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I'm not talking about "benefits" at all. I'm talking about the advantages a person receives from being rich and having customers capable of making him more rich. I'm fully supporting getting rid of SS here because we've clearly shown that we didn't understand how it was supposed to work. We can just bring it to a socialist system where the disabled and elderly are cared for regardless of what they paid into the system and they would push that money back into the hands of the wealthy.You're talking about two different things.
The wealthy SS recipient is not getting a greater benefit from society than anyone else. They are getting the benefits which they paid for just as everyone else does. Those who pay less for future benefits get less. It's all perfectly fair.
As far as the business owner....that's a whole different issue. Perhaps the person you describe doesn't need SS benefits. They'd be on solid financial ground whether those benefits existed or not BUT THEY PAID FOR THOSE BENEFITS....and not by choice I might remind you.
Plenty of people get benefits they didn't pay for. If I were willing to simply not work, I'd be collecting SS now, at the age of 29. Fifty years on SS and I'd be collecting well over what I paid into the system.
Discounting the issue of SS, I have never argued for that. I want to take someone's property (every person in the nation in fact) and hand it to the government to pay the bills of running society. That's how taxes work.If your plan is to take someone's property and hand it to someone else then you are punishing the former for the benefit of the latter.
Again, I'm not arguing for wealth redistribution. I'm arguing for paying off the debt and reducing government spending. Why is this hard to understand?I don't consider all taxes to be a punishment. Taxes are the price we pay for certain necessary and correct government functions. I DO, however, consider tax collections solely for the purposes of wealth redistribution punishment.
Last edited by Porras; 07-06-2011 at 10:49 PM.
All good socialists have villas in Southern France. That's not the point.
All good socialists have villas in Southern France. That's not the point.
All good socialists have villas in Southern France. That's not the point.
The debate over internal improvements ended about 70 years before the New Deal. As part of its interstate commerce function, it has long been recognized that the federal government has a legitimate interest in using tax money to build roads, bridges, ports, etc.
I agree with that partly. I don't think the federal government should be involved in purely intrastate roads and bridges. Only things like the interstate highway system.
First are these prices adjusted for inflation? Using this inflation calculator: Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2011that the cost of the average house has risen from $16,500 in 1960 to $197,000.00 currently (an increases of 1190%),
In 1960 an item purchased at $16,500 would cost today $125,959, with a rate of inflation change of 663.4%.
But when comparing prices of items in the past, there are other considerations that most be made.
The price of housing is dependent on location and while your figures may be a national average, I’d have see a link for that, it is by no means the average in a given location. Choice beach front property here in Florida is probably higher than your average, yet if I look for housing in central Florida they are probably lower than your average. Prime locations, like southern California or San Francisco or the Upper East Side of Manhattan or Aspen Colorado will all have high prices, yet a person can find inexpensive housing in many locations across the country. No, not as little as $16,500 (unless its Detroit or a property in foreclosure), but considering the rate of inflation who would expect to buy a house today for that money? Also, housing today is much larger than it was in the 1960s and includes amenities which a middle class home owner in the 1960s would never dream.
As Thomas Sowell reports in http://townhall.com/columnists/thoma...oor/page/full/ “Despite the statistics that show real wages going downhill over time, somehow Americans are consuming more than ever and have a larger net worth than ever.
As of 1970, for example, only about a third of American homes had both central heating and air conditioning, while more than four-fifths had both in the 1990s. Moreover, the homes themselves were more than one-third larger.
Just over one-fourth of American households had a dishwasher in 1970 but more than half did by the 1990s. Only 34 percent of households had color television in 1970 but 98 percent did in the 1990s.
How could this be, with lower real wages? Were we just going deeper and deeper into debt? Actually the net worth of Americans more than doubled during those same years.”
Besides the inflationary differences, rental housing today is larger and far more energy efficient and better constructed and often include air-conditioning and other amenities not seen in rental units in the 1960s.rent has risen from $90 per mo. to $675 per mo. (an increases of 750%),
Is a car built today the same as a car built in the 1960s? Nope. Cars today are safer and also sold with many features never thought of in the 1960s. From seat belts to air bags to power steering to breaking systems to engineering designs that make today’s cars safer and more efficient then even the luxury cars of the 1960s. Basic air-conditioning and sound systems are for the most part considered a part of the standard package, rather than options that adds to the price of a vehicle.the average automobile has risen from $2,600.00 to $30,000.00 (an increase of 1150%)
Comparing the price of gasoline bought in the 1960s to today’s prices is an apples to fish comparison. Yes, apples to fish, they are not even in the same food group. Since the 1960s there have been a host of additional taxes added to the price of gas and a host of additional regulations that have been added to the cost of extracting and refining oil, along with special additives that increase the costs of producing gasoline that comparing the price of gas in the 1960s to the price today -- and pretending that it is actually an honest comparison is intellectually dishonest.and gasoline has risen from $.25 per gal. to $3.89 per gal (an increase of 1540%)
Yet, as I quote Sowell above, “the net worth of Americans more than doubled during those same years (from 1970 to the 1990s).”but our wages have only risen from $12,000.00 per year to 45,000.00 (an increase of 375%) per year.
Sorry, that is simply false. Let’s look at the FACTS about the poor, since as the media is fond of saying regarding any crisis, those in poverty are the hardest hit.I don’t care how you try to slice it we are losing ground fast; we have less buying power than the average family in 1960.
As reported by Robert Rector here: How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America | The Heritage Foundation
Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago. Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income one-fifth (or quintile) of households equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.”
The footnote for the above claim: “Comparison of the average expenditure per person of the lowest quintile in 2001 with the middle quintile in 1973. Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey: Integrated Diary and Interview Survey Data, 1972-73, Bulletin No. 1992, released in 1979, and U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures in 2001, Report No. 966, April 2003. Figures adjusted for inflation by the personal consumption expenditure index.”
Robert continues with: “The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
- Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
- Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
- Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
- The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
- Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
- Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
- Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
- Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
As a group, America's poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and, in most cases, is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels. Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.
While the poor are generally well nourished, some poor families do experience temporary food shortages. But even this condition is relatively rare; 89 percent of the poor report their families have "enough" food to eat, while only 2 percent say they "often" do not have enough to eat.
Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had sufficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.”
Do you have a source for that claim? And please define what you mean by “average worker” and define who you mean by “the rich.”And on the subject of taxes the average worker pays approximately 23% in taxes while the rich only pay in the neighborhood of 10% in taxes (after all of their tax shelters),
:rolleyes: Please explain how taxing the rich more will help in anyway the majority of Americans? No society benefits itself by punishing some minority group for being members of that minority, especially when that minority happens to be in the best position to aid and strengthen the economy more than others.why should they get to pay a reduced tax burden when they are making the majority or the income – that’s just backwards!!
The “rich” pay the lion’s share of our income tax burden, the top 25% paying around 86% of that burden. 47% of Americans at the lower end pay no income tax at all. The fact that everyone is burdened with other taxes (FICA, state and local and other) is not the fault of the rich, it’s the fault of our government.
Continuing with Sowell’s piece above, “Actually a lot of the point-scoring rhetoric involves misleading statistics. Wages are only part of total compensation -- and increasing proportions of that total compensation is taken in the form of fringe benefits. Total compensation has been going up while average real wages have been going down.
Even the decline of real wages has to be taken with a grain of salt. Real wages are calculated by taking the money wages and adjusting for changes in the consumer price index.
Only an economist can get excited by the consumer price index. Other people's eyes are more likely to glaze over when the term is mentioned. However, an inaccurate consumer price index is part of the reason for the appearance of declining real wages.
When the consumer price index says that inflation is 3 percent a year, it may really be more like 2 percent or 1.5 percent. As anyone who has had to pay off a mortgage knows, a difference of a percentage point can add up to real money over a period of decades.
Economists' estimates of how much the consumer price index exaggerates inflation range from an estimate of one percentage point by former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan to an estimate of 1.5 percent by Michael Boskin, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President.
Even if we take the lower estimate of one percentage point, over a period of 25 years, that under-estimates the real income of the average American by nearly $9,000. In other words, a working couple will have their real income under-estimated by nearly 18 grand, using the consumer price index to correct for inflation.
No wonder the income statistics look so bad, even while the standard of living is rising and Americans have a higher net worth than before. Nothing is easier than to turn reality upside down, especially if you are just trying to score points, instead of getting at the truth.”
Last edited by Mahasattva; 07-07-2011 at 09:10 AM.
“If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” -- Obama
I don't know whether you realize this or not but you have suggested that we allow the folks that are taking our money to decide how much they need. It would be like going to the grocery store and letting them decide not only what will be going into your cupboards but how much you will pay for it.
I'll say this though, you have absolutely nailed the reason that America is in the situation it's in now. It is because we have abdicated responsibilities such as this to our government. We have chosen to elect 'leaders' to provide for us rather than representatives who preserve for us the freedom to lead in our own right.
It MUST NOT be allowed to be someone else's decision how much you or I 'need'. That's our job and our responsibility. When we abdicate that responsibility we place a foot on the road to serfdom at best and slavery at some point.
But you do support taking differing percentages from different people because of a sense of expediency rather than one of equality.
Why does your sense of right and wrong only kick in when homosexuals and minorities are targeted, but you sit idly when the wealthy are targeted?
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)