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MasterPo

Money = Freedom (try not to get too upset)

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Incorrigible1
Nice try - the American revolution's bit about taxes was taxation without representation. The rich in America have plenty of representation, hence why the tax code is laced with loopholes, some of them good (designed to encourage investment), others bad. I notice, of course, that you completely ignored me, and continue to try imposing an 18th century straightjacket on a 21st century society even though the Founding Fathers themselves would have condemned you for it.

I'm a registered Libertarian, or was, until my state decertified the party due to lack of necessary votes received in elections.

I believe in self-reliance, and the sanctity of personal property. I believe less government is best. I believe charity, in most part, should be left to churches and private causes. That government takes too damned much from citizen's inner pockets and that seriously interferes with charitable donations to organizations that would, otherwise, benefit the poor.

I believe in providing work for the poor, so they can earn an income and retain their dignity and work-ethic.

I curse the government that casts its shadow so deeply into society as to profoundly interfere with that society. I retain my most damning curses for those that would enable such a intrusive government.

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Guardsman Bass
I'm a registered Libertarian, or was, until my state decertified the party due to lack of necessary votes received in elections.

I'm a Democrat, although to tell you the truth, a lot of my stances do not fix into the normal Democratic box (particularly on a number of Defense issues, and with regards to a number of government issues).

I believe in self-reliance, and the sanctity of personal property. I believe less government is best. I believe charity, in most part, should be left to churches and private causes. That government takes too damned much from citizen's inner pockets and that seriously interferes with charitable donations to organizations that would, otherwise, benefit the poor.

I think private property is a legal concept that exists because it promotes greater human happiness and benefit in societies. I believe in self-reliance, but I have no illusions about the factors that shape a person's economic destiny, ranging from schooling (which in America frequently segregates on economic lines, so the poor go to schools full of other poor kids that also frequently receive less funding because the school system draws a lot of revenue from property taxes, and also tend to end up in cultures of dysfunction that exist for reasons ranging from widespread family dysfunction to drug sales -induced crime) to simple bad luck (which does happen).

I think the churches and charities are well-intentioned, but to claim that they can handle the burden is ill-founded. Even back in the "old" days when charities did not receive direct help from the federal government, they not infrequently received support from the local and state governments, and even then were too patched and limited in resources to deal with the various poverty-related and other issues. I like charities (hence why I support the tax deduction for donating to them), but unless they are a large charitable organization, they tend to be patchy. Funding frequently depends on public presence rather than actual need (meaning that causes that draw greater media attention tend to draw more resources, and large charities tend to be more capable of soliciting funds, a kind of self-perpetuating system), and even many of the charitable organizations existing today draw heavily from government grants on the state, federal, and local level.

I believe in providing work for the poor, so they can earn an income and retain their dignity and work-ethic.

I'd like the poor to work, too, but I also recognize that many jobs just don't provide enough for a person to actually make a livelihood, even with two-parent families with both parents working. On top of that, there are a whole host of issues that pop up - should we make a poor single mother work, for example, even if it means that she'll have less time with her children and may not be able to find a good sitter? What about the children who grow up in these impoverished families, who then tend to linger on the same social class because they don't have either the fiscal or familial support for all but the most ambitious and/or lucky to get out of poverty? All other things being equal, I think welfare can be a good help to many of these people, coupled with work or not - and I think you need to weigh the cost of moochers versus the cost of not doing it. If the latter is higher, than you ought to do it.

One thing we forget about the past in America, back when social safety nets consisted of nothing but the churches and occasional groups, is that people would actually starve to death, or their children would end up on the streets, or the like. Among working-class women, one common way to get by during slow seasons when they couldn't find work was seasonal prostitution (one of the reasons, in fact, why welfare emerged to help women in the first place was because Progressives thought that it would keep them out of seasonal prostitution). Would you rather have working-class women do that?

I curse the government that casts its shadow so deeply into society as to profoundly interfere with that society. I retain my most damning curses for those that would enable such a intrusive government.

Government and society are intertwined completely, depending on the level of government; the few exceptions generally are not considered nice places to live (like the civil war-period in Beirut, Lebanon, and Somalia). I also don't have problems with a stronger safety net so that I don't have to live in fear of being completely without health care coverage and on the streets begging, and am willing to pay taxes to support that, if it is necessary. That was the attitude, mind you, throughout America until the 1970s beginning of the tax revolt - most Americans shouldered higher tax rates because they believed that it was coming back to them, and because they considered it "fair and necessary" to do so.

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Incorrigible1

Thank you. I appreciate and respect all of your posting except for the second sentence, which repulses me.

Private property is just that.

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Guardsman Bass

One thing to keep in mind is that one could make the argument, in the past, that the Gilded Era was brutal but necessary; while workers underwent enormous suffering in the industrializing United States, in terms of net income and the like they were far better off in 1920 than they had been in 1880, and the industrialization left behind valuable economic infrastructure.

That's harder to make in terms of the last 30 years. As even the CIA recognizes in its Factbook, virtually all the gains in household income since 1975 have gone to the top 20% of American society - which includes the rich, but also many of the educated and upper-middle class. Furthermore, whereas workers in the past were more able to switch positions if laid off, the requirements to get into that rise of wealth if you aren't either born into it, get lucky, or start up a successful business (or all three) today are far more difficult. These positions frequently require considerable education and training.

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Guardsman Bass
Thank you. I appreciate and respect all of your posting except for the second sentence, which repulses me.

Private property is just that.

I'm curious as to what you dispute about it. Technically, private property is just the boundary between what one person claims and what outside conditions (which include laws, customs, other people, and natural limitations) permit. In other words, it technically is a legal creation, since the rules and regulations, the title deeds, and the enforcement mechanism that create it are all provided by the society in which a person belongs, and that right can be taken away by society on a number of occasions (hence why the Founding Fathers included the power of eminent domain in the Constitution). Take that away, and your private property is only yours so long as you can protect it - which, historically, means that you tend to end up the victim of one racket or another unless you are the equivalent of a feudal lord.

Edited by Guardsman Bass

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Incorrigible1
Furthermore, whereas workers in the past were more able to switch positions if laid off, the requirements to get into that rise of wealth if you aren't either born into it, get lucky, or start up a successful business (or all three) today are far more difficult. These positions frequently require considerable education and training.

Let me ask a rhetorical question: Does everyone have to become independently wealthy? Is there something fundamentally flawed with working for a fair wage? The American middle-class is a pretty darned good place to be, isn't it?

I know, with the election upon us, that the perception is that American society is being torn asunder, but I can't help thinking I'd like to earn a fair wage so long as I deliver a fair day's wages.

Maybe I'm being naive.

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AzTide
Are any of their constitutional rights being violated? Hardly, so pardon me if I don't buy in to your presumption that the government of the United States exists to ensure that anyone is allowed to pursue maximal wealth without any restrictions or limits. Hell, I don't even recognize your premise, which seems to be that we have a zero-sum choice between raising taxes on the rich and discouraging economic output, and using government as a tool to greater benefit all American citizens by promoting greater health care coverage, better infrastructure, better social services, and so forth. As I mentioned, the top tax rates during the 1945-1970ish economic expansion were more than double what they are now, yet America didn't sink into a total economic quagmire until cheap oil dried up in the 1970s and LBJ failed in both providing a great expansion of the safety net and a massive expansion in military use and expenses, spiking inflation (and that's only one of the causes; oil is another, the "price-wage spiral" is another - the issue is debated among economists).

Notice how I have never violated anyone's property rights, hmm? I just don't believe in this false dichotomy you keep trying to sell, and in your rather badly-derived belief that America exists to promote the maximum economic advancement of individuals even if it leads to the detriment of the greater population.

You really are just making stuff up right? Because you have badly-derived your belief in American economic history.

It was that Regan proved lowering the taxes in 82 "not the late 70's" increases wealth which yes did increase economic output. Your not using anything but what you think you know cause if you did the tax %'s would scare you. The rates were 94% during WW2 and still 91% till 1965 when it was dropped to 70% and then Regan dropped it 50% and then again in 1986 to 28%. And those rates are the TOP RATE the tax bracket the people over 250k are taxed at and the small business owners are included in that group. Now I'm just guessing you get your facts from the TV news so you'll be familiar with how important the small business owner to the taxes and the overall US economy. Hence yes small business drives economic output.

And the oil problems were before Carters administration they were in 73 and 74 and the price oil jumped to a wild price of 12 bucks a barrel. And the Carter administration is what really drove the inflation problems to 13.5%. Remember his Malaise Speech about the suffering economy?

And even though the Constitution doesn't guarantee the right to earn wealth and success it also doesn't say anything about people getting government assistance, wealth distribution, double taxation "capitol gains tax", or paying for others home loans or business failures, or punishing for success....

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Guardsman Bass
Let me ask a rhetorical question: Does everyone have to become independently wealthy? Is there something fundamentally flawed with working for a fair wage? The American middle-class is a pretty darned good place to be, isn't it?

No, but society is better off if a substantial or majority part of the population approaches the middle class position, whether through pay or other assistance. In other words, you don't need everyone to be independently wealthy; you just want them to be comfortable, and able to save some money while ensuring that they and their children aren't starving, impoverished, or dying for lack of health care access.

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Incorrigible1
I'm curious as to what you dispute about it. Technically, private property is just the boundary between what one person claims and what outside conditions (which include laws, customs, other people, and natural limitations) permit. In other words, it technically is a legal creation, since the rules and regulations, the title deeds, and the enforcement mechanism that create it are all provided by the society in which a person belongs, and that right can be taken away by society on a number of occasions (hence why the Founding Fathers included the power of eminent domain in the Constitution). Take that away, and your private property is only yours so long as you can protect it - which, historically, means that you tend to end up the victim of one racket or another unless you are the equivalent of a feudal lord.

You're far more philosophical than me. I place great store in the (albeit meager) wealth I've accumulated by the sweat of my brow and quick of my wit.

I'm more than willing to share a fair tithing to the less fortunate, so long as they are truly in need. But I earned my property, all on my lonesome. The government didn't redistribute somebody else's hard-earned goods to me, nor did I ask for it or expect it.

I'm sorry, but it seems painful to me to have to explain that what's mine is mine. It doesn't belong to someone else. I'm happy to help out those in dire need, but to expect that they should benefit, personally, from my exertions is just too much.

This is America, and we necessarily have classes. I don't expect to benefit from those that have more than me. Is it too much to ask that I be able to retain a fair share of what is mine?

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AzTide
You're far more philosophical than me. I place great store in the (albeit meager) wealth I've accumulated by the sweat of my brow and quick of my wit.

I'm more than willing to share a fair tithing to the less fortunate, so long as they are truly in need. But I earned my property, all on my lonesome. The government didn't redistribute somebody else's hard-earned goods to me, nor did I ask for it or expect it.

I'm sorry, but it seems painful to me to have to explain that what's mine is mine. It doesn't belong to someone else. I'm happy to help out those in dire need, but to expect that they should benefit, personally, from my exertions is just too much.

This is America, and we necessarily have classes. I don't expect to benefit from those that have more than me. Is it too much to ask that I be able to retain a fair share of what is mine?

"Amen comes from the choir"

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AzTide
No, but society is better off if a substantial or majority part of the population approaches the middle class position, whether through pay or other assistance. In other words, you don't need everyone to be independently wealthy; you just want them to be comfortable, and able to save some money while ensuring that they and their children aren't starving, impoverished, or dying for lack of health care access.

How do you become part of the middle class by receiving assistance?

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Godsnmbr1
This is America, and we necessarily have classes. I don't expect to benefit from those that have more than me. Is it too much to ask that I be able to retain a fair share of what is mine?

America has never been about the fair share and it never will be. Americans will always want more than they need.

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Incorrigible1
No, but society is better off if a substantial or majority part of the population approaches the middle class position, whether through pay or other assistance. In other words, you don't need everyone to be independently wealthy; you just want them to be comfortable, and able to save some money while ensuring that they and their children aren't starving, impoverished, or dying for lack of health care access.

Welfare will never prevent poverty.

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Incorrigible1
America has never been about the fair share and it never will be. Americans will always want more than they need.

You continually throw out platitudes without truly knowing their meaning.

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Godsnmbr1
You continually throw out platitudes without truly knowing their meaning.

And here I didn't think it was a particularly hard meaning to grasp.

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ninjadude
So that's what the Pilgrims and others who came to America were here for? To setup a society to take care of the poor and others? Wow.

They did indeed.

The Puritans also rejected the ethic of unconcern that is content to let the poor remain poor. In their view, poverty is not an unmitigated misfortune, but it is certainly not the goal that we should have for people. “The rich man by liberality must dispose and comfort the poor,” said Thomas Lever in a sermon. “God never gave a gift,” preached Hugh Latimer, “but that he sent occasion at one time or another to show it to God’s glory. As if he sent riches, he sendeth poor men to be helped with it.” Latimer even went so far as to say that “the poor man hath title to the rich man’s goods; so that the rich man ought to let the poor man have part of his riches to help and to comfort him withal.”

link

Edited by ninjadude

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Guardsman Bass
You really are just making stuff up right? Because you have badly-derived your belief in American economic history.

Do you dispute that the period from 1945 (when World War 2 ended) to 1973 (when the first oil embargo hit America and the resulting oil shock plus other factors drove up inflation) was a period of overall economic expansion and rise in real incomes? That period occurred in spite of overall much higher taxes (as high as, yes, 70% in the late 1970s, before they got knocked down to 28% by the end of the Reagan Era, then climbed back up to about 39%, then fell back down to about 35% - close to half of what they were before Reagan cut them).

It was that Regan proved lowering the taxes in 82 "not the late 70's" increases wealth which yes did increase economic output.

Notice how I mentioned the example of the above as a reason why higher income tax rates than the current today are probably tenable, but also qualified by pointing out that the rates right before Reagan were probably too high. The problem with Reagan was that he took tax cutting too far, and justified it with claims that it would actually increase government revenue (although it didn't).

Your not using anything but what you think you know cause if you did the tax %'s would scare you. The rates were 94% during WW2 and still 91% till 1965 when it was dropped to 70% and then Regan dropped it 50% and then again in 1986 to 28%.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. You have anything else you wish to point out that I already pointed out and/or acknowledged?

And those rates are the TOP RATE the tax bracket the people over 250k are taxed at and the small business owners are included in that group. Now I'm just guessing you get your facts from the TV news so you'll be familiar with how important the small business owner to the taxes and the overall US economy. Hence yes small business drives economic output.

I didn't even mention small business, but if you want to bring it up, then it is worth noting that most small businesses and/or self-employed people would not see a tax increase, particularly since they would have to reach $250,000 in annual income after deducting many of their expenses.

And the oil problems were before Carters administration they were in 73 and 74 and the price oil jumped to a wild price of 12 bucks a barrel. And the Carter administration is what really drove the inflation problems to 13.5%. Remember his Malaise Speech about the suffering economy?

Do they not have inflation in your part of the world? 12 bucks a barrel was a lot back in the 1970s -particularly when it suddenly jumps there from about 3 dollars a barrel, after a short period of widespread shortages because of an artificial supply contraction (i.e., an oil embargo).

Moreover, the 1973 oil embargo was not the only oil crisis in the 1970s. There was a second oil crisis in the wake of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the resulting chaos.

And even though the Constitution doesn't guarantee the right to earn wealth and success it also doesn't say anything about people getting government assistance, wealth distribution, double taxation "capitol gains tax", or paying for others home loans or business failures, or punishing for success....

So? The Constitution also gives Congress the power to provide for the common welfare, and the 16th amendment allows Congress to levy taxation on income. The fact that it isn't literally written in the Constitution is no more an argument against it than the fact that James Madison never mentioned whether or not dial-up porn is constitutional means that it is illegal.

Edited by Guardsman Bass

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AzTide
Do you dispute that the period from 1945 (when World War 2 ended) to 1973 (when the first oil embargo hit America and the resulting oil shock plus other factors drove up inflation) was a period of overall economic expansion and rise in real incomes? That period occurred in spite of overall much higher taxes (as high as, yes, 70% in the late 1970s, before they got knocked down to 28% by the end of the Reagan Era, then climbed back up to about 39%, then fell back down to about 35% - close to half of what they were before Reagan cut them).

Ok since you chose 45 the end of the war and it seems read something then you'll know that in the late 60's the minimum wage had its highest purchasing value.

Plus the unions grew very strong in the 50's and 60's giving workers better wages.

The middle class expanded immensely as soldiers returning back from war wanted all the amenities a house, a car, a TV, etc. That was huge for factories in creating factor jobs and the growth in construction which went thru the roof as well.

Don't forget Eisenhower’s big deal was infrastructure for the country so the government spent allot to do so and that creates jobs and wealth.

Then the 1st couple years of Vietnam didn’t hurt the economy because military spending was huge because we still produced everything here. It wasn’t till 69 and 70 that the war started hurting the economy.

The economy did go up and down thru the 50's and 60's though. There were no market crashes nor were there any recessions. And neither higher nor lower taxes drove the economy that was done by the growth and spending of the middle class. A growth like that of the middle class has never been seen before or sense.

That should take us to the recession of 73.

I can get in more depth if you'd prefer.

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Incorrigible1

Post WWII was a halcyon day for America. A hard working American could hardly not make a decent living, and pay for a house and automobile.

Of course, that generation had paid their due, with the Depression prior to the War, and the immense sacrifice they made during the War years.

I own a (unused) ration book, previously owned by an elderly lady from New York state. One had to provide ration stamps for sugar, gasoline, tires, and many other staples we take for granted, today. My aunt rode a bus across the broad length of Nebraska to obtain a tire for the family automobile, during the war.

Their sacrifice was rewarded with never before and probably never to be prosperity. And why not? America, and the Allies, had made the world safe for Democracies across the globe.

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SoCrazes
ZOOOM! (the sund of the point going over everyone's head)

Having some extra money to be able to spend as you please enables you to get what you want, when you want it.

You are not dependent on government or anyone else for what you get.

But taking away that extra money via economic sanctions on hard work and success does make you dependent and that destorys Freedom and Liberty

Then giving tax breaks to the middle class is making them more free.

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BlindMessiah
one of the bases of civilization is that the commonwealth always precedes the individual wealth. Where that is not the case the poor sooner or later invite the rich to a necktie party.

These posts are disturbing. GO SOCIALISM! Vote Obama/McCain! WOO!

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AzTide
Notice how I mentioned the example of the above as a reason why higher income tax rates than the current today are probably tenable, but also qualified by pointing out that the rates right before Reagan were probably too high. The problem with Reagan was that he took tax cutting too far, and justified it with claims that it would actually increase government revenue (although it didn't).

Thank you, Captain Obvious. You have anything else you wish to point out that I already pointed out and/or acknowledged?

It's generally the case that if you have tax cuts, over time, it will stimulate activity; and as growth accelerates, you'll start to get revenue increases back. It's called trickle down or supply side economics.

Now government spending is the real issue not tax cuts. The deficit % of GDP is much lower when Reagan did the tax cuts in 1986. And that is even with increased government spending because if you remember the Reagan administration poured money into everything. Now the Deficit % of GDP jumped to 6% in 1983 after his 1st tax cut. Because in 81 it was 2.5% and in 82 it was 4% and pretty much stayed around 5% in 84, 85, and 86.

And as far as the Captain Obvious comment you’re the boyhood prodigy that is responding to what I’d already wrote.. Lol

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Dusty Digital
I didn't know that Eminant Domain extends to my wallet. ;)

Well duh. This would be the case with any taxation at all.

You asked for an example and got one.

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AzTide
I didn't even mention small business, but if you want to bring it up, then it is worth noting that most small businesses and/or self-employed people would not see a tax increase, particularly since they would have to reach $250,000 in annual income after deducting many of their expenses.

Do they not have inflation in your part of the world? 12 bucks a barrel was a lot back in the 1970s -particularly when it suddenly jumps there from about 3 dollars a barrel, after a short period of widespread shortages because of an artificial supply contraction (i.e., an oil embargo).

Moreover, the 1973 oil embargo was not the only oil crisis in the 1970s. There was a second oil crisis in the wake of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the resulting chaos.

You’re talking about the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act and yes revenue dropped but it was reversed in 1982. But even economists today can't say if it's because it didn't work or if it's because of the Recession in 1981-82. Remember that’s why the Act was put in place.

Oh small business is so over taxed you can't believe it. I have friend and family members who are business owners or Independent business people who make over 250k and they get screwed if they don't hide it. They should enjoy their success not work harder to keep it from the government.

Yes you’re correct about inflation it is in my world and I'm glad you brought that up. Remember I mentioned the Minimum wage. Well it was at $1.60 an hr back then a 1.60 x 2 is $3.20 do you think either A. Wages were pretty decent for the times or B. That oil was under valued? Cause even 18 months I’d had to make $25.00 an hr to equal a barrel of crude. And $25.00 an hr is no were close to minimum wage here now is it.

And your correct there was oil issues in 1979 with the overthrow of the Shah but don't forget the Iran and Iraq war which brought production down in Iran from about 6 million barrels a day to 2 million oh and the Saudis mirrored a similar drop in the 80's don't forget that either. And those oil drop continued well for Iran they're still not above 4 million barrels a day. And the Saudis well it was almost 1991 before the reached the levels of 8 million barrels a day and 2006 before the got back to 10 million barrels a day. That was the level they were at when Iran overthrew the Shah.

What I'm getting at is oil helped contribute but it was the bad economic policies of Carter not the flow of oil that hurt the economy.

I'll even throw in a cool graph to show.

post-1722-1224825016_thumb.png

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Dusty Digital
How do you become part of the middle class by receiving assistance?

I believe the idea is that you can focus on getting a job, getting trained for a job etc. instead of scouring for food and shelter. Since it's very difficult to rise from "the bottom", it makes it easier. Insert Maslow's hierarchy of human needs here.

It's generally the case that if you have tax cuts, over time, it will stimulate activity; and as growth accelerates, you'll start to get revenue increases back. It's called trickle down or supply side economics.

This is a very debated issue. Many economists have little faith in trickle down, atleast in its current form. Keep in mind that the tax cuts - government revenue (through economic boom) relationship isn't a first order linear relationship. It looks more like this:

linked-image

Whether the U.S. currently on the right or the left side of the "peak" in the laffer curve is up for debate.

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