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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. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    If anything I think politicians should be paid more, the less incentive they have to take bribes, kickbacks or just see politics as a way into the private sector or a way to promote own or buddies businesses the better.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Because once you have a lot of money, you don't want anymore? Heh, I've never seen a rich guy who didn't want to be richer. And I've never seen a middlingly wealthy guy who didn't want more money either. But I have seen a few 'poor' people who seemed quite content.
     
  3. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    On the one hand you are correct in that part of making some civil servants less corrupt (not elected officials but police and staff of various departments) is to pay them more directly. So they will not look to bribes to compensate for a merger income.

    That said 6 figures is a huge salary compared to what many get. Political officials often work far harder than they are given credit for, but it is a large salary.

    In any case one of the things to worry about now isn't just bribes paid directly to the political figure but, at least in the USA, payments to campaign accounts which then help keep said figure in office.
     
  4. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Sorry Gaear, i'll try to make my posts more eye friendly in the future :)

    Well rg58, I gave some of the sources for polls and the data I had to support my position. If you're gonna call bs on that please give counter polls/data please. Especially for the public opinion part, because I haven't seen a single poll that said that differently than the ones I provided. Not saying they don't exist, but i'm gonna have to see it to see your refutation as valid. And Obama's support doesn't have anything to do with my point of view though, i'm none too impressed with him myself.

    I would try to look them up myself, but my internet at the moment is rrreeeaallllyyy slow, giving me less access to the information I want to present than I would like at the moment. Here I was, making this account to ask a question about PS:T, and I get caught up in a political debate :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I think just about every person would like to be better off financially given the choice. I think the reason why people with less seem more content with what they have may come down to resignation of their lot in life than actual satisfaction. If you're poor because you only have a high school diploma, never went to a trade school, and never attended college, then your employment opportunities are extremely limited. Such people have no realistic hope for making a lot of money, and I assume quite a few of them are aware of that.
     
  6. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Damedog, that's the allure of the Boards of Magic!

    To address your ideas, I'll just make a few points:

    1: You rail against injustice and inequity. Fair enough -- it's sucky and it does cause a lot of troubles. It is also inevitable. No system of social organization (including the complete ABSENCE of social order) has ever managed to create a purely perfect, harmonious society wherein everyone is 100% equal in all ways.

    That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to address inequality and deal wi th it, but it does mean that we must do so intelligently and fairly. it also means that our "cure" for inequality and such things isn't worse than the disease itself.

    2: Wealthy people are no more inherently evil than poor people. The idea that they should be forced to share all of their private property is silly. Despite the blatherings of philosophers, there is no realistic way to form a society without some sense of private ownership of property. Now, there also must be a sense of community responsibility, and that's where taxes come in, as well as altruism, but when you push people too far in that regard, they tend to push back in an effort to keep their property.

    3: The communists tried to fix this with communal ownership, but it just plain didn't work. It can't. Redistributing wealth that heavy handedly and drastically causes more problems than it solves.
     
  7. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I'd argue that that that actually never happened. In practice, communism was a form of oligarchy. The average worker in Moscow didn't control the factory s/he worked in any more than their counterparts in Bonn, Paris or New Jersey. Heck, I'd say Scandinavian countries were a lot closer to what what communism should have been than communist ones ;) . That's one of the big ironies of communist states - in many ways, it was actually less egalitarian than many Western societies at the time. Whether that arouse by accident, logic, or design is another topic.

    Ultimately, we need to be aware that we are speaking of degrees. No one would argue the rich should shoulder no tax burden for their state, and today no one argues they need to give everything. Most people agree that since they have a larger part of the country's wealth, they should shoulder a larger part of its bills. The question is, how much exactly? Personally, I think rescinding the 2001/2003 tax cuts (fully, not just on the rich) would be necessary if the US wants a realistic chance towards balancing its budget. Yes, spending cuts may also be necessary - right now, the difference is enough for both - but the chance you could pass that much in cuts is much lower, and the negative impact might actually be higher.
     
  8. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Fair enough LKD, I realize I do come off a little more intense than I would like to in my defense of the middle and lower classes against the elites. I actually don't like the idea of people having to give away their earned money, and that's why I made that long post a page or two ago about the ways in which wealth should be seen as not being earned through the legitimate abilities of the owner.

    Things like tax havens, compound interest (making money off of money itself), mega bonuses for CEO's of companies, especially banks, where they do not act in the long term interests of the company itself but instead engage in short sighted, risky profiteering at the expense of their clients (one of the causes of the financial crises if you read the government report), and other things that create great riches but do NOT have to do with any positive contribution or productive thing that the recipient has done for society is what really bothers me.

    Especially when these very same people ship thousands and thousands of jobs to other places, abusing the economically vulnerable, at home with lost jobs and livelihoods, and abroad with atrocious conditions, while creating great riches for themselves. This is the type of wealth i'm talking about that is illegitimate in my eyes, you can get rich off of abuse and off of already being rich. That's why I can't agree with people having the absolute right to ALL (definitely most of course, but not all) of their personal property when you get to that degree of wealth.

    The only problem is, some people DID earn tons of money, through hard work and innovation. And you can't really pick and choose who pays taxes and who doesn't. It's a tough issue to be sure, but I find myself being uncomfortable defending the rights of people who are essentially gaming the system and getting away with it legally and politically, while people suffer because of their actions, even if there are some people who have worked extremely hard and definitely deserve all that they have got.

    I hope that further clarifies my position. Further taxation may not even be the right answer, as LKD pointed out it creates animosity and the people being taxed more often fight it. What needs to be done more than anything in my mind is a cleaning up of the obviously corrupt elements of our political system, so people earning tons of money in the ways I have just described will be stopped by our government and thus the people who are rich are people who have worked for their money and thus deserve it.

    This whole debate reminds me of Aristotle's book Politics. He outlines a bunch of social systems and decides democracy is the best one- the only problem was that the poor masses would rally against the wealthy class. His solution? Make a system that restricts inequality in the first place :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  9. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Others earned very little, for which they worked really hard as well, and they have to pay taxes, too. And some just gambled and earned even more. So what?

    I find the idea that taxation stunts growth, as if that was a law of nature, ludicrous. We had high taxation during our 'economic miracle' and, oh wonder, we had spectacular growth. The US at the same time had also significant growth, under high taxation (to wit: at that time they were a net creditor iirc). This anti-tax fervour that afflicts the Republican party is irrational, and en par with belief in witchcraft.

    What I see is that wealthy people don't like to get taxed and have succeeded through decades of lobbying to gain tax exemptions, loopholes and lower taxes. They just want to not lose that, and they rationalise their self interest by telling everybody that it is bad for them, too. I don't really think that that is more than a ploy.

    People have considerably lost awareness how the government and government spending benefits them, in particular in the US. Well beyond 'welfare' there a lot of goods and services that benefit you, paid for with government money. Most people have stopped thinking of them as related to or from the government. When your children went to public school or even a state university - that's government funded or subsidized, so you received some benefit. If you take a mortgage deduction on your income taxes or drive on a public road, then you've gotten some benefit from government spending. And so forth.
    So what, you will always have such people. That doesn't make them reasonable and/or prudent, let alone right.

    Paedophiles and rapists will tell you that children and women want it too. Tax evaders will tell you that the government doesn't deserve the money for which they worked so hard, or not so hard, and anyway, f*ck the tax code. These are hardly serious or reasonable arguments, and indeed, they are dismissed routinely by courts who send people to jail just for holding these views.

    They all get irate when called on their b*llshit ideas. So what? A lot of people have b*llshit ideas: Children work advocates will tell you that children have a right to earn money and contribute to their families, introducing 'Children's right to work laws' (Children need school when they are so good at knitting carpets? What an odd idea.). Scientology tells people they are a religion and not a for-profit enterprise. The Phelps cult tells people they are a religion and thus tax exempt. So do the 'bling ghospelists'. And so forth.

    Of course a large corporation doesn't want to pay taxes, it after all cuts into profits and that is what shareholders demand. CEOs get paid for that, so it isn't a miracle that they lobby hard for lower taxes, through donating to bodies like the Chamber of Commerce or ALEC, who do the according lobbying work. That does mean that anyone who takes their assertions at face value should treat himself a massive dose of healthy scepticism as a remedy.

    What counts is whether a sensible degree of taxation (to wit: I think that R's indeed do not want to raise sufficient government revenue) is beneficial to the body politic, and not for some narrow special or self interests. Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation. They are a necessity.

    I invite everyone who thinks taxes are too high to outsource himself to Mexico. That is only reasonably, since Monaco's monarch won't naturalise you unless you're "worthy of this favour" (i.e. have some 100 to 150 million). Dubai probably isn't any different in that regard.

    In addition to that, given America's economic situation, every politician - and that's mainly Republicans atm - who says that taxes must not be raised, and that cuts alone will succeed in solving the deficit problem, lies. They know better. America will probably have to raise taxes to pay for all that debt. There probably is no alternative. It's time to understand that and talk about it like adults.

    But hey, there's also the Rick Perry route: Let's lower taxes, submit ourselves to God and trust in in His grace and Him solving the economic crisis (by pre-dating Armageddon?). From all the frauds in the Republican party, he is the most brazen one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  10. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    A lot of the wealthiest people in the USA were born on third base. They have to pay taxes? Oh, well. Hear that sound? It's me playing the world's smallest violin.
     
  11. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    No one is arguing that rich people shouldn't pay taxes. Good god, man, I'm not a moron! But taxes should be fair. To hear some people talk we should just tax the wealthy right to the hilt, to punish them for daring to have more than someone else. That's where I have problems.

    While some progressive tax is logical and fair, you can't just smash people down the socioeconomic ladder in the name of making them pay their "fair share" and expect them to cheerfully take it up the butt "for the sake of the country". Regardless of whether or not you like how they got their money (inheritance, lucky break, investing, whatever) as long as that money was legally obtained it's really none of the business of anyone else how they got it.

    Going back to the unions, I can see their point -- the wealthy hire people to work in their mills and factories and other businesses. They offer to pay those people a certain amount of money. Now I am in favor of people standing up for themselves for a fair wage, decent benefits, and safe working conditions. But some unions seem to think that they can dictate everything to the owners. They lose their sense of balance. Just as the owners in the Industrial Revolution lost thier sense of balance by treating the workers like objects, the unions now treat the owners like inexhaustable moneybags. Times are tight. Owners are going to have to take steps to keep their companies solvent and profitable. That may mean that they will do some things that the unions don't like. Tough titty. They will still have to follow OSHA regs and such. The unions that keep ignoring financial reality are going to have their asses handed to them if they don't start using their heads.
     
    The Great Snook likes this.
  12. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    Perhaps but I often see that "punishing for success" claim simply being used as an excuse to not have a fair share paid.

    In sum it is an exaggeration in service of poor policy.

    Note that isn't what is happening here.

    In some cases, maybe. But certainly not all-including today.


    Keep in mind that here in WI the state unions offered the governor every monetary concession that he wanted-and he still pushed through his subtle attempt to break them.

    That isn't ignoring that times are tough. That is facing a situation where the management (in this case elected) opted not to try to be reasonable.

    And keep in mind some of the same people who want to break unions here in the USA also want to do away with government regulations-now what would that imply for OSHA?
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I don't know if that is a myth or reality. The wealty run things and own a lot of small businesses. The real point is that the economy hires people. Rich people don't give a flip about creating jobs. They know people want to buy stuff from them, so they hire people to fill the demand. Demand is what creates the jobs. 70 percent of the US ecnomy is consumer driven and business only accounts for a small percentage of the overall economy as far as actual spending that creates jobs. Really, they pretty much are concerned with hiring as few people as they can to fill demand.
     
  14. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Ragusa, I said what I said about a government that is less able to be influenced through money might be a better solution at this time, because of the many ways big time companies and wealthy individuals can escape taxation through our tax system. If we just increased taxes for the wealthy, they would just have more incentive to have offshore bank accounts and whatever else they need to do to escape paying their fair share. We need to get money out of politics if we want to have a fair system, period. Most people would agree with me there, but that issue seems to get lost in the many other ones and in my mind it is the pivotal issue if we want to have a government that does not lay at the feet of powerful interests.

    And LKD, I don't believe the rich should bear all of the tax burden, but I get quite frustrated when I see them demanding that we suffer indiscriminately (see the Ryan budget bill and you would know what I meant, 3/4 of cuts are programs for the poor and not a single tax increase to be found) while they find ways to pay virtually no taxes, or get money back from the government. In the 50's we taxed wealth over 250,000 at 90%. 90%!!! The rich still weren't exactly suffering at those levels of taxation, neither were we hurting for jobs. Now it's 35%. Am I advocating going back to those levels? No. But my point of view isn't some radical leftist ideology, despite what Fox News may have to say about it. It worked, and considering where we were in the 50's compared to now, I would say it worked quite well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  15. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Of course, Chandos, that's only good business practice. Business owners don't hire employees out of the goodness of their hearts - -they do it because they need work done. That doesn't make them bad people. And obviously they are going to want workers who can do the job efficiently -- if you can get the job done -- safely and within labour codes -- using 10 good workers, why the hell would you hire 15? You can save the wages of five people. As long as you are not abusing the workers, I see nothing wrong with that.

    The next thing is the whole question of "what is fair"? I mean, lets use an example here. Lets' pretend that Beren is the richest guy here -- he's a lawyer after all, right? ;) He makes $1,000,000 / year. OK, so we all here at SP get together and decide that the fair thing to do is to determine someone who is somewhere in the middle in terms of average income. Let's say its, oh, I don't know, T2Bruno. He makes $100,000 / year. So we decide that do be fair, we will take $900,000 of Beren's money every year and distribute it to all SP account holders who have an income under $100,000, giving each member as much money as it takes to get them up to $100,000 / year.

    That way, Beren makes $100,000, T2 is unchanged, and poor bastards like LKD get a $50,000 boost to their income. Is that "fair"? The hell it is.

    So being fair isn't making everyone equal. Because, let's face it, next year Beren isn't going to work nearly as hard. What's the point? He might as well only make around $100,001 next year for all the good his work will do.

    To me being fair is laying out a set of ground rules that apply to everyone. One of the most basic of thos rules is that if you earn something, it is yours -- the government doesn't have the right to just come in and TAKE your property to a significantly greater degree than it does to anyone else. So sure, they'll help themselves to a portion of your income, but it is fundamentally unfair for them to take a disproportionate amount of someone's $ just because they have obtained some more (through legal means, of course)

    I see that you are pro union, pplr, and I respect that. In this case Walker dealt with them heavy handedly. Obviously there are a number of people who feel that the unions have gotten too powerful and unreasonable, and that they need to be reigned in. If the government is willing to do it to business owners (and they should -- I am for strict yet reasonable pollution laws, as well as such laws on hours of work, working conditions, and child labour) then they should also do it to the unions -- jerk their chain when they get out of hand.

    Sadly, conservatives often deregulate businesses too much, which I agree is problematic.
     
  16. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Of course the US need to get money out of politics. I read that the lobbying group ALEC spent a startling $516.2 million to state-level politics (read: tea party candidates), donated to them by corporate donors, and it is exceedingly likely that they were spend in an effort to advance these donor's interests (to wit: ALEC specialises in model legislation). To assume there is no quid pro quo for such support is ludicrous.

    Texas' Rick perry is the proud recipient of $2,007,440.96 from ALEC. Look at his policies to see what this is rewarding and funding. Perry has made Texas a shining example of conservative governance, winning the race to the bottom. But Texans rejoice, the government that governs least is the government that governs best.

    The failure to tackle this makes politics a travesty. America needs a meaningful campaign finance reform. Which is not going to happen imo.
    First, your argument rests on the questionable assumption that everyone in the US is currently taxed equally and that increasing taxes means 'just increase tax for the wealthy' and that this will tilt that unfairly to their disadvantage. That is not so.

    Compared to the average worker, the wealthy have innumerable ways to evade taxation. Does S-Corporation say anything to you? And then there is accounting. The point is, effectively, they do pay a lot less taxes per dollar earned than you or me already. When I proposed to you to relocate yourself, I was trying to get at something (while also trying to point out to you that said something is unavailable to you).

    Increasing taxes from the very low levels they're at right now, closing loopholes, letting tax breaks expire and removing tax credits will if anything begin to somewhat level the playing field. To do such a thing is to change the status quo, so they oppose it. It's really about narrow self-interest, not about taking from the wealthy and re-distributing it amongst the less capable (Shadows of socialism!).

    Secondly, you say that if higher taxes were enforced on the wealthy more they would just cheat more, maybe 'go Galt'. Hey, when you pay the mob they (maybe) won't beat you up! You propose to ameliorate harmful behaviour by not sanctioning it. A silly idea. The answer is to close the tax loopholes and to collect the tax they currently avoid paying. Giving selfish people who pursue their narrow self-interest at other people's expense a pass is to incentivise rapacious behaviour. What that approach will get you is The Big Wallstreet Casino.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  17. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I agree Ragusa, what I meant to say was that they would just have more incentive to cheat without an accompanying change in the political structure. No meaningful change is going to take place with the way the political game is played right now. I realize they pay way less than they should and sometimes not at all, and indeed that it is about unenlightened self interest. I don't understand how my argument rested on the assumption that the current tax system is fair though, if you've read my earlier posts I most certainly do not believe that at all.
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Wouldn't they cheat without the incentive of the accompanying change in the political structure?

    You argue that it is futile to raise taxes on the wealthy because they would then have an incentive to withdraw their money and cheat and all that. I don't see that futility, and I think you are wrong. But what is worse, the argument you make is really one of surrendering to what I think is a ploy.

    The profit they are out to get may just be, and probably is, incentive enough to cheat, never mind taxation. Look at what happened at Wallstreet Casino. They sure didn't need the incentive of taxation to cheat on (either) their taxes (or their customers).

    If you put out a price, something like a couple million dollars to make, and have people in competition to get it, they will cheat (on taxes, their books and/or their customers) without a referee (success being simply getting away with it). This is about profit maximisation after all. They will display rapacious behaviour. If A-Rod is any indication, you will have a bunch of jerks on steroids when nobody is reigning them in, in that case, the Baseball League which set up and enforces the rules.

    The problem in US politics that I see is that special (and with that I mean primarily corporate) interests are, for all practical purposes, rig the game and change the rules through lobbying - or outright authoring of model legislations as supplied by bodies like ALEC. In the previous analogy it would be A-Rod getting the Baseball League to legalise steroids, and reducing the number of referees to one.

    The extent of and sense of taxation (or regulation) is precisely not about such self interests but about the common good. Individual desires, like not wanting to pay taxes, really aren't all that important in that regard. Why should we respect base desires?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  19. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I recently saw Warren Buffett on TV commenting that the super rich pay about 15 percent in taxes. He said that he and others like him are so pampered by the government that he felt like the "bald eagle."
     
  20. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I think you misunderstand me. What i'm saying is that, not only would it nearly be impossible to increase taxes on the wealthy with them rigging the game, it wouldn't be as an effective strategy as it should because they can, and do, take their money elsewhere and as such, we get less then what the tax code says anyways. Even if we were to fight as hard as we could for a progressive tax system, without changing the way the political game is played as a whole, it wouldn't take long for some corporate financed shill to come and undo the work we have created anyways. There was a Supreme Court decision made last year which puts absolutely no restrictions on the amount that corporations can give to political campaigns.

    We most certainly should rewrite the tax code, make wealthy citizens pay taxes on ALL their assets, increase the capital gains tax to normal income levels, realize that deregulation is complete nonsense and serves only to allow buisness to get away with unethical practices, and repeal the Bush tax cuts and probably increase the taxes more than that. But what i'm saying is, none of that can be done with them rigging the game. Our ideas will simply not be heard from the politicians who, with their millions in corporate dollars, get into office and do what is expected of them for their campaign donors. We mostly have the same outlook here, only I think the whole system needs to be changed. What part do you think is a ploy?
     
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