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Subject: The conservative formula is wrong rss

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Mac Mcleod
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Summary: Economist goes over the results of the experiment our country has been having in different states. how high taxes have led to one of the fastest growing economies in the country and an experiment and low taxes have led to two of the worst economies in the country.

States with low taxes and low citizen benefits haven't done that well and are not very attractive to Talent.

Possible issues..
Are there conservative states which are doing better?

Point I agree most with: low cost education for citizens greatly outweigh the higher taxes collected to pay for education.

---
Edit: This is robert reich. I couldn't get my phone to write it by voice and I didn't know how to spell his last name.

http://www.newsweek.com/robert-reich-three-big-lies-about-tr...
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Daniel Kearns
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We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.
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Junior McSpiffy
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dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be. I think there are a good number of people who would not see taxes as being so onerous if they were convinced it was being spent responsibly. But when it doesn't come across that way, taxes are more readily resented.
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maxo-texas wrote:


Summary: Economist goes over the results of the experiment our country has been having in different states. how high taxes have led to one of the fastest growing economies in the country and an experiment and low taxes have led to two of the worst economies in the country.

States with low taxes and low citizen benefits haven't done that well and are not very attractive to Talent.

Possible issues..
Are there conservative states which are doing better?

Point I agree most with: low cost education for citizens greatly outweigh the higher taxes collected to pay for education.


All of the conservative states are doing better... none of them have California's unfunded $400 billion in state debt.


dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


We need to get past the ideology that people shouldn't have the freedom to fail.
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Mac Mcleod
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Other factors in California are ports (tho Texas has ports, Kansas does not) and highly desirable climate and living area (not true of Kansas or Texas).

If not for low cost higher education, I would not have been nearly as productive. When I was 22 higher education was much less expensive in Texas. And it had been for almost 30 years. Now higher education is extremely expensive in Texas. It feels like we are burning our Seed corn.

In fact, I had intended to continue my education after retirement but it is not financially practical at current rates.


Another point that I particularly agree with the video on is that cutting education and wages for the majority of citizens kills a lot of economic Market activity which suppresses tax income.

Agree with game Crossings point that there were and are abuses of taxes. However I think that the extremely wealthy use foundations and even purchase news organizations and use them to make it seem like the waist is much larger than it is. And they cut 100 times as much useful service as they do wasteful services. Right now I do not believe that Republicans Or democrats can do it right. But I believe Democrats Like Bernie Sanders can do it better.
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sao123 wrote:

We need to get past the ideology that people shouldn't have the freedom to fail.


I agree to a point. But what obligation do we have as a society to the least fortunate and least able of us? Do you think there wouldn't be any downside to a rampant number of shantytowns?
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Mac Mcleod
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The video has nothing to do with ideology of failure. It has to do with the outcomes of a policy of cutting taxes benefits versus the policy of higher taxes and higher benefits.

After 30 years low tax, low benefit policy Kansas is in shambles and Texas is not showing Superior growth but California is experiencing high growth and a high standard of living.

That is the point of the video. Tax and benefit cuts are appealing in the short-term but negative in the long-term. They result in an ill educated population that can't support a retail economy.
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Daniel Kearns
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GameCrossing wrote:
dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be. I think there are a good number of people who would not see taxes as being so onerous if they were convinced it was being spent responsibly. But when it doesn't come across that way, taxes are more readily resented.


What seems wasteful other than military spending? I realize that is the perception of taxes but I’ve never really understood it.

Conservatives hate taxes and wasteful spending and yet they are pro military. I’m not saying I’m against the military but so much of it is wasteful, so much goes to corporate kickbacks and so little of it goes to our veterans. I just don’t understand.
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Junior McSpiffy
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dkearns wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be. I think there are a good number of people who would not see taxes as being so onerous if they were convinced it was being spent responsibly. But when it doesn't come across that way, taxes are more readily resented.


What seems wasteful other than military spending? I realize that is the perception of taxes but I’ve never really understood it.

Conservatives hate taxes and wasteful spending and yet they are pro military. I’m not saying I’m against the military but so much of it is wasteful, so much goes to corporate kickbacks and so little of it goes to our veterans. I just don’t understand.


Bureaucracy. If I was to start trying to hack and slash at the debt, that's where I'd start. I think it would be possible to reduce departments across the board without really reducing services.

Pork. It's not as prevalent as it was back in the 70s and 80s, but it's still out there.

I get that lots of departments get demonized as a whole. And that's the optics of it. So if you want me to say "We need to slash department X" or "If we eliminate department Y entirely," then you don't know my act. But the optics of this make it so people are resentful toward taxes because they don't appear to be spent well. And, yes, because some are successfully marketing so much of government as evil and expendable.
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GameCrossing wrote:
The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be.


My issue with this is "appears to be." A consistent mantra is that government spending is wasteful, but private enterprises and corporations are efficient because it makes them more money. Problem is, this is utter bullshit until you actually look and prove it to be true. Some government programs are wasteful and should be fixed. Some are incredibly efficient and effective. And only some private businesses are efficient.

I think the bigger problem with a whole lot of the conservative base right now is that they no longer vote for the things that they want to pay for, but vote so that the things they don't want to pay for get the axe or scaled back. Which is different than being interested in fiscal responsibility, which wouldn't really care what got cut if the budget got balanced.
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Daniel Kearns
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Even with beauracracy, suppose every person in the United States raised their taxes by 100$. My $100 is multiplied by billions. Even with a percentage lost in beauracracy, my investment power is like 8 orders of magnitude greater than if I just had my $100 dollars.

We’ve (average Americans) have lost what it means to invest in our country. And for average joes, investment means taxes. People who actuallly know what it means to invest are this that have the 8orders of magnitude themselves... and they are cashing out of the United States big league.
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Mac Mcleod
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dkearns wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be. I think there are a good number of people who would not see taxes as being so onerous if they were convinced it was being spent responsibly. But when it doesn't come across that way, taxes are more readily resented.


What seems wasteful other than military spending? I realize that is the perception of taxes but I’ve never really understood it.

Conservatives hate taxes and wasteful spending and yet they are pro military. I’m not saying I’m against the military but so much of it is wasteful, so much goes to corporate kickbacks and so little of it goes to our veterans. I just don’t understand.


You may not recall that at one point we essentially paid young girls to get pregnant. If they got pregnant and were single, they got to move out into their own apartment on the government tab. It was actually a democratic president who helped end that.

The military is *very* wasteful and needs an audit. And it needs a budget cut- at least 20%- probably more.
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Mac Mcleod
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One millionaire can't drive as much economic activity as 10 people making $100,000. One person can only own so many houses, tv's, cars, and definitely can only eat so much food per day. Averaging over 2oz of alcohol per day is probably killing yourself.

There is not a perfect answer- but it looks increasingly like something went badly wrong under Reagan that was masked by stock market activity.

Last place I worked at was immensely wasteful. At least 3-4 billion dollars wasted in 10 years. You can also refer to those as investments or business ideas which didn't pay off. But some of the billion dollar gambles were obvious failures to the rank and file. They were made because a few people at the top had a chance to become personally wealthy if the idea worked. And if they didn't work, then the corporation took the loss, not the people making the gamble.

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sao123 wrote:
We need to get past the ideology that people shouldn't have the freedom to fail.


Those who have lost their jobs in a downsizing, had a serious illness, or been born into the wrong family, absolutely, the freedom to fail is exactly what they need.
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dkearns wrote:
Even with beauracracy, suppose every person in the United States raised their taxes by 100$. My $100 is multiplied by billions. Even with a percentage lost in beauracracy, my investment power is like 8 orders of magnitude greater than if I just had my $100 dollars.

We’ve (average Americans) have lost what it means to invest in our country. And for average joes, investment means taxes. People who actuallly know what it means to invest are this that have the 8orders of magnitude themselves... and they are cashing out of the United States big league.


I get the force multiplier aspect of it. But again, the waste that is involved CAN and should be curbed. It's anecdotal, but how many of us have in some fashion heard or a government large expenditure at the end of the year simply because they need to justify next year's budget. My brother-in-law says that every year the end is a rush of government contracts to buy software that is out-of-date, not because they need it but because they need to show they've spent their budget.

So why don't these departments simply accept a smaller budget which still gets the job done? Because in government, money is influence. Whoever controls the largest budget has the loudest voice. A department which is crucial to national security but has an $X-million budget will have less influence than a program with lots of subsidies and a $1.5X-million budget. So the department head who wants to keep climbing the ladder needs to keep his budget up. And if that means spending money that need not be spent.... well.... force multiplier, yeah?

The bureaucracy needs to be reined in. There are savings galore to be had right there which wouldn't necessarily lead to any reduction in service.
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dkearns wrote:
What seems wasteful other than military spending? I realize that is the perception of taxes but I’ve never really understood it.


Nothing is 100% efficient, so there will always be some waste. But if an area of government spending were to be even 99% efficient then that would, in some cases, be billions wasted. Present the figure of a billion dollars wasted and it sounds like profligacy. Until you work out that's less than a penny per day per American. And given the vested interests in making taxes and spending appear bad, which gets more publicity, a billion dollars (or better "four billion dollars over the course of this administration") or less than a penny per day?
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GameCrossing wrote:
It's anecdotal, but how many of us have in some fashion heard or a government large expenditure at the end of the year simply because they need to justify next year's budget.


Like this is limited to government. I used to have hard drives, memory, laptops, modems, WAN gear, switches, etc. that were brought in because we were about to flip fiscal years. Thing is - we used all of them (and the government probably does a really good job with this too), we just had to push the purchase forward rather than wait for a need. It was very rare that stuff went to waste.

Quote:
So why don't these departments simply accept a smaller budget which still gets the job done?


Just curious - have you ever pulled together a department budget? If not, then the answer isn't likely to satisfy. Budgeting is part science and part guessing. You're estimating not only how much money you'll need, but when you'll need it based on fiscal years. So I know that my labor costs will be X, we'll budget for raises or Y, our recurring operating costs under contract are Z, and then a huge percentage of what's left is "We're reasonably sure we'll need to replace this, upgrade that, buy a new the other" within the fiscal year. So it wasn't rare that you'd end up with dollars budgeted that you spent ahead of the need because of delays (which may or may not have been under your control).

Quote:
Because in government, money is influence.


Well, this is where there's a problem that you're sort of not talking about. A huge portion of this is because it's easy for legislators to look at the budget as a jobs program for their districts and states. We buy military gear that the military doesn't want because key Congressmen require the purchase and guess where the factory is?

People like to make fun of our civil service/bureaucrats. But these are the people that are often prevented from doing the right thing in terms of budget and where budget goes by our elected officials (who more often than not are shrieking about government waste).

Quote:
The bureaucracy needs to be reined in.


Let's rein in Congress first. Let's require them to simply vote on the budget proposals submitted by the departments and not allow them to mandate particular purchases and allocations of funds. Let's have a really independent body review their moronic amendments that do nothing but add cost and inefficiency to our spending because it helps their district and inform the public.

Quote:
There are savings galore to be had right there which wouldn't necessarily lead to any reduction in service.


Maybe. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if like 75-85% of those savings didn't show up in military spending.
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Mac Mcleod
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https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/just-ho...

Quote:
Entitlement programs, from food stamps to Medicare, don't see unusually high cheating rates -- and the culprits are usually managers and executives, not "welfare queens."


There is a widespread belief by americans that the government wastes 51 cents out of every tax dollar collected.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/09/19/am...



The article lists plentiful examples of how one group of people will think something is waste while others do not view it as waste. So this is one point. Amazingly- this includes some programs during the iraqi war where we literally handed out money without accounting which completely disappeared. Billions of dollars. But many (mostly pro-military) voters didn't view those programs as waste.

The article concludes with concludes with waste and fraud levels using the more traditional definitions of waste and fraud (i.e. fraudulent or unaccounted spending for a legal program even if some voters do not like the program.)

Quote:
In part because the programs are so politically contentious, the government tracks fraud in welfare programs closely. The most recent data provided by the Department of Agriculture puts direct food stamp fraud at 1 percent. Overall waste, including errors, was at 4.07 percent according to data reported at the end of last year. Fraud in unemployment insurance was at about 3 percent in 2011, which doesn't include other waste. Waste and fraud in Medicare? About 8.5 percent at the high end as of last year. And so on.


8.5% seems high to me. But it's not individuals but doctors who are the largest source of this fraud (I've read that elsewhere not here-- one doctor can plausibly create a huge amount of fraud- individual patients can not.) I suspect waste and fraud in the DOD is over 10%. Even before an audit, we know they are wasting about $25 billion per year.*

So I could see we need *more* money spent auditing and verifying spending in medicare to bring that down. OTH, I don't think you are going to get below 1% fraud rate without spending more on auditing than you lose on fraud.

In other words, it's not worth it to spend $50,000 to prevent $25,000 worth of fraud. And it doesn't make sense to spend 5 billion to prevent 2.5 billion in fraud.

And- without the 99% benefiting from the program- you are going to see higher crime rates, more child abuse, more spousal abuse, more deaths, higher incarceration costs, and a smaller tax base.

*
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/pentagon-burie...

Also... American citizens waste about $443 billion per year.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/03...

(on energy alone).
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How much of US growth in the last 20 years comes from NYC and California? Pretty much all of it. Things get even worse when you also add high tax metro areas in otherwise purple states. Conservative America is ultimately a few extractive economies and rot.

We don't have to look at liberals to discuss this lack of growth: Go look at Tyler Cowen's numbers on economic activity. The US has become quite complacent, and nobody is more complacent than Republicans. For a successful entrepreneur, taxes aren't that important, because growth trumps all. It's only companies that have stopped growing, and have to wonder more on cashing in, that live and die by taxes.

What really helps entrepreneurs is to be OK after they fail. They have to be allowed to fail, but you have to be out of your mind to risk starting your own company when it going badly means no health or disability insurance, and you could instead work at a large tech company offering $300-$400k a year in total compensation. Instead, we need good baselines so taking risks is not the end of the world, and that's paid by taxes.

Now, this doesn't mean we should be raising taxes forever: Fixing the US' insane healthcare "market" is a big part of doing all of this at a sensible price. Bringing in far more immigrants would also be great for the economy. When one goes one bit at a time, there's little in the current, Trump-modified republican platform that isn't suicidal in the medium run. We'll see if over the next few decades, the US voters realize it.

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GameCrossing wrote:
The reason they are often seen as such is because of how wasteful a good deal of the spending is, or at least appears to be. I think there are a good number of people who would not see taxes as being so onerous if they were convinced it was being spent responsibly. But when it doesn't come across that way, taxes are more readily resented.


the problem with this formulation (and I don't disagree with the premise, I'm saying "problem" as in "this is why it's sorta fucked") is the inclusion of the "appears to be" clause

when people don't understand a thing, we're psychologically resistant to admitting ignorance; saying "I don't know about X" is emotionally abhorrent to most people and teaching yourself to be able to publicly admit when you don't know a thing is the hardest thing there is (and I've specifically taken classes designed to teach this skill and I'm still honestly not as good as it as I need to be) because we do tend to value knowledge as a good quality

but unfortunately if we don't know a lot about X we don't know how to recognize when somebody in fact knows a lot about X, and most people can generally be convinced that someone knows a lot about X simply by a presentation of confidence/charisma

a good example of this phenomenon in tax debate arises whenever Senator Whosisface (right now it's Jeff Flake) publishes their annual "look at these wacky government spending things 20XX" report, which are traditionally mostly full of often actually quite mundane government spending which can be portrayed as ridiculous because if you don't understand the context of the spending just about anything can sound ridiculous

as a few examples from this year's report:

1. "$1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians" - it's a government grant to assist (and not wholly fund) the construction of a comedy museum, because museums are things the government usually helps fund, big surprise - they generate tourism interest and stimulate the local economy of the area building it (in this case, Jamestown, NY)

2. "$74 million for a program that allows taxpayer-backed loans to be repaid with peanuts" - it's your basic agricultural buyback subsidy that exists for literally every crop and are the backbone of farming security; if you want to generally be against farm subsidies, that's at least a coherent budgetary position, but singling out the relatively small peanut crop (as compared to, say, corn) because it's funnier is the sort of dishonest garbage that budget concern trolls like Flake love to spew

3. "$1.5 million to test the endurance of a fish on a treadmill" - it's actually three separate NIS grants given to three separate oceanographic institutions studying, among other things, fish movement, one of which is studying mudskipper movement out of water; they didn't spend $1.5 million to put a fish on a treadmill, they spent $1.5 million to generally further the research of three separate institutions studying fish, and one of the experiments one of these places did involved a mudskipper

4. "$5 million to study the partying habits of fraternities and sororities" - well actually it was about $5 million over fifteen years, so approximately $300,000 in NIH grants to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism per year for fifteen years, and said grants were used, in part, to fund this study - you'll notice they're pulling the same trick that they do with the fish above, which is pretend that giving money to a centre or agency for general research is equivalent to spending all that money on one single research project that sounds mockable (the report mocks that it just produced research that was obvious to anybody who knew anything about fraternities, which: do they understand WHY PEOPLE RESEARCH THINGS?)

5. "$460,000 for a computer to binge-watch “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office” in order to learn human behavior" - same trick as in #3 and #4, and also they had to contort the English language a bit to make it seem like friggin' AI research is somehow a bad thing

6. "$300,000 to study if girls or boys spend more time playing with Barbie dolls" - it's actually a study which was trying to determine if playing with human-appearing dolls in early childhood develops the brain to better remember faces, which is a theory that's been argued in cognitive development study (answer: the experiment provided evidence against this thesis)

and so on and so forth, it's always like this, one or two serious critiques (continuing to subsidize an inefficient airport, for example) and then forty or fifty dishonestly-portrayed wacky science experiments

but to someone who doesn't bother reading the report - IE, most people - Jeff Flake comes off as a serious, attention-to-details guy (never mind that his staff wrote this shit for him) rather than a grandstanding attention hog who just bullshits a lot about stuff he barely understands
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sao123 wrote:

dkearns wrote:
We need to get past this idea that taxes are evil.


We need to get past the ideology that people shouldn't have the freedom to fail.


That’s the point. Conservatives failed. The economic ideology they’ve pushed my entire life has never worked anywhere near as well as liberal economic ideology. Now, we don’t think the consequence for this ought to be that conservatives can’t get medical care, housing, or food, and certainly don’t think their blameless children should suffer these consequences. But we do think they ought to have less power to allocate capital. That’s the essence of capitalism, isn’t it? If your capital allocations result in lower growth than other people’s, they get more power to allocate capital in the future.
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"The bureaucracy needs to be reined in. There are savings galore to be had right there which wouldn't necessarily lead to any reduction in service. "

Always trotted out as a conservative mantra - prove it!
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GameCrossing wrote:
It's anecdotal, but how many of us have in some fashion heard or a government large expenditure at the end of the year simply because they need to justify next year's budget.


But this is kind of the problem, because this behaviour is the result of waste cutting ideas. I.e. there was something left over in your budget this year, that must mean you don't need as much this year, therefore we'll cut it.

In practice that's a gross oversimplification, and people running government departments need some way to avoid that kind of thinking.

The problem with a focus on waste cutting is if you do it wrong it causes more waste.
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Kumitedad wrote:
Magically, the 1% seem always to dodge a bullet


The 1% don't dodge the bullet. They manufacture the bullets, sell them for a big profit (together with the guns) and use some of the profit to buy the assurance as to how they will be used.

That's metaphorical and literal bullets as it happens (though "used" might need to be "deregulated" in the literal case).
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sao123 wrote:


We need to get past the ideology that people shouldn't have the freedom to fail.


I agree with this statement entirely.

Right now only the rich and corporstions have the freedom to fail. They can fail again and again and keep on trying untill they get it right. For those without wealth or special government protection failure is not an option because there's nothing there for a second chance. We need a robust safety net for the little guy so more people will take chances, invest in themselves, and have opportunities to succeed despite not being economicly advantaged.

Good point sir, good point.
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