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Rum_Pirate
02-14-2014, 03:52 PM
Come the revelation, and aafter re-distribution of income I suspect that the go-getters entrepreneurs etc will open businesses etc and ways to receive more, thus after the current wealth is distributed equally in a few years there will be the same sort of disparity.

Then again if wealth is to be distributed equally

- then who would want to try and make/create a business?

- would it not be a case worse than communism?

- so should a road sweeper get the same reward as a heart surgeon?

- Do all the proceeds of a business go into a common fund?

- Will everyone have the same, e.g. house, clothing, tools, TV computer etc?

- What about From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language): Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!) is a slogan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slogan) popularised by Karl Marx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx) in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_the_Gotha_Program). ??

seanz
02-14-2014, 04:03 PM
Thatcherism caused a redistribution of wealth. They called it privatization. How do you think that worked out?

Ian McColgin
02-14-2014, 04:04 PM
Straw horses can't even walk, much less trot.

Dan McCosh
02-14-2014, 04:06 PM
Come the revelation, and aafter re-distribution of income I suspect that the go-getters entrepreneurs etc will open businesses etc and ways to receive more, thus after the current wealth is distributed equally in a few years there will be the same sort of disparity.

Then again if wealth is to be distributed equally

- then who would want to try and make/create a business?

- would it not be a case worse than communism?

- so should a road sweeper get the same reward as a heart surgeon?

- Do all the proceeds of a business go into a common fund?

- Will everyone have the same, e.g. house, clothing, tools, TV computer etc?

- What about From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_language): Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!) is a slogan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slogan) popularised by Karl Marx (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx) in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_the_Gotha_Program). ?? Why would redistribution of income--whatever that means--result in wealth distributed equally? That's a very odd concept.

Rum_Pirate
02-14-2014, 04:10 PM
Why would redistribution of income--whatever that means--result in wealth distributed equally? That's a very odd concept.

I was just raising the question following on from

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?173882-Is-re-distribution-of-income-right-or-wrong

Keith Wilson
02-14-2014, 04:11 PM
Lordy. It's not very enlightening to make up a position that almost nobody supports, then disagree with it. Go find a communist to argue with, if you can. Not many left. http://www.reduser.net/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1Pq-byO6XE/T1nsKsfkGAI/AAAAAAAAA_E/g-N4YE64rbU/s1600/4comic2-555.png

Dan McCosh
02-14-2014, 04:14 PM
I was just raising the question following on from

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?173882-Is-re-distribution-of-income-right-or-wrong That's why it is odd.

Waddie
02-14-2014, 04:26 PM
To label an opponent's position a straw man fallacy is often a straw man fallacy.

regards,
Waddie

David G
02-14-2014, 04:29 PM
To label an opponent's position a straw man fallacy is often a straw man fallacy.

regards,
Waddie

Perfect -- see #6

Rummie is another who resides in my Ignore list... because the this is the quality of what he has to offer.

Rum_Pirate
02-14-2014, 04:41 PM
Perfect -- see #6

Rummie is another who resides in my Ignore list... because the this is the quality of what he has to offer.

By the very fact that you are able to read and comment on what I post it, could appear that you are telling a 'porky pie' by stating that I am on your 'Ignore List'.

Just an observation. |;)

Waddie
02-14-2014, 04:47 PM
Perfect -- see #6

Rummie is another who resides in my Ignore list... because the this is the quality of what he has to offer.

What's an ignore list? Can't a person just skip over what they post? Skip their threads? Besides, the most fun often comes from reading the ridiculous positions endorsed by the opposition. That's what motivates me to read some of your posts, and I'm sure you are similarly entertained with mine. So touche' - let everyone have a chance to play the fool; it's what free speech is all about. On the other hand, there's a darker side to the Bilge; some who perceive the Gengs and Rems and Allens to be vulnerable targets, easy marks who can be attacked en masse providing a sense of infallibility and superiority to the attackers. Why else circle endlessly in a rehash of old, repetitious topics that have already been covered ad nauseam? A daily emotional fix?

regards,
Waddie

David G
02-14-2014, 05:12 PM
By the very fact that you are able to read and comment on what I post it, could appear that you are telling a 'porky pie' by stating that I am on your 'Ignore List'.

Just an observation. |;)

And an observation on a par with the brilliantly reasoned quality of your usual comments. At least you're consistent.

Lemme give you a hint. There are two ways I could read and comment on your posts.... and still have you as a proud member of my Ignore List. Another hint: I've used both in this thread. Can you guess what they are? How about just one? Take your time.

CWSmith
02-14-2014, 05:21 PM
Unregulated capitalism accumulates wealth into a few hands in a winner-take-all market. It does not serve society well. The dynamics of capitalism are beneficial, but the ultimate outcome is not. In order to maintain a dynamic and vital economy, wealth must be distributed and spent, not accumulated. Furthermore, a graduated tax can and should be used to further the education and talents of the working class so that they can better serve a technologically evolving society. The alternative is the disintegration of democratic rule as money = power.

Keith Wilson
02-14-2014, 05:38 PM
To label an opponent's position a straw man fallacy is often a straw man fallacy.LOL! Right out of the cartoon I posted! Well done! :d

bobbys
02-14-2014, 05:44 PM
After redistribution I sure as heck will not be a roofer..

Keith cannot make me either!

John Smith
02-14-2014, 06:40 PM
Exactly who is redistributing this wealth?

Since we print money, the supply is not finite.

Perhaps we should seek an equalization as to how much oil or water we use?

Phillip Allen
02-14-2014, 06:43 PM
WOW... that was predictable ;)

Rick-Mi
02-14-2014, 07:15 PM
After redistribution I sure as heck will not be a roofer..

Keith cannot make me either!

Don't be so sure of that bobbys. You might find roofing much preferable to life in a concentration camp.




,

Gerarddm
02-14-2014, 07:18 PM
Rummy has been in his rum too much.

His OP had been ruled void of content, and you may safely completely ignore it, to your benefit.

Sky Blue
02-14-2014, 07:31 PM
It is no small irony to read this handwringing and navel gazing from those endowed with the leisure to do nothing but sit all day keystroking in their warm, comfortable, well-appointed homes, bemoaning daily the perceived inequities of an economic system that has provided them with the astonishing ability to do just that.

It reminds me of student protesters in college running around screaming about the bias and injustice they endure, never realizing that they are among the truly few, anywhere in the world, to be so blessed to be doing what they are doing, where they are doing it.

Ah, well. What's going on in the Pub?

Michael D. Storey
02-14-2014, 07:48 PM
In wealth re-distribution, it is not handed out evenly to all persons. It is impossible to believe that anyone would suspect this.

If it is successful, it will foster the generation of wealth, which will, if history means anything, concentrate again.

However, it will also, if the re-distribution has been successful, provide economic stimulus through jobs in whatever the movement of wealth set out to do, and ancillary service jobs, which will enhance the tax base, meaning money for infrastructure, schools, etc.

Also, the re-concentration of wealth will attract high-end service providers, which will further re-concentrate the wealth, as well as create service jobs.

High-end service: think medical. Think a new hospital, or state university.

service jobs: don't think fast food, think construction, financial planners, civil engineering positions.

Here is an example of how it is done: the federal government decides to place space exploration research facilities in Florida, Texas
& California. The govt hires out the creation of these facilities. The creation of these facilities is expensive and requires substantial investment in the form of purchases of skilled services and land and materials. The people who will work in these facilities don't come cheap, but they do come. Many will sell houses elsewhere and build or buy existing in this new area. Further redistribution. Those people will want expensive services. The area will need a good airport and high quality public schools. Further investment. Further redistribution.

In the end, there can be substantial benefit to the area, the region and the country.

Waddie
02-14-2014, 08:57 PM
LOL! Right out of the cartoon I posted! Well done! :d

Exactly...... :) Forget for a moment that the question was offered by Rum; let it stand on it's own merit. To re-state the question; what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share? Just on it's own merits it's an interesting question and has been debated by generations of Soc 101 students every time they are assigned to read Karl Marx or most any of the other socialist writers. But of course because Rum brings it up it's labeled a "straw man" and summarily dismissed as unworthy of discussion. Who's the straw man now? .......You are.........

regards,
Waddie

epoxyboy
02-15-2014, 01:50 AM
Exactly...... :) Forget for a moment that the question was offered by Rum; let it stand on it's own merit. To re-state the question; what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share? Just on it's own merits it's an interesting question and has been debated by generations of Soc 101 students every time they are assigned to read Karl Marx or most any of the other socialist writers. But of course because Rum brings it up it's labeled a "straw man" and summarily dismissed as unworthy of discussion. Who's the straw man now? .......You are.........

regards,
Waddie
The consequences will be driven in large part by the "post re-distribution" regulatory framework, wont they?
For starters, if ALL income is taxed in the same way after the redistribution, being an investor rather than a hands-on producer wont quite have the same gloss as it does now. And suddenly having multi billion dollar corporations paying an equitable amount of tax would no doubt have some interesting flow on effects too.


Pete

Too Little Time
02-15-2014, 05:24 AM
Exactly...... :) Forget for a moment that the question was offered by Rum; let it stand on it's own merit. To re-state the question; what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share?

Financial wealth - excluding primary residence and personal items: $70 trillion/100 million = $700K/family. Should generate about $50-70K/family a year in income.

Good luck dividing up most small businesses, large farms. Good luck dividing up large personal residences.

But if you can do it, 20% will get swindled out of their share and end up at the bottom. 10% will do the swindling and end up at the top. 1% will facilitate transactions and get rich. About what we now have. Redistribution does not make people smart or responsible.

It is much easier to use tax policy to keep things in line. A stiff estate tax, over 50% with $1 million exemption, would do wonders.

slug
02-15-2014, 05:55 AM
An estate tax is logical.

First Id ask an economist if 50 percent over a million would hurt small business and small farmers. These families typically have very valuable assets and a modest income. Preserving the familybusiness , after the state mauls it , would place a huge debt burden on the children.

also consider that it is a parents responsibilty to prevent their children from ever becoming a burden on the state, from ever taking one cent of social benefit.

This means education costs, a minimum wage pension and health insurance for life for children who cant fit into society for whatever reason.

And Remember ... you will be smart enough to spend all your personal savings on fast cars, booze and women before the state sinks their choppers into the cash pile. Fast cars and booze fails to benifit society and fails to provide your offspring with " family social protection"

social protection is the responsibility of the family...this is why you save.

Tom Hunter
02-15-2014, 06:58 AM
In a few hours I am going skiing. I’ll pay for some gas, which redistributes my income to an oil company. Then I’ll pay for the trail ticket redistributing income to the family that owns the ski area. I might buy some food; redistributing income to the people I buy it from.

You asked “after redistribution of income, then what” if redistribution stops, most people on earth will starve, that’s what.

Peerie Maa
02-15-2014, 07:23 AM
By the very fact that you are able to read and comment on what I post it, could appear that you are telling a 'porky pie' by stating that I am on your 'Ignore List'.

Just an observation. |;)

Not very observant Rummy, you were quoted for all to see, even by those who ignore you. You going to apologise for calling liar?

Peerie Maa
02-15-2014, 07:29 AM
Fast cars and booze fails to benifit society and fails to provide your offspring with " family social protection"



I know that you are using hyperbole to make a silly point, but some one brews the booze and some one makes and services the fast cars, so the money keeps on circulating to everyone's benefit.

slug
02-15-2014, 07:45 AM
I guess that this means saving should be discouraged and consumption encouraged , for the benifit of the working class.

Redistribution ......farmers will be happy...and doctors....and money lenders

Well then, super size it !!!!!



http://s13.postimg.org/iylavsvxj/image.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
subir imagenes gratis (http://postimage.org/index.php?lang=spanish)

Keith Wilson
02-15-2014, 09:01 AM
After redistribution more folks will be able to hang out on lovely Caribbean islands, sail boats, and drink rum.

oznabrag
02-15-2014, 09:11 AM
Straw horses can't even walk, much less trot.

But they can be beaten, after they're dead.

Too Little Time
02-15-2014, 10:33 AM
An estate tax is logical.

First Id ask an economist if 50 percent over a million would hurt small business and small farmers. These families typically have very valuable assets and a modest income. Preserving the familybusiness , after the state mauls it , would place a huge debt burden on the children.

also consider that it is a parents responsibilty to prevent their children from ever becoming a burden on the state, from ever taking one cent of social benefit.

This means education costs, a minimum wage pension and health insurance for life for children who cant fit into society for whatever reason.

And Remember ... you will be smart enough to spend all your personal savings on fast cars, booze and women before the state sinks their choppers into the cash pile. Fast cars and booze fails to benifit society and fails to provide your offspring with " family social protection"

social protection is the responsibility of the family...this is why you save.

$1 million net financial wealth puts a family at 90%. They were rich before the death. They are rich after the death. If they have any concerns, they can afford to do estate planing.

If the tax is too much and they become poorer, too bad.

slug
02-15-2014, 10:42 AM
Estate planning ? I guess this means that you have your death planned. What of those who die before thier time

leikec
02-15-2014, 10:49 AM
Interesting that everyone is chasing a moving target on this thread...

Jeff C

Osborne Russell
02-15-2014, 10:53 AM
Interesting that everyone is chasing a moving target on this thread...

The premise of the thread is a straw man. Re-distribution of income is not the goal. It's something that happens in pursuit of the goal.

leikec
02-15-2014, 11:05 AM
The premise of the thread is a straw man. Re-distribution of income is not the goal. It's something that happens in pursuit of the goal.

Very few people would be happy living in the world they construct in their imagination.

Jeff C

Too Little Time
02-15-2014, 11:55 AM
Estate planning ? I guess this means that you have your death planned. What of those who die before thier time

I am about the 90th percential. My wife is planning my death. Those with less than I - 90% of the people, have no need to plan. They would pay no estate tax.

While death might be unexpected, there is always time to plan.You have enough time to plan. But you might put it off. Maybe even too late. To bad. Pay your taxes. Your family will still be rich.

There is an estate tax now. Maybe you should plan.


What is your financial position?

slug
02-15-2014, 12:14 PM
I Work on boats, Unless I win the lottery I will never accumulate enough to have a estate worth taxing !

i promise not to leave any debt behind.

20 years ago the side of my family who are working class farmers...land owners with infrastructure and machinery...suffered financialy when my uncle died.

Ill bet that many small buisness and farmers are similarly affected.

Must be careful when taxing these little people.

Too Little Time
02-15-2014, 12:47 PM
Ill bet that many small buisness and farmers are similarly affected.

Must be careful when taxing these little people.

Everyone complains about their taxes. Everyone is special. The rich have no valid complaints.

People 90% or above are well enough off to take care of themselves.

Keith Wilson
02-15-2014, 04:34 PM
Must be careful when taxing these little people.There is something very, very wrong with referring to people as 'big' or 'little' according to how much money they have. I don't think we should ever do that.

Michael D. Storey
02-15-2014, 05:29 PM
There is something very, very wrong with referring to people as 'big' or 'little' according to how much money they have. I don't think we should ever do that.

A point well taken, but I feel that if I am little enough I can get what we need and minimize my liability, without breaking laws. It is not exactly that under the radar thing, but close enough to not pay more that the minimum required on things like taxes

Too Little Time
02-15-2014, 05:46 PM
There is something very, very wrong with referring to people as 'big' or 'little' according to how much money they have. I don't think we should ever do that.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the phrasing. There are a lot of people with "little" influence. Those are the little people. I think the phrase was used in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

"big" is the wrong word in this context.

Sky Blue
02-15-2014, 05:50 PM
There is something very, very wrong with referring to people as 'big' or 'little' according to how much money they have. I don't think we should ever do that.


Yes, quite. It is much less paternalistic and significantly more meaningful and determinative to refer to, classify and differentiate people on the basis of "rich" and "poor", or the "haves and the "have nots."

I recall that my father-in-law (now deceased), retired on a military pension, rather poor and frequently feeling put-upon by the government, would begin his rants by saying: "I'm just one of the little guys, just a retired military man, what do I know, but...

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 05:55 PM
http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Rum_Piratehttp://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=4065850#post4065850)By the very fact that you are able to read and comment on what I post it, could appear that you are telling a 'porky pie' by stating that I am on your 'Ignore List'.


Just an observation. |;)Not very observant Rummy, you were quoted for all to see, even by those who ignore you. You going to apologise for calling liar?

Suggest you might like to try Spec Savers. I called nobody a liar in this thread, if you can read my post I wrote "could appear", not that he was. Major difference, but you probably don't realise it.

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 05:57 PM
Exactly...... :) Forget for a moment that the question was offered by Rum; let it stand on it's own merit. To re-state the question; what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share? Just on it's own merits it's an interesting question and has been debated by generations of Soc 101 students every time they are assigned to read Karl Marx or most any of the other socialist writers. But of course because Rum brings it up it's labeled a "straw man" and summarily dismissed as unworthy of discussion . . .
regards,
Waddie

Thanks for restating my question. Y>

David G
02-15-2014, 06:59 PM
And this thread just cries out for this lovely poster:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/1620856_753386521341313_594134153_n.jpg

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 07:03 PM
And this thread just cries out for this lovely poster:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/1620856_753386521341313_594134153_n.jpg

Are you sure I'm still on ignore?

Even if I am, it is amazing that you can't ignore, and not post on, my threads. :ycool:

Keith Wilson
02-15-2014, 07:50 PM
what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share? The problem is not that Rum Pirate brought it up, but that it's a stupid question, a classic example of a straw man. Nobody seriously proposes redistributing income or wealth so that 'everyone had an equal share'; even the communists didn't attempt to do that. The fact is that the distribution of wealth in the US has gotten much more unequal in the past 20 or 30 years. What many of us want to do is make it somewhat less unequal, maybe like it was from 1950 to 1980. Now, you may think this is a good idea or a bad idea, but don't argue against some completely made-up BS.

http://tommytoy.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f3a4072c970b0153918ab6a1970b-800wi


http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2slpqcLMO1qat9xfo1_1280.png

David G
02-15-2014, 07:58 PM
Are you sure I'm still on ignore?

Even if I am, it is amazing that you can't ignore, and not post on, my threads. :ycool:

Some time ago, I asked if you could figure this out. How is it I can see your posts when you are on my Ignore List? There are two ways. Have you guess them yet? Even one?

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 08:01 PM
Some time ago, I asked if you could figure this out. How is it I can see your posts when you are on my Ignore List? There are two ways. Have you guess them yet? Even one?


Regardless of being on your 'Ignore List', you still read and respond to my posts.

So much for being on your 'Ignore List'.:ycool:

David G
02-15-2014, 08:28 PM
Yup... I CAN. If I so choose. Putting you on Ignore serves MY purposes. The list, and the ability to peek if I want, serves MY purposes. Nothing to keep me from peeking, or not peeking. No fines. No incarceration. No posts deleted. No consequences at all.Them's the rules. I can't begin to tell you how chagrined I am if my using this tool as I see fit bothers you. So I won't.

But I do have to congratulate you! You discerned ONE of the methods by which I can see your posts... even though you are on my Ignore List. Far better than I expected. Really! Good job!!

Now... do you have something of substance to add... on your topic?

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 08:40 PM
I refere you to Post #23.

Alternatively, you can hide behind "I have Rummy on ignore" (or similar wording).

David G
02-15-2014, 10:08 PM
Exactly...... :) Forget for a moment that the question was offered by Rum; let it stand on it's own merit. To re-state the question; what would be the consequences if redistribution of wealth was successful and everyone had an equal share? Just on it's own merits it's an interesting question and has been debated by generations of Soc 101 students every time they are assigned to read Karl Marx or most any of the other socialist writers. But of course because Rum brings it up it's labeled a "straw man" and summarily dismissed as unworthy of discussion. Who's the straw man now? .......You are.........

regards,
Waddie

OK... Rummy... you wanted me to refer back to this post.

Maybe you should do some underlining for me... 'cause now I'M clueless. What was your point? You DID have a point, eh?

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 10:12 PM
OK... Rummy... you wanted me to refer back to this post.

Maybe you should do some underlining for me... 'cause now I'M clueless. What was your point? You DID have a point, eh?

I had a question(s). See title of thread and also the restating by Waddie.

David G
02-15-2014, 10:22 PM
Don't you think your ignorant and ill-considered OP has been sufficiently poo-poo'd by now? You want more?

Waddie
02-15-2014, 10:29 PM
OK... Rummy... you wanted me to refer back to this post.

Maybe you should do some underlining for me... 'cause now I'M clueless. What was your point? You DID have a point, eh?

Nothing new here....... move along now......

regards,
Waddie

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 10:34 PM
Don't you think your ignorant and ill-considered OP has been sufficiently poo-poo'd by now? You want more?

You asked what was my point, so I replied (outlining that I had a question and referred to where they were) to your question, or perhaps you would prefer that I should ignore any posts from you. :confused:

Which do you prefer, your choice - especially as you apparently have me on the 'ignore list' facility but don't utilize it - reply to you or ignore you?

David G
02-15-2014, 10:42 PM
Don't you think your ignorant and ill-considered OP has been sufficiently poo-poo'd by now? You want more?


You asked what was my point, so I replied (outlining that I had a question and referred to where they were) to your question, or perhaps you would prefer that I should ignore any posts from you. :confused:

Which do you prefer, your choice - especially as you apparently have me on the 'ignore list' facility but don't utilize it - reply to you or ignore you?

Well... I'm not sure. Which was the above?

Rum_Pirate
02-15-2014, 10:44 PM
Well... I'm not sure. Which was the above?

Let me make it a nice and simple choice for you.

Would you like me to respond (answer) your posts or ignore your posts altogether?

Your choice. :ycool:

David G
02-16-2014, 12:15 AM
Let me make it a nice and simple choice for you.

Would you like me to respond (answer) your posts or ignore your posts altogether?

Your choice. :ycool:

Really... it's my choice? I just kinda assumed you might be interested (since you keep insisting) in my *preference*... but that it would be YOUR choice. But you seem to be assigning that power to me. Hmmm... does this power come with some sort of enforcement mechanism... or just your solemn oath to abide by my decision?

Such a gift is really mighty nice and neighborly of ya... and in the face of such generosity, I'm embarrassed to admit... I'm still not sure. (Just for Waddie's titillation... I'll say... I'm clueless still).

What I'm getting at is this: in post #56, I wrote two sentences. They were each followed by a squiggly sort of punctuation mark with a dot. It's called a "question mark", and recognized by some as a request for information. When conversing with another, it's considered good form to provide that information before moving on. Or, sometimes, the query is maybe a little ambiguous. Then it's generally considered ok to request clarification before answering.

Since you didn't answer either of the questions I posed in #56... and since you didn't really address my own request for clarification in #59... and since you offered me only two choices of behavior from you (answer me OR ignore me)... I'm still at a bit of a loss. I would want to say 'answer'. But if your recent responses are what you regard as answers... well, can you see my dilemma?

slug
02-16-2014, 02:27 AM
Germany is an example of a mature industrial economy that practices wealth redistribution.


"...... Labour to "re-examine the lessons to be learned from the German social market economy". meaning a healthy wariness about globalisation and deregulation, and a willingness to protect workers. This is the famed German model or, as tourists might know it, the way that all the shops are shut on a Sunday. "



Does it work ? Is it the best way to deal with globalization ? Does it create a fair society ?



"German workers saw their wages (after inflation) fall by 4% in the 2000s"

"7 million people work in a so-called “mini job,” in which they do not earn more than €400 a month"


"The number of part-time jobs has risen to 11.2 million.....Ninety percent of such temporary workers receive wages of less than €7 an hour."

Keith Wilson
02-16-2014, 09:35 AM
Most every country has problems. Germany's these days are mainly from a pathological fear of inflation and commitment to austerity that has severely hampered the recovery from the recession of the rest of Europe as well.

Here's something to ponder - Gini coefficients before taxes and transfers (redistribution) and after, for the OEDC countries. These are figures from the mid-2000s; the US Gini is higher now. The radical difference in the Gini coefficient between the US and other western countries is not because of distribution of income, but because of government policy, i.e. redistribution. I think the US should have as a policy goal a Gini of below 0.3. (Gini coefficient definition here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient))


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ZTcCp8eYEyI/S7vlj3HXbRI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/x3u7kx6KIkg/s1600/gini+before.PNG

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ZTcCp8eYEyI/S7vp-wIVvgI/AAAAAAAAARM/rofL2eeIF-g/s1600/gini+after.PNG

slug
02-16-2014, 10:28 AM
Germany has low unemployment. Is creating Mini Jobs to solve unemployment , then topping up the salary with state benifits , the way to cope with globalization ?


All industrialized countries struggle with the same issues.

Who has choosen the best way forward ?

Keith Wilson
02-16-2014, 10:35 AM
It's one way. You have a better idea?

slug
02-16-2014, 10:56 AM
Dont know.

In the US you are creating jobs with fiscal stimulus.

are german mini jobs a better way to create jobs or is the printing press better ?


i also dont know about GDP numbers. This strange number seems to be connected to success.

stumpbumper
02-16-2014, 11:27 AM
The term "redistribution" of wealth is scary and misleading to many. The debate is really over fair distribution of income, not redistribution of wealth. It focuses on fairness in wages and salaries, employee benefits, taxes and any issues which determine how income is divided or shared between employers and employees in the first place.

Dan McCosh
02-16-2014, 11:35 AM
Can this discussion be held without distinguishing between wealth and income?

stumpbumper
02-16-2014, 12:03 PM
No, good point. I edited my previous post.

slug
02-16-2014, 12:05 PM
The term "redistribution" of wealth is scary and misleading to many. The debate is really over fair distribution of wealth, not redistribution. It focuses on fairness in wages and salaries, employee benefits, taxes and any issues which determine how income is divided or shared between employers and employees in the first place.
Ok, this is obvious. What is not obvious with wealth " fairness " is how to encourage overachievers .


If you penalize overachievers they will leave your country.

France just tried that routine. High end London real estate skyrocketed in value as French overachievers stampeded across the channel to escape their punishment.

Too Little Time
02-16-2014, 12:31 PM
Can this discussion be held without distinguishing between wealth and income?

I don't distinguish between them.

The poor don't have wealth - the bottom 50% have 2% of the country's wealth.

For the rich wealth is a great place to hide income. The markets were up 30% last year. Good year for the rich. But most of that increase does not show up as "income."


Being one of the rich I could say that once my wife retires our income will drop to about $25K (Social Security) and I need some assistance. I will ignore the big pile of growing wealth I have that will let my kids and grandkids and even me live well without working another day.

Taxes on wealth are misleading. If we count the sale of wealth as income, only part of that income - the gain, is taxed and it gets a preferred tax rate. If I invested new wealth last year (30% growth), and sold $100K of that wealth, I would only have to pay taxes on $30K of the $100K of income. So $3K in taxes compared to $40K in taxes for earned income (a more than slight exageration).


Income and wealth are different, but any argument about one is similar to an argument on the other, I can tolerate combining them.

stumpbumper
02-16-2014, 12:39 PM
France overdid it. No need for 75% tax rate. That would run most anybody off. But here, it has become clear that our monetary policies over the past 35 years are destroying the middle class. When some very profitable mega corporations are paying little of no taxes, closing a few loopholes is in order. The creation of a strong middle class is what made America a great nation. It also creates stronger markets which is good for everyone.

Dan McCosh
02-16-2014, 12:56 PM
I don't distinguish between them.

The poor don't have wealth - the bottom 50% have 2% of the country's wealth.

For the rich wealth is a great place to hide income. The markets were up 30% last year. Good year for the rich. But most of that increase does not show up as "income."


Being one of the rich I could say that once my wife retires our income will drop to about $25K (Social Security) and I need some assistance. I will ignore the big pile of growing wealth I have that will let my kids and grandkids and even me live well without working another day.

Taxes on wealth are misleading. If we count the sale of wealth as income, only part of that income - the gain, is taxed and it gets a preferred tax rate. If I invested new wealth last year (30% growth), and sold $100K of that wealth, I would only have to pay taxes on $30K of the $100K of income. So $3K in taxes compared to $40K in taxes for earned income (a more than slight exageration).


Income and wealth are different, but any argument about one is similar to an argument on the other, I can tolerate combining them.
If you work for a corporation with 100 stockholders, is it worse than working for a corporation with 1000 stockholders? How does that affect your quality of life? That's distribution of wealth. If the difference in pay between the lowest and highest in the company is 5X vs. 1000X., that's the distribution of income.

Lew Barrett
02-16-2014, 01:03 PM
The last posters have picked the pace up, I won't name you all. This is where the thread starts getting real here:


Interesting that everyone is chasing a moving target on this thread...

Jeff C

Indeed. The notion that wealth would be redistributed is devised by those who would like to see tax laws remain as they are. It's nothing to do with redistributing wealth, and everything to do with an effort to balance taxation so that all pay their fair share.

Agreeing on the "fair share" of taxation is the discussion.


The premise of the thread is a straw man. Re-distribution of income is not the goal. It's something that happens in pursuit of the goal.

This is the key.

Although state laws may vary, the Federal taxes in this country on estates (at least estates that have some reasonably devised plan) doesn't kick in until a $5.35 million threshold is crossed. Additional exemptions (or complications, if you prefer) can apply that bump this amount for follow-on heirs, but I'm no estate tax expert which is why I'd hire somebody who was when making my will.

Aliens in this country don't get the same benefits or exclusions, but for the purpose of this discussion, I'll assume RP is not an alien.

Did I get that right, Rum: you're not an alien, are you?

Too Little Time
02-16-2014, 01:44 PM
If you work for a corporation with 100 stockholders, is it worse than working for a corporation with 1000 stockholders? How does that affect your quality of life? That's distribution of wealth. If the difference in pay between the lowest and highest in the company is 5X vs. 1000X., that's the distribution of income.

You make a number of subtile mistakes.

The number of shareholders in a business does not correlate to the distribution of wealth. A small number of equal shareholders is much different than a large number of shareholders where one holds most of the shares.

The pay distribution of a corporation does not correspond to the compensation package of a corporation. Low pay employees are not apt to get bonuses or job security. They are also more likely to be wage not salary positions. There are stock options and other perks that are not included.

Looking at Warren Buffet. He is a modestly paid employee, $100K. Yet he is elephant as a shareholder - $13 Billion in profits this year.


While it is informative to look at individual companies, fairness or not is more obvious when looking at the entire economy.

Too Little Time
02-16-2014, 01:59 PM
The notion that wealth would be redistributed is devised by those who would like to see tax laws remain as they are. It's nothing to do with redistributing wealth, and everything to do with an effort to balance taxation so that all pay their fair share.

Agreeing on the "fair share" of taxation is the discussion.



I don't see a difference between the words distribution and redistribution. Both seem suitable. But I do find the concept of "'fair share' of taxes" to be divised by those who want to see tax laws remain the same not those who want to chage them.

Taxes are not fair. The complex tax laws are complex because some thought they were treated unfairly.

The (re)distribution of wealth is very important. Estate taxes are used to (re)distribute wealth. You even have a will.

Taxation is a tool used to distribute wealth and income. That distribution is the discussion. I will ask you: What distribution you would like?


I am happy with the distribution of the 1980-1990. Take 50% from the top 10% and we get that distribution.

Lew Barrett
02-16-2014, 02:22 PM
I don't see a difference between the words distribution and redistribution. Both seem suitable. But I do find the concept of "'fair share' of taxes" to be divised by those who want to see tax laws remain the same not those who want to chage them.

Taxes are not fair. The complex tax laws are complex because some thought they were treated unfairly.

The (re)distribution of wealth is very important. Estate taxes are used to (re)distribute wealth. You even have a will.

Taxation is a tool used to distribute wealth and income. That distribution is the discussion. I will ask you: What distribution you would like?


I am happy with the distribution of the 1980-1990. Take 50% from the top 10% and we get that distribution.

I'm having some difficulty picking through some of your points, and how they are distinguished from mine. Call me dense, or explain a bit more where the first couple of lines are notably different than my view. I'm pretty sure I disagree with your last point but would need to know more about the income and wealth metrics of the top 10%.

Regarding the purpose of taxation I completely disagree as I view wealth distribution as but one of, and not necessarily the main (or only) purpose of taxes.

Keith Wilson
02-16-2014, 04:31 PM
Taxes are a very blunt instrument, although ready to hand.. I think there might be better ways to change laws to affect the initial distribution of income or wealth, rather than doing it after the fact. One example - why do the children of the poor generally go to lousy schools? Why does school funding depend so much on neighborhood?

Dan McCosh
02-16-2014, 04:34 PM
Taxes are a very blunt instrument, although ready to hand.. I think there might be better ways to change laws to affect the initial distribution of income or wealth, rather than doing it after the fact. One example - why do the children of the poor generally go to lousy schools? Why does school funding depend so much on neighborhood? The schools are called lousy because they are filled with poor children, who tend to perform poorly. Funding is not dependent on neighborhood--it's relatively high in poor districts.

Lew Barrett
02-16-2014, 05:24 PM
Taxes are a very blunt instrument, although ready to hand.. I think there might be better ways to change laws to affect the initial distribution of income or wealth, rather than doing it after the fact. One example - why do the children of the poor generally go to lousy schools? Why does school funding depend so much on neighborhood?

I think I know you better than to take what I've quoted (from you) as a stand alone statement, but first I think we mightto agree just for the record that some amount of taxation is necessary for us to live together in the world as it is, drive on the roads, have municipal services, schools of course as mentioned and so on (not naming the more odious things we pay for).

The tax code(s) we have now are arguably very rigged....unfair as Too Little Time suggests....especially corporate boondoggles, and I'm entirely unsure how else we'd address this except through taxation. I suppose there is the notion of limiting compensation in the cases of, for example, executives of public companies. But really, how many mechanisms exist to express the idea that above a certain agreed upon level, one should pay a higher percentage of [income] as a tax to support the commonweal?

I certainly see inheritance tax as one mechanism, but in each lifetime, that comes but once. There's much more to say about that, but to cut to the chase, what other mechanisms might there be?

Too Little Time
02-16-2014, 05:27 PM
I'm having some difficulty picking through some of your points, and how they are distinguished from mine. Call me dense, or explain a bit more where the first couple of lines are notably different than my view. I'm pretty sure I disagree with your last point but would need to know more about the income and wealth metrics of the top 10%.

Regarding the purpose of taxation I completely disagree as I view wealth distribution as but one of, and not necessarily the main (or only) purpose of taxes.

I took your statement about "wealth (re)distribution" and tax law as an indication that tax law should be used to (re)distribute income not wealth. I view wealth as a source of income.

You attributed "redistribution of wealth" to a group with an agenda. I attributed "fair share of taxes" to a group with an agenda - you. In debates stock phrases are chosen to misdirect or divide the opposition.

It is not that you are dense. I am too indirect.

As long as we can agree that tax policy can be used to redistribute wealth and income, that is sufficient. With a $16T debt and a deficit we can do a lot of redistribution without any policy changes - aside from tax policy.


The wealth of the lower 90% has remained the same over that time period. The wealth of the top 10% has doubled over that time period. I am not too interested in a finer view. I don't have any power to change the distribution. The more details. The less support.

oznabrag
02-16-2014, 05:55 PM
I took your statement about "wealth (re)distribution" and tax law as an indication that tax law should be used to (re)distribute income not wealth. I view wealth as a source of income.

You attributed "redistribution of wealth" to a group with an agenda. I attributed "fair share of taxes" to a group with an agenda - you. In debates stock phrases are chosen to misdirect or divide the opposition.

It is not that you are dense. I am too indirect.

As long as we can agree that tax policy can be used to redistribute wealth and income, that is sufficient. With a $16T debt and a deficit we can do a lot of redistribution without any policy changes - aside from tax policy.


The wealth of the lower 90% has remained the same over that time period. The wealth of the top 10% has doubled over that time period. I am not too interested in a finer view. I don't have any power to change the distribution. The more details. The less support.

I'm beginning to like you.

Keith Wilson
02-16-2014, 06:03 PM
. . . what other mechanisms might there be?Oh, I entirely agree that tax policy is one important tool, but only one. Another is the decision about what services are paid for out of tax revenue, and to what degree. Other countries pay for most medical care with taxes, for example, which seems to work quite well, both in terms of efficiency and equity of access. Salaries for top-paid medical professionals elsewhere are quite a bit lower than in the US, and we don't get much for the extra we spend. Higher education in the US is one major thing driving class stratification; public university funding has decreased, and tuition has increased far faster than inflation. Another area is minimum wage laws, and laws affecting the balance of power between businesses and their employees, One major difference between the time when the US distribution of income was much more equal and the present is that a far higher percentage of workers were unionized. I think also that there are many subtle things one could do about regulation of financial markets that would help, since a lot of the wildly disproportionate rewards lately have been in the financial sector, for no general benefit at all.

The data in #63 shows income before taxes and transfers is not much more unequal in the US than the rest of the wealthy countries, but income after definitely is. Some is tax policy, some is small-government ideology.

peb
02-16-2014, 06:43 PM
I am late to the discussion, but it appears that people view taxes as the primary means of distribution if wealth. My gosh, liberals have gotten stupid.

The primary means of wealth distribution is, and almost always has been labor. Taxes are a distant second.

jclays
02-16-2014, 07:08 PM
Ask Mr. Barrack Obama. He's big on "Sharing the Wealth" or "Spreading the wealth around".

Chip-skiff
02-16-2014, 07:17 PM
First, drive the rich screaming into bondage and starvation.

Then, cannibalism. . .

:)

David G
02-16-2014, 07:20 PM
First, drive the rich screaming into bondage and starvation.

Then, cannibalism. . .

:)

Hmmm... seems like you're leaving something out, aincha? Where do the Heads On Pikes come into play. I understand they can play an important role in future deterrence...

Chip-skiff
02-16-2014, 07:23 PM
Hmmm... seems like you're leaving something out, aincha? Where do the Heads On Pikes come into play. I understand they can play an important role in future deterrence...

Cut the defense budget by 100%: no money for pikes.

Michael D. Storey
02-16-2014, 07:26 PM
Taxes are not fair. The complex tax laws are complex because some thought they were treated unfairly.


Taxation is a tool used to distribute wealth and income. That distribution is the discussion. I will ask you: What distribution you would like?


I am happy with the distribution of the 1980-1990. Take 50% from the top 10% and we get that distribution.

The fact that the tax code is used in the United States to affect social change is part of the mix here. When inheritance is taxed, it redistributes some of the wealth. The fact that a huge amount of inheritance is not taxed has nothing to do with family farms. It has to do with the ignorance of the way taxes work by the great majority of voters who allowed this travesty to be, even though they will never benefit from it, and will in fact have to support it, as the burden of income for Treasury will be further shifted to them.

BTW, about this distribution of wealth business: It is a temporary thing, as wealth will collect again in the hands of the few. But this time, the few will include new players. It is enacted because of the fact that it may bring others along to a degree, thereby improving the lot of many.

skipper68
02-16-2014, 07:51 PM
It all boils down to the value you get from your wages, or income.
In 1963, the minimum wage was $1.68 or so. The cost of a gallon of gas was $.34 cents.
Now compare how much you would work for a full tank then, compared to how much now on the minimum wage.
These differences are what is causing widespread distress for the average joe.
I'm sure it makes no difference for someone who has a limo, compared to someone trying to get to work with their tank on fumes.
In the end, our country has had 30 years to kill off the middle class. Many are now living in the shoes of those they destained.
Here is a window to someone who has fallen out of the American Dream.

And your experience is likely you leaping to conclusions out of personal prejudice or an attempt to assuage your conscience when you walk away from a person in need. Hey, they don't really need help, half if 'em are conmen and the rest choose to be homeless to enjoy the sweet, sweet bum lifestyle.
You know why homeless people panhandle? It's because nobody, and I mean nobody hires people to work out of a shelter except those day labor outfits. Not even temp agencies will touch you when you're in the shelters.
And day labor....let me tell you how that goes, hey? You show up early, because they put you in a queue for the jobs available for that day...and I mean "be there at six in the morning if you want to work" early. Then you sit around waiting for your name to be called, sometimes all day just to be turned away because there weren't enough jobs for the day. If you do get called for a job, you take it no matter what, because if you beg off, you get dumped to the back of the queue, not just that day, but every day from there on out until you show willing to work whatever task they deem to send your way. If you're lucky, you get sent to a place like the wreath factory to stick bows on Christmas wreaths. If you're unlucky, you get sent to the cannery to pack sardines or the town dump to clean the stortm fences. If you're really unlucky, you wind up on a job site slinging around a three-hundred-plus pound concrete hose for a basement pour by yourself. (That last one is the reason why my guts are currently held in by a shi**ton of surgical mesh - multiple hernias are such great fun....)
And you do this for minimum wage for only the time you spend on the job site. If you don't have a vehicle, you pay someone to get you to the job. Your check is handed to you at the end of the day, and because you can't open a checking account without an address, you lose a substantial chunk of your paltry check to a cashing service, just to get access to your earnings. And then you get back to the shelter late because you worked, and all the beds are full, so you get to sleep in a hard plastic chair in the cafeteria with the TV blairing all night and the lights on, trying to ignore the unmedicated schizophrenic in the corner wailing her divine visions, ignoring the fistfight over someone stiffing another out of a cigarette, only to rinse, lather, and repeat the next day.
So to recap, you invest between twelve and sixteen hours of your time between waiting for a job, getting to the job site, working, and get back to the agency to get your check, and you likely wind up dead tired, reeking of trash or fish, or bodily broken, and they hand you a check for on average about thirty-five bucks. You give a fiver to the guy that got you to the job, pay another fiver to get access to your money, and end the day $25 richer. And you get to start the next day, and the next, and the next, sleep deprived and in physical agony, just to try to scrape the miniscule sums together you can earn into enough money to rent a room to get yourself an address, so you can stand even a remote chance of getting a real honest-to-goodness nine-to-five job and get a life again.
Panhandling (or worse, ******* strangers for a fiver) is far more profitable, if you're willing to sell your dignity to do it, and it's less likely to physically destroy you. There's your choices when you're homeless....unless someone steps in to help.
You just keep pretending that people choose that life, if it makes you feel better. I know different - that life is the jagged rocks waiting for you at the based of the cliff should you ever fall.http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1xfnri/i_believe_its_insensitive_to_expect_the_poor_to/cfb0dxu
This is sadly, a very disturbing thread on how poorly we treat those who were 1 paycheck from homelessness.
Then you read the replies from other countries on this thread and see we ARE turning into a third world country very quickly. :(

Michael D. Storey
02-16-2014, 08:00 PM
I am late to the discussion, but it appears that people view taxes as the primary means of distribution if wealth. My gosh, liberals have gotten stupid.

The primary means of wealth distribution is, and almost always has been labor. Taxes are a distant second.
Selling your own labor is not a good path to wealth, for most. Selling other peoples labor is a surer path.
It is easier to take some of what is earned and use that to redistribute wealth.
A Texan as yourself should be familiar with the name Lyndon Johnson. Read what Robert Caro had to say about Johnson's work in wealth distribution, and subsequent consolidation.
Stupid, indeed.
My gosh.

Too Little Time
02-16-2014, 08:07 PM
I am late to the discussion, but it appears that people view taxes as the primary means of distribution if wealth. My gosh, liberals have gotten stupid.

The primary means of wealth distribution is, and almost always has been labor. Taxes are a distant second.

Capitalism is based on wealth flowing toward capital. At one time capital was labor. Now capital seems to be financial wealth.

This is one way flow. A policy that takes from the rich and gives to the poor makes the flow a cycle.

Taxation is one way to complete the cycle.

Lew Barrett
02-16-2014, 11:21 PM
My gosh, liberals have gotten stupid.


Thank you for this contribution;)




The primary means of wealth distribution is, and almost always has been labor. Taxes are a distant second.

Not once it's been earned or inherited. Others make the case for the value placed on labor today, but didn't this conversation hinge on inheritance taxes?

Too Little Time: A family at the 90th percentile earns $138,000 a year. All above that at 50%? What else would you suggest to change within that context? I note that Keith had some suggestions. By the way, I don't think you have my number well enough to say what my agenda is.

Keith Wilson
02-17-2014, 07:58 AM
The primary means of wealth distribution is, and almost always has been labor. Taxes are a distant second.Despite the gratuitous insult, you're not wrong abut labor. Part of the problem is that the returns on capital have been staying ahead of the returns on labor, and capital tends to accumulate over time. There was an interesting article in The Economist recently on the subject (http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21592635-revisiting-old-argument-about-impact-capitalism-all-men-are-created); rather technical for me but worth reading.

Dan McCosh
02-17-2014, 08:55 AM
Despite the gratuitous insult, you're not wrong abut labor. Part of the problem is that the returns on capital have been staying ahead of the returns on labor, and capital tends to accumulate over time. There was an interesting article in The Economist recently on the subject (http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21592635-revisiting-old-argument-about-impact-capitalism-all-men-are-created); rather technical for me but worth reading. Try "Wages, prices and profits".---Karl Marx.

Too Little Time
02-17-2014, 10:08 AM
Too Little Time: A family at the 90th percentile earns $138,000 a year. All above that at 50%? What else would you suggest to change within that context? I note that Keith had some suggestions. By the way, I don't think you have my number well enough to say what my agenda is.

There are a number of different definitions of income that give a wide range of values. I use $100K as it is easy to remember. I will accept the number that pops out of any definition.

If we are going to tax income to redistribute, then all of income should be taxed and the tax rate should be the same for all forms of income. I would use an estate tax. Again $1 million is easy to remember.

I don't make any pretense that my suggestion is "fair." But it has 2 properties First, the Willie Sutton property - go where the money is. Second, the revenue is about equal to the debt.

While I don't know your agenda, I do know that looking for fairness leads to "but see how unfair the tax is to this group." Most people who want fairness have a demented definition. That leads to complications.

skipper68
02-17-2014, 11:44 AM
http://i1042.photobucket.com/albums/b426/skipper68/1497689_10151858487865669_674920234_n_zps46f4fbcd. jpg (http://s1042.photobucket.com/user/skipper68/media/1497689_10151858487865669_674920234_n_zps46f4fbcd. jpg.html)Here is some perspective, posted on my FB page. This is beyond sickening. People want, and deserve, a living wage. How is if fair, never mind decent, that CEOs take home millions while the people who work for them not only do not make enough to meet the poverty level, they are vilified for using the social safety net to try to survive? Without labor, the CEOs would have no businesses, so they do not deserve the lion's share of anything.

Rum_Pirate
02-17-2014, 11:45 AM
The last posters have picked the pace up, I won't name you all. This is where the thread starts getting real here:



Indeed. The notion that wealth would be redistributed is devised by those who would like to see tax laws remain as they are. It's nothing to do with redistributing wealth, and everything to do with an effort to balance taxation so that all pay their fair share.

Agreeing on the "fair share" of taxation is the discussion.


This is the key.

Although state laws may vary, the Federal taxes in this country on estates (at least estates that have some reasonably devised plan) doesn't kick in until a $5.35 million threshold is crossed. Additional exemptions (or complications, if you prefer) can apply that bump this amount for follow-on heirs, but I'm no estate tax expert which is why I'd hire somebody who was when making my will.

Aliens in this country don't get the same benefits or exclusions, but for the purpose of this discussion, I'll assume RP is not an alien.

Did I get that right, Rum: you're not an alien, are you?

Since you ask, and for clarifican purposes of this discussion only:

1. I am not in the USA.

2. I am not an alien (ie a non US citizen).

3. I am not an alien (i.e. extra terrestrial type).

4. I have no assets in the USA.

5. I do not pay USA income taxes, although I pay sales taxes when importing items for the USA.

6. I'm not subject to pay USA estate taxes, although I pay sales taxes when importing items for the USA.

BTW For the purposes of this discussion, why does it matter if I am an 'alien' or not?

Keith Wilson
02-17-2014, 11:47 AM
For the purposes of this discussion, why does it matter if I am an 'alien' or not?It doesn't.

Rum_Pirate
02-17-2014, 11:50 AM
It doesn't.


Just wondered why Lew Barrett thought it necessary to ask/mention it?

peb
02-17-2014, 11:52 AM
Despite the gratuitous insult, you're not wrong abut labor. Part of the problem is that the returns on capital have been staying ahead of the returns on labor, and capital tends to accumulate over time. There was an interesting article in The Economist recently on the subject (http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21592635-revisiting-old-argument-about-impact-capitalism-all-men-are-created); rather technical for me but worth reading.

Thanks for the link, I will read it ( about time to restart my subscription to the economist).
I apologize about the gratuitous insult, but a quick preview of the thread showed very little in the way of knowledge about income distribution.

I will not argue that there are problems with our current economy with regards to just returns for labor. But if one assumes the primary means of wealth distribution is the tax code, one is going to develop failed solutions due to the misunderstanding of the problem.

The tax code could be used, to the extent possible, to fix the wage/salary problem, not to try to distribute wealth directly.. For example: with regards to the scandal of current CEO compensation ( I will remind everyone it was WFB who first referred to it as a scandal), perhaps we could impose onerous tax penalties directly on corporations who exceed certain limits on CEO pay, as opposed to just taxing the high pay itself. Likewise, tax penalties to corporations who have a high percentage of workers receiving welfare benefits ( an idea suggested by Norman, which I argued about the details, but upon further thought is not that bad).

But better considered economic policies beyond the tax code would have a bigger impact in the problem. For example, the recent monetization of debt known as QE. If we print money and drop it from a helicopter, one will enrich those who are underneath the helicopter ( in this case Wall Street). And the result goes directly against the goal if a just distribution of goods. Likewise, allowing gigantic, nationwide banks to exist and control 70% of all banking assets does nothing but enables the accumulation if wealth by a few.


These are just thoughts. The goal is not to keep anyone from getting rich, the goal is to lift everyone up.

Osborne Russell
02-17-2014, 11:55 AM
The term "redistribution" of wealth is scary and misleading to many. The debate is really over fair distribution of income, not redistribution of wealth. It focuses on fairness in wages and salaries, employee benefits, taxes and any issues which determine how income is divided or shared between employers and employees in the first place.

I disagree strongly. The reason "redistribution of income" is scary is because it's not the purpose of government and fundamentally has nothing to do with fairness. The government takes from you and me and the other guy in order to protect all of our rights.


It is to preserve these rights that governments are instituted among men . . .

But if you can stampede people into believing it's about re-distribution, the bottom falls out of their stomach feeling that some dirt bag is getting more than them, and it isn't fair, and why is government doing such a mad thing, and why won't the lamestream media tell the truth about it, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, ad teapartium.

slug
02-17-2014, 11:56 AM
If you try to interfere with the way a private company operates the company will relocate offshore.

if you would like to change the way companies are governed, then you must do it on a global scale.

Rum_Pirate
02-17-2014, 11:57 AM
These are just thoughts. The goal is not to keep anyone from getting rich, the goal is to lift everyone up.My underline.


What would really change if everyone was 20% richer?

Inflation would kick in and the differential levels would revert.

David G
02-17-2014, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the link, I will read it ( about time to restart my subscription to the economist).
I apologize about the gratuitous insult, but a quick preview of the thread showed very little in the way of knowledge about income distribution.

I will not argue that there are problems with our current economy with regards to just returns for labor. But if one assumes the primary means of wealth distribution is the tax code, one is going to develop failed solutions due to the misunderstanding of the problem.

The tax code could be used, to the extent possible, to fix the wage/salary problem, not to try to distribute wealth directly.. For example: with regards to the scandal of current CEO compensation ( I will remind everyone it was WFB who first referred to it as a scandal), perhaps we could impose onerous tax penalties directly on corporations who exceed certain limits on CEO pay, as opposed to just taxing the high pay itself. Likewise, tax penalties to corporations who have a high percentage of workers receiving welfare benefits ( an idea suggested by Norman, which I argued about the details, but upon further thought is not that bad).

But better considered economic policies beyond the tax code would have a bigger impact in the problem. For example, the recent monetization of debt known as QE. If we print money and drop it from a helicopter, one will enrich those who are underneath the helicopter ( in this case Wall Street). And the result goes directly against the goal if a just distribution of goods. Likewise, allowing gigantic, nationwide banks to exist and control 70% of all banking assets does nothing but enables the accumulation if wealth by a few.


These are just thoughts. The goal is not to keep anyone from getting rich, the goal is to lift everyone up.

Yes, and yes, and yes.

My only minor quibble is the shot at QE. Not that what you say isn't true. But when fiscal policy - which would have been more effective than QE at stimulus... AND been helped ameliorate income disparity, instead of adding to it - is blocked by politics... the folks who control monetary policy are rather squeezed into a policy like QE... less than optimum though it may be. No?

David G
02-17-2014, 12:18 PM
My underline.


What would really change if everyone was 20% richer?

Inflation would kick in and the differential levels would revert.

Your grasp, as usual, of the mechanisms of economics is... well, it's just astonishing!!!

You, btw, still haven't addressed the series of questions I asked. The answers will enable me to make the choice you so kindly offered. Will it take you long to formulate answers, do you think? I'm just wondering how often to check this thread.

peb
02-17-2014, 12:19 PM
My underline.


What would really change if everyone was 20% richer?

Inflation would kick in and the differential levels would revert.

Idiocy continues. You are making one or both of the following assumptions: 1) wealth distribution is a zero-sum game 2) getting rich is a matter of having more money, as opposed to assets.

If your statement was correct, we would still be stuck in the same state we were in 1900, when (outside of rural America) a few people controlled almost all the wealth, and the majority of the industrial workers were living in poverty (certainly by today's' standards).

Economies can grow, societies can become more prosperous, middle classes can develop. This has all been proven over the last 100 years or so.

peb
02-17-2014, 12:20 PM
Careful there.... this was precisely the justification for the now-discredited 'trickle down' economic policies, i.e., 'a rising tide lifts all boats'. The 1% don't need any lift... the 99% do.

There has been no policy in recent memory more focused on "trickle down" effect than Quantitative Easing.

Rum_Pirate
02-17-2014, 12:31 PM
Your grasp, as usual, of the mechanisms of economics is... well, it's just astonishing!!! Thank you.

I look forward to your pointing out all and any faults that lie therein.


You, btw, still haven't addressed the series of questions I asked. The answers will enable me to make the choice you so kindly offered. Will it take you long to formulate answers, do you think? I'm just wondering how often to check this thread.Too late, I've made the decision of choice myself.


Suggest that you might like to check this thread every fifteen minutes, thus providing you of productive use of your time.

Alternatively, you could click on 'Rum_Pirate' name and then click on view recent posts.

That way you could keep fully up to date with what I post.

Oh, I forgot, you have me on 'ignore'. :ycool:

Oh well, suit yourself.

Keith Wilson
02-17-2014, 12:34 PM
But better considered economic policies beyond the tax code would have a bigger impact in the problem.I agree. Changing how rewards are distributed by altering the rules of the game, and broadening opportunity by making one's choice of parents less important in getting started in life seem to me a better idea than trying to fix the problem after the fact. People on both left and right focus on the tax code, and income taxes in particular, more than they ought to IMHO.

Rum_Pirate
02-17-2014, 12:35 PM
Idiocy continues.
These are just thoughts. The goal is not to keep anyone from getting rich, the goal is to lift everyone up.


Yes it does.

I'll leave you to discuss it with Norman Bernstein See Post 107.

slug
02-17-2014, 12:43 PM
I agree. Changing how rewards are distributed by altering the rules of the game, and broadening opportunity by making one's choice of parents less important in getting started in life seem to me a better idea than trying to fix the problem after the fact. People on both left and right focus on the tax code, and income taxes in particular, more than they ought to IMHO.


Yes indeed...to much focus of class warfare and tax the rich .... not enough focus on how to make american society competitive internationally.

tax and clase warfare wont do it.

peb
02-17-2014, 12:55 PM
Yes, and yes, and yes.

My only minor quibble is the shot at QE. Not that what you say isn't true. But when fiscal policy - which would have been more effective than QE at stimulus... AND been helped ameliorate income disparity, instead of adding to it - is blocked by politics... the folks who control monetary policy are rather squeezed into a policy like QE... less than optimum though it may be. No?

As regards to stimulus being much more effective than QE, maybe a little, but I doubt it.
As to the statement that the Fed adopted QE because there was no fiscal stimulus policy, that is certainly wrong. If anything, the exact opposite: one of the reasons for QE was to continue funding the high level of public debt because the congress could not get deficits under control. That would be just the opposite of your statement.

Finally, as to the Fed being squeezed into the policy of QE, maybe? But it doesn't justify it. They opted for the least controversial, radical policy available to them. Make no mistake, QE was a radical policy. But if one is going to create money from nothing, one should be free to distribute that money in many different ways. They choose to do it by buying treasuries and mortgage securities so that the debt could be funded. But to do so, they money had to go to those who held those bonds, hence the helicopter effect.

One could make the case that if money is going to be printed as a stimulant, checks should just be mailed to every household. But that would have certainly not helped with deficit funding.

David G
02-17-2014, 12:55 PM
See answers in bold


Thank you.

I look forward to your pointing out all and any faults that lie therein.

No need - peb did fine.

No use - bootless to scatter seed on salted land.



Too late, I've made the decision of choice myself.

Well... I suspected you had made an offer you didn't intend to honor. Ill-considered and less than honest... I guess we're used to that.

peb
02-17-2014, 12:55 PM
Yes, and yes, and yes.

My only minor quibble is the shot at QE. Not that what you say isn't true. But when fiscal policy - which would have been more effective than QE at stimulus... AND been helped ameliorate income disparity, instead of adding to it - is blocked by politics... the folks who control monetary policy are rather squeezed into a policy like QE... less than optimum though it may be. No?

As regards to stimulus being much more effective than QE, maybe a little, but I doubt it.
As to the statement that the Fed adopted QE because there was no fiscal stimulus policy, that is certainly wrong. If anything, the exact opposite: one of the reasons for QE was to continue funding the high level of public debt because the congress could not get deficits under control. That would be just the opposite of your statement.

Finally, as to the Fed being squeezed into the policy of QE, maybe? But it doesn't justify it. They opted for the least controversial, radical policy available to them. Make no mistake, QE was a radical policy. But if one is going to create money from nothing, one should be free to distribute that money in many different ways. They choose to do it by buying treasuries and mortgage securities so that the debt could be funded. But to do so, they money had to go to those who held those bonds, hence the helicopter effect.

One could make the case that if money is going to be printed as a stimulant, checks should just be mailed to every household. But that would have certainly not helped with deficit funding.

Keith Wilson
02-17-2014, 01:11 PM
. . . tax and class warfare wont do it.Most of the effective 'class warfare' I've seen lately has been by the right against the lower classes - refusal to extend employment benefits, cuts to food stamps, refusal to expand Medicaid in Republican-controlled states . . .

Lew Barrett
02-17-2014, 01:13 PM
Just wondered why Lew Barrett thought it necessary to ask/mention it?

I agree with Keith. You hardly need my consent to feel free to contribute your thoughts to your thread and be more than a bystander in the conversation;)

Too Little Time
02-17-2014, 01:25 PM
In reference to:

"perhaps we could impose onerous tax penalties directly on corporations who exceed certain limits on CEO pay, as opposed to just taxing the high pay itself."


I agree, it would be a better way to do it... but only presuming that the penalties were high enough. These days, penalties for the misdoings of corporations are not even a slap on the wrist. The intent of a penalty is to actually HURT.... but when penalties are but a tiny fraction of the illicit gains, it simply becomes a cost of doing business. Witness the penalties handed out to banks in the past decade, many of which are pulling in record profits while the penalty losses are small in comparison.

There was a list of CEOs and this years income published a while back. (stock appreciation and dividends + wages)

Warren Buffet $13 billion + $100K
Bill Gates Billions + a bit
Larry Ellison Billions + $97 million

The problem is not the millions that CEOs make. It is the billions they make. The problem is the rich are not stupid. They know how to deal with laws.

The number of families not just CEOs with really high wage incomes is too small to make any real difference.

I am all for taxing the rich, but your suggestion does not achieve any goal and it makes the rich mad.

wardd
02-17-2014, 01:32 PM
do we understand the economy is a process?

slug
02-17-2014, 01:36 PM
As regards to stimulus being much more effective than QE, maybe a little, but I doubt it.
As to the statement that the Fed adopted QE because there was no fiscal stimulus policy, that is certainly wrong. If anything, the exact opposite: one of the reasons for QE was to continue funding the high level of public debt because the congress could not get deficits under control. That would be just the opposite of your statement.

Finally, as to the Fed being squeezed into the policy of QE, maybe? But it doesn't justify it. They opted for the least controversial, radical policy available to them. Make no mistake, QE was a radical policy. But if one is going to create money from nothing, one should be free to distribute that money in many different ways. They choose to do it by buying treasuries and mortgage securities so that the debt could be funded. But to do so, they money had to go to those who held those bonds, hence the helicopter effect.

One could make the case that if money is going to be printed as a stimulant, checks should just be mailed to every household. But that would have certainly not helped with deficit funding.


And QE did what it was supposed to do. The policy maker choose the correct policy . Hard to find anyone to argue that it was a failure .

the problem is...what next ?

i listen to what the Democrats say and im not convinced..i listen to what the Republicans say and its all garbled, background noise.

PhaseLockedLoop
02-17-2014, 02:36 PM
I think the issues is gettin' muddled in this thread. Here's a thought experiment:

1) All the money in the country is equal distributed to everybody (if there's any remainder it's burnt).
2) My brudda, he goes downtown and buys hisself a li'l lovin' from some hoor, for $10.

Result: 3) Now my brudda is the poorest person in the country, and the hoor is the richest!

Is that what the extreme left wingers like O want? For the hoors to take over? For my brudda to be a peon?

Too Little Time
02-17-2014, 02:53 PM
....but for those at the very top of the ladder, no encouragement is needed, while for those on the middle rungs and below, no investment is even possible. Only a small percentage of Americans have investments in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Just for debate purposes, I have a proposal: why not exempt all dividends and capital gains from ANY taxation, to a limit of, say, $350,000... and the tax any dividends or capital gains above that level at the full ordinary income tax rate. The result: the middle class has a BIG incentive to invest.... and the upper crust pays a fairer share of the burden, without jepoardizing their ability to live.

Why $350,000? If you assume a long term earnings rate of 5% on capital, then it means that the only people paying ordinary income rates on their capital gains and investments would be people with in excess of $7 Million in invested assets.... and even they would pay nothing on the first $350,000.

Seems very fair, to me.

Perhaps I misunderstand your sense of the middle class. A usual definition is the middle quintile - 40-60%. So somewhere around $56K of income. Or somewhere around $125K of net financial assets. Even at that level families have enough to invest in stocks. I would give you up to 90% as middle class if it were important, but $350K a year is 99% that is hardly middle class.


My math looks like this:

About 12 years out of the past 40 returns have been above 20%. Long term average is about 11%. Invest $1 million at 10% for 3 years, realize the gains, and one is above the tax threshhold with "only" a $1 million in assets.

And Warren Buffet pays no capital gains tax on his $13 billion because he has not realized them.

I like your idea. Figure out a way to force realizing gains. Drop the $350K down to $100K (about 90th percentile on income. Top of the middle class.).


edited to add:


On My Gosh!!!

He asked for $350K a year tax free. No income tax. No FICA. No SUTA. I asked if he would take $100K a year tax free.

The rich are really smart.

I should have said no exemption. I should have exempted all income below $70K from any taxes and increased the taxes above $70K to make up for that exemption.

Too Little Time
02-18-2014, 12:44 PM
The Street Journal has an opinion piece about the top 1%, the upper crust as it were.

"A taxpayer needed a taxable income of $307,000 to enter the top 1%, a figure that hardly qualifies as 'rich' today"

It goes on about all the people making $2 million and more - Tiger Woods, sports coaches, actors and what now. They need our help.

If only the poor did not require so much.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303519404579352551767664072?mod=hp _opinion&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB1000 1424052702303519404579352551767664072.html%3Fmod%3 Dhp_opinion

peb
02-18-2014, 02:17 PM
And QE did what it was supposed to do. The policy maker choose the correct policy . Hard to find anyone to argue that it was a failure .

the problem is...what next ?

i listen to what the Democrats say and im not convinced..i listen to what the Republicans say and its all garbled, background noise.

I can assure you that I do not read economic stuff that is far to the right or the left, and there are lots of people who will argue that QE did not work.

peb
02-18-2014, 02:20 PM
...

Just for debate purposes, I have a proposal: why not exempt all dividends and capital gains from ANY taxation, to a limit of, say, $350,000... and the tax any dividends or capital gains above that level at the full ordinary income tax rate. The result: the middle class has a BIG incentive to invest.... and the upper crust pays a fairer share of the burden, without jepoardizing their ability to live.

Why $350,000? If you assume a long term earnings rate of 5% on capital, then it means that the only people paying ordinary income rates on their capital gains and investments would be people with in excess of $7 Million in invested assets.... and even they would pay nothing on the first $350,000.

Seems very fair, to me.

It is a very good idea, IMO. I hate to agree with Norman, but it is good. But $350,000 cutoff for the actual investment returns is a little high. But that is a quibble. Its in the ballpark.

Keith Wilson
02-18-2014, 03:13 PM
I think that's a good idea too. and I agree with peb that the cutoff's a little too high. I'd set it at a multiple of the median income - say 4X for the sake of argument. Anything above that would be taxed at the same rate as wages. But it's still a quibble.

Another thing we could look at would be Social Security/Medicare taxes, which apply only to wages, and are structured to exempt pretty much all of higher incomes.

Too Little Time
02-18-2014, 05:31 PM
I think that's a good idea too. and I agree with peb that the cutoff's a little too high. I'd set it at a multiple of the median income - say 4X for the sake of argument. Anything above that would be taxed at the same rate as wages. But it's still a quibble.

So you think we should give the rich only $250K/year tax free.

According to the WSJ article I posted to just above, the rich get "only" 19% of their income from capital gains. So you want to give people with taxable incomes of less than $1.25 million ($250K/20%) tax free money. And increase the capital gains tax on incomes greater than $2.5 million.


This is why we have a national debt. This is a great indicator of the quality of our education system.

CWSmith
02-18-2014, 06:50 PM
I disagree with the term "redistribution of wealth", but let's accept it. Let's suppose there is no redistribution. In that case, the rich keep getting richer and the poor get poorer while the middle class is squeezed out of existence. Sounds familiar. Is that a society we want and why?

oznabrag
02-18-2014, 09:41 PM
So you think we should give the rich only $250K/year tax free.

According to the WSJ article I posted to just above, the rich get "only" 19% of their income from capital gains. So you want to give people with taxable incomes of less than $1.25 million ($250K/20%) tax free money. And increase the capital gains tax on incomes greater than $2.5 million.


This is why we have a national debt. This is a great indicator of the quality of our education system.

In case you hadn't noticed, you are being rude.

IMO, you owe both Mr. Wilson AND this forum an apology.

peb
02-19-2014, 07:46 AM
For those of you with access to the WSJ, I recommend William Galston's editorial that is in today's paper: Closing the Productivity Gap and Pay Gap.

http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579391070814416410?mg=ren o64-wsj

It's a well thought out piece from a liberal perspective. A nice change. But I must warn you: he doesn't mention the 1% or CEO pay even once. Much more focused on raising wages than on punishing those at the top. And he presents the various arguments for the cause of the problem very well.

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 07:55 AM
Behind the paywall, alas - Ah, no here's a version you can read without a subscription (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579391070814416410). He's talking about this problem. That's a good editorial.

http://spfaust.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/worker-productivity-annual-wage-compensation.png

Rum_Pirate
02-19-2014, 07:58 AM
Behind the paywall, alas. I presume he's talking about this problem?

http://spfaust.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/worker-productivity-annual-wage-compensation.png

I suspect that some of that productivity over the sixty years is due to advances in mechanisation, automation etc.

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 08:08 AM
Almost all of the productivity gain is due to improvements in technology. What else would be the cause? Increasing knowledge and improved techniques have been driving that since we invented agriculture. For a long time, increased output per hour worked (the definition of productivity) was reflected in increased wages. No longer. It's one of the things at the heart of our current economic troubles, that the gains from increasing output are not going to the workers.

I cant link to the editorial, it vanishes behind the paywall, but you can get to it by Googling on 'Closing the Productivity and Pay Gap'.

peb
02-19-2014, 08:30 AM
I suspect that some of that productivity over the sixty years is due to advances in mechanisation, automation etc.

Of course, and it's going to continue. At a macro level, manufacturing jobs have not been outsourced to other countries, they have been made obsolete. And it is happening now at a faster pace in service jobs ( eg, many of you call a broker to purchase a stock?).

It takes less labor to produce our basic needs. This trend will continue.
And since labor is the main means of wealth distribution, it causes challenges. This cannot be fixed simply by an extremely progressive tax system and government services to the poor and middle class.

We need policies that address the problem directly. Heck, if we handle it correctly, it won't seem like a problem at all.

BTW, a reduction in the standard work week is a very good first step. That policy worked throughout the first 60 years of the last century.

Rum_Pirate
02-19-2014, 09:03 AM
Of course, and it's going to continue. At a macro level, manufacturing jobs have not been outsourced to other countries, they have been made obsolete. And it is happening now at a faster pace in service jobs ( eg, many of you call a broker to purchase a stock?).

It takes less labor to produce our basic needs. This trend will continue.
And since labor is the main means of wealth distribution, it causes challenges. This cannot be fixed simply by an extremely progressive tax system and government services to the poor and middle class.

We need policies that address the problem directly. Heck, if we handle it correctly, it won't seem like a problem at all.

BTW, a reduction in the standard work week is a very good first step. That policy worked throughout the first 60 years of the last century.

Agree that it cannot be fixed simply by an extremely progressive tax system and government services to the poor and middle class.

Concerned that if the work week is reduced that the poor will suffer, or will they then have to take a second job for the 'spare' time that they get?
If they take a second job then surely there will be fewer jobs to go around?

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 09:37 AM
It takes less labor to produce our basic needs. This trend will continue. Or, alternately, the same amount of labor will produce a lot more stuff, or much more complicated and sophisticated stuff. ('Stuff', highly technical term, meaning goods and services. ;)) This is why we have so much more stuff than folks did 50 or 100 years ago. It used to take almost everybody's labor just to grow enough food. Now those who used to do that do other things. Improved technology, including automation, is the reason you are not a peasant.

Automation, and improved production technology in general, produces disruption in the short term. In the long term, it is why we do not live in wattle-and-daub huts on the edge of starvation.

Too Little Time
02-19-2014, 09:42 AM
In case you hadn't noticed, you are being rude.

IMO, you owe both Mr. Wilson AND this forum an apology.

I appologize to everyone.

My comment about education was out of line.

oznabrag
02-19-2014, 09:47 AM
Thanks.

Dan McCosh
02-19-2014, 09:50 AM
Almost all of the productivity gain is due to improvements in technology. What else would be the cause? Increasing knowledge and improved techniques have been driving that since we invented agriculture. For a long time, increased output per hour worked (the definition of productivity) was reflected in increased wages. No longer. It's one of the things at the heart of our current economic troubles, that the gains from increasing output are not going to the workers.

I cant link to the editorial, it vanishes behind the paywall, but you can get to it by Googling on 'Closing the Productivity and Pay Gap'. Productivity is a bit misleading, in that it is the dollar value of the goods produced per hour of labor. That leaves two variables--what is "labor" and the price of the goods. Automation in manufacturing hasn't changed all that much in recent years. The big push was in the 1960s and 1970s. The larger picture is the effect of pushing low-margin work overseas, which leaves the high-margin work here, effectively increasing "productivity", without changing the local operations much.

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 09:50 AM
Hey, no offense taken, but thanks. If that's the worst you do, you'll be one of the shining lights of the Bilge, not that that's much of a distinction. :d

slug
02-19-2014, 09:52 AM
Or, alternately, the same amount of labor will produce a lot more stuff, or much more complicated and sophisticated stuff. ('Stuff', highly technical term, meaning goods and services. ;)) This is why we have so much more stuff than folks did 50 or 100 years ago. It used to take almost everybody's labor just to grow enough food. Now those who used to do that do other things. Improved technology, including automation, is the reason you are not a peasant.

Automation, and improved production technology in general, produces disruption in the short term. In the long term, it is why we do not live in wattle-and-daub huts on the edge of starvation.


Productivety is linked to GDP...GDP is a goofy figure that speaks nothing of international competitness nor the
wage of the working class.

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 09:54 AM
That's a good point, although under 'automation' I'd include things that can be done online or with computers that once had to be done other ways. There are some processes that just don't lend themselves to automation, and will go where people are poorer. There's almost no clothing made in the developed countries anymore, for example. Nobody's been able to automate sewing a shirt, beyond the sewing machine - 19th century technology, really, with minor improvements

slug
02-19-2014, 09:59 AM
GDP monetizes destruction.

If I purchase a bullet then shoot you , the resulting medical and legal action could amount to millions...i have just increased GDP but produced nothing

peb
02-19-2014, 10:06 AM
Agree that it cannot be fixed simply by an extremely progressive tax system and government services to the poor and middle class.

Concerned that if the work week is reduced that the poor will suffer, or will they then have to take a second job for the 'spare' time that they get?
If they take a second job then surely there will be fewer jobs to go around?

A valid concern. History tells us that does not have to be the case. I suspect that historically, as the work week was reduced, the labor unions made sure that individual pay did not suffer. For a myriad of reasons, that won't work this time. But that does not mean there is not a way to accomplish it.

Dan McCosh
02-19-2014, 10:08 AM
That's a good point, although under 'automation' I'd include things that can be done online or with computers that once had to be done other ways. There are some processes that just don't lend themselves to automation, and will go where people are poorer. There's almost no clothing made in the developed countries anymore, for example. Nobody's been able to automate sewing a shirt, beyond the sewing machine - 19th century technology, really, with minor improvements
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0ELDOEeW1I

Keith Wilson
02-19-2014, 10:08 AM
GDP monetizes destruction.GDP monetizes everything. That's why it's at best a very crude measure of anything that matters to human beings.