people making less than $35k or so a year, these trends are pretty easily provable.

Making less is not the same as being able to afford less.  The government subsidization programs cover the same, if not more essential services.  Beyond that, many things are cheaper now, in terms of consumer electronics, etc., than they were 30 years ago. 
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2008, 05:22:29 PM by DCDave » Logged

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guanajuato
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« Reply #59 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:28:12 PM »

It's going to be interesting, if Obama does get the nomination, to hear what those same Republicans are saying this summer, after conservative media outlets start going after him in earnest.  We already know Clinton can survive it; they've been somewhat hesitant to go after Obama so far.

yeah, I'm not talking about bill oreilly here, I'm talking about Joe Republican, with only a mild interest in the process. 

Oh, I know.  I am too.  Joe Republican will say things like, "Obama's not so bad" now, when he's up against Clinton.  I'm saying that I wonder if that's going to be the case if he's up against McCain or Romney, and the sole focus of conservative talk radio's ire for months on end.

with ann coulter endorsing hilary clinton over john mccain, i'm really interested in whether or not the whackjob wing of the republican party (which includes most of the right wing punditry) will even support mccain if/when he does get the republican nomination. will they try to get everyone to stay home? will some whackjob third party candidate come out of nowhere? will they all tell people that this proves some kind of weird theory about how the political mainstream is being stolen by spineless liberals, and that there's no point in even bothering to engage with it anymore? or will they pretend the last couple months of their mccain-hateration never happened? i'm interested in finding out the answers to these questions.

Yeah, it'd definitely be interesting to see what right-wing punditry would make of a McCain nomination.  I've got to think that they'll swallow their pride and pimp the GOP candidate at all costs.  Coulter was being provocative there, as she's wont to do, but Hannity was definitely "Whoa, whoa, let's no go that far."  Plus, their tactics are generally not "Look how great our guy is!" as much as "Look at what a bastard the other guy is!" so they could just go after Obama or Clinton tooth-and-nail and present McCain as the better of two evils.

i think if mccain wins this dustup, they'll fall in line behind mccain. but rush and coulter and all those folks like to think of themselves as the king-makers and if mccain wins, it'll be fun to see them reduced a notch.

i'm more enthralled by what the republican smear machine will do if obama wins. even though right now the whole 'obamicans' is more of a concept than a reality, joe republican doesn't have the loathing (for obama) he had for people like kerry and clinton. if obama wins the nomination, i trust he'll really start to reach across the aisle, and there might actually be a big mass of obamicans.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #60 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:46:57 PM »

You think the rhetoric on the right will be a little cooler w/r/t Obama simply because they don't want to be called out as the bigoted racists they've always been? Or do you think if he takes the nom. it'll get just as hot as it has been in the past?
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #61 on: Feb 04, 2008, 05:49:32 PM »

Yes, so far.  Definitely yes.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #62 on: Feb 04, 2008, 06:34:22 PM »

Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.
Only according to a certain theory of justice, one based on entitlement, which you cannot rightly assume to be the correct one. You can't lean on this statement as a brute fact, it itself requires further explanation. The egalitarian theory of justice disagrees with your claim, and, for what it's worth, is the predominant theory in current debates about justice.

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?
Getting a bit ahead of yourself, aren't you? Tariffs are certainly not retributive, you're being shrill. 'Outmoded economic niche' might mean 'in accordance to commonly held notions of decency', if you compare Chinese labour practices with those in the US.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #63 on: Feb 04, 2008, 06:48:52 PM »

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?

i don't know where you're getting the "not very good at" thing. unskilled labor, by and large, is unskilled labor. either that or you say that there are differences between the unskilled labor of different countries, in which case american workers still win because there's a provable decrease in quality associated with goods production being moved to mexico in the wake of nafta.

but put all that aside. it doesn't really matter, honestly, because my point is just that the shrinking job market in america will mean a decline in overall standards of living here in this country over the next few decades. i'm trying to propose something that would reverse that, but you're talking about the consumers getting hit with increased prices for goods. dude, there's a disconnect there. don't you think it would be offset if not more than offset by access to better jobs with more chances for advancement? obviously, that's how it would work. that's how it would have to work.

Additionally, a tax code which, in your mind, benefits large corporations and individual-earners, is at odds with direct observation of the system, wherein the largest number of people who appropriately pay taxes vis a vis earnings are the highest earners.  I did a large empirical study of this, years ago, looking for the tax fraud and systematic manipulation that you're talking about, and it's just not there.

wait, what? i'm not talking about people cheating or defrauding the government--i'm talking about people receiving benefits from the way the tax code is currently written. warren buffett has been making a lot of noise in public lately about how his tax rate is lower than his secretary's (see here for details). that's the case if he obeys the tax laws completely. also, i have to question your use of the phrase "appropriately pay taxes vis a vis earnings". are you talking about whether they're actually contributing the correct percentage of their income according to their tax bracket? my whole point is that the tax brackets need to be changed. so yeah, you're missing my point.

Third, health care and education can only be benefited by increases in taxation if the resulting government program is more beneficial than current government programs.  As long as education remains locally controlled by school boards that are puppets for teachers unions in major municipalities, federal education programs will mean nil.  Additional money towards health care doesn't solve any productivity problems if that money is going towards expansion of existing programs, because those existing programs, in my opinion, pay too much for too little benefit.  Pre-natal screening, preventative medicine, and gym memberships for all Americans?  Sure.  Take my taxes to pay for Fatty McGee's gastric bypass.  Fuck that.

i would think it's obvious that i am talking about changing the education and health care departments from the ground up and making them work much better, but maybe it's not, in which case, let me tell you, that's exactly what i'm talking about. i agree with your current criticisms, but i don't just want to throw money at the problem, i want to fund the work necessary to come up with a better way of running education and health care and to put that way into action. and dude, don't even get me started about the non-federalization of education. it's fucking absurd. every single school district in the country should get the exact same slice of the overall education budget, and guidelines in said districts should be the same everywhere. of course, i don't think NCLB is a good way to monitor it, but i think the basic idea that makes that program seem like a good idea if you don't look into its actual workings at all is a good idea and should be followed.

as for you not wanting to pay for fatty mcgee's bypass--sorry dude. that's the way it works. even right now, it works that way, and it will continue to work that way. assessing penalties against people for living their lives in different ways is too much like thought policing/fascism, and it can't happen. sometimes certain people will benefit disproportionately from expenditure of tax money. sometimes that person will be you, sometimes it won't be. that's life. get over it.


Also, the argument that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer is an oversimplification.  The rich are getting richer, and the poor are not getting richer as fast as the rich.  However, the purchasing power of the median poor has not been broadly affected.

i don't know about this. if you adjust for inflation, people in the working class are making less now than they were 30 years ago. minimum wage isn't worth half as much as it was when it was instituted. and plenty of people out there are victims of both of these facts. i'm sure if you factor in the middle class, you can erase these statistics, but i think if you look exclusively at people making less than $35k or so a year, these trends are pretty easily provable.

Making less is not the same as being able to afford less.  The government subsidization programs cover the same, if not more essential services.  Beyond that, many things are cheaper now, in terms of consumer electronics, etc., than they were 30 years ago.

i don't see what consumer electronics has to do with what we're talking about. heating bills are way more expensive than they even were two years ago. same as gasoline. food costs way more than it used to and its less healthy. sure, people in the ghetto have tvs, but they might not have heat. shit is more complicated than you make it seem.
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Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #64 on: Feb 04, 2008, 06:50:16 PM »

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?
Getting a bit ahead of yourself, aren't you? Tariffs are certainly not retributive, you're being shrill. 'Outmoded economic niche' might mean 'in accordance to commonly held notions of decency', if you compare Chinese labour practices with those in the US.

god yeah, i got caught up in other points and forgot to mention that. good call gi.
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #65 on: Feb 04, 2008, 06:56:47 PM »

Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.
Only according to a certain theory of justice, one based on entitlement, which you cannot rightly assume to be the correct one. You can't lean on this statement as a brute fact, it itself requires further explanation. The egalitarian theory of justice disagrees with your claim, and, for what it's worth, is the predominant theory in current debates about justice.

Also, you know, there quite often *is* a disproportionate, government-derived system of benefits at work.  Just upthread Dave himself was talking about public funds for patentable health technology, for example.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #66 on: Feb 04, 2008, 07:18:30 PM »

I think Dave might have heard of at least some of the strains that sees the current distribution of wealth as a product of entrenched benefits that are at least supported by the government, that it is perhaps the government's sole purpose to uphold (the field of study begind with an 'M'). But it seems there are cases when Dave condescends to argue at the hand of fact, but where it matters he'd rather awe us with his authority.
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Nick
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Posts: 195


« Reply #67 on: Feb 04, 2008, 07:35:10 PM »

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?

i don't know where you're getting the "not very good at" thing. unskilled labor, by and large, is unskilled labor. either that or you say that there are differences between the unskilled labor of different countries, in which case american workers still win because there's a provable decrease in quality associated with goods production being moved to mexico in the wake of nafta.
Obviously I can't speak for Dave, but I thought he was referring to American manufacturers being not very good at it as evidenced by us importing so many goods while allowed somewhat free trade. Not that I necessarily agree with it, but I think that's what he's getting at.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #68 on: Feb 04, 2008, 07:43:07 PM »

And what does that prove?
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DCDave
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« Reply #69 on: Feb 04, 2008, 07:46:58 PM »

Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.
Only according to a certain theory of justice, one based on entitlement, which you cannot rightly assume to be the correct one. You can't lean on this statement as a brute fact, it itself requires further explanation. The egalitarian theory of justice disagrees with your claim, and, for what it's worth, is the predominant theory in current debates about justice.

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?
Getting a bit ahead of yourself, aren't you? Tariffs are certainly not retributive, you're being shrill. 'Outmoded economic niche' might mean 'in accordance to commonly held notions of decency', if you compare Chinese labour practices with those in the US.

I meant they're not only redistributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive.  Further, "predominant theory in current debates about justice" may be true, but only among people who are spending serious amounts of time engaging in theoretical debates about justice.

If you reverse free trade laws, you punish the average consumer by increasing the cost of goods in order to benefit people who operate in an outmoded economic niche.  Tariffs are not only reditributive, but they're nonsensically redistributive and they're regressive.  Protectionism is horse shit.  Why should we pay more for people to do things that they're not very good at?

i don't know where you're getting the "not very good at" thing. unskilled labor, by and large, is unskilled labor. either that or you say that there are differences between the unskilled labor of different countries, in which case american workers still win because there's a provable decrease in quality associated with goods production being moved to mexico in the wake of nafta.
Obviously I can't speak for Dave, but I thought he was referring to American manufacturers being not very good at it as evidenced by us importing so many goods while allowed somewhat free trade. Not that I necessarily agree with it, but I think that's what he's getting at.

I meant not very good at in terms of dollar spent versus good received.  There's some types of manufacturing that we do very well in the United States, and other types of manufacturing that we can ONLY do in the United States, and other types of manufacturing where it makes the most sense to do it in the United States because of shipping costs.  There's many other types of manufacturing where it doesn't make sense to pay $15 to an American to do the job when you can pay $2 to someone somewhere else and see no real distinct suffering in terms of quality.  I'd like to see some demonstration of the provable decrease in quality of Mexican manufacturing, if you get a chance, as well.


I'm referring to us making things that we don't have a comparative advantage in making.  There are industries which rely on skilled manufacturing - We should have more of those jobs rather than try and reclaim unskilled manufacturing jobs, and build a quality, sustainable work force.

Income redistribution is equitable if the wealthier people received additional income because of a disproportionate, government-derived, system of benefits.
Only according to a certain theory of justice, one based on entitlement, which you cannot rightly assume to be the correct one. You can't lean on this statement as a brute fact, it itself requires further explanation. The egalitarian theory of justice disagrees with your claim, and, for what it's worth, is the predominant theory in current debates about justice.

Also, you know, there quite often *is* a disproportionate, government-derived system of benefits at work.  Just upthread Dave himself was talking about public funds for patentable health technology, for example.

I would agree that there often is, but I don't think that the frequency of this creates millions of millionaires.  There are going to be people who game any system which rewards and punishes people and engage in arbitrage - That's the result of imperfect information in market systems, and real information having costs.  If I were to pick the top 20 NIH grants that had commercializable products and pour millions and millions of dollars into taking those through clinical trials, something the government WILL NOT PAY FOR, I could probably reap significant benefit off of it. 

Edit: Andrew, in response to your points about restructuring the way a good deal of policy would operate - Great.  Restructure those policies and then raise taxes and that's something I'm ok with.  What I'm not ok with is pouring more into systems that don't work.  The argument that we need to raise taxes and THEN determine what works, I find a bit spurious, because there have been numerous pilot programs in education, health care, etc., that have been massively successful and then fallen off because entrenched Washington doesn't want to change.   You raise taxes now and I think people will just find new places to spend it in the same bad ways.  For my point on fair taxes, I had thought that you were saying something about the way that high income earners don't pay their appropriate portion of the tax burden because of loopholes, etc.  My counterpoint was that if you look at how much those people make as percentage of GDP, and how much they contribute to the government budget as percentage of tax dollars, it's roughly the same, if not more (that is, they account for more of a percentage of tax dollars than they do percentage of overall earnings).  If you want that to be moreso, you can't use the "The tax code already favors them" argument.  The tax code favors people in the upper-middle class more than it favors the megarich, if the megarich remain US Citizens.



« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2008, 07:58:26 PM by DCDave » Logged

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girl
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« Reply #70 on: Feb 04, 2008, 08:03:00 PM »

*Also I'm just curious: was anyone else pulling for Edwards early on?

Me. I wasn't really planning on going into the primary with a backup plan. I'm still a bit pissed that he quit before I got to vote for him.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #71 on: Feb 04, 2008, 08:12:22 PM »

Andrew, in response to your points about restructuring the way a good deal of policy would operate - Great.  Restructure those policies and then raise taxes and that's something I'm ok with.  What I'm not ok with is pouring more into systems that don't work.  The argument that we need to raise taxes and THEN determine what works, I find a bit spurious, because there have been numerous pilot programs in education, health care, etc., that have been massively successful and then fallen off because entrenched Washington doesn't want to change.   You raise taxes now and I think people will just find new places to spend it in the same bad ways.

well, i think taxes are obviously going to have to be raised at least a bit just to dig us out of the hole we're in right now w/r/t the war and the national debt, but yeah, i mean, concerning the points we were discussing, i don't disagree with anything you've said here.

For my point on fair taxes, I had thought that you were saying something about the way that high income earners don't pay their appropriate portion of the tax burden because of loopholes, etc.  My counterpoint was that if you look at how much those people make as percentage of GDP, and how much they contribute to the government budget as percentage of tax dollars, it's roughly the same, if not more (that is, they account for more of a percentage of tax dollars than they do percentage of overall earnings).  If you want that to be moreso, you can't use the "The tax code already favors them" argument.  The tax code favors people in the upper-middle class more than it favors the megarich, if the megarich remain US Citizens.

as far as this goes, i'm still gonna refer you to the whole warren buffett youtube clip thing i was talking about earlier, and in addition mention that i was talking about corporations that are favored by tax loopholes rather than individuals. also, as i said, the point at which one enters the highest tax bracket still seems absurdly low to me, and i can't help but figure that this favors the very very wealthy over everyone else. what you're talking about doesn't seem like it can possibly be true once you get into major corporate ceos and etc. and as for the part i bolded above, i don't understand what you're saying. it doesn't make any sense to me.
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DCDave
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« Reply #72 on: Feb 04, 2008, 08:15:55 PM »

Alright - Let's say the top 5% of Americans account for 65% of GDP.  70%+ of tax dollars are raised from that 5%. 

That's what I mean. 

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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #73 on: Feb 04, 2008, 08:26:59 PM »

i can't quite put it into words but i feel like that's a spurious comparison. for example, how does the tax rate charged to the ceo of microsoft have anything at all to do with the amount of gdp that microsoft generates as a whole?
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DCDave
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« Reply #74 on: Feb 04, 2008, 08:30:29 PM »

i can't quite put it into words but i feel like that's a spurious comparison. for example, how does the tax rate charged to the ceo of microsoft have anything at all to do with the amount of gdp that microsoft generates as a whole?

I am talking about the revenue that individual takes home and the taxes he pays on it.  If individual earnings account for X revenue, they it should account for X minus Y percent of the tax base, if they receive some sort of preferential treatment.  Instead, it accounts for X PLUS Y. 
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