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Post 10 Oct 2017, 8:29 am

Right...but the point is if you're really smart why would you go into one of those jobs which are probably much more taxing and definitely pay a lot less than Wall Street. The percentage of Harvard grads that worked in finance dropped from 28% to 17% from 2008 to 2011. Wow! That's progress I guess...

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/ar ... et/253245/
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Post 10 Oct 2017, 10:09 am

some people like finance, some people like building bridges. I must say that I'm more comfortable with the decisions that Brad's friend makes concerning his business then the noble societal impulses of my average friend on Facebook overlaid with a distorted so called democratic process that doesn't respect property rights or individual freedoms. How many people graduating from the University of Venezuela go into Finance? Utopia!

Regarding the majority of tax savings going to higher income people, that makes sense since the majority of taxes are paid by high income people. 1/2 of Americans don't pay income tax at all. The top 10% pay over 70% of the total income taxes in the country, which I'm guessing is a higher % than in Canada or Sweden. The Trump personal tax savings cannot be that great because he's only reducing the top rate by a few %. The magic is in the corporate tax rate savings.
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Post 10 Oct 2017, 11:02 am

We're not Valenzuela. But since 1980 our economic policies have caused a massive transfer of wealth to the top few percent. That is not some kind of immutable fact that cannot be changed. Part of that shift was wealth going to Wall Street from Main Street. I suspect Main Street will get tired of that pretty soon. Well they have...but for whatever reasons they are more (apparently) concerned by social rather than economic changes.

And I'm sure working on Wall Street is funner than most jobs. I like being a lawyer and it's also an ancillary part of the economy. A candidate for governor in California went to school and got a master's degree in engineering. Did he build bridges? No! He worked for a couple of years and then got an MBA and worked for Goldman Sachs. No particular great record there. According to the Wall Street Journal he really was not good at managing money when he eventually was at PIMCO (they said his record was spotty). He only only made $500,000 a month for 3.5 years...

I doubt very much he would have changed careers but for the fact he could make so much money on Wall Street. And he wasnt even good at it. Instead of maybe a good engineer...we get someone who is not good at finance and a ridiculous candidate for governor. Just a particularly egregious example of overcompensation in the financial sector.

Yeah...of course people should have choices. But our economy is way over skewed to the financial side and corporate side and it doesn't have to be way. And it is not good for the economy long term. New technologies drive wealth and neither lawyers or people on Wall Street do that. But we're incentivizing the most talented to go where the most lucrative careers are: Wall Street. And you guys want to cut taxes even more so investors, and corporate management, and Wall Street make even more money.

More of the same.
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Post 10 Oct 2017, 11:37 am

freeman3 wrote:California is going to $15 an hour in a few years.


I read the other day that CA has a poverty rate above 20% and a near-poverty rate of over 20%. This will not help.

As for the government being the problem...we've let business have its way. What's happened? A financialization of the country.


Um, what? So, government has been doing nothing? Huh?

If you only look at CA, you’d see that’s not true: energy mandates, higher taxes, all kinds of regulations on food, etc. California is out of control—and it probably has the highest wealth gaps in the country. Congratulations! If you’re rich, you can live near the coast. If not, get thee to the Inland Empire!

Oh, forgot. The poor *can* live in the tent cities sprouting up all over the State.

Be proud, California! You can be like “Valenzuela” (sic). (Actually, Fernando was a fine, fine pitcher).

Our best and brightest go into...moving money around. The idea that financial jobs should make that much money is kind of absurd. That don't directly create wealth. You want your best people making changes to the world, building bridges, designing buildings, inventing new drugs, building faster computers, building new spaceships. Whatever. We got lots of problems to be fixed, lots of new industries that coujd be created. And we are incentivizing people to work in the financial sector and work in middle management of large companies where they ain't creating squat. Putting your best people in moving money around and figuring how to cut labor costs and buy back stock...is not the way to create societal wealth. Obviously, we need people to move money around and handle stock transactions and be in middle management and CEOs, but it shows serious defects in our economy that those jobs have become so lucrative.


Maybe government should decide what jobs make how much money? What could go wrong there?

Government had nothing to do with this misallocation of societal resources. Sure...it makes sense that the financial sector with 6% of the work force makes 25-30% of the profits of business. They are skimming off the wealth of society, wealth that could easily pay for a decent minimum wage and then some. It's really kind of obscene. Wall Street averaged a $176,000 BONUS PER EMPLOYEE last year. Ridiculous. And you guys are making a big deal over paying someone 30 grand a year.


It’s your Democratic Party that’s been living at the Wall Street trough!
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Post 11 Oct 2017, 1:54 pm

ray
The top 10% pay over 70% of the total income taxes in the country, which I'm guessing is a higher % than in Canada or Sweden.

Why are you guessing? (By the way in Sweden and Canada the tax paid gets people medical care. In the US, medical care for most is either a benefit from employer OR paid for privately.

Federal Income Taxes
U.S. federal income tax brackets range from 10% to 35% for individuals. On the Canadian side, the range is 15% to 29%. In the U.S., the lowest tax bracket bumps to 15% at $8,500 and to 25% at $34,501. The bottom Canadian bracket stays at 15% until $41,544. This is the bulk of the reason that lower-income Canadians are often better off than Americans in an identical tax situation. On the other hand, the IRS taxes the richest Americans at 35% whereas the top federal tax rate in Canada is 29%. Rich Americans, however, have access to many tax deductions that Canada's Alternative Minimum Tax does not allow.
The mortgage interest deduction is touted as being a huge benefit to home-owning Americans, and it is. However, if you make less than $82,000 and do not own a home, you will most likely pay less tax north of the border.


http://www.investopedia.com/financial-e ... z4vEbXSxf3

.
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Post 11 Oct 2017, 2:26 pm

Nick Hanauer is a billioniare American. After earning his philosophy degree from the University of Washington, Hanauer got his business start at the family-owned Pacific Coast Feather Company, where he continues to serve as co-chair and CEO.[2] In the 1980s he co-founded Museum Quality Framing Company, a large West Coast franchise.[3]
In the 1990s Hanauer was an early investor in Amazon.com (where he served as adviser to the board until 2000). He founded gear.com (which eventually merged with Overstock.com) and Avenue A Media (which in 2007, under the new name aQuantive, was acquired by Microsoft for $6.4 billion).[4]
In 2000, Hanauer co-formed the Seattle-based venture capital company, Second Avenue Partners. The company advises and funds early stage companies such as HouseValues,[5] Qliance,[6] and Newsvine.

Here's what he says about the Trump Tax Plan.
The Republican tax plan is a scam—a massive and destructive financial giveaway masquerading as pro-growth tax reform. Which is why our first response must be to demand not one penny of tax cuts for big corporations and rich guys like me. In fact, if I were Benevolent Dictator, I would substantially raise taxes on myself and my wealthy friends. Why? It is the only way to sustainably grow the economy, boost productivity, increase business opportunities, and create more and better jobs.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: That’s crazy talk! For decades, rich guys like me have been selling you tax cuts on the merits of pure economic stimulus. The rich are “job creators,” we’ve told you. The more money and incentives we wealthy few have to invest in creating jobs, the better the economy is for everybody—especially you.
That’s a lie.
There is is simply no empirical evidence nor plausible economic mechanism to support the claim that cutting top tax rates spurs economic growth. When President Bill Clinton hiked taxes, the economy boomed. When President George W. Bush slashed taxes, the economy ultimately collapsed. It wasn’t until after most of the Bush tax cuts expired during the Obama administration that the post-Great Recession recovery started to pick up steam—an ongoing recovery that, as uneven as it has been, has grown into one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history
.
There's more ...
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... omy-215696

I really like the part where he refers to "empirical evidence..."
Its something I wonder if you have when you say ...
Ray
We are saying that many employers will go out of business or not be able to hire them. It's not a big deal for me. It's a big deal for the employer.

Raising the minimum wage is always a boost to the consumer economy.
The great lie that businesses can't exist by paying a living wage is not supoorted by any empirical data anywhere. Its just an oft repeated myth.
And I wonder, gentlemen, why any business that can't exist unless it pays its employees a less than living wage ... should exist. ?
What kind of business model is that?? and why should it be supported?
The people that work for less than a living wage end up costing society and tax payers because its from this working poverty that most crime comes...it this working poverty from which public health problems occur and which ultimately cost the tax payer as these people eventually end up in emergency wars...
Need we go back and cut and paste the stories of Wal-Mart workers on food stamps?
Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistanc
e
https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconn ... b4d059720b
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Post 11 Oct 2017, 3:23 pm

If raising the minimum wage is such a no-brainer, rickyp, why not raise it to $50 an hour? That will surely solve all our financial woes and eliminate economic inequality.

As for Nick Hanauer, who cares what his opinion on macroeconomics is? From his wiki page:

Hanauer is co-founder of The True Patriot Network, a progressive think tank[8] framed upon the ideas he and Eric Liu presented in their 2007 book espousing patriotic progressivism, The True Patriot.[9] Hanauer and his wife, Leslie, co-manage The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation "which focuses on public education and the environment, and additionally supports a variety of progressive causes locally and nationally."[10]

Hanauer is active in the Seattle community and Washington’s public education system. He co-founded the League of Education Voters (LEV), a non-partisan political organization dedicated to improving the quality of public education in Washington. He also serves on the boards of Cascade Land Conservancy, The University of Washington Foundation. Hanauer appeared in the Robert Reich documentary Inequality for All.

In June 2014 Hanauer wrote an op-ed for Politico magazine in which he foresaw pitchforks coming for his "fellow .01%ers" if they did not address the issue of increasing wealth inequality. He noted how it would result in the destruction of the middle class and damage to the wealthy class. He made comparisons to the period preceding the French Revolution in the 18th century.[11]


So, you found a committed progressive who doesn’t like conservative economic plans?

Wow! That’s compelling!
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Post 11 Oct 2017, 3:31 pm

I really like this quote from Ricky's article:

"And it is economic inclusion—the full participation of as many people as possible in as many ways as possible, as innovators, entrepreneurs, workers and robust consumers—that drives both innovation and demand. The more we invest in the American people—in our wages, our education, our health care and our infrastructure—the more dynamic that feedback loop, and thus the faster and more prosperous our economy grows."

And this paragraph:

"The real problem with our economy is that we are concentrating wealth in the hands of people who aren’t spending or investing it, while starving working- and middle-class Americans of the ability to invest in themselves—not to mention sapping the consumer spending power that accounts for 70 percent of GDP. We rich Americans may not all be idle, but these days, much of our money is—and you will not get it flowing back through the economy again by cutting our taxes even further. I already earn about 1,000 times more per hour than the average American, but I couldn’t possibly buy 1,000 times more stuff. I only own so many pairs of pants. My family and I can only eat three meals a day. We enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, but we already own several houses, a private jet and one too many yachts (turns out, the optimal number is two). Cutting our taxes will make us richer, but it won’t incentivize me or my venture capital partners to spend or invest more than we already do. What’s holding us back isn’t a shortage of cash, but rather a shortage of demand—from you."

And this one:

"As for the corporate income tax rate, cut it if you want—but only if those cuts are more than offset by eliminating corporate tax loopholes. As a percentage of federal tax revenue, corporate income taxes already account for only a third of what they did in the 1950s, despite years of record profits. What corporate America needs and deserves is a fairer, simpler, more predictable tax code, not a cheaper one."

And this:

"We should create more tax brackets, not fewer, with substantially higher tax rates on our wealthiest households and our largest inherited estates. As for simplifying the tax code, here’s an idea: Let’s treat all income equally. For example, I’d eliminate the cap of $127,000 on payroll taxes, apply it to all income, and then slash the rate, increasing the spending power of most Americans. Rich people like me make most of our money from dividends and capital gains, and it’s just plain crazy that I pay a lower tax rate on investment income than a truck driver or school teacher pays on their hard-earned wages or a small businessperson pays on her hard-won profits.

And this:

"More importantly, what our economy needs now, at this moment in time, is a massive reinvestment in expanding and enriching the working and middle classes. Tax the rich to put money back in the hands of the American people, and corporations will expand production and payrolls to meet the resulting spike in consumer demand. Tax the rich to invest in roads, transit, bridges, health care, schools and basic research, and America will rebuild the physical and human infrastructure on which innovation and thus our collective prosperity relies."

And finally:

"Today, wealthy corporations and investors already have more money than we know what to do with—literally trillions of dollars of hoarded cash just sitting in U.S. bank accounts doing absolutely nothing—and yes, that includes the several trillion dollars of foreign earnings the Trump administration wants to “repatriate” tax free. The truth is, these “overseas” reserves are largely an accounting trick. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, much of this money is already held in U.S. bank deposits, in U.S. Treasury notes, and in dollar-dominated corporate securities. That’s why the most recent time Congress enacted a foreign earnings “tax holiday,” far from boosting the economy, the biggest corporate beneficiaries actually cut thousands of domestic jobs, choosing instead to funnel their after-tax windfall into (surprise!) stock buybacks and dividends. Every “$1 increase in repatriations was associated with an increase of almost $1 in payouts to shareholders,” Harvard and MIT researchers concluded. Obviously, a tax holiday can’t possibly deliver an economic boost from bringing home dollars that are already here."




Brilliant article. Thanks Ricky for posting it.
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:02 am

rickyp wrote:ray
The top 10% pay over 70% of the total income taxes in the country, which I'm guessing is a higher % than in Canada or Sweden.

Why are you guessing? (By the way in Sweden and Canada the tax paid gets people medical care. In the US, medical care for most is either a benefit from employer OR paid for privately.

Federal Income Taxes
U.S. federal income tax brackets range from 10% to 35% for individuals. On the Canadian side, the range is 15% to 29%. In the U.S., the lowest tax bracket bumps to 15% at $8,500 and to 25% at $34,501. The bottom Canadian bracket stays at 15% until $41,544. This is the bulk of the reason that lower-income Canadians are often better off than Americans in an identical tax situation. On the other hand, the IRS taxes the richest Americans at 35% whereas the top federal tax rate in Canada is 29%. Rich Americans, however, have access to many tax deductions that Canada's Alternative Minimum Tax does not allow.
The mortgage interest deduction is touted as being a huge benefit to home-owning Americans, and it is. However, if you make less than $82,000 and do not own a home, you will most likely pay less tax north of the border.


http://www.investopedia.com/financial-e ... z4vEbXSxf3

.


The statistic I'm quoting is different than the one you are quoting.

The top 10% in the US pay 70% of income taxes. In Canada it is 54%.

http://business.financialpost.com/opini ... -surprised

First, consider the personal income taxes paid by the top 10 per cent of earners — the country’s high-skilled, educated workers including entrepreneurs, business professionals, engineers, doctors and lawyers. According to Statistics Canada data, in 2013 the top 10 per cent earned 35 per cent of Canada’s total income yet paid 54 per cent of federal and provincial income taxes.


So if you are going to cut income taxes, it is bound to favor the wealthy.
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:10 am

Ricky:
Ray
We are saying that many employers will go out of business or not be able to hire them. It's not a big deal for me. It's a big deal for the employer.

Raising the minimum wage is always a boost to the consumer economy.
The great lie that businesses can't exist by paying a living wage is not supoorted by any empirical data anywhere. Its just an oft repeated myth.
And I wonder, gentlemen, why any business that can't exist unless it pays its employees a less than living wage ... should exist. ?
What kind of business model is that?? and why should it be supported?


The reason that the Democrats are out of power in the US federal government and over 30 of the states is because they are so callous to the real interests of businesses and laborers. Those of us who work in those businesses know how tough it is and how disastrous some of these socalled progressive policies can be.
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:48 am

rayjay
The reason that the Democrats are out of power in the US federal government and over 30 of the states is because they are so callous to the real interests of businesses and laborers. Those of us who work in those businesses know how tough it is and how disastrous some of these socalled progressive policies can be


Well the people who most benefit from convoluted tax policies and regulations spend a great deal of money lobbying to get those tax policies and regulations. Then they spend a great deal of money, time and effort convincing people that their self interested moves are going to benefit everyone.

rayjay
The reason that the Democrats are out of power in the US federal government and over 30 of the states is because they are so callous to the real interests of businesses and laborers

Its interesting that you lump business and labour in here, as if their interests intersect.
And yet you don't think a higher minimum wage is in the interests of business, or presumably labour. I'll bet all those people working for less than $15 (42 % of workers) disagree that the raise would be unhelpful.
http://fortune.com/2015/04/13/who-makes-15-per-hour/
Right now the reason that Democrats are out of power is a corrupted and undemocratic electoral system. (and the reason Trump is in power too.)
Example: Gerrymandering in Wisconsin meant that in In November 2012, Democrats won two major statewide elections and a clear majority of the Wisconsin statewide vote for state Assembly candidates, yet won only 39 of the 99 Assembly seats. Not only is there bias, but there are also few competitive Assembly seats. In 2014, Republicans won a clear majority of the statewide Assembly vote, yet gained only three more Assembly seats.

Your electoral system is not responsive to the wishes of the American people. So your appeal to it as a judgement on Democratic policy offerings is BS.
If your governments responded to what working class and middle class Americans wanted ... there would be far more progressive policies in place.
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:49 am

Ricky:
I really like the part where he refers to "empirical evidence..."
Its something I wonder if you have when you say ...
Ray
We are saying that many employers will go out of business or not be able to hire them. It's not a big deal for me. It's a big deal for the employer.

Raising the minimum wage is always a boost to the consumer economy.
The great lie that businesses can't exist by paying a living wage is not supoorted by any empirical data anywhere. Its just an oft repeated myth.


Economists have been arguing about this for decades. To say something like "not supported by any empirical data anywhere" is to show your ignorance. There are economists on both sides of this issue.

https://www.economist.com/news/finance- ... ists-argue

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ronaldhold ... a55619393d
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:50 am

Ricky:
Well the people who most benefit from convoluted tax policies and regulations spend a great deal of money lobbying to get those tax policies and regulations.


I'm not arguing for convoluted tax policies and regulations. You are, whether you know it or not.
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:54 am

Ricky:
Its interesting that you lump business and labour in here, as if their interests intersect.


Precisely right.

I'll bet all those people working for less than $15 (42 % of workers) disagree that the raise would be unhelpful.


A raise would be good. But have you explained to them that they may lose their jobs if the minimum wage increases as a result of automation or businesses going under?
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Post 12 Oct 2017, 6:55 am

Right now the reason that Democrats are out of power is a corrupted and undemocratic electoral system. (and the reason Trump is in power too.)
Example: Gerrymandering in Wisconsin meant that in In November 2012, Democrats won two major statewide elections and a clear majority of the Wisconsin statewide vote for state Assembly candidates, yet won only 39 of the 99 Assembly seats. Not only is there bias, but there are also few competitive Assembly seats. In 2014, Republicans won a clear majority of the statewide Assembly vote, yet gained only three more Assembly seats.


And why do the Republicans control most of the state houses?