I don’t disagree with……

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much of what this guy has to say. It’s about taxation and wealth, etc. If you’re up late tonight and have a little time on your hands, it’s not a waste of time listening to his reasoning. There are a ton of stories out right now about how a majority of Americans have lost wealth the last few years. A new report by the Federal Reserve says that the median American household lost 38% of their life savings in just 3 years. That is not a good thing for various reasons. Not a good thing for all classes, not just the middle class. Check it out.

19 thoughts on “I don’t disagree with……

  1. Gary Smith

    Sorry, Steve. This guy is wrong across the board. 1. The “rich” already pay the lion’s share of taxes. 2. When gov’t redistributes income (and, btw, why is that their job?), the “multiplier” is often less than zero. In other words, for every dollar they take via taxes, the GDP goes up LESS than $1. In short, gov’t is horribly inefficient at spending money. 3. There is no place in the world where “libertariansim” has been implemented. 4. Higher taxes in the U.S. have been tried….multiple times. Hoover raised taxes, as did FDR. That’s one reason behind the Great Depression. Clinton also raised taxes…but cut the capital gains tax. He also REDUCED gov’t spending. Reasons behind the bull years under Clinton.
    This guy clearly comes from the “gov’t knows best” school. But, bigger gov’t always equals economic decline. (see Europe.)

     
  2. channel_zero

    Gary,

    You’ve been sold a lie whose main purpose is to concentrate power into the hands of a few.

    Absolutes like “bigger gov’t always equals economic decline” are truisms whose sole purpose is to make the majority of Americans (you and I) poorer.

    And yes, part of Govt’s job is to redistribute wealth. That’s how highways get built? National Parks are run? Wars are fought? We’ve had 30 years of dismantling the social redistribution function and it’s lead to declining median wages, declining wealth, increasingly ossified class structure and woefully antiquated national infrastructure. All factors that lead to a less globally competitive nation.

    Clinton’s fiscal discipline is widely acknowledged as the perfect example of how limited government spending sets off a recessionary economic cycle.

    I know I know, I don’t understand. I’m a socialist, I love the nanny state, I love death panels, I’m not a true American. Steve’s misguided. Blah Blah Blah.

    Look around. Light touch capitalism is making you poorer.

     
  3. ar cyclist

    Man, you strayed from politics for a long time and I am proud of you for that! However, once you dive into this forum you either lose or piss off about 40% of your audience who differ from your post. Unfortunately, I am part of that 40% you just lost. A blog like yours has no gain from inserting political opinion. I’ve loved your blog for years, now I have to move on…

    Word to the bloggers – If people like your blog, don’t go political.

     
  4. H Luce

    I’m always a bit suspicious when centi-millionaires and billionaires come out in support of what looks to be some fairly innocuous bit of government policy. These people got to where they are by figuring out some angle whereby they could make their fortune and that usually involves getting mass support for legislation that enlists the government in furthering the cause. After the legislation is enacted into law, it is often found to have a perverse effect, one that benefits the rich sponsors…. Imagine that!

    Oftentimes these initiatives to raise taxes on “the rich” tend to raise them more on the middle class, and the rich use their bought-and-paid-for legislators to give themselves subsidies from the treasury.

    If he really wants to make things better, he can sponsor an initiative amongst fellow plutocrats to use, say, 90% of their money for projects which enhance the general good – perhaps charity hospitals at which free or very low cost medical/dental care is available, or public health initiatives, or setting up schools and colleges where no student graduates in debt to a loan company. There’s no need to filter it through government first.

    90% of a billion dollars is $900 million … You could accomplish a lot of good in the health care sector with that kind of money.

     
  5. jimbo

    Not that it matters, but guys like ‘ar cyclist’ are at the core of what’s wrong with the US: the unwillingness or inability to engage in political discourse, and a willingness to dismiss and ignore anyone or anything that goes against their beliefs.

     
  6. H Luce

    OK, so here’s what Hanauer should do, if he really believes in what he’s saying: Convert his businesses into worker-owned cooperatives, like Mondragon in Spain (see this: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8344-the-seeds-of-a-quiet-economic-revolution-a-review-of-gar-alperovitzs-america-beyond-capitalism-reclaiming-our-wealth-our-liberty-and-our-democracy)

    “But within Hanauer’s own investment portfolio, his record is spotty. Some companies he’s backed, such as Amazon, have driven middle-class workers to unemployment. Pacific Feather Pillow, where Hanauer remains chairman of the board, recently closed plants in Illinois and Pennsylvania to cut costs. For all his money, Hanauer isn’t going out of his way to overpay workers or to create a bunch of extraneous jobs just to prop up the middle class that holds his future earnings in its hands. After all, he’s not in it to lose. His fellow entrepreneurs and CEOs share this conflict, the tension between competitiveness today and sustainability long term.” http://www.nationaljournal.com/features/restoration-calls/the-1-percent-solution-20120517

     
  7. ar cyclist

    Yo, Jimbo…
    I love political discourse. I am actually a poli sci major. However, when i want cycling, i want cycling. When i want politics, i want politics. I don’t like the two to mix.

    Thanks for judging, though! So sweet of you!

     
  8. Ron

    ar cyclist-
    People like to discuss a tiny bit of economics/politics on occasion. Hang in there!

     
  9. Rod Lake

    Got to side with Gary on this one. Go ahead, start calling me names or your tired Fox News cliche. I would happily support a higher tax rate if I had even a shred of hope our government could spend our tax dollars wiser. The Chevy Volt, Solendra, two wars are current examples. The Post Office, Amtrak, Social Security, Medicare, etc., are other
    examples. I’m definitely not in the camp that it is the government’s job to “redistribute” wealth. I
    find that thought repulsive. Bottom line, I think.
    revenue is sufficient while spending is out of
    control. Look at it this way: Lesson # 1:

    * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
    * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

    Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $38,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50

    Flame away name callers.

     
  10. double d

    Good grief, he’s talking about science and economics? Mises is rolling in his grave. Economics, in being tainted with science and mathematics, has gone so far from the simple praxeological truths of the Austrians. It also opens the door to relativism.

    The guy also misses the point. He’s focussed on the very literall aspects of this, without completely looking at the situation. Yes, I believe in trickle-down economics is true, but it’s much bigger than that. He doesn’t look at the philosophy, ethics, and morals of the situation. Oh, pragmatism is so wonderful, is it not?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but why does it seem like he thinks that giving the government more money is a good thing? Let’s think to what government has done over the past hundred and fifty years, most prominently – they have enslaved Americans into the military, robbed and coerced the people, and violated their sacred rights and property. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to give the Leviathan more money.

     
  11. JoeVee

    The Government is the evil! The Government is woefully inefficient. Only the free markets and the wise business class know how things should be. Let’s give them the chance! They will solve our problems. Look at Europe! Europe is a mess!

    Have we forgotten or just never knew that THE Government is THE business class. They are already running the show – in both places. “Socialism” is a strawman.
    You are poorer BECAUSE the business class runs the country. Your streets and bridges and schools are in decline because the business class has consolidated its power and sees no reason to maintain your infrastructure – theirs is fine, by the way.
    Your 401k has gone nowhere for the same reason. Your children are graduating Uni with tens of thousands of dollars of debt FOR THE SAME REASON.
    But look over there! DOMA! 9/11! Immigrants! A Mormon! A black man!
    That pink slip is YOUR fault. That unpayable ARM is YOUR fault. You couldn’t live without running up your CC debt? Well, that’s because you are weak!

    Government is the problem all right but not for the reasons the right would have you believe.

     
  12. chuck martel

    Your children are graduating Uni with tens of thousands of dollars of debt FOR THE SAME REASON.

    So the “rich” folks are skimming off the college tuition? It’s not the battalions of administrators that have been hired to put behind a desk in every available campus corner? Or the lavish salaries, stipends, sabbaticals and retirements given to professors that teach a couple of hours a week? Or the humongous salaries of football and basketball coaches? Or swanky architecture? None of that is raising the cost of education, is it?

     
  13. JoeVee

    Chuck, The key word there is DEBT.
    And no, those aspects you parrot are not actually real. “Lavish” salaries? For profs? Honestly, you must know first hand so supply some figures. Teach a couple hours a week? Again, figures.
    Football and basketball coaches. Agreed. Athletic fees have gone stratospheric and the Athletic FOUNDATIONS – private/public partnerships commonly- drive those salaries and have very little to do with the mission of the Uni. Swanky architecture is commonly paid for by large donors as the GOVT cuts and cuts and cuts. What’s the percentage of your State School’s funding supplied by the State?

    When I attended a State School the cost was $6 a credit plus $125 in fees. How did they do it way back then?

     
  14. double d

    The basic, underlying issue is that both sides (in different degrees) have strayed from the principles of completely free markets. A great part of this is due to Progressivism. Even Milton Friedman – a man of the right who believed in freedom – was guilty of this. Everything come froms economics, thus they are so important.

    There’s another issue here, as well, stemming from government control of education. Because of this, generations have not been educated, but indoctrinated. As a result, rugged individualism has been stiffled, and masses of sheep were created. Ergo, there are huge numbers of people who have been spoon-fed anti-free market propaganda and, to add, have been taught to be good followers.

     

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