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moron
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Considering we're at record levels, with no expected changes in the trends in multiple facets, and it's problem that ultimately affects everyone since we all live together, what exactly is the conservative explanation for opposition to trying and addressing this problem?

Seems like low-hanging fruit to broaden their base, and they could market it as Adam Smith Capitalism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfgSEwjAeno

8/12/2014 11:34:19 PM

Dentaldamn
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The majority of poor people don't vote.

8/12/2014 11:45:57 PM

LoneSnark
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They are trying to do something about it. The main source of unjust inequality is cronyism, and the only way to fight that is to cut subsidies, which many republicans tried. It was the Democrats that saved the Export-Import Bank, etc. etc.

Raising taxes won't do anything about unjust inequality, as the super rich living off government favoritism get tax breaks.

8/13/2014 7:38:54 AM

rjrumfel
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First, why don't you tell us what you consider income equality.

8/13/2014 8:15:04 AM

dtownral
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republicans love subsidies as much as any other politician

Quote :
"Raising taxes won't do anything about unjust inequality, as the super rich living off government favoritism get tax breaks."

raise taxes and remove tax breaks, make taxes more progressive

[Edited on August 13, 2014 at 9:56 AM. Reason : .]

8/13/2014 9:55:29 AM

rjrumfel
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^Ok. You've been elected president, and you've got congress in your pocket as well. You've got a checkbook full of blank checks to do what you want.

Tell us to what percentage would you raise taxes, how would you make them more progressive, and what would you do with the extra income? What programs would you enhance or create?

Don't just sit here and say raise taxes on rich people. Tell me what you're going to do when you get the extra revenue. How is raising taxes on the rich going to bring someone flipping burgers at Wendy's into prosperity?

I'm just so sick and tired of hearing that raising taxes is going to be a panacea for all the poor people in this country.

8/13/2014 10:07:52 AM

wdprice3
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education, healthcare, lower tax-burden, food support, shelter support, grants, loans, improved infrastructure, better law enforcement, lower crime rates

I'm sure this list can go on and on and on and on and on

8/13/2014 10:10:18 AM

rjrumfel
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You still haven't told me how throwing more money at any of those topics is going to get the burger flipper making 8-12 an hour to prosperity.

He's obviously already missed the boat on early education. Would you come up with a training program for a more advanced job? Where would he get the time? If he's got a family, flipping burgers might not be his only job, so he won't have time for some free training programs. Or how do we even know its an education problem. Maybe its a motivation problem. Maybe he's just not motivated. We need to throw some tax dollars into a motivation program maybe.

8/13/2014 10:24:21 AM

dtownral
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1. give extra large boot straps to poor people
2. have poor people attach boot straps to their air jordans
3.
4. profit

8/13/2014 10:26:36 AM

wdprice3
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I think you've made some horrible, and fairly narrowing, assumptions in that post, so until you come out of that little hole you've tried to shove this issue into, I'll refrain from replying to you about this issue.

8/13/2014 10:26:56 AM

rjrumfel
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Ok that's just one very small example. Let's zoom out.

Throwing more money at programs that are already in place that aren't working isn't going to solve anything.

I'm not saying not help poor people, which dtownral is implying with his latest post. I'm just saying why lean on "more taxes more taxes no tax breaks no tax breaks" unless we have an intelligent roadmap on how to use more money.

Notice he didn't respond with his plan? Because he can't come up with anything other than "more taxes more taxes no tax breaks no tax breaks."

8/13/2014 10:41:00 AM

wdprice3
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What about increasing tax revenues on the rich and lessening the tax burdens on the middle class? Why does the argument have to be tax rich more and "throw money at ill-functioning programs for the poor"? Why do millionaires and billionaires get to take huge portions of their benefits in the form of stocks and pay a 15% tax rate, while nearly everyone else pays more?

Why can you not consider a situation where said programs are improved? I'm not sure why you can't connect the dots of helping those in need.

Let's go through a few examples:

A poor person, working for minimum wage, or there abouts. They likely have only a HS education, if that. They probably don't have health insurance (well, now they might due to the ACA); live in substandard housing, maybe even get housing support. Maybe they receive nutrition support, maybe not, be suffice to say, they are probably also struggling in this department. Due to their socioeconomic situation, their living arrangements are likely to be in a high crime area. So right now, the taxpayers are likely paying for housing, food stamps, and expending resources on increased law enforcement for these types of living areas; the court system is chock full of people, and the jails are full of them. But this poor person working for minimum wage isn't a criminal, just surrounded by crime. Things aren't looking good.

Say this person gets healthcare due to a government program - they get the care needed. I hope I don't have to connect the dots between improved health and improved economy to you. Say this person is getting food and housing assistance. Say this person gets a grant or loan or some means to get their GED if they don't have it, or to take a night class at a community college. You surely can't say the educating the poor doesn't lead to economic advance. This person gets an education - something vocational, say a nursing degree or mechanical degree or a computer-related degree. This person now gets a better job, they no longer need all or part of the food, housing, or health subsidies.

Let's say this person is living on minimum wage, likely living in a high crime area, has a child. But because this country believes that the poor are unmotivated and unworthy, this person isn't getting subsidies - maybe they fall just outside of those limits. This child grows up around crime. His friends parents are criminals, his friends become criminals. He becomes a criminal - it's the only way he's seen that can actually earn him money to support himself (wrong as it may be). Now, we've just added another burden to society, the rest of the taxpayers. Maybe he hasn't gotten caught and has the smarts to sign up for food, housing, and heathcare subsidies. Now everyone else is paying for this. Then he gets caught, so we are paying cops to patrol his neighborhood, arrest him, send him through the court system, and then house him in jail for years. Lots of money there. Let's say when he gets out, he has a kid with another, likely poor person. The cycle repeats itself. Now, let's go back to the beginning, when that child is born, or even before. What if we help that mother get more education; what if we equip her with the tools and people needed to find a better paying job. A job that will pay her enough to buy food and proper housing. A place where you aren't next door to a drug dealer, a murderer, and a thief. Maybe that kid grows up in a better neighborhood; and the mother now having first hand experience of what an education can do, stays on top of her kid's education. makes sure he gets his HS diploma. Gets a respectable job, maybe takes classes at a community college or even a university. Maybe this kid gets it. He gets an even better job. And the cycle repeats itself.

Or maybe we just wasted a bunch of money on this person and nothing improves. But maybe it works for 1 out of 3 people. Eventually, you will see upward movement of the bottom class. You will see more productive, better employees, so those CEOs now get more for their money. And... shocker... maybe their profits improve because they have better employees, and OMG, the rich stay rich and probably get even richer!

Maybe it's time to experiment with wholesome, well organized, and well maintained programs to help those in need. It won't work for all. But it would work for some. But one thing is clear - what's happening now isn't working. The bottom class is growing. The middle class is shrinking. The upper class is about the same, but getting richer. We're paying more and more to yes, somewhat dysfunctional and wasteful programs. But we aren't seeing enough positive results. Why is that? Yes, some of it is due to the ill-run programs. Some of it is due to healthcare (which improved under ACA, but is not solved). Some of it is due to these programs not doing enough to provide proper food assistance or housing assistance. A lot of it is due to a lack of education and training.

I'm not one to call for higher taxes. I'm not one who thinks the rich should be taxed more just to be taxed more. And I also realize that letting the rich just get richer and doing nothing for everyone else isn't healthy for the population, economy, or governance. The rich getting richer doesn't improve the economy of the country. It doesn't advance society. It doesn't create jobs (rich people don't create jobs - consumer demand creates jobs; give people money to spend and they will, and that creates jobs). Should we "throw" money at dysfunctional programs? No. Should we do nothing and let the rich continue to get richer and leave everyone else behind? No. I don't have an issue with the rich being rich or getting richer. I have a problem with the rich being rich and getting richer at the expense of everyone else getting poorer.

I'm certainly not smart enough to have the solutions. But it is clear that what we have now isn't helping. I'm not sure why you would defend the rich in this case. They aren't helping you out. Instead, we are growing the bottom class and those dependent upon the government. Isn't the whole republican mantra to reduce those dependent on government? And maybe I'm just stupid, but the only what I see how to do that is to provide these people with the programs and money needed to improve their lives - their health, nutrition, education, and living situation. What is your idea to do this?

In full disclosure, I used to think like you, RJ. I used to think that the poor were unmotivated; criminals, parasites. I used to think that if we just cut their funding, then they'd get the idea and find a way to right their own ship. But as I got older, more educated, and paid attention to the issue, something hit me. It become abundantly clear that a growing bottom class was problematic, to everyone. It became clear that not helping these people advance their lives was likely resulting in more wasted money than not helping them. It occurred to me that ignoring the poor was a detriment to my finances. That my tax money had to go to continually broken programs that had good intentions, but bad execution. That my tax money went to support the police having to spend resources in high crime areas, where the poor are concentrated. That my tax money had to be spent on the justice system and prisons, and this cycle of being poor and crime was growing stronger. It then became clear to me that the way to break the cycle is to increase and improve upward economic mobility. I don't know how else the cycle can be broken.

[Edited on August 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM. Reason : .]

8/13/2014 11:00:43 AM

y0willy0
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Quote :
"Notice he didn't respond with his plan? Because he can't come up with anything other than "more taxes more taxes no tax breaks no tax breaks.""


my liberal friends dont math

8/13/2014 11:10:14 AM

dtownral
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rjrumfel isn't on the same level as most other posters on this site, i'd rather let this thread develop more to see if any real conversation gets started by other users. wdprice3 has made an excellent start, if rjrumfel can respond without using a question and y0willy0 can respond with more than one thought per paragraph, i'll participate too.

[Edited on August 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM. Reason : gd autocorrect]

8/13/2014 11:13:06 AM

wdprice3
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add another note:

I guess it's unfortunate to the rich that the bulk of this burden will have to fall on them. No one else has these kinds of resources. And certainly, taxing the rich more won't be the entire financial solution. Charities will have to be involved. Making government more efficient is necessary. Solving ballooning education and health care costs is a must. But it's been shown in the past, that high taxes on the rich and competent programs for those less fortunate lead to a better economy. And the rich even got to stay rich.

8/13/2014 11:33:38 AM

The E Man
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1.As an educator, I know throwing more money at schools would work because it would give school systems a lot more freedom to innovative, hire master teachers who are experts in their field and have programs that use experiential learning.

2.Early education where young peolle are taught by well educated master teachers instead of being babysitter.

3.A housing voucher that replaces all public housing and is paid to everyone. Something like 12k per year.

4.A rehabilitation based prison system that is separated from the prison that handles violent crime.

5.Fast public transportation and expanded cheap high speed rail for interstate travel.

6.Free community college and technical schools

7.im not sure how much tax would be needed but economists could figure that out and they can be adjusted each year. Simplify the tax code as well to eliminate fraud.

8/13/2014 11:41:59 AM

y0willy0
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participation does not equal talking points

"remove tax breaks"

hey what a novel idea youre killing me with such unique insight

8/13/2014 11:43:16 AM

dtownral
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top tax rate should be 72.6739%

8/13/2014 11:46:51 AM

moron
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Quote :
" You've been elected president, and you've got congress in your pocket as well. You've got a checkbook full of blank checks to do what you want.

Tell us to what percentage would you raise taxes, how would you make them more progressive, and what would you do with the extra income? What programs would you enhance or create?

Don't just sit here and say raise taxes on rich people. Tell me what you're going to do when you get the extra revenue. How is raising taxes on the rich going to bring someone flipping burgers at Wendy's into prosperity?

I'm just so sick and tired of hearing that raising taxes is going to be a panacea for all the poor people in this country."


It's more systems-based that raise taxes on A, give to B. The world is not this simple, and taxes don't actually work this way. Wealthy won't pay more than a certain amount of taxes. You can look at effective tax rate for the wealthy throughout history, and it doesn't go above a certain level (http://www.quickanded.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/income_taxes_on_the_richest_400_american_tax_filers.png) . If you look at overall tax receipts per-capita, it's pretty flat no matter what the tax rates actually are.

The problem is not that rich people MAKE more money, is that rich people (and entities) HAVE more money and wealth. Cronyism isn't the cause of this either, it's an effect. Croynism wouldn't be possible if these people didn't already have wealth, and in the absence of cronyism, there's tons of other ways for the wealthy to maintain a monopoly on wealth.

Taxes help reduce inequality (but are not the only way of doing so) not because the government spends this on poor people, but because rich people hate paying taxes, and rather than letting their wealth pool and be taxed, they'd rather spend it, and not be taxed, and it's the spending that stimulates actual growth, creates jobs, and creates opportunity. As long as a person with money can just keep it in investments and bank accounts, where it's making money for that person but not doing much other real productive work, wealth is going to pool, and inequality is going to grow.

It's like sugar. If you take a single cube of sugar, put it in water, it'll take a long time to dissolve. But if you break that cube up into grains, each individual grain has more surface area exposed to the water, and dissolves quickly. Money works better when it's spread out among people, rather than clumped up with a few, and with more "average" people spending money, it increase the chance other more "average" people will be able to make more money.

So the taxes aren't what really help the poor, the taxes are to make people with money have to do a little bit of work with that money. It's to encourage them to spend it or invest it on something, it encourages them to sell that plot of land to someone wanting to build houses or office complexes rather than hoarding it as a store of wealth, it makes them donate it for research instead of just passing all of it down to their children.

So if I were super-president i would:
- raise the top marginal income tax rate (maybe 50% above $3 million)
- make changes to the estate tax (keep the exemption floor, add percentage exempted, increase taxes on non-exempt portion)
- increase taxes on idle property
- capital gains taxes would have to change, but i'm not 100% sure how i'd want to do this
- cap executive compensation to a ratio of average worker pay
- try to enact universal pre-school
- 1 yr of stipends for first-time mothers
- rescind laws that protect specific business models (laws that protect cable companies, laws that ban nuclear in favor of coal, laws protecting the entrenched record/movie companies)-- basically try and reduce the cronyism
Stealing these from Mr E:
- A rehabilitation based prison system that is separated from the prison that handles violent crime.
- Free community college and technical schools

[Edited on August 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM. Reason : ]

8/13/2014 11:52:34 AM

sarijoul
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having a kid has opened my eyes to how insane childcare is treated in this country and how difficult it must be for the working poor. it is insane that we expect both parents to work these days, but we as a society won't help out more with childcare for the kids of those parents. in many cases, this is the deciding factor for whether one ends up working or not. in many countries, some minimum amount of childcare is guaranteed to all. i think this would help a lot with opportunity for many poor parents to work and keep jobs.

8/13/2014 12:17:59 PM

rjrumfel
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Regarding childcare, NC has a pretty decent program, but you have to be pretty destitute to receive vouchers.

We pay 1145/month for our daughter, and she has a classmate whose parents are paying less than a tenth of that, because they are able to get vouchers for the daycare. Not all daycares except vouchers, but this is a pretty good one, so the child hopefully is getting off to a good start.

Right now childcare is the single reason we haven't had another child. We just can't afford two kids in daycare.

[Edited on August 13, 2014 at 12:38 PM. Reason : sadfdd]

8/13/2014 12:37:25 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"it is insane that we expect both parents to work these days"

No such thing is expected, merely the norm. It is impossible to afford all the toys we want nowadays without substantial income. Drop the rat race. One of you should quit and raise your children. They can get a job with flexible house and low pay once the kids are in school. Until then, one car for the family, one bedroom apartment, food-stamps, medicaid, etc etc.

As for the topic of the thread, the first thing we need to do is abolish taxation of those with lower incomes. It doesn't even make sense to me asking them to file tax returns. But insisting on payroll taxes is evil.

[Edited on August 15, 2014 at 1:50 PM. Reason : .,.]

8/15/2014 1:49:08 PM

dtownral
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yeah, toys are why it's expensive

8/15/2014 3:16:27 PM

rjrumfel
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Quote :
"rjrumfel isn't on the same level as most other posters on this site, i'd rather let this thread develop more to see if any real conversation gets started by other users."


You know why I don't go through and post a novella as to what I think? Because no matter what I say, you're going be prejudiced against me, and see me for what you think conservatives are. How many times have you called me a racist, when I've said nothing to make you think I am? How many times have you just assumed I'm racist because I don't like the current status of the sum of our social programs? Shit if I told you I donated money to the NAACP on a monthly basis, you'd just tell me its because I feel guilty for being a racist. I'll never win with you people.

wdprice's explanation is very good, except for maybe that last paragraph where he makes it sound like my thinking is caveman-esque. I think they way I do because I've seen with my own eyes more people who take advantage of all of the social programs out there and choose to do nothing else for themselves.

8/15/2014 3:45:22 PM

dtownral
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I'm not prejudicing you as a conservative, I'm prejudicing you as someone who isn't smart

8/15/2014 3:51:03 PM

rjrumfel
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Can you make it through one page without hurling some type of insult?

8/15/2014 4:01:57 PM

y0willy0
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hes fat he cant help it

8/15/2014 4:04:02 PM

d357r0y3r
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I don't see income inequality as an inherently bad condition.

Imagine it's the year 2,514. The poorest person on earth has a standard of living equivalent to modern day billionaire, but the richest person alive has 1,000,000 times the standard of living of the poorest person.

In this hypothetical scenario, income inequality is much worse than it is today, yet the global standard of living is unquestionably better.

8/15/2014 10:37:23 PM

aaronburro
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Quote :
"1.As an educator, I know throwing more money at schools would work because it would give school systems a lot more freedom to innovative, hire master teachers who are experts in their field and have programs that use experiential learning."

Beautiful, except that is exactly what we have done for the past few decades, throwing more money at schools, and we've seen no improvements whatsoever.

Quote :
"3.A housing voucher that replaces all public housing and is paid to everyone. Something like 12k per year. "

Even better, let's drive up everyone's rent 12k a year, jut for shits and giggles, so that landlords can make more money. This is, after all, one of the key arguments against vouchers for private schools (and it's right, btw)


Quote :
"Shit if I told you I donated money to the NAACP on a monthly basis, you'd just tell me its because I feel guilty for being a racist. I'll never win with you people."

what do you mean you people

8/15/2014 10:57:11 PM

moron
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Quote :
"wdprice's explanation is very good, except for maybe that last paragraph where he makes it sound like my thinking is caveman-esque. I think they way I do because I've seen with my own eyes more people who take advantage of all of the social programs out there and choose to do nothing else for themselves.
"


That's true, there's always going to be people who just would never care to do more than that. These people are functionally no different than lazy middle classers who sponge off their parents their entire life, or people like Paris Hilton who have no worthwhile skills or qualities, but can make a living on their families' name and wealth.

Most politicians couldnt say it in public, but a small part of the entire purpose of the social programs is to support this factor of the human race. We decided a long time ago it's better these people live in their shitty houses drinking beer and playing xbox all day than to be roaming the streets or committing crimes (which would cost more to manage anyway...).

IF you accept that part of society's job is to manage this inevitable portion of any population, the key is then providing real opportunities for everyone else while minimizing "waste" to these elements of the population (this is also the most cost-effective in the long run). But the reality is that you can't just do nothing about these people or they'll rot in the streets (like downtown raleigh...) and/or drag more people down with them.

I'd like to point out too though that in all the states where they've drug tested welfare recipients, less than 1% of people test positive, and the tests overwhelmingly cost more than they save, by large margins. I'd caution against presuming any portion of poor people are scum, in the absence of statistics, and i've never seen a statistic that really demonstrated this about the poor. Scum exists in all levels of society, it's just easy for us middle class, educated people of various privileges to demonize them.

8/15/2014 11:37:06 PM

wdprice3
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Quote :
"I think they way I do because I've seen with my own eyes more people who take advantage of all of the social programs out there and choose to do nothing else for themselves"


We've all seen these people. They are by far in the minority.

8/18/2014 1:56:45 PM

moron
All American
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We've also seen social programs help people do great things. Our current president was once on food stamps as a child, for example.

8/18/2014 2:00:13 PM

StTexan
Veteran
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Last post 2014? Instead of guns or the climate, democrats should focus on topics like this. It’s the economy, stupid.

8/23/2019 12:35:34 AM

LoneSnark
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But there is no fix here. The Democrats aren't going to be willing to eliminate the crony tax-breaks, so all their plan of raising taxes does is make those tax-breaks more valuable to the point that crony capitalists are willing to pay politicians even more to get them. Non-crony businesses without the tax-breaks lose investment and all the nation's entrepreneurial effort goes towards collecting cony tax-breaks. Income inequality gets worse and we all get poorer.

If anything, lowering taxes would help reduce the value of cronyism. But not even the Republicans want to do that anymore.

8/28/2019 9:35:46 AM

dtownral
All American
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the candidates most popular with anyone under 50 are and have been talking about this

8/28/2019 9:53:39 AM

horosho
Veteran
344 Posts
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Quote :
"1.As an educator, I know throwing more money at schools would work because it would give school systems a lot more freedom to innovative, hire master teachers who are experts in their field and have programs that use experiential learning.

2.Early education where young peolle are taught by well educated master teachers instead of being babysitter.

3.A housing voucher that replaces all public housing and is paid to everyone. Something like 12k per year.

4.A rehabilitation based prison system that is separated from the prison that handles violent crime.

5.Fast public transportation and expanded cheap high speed rail for interstate travel.

6.Free community college and technical schools

7.im not sure how much tax would be needed but economists could figure that out and they can be adjusted each year. Simplify the tax code as well to eliminate fraud."

Sounds a lot like the green new deal.

8/28/2019 10:47:20 AM

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