Tax powers insufficient to address poverty, say Scottish researchers

Mar 14, 2014 by Grant Hill

Current tax-varying powers possessed by the Scottish Government are insufficient to address inequality in the country, according to research by University of Dundee economists for the major Poverty in Scotland 2014 study published tomorrow.

Dr Carlo Morelli and Dr Paul Seaman have contributed a chapter on "Redistribution & Income Inequality" to the book, the result of a unique collaboration between the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, The Open University in Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University and the Poverty Alliance.

The landmark publication, which calls for to be placed at the heart of the referendum debate, draws together the expertise of academics, anti-poverty campaigners and other experts from across Europe.

It suggests that the proportion of children living in relative poverty after housing costs are deducted is forecast to increase from 19.6 per cent in 2011/12 to 26.2 per cent in 2020, meaning between 50,000 and 100,000 more children will pushed into poverty. In response to these figures, experts have set out principles for a more equitable Scotland, whatever the referendum outcome.

The Dundee state that progressive forms of income taxes that focus on the highest earners can have a marked impact on income across the country. However, they go on to claim that limiting the tax varying powers to only the Standard Variable Rate, as is currently within the powers of the Scottish Government, or the single Scottish rate, as will be the case under the 2012 Scotland Act, will do little to address poverty caused by inequality.

'Our analysis shows that the powers currently possessed by the Scottish Government or proposed will not be sufficiently redistributive to help redress Scotland's entrenched legacy of ,' said Dr Morelli.

'This work demonstrates a clear need to place poverty and income inequality at the centre of the referendum debate. The current approach to poverty and welfare within the UK is failing large sections of the Scottish population and has ensured that Scotland has become one of the most unequal parts of the United Kingdom.'

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Shadow Social Justice Secretary Jackie Baillie will respond to the publication and its implications for the country's constitutional future in front of an invited audience of policy makers, campaigners, business, trade union, faith groups and voluntary sector leaders at an event hosted by The Open University in Scotland.

The debate will also focus on how other regions and nations have sought to tackle poverty within a variety of constitutional settlements and demands for autonomy.

John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said, 'It is vital that all sides in the debate don't just settle the constitutional question but help build the public support and political will needed to create a more equal Scotland wherever powers end up lying. That means making the case for the progressive taxation, universal services, fairer labour market and gender equality that the range of expert contributors to this study make clear are fundamental to a Scotland free of poverty.'

Gerry Mooney, Senior Lecturer at The Open University in Scotland, and an editor and author of the new publication, said, 'The UK Government's 'austerity' and welfare reform measures are having a far reaching and detrimental impact on people and places across Scotland. However, the debate around welfare in Scotland reflects also the distinctive Scottish political landscape and this is reflected in the independence debate where the future of welfare in Scotland has come to occupy centre stage.'

Another of the lead editors John McKendrick, Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, said, 'There is overwhelming evidence of poverty in contemporary Scotland and all projections point toward more, and more intensive, poverty in the years' ahead. It's too easy to make the mistake of blaming poverty on austerity, the economy and the need to reduce the budget deficit. Scotland, and the UK, needs to remain steadfast in its commitment to making the difficult decisions that work toward, rather than undermine, the eradication of .'

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User comments : 121

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OdinsAcolyte
2.6 / 5 (13) Mar 14, 2014
Socialism does not work.
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (11) Mar 14, 2014
You eventually run out of other people's money to plunder.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 14, 2014
"That means making the case for the progressive taxation, universal services, fairer labour market and gender equality that the range of expert contributors to this study make clear are fundamental to a Scotland free of poverty.'"

What BS.
Re-read Adam Smith, or more likely, they never have read Adam Smith. He was Scottish.
Shelgeyr
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 14, 2014
Current tax-varying powers possessed by the Scottish Government are insufficient to address inequality in the country...


The very last thing any government should ever do, before turning its guns onto its own population, is to "attempt to address inequality" through taxation. Bullets are more honest, and in the long term probably less painful.

Sadly, it *isn't* the last thing a government will do. Oh no. Following "addressing inequality" comes "looting the treasury", and THEN (if it hasn't already started) it will be "herd the citizenry into the sausage maker" time. Your mileage may vary, but the basic dance steps don't change.
zaxxon451
3.5 / 5 (8) Mar 15, 2014
You eventually run out of other people's money to plunder.


This is your world my friend. 80% of the countries in the world are capitalist. Welcome to your free market/free trade/globalized/neo-liberal/privatized paradise. How's it working out for you? Or more importantly, how's it working out for the billions in poverty? How about you ask workers in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, or any other country without the protection of child labor/minimum wage/worker safety or environmental laws where our corporations enslave the most vulnerable in order to further enrich their shareholders. This is capitalism in its purest form. Embrace the poverty your system fosters. Drink your fill of the misery it creates. Go to your church and pretend to worship a god that equates wealth with virtue. Close your eyes, plug your ears, and keep repeating "socialism is evil", while your neo-liberal economic system burns the place to the ground.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 15, 2014
This is your world my friend. 80% of the countries in the world are capitalist.

I wish.
If true, 80% of the countries would not be over spending, plundering their citizens wealth, and businesses in all those countries would be growing, and there would be no unemployment.
Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand,

You think they are capitalists? They are socialist like most countries in the world.

Is theft by violence evil? Then socialism is evil as socialists promote the use of force to steal the wealth and lives of others.
our neo-liberal economic system

It's not my system. It's a socialist system.
antialias_physorg
3.6 / 5 (8) Mar 15, 2014
I wouldn't just say tat tax powers are insufficient: The whole idea of having laws enforces an inequality, because:
- laws are made by the rich for the rich
- where the above isn't the case the rich can still afford much more in the way of legal protection (or means of getting around laws like getting their money out of the country to avoid paying taxes)

In any case the rich play on a field that is tilted in their favor. Inequality eventually leads to violence. You can delay/channel that violence for a while (by giving the illusion of "your vote counts", then providing scapegoats, and finally creating imaginary external enemies to fight). but in the end it always leads to the same: revolution.

...now if anyone could just come up with a system where that isn't the case, that'd be great.
Osiris1
2.4 / 5 (5) Mar 16, 2014
The wealthy might consider 'repression' but the downside of that are 'revolutions' like France in 1789 or Russia in 1917. When an economy grows toooo lopsided, stability goes down and repression only works to a point. People run governments, not the other way around, and even the most 'safe' people can turn on those governments no matter what the 'security measures' are in place. Even Russia was not safe from its own Presidium, and its army proved that eventually human nature takes over when military units are told too often to shoot down their own families. Yeltsin knew this. He was a true product of this system and knew how to take it down as well. He proved it in 1989. The rich had better watch it! The price of excess greed is the guillotine!
Porgie
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 16, 2014
What kind of fool thinks they can fix poverty with taxation? This person is a complete idiot. Remove the children form the poverty stricken and teach them the work ethic, educate them and give them job skills. That will eliminate poverty, Taxation is only punishing those who work for a living.
Bonia
Mar 16, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dustywells
1 / 5 (3) Mar 17, 2014
"It suggests that the proportion of children living in relative poverty after housing costs "

As long as poverty level is a calculated value based on on a percentage of average income/standard-of-living it will never be eliminated.
nowhere
3 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2014
You eventually run out of other people's money to plunder.

In capitalism the people run out of money as the few that exploit the system hord it and become kings. This eventually leads to revolution, which is why capitalism must be balanced with socialism.
Eikka
2.8 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2014
Regardless of the argument between socialism and free market, there's one thing that truly rings wrong with the article.

They're talking of relative poverty, which is ultimately a bullshit metric.

Because if the richest 5% of the country would pick up all their wealth and leave, that would immediately end relative poverty by lifting the rest above whatever arbitrary fraction of whatever mean or median they use to define relative poverty. It woud also cease to exist if the government simply confiscated all private assets, because then everyone would be equally penniless.

Income inequality per se doesn't really mean jack shit if even the poorest can afford a luxurious life - it's absolute poverty that matters and not whether you can keep up with the joneses.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2014
"That means making the case for the progressive taxation,

rygg think that people who exploit the system more shouldn't have to pay more.

universal services,

Here he believes that if someone can't afford essential services (health care), they don't deserve them.

fairer labour market

In ryggs model they get around this problem by outsourcing labour to countries with little to no regulations. This is how he ripps of the labour market.

and gender equality

I can only guess that rygg hates gender equality because he attributes it to socialism?

that the range of expert contributors to this study make clear are fundamental to a Scotland free of poverty.'"

What BS.

Yes your opinion is BS.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2014
As long as poverty level is a calculated value based on on a percentage of average income/standard-of-living it will never be eliminated.


This is in keeping with the aim of any "socially progressive" political party or faction.

If you say you're in for the little guy, actually doing something for him would put you out of business since the little guy would no longer need your help - therefore you say but you don't do, then pretend that you did or excuse that you couldn't, and you keep getting voted into office time and time again. If no real issue exists you convince people that they're victims of some horrible injustice, offer yourself as remedy, and then repeat the same.

And that is essentially the biography of every left wing politician ever.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2014
I understand the harm of income inequality, but I also find progressive taxation inconsistent with the idea of egalitarianism, and inefficient in practice.

The problem with progressive taxation is that it is ultimately unjust robin-hoodism, and it turns into a flat tax one way or another anyways at the higher end of income scale. As such, it only serves to punish the lower and middle classes by hindering upward social mobility with increasing tax burden while doing little to prevent the upper classes from getting richer and richer as there's no such increasing resistance to accumulation of wealth.

In my opinion, progressive taxation says to most citizens "thou shall not get richer", while letting political buddies in to wealth through the side gate. It's yet another one of those socially progressive systems of "let's not and say we did".

Instead I advocate a flat tax to all and welfare to the poor. Same end result, less loopholes for the rich.
zaxxon451
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2014

The problem with progressive taxation is that it is ultimately unjust robin-hoodism,


Those who accumulate wealth through injustice have no moral claim to injury by progressive taxation.
SteveS
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 19, 2014

What BS.
Re-read Adam Smith, or more likely, they never have read Adam Smith. He was Scottish.


Hi ryg, I took your advice and found that he was very critical of the idea of limited liability, the basis of all modern corporations: -

"The directors of such companies, however, being the managers rather of other people's
money than of their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with
the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private copartnery frequently
watch over their own… Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more
or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company"

http://www.gutenb...3300.txt
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2014
Those who accumulate wealth through injustice have no moral claim to injury by progressive taxation.


That is begging the question.

Your argument contains the implicit assumption that there is no other way to accumulate wealth than through injustice.

The reality of the matter is that progressive taxation harms those who try to gain wealth through legal means and by the system - by working and producing - because the more they try to work the higher their tax burden.

But nevertheless, if wealth is theft and theft is wrong, then can you really argue that stealing the stolen goods back while allowing the thieving to continue is a just practice? Wouldn't that be hypocritical?

Progressive taxation is injustice itself.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Mar 19, 2014
I took your advice and found that he was very critical of the idea of limited liability,

So?
How does this justify state plundering of wealth?
I don't support limiting liability, but that liability should NOT be based upon deep pockets.
BTW, govts agents are usually immune from fallibility. If the FDA approves drug that kills people, the FDA is not responsible.
When the SEC ignored Madoff, the SEC was not responsible.
US law enforcement has no responsibility to protect anyone.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Mar 19, 2014
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

Winston Churchill-
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2014

The problem with progressive taxation is that it is ultimately unjust robin-hoodism,


Those who accumulate wealth through injustice have no moral claim to injury by progressive taxation.


So does that mean the government has no right to tax? Which side of the argument are you looking from...you DO realize you don't have the corner on the truth and perspective right? Most people understand that over the age of two.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2014

That is begging the question.

Your argument contains the implicit assumption that there is no other way to accumulate wealth than through injustice.


I make no such claim or assumption. I simply state that those who accumulate wealth through unjust means have no moral basis for their assertion of injury by progressive taxation.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2014

Progressive taxation is injustice itself.


Please explain. I think the source of our disagreement is related to more fundamental issues.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014

Progressive taxation is injustice itself.


Please explain. I think the source of our disagreement is related to more fundamental issues.

Yes, you have no moral objection to theft, or stealing or using force to take the property the belongs to someone, and, most likely, you don't even acknowledge the concept of the inherent right of individual to own property. Such property includes the life, labor, knowledge, innovations of the individual.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014
I simply state that those who accumulate wealth through unjust means have no moral basis for their assertion of injury by progressive taxation.

Progressive taxation is immoral, regardless of who must pay it.

Protecting private property rights by enforcing laws against theft and fraud is the proper way to prevent injustice and and to prosecute those who practice injustice.
How does the state practice of injustice, progressive taxation, or legal plunder, the proper way to prevent injustice?
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014

Progressive taxation is injustice itself.


Please explain. I think the source of our disagreement is related to more fundamental issues.

Yes, you have no moral objection to theft, or stealing or using force to take the property the belongs to someone, and, most likely, you don't even acknowledge the concept of the inherent right of individual to own property. Such property includes the life, labor, knowledge, innovations of the individual.


Thanks for jumping in, and I'm aware of your ideology. As for me, I only seek fairness. And in this country, the game is rigged.

Isn't it funny how the rich get to define what is considered "theft"? Ask a rich man to pay more taxes and you're a "thief", but you're an "entrepreneur" if you charge some poor smuck 300% interest on a payday loan he's using to buy food.

The rich create the rules and then vilify the poor for not following them.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2014
progressive taxation harms those who try to gain wealth through legal means and by the system

No it doesn't harm them but rather limits their ability to gain excess wealth, while simultaneously increasing their contribution to the system that allows them to gain said wealth. It is necessary because the system is flawed such that excess wealth of the minority unfairly affects the poor majority.

by working and producing - because the more they try to work the higher their tax burden.

The reality of the matter is that wealth accumulation is not proportional to working harder, but rather better exploitation of the flawed system, as well as better opportunities and luck.

Progressive taxation is injustice itself.

I would argue the system is injustice itself and progressive taxation a barely effective attempt to rectify the problems.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2014
Which side of the argument are you looking from...you DO realize you don't have the corner on the truth and perspective right?

Maybe that's why he's taking the objective option which favours the majorities well being?

Most people understand that over the age of two.

MM likes to use sarcasm and implied insults to get his message across.
Most mature adults understand this has the opposite effect.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014
As for me, I only seek fairness. And in this country, the game is rigged.

Then you must support the rule of law and limited govt.
Only then can injustice be prevented.
But I suspect you would be quite eager to support the injustice of state plunder as you have fallen into the socialist trap of class warfare.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 20, 2014
How fair?
"Forcing everyone to buy more expensive, less reliable energy pushes up costs throughout the economy, leaving less for other public goods. The average of macroeconomic models indicates that the total cost of the EU's climate policy will be €209 billion ($280 billion) per year from 2020 until the end of the century.

The burden of these policies falls overwhelmingly on the world's poor, because the rich can easily pay more for their energy. I am often taken aback by well-meaning and economically comfortable environmentalists who cavalierly suggest that gasoline prices should be doubled or electricity exclusively sourced from high-cost green sources. That may go over well in affluent Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where residents reportedly spend just 2% of their income on gasoline. But the poorest 30% of the US population spend almost 17% of their after-tax income on gasoline."
http://www.projec...o-global
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 20, 2014
Maybe that's why he's taking the objective option which favours the majorities well being?


That's the whole point. YOU don't get to decide what the "majorities" well being is, no one does. To pretend to do so is the height of hubris and arrogance.

MM likes to use sarcasm and implied insults to get his message across.
Most mature adults understand this has the opposite effect.


Which is why you just employed it?
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 20, 2014
That's the whole point. YOU don't get to decide what the "majorities" well being is, no one does. To pretend to do so is the height of hubris and arrogance.

Of course I don't, greater minds than I have spent much longer forming the ideas of governance and law that allow people to live in a society together, with the greatest well being for all. We here on this forum simply spew our opinions and criticisms. Care to share yours regarding progressive taxation?

MM likes to use sarcasm and implied insults to get his message across.
Most mature adults understand this has the opposite effect.


Which is why you just employed it?

I wasn't talking to you. Incedently did you get my point?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 20, 2014
Of course I don't, greater minds than I have spent much longer forming the ideas of governance and law that allow people to live in a society together, with the greatest well being for all.


So philosopher Kings? Why not just have a dictatorship...oh wait the idea of "greater minds" making all our decisions for us didn't work so well either did it? Or are you looking at the same human history I am?

We here on this forum simply spew our opinions and criticisms. Care to share yours regarding progressive taxation?


I don't think it works for exactly the same reason Churchill didn't think overtaxing works. The government can only take wealth and move it around. It produces nothing.

I wasn't talking to you. Incedently [sic] did you get my point?


So so you ignore people who are talking about you right in front of you? Or do you feel the need to chime in? Is that considered polite in your culture? It isn't in mine. I did get your point...did you get mine?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 20, 2014
greater minds than I have spent much longer forming the ideas of governance and law that allow people to live in a society together, with the greatest well being for all.


Yes, they distilled what is best in a document called the Declaration of Independence.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014

That's the whole point. YOU don't get to decide what the "majorities" well being is, no one does. To pretend to do so is the height of hubris and arrogance.


Why do you seem so threatened by others' opinions? No phys.org internet person is deciding anything for the "majority".

I would suggest additional research. Start with learning about ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council). Our "democracy" is in exactly the situation you condemn. A handful of wealthy unelected individuals craft legislation that we all live under.

And by the way, ad hominem attacks are usually an indication of weak arguments.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014

But I suspect you would be quite eager to support the injustice of state plunder as you have fallen into the socialist trap of class warfare.


I suspect you don't consider it "plunder" when the tax dollars are going to something that benefits you.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2014
That's the whole point. YOU don't get to decide what the "majorities" well being is, no one does. To pretend to do so is the height of hubris and arrogance.


Why do you seem so threatened by others' opinions? No phys.org internet person is deciding anything for the "majority".


Why are you putting thoughts in my head? And of course people set about deciding things for the majority. That's why politics is such a heated subject....isn't it.

I would suggest additional research. Start with learning about ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council). Our "democracy" is in exactly the situation you condemn. A handful of wealthy unelected individuals craft legislation that we all live under.


I would suggest some additional research to you too...but I suspect I'm not going to go to something that sounds like a conspiracy theory website any more than you'd read up on "austrian school" economics.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014
The reality of the matter is that wealth accumulation is not proportional to working harder, but rather better exploitation of the flawed system, as well as better opportunities and luck.


But it's not a matter of working harder - it's a matter of producing value and results.

Are you really saying that people who e.g. work as welders on oil rigs don't deserve their higher wages as compared to a guy who welds bicycle frames at a local garage?

As a side effect, tax progression forces higher cost of specialist labor because people will not pick up these jobs unless they see a proportional reward to their efforts and the value of their labor, so the tax progression forces people to simply asking for higher wages.

As a result of that, there are fewer jobs available for highly trained and educated people, since few can afford their services, and the whole society suffers.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
The reality of the matter is that wealth accumulation is not proportional to working harder, but rather better exploitation of the flawed system, as well as better opportunities and luck.


Who should be paid more, one ditch digger with a shovel or one ditch digger with a backhoe? Which one creates the most value, a ditch?
I suspect you don't consider it "plunder" when the tax dollars are going to something that benefits you.


Of course I do. Plunder, theft by force, is still theft by force. If I want to use my wealth for anything the benefits me, I am in a better position to make that decision and there is no govt middle man taking his percentage wasting my wealth.
Why do you seem so threatened by others' opinions?

Projecting?
Defend the value of legal plunder. Demonstrate how state confiscation and redistribution of wealth benefits all. And provide examples.
Calvin Coolidge cut taxes and govt spending and the economy prospered.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
"The state has continued on a downward fiscal spiral, and Illinois has the most underfunded pension system of any state in the Union, as well as the third-highest unemployment rate.

Madigan is unfazed by research that proves that taxes on millionaires encourage them to leave the state, as has been the case in New Jersey.

"Well, if they're in Illinois today, they're probably so much in love with Illinois that they're not going to leave," he said, according to the Tribune--a backhanded acknowledgement of how poorly the state is already doing. "
http://www.breitb...ferendum
"Maybe the next Bjorn Borg won't feel compelled to move to Monaco now that Sweden plans to scrap a decades-old "wealth" tax that imposes levies on assets — not just on income. "
http://www.cato.o...alth-tax
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
"when government picks winners and losers it disrupts free markets, doles out taxpayers' money in the form of corporate welfare, and sets up incentives for politicians and companies to engage in corruption and kickbacks.

Unfortunately, The Economist's index is not constructed to capture the critical moves cronies make. Indeed, a more complete cronyism index would include metrics such as the number of government-backed loans a company or individual has received, subsidies or set-asides, and the number of concessions scored by so-called "offensive" lobbying efforts."
"the index elides critical instances of cronyism, such as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's role in "milking" donations from Hollywood and Silicon Valley during the debates over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). "
http://www.breitb...Crony-Ca
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2014
No it doesn't harm them but rather limits their ability to gain excess wealth, while simultaneously increasing their contribution to the system that allows them to gain said wealth. It is necessary because the system is flawed such that excess wealth of the minority unfairly affects the poor majority.


I _am_ talking about the "poor majority". It affects the lower classes who aspire to become middle classes, and the middle classes who aspire to become upper middle classes, but it does nothing to people who are already upper middle class or richer because they are no longer touched by progressive taxation. They have their assets and earnings elsewhere than in their personal work and productivity.

Many millionaires earn zero dollars a year in wages.

For the people who do work for their living, to earn a dollar more they have to put in more than a dollar's worth of extra work, which is exploitation caused by the progressive tax system, and that is unjust.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
Progressive taxation destroys jobs.
An entrepreneur may want to start a new enterprise that employs people, but if he can only earn 20% on that profit, why bother taking the risk?
How many times have people with wealth decided to put their wealth in tax free govt bonds instead of investing in new wealth creating enterprises that would employ others providing the opportunity for them to create wealth?
No one knows since politicians prefer to play class warfare with high tax rates on the rich, which they don't pay.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2014
The problems of progressive taxation are most visible when it's actually bracketed in such ways that earning a dollar more would put you in a higher tax bracket, so a pay raise becomes a pay cut. It's almost like erecting fences to keep people in their socioeconomical places.

But the more fundamental problem is this:

Progressive taxation creates an incentive to use unskilled minimum wage labor anywhere possible, because paying someone a proper wage for a proper job done costs more than paying more people less.

If someone spends their time and effort to become skilled and productive at work, and demand an after-tax income that is proportional to what they are worth, the employer says no thanks because there's two undearchievers who can put out half the output each, and demand less than half the pay each since their tax rate is lower.

So instead of some people getting by and some being poor, everyone is equally poor - except the rich.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
I don't understand the 'progressive's' passion to punish wealth.
If you want more of something, lower the cost. If you want less of something raise the cost.
'Progressive' tax rates raise less revenue and kills economic growth, but it must send a tingle up a 'liberal's' leg.
Socialists would rather destroy wealth than risk anyone creating more wealth than they can.
Socialism is the equal sharing of misery. (Churchill).
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
"

More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

According to the non-partisan research group, increased excise taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking have, in fact, created lucrative incentives for black market trafficking between states."
http://www.foxnew...+Text%29
barakn
3 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2014
"More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

Which is a reason to raise tobacco taxes to the same high rate everywhere.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
Which is a reason to raise tobacco taxes to the same high rate everywhere.

Make cigarettes illegal like heroin. That will stop the smuggling.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
"Heroin abuse in the US has been spreading beyond inner cities, resulting in a sharp rise in addiction and death. Chicago is a hub for cheap, pure and plentiful heroin, much of it supplied by Mexican drug cartels.

Chicago's "L" train green line leads directly to the open-air drug markets on the city's west side."
http://www.bbc.co...26672422
And IL wants to increase taxes instead of fighting crime.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2014
Make cigarettes illegal like heroin. That will stop the smuggling.

Yeah...because that worked so well for stuff like...oh, shall we say: alcohol?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2014
Make cigarettes illegal like heroin. That will stop the smuggling.

Yeah...because that worked so well for stuff like...oh, shall we say: alcohol?

Imposing high taxes has the same effect as prohibition.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014

Progressive taxation creates an incentive to use unskilled minimum wage labor anywhere possible, because paying someone a proper wage for a proper job done costs more than paying more people less.


This has to do with maximizing profits, not progressive taxation. But you do illustrate the damage that free trade is doing to our economy. When employers are allowed to exploit foreign labor markets, it comes at the expense of our citizens, as we have seen with the deindustrialization of our economy since the passage of NAFTA.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2014
What free trade?
Citizens in Chattanooga, TN appreciate the 'free trade' that VW brought.
But this is not likely real free trade as tariffs and subsidies force companies to set up shop in other countries to sell to those countries.
As long as govts legally plunder by subsidizing certain industries there is no real free trade.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2014
Why not just have a dictatorship

In my opinion an objective analysis of the situation would reveal that a dictatorship drastically lowers the well being of the majority of citizens of said dictatorship. Therefore we can logically oppose such a form of governance.
Your belief,
YOU don't get to decide what the "majorities" well being is, no one does.

, leaves you with no reason to oppose such a dictatorship.

"greater minds" making all our decisions for us didn't work so well either did it?

Straw man. I talk about using the ideas of experts in their field(law and governance) to raise the well being of people and you bring up dictatorship and refer to incidence which lower the well being of people.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2014
the well being of the majority of citizens

What about the well being of the minority?
Who makes that decision?
I talk about using the ideas of experts in their field

Who do you think are the experts?
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2014
The government can only take wealth and move it around. It produces nothing.

So infrastructure and services provided by the government are nothing and not important?

So so [sic] you ignore people who are talking about you right in front of you? Or do you feel the need to chime in? Is that considered polite in your culture? It isn't in mine.

I'll assume you're referring to the act of "talking about you" (what I did) as being impolite, rather than the act of "chiming in"(what you did).

In my culture it is impolite to talk about someone behind their back. It is also impolite to insult someone simply because you disagree with them.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2014
So infrastructure and services provided by the government are nothing and not important?


It depends on who you ask. Are you asking is it important to me? I wouldn't want to insult you, or you to FEEL like you're being insulted....

In my culture it is impolite to talk about someone behind their back.


What's your point here? This is an open forum...

It is also impolite to insult someone simply because you disagree with them.


I suppose you should refrain from doing that in the future then.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2014
In my opinion an objective analysis of the situation would reveal that a dictatorship drastically lowers the well being of the majority of citizens of said dictatorship. Therefore we can logically oppose such a form of governance.


Then you shouldn't advocate for it.
, leaves you with no reason to oppose such a dictatorship.


Actually the fact that "no one does" leaves me with the ONLY self consistent argument against dictatorship. The idea that one CAN decide what's best for everyone is the basis for all such governments.

Straw man. I talk about using the ideas of experts in their field(law and governance) to raise the well being of people and you bring up dictatorship and refer to incidence which lower the well being of people.


Define the "well being of people".
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2014
So infrastructure and services provided by the government are nothing and not important?

Depends upon how much the govt wastes providing the 'services' and if those 'services' make people more or less dependent upon the state.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2014
So infrastructure and services provided by the government are nothing and not important?

It depends on who you ask.

Dodging the question with sarcasm? Maybe you simply don't have an answer.

In my culture it is impolite to talk about someone behind their back.

What's your point here?

My point was to answer your pointless question on impolite cultural practices...that's why it was quoted neatly above my response.

This is an open forum...

Then how would you expect me to talk about you, not in front of you?

It is also impolite to insult someone simply because you disagree with them.

I suppose you should refrain from doing that in the future then.

Why are you telling me to follow a practice I just told you I follow?
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2014
Then you shouldn't advocate for it.

Which is why I didn't.

that "no one does" leaves me with the ONLY self consistent argument...etc

It however also leaves you against all forms of government, as all governments must make decisions relating to the well being of their citizens.

Define the "well being of people".

"1. a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare: to influence the well-being of the nation and its people."
http://m.dictionary.com/definition/well-being

" Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies. QOL has a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Etc..."
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_of_life
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 26, 2014
QOL has a wide range of contexts

Very subjective.

No, when a govt plunders all the wealth and provides no infrastructure and 'services' what are you going to do?
And when a govt creates dozens of unaccountable agencies to do the same thing, at which they all fail to do, how does that impact QOL?
If no is such a big socialist, why isn't he angry at the incompetence and inefficiency of the govt?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 26, 2014
'December 2013 marked the recovery's 54th month, but stories of individuals moving into their parents' garage are common because they can't find work or are underemployed. Obama's big-government policy prescriptions have left the labor market feeling sick.

The results are vastly different from the limited-government prescriptions offered by President Reagan in the 1980s.

Reagan also entered his first term with a sluggish economy that had back-to-back recessions within a year of each other. The latter, from July 1981 to November 1982, was a relatively severe recession with the unemployment rate reaching a high of 10.8%.

Contrary to President Obama's prescription of more government spending and regulation, President Reagan diagnosed government as the problem and prescribed a plan of lowering tax rates and reducing regulations to free firms and workers from disincentives to invest and work.

This limited-government prescription led to a 92-month expansion — "
IBD
zaxxon451
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2014

Contrary to President Obama's prescription of more government spending and regulation, President Reagan diagnosed government as the problem and prescribed a plan of lowering tax rates and reducing regulations to free firms and workers from disincentives to invest and w


Please, Reagan spent as much as any other president. He just didn't want to pay for it, so he exploded the debt by lowering taxes. Conservatives are only interested in small government when it comes to programs that help the poor. They sure as hell don't mind massive government subsidies for Big Ag, defense corporations, or oil companies to name just a few.

Those that benefit the most from our society have the greatest responsibility to that society. To whom much is given, much is required. Neo-liberals and corporate owned republicans have chosen to supplant this truth with a flawed, unsustainable, anti-society worldview based on radical individualism.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2014
'Cuba is proposing a new Cuban foreign investment law that would cut the profits tax in half to 15 percent and exempt most investors from paying it for at least eight years, official media said on Wednesday."
http://news.yahoo...3ArQtDMD

To whom much is given, much is required.

What do you require from those on the dole receiving the plundered wealth earned by those who work long and hard?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Mar 27, 2014
Dodging the question with sarcasm? Maybe you simply don't have an answer.


I have a very good one, but YOU dodged the question I asked you...a VERY simple one. Are you asking me personally or do you want a philosophical perspective?
Then how would you expect me to talk about you, not in front of you?


Read up-thread. My point was you WERE talking in front of me, but not TO me. Please, please try to follow the conversation. If I'm putting in the energy here I expect you to do so as well...

Why are you telling me to follow a practice I just told you I follow?


Because you didn't. You were demonstrating an abysmal lack of introspection and an abundance of hypocrisy.

Which is why I didn't.


Maybe this is a cultural thing, but in my culture when someone says that "great minds" should be making decisions for other people it sounds extremely autocratic. Yours may differ.

(cont.)
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (4) Mar 27, 2014
It however also leaves you against all forms of government, as all governments must make decisions relating to the well being of their citizens.


Must it? How about a government that just concerns itself with protecting people from criminals and invaders? I think it's a complete disconnect between you and I on the appropriate functions of government. I want one that allows for the maximum freedom, differences in opinion, and general tolerance of its citizens. You seem to (and I could be wrong) want one that makes people conform more to a set of ideas and values with or without their consent.

In your definition of "well being of the people" I saw nothing that took THEIR ideas about their OWN well being into consideration. Again, a complete disconnect on our basic values.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 27, 2014
Sounds like the 'liberals' here:
"Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left's default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later. Thus the ObamaCare mandates. Thus candidate de Blasio's determination, cheered on by the city's left-wing establishment, to jam all its kids through an antique public-school system. The ObamaCare mandates are a mess, and the war on charter schools is an embarrassment.

Making the unworkable work by executive decree or court-ordered obedience is one way to rule, and maybe they like it that way. But it isn't governing. "
http://online.wsj..._LEADTop
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2014

Maybe this is a cultural thing, but in my culture when someone says that "great minds" should be making decisions for other people it sounds extremely autocratic. Yours may differ.


In a representative democracy one would hope that those with great minds are elected to make decisions. I would certainly prefer to be led by those with great minds than those with mediocre minds, or by those with the most money (as is currently the case).
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2014

Must it? How about a government that just concerns itself with protecting people from criminals and invaders? I think it's a complete disconnect between you and I on the appropriate functions of government. I want one that allows for the maximum freedom, differences in opinion, and general tolerance of its citizens. You seem to (and I could be wrong) want one that makes people conform more to a set of ideas and values with or without their consent.

In your definition of "well being of the people" I saw nothing that took THEIR ideas about their OWN well being into consideration. Again, a complete disconnect on our basic values.


Some value society more than others. And it's important to remember that having a society means sacrificing some amount of individual freedom. Rabid individualism is the bedfellow of anarchy.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2014

What do you require from those on the dole receiving the plundered wealth earned by those who work long and hard?


Who? Name names. Every person on public assistance has a story. I would suggest talking to some of these "takers". Ask them about their life and how they came to be in the situation they are in. Your language dehumanizes people. Forming a worldview based on assumptions and stereotypes is easy. Do the hard work and challenge your long held beliefs. If you find the people you talk with validate your belief system, fine. At least then you can claim to have come by your beliefs honestly.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2014
In a representative democracy one would hope that those with great minds are elected to make decisions. I would certainly prefer to be led by those with great minds than those with mediocre minds, or by those with the most money (as is currently the case).


It was NEVER the case in any democracy that people were led by those without money. That's the cold hard truth. It was never not "currently the case". This is why a general lack of trust of the people of any government that rules over them is virtually always a good thing.

Some value society more than others. And it's important to remember that having a society means sacrificing some amount of individual freedom. Rabid individualism is the bedfellow of anarchy.


OH GAWD. The bedfellow of anarchy?....really? How melodramatic. How do YOU define society? It isn't how I define it...you can be sure of that. I don't define society as GOVERNMENT. It's much more complex, rich, benevolent, and broad than your definition.,
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2014
those with great minds are elected to make decisions

Define 'great'.
I would suggest talking to some of these "takers"

Good idea. Govts don't do that now enabling massive fraud.
Who? Name names.

"Vivencia Bellegarde"
"A Cadillac-driving OUI suspect — charged with running a Boston Globe delivery truck off Interstate 93 and onto the Leverett Connector — was carrying three EBT cards, mocked a cop "for paying for food when she gets it for free" and threatened to put a voodoo curse on him, according to a police report."
http://bostonhera...ened_cop
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2014
"Furthermore, democracy was then able to learn from crisis. The New Deal tempered economic free-for-all, primarily through the 1933 Banking Act, and gave the smallfolk new social securities.

The lesson from Athens is that success breeds complacency. People, notably those in privilege, stopped caring, and democracy was neglected. "
http://www.washin...ory.html
The article is half right, govt is failing, but they have the wrong reason.
More socialism, more govt regulations, more govt control is the fault not that the 'rich' stopped caring.
The 'new deal' accelerated socialism in the US and it did temper economic growth by plundering and redistributing wealth.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014

It was NEVER the case in any democracy that people were led by those without money. That's the cold hard truth. It was never not "currently the case". This is why a general lack of trust of the people of any government that rules over them is virtually always a good thing.


There is absolutely NO precedent for the amount of money flowing into political coffers since the Citizens United ruling. Claiming otherwise is either disingenuous or ignorant of you. The former would be a source of shame, but if the latter is the case then I would recommend the writings of authors including Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, or Howard Zinn as a remedy.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014

OH GAWD. The bedfellow of anarchy?....really? How melodramatic. How do YOU define society? It isn't how I define it...you can be sure of that. I don't define society as GOVERNMENT. It's much more complex, rich, benevolent, and broad than your definition


Melodramatic perhaps, but true nonetheless. You sound an idealist. Government is a vital element of a "rich, benevolent, and broad" society. In my mind it is very doubtful that any society can progress very far along your spectrum without some form of government.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014

"Vivencia Bellegarde"
"A Cadillac-driving OUI suspect — charged with running a Boston Globe delivery truck off Interstate 93 and onto the Leverett Connector — was carrying three EBT cards, mocked a cop "for paying for food when she gets it for free" and threatened to put a voodoo curse on him, according to a police report."
http://bostonhera...ened_cop


Looking up some random, mentally ill person on the internet doesn't count. I want you to personally go speak with these "takers" you despise and report back to us about your findings. Otherwise, I can't lend much credibility to your opinions.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2014
"Furthermore, democracy was then able to learn from crisis. The New Deal tempered economic free-for-all, primarily through the 1933 Banking Act, and gave the smallfolk new social securities.

The lesson from Athens is that success breeds complacency. People, notably those in privilege, stopped caring, and democracy was neglected. "
http://www.washin...ory.html
The article is half right, govt is failing, but they have the wrong reason.
The 'new deal' accelerated socialism in the US and it did temper economic growth by plundering and redistributing wealth.


Thanks for sharing the article. I enjoyed it, and agree with much of it. I think the quote from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis is especially prescient: "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."


And that is where the article strays into socialism and is dead wrong.
Looking up some random, mentally ill person on the internet doesn't count.

There are tens of thousands scamming the welfare system and states refuse to act in any way that would end that fraud, like putting a picture on the EBT cards.
Zax supports the fascist state. Wal Mart, Target, etc are worried that welfare cuts will hurt their business.
There is absolutely NO precedent for the amount of money flowing into political coffers since the Citizens United ruling.


Of course there was. Before C.U. the money was coerced from socialist unions. Now anti-socialists can contribute to anti-socialist candidates to the howls of socialists like Z.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"The couple, who reportedly insisted on being called lord and lady, is also accused of failing to report $3 million deposited in their bank accounts.

Andrea ran a high end kennel and entered dogs in fancy dog show. She is accused of using $60,000 of public assistance money for massages at a spa.

The couples alleged scam ran from January 2005 to March 2012. At times they were allegedly collecting welfare benefits in both Florida and Minnesota, at the same time.

It's something former neighbors back in Minnesota found shocking.

"It astonishes me. I had no idea that this could ever really happen," said former neighbor Callie King."
http://miami.cbsl...-stamps/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"An estimated $395 million of food benefits are diverted each year from their intended purpose through food stamp trafficking and associated money laundering activities to hide the illegal proceeds.16 Law enforcement efforts by the USDA Office of Inspector General and other investigative agencies have linked food stamp trafficking to narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and the transfer of money overseas. "
http://www.banker...aud.html
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
" Even ex-communists recognise that capitalism – albeit a corrupt, crony, command-and-control version – is more effective at lifting people out of poverty than endless programmes and slogans about the proletariat. This is helpful for holding on to power.

What's insidious about this alternative to Western governance is that it promises prosperity at the expense of individual freedom, while dismissing democracy as ineffective. "
http://www.telegr...ive.html
Try the third way, liberty, free markets and limited govt as defined by the Great Minds who wrote the US Declaration of Independence.
barakn
5 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2014
Try the third way, liberty, free markets and limited govt as defined by the Great Minds who wrote the US Declaration of Independence.
... who then went on to write the Articles of Confederation. This bound the states into a institution so weak it was referred to as a confederation rather than a nation. This limited government turned out to be so ineffectual that a convention to revise the Articles decided instead to scrap the whole thing and replace it with the Constitution, which created a much stronger federal government. So much for your "Great Minds" and "limited govt."
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
stronger federal government.

Yes, it WAS a FEDERAL govt, of sovereign states, with ENUMERATED powers.
It was not a national govt with unlimited power as it operates today.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"On March 28, Onondaga County New York Sheriffs announced the arrests of 42 people accused of defrauding the state of some $624,000 in welfare benefits.

Syracuse resident Sharena Taylor stands accused of stealing the greatest amount, $71,441.01. Two others are accused of stealing more than $30,000 and four more are said to have taken over $20,000 each. 42 people in all were arrested.

"There are few frauds more egregious than people who apply for and use public assistance benefits when they are not eligible," District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the media. "They are not only stealing from tax paying citizens, they hurt those who truly need public assistance."
"A list of the 40 people arrested as well as the amount they are accused of stealing was published by The Syracuse Post-Standard:

Sharena Taylor, of Syracuse: $71,441.01
Tuyetnga Nguyen, of Syracuse: $35,126.09

http://www.breitb...e-Welfar
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
Looking up some random, mentally ill person on the internet doesn't count.

A list of the 40 people arrested as well as the amount they are accused of stealing was published by The Syracuse Post-Standard:

Sharena Taylor, of Syracuse: $71,441.01
Tuyetnga Nguyen, of Syracuse: $35,126.09
Kimberly Gomez, of Liverpool: $31,421.98
Liza Acquah, of Mattydale: $29,613.27
Fatma Afifi, of Geddes: $29,413.71
Sergey Shakhov, of Geddes: $24,277.00
Venus White, of Syracuse: $22,805.33
Jennifer Raphael and Damien White, of Kirkville: $18,096.85
Ann Smith, of Syracuse: $17,923.30
Michele Vedder, of East Syracuse: $15,890.54
Rachael Jordan, of Syracuse: $15,614.17
Beth Rathbun, of Syracuse: $15,139.93
Kelly McCullough, of Fayetteville: $15,033.88
Mary Aljamel, of Syracuse: $14,848.87
Gregory Roach, of Tully: $14,218.26
Lachelle Felder, of Syracuse: $14,018.46
Tyesheka Graves, of Syracuse: $13,912.06
Garfield Hector, of Syracuse: $13,546.24
Waldo Kent, Jr., of Syracuse: $13,481.93
(cont)
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"Katie Vashchisin, of Geddes: $13,011.40
Lisann Hart, of Syracuse: $12,103.94
James Olsen, of Mattydale: $11,999.18
Latoya Jackson, of Dewitt: $11,841.39
Freddie Crawford, of Syracuse: $11,762.18
John and Laurie Briggs, of Camillus, $11,696.13
Theresa Alt, of North Syracuse: $11,099.00
Jillane Vann, of Memphis: $10,532.93
David and Amanda Fey, of Syracuse: $10,315.30
Sheri Cartner, of Syracuse: $9,864.75
Margaret Zreviec, of Jordan: $9,157.00
Sarah Testa, of Manlius: $8,869.60
Nathan Russell, of North Syracuse: $8,422.00
Omar Ahmed, of Syracuse: $8,390.00
Amanda Gianni, of Syracuse: $8,026.00
Patricia Hunter-Fox, of Syracuse: $7,889.00
Robin Dwyerterchowitz, of Syracuse: $7,790.00
Derrick Dudley, of Syracuse: $7,427.00
Lisa Dungey, of Syracuse: $7,230.32
Markeisha Frayer, of Solvay: $5,587.51
Peter Salmon, of Tully: $5,496.00 "
http://www.breitb...e-System
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2014
"Ted Cruz: Marxism, Leninism Reincarnated from Ash Heap of History in DNC Party Platform"
http://www.breitb...Platform

"Joe Biden: 'We Could Lose' Congress to More Candidates Like Ted Cruz"
http://www.breitb...Ted-Cruz

zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
"An estimated $395 million of food benefits are diverted each year from their intended purpose through food stamp trafficking and associated money laundering activities


Ryggesogn, you seem a thoughtful and well read individual, which is one reason I enjoy our conversations. But surely you realize that in comparison to an annual budget of over $86 billion that only represents 0.005% fraud? Seems to me like this program helps a whole lot of deserving people.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
"Ted Cruz: Marxism, Leninism Reincarnated from Ash Heap of History in DNC Party Platform"


Marxism, Leninism... just labels. As you can imagine I'm not a fan of Ted Cruz, and his labeling of the modern democratic party as Marxist is absurd. True liberals are an endangered species. The dems are owned by Wall Street. Our neo-liberal president has to check in with his handlers at Goldman Sacs and Bank of America before he makes a move.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014

Of course there was. Before C.U. the money was coerced from socialist unions. Now anti-socialists can contribute to anti-socialist candidates to the howls of socialists like Z.


You use the term socialist as if it is offensive. I accept the label with pride because in this country we have a long history of fighting for social justice.

By the way, every economic system has its despots and tyrants. Capitalism is certainly no exception.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2014
only represents 0.005% fraud

Now you make excuses?
Billions of $$ is still billions of $$.
you use the term socialist as if it is offensive.

Theft is not offensive to you?
So you don' t mind if someone puts a gun to your head and takes your life and property? That is what socialism does. That is the essences of socialism, coercion and plunder.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
asking me personally or do you want a philosophical perspective?

How about an objective perspective?

My point was you WERE talking in front of me, but not TO me.

Duh. My point was there is no other way to address the rest of the forum but in front of you.

Please, please try to follow the conversation. If I'm putting in the energy here I expect you to do so as well...

Don't make it my fault that you have no idea what's going on.

Because you didn't. You were demonstrating an abysmal lack of introspection and an abundance of hypocrisy.

Incorrect. Please quote the incident if you disagree.

in my culture when someone says that "great minds" should be making decisions for other people it sounds extremely autocratic. Yours may differ.

In my culture it is custom not to change the meaning of anothers words. Yours may differ.

I think the ideas of great minds (experts in their field) should be consulted when government (democratically appointed and accountable) creates public policy.
nowhere
5 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2014
How about a government that just concerns itself with protecting people from criminals and invaders?

Who manages infrastructure, the economy, environmental issues, and international situations?

I want one that allows for the maximum freedom, differences in opinion, and general tolerance of its citizens.

Well all do. Freedom is however inversely proportional to tolerance.

You seem to [...]want one that makes people conform more to a set of ideas and values with or without their consent.

You seem to want one that sets no rules or regulations to limit an individual's freedom, but don't realise this leave no one to uphold that freedom when another individual imposes on it with his freedom.

In your definition of "well being of the people" I saw nothing that took THEIR ideas about their OWN well being into consideration.

How do we raise people's happiness and prosperity without identifying what makes them happy and prosper?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2014
Who manages infrastructure, the economy, environmental issues, and international situations?

Govt is failing to do all of these now.
Toll roads and bridges are better maintained than govt managed roads and bridges.
Free market economies were doing much better than before the socialist Federal Reserve began its meddling leading to depressions and recessions.
Free market and private property rights protect environment better than the state. The most polluted places in the world were owned and managed by govt entities.
How well are govts managing international relations now?
Freedom is however inversely proportional to tolerance.

Tolerance for what?
what makes them happy and prosper?

How do YOU decide what makes billions of individuals 'happy'?
In my culture it is custom not to change the meaning of anothers words

If common definitions are not used, no communication can occur.
Socialists call themselves 'progressive' and 'liberal'. They are neither.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2014
"Devastating losses for the Socialists "
http://www.econom...ctions-0
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2014
""An unemployed Southeast Portland man who reportedly wore lots of jewelry, flashed pictures of trips to Lebanon and owned a Mercedes was sentenced to six months of prison Wednesday for cashing disability checks for a sister who was living outside the United States," according to an article by the Oregonian,which was posted on the SSA website on Friday. His prison term begins May 19. "
"The scheme lasted nearly a decade, from March 2002 to August 2011, according to the indictment. Boutros was receiving disability benefits by electronic payment from the SSA directly into "various" Bank of America accounts"
http://www.foxnew...+Text%29
Why did this last for 10 years?
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Apr 01, 2014

Now you make excuses?
Billions of $$ is still billions of $$.
Theft is not offensive to you?
So you don' t mind if someone puts a gun to your head and takes your life and property? That is what socialism does. That is the essences of socialism, coercion and plunder.


I make no excuses whatsoever. I think we can both agree, based on your data, that the SNAP program is a resounding success. Now we can move on to other issues, like your hyperbolic language in reference to taxation.
The theft you so commonly claim is actually perpetrated by those who try to avoid paying taxes, who are often the wealthiest individuals. These lowlifes are brazen enough to accept the benefits of being a part of society in order to enrich themselves, and then they have the nerve to contribute as little as they can get away with to the same society that made their wealth possible.
zaxxon451
not rated yet Apr 01, 2014
"Devastating losses for the Socialists "
http://www.econom...ctions-0


Sad news, but there is a growing awareness of the failures of neo-liberal economic policies worldwide. It's doubtful to me that our president will be able to Fast Track the Trans Pacific Partnership as more and more people wake up to the devastating consequences of free trade.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2014
""An unemployed Southeast Portland man who reportedly wore lots of jewelry, flashed pictures of trips to Lebanon and owned a Mercedes was sentenced to six months of prison Wednesday for cashing disability checks for a sister who was living outside the United States," according to an article by the Oregonian,which was posted on the SSA website on Friday. His prison term begins May 19. "
http://www.foxnew...+Text%29
Why did this last for 10 years?


Why ask me? I guess because he was a clever criminal. Not all bad guys are rich, you know.

Talk to you again tomorrow, comrade.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2014
I think we can both agree, based on your data, that the SNAP program is a resounding success.

Define success.
neo-liberal economic

It's called SOCIALISM.
I guess because he was a clever criminal.

No. We have a govt that doesn't care about theft and fraud.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2014
"European elites are panicking over a report in the Financial Times of London titled "Data Deepen Eurozone Deflation Fears." With government spending at 50% of the gross domestic product, the 28 countries of the European Union have pursued economic policies that generate inflation to spike tax collections by pushing their citizens into higher progressive tax brackets. Having stifled economic growth and used inflation to tax away prosperity, European elites should panic"
"There is no mention in the FT article about adopting the type of policies that would benefit the average European by stimulating industrial production to reduce unemployment. "
http://www.breitb...-s-Money
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2014

Define success.


Successful as in helping to alleviate hunger and food insecurity among those in poverty.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2014

It's called SOCIALISM.


Neo-liberalism is a combination of unregulated capitalism and the idea that the flow of capital should be without restriction. Both of which are an anathema to socialists.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2014

No. We have a govt that doesn't care about theft and fraud.


We have more people in prison than any country on earth. And by the way, you won't see any of those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse behind bars. American Gulag is quite exclusive you see, only poor people allowed in our prisons.
zaxxon451
3 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2014
"European elites are panicking over a report in the Financial Times of London titled "Data Deepen Eurozone Deflation Fears." With government spending at 50% of the gross domestic product, the 28 countries of the European Union have pursued economic policies that generate inflation to spike tax collections by pushing their citizens into higher progressive tax brackets."
http://www.breitb...-s-Money


Three points. First, Breitbart.com isn't the first place I would look for unbiased news. Second, take note that these are capitalist countries whose economies are in trouble. Third, low wage jobs and unemployment caused by neo-liberal policies (free trade) is the problem in these countries, but blaming the poor is so en vogue these days isn't it? You don't see this kind of nonsense in Norway with its mixed economy.

Have a good night. I enjoy our conversation (truthfully).
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2014

It's called SOCIALISM.


Neo-liberalism is a combination of unregulated capitalism and the idea that the flow of capital should be without restriction. Both of which are an anathema to socialists.

Socialist is state control of property.
Where is this 'unregulated capitalism'?
What restrictions should be placed upon your money and what YOU can do with it?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2014
you won't see any of those responsible for the 2008 economic collapse behind bars. A

Because they are in Congress or some other govt agency.
these are capitalist countries whose economies are in trouble.

No, they are socialist countries whose economies are in trouble, not surprise.
blaming the poor

I blame the socialists in charge of creating the poor, who need more poor to stay in power.
nonsense in Norway

""The cradle-to-the grave welfare system needs to be overhauled completely. I still hear … when I travel, people say the so-called Scandinavian model is so fantastic. But it is not. It has its weaknesses.

"I think we have the 'Norwegian disease,' which means that we are so rich, for the time being, that we lean back on our wealth and avoid doing necessary reforms to our economy — reforms that we eventually need to make."
http://news.natio...n-words/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2014

Define success.


Successful as in helping to alleviate hunger and food insecurity among those in poverty.

People who are working in a growing economy, with no govt created inflation, low taxes, low regulations, pro-business so they can start their own business are not hungry and have a secure future.
Those who are dependent upon the state for their daily bread are very, very insecure.
God fed his people wandering in the Sinai desert for 40 years with food that spoiled after 1 day so they would have faith in God.
What govt agency would you have faith in to keep you fed and why you want to be such a dependent?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2014
"Rigid currency controls and a shortage of U.S. dollars make it increasingly difficult for Venezuelans to find imported basic products like milk, flour, toilet paper and cooking oil. Price controls don't help either, with producers complaining that some goods are priced too low to make a profit and justify production."
"After five decades of rationing basic goods for Cubans, President Raul Castro's communist government is phasing out subsidized foodstuffs as it opens the island's economy to private enterprise. Cubans most dependent on the rationed goods say that in recent years their monthly quotas provided only enough food for a couple of weeks."
http://hosted.ap....00-32-05
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2014

Socialist is state control of property.

Socialism encompass a wide range of efforts from worker safety, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, social security, medicare, even the police and fire dept. are socialist constructs.

Where is this 'unregulated capitalism'?

Across numerous industries. Most glaringly in banking with the repeal of Glass-Stegall, which led to the financial collapse of 2008. Energy is another prominent example with tainted water supplies in West Virginia and coal ash spill in North Carolina. Our EPA has been rendered impotent by greed and corruption.

What restrictions should be placed upon your money and what YOU can do with it?

I would start with the repeal of NAFTA. I should not be able to move my manufacturing overseas. My money should not be able to buy child or slave labor in other countries. Nor should I be able to buy politicians or legislation with my money.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2014

People who are working in a growing economy, with no govt created inflation, low taxes, low regulations, pro-business so they can start their own business are not hungry and have a secure future.

The situation you describe exists right now, yet poverty is skyrocketing. Faux-liberal Clinton enacted welfare reform. Neo-liberal policies have slashed taxes on the rich to a max of 35%, down from 70% in the 1970s. Regulations in all sectors have been rolled back, one of the main reasons for our banking crisis in 2008.

Those who are dependent upon the state for their daily bread are very, very insecure.
What govt agency would you have faith in to keep you fed and why you want to be such a dependent?

As you can see with today's Supreme Court ruling, our democracy is farce. Money rules, and those with the most of it set the rules. And the rules they make ensure their continued prosperity at the expense of the rest of society. The state is all many people have left.
zaxxon451
not rated yet Apr 03, 2014
"Rigid currency controls and a shortage of U.S. dollars make it increasingly difficult for Venezuelans to find imported basic products like milk, flour, toilet paper and cooking oil. Price controls don't help either, with producers complaining that some goods are priced too low to make a profit and justify production."


I assure you that there is much more going on here than just "problems with socialism". The United States regularly interferes in the economies of non-capitalist states, especially in Middle and South America. Pinocet in Chile immediately comes to mind, along with Nicaragua and the Batista in Cuba. As stated in the article, the UN recognized the success of Hugo Chavez's socialist measures, which dramatically reduced poverty.
zaxxon451
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2014
I respect your views, and I personally know many people who share them. But I don't think that we are going to find much to agree upon, which I regret.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2014
Socialism encompass a wide range of efforts from worker safety, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, social security, medicare, even the police and fire dept. are socialist constructs.


Minimum wage and medicare fall under socialism, state control of private property/forced wealt redistribution.
The remaining items are govt functions that protect private property rights, not usurp them.
the success of Hugo Chavez's socialist measures,

People can't buy food. How is that a success?
I should not be able to move my manufacturing overseas.

That's fascist and YOU don't own it so don't say it's 'my manufacturing'.
Money rules

And the money is in the hands of the socialists who keep plundering the wealth of 'the people'.
Now, rich individuals can support as many candidates as they chose who support their view. Some of those rich are people opposed to socialism, like Charles Koch.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2014
I respect your views, and I personally know many people who share them. But I don't think that we are going to find much to agree upon, which I regret.

Why do you want me to agree with you?
To me you are worse than a common thief.
The common thief is honest about what he wants to do.
You and your fellow travelers are con-artists who hire the state to do the thieving for you.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2014
"Chavez's socialist experiment has left Venezuela's economy and society in shambles. A Gallup poll recently reported that the dire economic situation "pushed Venezuelan pessimism about the nation's economy in 2013 to an all-time high-62% of Venezuelan adults said the economy is getting worse, while a record-low 12% said it was getting better." "
http://www.realcl...347.html
barakn
5 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2014
To me you are worse than a common thief.
The common thief is honest about what he wants to do.
You and your fellow travelers are con-artists who hire the state to do the thieving for you. -soggyring2
Be careful with that argument. You wouldn't want anyone to realize that you keep using services provided by the government but have no desire to pay for them, which in itself would be theft. And what service are you using the most? More than 50% of your tax dollars (unless your a tax dodger) go to the military. If you don't want to pay for the protection provided by the military, you should leave its protection. I hear Somalia is nice this time of year.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2014
More than 50% of your tax dollars (unless your a tax dodger) go to the military.

No, they do not.
But, national defense is a legitimate function of a govt to protect life, liberty and property.
Plunder and redistribution IS dishonest theft plain and simple.
zaxxon451
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2014

worse than a common thief.


Thank you for this. Your bile exhibits the fear and lack of confidence that I suspected was beneath the surface.

You have been blinded your whole life by demagogs and ideologues, unable to question tradition or authority. The anger and fear instilled within you have closed your heart as well as your mind. Much like an abused dog, you lash out at anything unfamiliar, while prostrating yourself before those who fill your ears with venom.

I was like you once, filled with the self-righteousness that only comes with a fundamentalist religion. There is a way out, but only if you are willing to look critically at your own worldview. Only if you are willing to honestly take note of the inconsistencies in your belief system. Wisdom comes through reflection and by challenging long held beliefs.

In any case, this will be my last post in this thread. I know that having the last word is of utmost importance to you. Please make it interesting.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 04, 2014
What fear?
Socialists like z are the ones who are too afraid to do the dirty work of stealing other people's wealth so they hire a gang of elected thugs to do it for them.
All the while proclaiming this is for the good of humanity.
Socialists are cowards and lower than the common criminal.
And we see their response when confronted, accuse their opponents of hate or racism or ..instead addressing the real issue of right and wrong.

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