Economic inequality...

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Oct 3, 2022.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    In theory, that's true...but, if manufacturing companies are trying to ramp up production in order to stay competitive, especially with the losses they suffered during Covid lockdowns, they often look to cut operating expenses. They often lay off workers in order to maintain their ''bottom line,'' not always because their sales have decreased, etc. This doesn't work well in the long term, but if employers see that employees are willing to pick up the slack of those they laid off, they don't have an incentive to keep as many workers on the payroll. So, who benefits the most from that? Not the employees.

    Again, in theory, you're right...but, look at BB&B for example...they are in the process of closing 150 stores across the country, and laid off 20% of their corporate staff. That makes sense, because they're nearing bankruptcy if they soon can't turn things around. No problem there. But, going back to the billionaires...there are those lurking in the shadows, trying to profit off of these types companies in distress. They can't do it without a C-level person's involvement, and that is the problem I'm having. No one in the stock market should be profiting off BB&B...but, they did. This isn't a one off situation, this is just one that we know about. So, the poor getting poorer (those who worked for the individual BB&B stores for example making minimum wage) and the rich getting richer (through creating deception in the market by inflating the stock price), is largely because of the privilege that these levels have, over the lower wage earner.

    See above.

    No, but what is happening, is your favorite restaurant that lost good workers during the Covid lockdowns, now needs them back when business is booming again. Many servers and cooks are doing the jobs of two people, so these restaurants can build their businesses back up. That industry is rife with sexual harassment and employee abuse, even the franchises.

    To be clear, I'm talking more about the large, public companies who answer to a Board of investors. Those execs are largely the ones manipulating the stock market, and abusing their employees although smaller business owners have their fair share of problem C-level execs, as well. We won't even get into North American companies outsourcing part of their production to other countries who don't have the same protections and labor laws we have.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Indeed. In fact, via short sales, those billionaires can turn a tremendous profit on a company's failure. And if they have a warning that that's going to happen - they can, once again, make money while most other people lose.

    Technically that's insider trading. But that is next to impossible to enforce, and again, with enough money you can buy your own justice.
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Very true. In the case of BB&B, the CFO conspired with Ryan Cohen (an investor who has served at the helm of GameStop and who according to the class action suit, told the CFO that he would buy quite a few shares of stock to get other investors interested. It’s called “floating?” BB&B’s stock price supposedly soared for a week, then when Cohen dumped his shares, it plummeted. All in a short amount of time.

    Meanwhile, Cohen made $68 million on that transaction and the CFO made a little over a million. Other investors who were jumping on the train after watching Cohen’s activity, lost in some cases, nearly hundreds of thousands of dollars. The CFO committing suicide when he realized he was likely going to endure a trial and perhaps prison time, was the icing on the cake. My opinion on him though is he was in it to “save” the company because he needed to get a loan to keep the company afloat. But, who knows.

    When the Ryan Cohens of the world start going to jail more often for insider trading, that will bring about change.
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, that's the classic "pump and dump" which is one of the many tricks you can use to raise money quickly (provided, of course, you have it to begin with.)
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    All valid points. It sounds like (correct me if I'm wrong) most of the issues being brought up are specific cases and not necessarily indicative of the whole and in some cases it's more a matter of you (generic you) don't like the current capitalist system.

    Of course any system always needs continual "fixing". If every company was unionized we could now be talking about specific union corruption issues. If we changed the entire system to a "post" capitalism model, it's hard to say what we might be discussing since such a system doesn't really exist (or do you have another country in mind)?

    Shorting a stock isn't illegal and it actually is a way of letting the market prevent some extremes. People who own a particular stock (long position) and hope that it will go up don't like it when they hear a large trading firm is shorting that stock but both are valid positions.

    One thinks the company should do well and hopes that their share prices will go up and the other sees problems developing and thinks the shares should go down. Both hope to make a profit if they are correct. Shorting and going long tend to keep either direction from going to extremes so it's actually good for stability.

    My main point is that the focus should be on how to elevate those at the bottom and I don't see it being particularly about those at the top. Companies nailing the door shut so that employees can't leave doesn't seem to be a significant issue when addressing wealth inequality however I do realist that it was listed as an extreme example. The average CEO also isn't manipulating stock prices. I don't think Tim Cook (Apple) spends his days trying to manipulate stock prices.

    It's not even beneficial to most companies. Some traders try to get away with that. Some do, some don't. You have to be a smaller company for that to even be feasible (and of course it's illegal).

    I do realize that many want something generally described as a post capitalism economy. Many also want to see more unionism.

    There are many ways to tackle a problem, for sure.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Unless you are Martha Stewart, Bernie Madoff, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  10. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

    Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is in the public domain and can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg and searched. The printed book can cost you $15 and take a lot of effort to search. Has Smith's "Invisible Hand" been used as a propaganda tool for decades since most people would never read WoN?

    Smith used the word 'invisible' six times but only once as "invisible hand". It is really curious that we hear about the 'invisible hand' so much.

    Smith used the word 'education' EIGHTY(80) TIMES. We are not told about that. Search for "and account" and you will find multiple instances of "read, write, and account", not "read, write and arithmetic". Double entry accounting was more than 300 years old when Smith wrote Wealth of Nations, but 50% of Brits were illiterate and public schools did not exist in 1776.

    The United States could have made accounting/finance mandatory in the schools since Sputnik. Wouldn't that have helped everyone better serve their own self interest? But we do not hear the people who propagandize us about the "invisible hand" advocating mandatory accounting because that might make their invisible rip-offs more difficult.

    Adam Smith never used the word 'depreciation' in WoN. He mentioned paper money being depreciated one time. Marx wrote about 'depreciation' 35 times in Das Kapital, sometimes regarding the depreciation of machines and sometimes of money. Marx even mentioned Adam Smith 130 times though not much about education.

    Consumers did not buy automobiles, air conditioners, televisions and microwave ovens before 1885.
    Marx died in 1883.

    What does reliability have to do with the depreciation of durable consumer goods? How many people know what Bathtub Curves have to do with evaluating complex technologies that did not exist in the times of Smith and Marx? How free is the market if the buyers cannot evaluate the products?

    But it's OK! Our brilliant economists do not talk about the depreciation of under engineered consumer trash today. Every time you buy a replacement the purchase is added to GDP. What about NDP? Oh sorry, when do you ever hear an economist explain NDP? That's OK too, they only depreciate the Capital Goods and ignore the depreciation of consumer junk anyway.

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    Wealth of Nations has probably been in the public domain for a hundred years but cheap computing did not make it available in Project Gutenberg until 3/17/2001. Milton Friedman died in 2006. Was Friedman giving us the straight dope on economics or treating us like a bunch of dopes for decades?
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    What is your central point as it applies to wealth inequality?
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Yet, as you say, there are more poor and therefore the poor have more votes. There will never be a society where everyone is rich so the rich will always have more influence in a financial sense. They don't have more votes though.

    Democracy doesn't require everyone to be equal financially however. Who would want that as it would just mean the numerically greater poor would just vote to transfer all the money from the haves to the have nots and we would get nowhere?

    If we looked at the entire world as one big democracy, we would all lose most of what we have in an effort to balance out the poverty in African, Central America and statistically most of the world actually.

    It would be a continual race to the bottom. Is that really desirable? Philosophically we are all one and each is no better than the other but a leveling down isn't helpful. The goal should be a raising up. Capitalism as a mechanism rather than government planning has a better track record it seems. Government regulation sure, government planning, not so good in most cases, IMO.

    A poster above brought up Adam Smith. I'm not sure what the posters central point was but I'll ask you, do you have major issues with Adam Smith's writings and if so, may I ask what they are in summary form?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    It would be a continuous race to the lowest common denominator.
    i.e. raising from the bottom to the lowest common denominator.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Doesn't really matter when you can purchase votes and when you can prevent poor people from voting.
    Agreed. However, democracy does require that everyone (or at least almost everyone) votes. It requires that poor people (or any group of people) have the same power as rich people (or any other group of people.)
    I don't believe that's a zero sum game.

    Take a simple example. We throw out a lot of stuff - 30 year old PV panels, old cellphones, water pumps, a whole lot of infrastructure equipment. If all we did was ship the somewhat-useful stuff to sub-Saharan Africa, and trained them how to use it, that would result in a huge increase in their wealth and almost zero reduction of ours (other than paying for shipping and education.)
    It has been, looking at the overall arc of history, a race to the top - because (for example) making the middle class richer has not made the very rich poorer. As I mentioned, we do have a problem at the bottom, since the lowest 20% is not improving. But we certainly don't need to make them poorer to make everyone else richer.

    Exactly. And improving the lives of people at the bottom is leveling up.
    No major ones. I think he is naive to believe that an individual who wishes to improve his own situation, and acts to do so, necessarily improves the wider society. That OFTEN happens, but I could list a dozen examples where that is false, and the pursuit of wealth has harmed society at large. Thus as an axiom of both economics and of societal goals, it is incomplete.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You're using "vote" in two different ways here I assume. One is to vote a politician into or out of office. The other is to "buy" that politicians vote. Poor people (with numerical superiority) can still vote the most offending politicians out of office. Sure, life's not perfect and some places make it harder for some poor people to vote but really, if every poor person was so motivated, they could vote the worst offending politicians out of office.

    It's good to note the difficulties that they face, but it's not necessary for one to portray them as helpless and incapable IMO. The "lack of perfection" argument can be used against any subject, wouldn't you agree?

    True, people should vote if they don't like the current situation.

    Sure, that's a good idea and free market growth isn't a zero sum game but income redistribution is. In the U.S. some want to redistribute wealth from the "rich" to the "poor". That is a zero sum game. If you do that with everyone in the world it would be a race to the bottom and then what? That's where the goose/golden egg comment came in.

    To keep shipping costs down, we could apply the same concept and send our old technology to the poor in this country I suppose?

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    (yes, I realize I'm taking some liberties with your comment here).

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    Also, wouldn't it be fair to note that most of us, if we think society focuses too much on wealth, are mainly talking about anyone wealthier than ourselves? No one thinks they have pursued too much wealth.

    The middle class weren't made richer by taking from the rich. If you take from the rich to give to the poor, you are making the rich less rich, by definition.

    If policies that made the middle class richer are making the poor poorer, that doesn't indicate that the rich aren't doing their part but it does tend to indicate either than the poor aren't doing their part or that there will always be the poor, and by one definition (statistically) that will always be true.

    IMO opinion he is incomplete and Keynes filled in some of that incompleteness but filled in a little (lot) too much.
    The "pursuit of wealth" is what people do. It doesn't have to be on the scale of Wall Street excesses but people, necessarily pursue wealth to eat, cloth and shelter themselves. When they do that the "invisible hand" allocates resources more efficiently then government planning would do.

    I don't think you disagree with that and that's pretty much all that he was addressing. Blaming him for the Gilded Age, past of present, is really more editorializing that a strict reading of his work IMO. (not accusing you of that but it is a common line of thinking)

    Your view, I think, is that you agree with much or most of the outcomes of capitalism, disagree with some of the governmental regulations of capitalism and disagree with some governmental laws regarding taxation. So far that isn't about capitalism but is about governmental policies within a capitalistic framework. However in addition to all that, it seems that you want to tweek capitalism to make it more social in nature with more societal input into economic decisions.

    I may have misstated my understanding of your position and you will correct that if true, I hope. If that is essentially correct, it's a valid viewpoint, it may turn out to be a good model or it may not just because there are unintended side effects when changing any model.

    The individual doing what they would naturally do, when combined as a group, seems to allocate scarce resources better than government planning. If you tweak it by imposing society's concerns into every individual micro-economic decision that's (potentially) little different that the government trying to do the same and we know that doesn't work and that's why the free market approach does work.

    As the say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". It may work or it may not. The future undoubtedly will involve change as it always does however.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2022
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, it's to purchase votes, not politicians.

    One way to do this is with well funded misinformation campaigns i.e. the prop-8 campaigners that said it was a proposition to prevent the teaching of gay sex to elementary school kids, when in fact it was to ban gay marriage.
    A second way to do this is to prevent specific classes of people from voting by outlawing mail-in ballots or family dropoff of ballots for the elderly or something similar.
    A third way is to redistrict so that 10 of "your side" votes count for 20 of "their side" votes. This effectively buys you 2x the votes.

    All of these are fairly easy with enough funding.
    I just gave you an example where that's not true.
    No, it's not. If you (for example) tax rich people to fund education, that improves poor people's outcomes and in five years improves the economy in general, as a more skilled workforce begins improving economic output. That benefits both sides.
    Again, it's a race to the top, and again I gave you examples.
    In many ways they were. Public schools make the next generation of middle class kids richer. So do kindergartens and removing lead from water systems and getting better net access - even though those things are paid for primarily by taxes from the rich.
    Agreed. As long as you don't take him as axiomatic he's made a lot of contributions.
    It's what poor and middle class people do.
    In terms of big screen TVs and beer - definitely.
    In terms of healthcare and roads - definitely not.

    Not all problems have the same solutions.
    Sort of, yes.

    Capitalism is a great way to allocate consumer goods and real estate.

    Communism is a great way to determine who gets to use national parks.

    Socialism is a great way to run our military and roads.

    Any one of those -isms, when applied to everything in an economy, will be a disaster. We've seen plenty of examples of that.

    For the in-betweens, a mix of those -isms works. Public utilities? Private companies regulated very carefully by public utilities commissions. That gets you SOME of the benefits of capitalism without the bad effects of an enforced monopoly.

    Frequency allocation? Use auctions (capitalistic) with government enforcement and exceptions for public good (socialistic.)

    Yes, we have tweaked capitalism quite a bit to reduce the bad outcomes due to its dysfunctions under some conditions. We will have to continue to do that as the economy/environment/technology changes.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Again there are plenty of examples of both outcomes.
    No economic system that tries to micromanage everything at that level can work. No economic system that gives you a 100% free market can work. The key is to find a balance that:

    1) protects individual rights
    2) incentivizes altruistic behavior
    3) discourages damaging behavior while
    4) allowing as much freedom in economic decisions as possible.

    That's from an economic perspective of course.

    This is starting to get a little farther away from the governance issue that a democracy can't work well in a case where there is a vast divide between the haves and the have-nots.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not going to specifically address anyone with this post. I'm just trying to express my thoughts on the subject and anyone can respond (or not) of course.

    I think the government can try to remove any institutional barriers, create equal rights under the law, etc. but beyond that there is a diminishing return. You can never eliminate the "poor". You can also never create a perfectly equal playing field (or anything else). You can continue to try of course.

    It's a spectrum however. On one end there are outside obstacles and at the other end are self imposed obstacles (motivation, effort, discipline). At some point, even though there is more to be done on the government side, the greatest improvements have to come from the individual side.

    Free daycare is great but if you don't have it you still have to do something to get out of poverty whether that's to delay having children, moving from a bad area, improving skills, etc. We've seen that the government can try to make sure everyone can go to college but even after that many can't pay those loans back. Therefore eliminating that obstacle (education) still didn't appreciably reduce poverty.

    If the middle class can deal with it, the lower class, in most cases, could also find a way to deal with this problem. The distribution that seems to apply to a lot of human activities is the pareto distribution with a steep slope and few at the top. There's always going to be a large gap between the rich and the poor.

    The more effective way to deal with undue influence (money) in politics is something like campaign finance reform not trying to reduce the wealth of one group. That's the best approach to most any problem, take the money out of it. That's hard to do with our Constitution and that's what is causing a lot of roadblocks these days IMO.

    A system that rewards innovation is how you get innovation. It's not about one person deciding that other people don't need that much money. That's beside the point, IMO. Top athletes make a lot of money. It can seem extreme but in a capitalist market economy there are a few areas where it is possible to make a lot of money. That's neither here nor there IMO. It's the same with other entertainers and with top business people. Lebron James doesn't take any money out of my pocket and neither does Bill Gates.

    Add them all together and it's not a large group. It doesn't really impact the middle class and therefore it doesn't really impact the lower class either. You can name many obstacles to getting out of poverty and some things that would be nice to have but that's life.

    The reason that there is inequality of wealth here to a larger degree than in Tanzania is that there is wealth to have in the U.S. To that extent, it's a good thing. You don't have large inequality where the economy is terrible. Improve the economy of Tanzania and you will have greater wealth inequality as well.

    My thoughts on this issue are also not to downplay the hardships of poverty. That's not what the gap being spoken of says to me. If poverty declines (and hopefully it will) there will still be a large gap with the rich. Even if every poor person could make it into the middle class (statistically impossible but you get my point) there would still be a large gap between the middle class and the rich.

    If you reduce that gap, IMO, for the most part you are just reducing the health of the economy because you get one with the other and no one should want to change that.

    There are a thousand reasons for poverty and just as many impediments but IMO that's not related to whatever is going on with the rich. Where there is undue influence in politics, that should be addressed directly. It shouldn't be so desirable to "serve" in politics. We should make that whole process more "administrative" and less political and open to undue influence.

    Any change you might come up with to apply to the rich you should, IMO, be ready to apply to yourself because to someone, you are rich. Are you part of the problem? Probably not. In pre-war Germany the Jews were "rich", they weren't a part of any problem but they were scapegoats. That's not unlike the current attitude towards those who have been financially successful.

    Also, this isn't IMO about the need to defend the rich. If there is any misbehavior among the rich, middle class, or poor, then that should be dealt with. People can defend the poor without having to defend all the crime committed by some from that group. It's irrelevant. It's a non-issue when discussing the rich as well when the topic is about a wealth gap.

    The law is also often easier on white collar crime. It probably should be tougher on violent crime than non-violent crime. The wealthy have more resources to defend themselves. That's true. They also have better cars but does that have anything to do with a wealth gap? They have more resources to defend themselves than the middle class. The middle class has more resources than the lower class. The lower class does have public defenders. It's not all equal but then again nothing is. That shouldn't be the point.

    So, as a society and as a individual all that you can do is to try to reduce poverty. I'd say at this stage, the sweet spot of effectively doing that is more on the individual motivation and decision making side. Empathy is good, doing something about getting out of poverty is better. Government can play a small role but people don't have the same motivation when there is too much reliance on the government.

    Africa, as a continent, will greatly improve when they get rid of corruption but also when they start to become more entrepreneurial. Decades of foreign aid has just created dependence on foreign aid.

    Combating poverty here with entrepreneur skills and motivation would do more to reduce poverty than free daycare so that you can continue to work in retail.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2022
  18. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

    The United States could have made accounting/finance mandatory in the schools since Sputnik. How would it have affected how many people's decisions and lives by now? I don't even know if my high school had accounting back then.

    My father owned a grocery store. I could have started doing accounting for him. It would have been useful when I bought a 4-unit apartment building.

    Try explaining depreciation to someone who "Loves Cars".

    I suggested this to someone who claimed to be a Swedish high school teacher and socialist. He objected on the grounds that the math would make Capitalism seem logical to the students.

    An accountant told me that he did not mind as long as it was not done until after he retired in 6 years. It has been a while but I don't know if the time is up. Maybe only 4 or 5 years.

    But I have never heard an economist mention the possibility.

    "All warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu
  19. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

    This is about the most enlightening economics book I have ever read:

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  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Why? If you increase the wealth of the most poor, how does that harm the economy?
    Agreed 1000%. Lack of education. Health problems. Crime. Bad luck. And a thousand more.

    Since there are so many causes, there are that many solutions. You will never eliminate all poverty. But by eliminating just a few of the causes, you narrow that gap just a bit. And that is a worthy endeavor IMO.
    Absolutely. I'll agree to meaningful programs that increase my taxes but not the taxes of the people who make less than me.
    Definitely. And outreach programs and education can make that more likely.
    Maybe. maybe not. Free daycare could also let that worker get an MBA. So let's do both.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Helping the poor doesn't harm the economy. Giving Congress a free pass to buy votes giving away as much money as possible (free programs) with no pain to anyone other the top class that already pays most of the taxes, does hurt the economy.

    Look at it another way. You are an engineer and live in California as I recall. You already pay a lot in Federal taxes, California high state income taxes, high property taxes and I get it, you care about the poor, have done well and are up for continuing to do your fair share.

    Maybe you are already set and no matter what happens you are going to be fine because you can just switch to capital gain income from here on out. (everyone else seems to be moving to Texas)

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    Look at a younger guy just out of school, with an engineering degree who wants to start a small company. Maybe the first attempt will work or maybe it will fail but lets assume that soon he will get something going.

    He's already trying to start a company in expensive California and corporate tax rates have come down to 21% after being higher than most of the developed countries so he can still justify the attempt but it's tight. Now Congress decides to increase corporate taxes, increase capital gains taxes, starts to think about a wealth tax. This is on top of half of the country not paying any federal taxes after you consider child tax credits, student loan forgiveness, and all the other ways that Congress can "help".

    That's all mainly being funded by those who were/are successful. That's not an unlimited money tree and when there is no financial "pain" for anyone other than the wealthy there is no incentive to ever stop. When you kill the goose that laid the golden egg you will know that you went too far but that doesn't happen immediately. Like the unions in Detroit, it takes awhile and when you figure it all out, it's too late.

    The wealthy do already pay their fair share of taxes when you consider all the taxes being paid and all the exemptions that those in the lower and middle classes are actually getting. That's OK, everyone that is currently paying taxes can pay a little more but that's about it, IMO.

    You also need to be smart about spending and Congress isn't when all you have to do is "tax the rich".

    Having a thousand reasons for poverty can be both true and excuses. There's a thousand reasons why Bill Gates makes more than I do. We both live in Seattle, we both enjoy business, I was from the lower middle class and he was from the upper middle class but I could come up with many reasons why he had some advantage that I didn't have.

    I don't think we should tally all those up and then have Congress fund a program for each of those reasons. Don't have kids, get a job, move to a better area and then adjust your spending to fit your earnings.

    That's kneejerk advice obviously but it would also work for about 75% of the people now in poverty. It would work enough to get them out of that cycle even if the next generation was the one to start out not in poverty (OK they can have a kid eventually)

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    There should be universal healthcare, help should be available for college but not loans without any strings that later have to be forgiven when they don't make enough to pay for it. It's not working to bring people out of poverty when that happens so don't do it.

    Don't try to loan money to people for a house when they can't afford a house. We've learned that lesson. Free money isn't the answer. I don't think we need programs like universal free pre-kindergarten. That's a problem that makes sense only to someone that isn't taxed for it. Whether you are taxed for a program or not you should still care about the efficacy of the program and you should care about the tax load on the person who is being taxed.

    The public debt is going to be the next major impediment to the economy. If the economy takes a nosedive there will be fewer jobs and the least qualified will have an even harder time. They aren't going to sit around thanking people for their free pre-kindergarten or the student loans they couldn't pay off and the lousy job they can't get.

    A wealth tax is a terrible idea. I don't think those just barely owing any income taxes should have their rates increased, I do think everyone else should have their rates increased marginally. Actual taxes after considering all taxes are progressive already and there is a limit to what makes sense.

    It makes no sense to me to extend the SS tax to infinity but with payments still at their current limits. They just an unfair pot of money for Congress to waste.

    It also should be more widely understood that most/many "rich" people aren't really "rich". You start a company, are wealthy on paper due to your stock holdings in your company but your income may be no higher than anyone else yet "everyone" seems to think that you should not only fund the current public spending but now it's an open wallet to see how many new programs can be funded.

    The other problem currently seems to be the Democrat tendency to either have no program or to have it apply to families who make up to $250k. Any program would be a lot more effective and fiscally responsible if it only applied to those who really need it.

    I'm surprised that with all the money that is being spent that no programs really seem to be focused on cleaning up the inner city neighborhoods (drugs, crime) so that you can then bring in more local business and help people with the skills to start their own businesses.

    Instead some neighborhoods are so bad that the police don't even go in there. It does no good to hand out free daycare to everyone, free college loans and mortgages to everyone but you don't make inner city neighborhoods safe for the people who live there so they don't have to move out and so they can start their own businesses.

    Instead the focus is on taxing the rich with an already bloated budget, a ridiculous public debt. It's typical governmental ineptness IMO. When I see the government effectively deal with homelessness on the street I'll have more confidence that they know how to actually help people get out of poverty. I also think that too much "help" is often worse than no help.

    With no help most people would figure it out. With a lot of help fewer people get out of poverty.

    The real problem with taxing the rich is that the rich will adjust quickly and in ways that may not be good for the local economy. The people who will end up getting taxed to death are the middle and upper middle class.

    If you are in the group that has managed to "make it" as you've put it, will soon join those just below who couldn't quite make it and there will be a leveling but it will be an even greater gap between the rich and the new one will be in a large category called poor and government subsidized.

    We'll be Europe at that point, if that. I think that all political positions should be run held by two people rather than one. They would work in pairs. There is the compassionate "emoter"

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    who rarely says "no" and his partner who is the logical, administrative one who rarely says "yes"

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    "Honey, look at that new car. Let's get it." His wife shows him the checkbook and says "we'll get a used one in 2 years."
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2022
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I, of course, agree that any money used to help the poor should be spent wisely, and often it is not.
    Yep. The standard process is now:
    -Go to school in California
    -Meet other like minded people in school
    -Start a company in California with its excellent infrastructure, talent supply and startup support (business loans, incubators etc) At this point taxes don't matter because you are running at a loss initially.
    -Once you have a viable company, move to Texas where both taxes and startup support are much lower. You don't want the taxes and you don't need the support.

    It's a good illustration of how government funding can both make things happen for startups, and how it can harm them later due to the taxes required to fund those startups.
    Agreed. Maybe just do the most effective 20%.
    This is happening all over. In California the Ellis Act allows landlords to sell properties to local businesses much more quickly and efficiently. Result - gentrification and eviction of the old residents. This is great for the economy (more local businesses, more startups, more housing for those startup people) and terrible for the poor.

    Cleaning up the inner city - reducing crime, improving schools, making the streets safer, moving new businesses in - means existing resident can't afford to live there any more. So in that sense you've made the problems with homelessness and poverty worse, they are just someone else's problem at that point.
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    I recently had cause to consider re-registering as a nurse. I did my training under the older system of earning while learning

    Today those who wish to become a nurse attend Uni with some outings into hospitals. The potential nurses pay for the tuition

    In the course of my checking my options for re-registering I came across what I think is a strange development. Nurses who became Nurse Practitioner's, like free range nurses out in the community, on their own, are now required to have indemnity insurance. They are not employed by, say a hospital, who would assign them a patient the hospital was discharging to continue the patients treatment until treatment no longer required or the patient could manage any remaining treatment on their own

    In such a system anything going wrong patient would be insurance covered by the hospital and depending on circumstances the nurse fired

    I am not sure how the free range Nurse Practitioner's obtain patients to care for now but being free range have no insurance cover from an employer and by law are required to have their own indemnity insurance

    I'm thinking since they are in effect running their own business it does make sense. How much expensive expensive sense I don't know

    But are the hospitals no longer employing Nurse Practitioner's to save paying for their indemnity insurance ???

    Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to jump all the hurdles to become a Registered Nurse in Australia again so unless the people offering me a sponsored job on a oil rig in the UK can fit me under their system.......

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