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  1. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    .......... The existence of taxes is government interference.....
    I suppose so. But now you sound like one of those theoretical physicists who declares that merely observing a phenomenon changes it.
    Pass a tax; you interfere. Don't pass a tax; you interfere.:)
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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Compare these numbers to the statistics on the wealthy. Their income growth, their net worth, percentages of wealth held by them, percentages of stock, changes in political contributions, etc.
    Not according to the actual figures:
    "The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including first homes, fell by 2.5 million to 6.7 million in 2008, according to the Spectrum Group report, as reported by Reuters.

    After the 27 percent drop, the number of millionaires is at the lowest level since 2003, when the millionaire population stood at 6.2 million..........The number of U.S. households with a net worth over $5 million, again not including first homes, fell by 28 percent to 840,000."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millionaire

    Just because you want to believe that the rich are getting richer...etc....doesn't make it so. Clearly, there are fewer rich people (with a net worth of 1 mil not counting primary residence) than there were before the recession.

    Some of the measurements you propose above are just plain nutty. Percentages of stock? Really? Look up "changes in political contributions"; I won't even do that for you, and you'll find that the wealthy people these days are giving less, not more.

    You can't just make crap up and dish it out, Wei.
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    So 30 million newborns to 11 year olds should be working by now?
    70% of all increase in population since 1970 has been due to immigration.

    I wonder if unemployed illegal aliens count as unemployed Americans.
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    Not according to the actual figures:
    "The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including first homes, fell by 2.5 million to 6.7 million in 2008, according to the Spectrum Group report, as reported by Reuters.

    After the 27 percent drop, the number of millionaires is at the lowest level since 2003, when the millionaire population stood at 6.2 million..........The number of U.S. households with a net worth over $5 million, again not including first homes, fell by 28 percent to 840,000."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millionaire

    Just because you want to believe that the rich are getting richer...etc....doesn't make it so. Clearly, there are fewer rich people (with a net worth of 1 mil not counting primary residence) than there were before the recession.

    I never claimed that more people are getting richer. My essential claim is that the more wealthy you are, the more you have benefited from the economic climate for the last few decades, especially this last decade.


    Some of the measurements you propose above are just plain nutty. Percentages of stock? Really? Look up "changes in political contributions"; I won't even do that for you, and you'll find that the wealthy people these days are giving less, not more.

    You can't just make crap up and dish it out, Wei.


    Political contributions don't come in just the direct form anymore, as individual campaign contributions. We have new entities like PACs and SuperPACs that allow enormous sums of money to fly under the radar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    I suppose so. But now you sound like one of those theoretical physicists who declares that merely observing a phenomenon changes it.
    Pass a tax; you interfere. Don't pass a tax; you interfere.:)
    It's true though, and the entire right-wing economic rhetoric is based on the myth that a pure economy absent of government intervention is the solution and the goal. It's simply impossible.

    Not only is it impossible on it's face, but if we look at the current economic situation, we are so dramatically far in the opposite direction that even coming close to that goal is practically impossible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    You miss one of the obvious issues. Government isn't acting as a regulator when it comes to military expenditures, it is acting as a consumer, and like any consumer, it chooses goods and services based on its criteria. Suppliers compete for contracts, and they compete based on the quality price and utility of their products. Unlike the cronyism that we see in the financial markets, where the government is rewarding its pals with bailouts and transfers of taxpayer dollars, the driving force in military procurement is competition.
    Fair enough, perhaps my example was too simple.

    Still, we can look at this anyway. Do you really believe these sales are done without human fault? You don't know knowing someone in the right position or having worked in the industry before or other factors contribute to contract decisions?

    What about other aspects of the government, like where congress gets their office supplies? Say someone who worked for an office supplier then landed a position where they could influence the decision, and they happen to have good relationships with their former colleagues and cut them a deal? This type of stuff happens all the time and it flies under the radar because it's not "major corruption".

    Let's look at taxes too, those affect the economy as well. A sales tax would affect retailers differently than it would affect say a publishing company.

    When a policy is put in place that favors a sales tax, that's going to affect some businesses more than others.

    Tariffs would affect businesses that sell important goods more than it would businesses that sell domestic goods.

    There are many examples where policy affects the marketplace, every government policy is going to have direct or indirect effects on the economy.


    Like all socialists, you presume that because I want less government, I want no government, or that because I oppose an action at the federal level, I must therefore oppose it being done at all. That is the classic leftist straw man argument against smaller government, and it doesn't hold up.
    Like all projecting hysterics, you fail to realize this is exactly what you accuse me of in every thread we both post in. You believe that if I support a universal health care system, then I must support Stalinist gulags. You believe that if I want more worker rights, then I must demand that all property is confiscated. You believe that if I higher taxes on the wealthy then I must want a totally centrally controlled economy. You're a joke, you can't even see that you are doing this.

    Pot calling kettle black.



    No, my "solution" is that government be scaled back so that its power to impact the economy is minimized.
    I don't totally disagree with you, but I think you are being naive with regards to how much minimalization is actually possible. The country has already gone through these struggles multiple times in our history, and we've come to where we are today.

    The Constitution placed specific limits on the powers of the federal government. When the federal government exceeds those limits, it encroaches on the rights of the states and the people, respectively, and destroys economic liberty (which is the foundation for all other liberties). Government is supposed to be our servant, not our master, but a bloated permanent government run by a spoiled, irresponsible governing class is not going to serve anyone but itself.
    I agree with you far more than you realize.

    Forcing the government back to its Constitutional limits would force it out of the various economic spheres that it now intrudes upon, and would reduce its influence to manageable levels. There is nothing in the Constitution that should allow the federal government to transfer tax revenues to investment bankers or auto companies, or to dictate employment terms, insurance policies or agricultural output to the whole nation. The Interstate Commerce Clause was never meant to be a catchall that would allow the federal government to regulate the wheat that a farmer grows to feed himself and his family and livestock, it was meant to prevent the states from setting up internal trade barriers.
    I'm curious as to why you believe capitalism, left to run on it's own, will solve all the problems we have? Read Ayn Rand recently?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    It's true though, and the entire right-wing economic rhetoric is based on the myth that a pure economy absent of government intervention is the solution and the goal...........
    I would hope that no serious person would propose such an arrangement. In any case I am a right-winger (I suppose) and I do not favor it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I never claimed that more people are getting richer. My essential claim is that the more wealthy you are, the more you have benefited from the economic climate for the last few decades, especially this last decade....
    I now charge you with Bobbing & Weaving! The rich obviously have not benefited from recent economic climate because there are demonstrably fewer of them.

    It's probably poor form to single out one person, but I will point out that Bill Gates' fortunes in the years '08, '09, '10 and '11 are; 57 billion, 40 billion, 54 billion and 56 billion. In other words he has not even kept up with inflation. He is still down a billion from '08, and has never matched the 59 billion he had in '07. For that matter, I have outperformed Gates although I doubt that I will ever be able to pass him.:) One can hope.

    I encourage you to look at the figures and quit beating that same old drum of the rich are getting richer, and we gotta stop them. It's not true.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Compare these numbers to the statistics on the wealthy. Their income growth, their net worth, percentages of wealth held by them, percentages of stock, changes in political contributions, etc.

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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Fair enough, perhaps my example was too simple.
    No, it's typical of leftists. You point to the one area where the government does function efficiently and pretend that the rest of the government can do the same thing, or that it is a model for economic intervention in other areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Still, we can look at this anyway. Do you really believe these sales are done without human fault? You don't know knowing someone in the right position or having worked in the industry before or other factors contribute to contract decisions?
    In other words, do I believe that life is perfect? Obviously not. Any business transaction can be manipulated by political or personal considerations. However, if you permit that long enough, the businesses involved end up collapsing as their competitors beat them by being more efficient. In the case of military expenditures, the competition isn't just between companies, but between nations, and the end result of cronyism and nepotism shows up on the battlefield.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    What about other aspects of the government, like where congress gets their office supplies? Say someone who worked for an office supplier then landed a position where they could influence the decision, and they happen to have good relationships with their former colleagues and cut them a deal? This type of stuff happens all the time and it flies under the radar because it's not "major corruption".
    You are demonstrating your ignorance again. Purchases of things like office supplies are done from an approved catalog, which includes most major manufacturers, all of whom meet government specs for the required product. Things that are not in the catalog may be directly purchased if they are below a certain dollar amount, but must be bid in if they exceed it. True, there are some companies that are better situated to take advantage of these policies, but, as I tell my daughters, life isn't fair. Deal with it. The place where you do get corruption is not in the contracting of goods at the micro level, but in the awarding of large contracts for things like construction projects, or through the manipulation of rules to exclude non-union labor, which directly benefits union bosses who then have money to contribute to campaigns, so that they can perpetuate the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Let's look at taxes too, those affect the economy as well. A sales tax would affect retailers differently than it would affect say a publishing company.
    Yes, and one of the major complaints about tax policy is that the code is written to reward the politically connected and punish those who are on the outs. And, the more that the government spends, the more that it needs to take out of the economy, which expands its reach into more and more areas where it gets to pick winners and losers. Complex tax rules also benefit established companies, which have whole divisions set up for compliance, but which raise the bar to entry into markets by imposing additional costs on newcomers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    There are many examples where policy affects the marketplace, every government policy is going to have direct or indirect effects on the economy.
    Exactly. Which is why you want to reduce government policies to the minimum possible, while still giving it the power to accomplish its Constitutionally limited functions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    Like all projecting hysterics, you fail to realize this is exactly what you accuse me of in every thread we both post in. You believe that if I support a universal health care system, then I must support Stalinist gulags. You believe that if I want more worker rights, then I must demand that all property is confiscated. You believe that if I higher taxes on the wealthy then I must want a totally centrally controlled economy. You're a joke, you can't even see that you are doing this.

    Pot calling kettle black.
    No, I accuse you of supporting Stalinist gulags because you call yourself a Marxist and communist. Universal health care is simply a symptom of Marxist/communist thought (or what passes for it).

    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    I don't totally disagree with you, but I think you are being naive with regards to how much minimalization is actually possible. The country has already gone through these struggles multiple times in our history, and we've come to where we are today.

    I agree with you far more than you realize.

    I'm curious as to why you believe capitalism, left to run on it's own, will solve all the problems we have? Read Ayn Rand recently?
    I don't believe that capitalism will solve all problems, but it solves the critical problem of meeting demand and creating supply, which solves most other problems. It is the best system among all of the choices available or possible. And no, I haven't read any Ayn Rand lately. But I am reading some Thomas Sowell. You should read his book on intellectuals. It will explain a lot to you.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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