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Thread: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by imagep View Post
    We haven't increased the corporate tax rate recently, so I doubt that there is a connection between us slipping, and the corporate tax rate.

    Anyhow, the effective corporate tax rate in the US is actually about average or below average. Apparently we have more deductions, credits, and other special deals than most countries do.
    I believe that the Bush tax cuts sun settled during Obama's first term. Economic freedom also tracks regulation and this administration is the most regulatory administration in my memory. The only thing that rivals is was FDR's failed NRA.
    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
    No, prosperity and economic liberty depend on more than taxes. Production levels, system of laws, societal values, culture all play into the success of an economy. Belgium is a first world democracy with high tax rates and you could say they have a high standard of living but in general their citizens are complacent because the government takes care of them cradle to grave and takes care of their retirement. As a result they are less productive than we are and their economy isn't as dynamic. If you like the Belgium way, I recommend moving there. It's not for me however.
    What do you mean by complacent? Their soccer team is arguably better than ours and their prisons aren't overflowing.

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
    No, prosperity and economic liberty depend on more than taxes. Production levels, system of laws, societal values, culture all play into the success of an economy. Belgium is a first world democracy with high tax rates and you could say they have a high standard of living but in general their citizens are complacent because the government takes care of them cradle to grave and takes care of their retirement. As a result they are less productive than we are and their economy isn't as dynamic. If you like the Belgium way, I recommend moving there. It's not for me however.
    Guy, Belgium is not a nation built on heavy industries and a powerful military-industrial complex. If "productive" is what you're looking for, then look at Australia. Or Japan. Or South Korea. Or (and especially) Germany. Are you going to tell me that the people in these nations are so coddled by the government that they've become complacent?

    Please, try to refrain from cherry-picking - it's doing you no good at all, and it's easily shot down.
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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Guy, Belgium is not a nation built on heavy industries and a powerful military-industrial complex. If "productive" is what you're looking for, then look at Australia. Or Japan. Or South Korea. Or (and especially) Germany. Are you going to tell me that the people in these nations are so coddled by the government that they've become complacent?

    Please, try to refrain from cherry-picking - it's doing you no good at all, and it's easily shot down.
    I spoke about Belgium because I used to go there frequently and know much about it. I am generalizing about social democracies, many of whom fit into your description of heavily taxed democracies. You haven't shot anything down. You just disagree and nothing I say will change your mind. As they say, your mind is made up and I won't confuse you with facts.
    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by reinoe View Post
    What do you mean by complacent? Their soccer team is arguably better than ours and their prisons aren't overflowing.
    Actually in Belgium they throw you into prison for being homeless. There are free homeless in Belgium but they hide.
    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by imagep View Post
    I could care less about someones definition of economic freedom, unless that economic freedom increases the standard of living.

    Anyhow, I find that the income I have as an American, provides me more economic freedom than the lower income I would likely have in most countries.

    Now riddle me this, what do Estonia, Ireland and Chile, all have in common that the US doesn't have? **** the riddle, I'll just tell you - universal healthcare. Hmm.
    And we have been saddled with an idiotic insurance reform plan that needs to be scrapped.
    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
    And we have been saddled with an idiotic insurance reform plan that needs to be scrapped.
    My understanding of the whole medical cost issue is that it's a combo of high medical costs and nothing preventing their increase.

    I suppose if we had a single-payer system we could dictate prices to some degree, but that's kinda unlikely to happen anytime soon, if ever.


    From what I've heard/read, part of the issue (the main issue?) is that hospitals have a monopoly on healthcare for a given area, and can therefor dictate the price they wish consumers to pay.
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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Failing to become rich due to personal limitations does not make it society's responsibility to step in and raise your standard of living for you.
    First of all, the statement was that anyone can become rich, which is false.

    Also, the moved goal post is a straw man, of course. We're not talking about "rich" - we're talking about decades of stagnant income for the vast majority, soaring income and wealth for a few at the top that has resulted in a shrinking middle class, which I'd define as able to work a normal job, and afford healthcare, education including college for your children, vacations and a secure retirement.

    And society's "responsibility" is in my view to set the rules of the game (the "market") so that we have broad prosperity, and the entire income scale shares in the gains of productivity, rising GDP, national wealth. Unfortunately there isn't (to my knowledge) any example anywhere in history of a 'natural' large middle class. A couple of others are discussing this in this thread - but if you find a large and prosperous "middle class" what you also find are strong government, progressive taxes, and a fairly significant amount of income "redistribution" either directly such as through national healthcare and income guarantees of sorts (welfare, EITC, food stamps, rent subsidies in the U.S., etc.) and likely some form of wage supports such as through unions or minimum wages and the like.

    I think that's entirely appropriate. Government doesn't exist to maximize GDP or the S&P 500. It serves the U.S. - 350 million or so individuals, and the economic policy should focus on the broad population.

    If you have any examples otherwise, I'd love to learn something new this week!

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    My understanding of the whole medical cost issue is that it's a combo of high medical costs and nothing preventing their increase.

    I suppose if we had a single-payer system we could dictate prices to some degree, but that's kinda unlikely to happen anytime soon, if ever.


    From what I've heard/read, part of the issue (the main issue?) is that hospitals have a monopoly on healthcare for a given area, and can therefor dictate the price they wish consumers to pay.
    Well gee. I guess we should bust the monopoly and open up health care to convenience stores. Health care is expensive because the government bureaucracy makes it expensive to administer. There is no free market in health care and market pressures, namely competition, is the mechanism which regulates price.

    The very worst thing you can do to achieve fair market in healthcare is to regulate price. How's that working out for bread in Venezuela?
    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury." Attributed to Alexander Tytler

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    Re: Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds

    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
    Well gee. I guess we should bust the monopoly and open up health care to convenience stores. Health care is expensive because the government bureaucracy makes it expensive to administer. There is no free market in health care and market pressures, namely competition, is the mechanism which regulates price.

    The very worst thing you can do to achieve fair market in healthcare is to regulate price. How's that working out for bread in Venezuela?
    The question is whether it is possible/reasonable to create/encourage competition in healthcare to a level which lowers the prices enough.

    Another big cost is medical equipment prices, I understand - another somewhat monopolized area.


    One thing I heard/read made me wonder whether it's possible to fix something with our current system - apparently the original Affordable Care Act was going to have provisions that allowed the administrators to make offers/price suggestions to drug companies and the like - but that was nixed and instead they went with the current system, wherein drug companies tell the Government how much they will be paid for a given item.

    No negotiation, basically. Or at least it sounded like that. From a half-remembered radio interview.
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