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Will poverty ever be history?

#221 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-September-05, 15:04

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-September-04, 11:23, said:

Folks who vote republican in the US today believe strongly in the free lunch: that you can lower taxes without lowering the quality of our infrastructure and services. We're experiencing the result.

This folk who occasionally (less and less often these days) votes Republican (btw, he'd sooner vote "none of the above is acceptable" than vote for most Democrats) does not believe in a free lunch. He knows there ain't no sech thing. He does believe it is possible to lower taxes without lowering the quality of our infrastructure and services - if we privatize them. That's all i'm going to say on this matter.
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#222 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 06:31

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-September-05, 15:04, said:

He does believe it is possible to lower taxes without lowering the quality of our infrastructure and services - if we privatize them. That's all i'm going to say on this matter.

Probably your best approach. Lots of utopian ideas work in fiction, but Lincoln and the Roosevelts lived in the real world.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#223 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 10:04

For those whose fantasy is that smaller government and less taxes is the answer I have one word: Kansas.

Quote

Plummeting revenues, underfunded pensions and millions in court-ordered school spending led Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday to cut the state’s credit rating by a notch.

The ratings agency slightly lowered the state’s credit rating because of mounting financial pressure on the Kansas state budget, partly from massive income tax cuts that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in 2012 and 2013.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#224 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 10:46

IN fact Kansas does not have smaller govt, In fact it has bigger government.

Moody's downgrade has to do with the fact that Kansas is spending money it does not have, not because the KS govt is smaller.

Indeed unfunded pensions has to do with Big government that many if not all states have an issue with.

In any event the days of smaller govt are long past, even Rep. Party votes for more

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
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#225 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 11:15

View Postmike777, on 2014-September-06, 10:46, said:

Moody's downgrade has to do with the fact that Kansas is spending money it does not have, not because the KS govt is smaller.

Kansas does indeed exemplify the free lunch philosophy of today's republicans.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#226 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 15:29

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-September-06, 11:15, said:

Kansas does indeed exemplify the free lunch philosophy of today's republicans.


INdeed.

As I said the days of smaller govt are long gone, assuming they ever existed.

In any event if you believe the country is in a long war that will last for decades and decades, at least there is some argument for some level of spending other peoples money to pay for the war. That is also a strong argument for some level of a war tax of some version or versions. I would hope against hope Congress steps in and fulfills its obligations on this point. I don't expect the tax or taxes to fully pay for the war but at least set the tone.

Those that don't believe we are engaged in a very long war that will outlive many of us may have other viewpoints.
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#227 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 15:39

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-September-06, 11:15, said:

Kansas does indeed exemplify the free lunch philosophy of today's republicans.


Indeed. It is the nightmare scenario of reality conspiring with facts in a devilish attempt to undermine ideological faith. Kansas is simply reliving the Reagan experiment - with the same results - on a smaller scale.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#228 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 16:01

View Postmike777, on 2014-September-06, 10:46, said:

IN fact Kansas does not have smaller govt, In fact it has bigger government.

Moody's downgrade has to do with the fact that Kansas is spending money it does not have, not because the KS govt is smaller.

Indeed unfunded pensions has to do with Big government that many if not all states have an issue with.

In any event the days of smaller govt are long past, even Rep. Party votes for more

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
—- Mark Twain


The issue with Kansas is not about its bills - the issue is with its governor's and representative's faith in the supply-side mantra - once again disproved - that lowering taxes will increase revenues by spurring economic growth. Reagan found this not to work nationwide - that it also doesn't work statewide should come as no shock.

I do not disagree that if one wishes less taxation, one must accept less government spending. I do disagree with the Houdini-like notion that the status quo can be maintained by some magical supply-side slight-of-hand or that cutting social spending should take priority to other governmental spending cuts.

I am not wed to big government or small government; only to a working government.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#229 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 17:20

Indeed.

If you believe taxes inhibit economic growth at some level. If you believe that in general low taxes rather than high taxes encourage economic growth. If at some point you accept that a high regulation environment inhibits innovation and a low one encourages innovation. Not zero regulations or zero taxes or zero government just a philosophy that less is better than more.


With that said there are many ways to finance a war. Taxes are one channel, debasing the currency is another, and borrowing against future generations is a third.
It would be up to the millions, tens of millions in the free markets to adjust. Some will be fragile, some will be robust and hopefully some will be antifragile/
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#230 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 17:25

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-September-06, 16:01, said:

I do not disagree that if one wishes less taxation, one must accept less government spending. I do disagree with the Houdini-like notion that the status quo can be maintained by some magical supply-side slight-of-hand or that cutting social spending should take priority to other governmental spending cuts.

I am not wed to big government or small government; only to a working government.

Yes. Cut the spending if you can, then cut the taxes. Only irresponsible people advocate the opposite, but there are lots of them around. They have the mentality of the crowd who throw away money at casinos instead of paying off their credit cards.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#231 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-September-06, 23:33

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-September-06, 06:31, said:

Probably your best approach. Lots of utopian ideas work in fiction, but Lincoln and the Roosevelts lived in the real world.

So did (or do) all of the economists of the Austrian School. Maybe they're wrong, but you're not going to convince me by calling their ideas "utopian".
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#232 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-September-07, 06:42

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-September-05, 15:04, said:

That's all i'm going to say on this matter.

:P
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#233 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2014-September-07, 11:14

View Postmike777, on 2014-September-06, 17:20, said:

If you believe taxes inhibit economic growth at some level. If you believe that in general low taxes rather than high taxes encourage economic growth. If at some point you accept that a high regulation environment inhibits innovation and a low one encourages innovation. Not zero regulations or zero taxes or zero government just a philosophy that less is better than more.


The problem is that this is too often phrased as an "I believe" versus "you believe" when there is actually evidence.

Historically, the fastest economic growth (in the US and Western Europe) occurred in the years from roughly 1945-1970. This was also the period where the large middle class really got established in most of these countries, where the benefits of growth were most broadly shared, and where trust in government was high relative to what we see today (and what we saw in the early 20th century). Republicans often speak of this era as a sort of golden age they want to go back to, and while Democrats are leery of some of the social mores of the time (treatment of women and minorities was much worse than today) there is little controversy that things were better than on an economic front. What were the tax rates in those years? At the top level they were confiscatory -- the top marginal income tax rate in the US was 90% plus for some of that period, and Kennedy (a democrat) lowered it to 75% part way through!

More recently, when President Clinton raised taxes especially at the top the economy boomed, despite warnings from the right. When Bush lowered taxes at the top, the economy stalled (we had poor economic growth throughout the Bush presidency, even before the 2008 collapse). At the end of 2012 President Obama raised the top tax rates once again, and the very slow economic recovery which started in 2009 seems to have picked up steam in the past two years (at least in terms of employment numbers, which are the primary thing being watched since the stock market recovered a long time ago).

While I know this history better for the US, my strong impression is that similar patters have held in Europe. So this is not some hypothetical "I believe" versus "you believe" -- historically economic growth has been better and the benefits have been more broadly shared when the highest marginal rates are higher. There are lots of logical reasons for this, but there are logical reasons against too... the historical record ought to be the deciding voice rather than hypotheticals and false generalizations from extremes (clearly a 100% tax rate on everyone or a 0% tax rate on everyone would stifle the economy, but no one is really proposing those seriously, so who cares).
Adam W. Meyerson
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#234 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-07, 12:46

The problem is that correlation is not causation.

IN any event if higher tax rates are the cause of economic growth then let the states experiment with them. If lower tax rates cause a decrease in economic growth people can move to states with higher tax rates and reap the benefits. The whole point is to allow the states to tinker and allow for failure. If lower tax rates are the cause of the decline in the state of KS, then let the people vote for higher rates.

If states that have no state income tax hurts the economic growth of those states and states with higher, much higher rates will gain, that is good news for high tax rates in those states. That is an argument to raise rates even higher.

Adam if higher tax rates cause you to innovate more or work harder or create more jobs or create more economic growth than living in a state with no income tax, that is good news. It is good news to allow others to move to high tax rate states and leave states with no income tax where the zero tax rates cause economic stagnation.

If the great state of California sees real evidence that tax rates roughly in the area of 50-75% or 90% cause economic growth then go for it.
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#235 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-September-21, 07:41

View Postkenberg, on 2014-September-05, 08:03, said:

And, as you are aware, the list could be made longer. The Interstate Highway system under the Republican Eisenhower, It has its good parts and its bad parts, but it was needed. Integration of the Armed Forces under the Democrat Truman (by Executive Order, incidentally) is another example. Etc.

With Ken Burns' series on the Roosevelts fresh in mind, it was interesting to read this piece by Heather Richardson that contrasts the contributions of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower with the republicans who came after:

Quote

In 1862 , in the midst of the Civil War, Republican Justin Smith Morrill stood in Congress to defend his party’s invention: an income tax. The government had the right to demand 99 percent of a man’s property, the Vermont representative thundered. If the nation needs it, “the property of the people . . . belongs to the government .” The Republican Congress passed the income tax — as well as a spate of other taxes — and went on to create a strong national government. By the time the war ended, the GOP had invented national banking, currency and taxation; had provided schools and homes for poor Americans; and had freed the country’s 4 million slaves.

A half-century later, when corporations dominated the economy and their owners threw their weight into political contests, Theodore Roosevelt fulminated against that “small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.” Insisting that America must return to “an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him,” the Republican president called for government to regulate business, prohibit corporate funding of political campaigns, and impose income and inheritance taxes.

In the mid-20th century, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower recoiled from using American resources to build weapons alone, warning, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” He called for government funding for schools, power plants, roads and hospitals.

At these crucial moments, Republican leaders argued that economic opportunity is central to the American ideal and that government must enable all to rise. But each time the party has taken this stand, it has sparked a backlash from within, prompting the GOP to throw its support behind America’s wealthiest people and to blame those who fall behind for their own poverty.

Today the republican party has swung far from its roots, with no strong leader yet apparent who can get the party back on track. But we sure could use one.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. — Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. — Bertrand Russell
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#236 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-September-21, 10:09

I found the series on the Roosevelts absolutely fascinating. I thought that 14 hours would be too much Roosevelt but not at all.
An interesting review, but not one I entirely agree with, of the series appeared in
http://www.newrepubl...entary-reviewed

As I watched the first three episodes, those that focused on TR, I saw a totally believable portrait. . I would watch his life unfold and say, yes, I can see that this would be his choice. Maybe not my choice, but definitely his. It all fit together.
My general view of life is that we are all given, through genes and environment, some traits. These traits are part of us, that won't change. But we can, through choice and will, direct the use of these traits. With some judgment, and let's admit, with some luck, we can make good use of what we have been given. TR was exhibit A for this view of life. TR's brother Elliott (Eleanor's father) was a mentally unhinged alcoholic. Go figure.

I cannot imagine TR in 2014. I would not want to follow him up Kettle Hill. But right now we are drifting. We need better.
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#237 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2014-September-21, 10:58

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-September-06, 23:33, said:

So did (or do) all of the economists of the Austrian School. Maybe they're wrong, but you're not going to convince me by calling their ideas "utopian".


We know, we know. You're a true believer.

It's pointless to try to have an intelligent discussion with a Christian Scientist about medicine.
It's equally pointless to talk economics with a Austrian School cultist.
Alderaan delenda est
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#238 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-September-22, 10:21

A couple more thoughts from The Roosevelts.

After TR completed his secon term and headed off to Africa for some big game hunting, J. P. Morgan was quoted as saying "I trust every lion will do his duty". I think it was JP, I don't have a written record.

A more serious quote comes from early in his presidency when he was in a confrontation with some in industry, I believe it was the owners of the cao mines. He threatened to take some action, the owners said he lacked the constitutional authority to take such actin, TR agreed that he lacked the authority, and announced that he was going to do it anyway. The owners backed down.

TR was long gone before I was born, FDR died when I was 5. But of course Jefferson and Madison also died a while ago, and we still look for meaning in what they said and did. There is a lot to think about from that series as to how it applies to present times. This thread is of course devoted to poverty, but both Roosevelts were hugely involved with this issue. When we look at them, we should look at them straight on. There is a lot to consider.
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#239 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-23, 01:33

IN this thread I have championed the entrepreneur. Indeed it would be fair to say the evidence says the entrepreneur is the way to reduce poverty in history.


But one must present the contrary or at the very least evidence that shows the true life of the entrepreneur. Barton Hamilton of Washington University shows the harsh the very harsh life of the entrepreneur. They earn 35% less over a ten year period than those in a paid job, they fail often, they take far more risk.

All the more I suggest to praise them, they fail often.


They put their lives on the line to build something from nothing.
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#240 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-September-23, 04:39

To be fair in this thread and many other threads, posters suggest the way to stop poverty is to raise taxes. To raise taxes to 50% or 75% or even 90%. They point out when governments reduce taxes the economy is terrible; that poverty is horrible.
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