Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
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20-07-2017, 03:31 PM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(20-07-2017 03:21 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(20-07-2017 03:10 PM)morondog Wrote:  I'm not convinced that the will of the people is a great thing to go on. I know it's a cornerstone of democracy and all. But the people are frequently not that bright. True democracy IMO relies on an educated and politically active populace.

I'm interested though in the theatre of it all. After all, no doubt to their extreme irritation, politicians have to pretend at least, to rule for the benefit of all.

Also people who prefer to follow this laissez-faire plan... I want to know what the justification is? How when rich people have plenty, more than they need, can we not justify using that wealth to help those who have little? America is unequal, South Africa (where I live) is the *most* unequal country in the world. And people are OK with this?

The gut reaction seems to be "How dare you think about taking people's hard-earned money?" But I don't see that as a legitimate argument. Taxation is necessary to a functioning society. If rich people are taxed more it's no hardship to them. Whereas if poor people are taxed in an unfair way (e.g. sales tax on essential goods) it fucks them over far worse than any rich person.

Yabut, don't you know that it's their own fault that they're poor -- they're just lazy. Why should the rich people who worked hard to get what they have support the lazy ones?

Disclaimer: In case it's not obvious, I don't think this way. But a lot of people do (and surprisingly, not only rich people).

No, lazy doesn't equate to poor.

There's three things that go into being rich -intelligence, ambition and luck......

It's easy with all three, harder with two, difficult with one and impossible with none...

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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20-07-2017, 03:32 PM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(20-07-2017 03:21 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Why should the rich people who worked hard to get what they have support the lazy ones?

Because the 'hard work' frequently seems to consist of being born into the right stratum of society? I'd be interested to see what the stats are for social mobility in the USA.

In any case I can't really believe that a man can work 20 000 times as hard as another man, even if he rose from the direst poverty. So to have a pay difference of 20 000:1 seems a bit off. As frequently happens (at least over here it does. Base pay for a cashier at the local supermarket is R2500. CEO of that same supermarket chain took home a *bonus* at Christmas time of... R50 000 000.)

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-07-2017, 10:35 PM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(20-07-2017 02:27 PM)morondog Wrote:  So you're essentially saying that poverty is inevitable - at least in the USA - and any effort to alleviate it via government means is doomed to failure? I cannot see that as a reasonable position. For example my post that you quoted, advocating a free phone program - what precisely is so wrong with that idea? And other poverty alleviation measures undertaken at taxpayer expense?

The government is after all elected by all the voting population. How can the government then turn its back on the vast majority in favour of maintaining the status quo?

That's an interesting statement that has quite a few layers IMHO. Poverty in the U.S. is significantly different than poverty where you live - and most definitely in other 3rd world countries. We may not have the welfare systems found in Western Europe - especially not the Nordic countries. However, the U.S. still has a significant welfare state. We have social programs in our country to provide services to the poor including: medical care, food stamps, welfare checks and access to retraining programs. Our poor are not the same as the poor in Bangladesh for example.

But to answer your question about whether the U.S. can improve poverty? Absolutely it can. However, the best overall answer that I can think of would be for favorable policies to create good paying jobs in areas most affected by poverty (and unemployment). For the world economy to largely remain stable, the U.S. has to grow its way out of its problems if we want everything to remain stable. Otherwise... the world will become a very different place if the U.S. tries to seriously tend to its own problems.

Consider this link from the World Bank on the Balance of Payments situation for all countries that participate in the world economy in 2016. If you live in the U.S., this SHOULD scare the crap out of you. It basically shows the U.S. is a net borrower (thru foreign investment in TBills) and is selling off its assets to foreign entities. In order to balance the current account shortfall.
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BN.C...desc=false

At a current level of $20 trillion dollars in debt - with some of it due to balance of payments issues and the balance for domestic gov't spending - the U.S. has little options to make radical shifts without first figuring out how to bring the budget into balance. You cannot tax yourself out of this problem. Nationalizing the 401K and private pension accounts would by a Pyrrhic victory because NO ONE would want to nor care to work hard to create value. We cannot drop our defense spending by much because our NATO partners - and other friends in the world - still rely on the U.S. to shoulder the majority of the load for defense.

You tell me how the U.S. can pull this off in any way besides economically thru growth. Any other way would either be a one off that destroys future wealth (nationalizing 401k/pensions plus nationalizing firms), puts the world economy at great risk (by refusing to play the role of hegemon) or puts the world in danger by slashing defense spending.
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21-07-2017, 12:21 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(20-07-2017 10:35 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  puts the world in danger by slashing defense spending.

Of the major wars in recent years, name one that didn't have US fingerprints on it? Your world policeman role isn't just a poisoned chalice for you. Slashing defence spending is definitely something I would consider. Raising education levels.

I agree that a strong economy is what you guys need to address your poverty levels, but there's other stuff that needs to be taken into account too. There's a change in the way firms are making money. Automation is killing jobs. Like I said, I don't think automation is bad, but at the same time if we picture a society in which all menial work is done by robots, and any low paying manufacturing jobs have been outsourced overseas, it means the only jobs available will be high paying technical ones (or politics Dodgy ). I see this as an unfair situation regardless of the state of people's 401ks. Tax the rich. Don't let them get away with hogging all the resources to themselves and saying "If you tax us we'll run away, and we're the backbone of the economy. We got this money all by ourselves so it's extremely unfair to take it from us". Every rich man is rich because he managed to divert a stream of resources to his own use. Sure, they may have been innovative - life changing, even. But no man can eat $1 bn of resources himself. Sure, they create wealth themselves by employing others, but even so. The thought of some level of regulation or taxation, even on the precious 401k (I don't actually know precisely what that is) should at least be entertained.

A sick US economy is also a danger to the world. If you can't get your own house in order how can you think of fixing others?

We have a different situation here. There are not enough jobs too, but virtually all available jobs are extremely low paying, while a small minority use almost the entire resources of the country for themselves. Again, that wealth needs to be redistrubuted IMO. The rich aren't exactly excited about that project, they'd rather build a higher wall with a more powerful electric fence, and scream for police to protect them - the same police who are payed a barely livable wage. I don't advocate wholesale theft, I think that with careful thought a government scheme to address poverty might do quite well, and actually the ANC have been pretty good at coming up with policies. Where they totally fall down is implementation. Corruption is a huge problem.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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21-07-2017, 05:01 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 12:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(20-07-2017 10:35 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  puts the world in danger by slashing defense spending.
We have a different situation here. There are not enough jobs too, but virtually all available jobs are extremely low paying, while a small minority use almost the entire resources of the country for themselves. Again, that wealth needs to be redistrubuted IMO. The rich aren't exactly excited about that project, they'd rather build a higher wall with a more powerful electric fence, and scream for police to protect them - the same police who are payed a barely livable wage. I don't advocate wholesale theft, I think that with careful thought a government scheme to address poverty might do quite well, and actually the ANC have been pretty good at coming up with policies. Where they totally fall down is implementation. Corruption is a huge problem.

We probably would have saved ourselves significant time if we would have realized that we're talking about 2 very different countries. I agree completely that South Africa could benefit greatly from wealthy being spread around more evenly while the U.S. is more in the middle of the pack among the world on wealth distribution. We're coming at the problem from significant degrees of difference. Your poor are POOR. I don't know if poverty in South Africa means that people are living in mud huts and are lucky to have food every other day, or maybe similar to the poverty seen in the large cities around Brazil who are living in sheet metal shacks.

American poverty, OTOH, does not look quite like that. Statistically speaking when we look at those either slightly above or slightly below the poverty line, our poor still have significantly more amenities than those living in other countries. It's good to remember that when having these discussion - IMHO.
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21-07-2017, 05:19 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 12:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  The thought of some level of regulation or taxation, even on the precious 401k (I don't actually know precisely what that is) should at least be entertained.

A 401K is a retirement account. They are taxed now, but the taxes are deferred until money is withdrawn from the account. Taxing the money people put into 401K's when they earn it is a terrible idea. The tax deferral is about the only incentive most lower income people have to invest in a 401K.

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21-07-2017, 08:57 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 05:01 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  We probably would have saved ourselves significant time if we would have realized that we're talking about 2 very different countries. I agree completely that South Africa could benefit greatly from wealthy being spread around more evenly while the U.S. is more in the middle of the pack among the world on wealth distribution. We're coming at the problem from significant degrees of difference. Your poor are POOR. I don't know if poverty in South Africa means that people are living in mud huts and are lucky to have food every other day, or maybe similar to the poverty seen in the large cities around Brazil who are living in sheet metal shacks.
I was kinda mostly talking about US poverty though. I see the USA as almost the same as South Africa, it's simply a difference of scale. The attitudes, the challenges of class warfare, the race discrimination. Almost identical. We have less to work with, in dollar terms, is all. I am arguing with you because I could have this same identical conversation with almost anyone of my social class here.

Quote:American poverty, OTOH, does not look quite like that. Statistically speaking when we look at those either slightly above or slightly below the poverty line, our poor still have significantly more amenities than those living in other countries. It's good to remember that when having these discussion - IMHO.
Yet your poor, compared to your rich, are still grindingly poor. And there is a prevailing narrative that says that it's their fault and to not be poor all they have to do is work hard. And far be it from us to let our taxes pay for such a thing as a poor person's education, or even an unemployment benefit. There's too much danger that the poor person will be lazy. Unlike rich people, who are motivated by rewards, poor people are motivated by punishments. (I'm not saying you hold these beliefs, but certainly many seem to).

You guys may not let your poor starve in your streets, but... is that enough?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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21-07-2017, 10:37 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 12:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(20-07-2017 10:35 PM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  puts the world in danger by slashing defense spending.

Of the major wars in recent years, name one that didn't have US fingerprints on it? Your world policeman role isn't just a poisoned chalice for you. Slashing defence spending is definitely something I would consider. Raising education levels.

I agree that a strong economy is what you guys need to address your poverty levels, but there's other stuff that needs to be taken into account too. There's a change in the way firms are making money. Automation is killing jobs. Like I said, I don't think automation is bad, but at the same time if we picture a society in which all menial work is done by robots, and any low paying manufacturing jobs have been outsourced overseas, it means the only jobs available will be high paying technical ones (or politics Dodgy ). I see this as an unfair situation regardless of the state of people's 401ks. Tax the rich. Don't let them get away with hogging all the resources to themselves and saying "If you tax us we'll run away, and we're the backbone of the economy. We got this money all by ourselves so it's extremely unfair to take it from us". Every rich man is rich because he managed to divert a stream of resources to his own use. Sure, they may have been innovative - life changing, even. But no man can eat $1 bn of resources himself. Sure, they create wealth themselves by employing others, but even so. The thought of some level of regulation or taxation, even on the precious 401k (I don't actually know precisely what that is) should at least be entertained.

A sick US economy is also a danger to the world. If you can't get your own house in order how can you think of fixing others?

We have a different situation here. There are not enough jobs too, but virtually all available jobs are extremely low paying, while a small minority use almost the entire resources of the country for themselves. Again, that wealth needs to be redistrubuted IMO. The rich aren't exactly excited about that project, they'd rather build a higher wall with a more powerful electric fence, and scream for police to protect them - the same police who are payed a barely livable wage. I don't advocate wholesale theft, I think that with careful thought a government scheme to address poverty might do quite well, and actually the ANC have been pretty good at coming up with policies. Where they totally fall down is implementation. Corruption is a huge problem.

Look man, I don't want to take everything the rich people have, personally. But when the system gets as imbalanced as it is, It is wholesale theft. Committed by the rich.

One of the most important factors here is Education, and I'd love to divert about half of what we spend on the military on education (arbitrary number but we spend so much on "defense" that really almost any number we slash defense spending by would still result in the US outspending every other nation on defense).

I was talking to a friend yesterday about maybe making a website, something similar to glassdoor.com that tracks employers, salaries, interview processes, reputation, and a general quality rating for that employer. I mean they aren't offering US a job, WE are offering to make THEM money. That's how business really works. Someone will always be inventing stuff and making shit happen and will need others to actually do all the WORK to make the MONEY to line THEIR pockets. Why? cause you can't expect a business owner who's successful to even consider doing any work themselves. That's why you get an MBA to learn how to get others to do all the work for you. So the goal of my website would be to help teach workers (mostly lower end workers) how to value their time, how to negotiate. How to create something that transcends unions, collective bargaining on a world wide scale. Cause after all the minute we all collectively say "Fuck you I'm done with this shit" is the minute heads will roll. My idea would offer an alternative to the mass production of decappachinos (the preferred drink of the French revolution). Instead of killing the rich (which is what will happen if this continues), we all say enough. Fuck you. We won't work unless you fucking pay us appropriately for our time. But the only way we'll ever achieve this is through an intensive educational push.

After all if you have MBA after your name and you're looking to work for someone else.... Well if you don't negotiate your salary that's a pretty big red flag against you. We can't all offer as much value individually to a company as an MBA holder. However, without us there is no fucking company. And we can keep that leverage up until the point automation and robotics takes over.

(Now admittedly there is some satire in the above statement with regards to reversing how people generally talk about this shit. We're always told the fairytale from the top down, I told the same fairytale from the bottom up. It shows a lot about the situation as a whole I think)


Now this is a start, it's part of the solution and one that doesn't rely on the government (after all government solutions are bullshit in the US because the US government ONLY represents billionaires and trillionaires)

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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21-07-2017, 10:41 AM
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 05:01 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  
(21-07-2017 12:21 AM)morondog Wrote:  We have a different situation here. There are not enough jobs too, but virtually all available jobs are extremely low paying, while a small minority use almost the entire resources of the country for themselves. Again, that wealth needs to be redistrubuted IMO. The rich aren't exactly excited about that project, they'd rather build a higher wall with a more powerful electric fence, and scream for police to protect them - the same police who are payed a barely livable wage. I don't advocate wholesale theft, I think that with careful thought a government scheme to address poverty might do quite well, and actually the ANC have been pretty good at coming up with policies. Where they totally fall down is implementation. Corruption is a huge problem.

We probably would have saved ourselves significant time if we would have realized that we're talking about 2 very different countries. I agree completely that South Africa could benefit greatly from wealthy being spread around more evenly while the U.S. is more in the middle of the pack among the world on wealth distribution. We're coming at the problem from significant degrees of difference. Your poor are POOR. I don't know if poverty in South Africa means that people are living in mud huts and are lucky to have food every other day, or maybe similar to the poverty seen in the large cities around Brazil who are living in sheet metal shacks.

American poverty, OTOH, does not look quite like that. Statistically speaking when we look at those either slightly above or slightly below the poverty line, our poor still have significantly more amenities than those living in other countries. It's good to remember that when having these discussion - IMHO.

When you can't buy food you can't buy food. Period. Regardless of what country you are in. When you're stressed about being homeless and your life feels like it could fall apart at any moment.... well that's what poverty is. Just because you managed to scrape together enough for a cheap cell phone a few years ago that you're too poor to replace doesn't mean you aren't suffering. So I don't see it like you, the poor in the US shouldn't be grateful to you or any fucking rich person that they aren't quite as bad off as parts of Africa. How do I put it. Wrong is wrong, no matter what else is going on. Around the world poor people are abused by society, without exception and that really needs to change. We need to accept that the rich didn't earn it. That's a fucking boldfaced lie. And the poor aren't lazy, nor are they worthless.

So no I don't accept anything you put in your post.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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21-07-2017, 11:01 AM (This post was last modified: 21-07-2017 11:06 AM by JesseB.)
RE: Seattle - how to tax a city into poverty
(21-07-2017 08:57 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(21-07-2017 05:01 AM)Plan 9 from OS Wrote:  We probably would have saved ourselves significant time if we would have realized that we're talking about 2 very different countries. I agree completely that South Africa could benefit greatly from wealthy being spread around more evenly while the U.S. is more in the middle of the pack among the world on wealth distribution. We're coming at the problem from significant degrees of difference. Your poor are POOR. I don't know if poverty in South Africa means that people are living in mud huts and are lucky to have food every other day, or maybe similar to the poverty seen in the large cities around Brazil who are living in sheet metal shacks.
I was kinda mostly talking about US poverty though. I see the USA as almost the same as South Africa, it's simply a difference of scale. The attitudes, the challenges of class warfare, the race discrimination. Almost identical. We have less to work with, in dollar terms, is all. I am arguing with you because I could have this same identical conversation with almost anyone of my social class here.

Quote:American poverty, OTOH, does not look quite like that. Statistically speaking when we look at those either slightly above or slightly below the poverty line, our poor still have significantly more amenities than those living in other countries. It's good to remember that when having these discussion - IMHO.
Yet your poor, compared to your rich, are still grindingly poor. And there is a prevailing narrative that says that it's their fault and to not be poor all they have to do is work hard. And far be it from us to let our taxes pay for such a thing as a poor person's education, or even an unemployment benefit. There's too much danger that the poor person will be lazy. Unlike rich people, who are motivated by rewards, poor people are motivated by punishments. (I'm not saying you hold these beliefs, but certainly many seem to).

You guys may not let your poor starve in your streets, but... is that enough?

Exactly, and if people wanted to be intellectually honest. Then investing in education, healthcare, and employment assistance for the poor is EMPOWERING them. It's not a fucking handout. It's giving them the tools they need to compete, but no one is being intellectually honest. No one wants them able to compete which is why they get sub standard educations, virtually no medical care (and high medical debt too) and really piss poor employment assistance.

Foodstamps is a fucking joke, when I qualified for food stamps I got 70 dollars a MONTH for food stamps (before my SDI got a "cost of living" adjustment which increased it by 50 dollars making me unqualified for food stamps).... I was expected to live on 950 a month, I couldn't find rent anywhere for less than 650 a month. Then electric costs ect well there just wasn't enough, so you figure what can't I live without and pay for as much of that as you can, and you're still left without. No money for food cause cost of living ate all that, then you get your 70 dollars a month in food stamps and try and make it stretch (for a single male adult, obviously if you're female or child you get way more for food).

No you can not buy drugs, porn, fast food, or anything else with foodstamps, anyone who says people waste foodstamps on anything but food are lying cunts. You can't even buy MOST food with foodstamps cause they want you eating healthy so there's heavy restrictions on what you can buy with them. Add to that you still need clean clothes, and a toothbrush n shit if you wanna try and find a job. And none of those things are covered by foodstamps. And since you didn't have enough money to pay for the bare necessities of life from your monthly check to begin with.... yea lets just say I need dentures and I'm only 35.... Fuck you very much government. And if you're on SDI that 950 a month you live on evaporates the instant you GET a job, meaning get a job, you'll be homeless before your first paycheck comes in.... Granted many on permanent SDI have families that help, but not all. And not everyone on SDI has a chance to learn a new skill and maybe get a job later. (Like me who's only really qualified to be a grunt on an oil rig, but no longer has a body that can do that kinda work thanks to countless injuries, but I can still get a job working behind a desk I think, that's my goal anyway)

Oh and you can get medical (or your states equivalent to medicare part B and D), however if you're on government medical you don't have dental insurance, they'll only let you see a dentist to have the tooth removed. Yea it's gotta get that bad. And if you need glasses? Well fuck you. lol I've been wearing the same glasses for almost 10 years now, they are falling apart. As a diabetic I should be seeing an eye doctor every year but nope, not covered. And even with the medical stuff MOST things really just aren't covered. If you need antibiotics you can only get the oldest most dangerous antibiotics that'll leave you bedridden for months. Fucking kefleck or whatever it's called is evil.

And that's for people on SDI, I can't speak for welfare as I've never been on it. But if you're getting unemployment checks (I've gotten those before) they aren't enough to live on, so you better hope the economy doesn't tank and you can find a job quick, cause once you're homeless.... it's fucking over. You'd be better off killing yourself than being homeless cause your chances of coming back from that are about half what they are for winning the lottery.

Wanna know what it's like to be poor? People should start asking poor people, not out of touch fuckers that have never known hardship their entire lives. (this isn't directed at you Morondog, what you say is pretty reasonable over all)

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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