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The End of Work, and therefore of "less government" memes
#21
(01-03-2017, 11:08 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
Quote:excerpted from Eric the Green

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, even at 40 hours a week — an unlikely amount in fast-food franchises — you’re still at that official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

Let's see:  $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = $30,000/year.  Federal poverty level for a single individual, 2016:  $11,880.  You could earn $10/hour and work 25 hours/week and still be above poverty level.

All this column proves is that PBS writers can't do simple arithmetic.


I would imagine that PBS is assuming a household size of 4, which is probably too high.  However, while a single person might be able to stay above poverty at a low-wage job, if you add a child or two to the mix, you sink under the poverty line.  And many people working at Mickey D today, unlike during your or my day, are trying to support a family.
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#22
(01-04-2017, 01:22 PM)The Wonkette Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:08 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
Quote:excerpted from Eric the Green

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, even at 40 hours a week — an unlikely amount in fast-food franchises — you’re still at that official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

Let's see:  $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = $30,000/year.  Federal poverty level for a single individual, 2016:  $11,880.  You could earn $10/hour and work 25 hours/week and still be above poverty level.

All this column proves is that PBS writers can't do simple arithmetic.

I would imagine that PBS is assuming a household size of 4, which is probably too high.  However, while a single person might be able to stay above poverty at a low-wage job, if you add a child or two to the mix, you sink under the poverty line.  And many people working at Mickey D today, unlike during your or my day, are trying to support a family.

The federal poverty level for a family of four is $24,300, which is still less than $30,000, so the PBS writer still can't do simple arithmetic.
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#23
(01-03-2017, 11:08 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 07:10 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We've been discussing this topic on other threads, but it deserves its own, in light of this column on the PBS Newshour website:

Column: Why we need to say goodbye to work

[Image: James-Livingston-80x80.png]
James Livingston

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, even at 40 hours a week — an unlikely amount in fast-food franchises — you’re still at that official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

Let's see:  $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = $30,000/year.  Federal poverty level for a single individual, 2016:  $11,880.  You could earn $10/hour and work 25 hours/week and still be above poverty level.

All this column proves is that PBS writers can't do simple arithmetic.

That's it?  Never mind the obvious fact that this is, at most, a minor detail.  The real issue is the arrival of that point it time when we are not needed.  What then?
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#24
(01-03-2017, 11:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:38 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: We will need to tax robot-based production heavily to support a guaranteed income. Robots take jobs and generate income for owners. But the common man loses his job, and with his job his income and perhaps his identity. Perhaps -- because many people have no idea of what to do if they had the same income but twenty fewer hours of work a week.

So - a shift to sales taxes instead of income taxes then?

How does that work, if the people paying the sales taxes are unemployed and unemployable?  Climb out of your box; an event horizon is approaching.  What resides on the other side of an event horizon is unknowable prior to crossing it, and crossing is not optional.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#25
Quote:That's it?  Never mind the obvious fact that this is, at most, a minor detail.  The real issue is the arrival of that point it time when we are not needed.  What then?


I dunno, accepting your premise for a second, maybe look at historical examples of societies (or, rather, subsections thereof) wherein people habitually did not work.  Slaves, serfs, and servants were the original robots, you know.  Or, you know, looking at all of the things people have been doing in the US since manufacturing started going away.  The service economy is not exactly a new thing. Wink
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#26
(01-04-2017, 12:57 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Taxing the income of the elites is virtually impossible, though.  Buffett pays an effective tax rate of less than one tenth of one percent.

And why is that?  They have minimal voting power in a nominal democracy.  Why can't they be outvoted? 

In the long run, the alternative may be the French or Russian one.  They may wish to give voluntary compliance some thought.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#27
(01-04-2017, 11:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's the Democrats that protect Buffett and Soros, and the investment billionaires in general.

The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.

This is both true and not. Special tax treatment for unearned income has a long and convoluted history.  It was Eisenhower that first recommended it, but got stopped by the Democrats.  It was Reagan that eliminated it, then changed his mind.  Ultimately, blame GHWB and Clinton for lower rates on long term capital gains, and GWB for adding dividends and carried interest to the mix. 

So, mostly a GOP policy.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#28
Quote:The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.


You didn't actually address this, Dave.  One also sees little evidence that Hillary would have done anything about it, either.  Taking money from Wall Street has been a bipartisan practice for decades now.
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#29
(01-05-2017, 01:36 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:08 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 07:10 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We've been discussing this topic on other threads, but it deserves its own, in light of this column on the PBS Newshour website:

Column: Why we need to say goodbye to work

[Image: James-Livingston-80x80.png]
James Livingston

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, even at 40 hours a week — an unlikely amount in fast-food franchises — you’re still at that official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

Let's see:  $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = $30,000/year.  Federal poverty level for a single individual, 2016:  $11,880.  You could earn $10/hour and work 25 hours/week and still be above poverty level.

All this column proves is that PBS writers can't do simple arithmetic.

That's it?  Never mind the obvious fact that this is, at most, a minor detail.  The real issue is the arrival of that point it time when we are not needed.  What then?

Nobody incapable of simple arithmetic is capable of writing more than garbage regarding the mythical "end of work".
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#30
(01-05-2017, 01:40 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:38 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: We will need to tax robot-based production heavily to support a guaranteed income. Robots take jobs and generate income for owners. But the common man loses his job, and with his job his income and perhaps his identity. Perhaps -- because many people have no idea of what to do if they had the same income but twenty fewer hours of work a week.

So - a shift to sales taxes instead of income taxes then?

How does that work, if the people paying the sales taxes are unemployed and unemployable?  Climb out of your box; an event horizon is approaching.  What resides on the other side of an event horizon is unknowable prior to crossing it, and crossing is not optional.

There's no event horizon coming, as discussed in that other thread.
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#31
(01-05-2017, 01:44 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:57 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Taxing the income of the elites is virtually impossible, though.  Buffett pays an effective tax rate of less than one tenth of one percent.

And why is that?  They have minimal voting power in a nominal democracy.  Why can't they be outvoted? 

In the long run, the alternative may be the French or Russian one.  They may wish to give voluntary compliance some thought.

Why?  Billionaires can hire sufficient lobbyists, publicists, accountants, and lawyers to make sure loopholes are inserted into legislation, exploitable to exhaustion.

Crises tend to happen quickly.  By the time the billionaires realize what's happening, it's likely to be too late to stop the wave.

(01-05-2017, 01:54 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 11:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's the Democrats that protect Buffett and Soros, and the investment billionaires in general.

The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.

This is both true and not. Special tax treatment for unearned income has a long and convoluted history.  It was Eisenhower that first recommended it, but got stopped by the Democrats.  It was Reagan that eliminated it, then changed his mind.  Ultimately, blame GHWB and Clinton for lower rates on long term capital gains, and GWB for adding dividends and carried interest to the mix. 

So, mostly a GOP policy.

It's not really the unearned income treatment that's the issue, though that's part of it.  It's more special loopholes like charitable donation of appreciated assets, that allow you to shelter ordinary income while funneling money into a trust that you control, and the loose regulation of those "charitable" trusts.  I grant that GHWBush was part of the problem, and the Republican establishment generally up until Boehner was metaphorically beheaded.
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#32
(01-05-2017, 09:55 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-05-2017, 01:36 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:08 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 07:10 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We've been discussing this topic on other threads, but it deserves its own, in light of this column on the PBS Newshour website:

Column: Why we need to say goodbye to work

[Image: James-Livingston-80x80.png]
James Livingston

And don’t tell me that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour solves the problem. No one can doubt the moral significance of the movement. But at this rate of pay, even at 40 hours a week — an unlikely amount in fast-food franchises — you’re still at that official poverty line. What, exactly, is the point of earning a paycheck that isn’t a living wage, except to prove that you have a work ethic?

Let's see:  $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = $30,000/year.  Federal poverty level for a single individual, 2016:  $11,880.  You could earn $10/hour and work 25 hours/week and still be above poverty level.

All this column proves is that PBS writers can't do simple arithmetic.

That's it?  Never mind the obvious fact that this is, at most, a minor detail.  The real issue is the arrival of that point it time when we are not needed.  What then?

Nobody incapable of simple arithmetic is capable of writing more than garbage regarding the mythical "end of work".

In many places you need far more than the artifically-low poverty level to make ends meet. $20,000 a year won't even pay the rent in many places.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#33
(01-04-2017, 11:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 04:08 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:57 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:56 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:41 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

The owners typically extract the income. To tax consumption is shakier. Taxing the conspicuous consumption of elites is far trickier than  taxing income.

Taxing the income of the elites is virtually impossible, though.  Buffett pays an effective tax rate of less than one tenth of one percent.

That's a strange statement lol

Of course it's possible, but not with Republicans in power.

It's the Democrats that protect Buffett and Soros, and the investment billionaires in general.

The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.

The Democrats never had a filibuster majority; only Democrats and DINOs. And it was a small while, given the glacial pace in which the Senate works.

Republican tax cuts support Soros and Buffett and the Koch Brothers and all your Republican billionaire friends.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

Tax the robots! I like it! Hey, robots are taking over, and getting all the good jobs; they should pay their fair share!

That's why I suggested sales tax on what they produce.  If people have other ideas, I'm interested.

Why should we have other ideas when the income tax works just fine? The robots make income for their owners; that's who needs to be highly taxed, and ever-more highly. Back to 90% and this time with no loopholes!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#34
(01-05-2017, 09:56 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-05-2017, 01:40 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-03-2017, 11:38 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: We will need to tax robot-based production heavily to support a guaranteed income. Robots take jobs and generate income for owners. But the common man loses his job, and with his job his income and perhaps his identity. Perhaps -- because many people have no idea of what to do if they had the same income but twenty fewer hours of work a week.

So - a shift to sales taxes instead of income taxes then?

How does that work, if the people paying the sales taxes are unemployed and unemployable?  Climb out of your box; an event horizon is approaching.  What resides on the other side of an event horizon is unknowable prior to crossing it, and crossing is not optional.

There's no event horizon coming, as discussed in that other thread.

No one sees profound change coming, only after the fact.  I don't claim to know when or what, beyond the sketchiest of outlines, but the trend lines are pretty clear.  We're on the way to killing the idea of work as a productive enterprise and <well, this is the place it gets dicey>. 

There are intellectuals thinking and writing about this.  None of them are driving policy.  Let's hope that isn't a problem.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#35
(01-05-2017, 10:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's not really the unearned income treatment that's the issue, though that's part of it.  It's more special loopholes like charitable donation of appreciated assets, that allow you to shelter ordinary income while funneling money into a trust that you control, and the loose regulation of those "charitable" trusts.  I grant that GHWBush was part of the problem, and the Republican establishment generally up until Boehner was metaphorically beheaded.

Everything you list qualifies as unearned income.  I would argue that untaxed inheritance is the most egregious example, but the others are probably just as bad.  In all cases, the GOP has backed eliminating taxes that affect the wealthy, arguing that talking money from rich people makes them less likely to hire the idiots that will now be paying their taxes.  It's never been true, but fear is a great motivator and a winning argument ... so far.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#36
(01-08-2017, 01:08 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-05-2017, 10:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's not really the unearned income treatment that's the issue, though that's part of it.  It's more special loopholes like charitable donation of appreciated assets, that allow you to shelter ordinary income while funneling money into a trust that you control, and the loose regulation of those "charitable" trusts.  I grant that GHWBush was part of the problem, and the Republican establishment generally up until Boehner was metaphorically beheaded.

Everything you list qualifies as unearned income.  I would argue that untaxed inheritance is the most egregious example, but the others are probably just as bad.  In all cases, the GOP has backed eliminating taxes that affect the wealthy, arguing that talking money from rich people makes them less likely to hire the idiots that will now be paying their taxes.  It's never been true, but fear is a great motivator and a winning argument ... so far.

Just because the problems are concentrated in some types of unearned income does not mean that all unearned income is problematic.

I'm in favor of any inheritance tax that will tax all of Buffett's estate at the maximum rate when he dies.  I just don't think that's going to happen, for the reasons I've already mentioned.  And all the tax increases pushed by the Democrats would leave him untouched, thus not actually taxing the rich.

The people the Republicans are trying to cut taxes on are really the middle class, including the affluent portions of the middle class, up to those about 10,000 times poorer than Buffett.  To me, that's the wrong target.  We need to hit the guys at the top.
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#37
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016...inequality

President Donald Trump is set to give America’s richest 1% an average annual tax cut of $214,000 when he takes office, while more than eight million families with children are expected to suffer financially under his proposed tax plan.

On the eve of the election, Trump promised to “massively cut taxes for the middle class, the forgotten people, the forgotten men and women of this country, who built our country”. But independent expert analyses of Trump’s tax plan show that America’s millionaire and billionaire class will win big at the expense of struggling low- and middle-income people, who turned out in large numbers to help the real estate billionaire win the election.

Experts warn that Trump’s tax plan will exacerbate America’s already chronic income inequality and herald in a “new era of dynastic wealth”.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#38
(01-08-2017, 03:04 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 01:08 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-05-2017, 10:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's not really the unearned income treatment that's the issue, though that's part of it.  It's more special loopholes like charitable donation of appreciated assets, that allow you to shelter ordinary income while funneling money into a trust that you control, and the loose regulation of those "charitable" trusts.  I grant that GHWBush was part of the problem, and the Republican establishment generally up until Boehner was metaphorically beheaded.

Everything you list qualifies as unearned income.  I would argue that untaxed inheritance is the most egregious example, but the others are probably just as bad.  In all cases, the GOP has backed eliminating taxes that affect the wealthy, arguing that talking money from rich people makes them less likely to hire the idiots that will now be paying their taxes.  It's never been true, but fear is a great motivator and a winning argument ... so far.

Just because the problems are concentrated in some types of unearned income does not mean that all unearned income is problematic.

I'm in favor of any inheritance tax that will tax all of Buffett's estate at the maximum rate when he dies.  I just don't think that's going to happen, for the reasons I've already mentioned.  And all the tax increases pushed by the Democrats would leave him untouched, thus not actually taxing the rich.

The people the Republicans are trying to cut taxes on are really the middle class, including the affluent portions of the middle class, up to those about 10,000 times poorer than Buffett.  To me, that's the wrong target.  We need to hit the guys at the top.

-- even Warren agrees with you on that
Heart  Bernie/Tulsi 2020    Heart
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#39
(01-08-2017, 03:04 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I'm in favor of any inheritance tax that will tax all of Buffett's estate at the maximum rate when he dies.  I just don't think that's going to happen, for the reasons I've already mentioned.  And all the tax increases pushed by the Democrats would leave him untouched, thus not actually taxing the rich.

First, selective taxation is unconstitutional (see the equal protection clause).  Second, Buffet will not be passing anything along to anyone; his children are fully onboard for this.  He will pass it back to society through the Gates Foundation or through a charity of his own.

Warren Dew Wrote:The people the Republicans are trying to cut taxes on are really the middle class, including the affluent portions of the middle class, up to those about 10,000 times poorer than Buffett.  To me, that's the wrong target.  We need to hit the guys at the top.

Based on what misreading of the Trump, or the Ryan, tax plan?  This isn't even open to argument.  It's been analyzed by the Tax Policy Center this way.  Feel free to read the entire report, but the Abstract hits the high (low?) notes.[/quote]
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#40
(01-15-2017, 11:10 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 03:04 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I'm in favor of any inheritance tax that will tax all of Buffett's estate at the maximum rate when he dies.  I just don't think that's going to happen, for the reasons I've already mentioned.  And all the tax increases pushed by the Democrats would leave him untouched, thus not actually taxing the rich.

First, selective taxation is unconstitutional (see the equal protection clause).  Second, Buffet will not be passing anything along to anyone; his children are fully onboard for this.  He will pass it back to society through the Gates Foundation or through a charity of his own.

If selective taxation is unconstitutional, how are there different tax brackets for different people?  You might want to rethink your opinion that billionaires' not being taxed is constitutionally protected.

Secondly, putting the money into the Gates Foundation or a similar supposed "charity" is in no way passing it back to society.  The Gates Foundation, for example, acts primarily as a foreign aid arm of Microsoft, for example doling out money to the interests of key Indian politicians to prevent India switching from Windows to Linux.  Buffett's kids are fine with it because they will still control the money in any foundation he establishes.

And even if it were real charity, why wouldn't it be subject to the same 50% limitation that the rest of us have on our charitable contributions requiring us to pay taxes on as much income as we donate?  Oh right, because billionaires can buy tax laws from Democrats that leave their wealth entirely untouched.

Quote:
Warren Dew Wrote:The people the Republicans are trying to cut taxes on are really the middle class, including the affluent portions of the middle class, up to those about 10,000 times poorer than Buffett.  To me, that's the wrong target.  We need to hit the guys at the top.

Based on what misreading of the Trump, or the Ryan, tax plan?  This isn't even open to argument.  It's been analyzed by the Tax Policy Center this way.  Feel free to read the entire report, but the Abstract hits the high (low?) notes.

The report confirms my statement:  increased standard deductions and the limitation on itemized deductions, for example, are clear benefits for the middle class that hurt the rich.

The only thing that supposedly helps the "rich" is based on an unsupported assumption on the part of the report writers that half of all high salary earners will switch to running small businesses because it will reduce the tax rate on money that they're then not allowed to spend.  I find this assumption highly questionable since doing so will increase the tax rate on money they actually are allowed to spend.

And it doesn't help the real rich - the multibillionaires like Buffett - at all.
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