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    • Sorry apm, this just made me immediately remember this clip

      I don't need to wonder what he would say.. lol Oh and please disregard the FB and Tweet ad's it's not my video.

    • Of all the economic theories, I think Bill Clinton's was the simplest: 50% of the tax revenue comes from the 1% and they are the only ones who can afford a tax hike. Raising their rates by even 3% makes an enormous difference and can produce a budget surplus (his administration did).

      The unintuitive thing is it benefits the rich, because then we can afford such things as paying teachers a wage high enough so they can purchase what the rich sell.

      Unfortunately, tax law in the U.S. follows the golden rule: those with the gold make the rule.

      Here's a fascinating perspective:

    • No apologies @Dracula .

      George Carlin is quite observant about the distraction game.

      In the distraction game, you don’t notice that hedge fund managers pay ridiculously low tax rates on their earnings due to tax loop holes passed specifically for their benefit.

      Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund Mr. Simons founded and which Mr. Mercer helps run, is currently under review by the I.R.S. over a loophole that saved their fund an estimated $6.8 billion in taxes over roughly a decade, according to a Senate investigation.

    • The United States was the first country in the world, in 1917 — four years after the creation of the income tax — to impose tax rates as high as 67 percent on the highest incomes.

      Raise your hand if you knew that.

      I did not.

      Apparently, neither did Michael Dell ⬇️

    • You make it sound as if there is still hope, and it is over here where social progress should be happening. That's really very nice! And might make sense if perhaps youth of a nation could be something helpful when compared to stuck up, centuries old cultures. After all, there aren't that many castles here either, only banks.

    • You make it sound as if there is still hope

      Politics is the art of the possible. You have your dreams and then you negotiate for the best possible outcome in that moment in time.

      In this moment, one New York Times article has completely reframed the argument to we need to do this to protect democracy.

      The fact that it is even in the news is a reason for hope.

      But hey, if it makes you feel better this could fade into oblivion as soon as something more shiny catches the attention of the news media.


    • I think in the end it's all up to the people to get involved, and if the result reflects society's identity, then, well, so be it?! I am a bit intrigued by Swiss democracy though.

    • I am not an expert and so can offer this as a start to understanding it.

      Most western countries have representative systems.[15] Switzerland is a rare example of a country with instruments of direct democracy (at the levels of the municipalities, cantons, and federal state). Citizens have more power than in a representative democracy. On any political level citizens can propose changes to the constitution (popular initiative), or ask for an optional referendum to be held on any law voted by the federalcantonal parliament and/or municipal legislative body.[16]

    • It’s interesting to see how this idea is growing. Now you see more voices coming out with additional ideas that can replace or co-exist with a marginal tax rate.

      Wait for the discussion to turn to taxing stock options and then things will really get interesting.

    • Everyone is throwing out various forms of "eat the rich", but very few actually do the math.

      In my decrepitude and declining years, I’ve learned three things about political discourse:

      I have zero interest in discussing politics with someone from the opposition. Why? Because I’m too old and set in my ways to have the opposition change my mind. And I am incapable of changing theirs.

      I am sometimes interested in discussing a political issue with someone of similar political views. Why? Because the discussion tends to focus on facts and I end up with a more nuanced understanding of the issue and the potential solutions.

      I absolutely love talking about political strategy. It takes a certain level of political agnosticism if the opposition party’s strategy is crushing any chance of the change you hoped for. But I find it fascinating to watch the process whether it was the Koch brother’s orchestrating the rise of the Tea Party and their primarying out of office moderate Republicans, Bernie Sanders changing the conversation on universal healthcare, or AOC seizing the empty news space during the shutdown to gain momentum on both her Green New Deal and marginal tax rate initiatives.

      Whether a politician’s proposal’s math adds up is a completely different topic. (It rarely does.)

    • My conservative friends accuse me of being a "leftist". And my leftist friends accuse me of being a "centrist". If that is any indication.

      The tactical problem with these "eat the rich" proposals is that they won't work which will produce yet another disillusioned generation of potential political participants, and they sideline any conversation about approaches that actually have a chance of working.

      For example, back in the early 90s CEO pay disparity made the headlines enough that a "solution" was enacted. The solution was to disallow the deduction of wages greater then $1 million unless it was tied to performance. The notion was that would arrest the growth of wage disparity between the C-suite and average worker in a company.

      The actual result though was that executives started getting paid much more in options, which promptly appreciated and greatly accelerated income inequality and created the now "infamous" 1%.

      Solutions that could have raised the bottom line, instead of lowering the top line... like addressing access to healthcare (Hillary Clinton proposed universal healthcare in 1993), floundered. And we seem to be doing it yet again.

    • Fascinating, Kylo. What would work? Some would say that the Clinton payroll and income tax rate increases of the 90s helped us achieve a budget surplus and strong economy. I know he reduced capital gains taxes from 28% to 20% as well, which I thought helped create the 1% and probably drove stock compensation.

    • I'm actually the opposite, I really like to hear other viewpoints and it sometimes shifts mine. If it's just angry noise, driven by conspiracies or fear of the other, or uninformed, then I tune out, but I think there are smart people on both sides worth listening to.

      For example, this morning I listened to the debate between Ann Coulter and Bill Maher. They are best of frenemies and see the world completely differently, but they both explain their positions well and seem to want a good outcome for everyday Americans.

      When Maher said walls don't work, she said they work in Israel. Perhaps apples and oranges with our border, but having been on both sides of Israel's wall, I can see the point.

    • Ideas to raise the bottom line will work. For example, perhaps a single worker living wage that varies at the county level across the country (perhaps keep the minimum wage for minors working part time). A UBI tied to the number of people in the household-1 which brings the household income to the family living wage (again calculated at a county level) if at least one person in the household is working full time.

    • Chris, this ties into another thread we were discussing recently, concerning the economics of pay disparities in a capital-intensive world.

      As you know, I support the idea of direct taxation on those that benefit from capital deployment at the expense of labour. As a capitalist at heart this has always troubled me, as if I was displaying somewhat schizophrenic tendencies.

      One way I have rationalised this is to regard the explosion of boardroom pay (and options) as being often a symptom of the increased capital mix in corporate output, compared to labour. The benefits of automation etc. are distributed to the senior management in increasing pay, bonuses and options rather than in increased worker salaries (because the latter group have an increasingly smaller slice of the productivity cake).

      This being said, however, the empirical data I have seem over the last few years suggests that the sheer scale of the redistribution of profits is disproportional to the increasing prominence of capital "in the mix". Yes, capital has become a greater contributor to profits, but not to the scale indicated by the remuneration differences between CEO's and other staff.

      As such, one could almost see CEO pay as an "asset bubble" of sorts. In that context, a higher rates of direct taxation on executive pay is really only taxing income that was not strictly economically "earned" and that was fortunate to have been received at all.

      In this way, and by reference to cold economics, I think I can have my capitalist cake, and eat it too.