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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 02-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #16
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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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The world and commerce has been changing for a while now, whether we want to pretend it's happening or it isn't, it is.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:27 AM   #17
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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.
We aren't talking about Lewrockwell here BEP.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:34 AM   #18
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I wasn't referring to Lew Rockwell either. Only an economic ignoramus would think that. There are many others who are advocates of free-market capitalism.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I wasn't referring to Lew Rockwell either. Only an economic ignoramus would think that. There are many others who are advocates of free-market capitalism.
This is where I use the whoosh sound you love so much.

I was making fun of you, not saying anything about Lew. I guess that went over your head.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:46 AM   #20
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You're not in one of these meetings either.
The party explains the event will address how “socialists and communists engage in the day-to-day struggles like the fight to raise the minimum wage or reinstate unemployment insurance while keeping an eye on the long-term vision…”

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Old 02-12-2014, 07:46 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
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:



http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...-finds/262438/

Article Fail.
What was the impact on the lower 80% when cap gains tax was reduced?
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:57 AM   #22
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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.
Hard to take this column seriously when he can't get the basic facts right.

Our statutory rates aren't even close to what the effective rates.

Our tax policy is directly responsible for the disparity in wealth distribution.










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Old 02-12-2014, 08:06 AM   #23
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Hard to take this column seriously when he can't get the basic facts right.

Our statutory rates aren't even close to what the effective rates.
No one said it was. Nice try.

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Our tax policy is directly responsible for the disparity in wealth distribution.
Our tax policy impacts a lot of things. Reform tax policy to achieve some liberal wet dream of greater income equality and the economy will crater. And you still won't have addressed the underlying reasons for stagnant wages at the bottom end.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:09 AM   #24
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What was the impact on the lower 80% when cap gains tax was reduced?
A more volatile stock market and a drop off on longer term investing.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:15 AM   #25
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A more volatile stock market and a drop off on longer term investing.
Lone was saying the when cap gains were reduced it some how impacted the lower classes negatively. I would speculate it had near zero impact. And if it were raised it will have zero positive impact on them as well

I would be interested to see documentation on your claim
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:43 AM   #26
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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?

Painful.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:54 AM   #27
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No one said it was. Nice try.
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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.
It's in your article. The author acts like businesses actually pay a 40% rate. A lie by omission is still a lie.


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Our tax policy impacts a lot of things. Reform tax policy to achieve some liberal wet dream of greater income equality and the economy will crater. And you still won't have addressed the underlying reasons for stagnant wages at the bottom end.
Your unsubstantiated statement about the economy cratering is nonsense. Just because you believe that will happen doesn't mean that's what will happen.

We've covered the reasons for stagnation on the middle and lower ends of the scale ad nauseam in DC. Feigning interest in a discussion about it while posting a completely bullshit op-ed like this is just yet another demonstration of your willful ignorance scthick.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:59 AM   #28
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Lone was saying the when cap gains were reduced it some how impacted the lower classes negatively. I would speculate it had near zero impact. And if it were raised it will have zero positive impact on them as well
Lone thinks Wall Street is the same as Main Street.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:00 AM   #29
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Painful.
What's painful about those facts?
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:02 AM   #30
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It's in your article. The author acts like businesses actually pay a 40% rate. A lie by omission is still a lie.
No he doesn't.

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Your unsubstantiated statement about the economy cratering is nonsense. Just because you believe that will happen doesn't mean that's what will happen.

We've covered the reasons for stagnation on the middle and lower ends of the scale ad nauseam in DC. Feigning interest in a discussion about it while posting a completely bullshit op-ed like this is just yet another demonstration of your willful ignorance scthick.
How high do you need to jack up capital gains tax rates and top marginal income tax rates to achieve the level of income equality you're looking for? How is that going to impact incomes at the bottom end of the scale?
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