View Poll Results: what do you consider "middle class"?

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Thread: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

  1. #131
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I'm sorry but your "evidence" that you posted says that, "During the past 30 years, they have been cut at a much faster rate than middle- and low-income taxpayers'."
    I've already shown that to be bullcrap, because effective tax rates are different from statutory tax rates.

    You do not know what you are talking about and using Mother Jones, as "evidence" continues to show that you still don't know what you are talking about.

    They are making the exact same crappy, ignorant argument that you are.
    Their statement you bolded above is not based on statutory tax rates, which is where your strawman falls by the wayside.

    They specifically stated that: "But the superrich don't pay as much as they used to—and thanks to a combination of tax cuts and preferential tax policies, their tax obligations can be less demanding than the so-called little people's."
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  2. #132
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Their statement you bolded above is not based on statutory tax rates, which is where your strawman falls by the wayside.

    They specifically stated that: "But the superrich don't pay as much as they used to—and thanks to a combination of tax cuts and preferential tax policies, their tax obligations can be less demanding than the so-called little people's."
    That's not true.
    The effective tax rates of everyone else, were less than those of the top quintile.
    Their argument is crap and not based on reality.

    Their tax obligations are greater than the "little people's," as the evidence shows.
    I posted the link, showing the effective tax rates and you're still peddling this nonsense.

    Effective tax rates are taxes that people actually pay, which includes deductions and other write offs.
    The top quintile has the largest tax rates of everyone, still.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  3. #133
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Labor productivity is going to go up as firms implement newer, more efficient technologies, that makes it easier for workers to produce more units per hour and causes the firm to need less workers.
    That doesn't actually translate to workers physically doing more work.
    I will say it again. Even when you tease out the contributions of capital and technology, labor productivity has increased. I posted plenty of data on this already.

    Was it not you that said this and built your assumption off the average rate of 2% a year?
    I did and that is not a far out assumption given the growth of labor productivity during that time span. However, I was speaking about a trend. Trends do not have to grow at a constant rate. You can have short term fluctuations, but a stable long term trend.

    Your previous interjection that wages do not grow at a constant rate is correct. However, there are long term trends. Do you understand the difference?

    Wages have increased at a rate lower than benefit increases and government transfer payments.
    That is true, but if you only focus on wages and not total house compensation, total household income supplements and benefits, I'd see where you'd come to the conclusion that the middle class is stagnating.
    We already had this discussion where you couldn't adequately explain the differences with health care benefits, $401k, and other benefits. However, you seem to be of the persuasion that if you repeat something enough, it must be true.

  4. #134
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    Your whole argument rests on the fallacy that I claimed that wage growth grows at a constant rate per year. It doesn't. However, if you look at the long term trends, wage growth has not kept up with worker productivity.
    of course it hasn't. and claims that it should have are built upon the Labor Theory of Value, which is such utter and complete bunk that even Lenin was forced to abandon it after attempting to put it into practice. If a brilliant engineer designs a machine that will allow each worker to double their production without working harder, and the company spends alot of money purchasing said machine and installing it, then why in the world should the productivity increases go to the worker rather than the engineer and paying back the company for its' purchase?

    We have seen stagnating wages and an erosion of the middle class. We have not seen wages keep up or surpass worker productivity nor have we seen the middle class strengthened over the last three decades.

    The evidence is abundant. I don't even know why this is debatable.
    largely because it depends upon a number of flawed assumptions. no one seems to be able to provide a definitive way of teasing "the middle class" out of "the general population", for example - leaving it a completely subjective point of study. secondly, it tends to assume that people do not move, which is incorrect - even if total compensation were stationary in real terms (which it is not), the individuals within the labor pool would still be making more as they aged. Older higher income workers would retire and be replaced by newer workers who upon entering the workforce make a smaller wage. Generally speaking, if you graduate high school, get married before you have kids, stay married, don't do drugs, and work, you will move up life's ladder. Where the "the middle class is being destroyed" figures come from is two places: 1. the expansion in the portion of the populace that does not follow the above rules. 2. the fact that increases in compensation have been tilted to benefits rather than wages due to A) the tax advantage to doing so and B) the rapidly rising cost of health insurance.

    so why is it debatable? mostly because (and take notes, because this is important) wanting something to be true so that you can try to divide Americans by class and turn them on each other does not - actually - make it true.
    Last edited by cpwill; 10-15-11 at 07:18 PM.

  5. #135
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    of course it hasn't. and claims that it should have are built upon the Labor Theory of Value, which is such utter and complete bunk that even Lenin was forced to abandon it after attempting to put it into practice. If a brilliant engineer designs a machine that will allow each worker to double their production without working harder, and the company spends alot of money purchasing said machine and installing it, then why in the world should the productivity increases go to the worker rather than the engineer and paying back the company for its' purchase?
    Seriously, this is utter nonsense. It doesn't rest on the LTV. This conversation has nothing to do with about where value comes from or Lenin. If anything, getting paid more since you produce more is antithetical against forced egalitarianism.

    Anyways, the demand for labor is a derived demand curve. This means that it depends on the demand for goods and services. This can easily take into consideration modern theory that value is dependent on personal subjective values. The average labor has become more productive in producing the goods and services consumers wants, but their wage has not kept up. The idea that if you become more efficient at producing goods and services that people want bring greater rewards is not this far out idea that is hard to swallow.


    largely because it depends upon a number of flawed assumptions. no one seems to be able to provide a definitive way of teasing "the middle class" out of "the general population", for example - leaving it a completely subjective point of study.
    Seriously? While any data analysis is not without concern and criticism, your argument that we should completely throw it out the window is bogus. While household income quintiles are not without criticism, the middle quintile median household income seem like a reasonable place to describe the middle class.

    secondly, it tends to assume that people do not move, which is incorrect - even if total compensation were stationary in real terms (which it is not), the individuals within the labor pool would still be making more as they aged.
    The data that I have presented so far in this thread does not make that assumption. Why are you making stuff up?

    Older higher income workers would retire and be replaced by newer workers who upon entering the workforce make a smaller wage. Generally speaking, if you graduate high school, get married before you have kids, stay married, don't do drugs, and work, you will move up life's ladder. Where the "the middle class is being destroyed" figures come from is two places: 1. the expansion in the portion of the populace that does not follow the above rules. 2. the fact that increases in compensation have been tilted to benefits rather than wages due to A) the tax advantage to doing so and B) the rapidly rising cost of health insurance.
    We already discussed this Harry couldn't adequately explain the difference with health care coverage, $401ks, and other compensation. You also seem to be of the persuasion that the more you repeat something, the more correct it comes.

    so why is it debatable? mostly because (and take notes, because this is important) wanting something to be true so that you can try to divide Americans by class and turn them on each other does not - actually - make it true.
    This is most ironic. You should be taken your own advice.
    Last edited by Antiderivative; 10-15-11 at 07:40 PM.

  6. #136
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    That's not true.
    The effective tax rates of everyone else, were less than those of the top quintile.
    Their argument is crap and not based on reality.

    Their tax obligations are greater than the "little people's," as the evidence shows.
    I posted the link, showing the effective tax rates and you're still peddling this nonsense.

    Effective tax rates are taxes that people actually pay, which includes deductions and other write offs.
    The top quintile has the largest tax rates of everyone, still.
    Thanks for your opinion!

    "Payroll taxes (deductions for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance) are mostly paid by the bottom 90 percent of earners. When they're factored in on top of income tax, the gap between the tax rates at the very top and everyone else shrinks even more—so much that the effective tax rate for people earning more than $370,000 is nearly the same as for those earning between $43,000 and $69,000 a year."

    "Payroll taxes now make up nearly as much of federal tax revenue as individual income tax. Meanwhile, revenues from corporate taxes have decreased significantly over the past 50 years."

    "Corporations exploit various loopholes and tax breaks to reduce their IRS bills—perhaps none more notoriously than General Electric. Though the corporate (statutory) tax rate is 35%, GE has paid nothing near that for nearly a decade." (effective rate)

    Only Little People Pay Taxes | Mother Jones
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  7. #137
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Thanks for your opinion!
    Sorry but facts aren't opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    "Payroll taxes (deductions for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance) are mostly paid by the bottom 90 percent of earners. When they're factored in on top of income tax, the gap between the tax rates at the very top and everyone else shrinks even more—so much that the effective tax rate for people earning more than $370,000 is nearly the same as for those earning between $43,000 and $69,000 a year."

    "Payroll taxes now make up nearly as much of federal tax revenue as individual income tax. Meanwhile, revenues from corporate taxes have decreased significantly over the past 50 years."
    When all taxes are factored in, the top quintile, still pays a larger percentage of taxes than all the bottom quintiles.

    Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates for All Households

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    "Corporations exploit various loopholes and tax breaks to reduce their IRS bills—perhaps none more notoriously than General Electric. Though the corporate (statutory) tax rate is 35%, GE has paid nothing near that for nearly a decade." (effective rate)

    Only Little People Pay Taxes | Mother Jones
    We've been talking about personal income taxes and now you're throwing in corporate taxes?
    What does this have to do with personal income taxes?
    Just another red herring from you.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  8. #138
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    I will say it again. Even when you tease out the contributions of capital and technology, labor productivity has increased. I posted plenty of data on this already.
    What about the need for less people?
    If the labor demand for workers is less, that can slow wage growth down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    I did and that is not a far out assumption given the growth of labor productivity during that time span. However, I was speaking about a trend. Trends do not have to grow at a constant rate. You can have short term fluctuations, but a stable long term trend.

    Your previous interjection that wages do not grow at a constant rate is correct. However, there are long term trends. Do you understand the difference?
    Trends can change, for a multitude of reasons.
    You're assuming that all else is equal, when it isn't.

    You have multiple social and economic reasons for trends to adjust, the most pervasive is the emerging global markets, which can slow down national wage trends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiderivative View Post
    We already had this discussion where you couldn't adequately explain the differences with health care benefits, $401k, and other benefits. However, you seem to be of the persuasion that if you repeat something enough, it must be true.
    Yes, the numerical differences are based on your fallacious reasoning that a long term trend, would not change.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

  9. #139
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    That's not true.
    The effective tax rates of everyone else, were less than those of the top quintile.
    Their argument is crap and not based on reality.

    Their tax obligations are greater than the "little people's," as the evidence shows.
    I posted the link, showing the effective tax rates and you're still peddling this nonsense.

    Effective tax rates are taxes that people actually pay, which includes deductions and other write offs.
    The top quintile has the largest tax rates of everyone, still.
    Believe whatever you want to believe. I am confident to let the cases we have presented to the public, stand for themselves.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  10. #140
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    Re: what do YOU consider "middle class"?

    It depends on where you live. Around here the average income is about $25K. I'm considered upper middle class here, I think.


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