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Wisconsin Gov. Walker Threatens To Deploy National Guard Against Unions

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The main thing is that public service unions both negotiate service contracts and contribute funds to those they will be negotiating with. In the private sector that is known as a conflict of interest and is illegal.

    Let's say you belonged to an HOA to which you pay monthly dues. Would you want vendors to be able to give money to you board members and then find out your board members are hiring these vendors for any work they need doing (with your dues money) even though they are charging more than (or in any other way are inferior to) other vendors who would like to do the work?

    Contract negotiations need to be adversarial, and I don't believe they are when the public service unions are influencing with money those they are negotiating with.
     
  2. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Sounds like you've swallowed a couple different bits of disinformation in comment there.

    Sorry if I am repeating some of the things I've said before but here it goes.

    Both arguments circulated a lone time ago in Wisconsin and I'll point out some of the flaws.

    1. The implication FDR was against public unions.... this claim, I think, started with a propaganda guy at the Heritage Foundation and was spread throughout GOP machinery here.

    Problem with it is that it is flat out not true and involves a heavy amount of selective editing.

    Here is a letter of FDR's that was cited.

    Now many of the GOP's spinsters try to claim FDR was against unions with this sentence.: "All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."

    However using this one sentence is very misleading and some very selective editing.

    He was referring to that he did not feel public employees-though unionized-should be able to go on strike and that they shouldn't be able to take taxpayers to court as one may shareholders in a company.

    Note this comment of his with relation to that last point 'It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."'

    Moreover look at what he said about public unions broadly in that very same letter in the paragraph just before the sentence the GOP loves to highlight.

    Here it is.:

    "The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government."

    So the claim FDR was anti-public union is nonsense but that didn't stop conservative propagandists from putting out their share of BS on the topic.


    2. There are several ways to pick apart the complaints the GOP has about public unions and democrats.

    A. It is downright hypocritical considering the relationship the GOP has between companies the government regulates and that members of the GOP are sometimes eager to get their hands on those regulations.

    B. The idea that unions, through Democrats, would control state government and do horrible things regardless of the public interest fails to hold water in Wisconsin because the GOP has been in too many positions of power.

    Here is a summary of the last 8 years of state government the last governor (a Democrat). The 1st 2 years the GOP ran both Houses of the State Legislature, next 4 year years the GOP ran 1 of the Houses of the State Legislature, only in the last 2 years did Democrats hold both Houses of the State Legislature-a situation which was reversed last year.

    So for the *majority* of the time a Democrat was governor and thus unions were supposedly going to run the show the GOP still had its hands on at least one of the major levers of power-putting them in a good position to hold back any outlandish demands put out by unions.

    And this follows the 16 years where the GOP held the Governor's seat in Wisconsin.

    So the idea or implication that union's have been essentially looting the state because of unrestricted power within the state government really just doesn't hold water.

    Now if the GOP is upset that unions give money to Dems and not them there is a weak argument this is part of a shakedown on the part of the GOP (give us money or we'll mess up your group). I don't think that is the case so much as the GOP leadership in this state has little respect for the role of unions in making Wisconsin a good state to live and work in but there you go.

    C. Now if the GOP was really worried about union money in politics then maybe they would get behind campaign finance reform and public funding for elections.

    But it appears some members of the GOP want to fight that.




    Oh and currently the GOP in my state has been trying to overturn standing state law on when redistricting is done so that they can gerrymander the state and make it harder for voters to hold them accountable for their actions.

    Standing practice for redistricting in Wisconsin is that localities map out their internal wards and districts first (as they are the supposedly the closest and have a better understanding of both the geography and location of voters within a region) and then the state government incorporates those wards into its redistricting process so that population shifts can be accounted for.

    The local district and ward making/drawing in mostly done but the work already completed by localities may well have to be thrown out because the GOP has been pushing through a Gerrymandered map ahead of that process (likely before GOP members of the state senate can be recalled in the recall elections they face later this summer).

    So both standing practice and a decent amount of work may be in the process of being junked in my state in order for the GOP to try to hold on to power a little longer.



    Speaking of the recall elections-the GOP is worried about loosing some state senators in districts where those State Senators were elected in 2008 (which was a Democratic friendly election year). So many of these recall elections are taking place in areas the GOP usually feels tend to favor it. It seems 2 of the Democratic candidates in different recall elections against sitting GOP state senators have been cut out of their districts by the GOP maps-with one candidate being cut out by what may be a mere half block.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
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  3. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Why are the pay raises of teachers and such political decisions instead of administrative ones? Seems to me the logical solution would be to give the negotiating role to civil servants instead of elected politicians.
     
  4. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    The current trend in American politics it seems is to give the runners of business as much freedom as possible while restricting the freedoms of the people who work for said businesses. Politicians are desperate to cut social programs (even though the added debt from social security for the next 50 years adds up to about one percent, while I don't even need to speak about the military budget) while keeping the lowest tax rate for the rich in any first world country in the world, and allowing american companies to throw entire sectors of labor into other parts of the world where they can offer slave like conditions. Let's not lie to ourselves, the public sector is the only place where labor has the upper hand. Until cyber school becomes really good, you can't outsource teachers and you can never outsource police. And "big labor" has had nowhere near the impact on our society as big business has had. What sanity is there in refusing to bid down the cost of medicine, when we pay higher prices than any other first world country, while attacking medicare and medicaid? Let's not interfere with the mega rich's ever increasing mega riches and instead steal more from the majority of people who's income gains haven't changed a bit in the last 30 years. Even Warren Buffet stated in a CNN interview (a quick google search will show it) claiming that there is a class war, and the rich are winning. Truer words have never been spoken. And the whole article about the collective bargaining thing helping the budget, you're right, it is going to help for the time being. But so would taxing the rich at even Europe style levels. Or how about the fact that the average mega-corporation pays a lower percentage in taxes than the average american family (http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/corporate/article1149038.ece). Besides, I advise you to look at the way of life the average american had before the advent of unions, and I ask if you if that's the direction you want to go in.
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Of course you are absolutely right. But it is just another way of buying votes, for BOTH sides, regardless.
     
  6. rg58 Gems: 5/31
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    Damedog, read your own article entirely. first they state
    but later on in the article they have to admit that
    Big whoop, they averaged 2.2% less than the rate of 35%. that means that most of them are paying more than 35%. If you have 500 companies averaging 32.8%, with 115 pay less than 20%(39 of those paying less than 10%) than the other 385 are averaging over 37% in taxes. Thats with the 39 paying exactly 10% & the other 76 paying exactly 20%, if they are paying less than the 37% on the other 385 goes even higher.. Explain to me how this is favoring big business again?
     
  7. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Look to the year before at what Exxon paid in taxes :

    Despite what they paid this last year, what is the average for the last two years?

    http://www.oil-price.net/en/articles/How-Exxon-paid-zero-tazes-in-2009.php
     
  8. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    They average less than two percent, with almost a third paying much less than they should. It favors big buisness because of the difference in how much damage a corporation can do by not paying taxes compared to an individual, and the disproportionate aggressiveness of how these laws are enforced. My mother's income taxes were a week late and our house was blown up with letters and phone calls. General Electric paid NO taxes in 2010 and they are so good at avoiding taxes that the Treasury owes THEM money, meanwhile they continue to offshore jobs. Yeah yeah, politicians say something needs to be done about the tax code and whatnot, but in the past 20 years when has our government done anything serious about corporate malfeasance? Never. Why? Because corporate money has undue influence in politics through lobbying and campaign money. A major part of Gov. Walker's campaign money went through the Koch brothers and their companies, does that tell you anything about big business getting unwarranted favors from our government? What about J.P Morgan being Obama's biggest campaign financier, with the government inquiry into the Wall Street Crisis saying it could have been prevented and can happen again, and with nothing serious being done about it. You can hardly make the argument that when money and power is involved in decision making the decision is going to be a purely rational one based in the interests of the majority of people.

    And to add an extra point to the argument about our government being much more aggressive to the less important citizen income tax to the corporate, they don't need to spend countless hours and work to completely rewrite the tax code to take away the loopholes. There's something in the laws called a backstop legislation, which is essentially used as saying even if by some twist of the law you're able to legally do something (like getting away with not paying millions of tax dollars while simultaneously taking away important jobs), you're not allowed to do it, period. It would be as simple as using some type of backstop legislation to curb companies using tax loopholes to get away with way too much, and yet it's not done. At the same time, the government is keen to cut social services that are extremely important to the middle and lower class rather than do something like that to generate revenue, even though the polls say that the majority of americans favor taxing the rich more and cutting the military budget before cutting social services. I haven't seen a poll about corporate taxes, but from what the numbers show now it would be safe to assume that the majority of americans would also be in favor of closing corporate tax loopholes before cutting said social services, and again, it's not done. That's how if favors big business.
     
  9. rg58 Gems: 5/31
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    Actually damedog less than 1/4 pay less (115 of 500 is 23%) which means 77% are overpaying.

    The reason it isn't used is because it would be laughed out of any court of law. What you are describing is basically saying that even if legal the gov't could declare it illegal without actually making it illegal.
    I would like to get an attorneys take on this type of legislation but I don't know if we have any that post on here. Anybody know?
     
  10. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Overpaying compared to the average, yes. It is not surprising when so many are cheating that big and bringing the average down. That doesn't mean the "overpayers" are actually paying more than their legal tax rate.

    Please note that as per the article, the average is the total tax rate. Previously, the article mentioned only the federal tax rate (35%), but doesn't say anything about what they have to pay on the state level. It is a little misleading that way.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    *groan* We've had this exact discussion before - earlier in this thread in fact. Yes, there are a whole lot more unions that give money to Dems that Reps. The problem is, that unions don't do a particularly good job at convincing their members to vote Democrat. I know we've had this discussion before - let me try and find the post.

    Edit: Here it is - last post on page 8 of this topic:

    There is also a bit of a misconception that belonging to a union makes you more likely to vote democrat. It is true that unions tend to support democrats, but they do a rather poor job of convincing their members to do so. In many ways, unions are a huge swing group. 538 has an article with just such a graphical distribution (towards the bottom of the article) of how union membership affects voting patterns, and as you'll see, it's not terribly predictive.

    If you don't feel like reading the whole article, the premise is this: just because you belong to a particular demographic, it is dangerous to cite just one point in predicting voting behavior. That's because no one is just a union member, but they belong to various other demographic groups as well. From the article:

    Quote:
    A union man is a union man, and also a lot of other things: he may be a father and a veteran and Hispanic and a churchgoing Catholic and a resident of Denver— and all of those things will tug in different ways on the choice he will get to make as a voter.

    In fact, there is only one significant demographic that you can look at by itself and predict voting behavior: African-American. Nearly 90% of African Americans vote democrat, and nearly 95% of African Americans who voted in 2008 voted for Obama. As the graphs contained in the article show, even if all other demogrpahics indicated that you would tend to vote Republican - say, for instance, that a voter was 72, wealthy, extremely religious and a veteran who lived in the rural South — he was nevertheless at least 80 percent likely to vote for Mr. Obama if the voter was also black.

    And here's a link to the article referenced.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  12. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Ah, forgive my error there.

    I don't see any reason why it would be laughed at though. If a law was intended for a specific purpose, and is not fulfilling that purpose due to too many exceptions and whatnot, why shouldn't there be a safety net to insure that it's purpose gets fulfilled and the U.S gets what it is due, especially in the wake of a revenue crises?
     
  13. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I think what rg58 is saying is that a law should stand alone -- if the law as written has loopholes, then the law itself should be amended. It is contrary to the rule of law to have a law that basically says "follow the letter of all these laws, and yet if someone does something that violates the spirit of the law, well, we'll just have a 'judgement call' law that lets us enforce the spirit of the law regardless of the letter"

    I'm no lawyer, but even I can see that would be a disaster that would end up being very unevenly implemented.
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yes, but many of those are there on purpose. They don't WANT to take them out, since corporate and industry lobbyists went through all the trouble [and payola] of putting them there in the first place.
     
  15. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Exactly. Tell me, is against the spirit of the law to constantly lobby (aka bribe) your way into getting said loopholes and provisions? Because that's what's done now, and to impose principles that hold a law back from being effective when the opposition (corporations who lobby for deregulation, finance campaigns for favors, and other means of subverting lawful authority) plays without principles is going to get us absolutely nowhere. If you can't win the law game against businesses and their extraordinary legal teams, because said businesses get the politicians elected who they know will work in their interests anyways, one of the only ways to do it is to enforce the goal of legislation rather than the interpretations of specific words to act in whatever interest business sees fit. Granted, there are other ways to solve the problem, like putting a cap on how many total deductions you can have, unless you can prove that the taxation will severely hurt your business. But if you were to claim that, government should be allowed to go through your books to make sure that a) everything you do is legal, and b) you aren't lying about taxes actually causing significant damage to an otherwise moderately successful enterprise.
     
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  16. rg58 Gems: 5/31
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    I see what you are getting at damedog however lobbying isn't illegal(no matter how much a lot of us, myself included, wish it was). If a law is passed that purposely excludes corporation X from certain taxes, you can't just say "oh thats wrong" & ignore that part of the law.

    Aldeth that was a good point & article, I just wished the DoJ believed it. Apparently they are under the belief that without party affiliations that most are to dumb to now who to vote for.nc city must have party affiliations on ballot
    Here is the best part
    She says this about a town that is 63% black! Saying that a black candidate can't get elected without the help of party affiliation in a town were 2/3rds of the voters are black is just silly. What they are worried about is a black republican running.
    Now before anyone assumes this was a dirty republican plot, kinston is overwhelmingly democrat & voted this measure in to, suprise suprise, save money.
    A response from a congressman
    Luckily the courts agreed that the initial ruling was wrong ruling in kinston case overturned
    I don't think the DoJ has a leg to stand on. As noted most local elections dont indicate party affiliation & we haven't had any problems here. We have had mayors that were white, black, native american, male & female.
     
  17. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Rg- so then where is the lever to stop injustice? We all know that buying politicians is wrong and corrupting, and that laws are passed without the public interest in mind. We're going to let the Supreme Court tell us that the right to organize into a union (aka peaceably assemble) is something that can be taken away by those in power at any moment, and we accept that freedom of speech for political protesters can only be done in certain, designated areas (free speech zones), and through all that, we make up a thousand excuses for letting the powerful, whether it be economic or political power (one and the same, really) trample over any idea of justice there is left in our broken system. We let Wall Street and war criminals get away with just about anything they want, and yet we arrest the poor at the drop of a hat, with jails punishing entire blocks for the actions of a single individual, and force them to live in conditions you yourself would go to jail for if you treated an animal that way. It truly depresses me when I see clear, large scale injustices essentially be accepted by the public. Especially when solutions to said problems are easily accomplished if people had the will to do something about it.

    A world where 1% of the population owns 40% of the planet's wealth can not speak about wealth being "earned" at all. There is simply no possible way you can explain how 1% of the world has earned more than 3 BILLION people. And let's not forget that wealth is also inherited, one need not do anything at all to acquire billions of dollars. Why does the child of a wealthy family deserve more than a child born to lower class parents? They will have access to better schools, better tutors, better funds for colleges, less negative life affecting temptations in the environment; which is something I think nobody talks about, your life's direction most likely will be very different if you live in a wealthy, completely safe area with completely safe schools rather than living in places where violence and drugs are shoved in your face every day (most inner cities). What i'm trying to say is that ones place in society is almost never earned. One may move between classes, certainly, but if you look at the actual statistics you are more likely to stay in the class you were born into in the united states more than any other first world country, unless Singapore counts as one which I am not sure of, the correct term for this is called social mobility if you plan to look it up. Nobody deserves to be better off than anybody else from birth, and you can't blame those that make bad choices in their life without looking at the context in which those choices occurred, and then look at the context in which good choices occur. You'll find that what you were born into has a major impact on what you will turn out to be, even if it isn't a 1 to 1 correlation.

    ...I may have drifted a little off topic there, but that is my worldview in a nutshell. I think these arguments can be made much more clear if everybody just says honestly the way that they see things.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 28 minutes and 36 seconds later... ----------

    Oh, and one more thing, even acquired wealth doesn't correlate with actual contribution to society. Casino managers can take home a quarter million dollars a day, which is over 4 times what the average medical researcher makes in a YEAR (roughly 60,000).
     
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  18. rg58 Gems: 5/31
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    Sorry damedog,i'm honestly not trying to insult you, however, you're 18. Thats a great worldview but it has no place in the real world.
    So if my grandfather was smart enough to make a succesful business & leave my family millions of dollars(not me, a hypothetical person) they should have to give it away? No way in hell. You are not entitled to anything that belongs to another. Aren't happy with your place in life? Change it.

    Personal story time, I grew up the 5th of 8 kids(3 older brothers, 1 older sister, 2 younger sisters & 1 younger brother). I was 15 before I ever had an article of clothing that wasn't a hand me down from my brothers. We didn't have a TV until I was 12. Mom took care of us while Dad worked 2 jobs. We never went without food & love. Sure it would have been nice to have all the expensive stuff the rich kids had but we didn't.

    Did it make me dislike them? Sure, at the time. Why? Because I was a kid.

    But as mom & dad always said "don't hate others for what they have, love the things you have".
    My stint in the Army just further inforced that belief & taking personal responsibility for your actions.
    I joined the army because I had the choice between that or jail. Just because you are a poor 17yr old blackman(boy really) it doesn't give you the right to try to take that anger out on a cop. Especially when you are 6' 170lbs & he's 5'8" 150 & 30yrs older.)
    After I got out of the Army,the very first thing I did was look him up & apologise profusely.
    It doesn't matter where you are born, it matters what you make of your life.
    Life is like nature, It's not fair & never will be.
    It doesn't work that way.
    Don't like the way the politicions run things? Help change it be voting in those that you feel will change things.
    Don't be mad/jealous at what others have, enjoy the things that you have earned through your own efforts.

    Me, I would like to see :
    term limits- 2 terms per role(Senator, Representative, VP, Pres)
    Maximum politician salary of $75,000/yr(serving the people should be something you do out of patriotism not to earn wealth)
    No retirement for politicians(serve your terms & go back to civilian life)
    A flat tax(10% fed & 7.5% state)
    Gov't size cut by 25-50%
    Dissolution of the 2 party system, it causes more problems than it cures
    20yr term limits for supreme court judges
    Changes to the drug laws to reduce the prison population(prohibition don't work)
    A balanced budget, a real one. Sure you could borrow money but only on set payback terms(5,10,20 yrs max) not ones where you borrow more & more money every year
    Thats my worldview in a nutshell.
     
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  19. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    It's okay, i'm not insulted. But I would like to direct your attention to something called ad hominem: Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person."

    An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the following form: Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
    Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
    Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
    Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say."

    In other words, my age has no bearing of the validity on the position I support. Nor on my intelligence either, I would say. I've actually been a chronic political studier and researcher since I was 16 (I started out as a conservative, can you believe it?). And i'm not mad or jealous that some people have more than others, I simply know that factually speaking, major income inequality can be provably linked to just about any sort of social problem you can imagine. I can't find the individual graphs on google, so you can read the book The Spirit Level: What more equal societies almost always do better, or you can watch this video (disclaimer, I don't have any ties to this group, they just present the information i'm using now to make my case): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL3qdeKOxVc

    If you're not inclined to do either, what i'm talking about here is that there was a study done over several decades on how unequal distributions of wealth impacted the members of society. The results were quite shocking, even to me. It significantly increases the rates of mental illness, suicide rates, homicide rates, depression, substance abuse, and even things you wouldn't expect like teenage pregnancies.

    It even seems like Citigroup shares my view on the way society is right now. I quote from there notorious memo, available all over the net: "Citigroup Plutonomy Report Part 1
    Oct 16, 2005

    - The World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest.

    The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies - economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.
    - Equity risk premium embedded in "global imbalances" are unwarranted.

    In plutonomies the rich absorb a disproportionate chunk of the economy and have a massive impact on reported aggregate numbers like savings rates, current account deficits, consumption levels, etc.

    This imbalance in inequality expresses itself in the standard scary "global imbalances". We worry less.
    - There is no "average consumer" in a Plutonomy.
    [...]
    Indeed, traditional thinking is likely to have issues with most of it. We will posit that:

    1. the world is dividing into two blocs - the plutonomies, where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few, and the rest.

    Plutonomies have occurred before in sixteenth century Spain, in seventeenth century Holland, the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties in the U.S.

    What are the common drivers of Plutonomy?

    Disruptive technology-driven productivity gains,
    creative financial innovation,
    capitalist-friendly cooperative governments,
    an international dimension of immigrants and
    overseas conquests invigorating wealth creation,
    the rule of law, and
    patenting inventions.

    Often these wealth waves involve great complexity, exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.

    2. We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.

    [...]

    4. In a plutonomy there is no such animal as "the U.S. consumer" or "the UK consumer", or indeed the "Russian consumer".

    There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the "non-rich", the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie. [...] i.e., focus on the "average" consumer are flawed from the start."

    But all in all my friend, we share the same views on how to reign in government corruption. I agree with all your ideas on the incomes and benefits you would give politicians, though I would ban all lobbying and make congress people take the same pay as the average american citizen. How's that for having the peoples interest at heart :D
     
  20. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    I will not claim to have your life experience but I can still see a few things to question anyway (some of you ideas strike as reasonable or at least interesting but others I have some concerns with.

    Saying that all of an inheritance would disappear is an exaggeration. I'm not against having an estate tax that is higher than the current one (which some want to do away with). Even if someone saves up (not even mentioning loopholes some may use) to give to his/her family that is not something they earned. So talking about entitlement or something belonging to other tends to fall on its face here.

    About your personal story, I'm glad you matured and learned to loose your hatred of others. But reasons for having a progressive tax system go beyond envy. Trying to simply a discussion about what rich people have down to envy really fails to heed those other reasons and does them a disservice.

    And, in spite of the fact you were court ordered into it, thank you for your service.


    Yes and no on both points.

    While someone can make something of him(or her)self in the USA the chances are sometimes limited by luck and the person's situation.

    There are still people who sometimes really accomplish things, but that doesn't necessarily work for everyone and in this country social/economic mobility seems to be declining (meaning fewer rather than more people are working their way into a higher income level).

    I agree people should vote. Better yet vote as informed voters (not everyone is).

    Though in my state you have a situation where political figures are trying to make it so you are less likely to have a realistic chance at voting someone out of office thanks to gerrymandering.


    May cause more harm than good, you loose people with an institutional memory of a certain part of government yet still have the same political figures bouncing around-see California.

    Don't really have a problem with this.

    I do with this. If someone is to focus on doing their governmental job years then it wouldn't hurt to have a reasonable pension contribution or something from that where the person doesn't miss out-nothing outlandish but a fair amount towards someone's retirement or pension fund should be made.

    More of a problem with this, I support progressive taxation.

    Huge problem with this. You just though the idea of cutting government out there without even asking what the optimal size of government is. Maybe it is smaller but maybe it is larger (in which case you just caused rather than fixed a problem here).

    This nation started without a 2 party system. It evolved, in part, because it proved to be an efficient way for candidates to give voters a general understanding of what policies they were likely to support or not.

    If you junk the 2 party system then it should be asked what you intend to replace it with. There can be reasonable, function, and so on governments elected with more parties than just 2 but is are these what you are thinking of?
     
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