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Old 11-23-2004, 07:13 PM   #31
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I have a real problem with the fact that it's accepted in our world that those who do the least or easiest work (ball player, singer, actor, CEO in office) get millions of dollars a year, while those who do the hardest work (cleaning, cooking, ditch digger, hard laborer) get next to nothing. It's also sad that those who have dangerous work and literally risk their lives, such as police and fire people and the military, are some of the lowest paid careers! Even Steffie Graf and Boris Becker have said this.
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:36 PM   #32
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Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
I don't think celebrities deserve higher taxes than CEOs either. However, IMO, the time put in to get that high level wage in their field (relative to their careers) is seemingly so much lower. I mean a successful doctor (of course depending on the field) IMO puts in more time/ work than a successful basketball player. Yet the successful basketball player will see much more money. I mean NBA basketball players don't work for a few months. Practices last 2-3 hrs a day and they have games that last 2-3 hrs... then they make millions. I knew someone who graduated w/ an accounting degree from U of Chicago, got a job right off in NY with home and moving paid for as well as a salary just edging close to $100,000 a year (to start). However, he had to work 60+ hrs a week. That is my perspective about some aspects of celebrity, while writing the above. People might say, the basketballplayer practiced a lot to get there... but the accountant had to study/ sacrifice time to get to his level as well. Sorry... too much Ron Artest news today.
Yes entertainers or all kinds are very privelaged, but they do work hard. Athletes may only practice X amount of hours and play X amount of games and have X amount of days off, but your best athletes(not all) work out several hours a day, deprive themselves of certain foods in order to maintain, are away from their families most of the year, and bring in A LOT of revenue to the city they play for. Now I'm not justifying their salaries, I'm just saying there are sacrifices and hard work that you are overlooking.

Look the majority of doctors once they've established their practice don't put in near the amount of work and hours than the average employed person, believe me I know. I know doctors who work 2 days a week and make more than my annual salary in a month's time. So it's not just celebrities. Yes there are a few of the rich that work hard(in accordance to our terms) but most of them don't. One of the privelages of being rich is that your money works for you.

There are sides of this coin that your not seeing. The big question still remains are tax cuts during times like these going to help the economy? You've talked a lot about isolated events but I really haven't seen your answer. So far no one has shown me proof, just a bunch of theories. Theories that haven't worked in the past.
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Old 11-23-2004, 09:02 PM   #33
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Since the beginning of time, the top 10% have essentially stepped all over the bottom 90%, shamelessly and without pause.

I agree in part with U2Kitten regarding heavy manual labour jobs, because these are the sorts of careers you are getting no money for, even less respect and you are, every single day, ruining your body with the wear and tear. My parents have family friends who did this type of work since their teenage years - on construction, in mines, and by the age of 45 they had severe arthritis, their backs were so bad they could barely move half the time and they looked twice their age. These are the people who are up at 4 am while the rest of us are asleep, who don't get to sit down except when they have lunch, and so on. It's a real shame and a real insult to workers everywhere that our society justifies paying them 1/50th that an MD gets. Somebody's gotta build your house and mine your ore and pick up your garbage too. There is no shame in hard work.

As for the taxes - I say tax the rich as much as you can. How is it acceptable for our working classes - lower and middle to be carrying the social infrastructure while these people are spending $900 for La Mer body lotion? There used to be a thing called noblesse oblige, it's kind of sad that in the Middle Ages they were more aware of the responsibilities that were inherently present just by being part of the middle class. At least in theory.
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:14 AM   #34
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Re: Re: Re: Can A Conservative Tax Plan Benefit All Social Classes?

Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu


IMO no one truly knows what kind of tax cut (middle class, upper class- defintely not the poorer classes b/c they actually get money/ benefits from the government more than what they give in taxes) actually benefits the US economy as a whole. So many variables can effect the way a specific tax cut may work as well as how governement responds. During the Reagan years, the tax cuts were beneficial IMO (the years where I'm assuming you believe trickle down is "proven" to be a myth), however one has to consider the government spending of the time (which was tons). That is why, Bush and company are making a point to cut spending down for the next couple of years. Do I think that will happen. LOL... I don't have an answer to that.

However, I can't really disagree with this point that you made...



However, that is not always a set case. Just ask General Motors.
It was the government spending in the eighties (and now) which is driving the economy. Most of the current job creation in the US economy is government related. That and consumer debt. The Fed gov has ran up a huge debt keeping the economy running over and the consumers have jumped along using credit card debt (the worse kind, apart from sammy the kneebreaker) and house equity (which isn't the best idea with artifically low interest rates and an unstable housing price boom).

I thought the situation was bad just from the US deficit figures but if look at the figures of the rest of the world you see how potentially bad it is.

The current US deficit is $600 billion annually and within of 5.5 percent of GDP, the US current account deficit represents more than 1 percent of global GDP and absorbs almost two-thirds of the cumulative current account surpluses of the countries which are running a surplus.

The rest of the world is tapped out. There's no capacity to fund the US's continued deficit.

If the dollar crashes, and Stephen Roche, chief economist at Morgan Stanley is rumoured today to have said there's only a 10% chance of avoiding economic "armageddon" (his words, he's normally bullish), the fed may have no option but to pump interest rates to cover government expenditure (they'll need to find the money to pay the bills somehow.) It will be the only way to attract investment. Normally the rest of the world will react and follow suit. This keeps equilibrum in the system, but I just can't see how that will happen this time. The Euro-Zone has almost no growth, they won't blindly let the US lead them into recession. China's banks are carrying around 40% of GDP in bad debt, interest rates or a sharp revaluation of the yuan would topple that system. Japan may match, but I'd reckon they'd fight it, if no one else goes along.

American's are carrying too much personal debt. The housing boom and the consumer led economy of the last few years have left millions of americans in very shaky position. An interest rate rise (and we're talking around at least 2% almost certainly higher over the next 18 months) would destroy consumers spending power and drive millions into bankruptcy.

It's very worrying. The fed may have it all worked out, but for the life of me, I can't see a good ending. The US has never run such large current account deficits and no nation’s deficit has ever been as large in relative terms to the global economy. There has to be a reckoning somewhere, one thing is for sure the dollar will slide. Interest rates and inflation will have to rise. (Inflation is generally a good thing if you are carrying debt, interest isn't)
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:35 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Since the beginning of time, the top 10% have essentially stepped all over the bottom 90%, shamelessly and without pause.

I agree in part with U2Kitten regarding heavy manual labour jobs, because these are the sorts of careers you are getting no money for, even less respect and you are, every single day, ruining your body with the wear and tear. My parents have family friends who did this type of work since their teenage years - on construction, in mines, and by the age of 45 they had severe arthritis, their backs were so bad they could barely move half the time and they looked twice their age. These are the people who are up at 4 am while the rest of us are asleep, who don't get to sit down except when they have lunch, and so on. It's a real shame and a real insult to workers everywhere that our society justifies paying them 1/50th that an MD gets. Somebody's gotta build your house and mine your ore and pick up your garbage too. There is no shame in hard work.

As for the taxes - I say tax the rich as much as you can. How is it acceptable for our working classes - lower and middle to be carrying the social infrastructure while these people are spending $900 for La Mer body lotion? There used to be a thing called noblesse oblige, it's kind of sad that in the Middle Ages they were more aware of the responsibilities that were inherently present just by being part of the middle class. At least in theory.
Excellent post as ususal anitram.

Perhaps one of the changes the US should make is to shift some of the tax burden or employee benefits back to the corporations rather than people. I believe that one of the reasons why universal health care is slow to get going is that the burden will have to be partially carried by corporations - so they lobby against it. I really like the straight price low cost idea of Wal-mart - but am starting to wonder if I should be shopping there after hearing over and over how badly they compensate their employees. Why should they be allowed to do that? Companies have too much flexiblity to be cheap.

I don't love tax increases - but I think that Bush's tax cuts are very irresponsible. We can't continue to elimiate the deficit, deal with the extra expenses of the war on terrorism (9/11 & Iraq) AND cut taxes. What I see happening now is that the federal budget is slashed - so states don't get funds they were getting. The state budgets are slashed - so the local towns don't get the funds they were getting. Then the town budget suffers and education gets hit the most. The towns that are richer override all of the tax requests to guarentee the best for their kids - but the poorer towns don't. Then programs are cut and things become fee based. I know I've harped on this before - by my town implemented a bus fee of $250 per year to kids 7th grade and up. That's a lot of cash to add, and next year I have 2 kids so it will be $500. I would prefer that this stuff would be taken care of for me by my government and not to be nickeled and dimed (or hundred dollar billed.) every step of the way. I also hate the division of prestigious towns and other towns growing larger. The tax burden of the prestigious towns force people with less income to move to other towns and keep rich/poor dividing.

It seems to me that if all of this was done properly at the federal level then our society would benefit better as a whole.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:09 AM   #36
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Yes entertainers or all kinds are very privelaged, but they do work hard. Athletes may only practice X amount of hours and play X amount of games and have X amount of days off, but your best athletes(not all) work out several hours a day, deprive themselves of certain foods in order to maintain, are away from their families most of the year, and bring in A LOT of revenue to the city they play for. Now I'm not justifying their salaries, I'm just saying there are sacrifices and hard work that you are overlooking.

Look the majority of doctors once they've established their practice don't put in near the amount of work and hours than the average employed person, believe me I know. I know doctors who work 2 days a week and make more than my annual salary in a month's time. So it's not just celebrities. Yes there are a few of the rich that work hard(in accordance to our terms) but most of them don't. One of the privelages of being rich is that your money works for you.

The whole athletes and celebrity thing was a side point and I was going by the somewhat successful athletes to for instance the somewhat successful accountant... not the super successful athletes. IMO a guy like Jordan worked his ass off but then I dunno, I think about how much he made over his career and even now (several hundreds of milliions) and compare it to that of a successful doctor (who might have had easy later on but whose salary doesn't compare to Jordan's), i scratch my head. Residency, mcats, med-school are all a bitch and IMO not many doctors don't go through that hell. Again, a lot of successful athletes coast on talent... IMO a doctor who coasts on talent... I dunno about that. But like I've mentioned before, that doesn't mean I want them to be taxed more.

Quote:
There are sides of this coin that your not seeing. The big question still remains are tax cuts during times like these going to help the economy? You've talked a lot about isolated events but I really haven't seen your answer. So far no one has shown me proof, just a bunch of theories. Theories that haven't worked in the past.
Are you referring to me when you say that I don't see two sides of the coin? B/C my main point when I sidetracked myself with the class issue was that a lot of the ideas behind tax cuts and tax hikes are theoretical as well as the idea of what benefits the US economy. In referring to theories that haven't worked in the past concerning "trickle down," haven't been carried out in full to be labeled a failure of a theory. Again IMO depends on several variables at the time IMO or this is what I get when I read about that stuff.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:23 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Since the beginning of time, the top 10% have essentially stepped all over the bottom 90%, shamelessly and without pause.

I agree in part with U2Kitten regarding heavy manual labour jobs, because these are the sorts of careers you are getting no money for, even less respect and you are, every single day, ruining your body with the wear and tear. My parents have family friends who did this type of work since their teenage years - on construction, in mines, and by the age of 45 they had severe arthritis, their backs were so bad they could barely move half the time and they looked twice their age. These are the people who are up at 4 am while the rest of us are asleep, who don't get to sit down except when they have lunch, and so on. It's a real shame and a real insult to workers everywhere that our society justifies paying them 1/50th that an MD gets. Somebody's gotta build your house and mine your ore and pick up your garbage too. There is no shame in hard work.
Look that is what the job market is. Manual labor, construction, garbage collecting, etc... important jobs, but jobs no one really cares for and generally low skill jobs. IMO its a cultural blame thing and nothing else.

Quote:
As for the taxes - I say tax the rich as much as you can. How is it acceptable for our working classes - lower and middle to be carrying the social infrastructure while these people are spending $900 for La Mer body lotion? There used to be a thing called noblesse oblige, it's kind of sad that in the Middle Ages they were more aware of the responsibilities that were inherently present just by being part of the middle class. At least in theory.
Wow... penalize success... that never sounds to good to me and I'm poor to boot. So where does the line start or who do we classify as rich? There are no doubts that there are rich people who like Theresa Heinz Kerry or Arriana Huffington or Michael Eisner, work the system... something probably needs to be done about that but to just say we need to tax the rich b/c they are generally more successful or have money than me or us poorer folks... I'm not comfortable with.

That is why I'm not all on the raise taxes on the rich or the rich should pay more than 40% in income taxes... even on celebrities.

I find it more acceptable for the wealthy to spend $900 on body lotion than a poor person spending their tax refund check on nice rims, flashy clothes, or snazzy TVs and junk.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:39 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu


Look that is what the job market is. Manual labor, construction, garbage collecting, etc... important jobs, but jobs no one really cares for and generally low skill jobs. IMO its a cultural blame thing and nothing else.
Yes it is a cultural thing, but it's always been wrong. It's just sad. And now, the jobs (at least in my area of VA) are paying less because of 2 factors:

instead of hiring steady workers with raises and benefits, many construction sites are hiring 'under the table' temp workers such as boys under 18 and illegal aliens. They never put anything on paper, they just hand them the cash and send them on their way. This hurts the long term job prospects others used to hold.

In MANY places around me, the jobs are being filled by illegals from Mexico and Guatemala who are paid $2 an hour, sometimes even less! (remember the gas station?) I have seen this a lot. Because they are illegal, they cannot complain about unfair labor practices. I have seen these guys traveling by van (usually with NC plates, we're about 20 miles from the state line) I see them at the laudrymat, and waiting for each other along the road. Apparently, they live in large groups together in some beat up shack or trailer somewhere (it takes at least a dozen with their wages to even find a cheap place to live around here) and travel in the van to their jobs. This hurts them, because they will never be able to advance. It hurts our local ecomony and job market, because these jobs that used to be steady halfway decent paying jobs with benefits are now gone. The only person who profits is the owner of the company. It's getting worse.



Quote:
Wow... penalize success... that never sounds to good to me and I'm poor to boot.
Yeah, me too. I'm poor, but I think it's stupid and wrong to penalize success. Besides, the rich ruthless businessmen you all hate so much WILL get their money back, one way or the other. If they are taxed to death, they will simply cut jobs and benefits and reduce hours of the workers (or bring in the $2 per hour illegals) to get it back, so more will be hurt in the long run. They are not going to sit there and take it. They will take it out of our hides!
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:06 AM   #39
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Can A Conservative Tax Plan Benefit All Social Classes?

Quote:
Originally posted by popshopper


It was the government spending in the eighties (and now) which is driving the economy. Most of the current job creation in the US economy is government related. That and consumer debt. The Fed gov has ran up a huge debt keeping the economy running over and the consumers have jumped along using credit card debt (the worse kind, apart from sammy the kneebreaker) and house equity (which isn't the best idea with artifically low interest rates and an unstable housing price boom)....

American's are carrying too much personal debt. The housing boom and the consumer led economy of the last few years have left millions of americans in very shaky position. An interest rate rise (and we're talking around at least 2% almost certainly higher over the next 18 months) would destroy consumers spending power and drive millions into bankruptcy.

It's very worrying. The fed may have it all worked out, but for the life of me, I can't see a good ending. The US has never run such large current account deficits and no nation’s deficit has ever been as large in relative terms to the global economy. There has to be a reckoning somewhere, one thing is for sure the dollar will slide. Interest rates and inflation will have to rise. (Inflation is generally a good thing if you are carrying debt, interest isn't)
I thought it was consumer spending that drove the economy during this past recession, or that is what I've read... Again, I'm no economist, but that is what I've read. But then you say two different things here. Government spending during the Bush administration has primarily been the war, his huge tax cut plan, medicare reform, and research... The tax cut plan, is essentially giving people their money back or letting people retain their own money, not spending it on pork or other extraneous bills. So if you're sayin that is government spending, then you believe Bush's tax cuts have helped this economy and created jobs?

The consumer debt is an issue that does seem important but then again its under the assumption that the majority of Americans don't know how to control their finances and sepnding.... I dunno maybe its true... IMO if the economy continues to improve and more jobs continually added, some fears will be lessened but people just don't know for sure, or that is the jist that I get from waht I read. As for the house equity thing... there are no clear signs that the housing bubble is a real bubble that is ready to burst (I hope not). So if that is what you're referring to then again I don't know. But then no one knows for sure either...

The job gains over the past year (which is where Bush is making up for in his job loss records) are not IMO just from government spending. I mean are you talking about government jobs b/c there have been jobs gains in every sector for the past year. Of course some dems want to pin it on being mainly gains in terms of restaurant jobs or really low paying/ close to minimum wage jobs but then does that mean the government spending went to making restaurant jobs.... b/c that is the impression I get when you say associate current jobs gains come to the government.

Quote:
I thought the situation was bad just from the US deficit figures but if look at the figures of the rest of the world you see how potentially bad it is.

The current US deficit is $600 billion annually and within of 5.5 percent of GDP, the US current account deficit represents more than 1 percent of global GDP and absorbs almost two-thirds of the cumulative current account surpluses of the countries which are running a surplus.
Not to say that deficits are a great thing but some economists have said deficit spending may be necessarry in order to help the US economy during times of recession which the US was in. People cry about the deficits, but even Rick Rubin has expressed his approval/ probably necessity of the policy (though he disagrees with where the tax cuts should have gone). Also, did not the tech bubble help contribute to an appearance of budget surplus? Which is why the projected surplus was a little overrated? Also you say the number of 5.5% is bad but Greenspan and others have said it is manageable number. Again it all depends on whether the job creation which is bringing in more tax revenue will help... anything can happen from another tech related boom to LOL peace in the Middle East which may effect the deficit in the positve (as long as they reign in spending and jobs are created). There were moans during the later Reagan years but the US economy was able to get a surplus beyond what Clinton had envisioned. IMO nothing at this point leans strongly to total economic armageddon or economic paradise.

Quote:
The rest of the world is tapped out. There's no capacity to fund the US's continued deficit.

If the dollar crashes, and Stephen Roche, chief economist at Morgan Stanley is rumoured today to have said there's only a 10% chance of avoiding economic "armageddon" (his words, he's normally bullish), the fed may have no option but to pump interest rates to cover government expenditure (they'll need to find the money to pay the bills somehow.) It will be the only way to attract investment. Normally the rest of the world will react and follow suit. This keeps equilibrum in the system, but I just can't see how that will happen this time. The Euro-Zone has almost no growth, they won't blindly let the US lead them into recession. China's banks are carrying around 40% of GDP in bad debt, interest rates or a sharp revaluation of the yuan would topple that system. Japan may match, but I'd reckon they'd fight it, if no one else goes along."
I dunno... like my dad always says... the US is the most stable market and investment in the whole world, so doom and gloom aside, its hard to tell in terms of the world financing the US deficit.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:29 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten


instead of hiring steady workers with raises and benefits, many construction sites are hiring 'under the table' temp workers such as boys under 18 and illegal aliens. They never put anything on paper, they just hand them the cash and send them on their way. This hurts the long term job prospects others used to hold.

In MANY places around me, the jobs are being filled by illegals from Mexico and Guatemala who are paid $2 an hour, sometimes even less! (remember the gas station?) I have seen this a lot. Because they are illegal, they cannot complain about unfair labor practices. I have seen these guys traveling by van (usually with NC plates, we're about 20 miles from the state line) I see them at the laudrymat, and waiting for each other along the road. Apparently, they live in large groups together in some beat up shack or trailer somewhere (it takes at least a dozen with their wages to even find a cheap place to live around here) and travel in the van to their jobs. This hurts them, because they will never be able to advance. It hurts our local ecomony and job market, because these jobs that used to be steady halfway decent paying jobs with benefits are now gone. The only person who profits is the owner of the company. It's getting worse.
Wow, the Mexicans around here get paid minimum wage in cash and live in decent apartments... upper class illegal aliens from Mexico... IMO it probably/ maybe hurts your local job market and economy but is great for your overall economy. At least Mexicans are known to be fairly honest and hard workers... to be honest... as much as it is money thing, its a racial and sterotypical thing.
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Old 11-24-2004, 05:54 PM   #41
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WTF! I should have gotten some sleep before I wrote all this crap...
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:01 PM   #42
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WTF! I should have gotten some sleep before I wrote all this crap...
yes, yes you should.
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Old 11-24-2004, 06:42 PM   #43
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LOL... I stayed up writing a paper and after finishing this morning, I decided to stop by FYM and got caught up with commenting... geez, in my head, everything was cogent, but obviously not as cogent as I had hoped, LOL... grammar errors and such... LOL, I'm not taking back what I said... but geez...
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