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Old 02-11-2014, 08:19 PM  
patteeu patteeu is offline
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At War with Economic Reality

The title of this article pins this phenomena on the left, but as we know, there are populists on the conservative side, like petegz28, who fall in this category as well.
The Tyranny of Winter
The Left is at war with economic reality.
By Kevin D. Williamson

The Left is at war with economic reality. The intellectual poverty of the Left — which is also a moral poverty — is evident in the fact that its leaders are much more intensely interested in incomes at the top than those at the bottom. Examples are not difficult to come by: Senator Elizabeth Warren is visibly agitated by Jamie Dimon’s recent raise, the AFL-CIO maintains a website dedicated to executive compensation, Barack Obama avows that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” et cetera ad nauseam. The entire rhetoric of inequality is simply an excuse to rage about incomes at the top, a generation’s worth of progressive shenanigans having failed to do much about those at the bottom.

It is the case that incomes at the top have gone up while those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined in real terms. It is not the case that incomes at the top have gone up because those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined, nor is it the case that incomes in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined because incomes at the top have gone up.
There is a relationship between the two phenomena, but it is not the relationship that progressives imagine it to be.

Neither the American tax code nor other features of our economic policy are notably generous to high-income and high-wealth people by the standards of the developed world. American businesses labor under the highest business income-tax rate in the world and one of the business tax codes most riddled with political favoritism. At 40 percent — compared with an OECD average of 25 percent — our business income-tax rate is nearly double that of Sweden, and more than twice that of Switzerland, which does not tax capital gains. Our top personal income-tax rate is higher than that of New Zealand, which manages to finance an effective national government out of the proceeds, and much higher than that of very competitive countries such as Singapore. Taken together, our tax and entitlement systems are about as redistributive as typical European welfare states. What is unusual about the United States is not that the rich are taxed so lightly but that the middle class is taxed so lightly, at least relative to European practice.

Which is to say, those who endorse policies such as higher taxes on the wealthy as an antidote to income inequality are missing the picture. The American rich are not getting richer because of the American tax code. Income inequality in the United States is increasing. It is also increasing in Sweden. And Norway. And Finland. And the Netherlands. And Canada. And Germany. Pick your European welfare state and throw in Japan, too, and you’ll find much the same story.

Incomes are up at the top, stagnating or down elsewhere — but there is no “because” between those two facts. The cause is what some people call “globalization,” but is rightly called “progress,” which is of course what so-called progressives oppose. Nearly 1 billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty in 20 years. We have not abolished war and disease, but we have made great — what’s that word? — progress. (A sobering fact for foreign-policy thinkers: There are seven ongoing conflicts in the world in which more than 1,000 people a year are killed. One — the second-deadliest — involves Mexican drug cartels, the other six involve Islam.) That progress has been made possible by human cooperation on an unprecedented scale in the form of the integration of worldwide markets and worldwide supply chains. Bigger markets mean bigger opportunities, which means bigger rewards, not just for executives like Mr. Dimon but for line workers at successful firms. Integrated markets mean more competition, too, which puts pressure on wages in rich countries, especially on the wages of less-skilled labor. Thus the divergence in wages.

The Starbucks-vandalism faction of the Left likes to rail against globalization, but to do so is like railing against the fact that it is cold in the winter. Winter is an important part of the natural cycle, but it can be unpleasant — even deadly. It is something that must be prepared for, and instead of Ned Stark to warn us that winter is coming, we had Lyndon Johnson, a vicious and corrupt man who presided over the building of a vicious and corrupt welfare state. There are things we should have done to prepare for the future that is now our present, reforming the education system and our labor practices, among other things. (GM went bankrupt paying its workers half of what their German counterparts make: the worst of both worlds.) But we did not do those things. We can rail against the tyranny of winter, or we can start gathering firewood.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Instead of gathering firewood for the winter (i.e. the inevitable transition to a global economy in which both capital and labor flow internationally), we've been trying to wrap ourselves in blankets to protect our heretofore superior piece of the pie. Now the cold winds are starting to blow and we're not prepared. Meanwhile the left and some populists on the right want to double down on the blankets of protectionism.

We need economic and education policies that help us become more competitive in the world rather than policies that protect us from that competition and temporarily boost our ability to continue consuming.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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Well then, I guess Bush was a protectionist since he protected the steel and softwood industries.Bush, the fake-free-trader did nothing to address high tariffs that protect the sugar and textile industry either; not to mention his list of sanctions he backed and supported. Such as a bill his admin supported that imposed sanctions on countries that weaken labor and environmental regulations. If such Republicans really supported free-trade they'd call on others to deregulate their economies. Instead fake-free-trade Republicans support sanctions on Iran.

We've got too many fake free-trade-govt managed centrally-planned trade-agreements going on by so-called "free-trade" supporters. No politician can be trusted with really supporting free-trade because it's a classical liberal policy that calls for de-centralized govt and institutions. That is, when properly understood. Asking govt to create free trade is like putting a crime syndicate in charge.

Is it really necessary to engage in this rhetorical nonsense?
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Well then, I guess Bush was a protectionist since he protected the steel and softwood industries.Bush, the fake-free-trader did nothing to address high tariffs that protect the sugar and textile industry either; not to mention his list of sanctions he backed and supported. Such as a bill his admin supported that imposed sanctions on countries that weaken labor and environmental regulations. If such Republicans really supported free-trade they'd call on others to deregulate their economies. Instead fake-free-trade Republicans support sanctions on Iran.

We've got too many fake free-trade-govt managed centrally-planned trade-agreements going on by so-called "free-trade" supporters. No politician can be trusted with really supporting free-trade because it's a classical liberal policy that calls for de-centralized govt and institutions. That is, when properly understood. Asking govt to create free trade is like putting a crime syndicate in charge.

Is it really necessary to engage in this rhetorical nonsense?
That made my hair hurt.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Well then, I guess Bush was a protectionist since he protected the steel and softwood industries.Bush, the fake-free-trader did nothing to address high tariffs that protect the sugar and textile industry either; not to mention his list of sanctions he backed and supported. Such as a bill his admin supported that imposed sanctions on countries that weaken labor and environmental regulations. If such Republicans really supported free-trade they'd call on others to deregulate their economies. Instead fake-free-trade Republicans support sanctions on Iran.

We've got too many fake free-trade-govt managed centrally-planned trade-agreements going on by so-called "free-trade" supporters. No politician can be trusted with really supporting free-trade because it's a classical liberal policy that calls for de-centralized govt and institutions. That is, when properly understood. Asking govt to create free trade is like putting a crime syndicate in charge.

Is it really necessary to engage in this rhetorical nonsense?
It's interesting that you see this as a free trade article. I think it's more general than that. This article is a criticism of the status quo, not a specific call for more NAFTA. Reagan and Bush get decent but not great grades for their tax policy work, but neither of them really succeeded even in that area. Our country needs a major transformation from a consumption-based economy with endless attempts to keep it chugging along by priming the demand pump into a production economy where tax, regulatory, trade agreement, infrastructure, energy and education policies all focus on attracting business and enabling it to compete with foreign production.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:57 PM   #6
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Im out. I use firewood for a high % of my heat.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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The left has lost the argument on the economy. Obama, Pelosi, Reid have solidified the progressive POV into eternal darkness.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It's interesting that you see this as a free trade article. I think it's more general than that. This article is a criticism of the status quo, not a specific call for more NAFTA. Reagan and Bush get decent but not great grades for their tax policy work, but neither of them really succeeded even in that area. Our country needs a major transformation from a consumption-based economy with endless attempts to keep it chugging along by priming the demand pump into a production economy where tax, regulatory, trade agreement, infrastructure, energy and education policies all focus on attracting business and enabling it to compete with foreign production.
Well, I put my post after your second one because I was responding to your point about protectionists. Not the original post. Just a fyi.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
The left has lost the argument on the economy. Obama, Pelosi, Reid have solidified the progressive POV into eternal darkness.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:28 AM   #10
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Well that was a worthless article full of Rhetoric with no content or explanations for assertions made from cherry picked data.

And easily debunked.

Numerous studies have linked tax rates to income inequality.

Here is a 65 year study:

Quote:
Analysis of six decades of data found that top tax rates "have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth." However, the study found that reductions of capital gains taxes and top marginal rate taxes have led to greater income inequality
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...-finds/262438/

Article Fail.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:01 AM   #11
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It's in the Communists best interest to be a war with economic reality because their 'real war' is with 'free market capitalism.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:05 AM   #12
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Here comes the cut and paste maestro.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
full of Rhetoric with no content or explanations for assertions made from cherry picked data.

And easily debunked.
You have just described YOUR Progressive/Marxist Dem Party on just about every economic,environmental,foreign policy and domestic issues
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:08 AM   #14
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You have just described YOUR Progressive/Marxist Dem Party on just about every economic,environmental,foreign policy and domestic issues
With cut and pasted assertions of others, full of fallacies and myths using self -serving charts and lying with figures. All because they were taught it in college by Keynesian and/or Marxist profs.

As if a link is proof.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chiefshrink View Post
You have just described YOUR Progressive/Marxist Dem Party on just about every economic,environmental,foreign policy and domestic issues
Great rebuttal. Loads of data in there to so me how true that is.
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